Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Under the Dome Review: "The Fourth Hand" - Guns and Stars

So this happened "Under the Dome"

Let’s start with the utter terribleness of Big Jim’s “voluntary gun exchange.”  It’s not just a bad idea because of the execution, it’s a bad idea because it doesn’t change anything.  In terms of execution, the idea that anybody in this town would turn in all their guns is patently ridiculous, especially given that there was an insane shootout at the town’s largest farm LAST NIGHT.  One day ago, an armed militia stormed a town farm to gain control of the water, met with another armed militia and engaged in a firefight that resulted in multiple dead citizens and a blown-up well.  Why on earth would anybody trust Big Jim to protect their stuff when he just killed Ollie (or indirectly caused his death) and took his farm?  Especially when, despite his own promise, we see less than ten minutes later that Big Jim still has his pistol and hasn’t turned it in.  Never mind the stockpile he gets from Token*, including Chekhov’s grenade, Big Jim doesn’t do the one thing he promised the people of Chester’s Mill he would do.

*I’m sure they mentioned his name, but I didn’t catch it.  And given that he’s the first black character we’ve seen since Faux Lenny Kravitz, I’m going with “Token.”

The second, bigger problem with this plot is that it does nothing for the story.  Because the gun turn-in was voluntary and incomplete, anybody in town can still have a gun, so it won’t be a surprise when, in the season finale, there’s yet another shootout.  It might be easy to hand-wave the whole thing as Jim needing an excuse to get his hands on Token’s arsenal, but he really didn’t need to impose a voluntary gun ban to get the crazy, suicidal guy to give up his.  The whole thing just adds nothing.

In other news, we’ve got another new character in from out of the blue, Natalie Zea’s Max, who seems to be here only to mess with things as both the head of Jim’s drug operation and as the person Barbie called after killing Julia’s husband.  It’s nice that we’re getting more information on the drugs but this all seems to be coming too late.  Am I supposed to care about the drug-running operation, given that there’s been no drug-running for nine episodes?  Am I supposed to care about Barbie killing Julia’s husband beyond the inevitable future scene when Julia finds out?  She’s presented as the character who knows all the secrets, but she doesn’t actually have any secrets that we care about. 

On the kids’ end of things, Junior gets downgraded (maybe) from “completely crazy” to “seriously messed up” as we discover that his mother was having dreams or visions or whatever, that lead her to paint a picture of Junior with pink stars falling from skies.  Naturally, Angie seizes in front of him, chanting “the pink stars are falling.”  So those two crazy kids are back together, which is just kind of infuriating.  We also learn that Joe’s been sleepwalking, bringing the egg from the forest to the barn.  Unfortunately he, Norrie, and Angie still need one more person to help them open it (the eponymous fourth hand).  While this is still the best part of the show, I’m a little worried they’re going to end up dragging this out for the rest of the season, closing on the opening of the dome (or maybe the egg) and leaving it as a cliffhanger for next year, in which case…whatever.

A couple of spare thoughts –

So Chekhov’s hand grenade is in the bomb shelter and only Jim and Junior know about it.  I’m sure that won’t come back again in episode 12 or 13.

Jim casually drops that he negotiated a deal with the farmers, so we never have to worry about food again.  I’m hoping he’s completely wrong, because that would be mightily convenient.

So thoughts?  Comments?  Just want to tell me my blog sucks?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @TyTalksTV

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