Alright, that’s more like it! Through the good and the bad (and there has been copious amounts of bad-I like to refer to most of it as season two), Under the Dome has continually strayed from the Stephen King novel. Now, I don’t really mind when a TV series or film strays for the source material. I’m fine with most of the wholesome changes The Walking Dead has made from the comic and I experienced absolutely zero nerd rage over any liberties taken in the TV adaptation of Game of Thrones. I expected Under the Dome to veer from the source material but what I didn’t expect was a wholesome removal of King’s themes and a stripping away of King’s usual tropes. Well this week, the King was back and it made me very happy.
Let’s start with Joe and Norrie. Last week, Chester’s Mill’s favorite couple reunited after Norrie found her true self. This week, the cuddly and adorable Joe and Norrie were back and it was very refreshing after the forced love triangle of the past few weeks. This week, Norrie and Joe were confronted by a mind controlled and spurned Hunter who accidently fell off a roof in his attempt to pull Norrie away from Joe. Now, this proved two things. One, Hunter is absolutely useless-I mean he nearly paralyzed himself without Joe or Norrie fighting back, and two, it looks like this ineffective love triangle is now a thing the past, thank God.
So Joe and Norrie, the emotional core of the show are back together and the series is better off for it. As for the King themes-between Salem’s Lot, The Tommyknockers, and The Cell, King has explored the herd mentality many times-the hive mind.
Well, this theme is now front and center on Under the Dome thanks to the inclusion of the show’s new and very welcome big bad Christine Price. Christine is a perfect foil for Jim and Nora and seems to kind of serve the Randall Flagg role now that she has become a major player in Chester’s Mill. She is a palpable threat, a vastly powerful femme fatale who seems to know everyone’s weakness. She is like the Borg Queen, controlling everyone in town through some kind of mind control slime. She has the always obsessive Junior Rennie wrapped around her sultry finger. Christine also took steps this week to get Sam back under her control by talking Sam’s new love interest, the alcoholic Bride of Frankenstein looking (complete with new scar) temptress that drew Sam back to the bottle, into suicide. It’s hard to imagine that Sam was better off drinking himself to death but now he is under the complete thrall of Christine once again.
And as we know from Barbie and Eva, being in Christine’s control is not a good thing. This week, Eva and Barbie drew ever closer as another ex-soldier in town grew suspicious of Christine and tried to discredit her by sabotaging town hall, an act that cost the lives of two people. When Barbie confronted this d-bag, he was in control but once Barbie’s new rival smacked Eva, Dale Barbara caved in the dude’s skull with a bat. It’s sad that Barbie has found love but A- the love isn’t with Julia and B- the love is a complete Christine induced sham. But Barbie is under control and Julia does not have his strong shoulders to rely on in the war against Dome Queen Christine.
Ironically, Julia does have “Big” Jim as an ally against Christine and man, are Christine and Jim Rennie just the perfect foils. Jim wants to control the town but he wants people to choose to follow him. Christine wants the town to become her hive. Jim uses violence and fear to gain power, Christine uses subtle manipulations and seduction. Heck, she even seduced Jim’s own son and it looks like the war between Jim and Christine could be a war for Junior’s soul. The show is going out of its way to make Jim seem like he has made the shift to a protagonist. He even has been given an adorably faithful dog. Seriously Under the Dome, don’t kill the f’n dog.
Another faction was introduced into this complex war-a team of scientists that know the nature of Christine’s powers. The episode was called Alaska because it treated viewers to a wonderfully effective flashback that showed the effects of an egg meteor on a team of scientists in Alaska. One of the female scientists gained the ability to control the others and forced her new team of devotees to kill themselves. This same hive horror has effected Chester’s Mill and the episode did a very good job in showing how the residents under the dome are now of one mind- the mind of Christine Price.
So the only hopes we have left are “Big” Jim who is imprisoned by the aforementioned scientists, Joe and Norrie who are being chased by the bulk of Chester’s Mill residents, and Julia who doesn’t have Barbie to be her muscle. The series finally has an effective big bad and things are moving in a very King like direction. Let’s call this week a win.
3 1/2 stars and if they kill the dog, I swear I’ll take back 2 stars.