Friday, July 31, 2015

In Which I Review Under the Dome (3x7)

It's like an apocalypse out there. On this weeks episode, "Ejecta," it's the end of the world as we know it and all the main characters inside the Dome handle it about as well as we expect them to handle the destruction of mankind: badly. Some are feisty and feel as though the embers of the burning world provide a delightful aphrodisiac for some BBQ-ing; some are figuring out a way to stop the Borg Collective of Chester's Mill; some are getting drunk; and some are giving long winded expositional speeches that finally, at long last, confirm once and for all that these buggies are aliens from a different world. Thank you Bug!Little Crazypants; beating around the alien bush was getting old. You know, like so much of this plot. Very little plot was advanced this week, rather we looked at how each of the little groups handled all the destruction at 1 am and then again at 7 am. Because in the span of 6 hours people should be expected to come to grips with the end of everything they once knew? Hint: no. Grab some falling pink stars and let's go. 

When the world comes crashing down around you, how would you respond? You're safe in your upside down goldfish bowl, but everyone else not so much. Do you feel the compelling, and ultimately human, need to save everyone and mourn their loss when you prove ineffectual? That is, for the most part, the main thrust of this episode. For some, the end of the world means rediscovering your humanity, the thing that makes you tick as a walking and talking bipedal ape. Joe and Norrie have stumbled into the correct "human equation" that is going to be the downfall of the Borg Collective of Chester's Mill. It's human emotion, our ability to move beyond the basic and baser instincts of hunger, need for shelter, work, and reproduction. It's fear and rage and grief and if Under the Dome is cliche enough (and it is) love. Those are apparently the defining attributes of a human being. It's also, for what it's worth, the defining attributes of tons of non-humans. Take a dog. A dog can feel fear (whimpering, tail between legs), rage (teeth bared, growing, biting) and a dog can feel grief (keeping to themselves, whimpering, lethargy). While the idea that humanity can be saved by emotions and emotional response and that this is what separates us from the animals is perfectly fine--and goodness know it's a science fiction cliche of the highest magnitude--it's also illogical given that in reality animals are capable of feeling emotions. And, in fact, the Borg Collective of Chester's Mill also seem to have this capability. Were they not jumping out of buildings because of a collective ennui when their Borg-ish-selves detected that Christine had abandoned them? Did they not feel the collective suspicion of Jorrie last episode? They feel emotion, but it's of the collective shared variety instead of being unique to each soul. So instead of tapping into raw, almost archetypical, emotion--like rage, fear, and grief--the new Resistance have to tap into a singular emotion that will resonate to each individual or person. Jorrie, Julia and Big Jim are going to need to brush up on each person left standing in Chester's Mill if they are going to save them from being full on Drones. What works for Mrs. Jones isn't going to work for Mr. Smith just like it was grief that saved Joe, anger that saved Norrie, and fear that saved Hunter.  I don't know what saved Sam. Drink and sex, I suppose. Please tell me we aren't about to see a full on Chester's Mill bacchanal....

The other option in the face of destruction is despair, to drink yourself to oblivion and accept that you are the last living humans on the face of the planet. What a great pity party, Julia and Big Jim! You two are quite the hoot, amirite? Julia laments that she married Peter (you remember Peter. Barbie killed him and then Julia totally forgot all about that because Barbie made her feel safe and loved for the first time in her whole life. Ah, romance. It's...complicated) and that she never became a big shot reporter who traveled to Paris. Big Jim has regrets but he isn't exactly opening up about them but it's okay cause Julia also has a degree in psychology and realizes that Big Jim regrets his treatment of Little Crazypants and trying to make Junior into Big Jim's second chance. Maybe I'm being unfair to Julia. After all, in my 1x03 review of Under the Dome, I said the exact same thing when I analyzed Big Jim and Junior's relationship and my educational background is not psychology. Julia is right; it's a total cliche. Julia and Big Jim both are cliche. She's the plucky, young, and intrepid reporter who got her head turned by a dark and mysterious guy and then got bent out of shape when her main squeeze turned out to be...dark and mysterious. Jim's the football star who made nothing of himself and resented everyone because of it. Together they are woefully inept and blandly drawn. Maybe by the writers openly acknowledging Big Jim and Julia's cliche nature, they are setting us up to stop expecting the un-cliche. Go with the cliche flow, folks! Which is why, of course, Julia and Big Jim team up with Jorrie (and a miraculously cured Hunter) to take down the Borg Collective of Chester's Mill, one drone at a time. Good luck with that--what am I saying? Of course they'll win. It's cliche.

Miscellaneous Notes on Ejecta

--I more or less passed over Barbie and Eva because they bore me to tears but they represent another type of response in the face of destruction: not caring and moving on (omg, drink). Eva has gotten her claws (and teeth) into Barbie and now he's determined to forget all about humanity and his quest to save all the things. Instead, he turns toward the new world order of the Borg Collective of Chester's Mill and openly embraces his role, whatever that is.

--Also, Eva, put your clothes back on. Now is not the time for BBQ. 

--Little Crazypants gave us some vague exposition about the destruction of a former home world and all the death of "last time." I guess, without saying it, this confirms that these little critters are aliens and they fled because they had no place else to go. It sounds like meteors also destroyed their home world but that leads to the question of how did the falling pink stars follow them to Chester's Mill? Also begs the question of why the bug aliens didn't put up a Dome over their home world to protect themselves from a destructive meteor shower?

--Sad Linda shout out!

--Is Junior planning on feeding Sam to Queen Bee?

--"It's no longer about right or wrong. It's about survival." Wait. Isn't that what Under the Dome has always been about?

No comments:

Post a Comment