'Under the Dome' Recap: An Endless Deluge of Pointless Mythology
'Under the Dome' Recap: An Endless Deluge of Pointless Mythology
Ted Kindig
Ted Kindig
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Well, I guess I'd better get on board. I've been railing against Under the Dome's arbitrary mythology and shallow characters for just about the entire season, culminating in last week's ultimate betrayal: Junior the Unrepentant Serial Domestic Abuser was declared Fourth Hand of the Dome God, sacrificing the last bit of pathos this show's earned with its audience in favor of more pointless puzzle piecing. My concerns are not the show's, and I've got to accept that: Under the Dome has nothing to offer in terms of character or emotion, and if I'm gonna get something out of it, I'd better acquire a taste for pink stars and monarchs.

That said, I still have some raw empathy for Angie when she explodes at Junior's continued fate-based advances: actress Britt Robertson deserves points for her believably frustrated performance, even if the writers seem to be more on Junior's side; he's not wrong when he says that "fate" brought them together, though I would substitute ill-considered writing choices for determinism. Either way, Angie's unwillingness to couple up with psycho leads to the dome getting angry once again and sending a storm.

Girls Gone Wild

Max continues to be multiple levels of problematic, as Barbie's scorn leads her to shoot Julia -- calm down, girl, he's a pretty face but no personality. Barbie spends much of the episode resuscitating Julia with his magical army powers, while Joe stands around developing a man-crush on him. Seeing his raw saving abilities firsthand, Joe decides that Barbie must be the monarch and should be crowned accordingly.

Max's saga, incidentally, ends when she tries to take Barbie into a forced marriage or something -- her tenderness toward him stops her from killing him, allowing Big Jim to shoot her and then frame Barbie for the murder. Forget the badass criminal mastermind Max that Under the Dome had been pretending she was; this lady just needed herself a man. So that's one more embarrassingly ridiculous super cool guy cliche we have for Barbie in place of actual characterization -- the ladies literally kill and die for him -- but who cares because the monarch will be crowned.

The Pink Stars Club

The episode's one modestly redeeming component is a bit of creepy imagery toward the end: once the storm is cleared when Junior gets Angie to concede that she secretly wants it, the four kids touch the outer dome and see Big Jim standing there with multiple wounds, then find bloody knives in their hands. A cool touch of the abstract for a far too literal show, until of course the kids instantly intuit -- correctly, no doubt, they've never failed to baldly explicate every slightest ambiguity up to this point -- that they're destined to kill Big Jim.

Almost every second of this episode is idiotic. Every witless line, every corny reading, every dumb plot development. Just terrible by any critical standard. But, hey, this show isn't remotely concerned with critical standards: the sole ambition is to inform you that within its entirely fictional universe, the dome really wants those kids to hang out with each other because that will grant them murder-vision. What the heck, one may ask, is the point of all this nonsense? What is being said here, what are we watching, why are we watching this? And one may very well descend into an existential crisis of nihilistic absurdism pondering that question. Better, then, to take this show at a fraction of surface level, and simply watch as the pink stars fall into line.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)



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