Under The Dome season 2 episode 7 review: Going Home

Review Frances Roberts 13 Aug 2014 - 11:22

Has the reboot button finally been pressed on Under The Dome? Frances can only hope…

This review contains spoilers.

2.7 Going Home

You have to hand it to Under The Dome; when the show’s clearly playing a losing game, it isn’t afraid to tip the board over, spill the pieces all over the floor and declare a rule change.

Viewers have turned away from the current season in their droves (it’s averaging around seven million in comparison to season one’s impressive eleven million), either failing to be charmed by its repetitive peril-of-the-week plots or traumatised at an existential level by the tightness of Big Jim’s shirts. This is going nowhere, we all thought, as we watched Rebecca Pine grumpily save the town from certain doom using a pipette and some iron filings. Again.

Not any longer. Now, Under The Dome is absolutely going somewhere - specifically, to the town of Zenith. Hoping to inject some fresh air into what has become an increasingly stale premise, the show’s writers have - hallelujah - opened an escape hatch out of Chester’s Mill.

An escape hatch leading, as Barbie discovers, to his hometown. After modelling his Action Man spelunking accessories and heroically sacrificing himself to save Julia and Rebecca (bet he wished poor Dodie had been the one on the other end of that rope), Barbie found himself back home. Unfortunately for him, no sooner had he done so than he stepped into a low-rate crime series starring a gang of clichéd heavies.

Shaking them off, we learned that Barbie isn’t just any old former-special-ops-marine-turned-hit man-turned-sheriff, he’s a former-special-ops marine-turned-hit man-turned-sheriff whose dad is also the head of immediately shady-sounding corporation, Aktaion Energy, which comes with its own underground resistance group, the graffiti-spraying Hounds of Diana.

How’s that for a reboot? Farewell Chester’s Mill and your tiresome ladybird infestations, hello sci-fi conspiracy thriller! Well played, Under The Dome, you have my attention.

Meanwhile, also through the portal, siblings Sam and Pauline were committing crimes against dialogue with that biscuit-dry family reunion. “How come you didn’t tell me you were going to fake your own death?” Sam eventually remembered to ask his sister during a casual stroll through town. “Because the producers hadn’t decided I was going to back then. This resurrection thing’s all been a bit flimsy, if I’m honest”, Pauline answered. “Like that incredibly contrived bit about emails suddenly getting through the dome? They took us all out for margaritas when we got away with that.”

The specifics of the portal remain unclear. Where does the red door fit in? How long will it stay open? Does it only work for troubled males or can the whole Chester’s Mill lot just line up like lemmings and leap their way to freedom? Somewhere in a Zenith hospital, is there a clutch of unconscious kids knocked out by the rock, lit flare, functioning drone and three full grown men that have been dropped on their heads the past couple of days? Finally, does it go both ways? Say a Zenith little leaguer with a particularly vigorous throwing arm lobbed a baseball hard enough into the air above their playground, could it knock Joe McAlister unconscious? If so, where’s the Kickstarter to make that happen?

Read Frances’ review of the previous episode, In The Dark, here.

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