Friday, July 3, 2015

In Which I Review Under The Dome (3x3)

In the promo for this weeks episode, "Redux," we were promised that all would be revealed. And we got....answers? See, I'm actually asking because I'm not sure. When the words functioning collective from purple goop (mixed with Oxycontin, apparently) were uttered, I almost turned the channel. This really is a bad 1980s science fiction movie, isn't it? Or it's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It's a good thing that this episode was titled Redux because that's what it is: a rehash, a revival of past drama. Yes, the characters say that they feel different because of their experiences inside the Alternate Reality, but it's the same old same old. Julie and Barbie have a fight because someone comes in between them (season one it was Julia's husband, whom Barbie killed. Season two it was Science Teacher Pine who wanted to thin the herd through careful selection); Jorrie are having issues as Hunter makes a move on Norrie, just like Melanie made a move on Joe back in season two. Barbie and Big Jim fight; Big Jim and Julia fight; Big Jim and Junior fight; Big Jim and a dog fight. Okay, that last one is new, but the rest? Same old. Same old. Same old. The song remains the same here in Chester's Mill. The one semi-new, yet somehow just as ridiculous and mind numbingly tedious as previous plot lines, is Queen Bee who is one part bitch, one part alien, and all parts homicidal. So was all revealed? Nope, not even close. Grab a match and let's set this on fire! 

Who sent the Dome? We don't know. What is the Dome? We don't know. Why Chester's Mill? We don't know. Why is Julia the Monarch? We don't know. Why are Joey, Angie, Junior and Norrie the Four Hands? We don't know. Why did Pauline receive visions of what was to come? We don't know. Why is Barbie so important? We don't know. So what do we know? Well we know that the purple goop is a wicked brew of Oxycontin and that when you combine it with an alternate reality it makes cocooned people into a functioning collective after life forces have been transferred to said pod people. No, I am not going to break down that long winded sentence and explain it to you because first someone is going to have to explain it to me! What on God's green Earth...? This was the supposed big revelation from Queen Bee (who was inside the Queen Pod--her words, not mine!). Queen Bee and Gollum meet in the underground lair of Evil to discuss how Gollum only had ONE JOB and failed to do it; she couldn't even cocoon people correctly. Well, that's Gollum. Useless, annoying, and thankfully by episode end, deader than a doornail. I can only hazard a guess at this point but I think the egg had literal life forms in it and that those life forms were in the process of being transferred to the good (not so good) people of Chester's Mill when Big Jim interrupted the coital transfer (yeah it's sex, let's just own up to this...those are sperm moving into a cocoon shaped eggs and hatching little Pod People) by placing the egg on the Queen Bee Pod. Or something. Queen Bee did say that the purpose of all this was to survive and propagate, so my underlying theory of long ago that these are aliens looking to colonize, to branch out, to expand, might actually be true. I honestly don't care if it's true. I just want the story to do more than give me the same refrain over and over. Ooooh a mysterious stranger who might have answers to the Dome and the questions posed at the start of the series? Yup, we've never had that before (sarcasm). Oooh, relationship trouble between people who are only connected through extraordinary circumstances and most likely would not have even been remotely interested in one another outside of the Dome? Yup, we've never had that either (sarcasm!) Oooh, the townspeople don't trust one another! Yup, we sure as hell have never had that before either! I think I just broke my keyboard with all that sarcasm. We did learn a little bit more about Queen Bee and Eva (does she need a nickname?) Apparently they are anthropologists who have uncovered lost civilizations in their travels (which included North Dakota?) Look, I don't know what kind of college you went to but anthropologists don't exactly uncover lost civilizations. You get that the anthro in "anthropologists" means people right? It's Greek so you can trust me on this one. Archaeologists, maybe. Also, isn't Eva a little too young to be some hot shot anthro/archo/scholar person? Or at least too young to be one that has uncovered lost civilizations? But whatever; these two--Pinky and the Brain, if you will--found the egg before the Dome fell and Queen Bee touched it which is why she is now the Queen Bee. The egg infused her with its yolky goodness. Or something.

The other redux of the night was that the Pod People are Pod People! Everyone who emerged from the pods are having major issues readjusting to real life because to them being inside the alternate reality was very real. It felt like a year of healing, coping, and moving on (drink!) happened. In a way, that's a very interesting storyline: trying to suss out memories and realities and decide your own fate after you have two lives in your head. It's almost classic OUAT, actually. But of course, for Under the Dome, all that means is that these townsfolk once again demonstrate what terrible people they are by being selfish and self-righteous. Norrie still cares for Joe but she's grown up because of her Pod Experience (which was joining a sorority and I can tell you that does not necessarily age you in the way you think it should) and this means that she'll kill pigs in the woods, Katniss Everdeen style. Hunter is suddenly a beef cake who can see without his glasses (because purple goop!) and he and Norrie make eyes at one another while dancing to punk rock in a dead woman's house (after moving her corpse outside because it smelled funny.) Barbie has feelings for Eva (who is not pregnant) but is also still in love with Julia and can't quite figure out how to be with one or the other. Junior wants to be his own man and be free of Big Jim but could only do that inside the cocoon. Or by burning his house down in the real world. No, I don't understand that either. How...does this not kill people? I know the Dome is porous but a house on fire inside an enclosed goldfish bowl...doesn't that greatly reduce the amount of oxygen and increase the amount of carbon dioxide? Shouldn't everyone be choking and wheezing and having smoke inhalation problems? But they aren't. They are staring at the moon like it holds the secrets of the universe. No, don't ask me to explain that. I don't get that either. Did the egg come from the moon? (Moon is goddess, woman-wife to Sun. It is known. Or it's a dragon egg, Khaleesi. If you don't get this reference...then I give up). Is Queen Bee a Moon Martian? Is anyone anything? Or, are they Pod People living in a fishbowl, being controlled by writers who clearly have no plan, no agenda, and no narrative. No, don't ask me to explain that either. The show itself speaks volumes in that regard.

Miscellaneous Notes on Redux

--"What was it like for you when I was dead?" Really, Julia? You couldn't just start with a "hi honey. Glad you're alive."

--Joey gave an actual Matrix reference. The writers are reading my blog, aren't they?

--Queen Bee to Gollum: "YOU HAD ONE JOB!"

--Why is Big Jim being followed by a dog? I don't get this. But I don't get anything.

--Hunter + Norrie = Horrie. I have spoken.

--Sam is going to run the support group? The guy who brutally murdered a teenage girl less than two weeks ago? We think this is a good idea??

--"We are what we do." Thank you Queen Bee for that lovely psychobabble-new-age-philosophy. To bad it's nonsense.

--Did someone put out the fire at Junior's house? Doesn't that waste precious water? 

--RIP Gollum. I guess.

--No seriously. Why the hell are they staring at the moon?