Under the Dome 1.10 “Let the Games Begin” Review

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

You know it’s going to be increasingly about the high concepts, especially now that the show has received a renewal (how can we keep them all in this dome, ya’ll?). This week it’s Fight Club, but there’s a hidden advantage to introducing the concept: it channels all the periodic eruptions of mindless violence into one specific, male-dominated direction. Female-controlled and managed, but the boys are definitely the main attraction. And, the writers use the unlikely setup to further story for our main characters, namely Barbie and Julia. Who, really, with all their unwary shacking up and boundary-free intimacy have sort of been asking for it for a while now.

While Barbie fights for his future, Big Jim has realized that it’s better to be smart when you’re older than and not as strong as you once were. So he figures out where Max has been hiding, and goes snooping. What he finds is a mansion on an island, and Mare Winningham. Score!

I had hopes, upon the encounter with Mare/Agatha, that she’d be the wise old woman archetype that shows up sometimes in these types of stories. King of course created an indelible version in Mother Abigail in the Stand, but Agatha proves not quite so gifted, or enduring. She is however Maxine’s mom, and she stays isolated from the town because her high school pregnancy resulted in shunning and shaming that she clearly will never forgive. And she raised Maxine to be just as wary, it seems. Jim intuits pretty quickly, however, that her killer instinct is still undeveloped compared to his.

Seems both Big and Little Jims have notched multiple murders on their belts, which I suppose is one more reason small towns are horrifying even without domes? Junior this week is dragged almost against his will into the whole mini-dome clique, and his initial resistance makes it seem like he’s never been asked to be a part of ANY group before, even this little gathering of four. Who we’re going to call the Seizure Club.  Seems like he’s been creeping people out since he was little, despite his movie star mug. He’s definitely got a major chip on his shoulder about his crazy mom, at any rate.

Pretty quick motion on the plot this week. Mare is gone before she even registers, sadly, but Barbie breaks with Maxine, and comes clean to Julia (who has figured most of it out in her own little intrepid mission with Linda), who reacts pretty well, considering. Dodee gets a nasty shock for touching the mini-dome, but when Junior finally plays along, it acts real nice for the Seizure Club. Not sure how the monarch in the chrysalis growing inside it is doing, though.

Also, the Fight Club participants rounded up by Maxine? As she explains it, ‘they’ve had no TV, no drugs, no internet, no entertainment or distractions for days’ and are going stir crazy. IE, they’re the summer viewing audience. Which makes her Les Moonves I guess?

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at http://cornekopia.net

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