Hey, Peter Weller, you know, Robocop, directs this episode of Under the Dome. He’s done a couple of episodes of The Strain lately, both of which were awesome. It’s nice that Weller only wants to direct shows I review. I’m humbled.
On to Chester’s Mill and one town over from where Barbie was captured last week after warning Julia not to jump in the warp zone that serves as an exit from under the dome. The show is wheel spinning a little bit on the exact nature of Barbie’s gazillionaire daddy; did he build the dome, why does he want the egg? These plot threads are going to wear thin a bit if not answered soon. They are interesting mysteries but not interesting enough to keep it going for too long. Under the Dome has gotten better these past few weeks, but it ain’t Lost, and doesn’t have the cache to expect that kind of fan patience.
So what was good this week? The budding relationship between ghost girl Melanie and Junior was pretty cool, especially when Melanie found herself in the basement where Junior locked Angie last season. Melanie begged to just stay there awhile, her doe eyes begging Junior to stay with her, not realizing that there was a girl trapped there recently just begging to get out. This was a creepy little sequence that reminds us that there is still the potential for violence beneath Junior’s “Aw, shucks,” demeanor.
The machinations of “Big” Jim were entertaining as usual as he called for a palaver with some special forces guarding the dome, promising the black clad soldiers that he would bring them the egg if they let him and Junior out of the dome.
Now this egg business, this is getting silly. I’m not against a McGuffin hunt, far from it, Marvel Studios uses that particular little plot device in most of their films, but if you’re going to have a McGuffin, you have to explain what the McGuffin is. We know it’s an egg that once was trapped under a mini dome; we know it has a connection to Julia, Joe, Norrie, and Junior. We know that it led to the death of Melanie in 1988 and has somehow resurrected her in the present, but we don’t know what Barbie’s dad wants with it. If there is to be tension over whether Barbie’s dad finds it, we need to know the consequences of him doing so. I assume he doesn’t want to use it to make an omelet, but there’s an awful lot of ambiguity for a thingie that is supposed to be the central focus of the show.
Back to some positives. I wasn’t digging the pits with Jim’s ex-wife and Junior’s mom till this week. She seemed like a plot contrivance, but now that she’s back under the dome with her husband and son who believed that she was dead, Pauline could shake things up in the Rennie family.
It was also cool to see the vision Barbie, Pauline, and Sam saw as they found the mysterious red dome that led them back to Chester’s Mill. Barbie saw a vision of Melanie from when he was a young boy; this is another layer of intrigue of the ghost girl. Pauline saw the burial site of the egg while Sam just kind of wallowed in his own guilt over killing Angie. Speaking of which, Pauline now knows that her dear brother killed Angie. Think she’ll tell Junior now that she has arrived in Chester’s Mill? Could that led to the return of psycho Junior? Maybe the time spent this week in Junior’s girl dungeon was foreshadowing a return to the dark side for the younger Rennie.
Let’s see, what else? New computer hacker character Hunter accompanied Barbie to Chester’s Mill, so we have a new player to shake things up as he brings in his Hounds of Diana truth movement with him. Joe and Norrie basically did nothing, and Julia just kind of stands around and moons over Barbie’s absence because clearly the show has no idea what to do with her in any scene she doesn’t share with her lover. Lyle, who made the jump with Pauline, Hunter, Barbie, and Sam, did not arrive back under the dome, so that’s a mystery that still has to be dealt with.
Basically, wheels spun, eggs were searched for, mysteries were not solved, and the Rennies remained the best part of the show. Just another week Under the Dome.