Under The Dome season 2 episode 9 review: The Red Door

Review Frances Roberts 26 Aug 2014 - 17:05

We knew it couldn’t last. The latest episode of Under The Dome is barmier than ever. Here’s Frances’ review…

This review contains spoilers.

2.9 The Red Door

Let’s take a big fat internet-eraser to last week’s review, in which some idiot stated that Under The Dome had swapped its barminess for a new sensible approach. That clearly isn’t the case. What seemed, over the past fortnight, like a reboot into safer, more generic territory was really just the show rearing up and readying itself for this week’s gigantic leap back to bonkers-land.

At least the audience knows where it stands again. No longer do we have to grudgingly concede that Under The Dome has smartened up its act and started to make actual sense. We’re all back in the state of baffled-yet-entertained carbon-monoxide-leak dizziness that the series has kept us in since the dome came down.

And now that Pauline and co. are back, to quote Chester’s Mill’s most leniently judged axe-murderer, “buckle up kid, it’s about to get a lot weirder”. That’d make a pretty good poster tag-line for the show, come to think of it.

Egg-fans will be glad to know that it’s back in a big way, as the prize sought by Barbie’s villainous, double-crossing pa (a sort of low-rent Charles Widmore) and his shady energy/telecoms/security firm. Presumably, Daddy Dale is after the monopoly on alien doohickey fuel, while Under The Dome’s other dodgy patriarch - Big Jim - wants it to trade for his and Junior’s safe passage out of Dodge.

Getting the hang of season two now, Big Jim tried to help out the writing team by instigating a C-plot wherein Rebecca Pine dowsed for the magic ovoid using a home-made “egg detector… or something”. She declined, but the idea was later proved an un-stupid one: science is indeed able to track the egg’s whereabouts thanks to the glow-y stuff (with any luck, fatal levels of gamma radiation that’ll cause the Four Hands’ hair to start falling out by next week) it emits. What exactly the egg is, does, and wants is yet to be established. “You can’t explain it, you just have to accept it” Junior told his dad this week. That’d make a pretty good poster tag-line for the show, come to think of it.

While The Red Door did little to dissuade me that the past season and a half have been written using a Mad Libs book and the Lost Wikipedia page (so Melanie is presumably Barbie’s secret half-sister? Well, if it worked for Jack and Claire) it was still a romp. Questions were asked, punches were thrown, and baffling conclusions were leapt to with adorably dumb certainty. There were also more entries than usual in the week’s “most dramatically ironic dialogue” contest - which Pauline won by reminiscing to Sam “Junior used to know this little girl called Angie. Boy, I sure hope nobody’s chopped her up with an axe”, while Big Jim’s “I’d give anything to have my wife back” speech came in a close second.)

Now that the Zenith gang - minus poor Lyle - is back, what baffling delights will the season's remaining episodes bring? More questions, presumably. Does the playground portal still work? Who else will go through the hatch? Did Barbie's dad do some kind of intergalactic space deal with the dome-creating aliens? Will the narratively convenient whirly flashback smoke return? And when will they all discover that Hurley’s been stashing food? As Hunter told Pauline this week, “Either way, things are going to get worse around here” That’d make a pretty good… oh, you get the idea.

Read Frances’ review of the previous episode, Awakening, here.

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