CBS‘ Under the Dome Love is a Battlefield TV Show Review. Under the Dome: Season 3, Episode 11: ‘Love is a Battlefield’ gets credit, for actually incorporating the song into the story; but mostly demonstrated why love is the last thing any serious battlefield needs – all things being fair, or not.
The ‘battle line’ was comprised of Barbie & Eva (Mike Vogel, Kylie Bunbury), having different expectations for their expected offspring; Big Jim & Julia (Dean Norris, Rachelle Lefevre) figuring whether a cure should come from a syringe or a gun barrel, until emotional ties answered that question for them; and Joe (Colin Ford) taking turns playing & being played, in the name of logic & science.
Barbie did manage to get across to Joe the importance of not letting the Drones out, before a cure attempt; but then Christine (Marg Helgenberger) seemed to leave him some doubt, regarding the Kinship’s role in Earth’s very survival. I’m still considering revoking Joe’s smartest guy under the Dome status.
We should’ve gotten a sense for how this battle would turn out, when the sight of Eva’s maxed out bomb bay inspired Julia to add Hawk wings, to her Hippy Horse. If that made the triad, of Hektor’s (Eriq La Salle) Aktaion, Jim, and Julia, a winged Unicorn, then Team Unicorn set out to collect a pound, or two, of flesh. The initial effort, to stall until a cure was in place, was as convenient to slowing Joe’s roll, as Junior (Alexander Koch) delivering himself to Team Unicorn (prompting a quick reversal to Jim’s take no chances policy). Junior would reaffirm Christine’s notion, that the Kinship was going to be to everyone’s benefit; but not without reconfirming (to me, anyway) that he was too far gone. At that point, however, it was too late, in the course of events, to not see how wrong everything (and everyone) had been going.
The real cue, for how the battle would turn out, came earlier, after Christine shackled Barbie to Eva. What should have been a Helena Knife Fight turned into Barbie going full paternal Messianic complex; and that sort of became the theme of the episode. Somehow, every resistance member appointed (self, or otherwise) with an ‘at all cost’ task made an exception for a loved one.
Barbie’s hopes to save his kid wound up extending to Eva, and Julia didn’t like that at all; but she gave him the benefit of the doubt. Jim thought Julia soft in the head, for that; but then he went way softer on Junior. Hektor has been running the biggest cut-off-the-dead-wood operation of the series; but kept a light on for his hopelessly compromised friend, and open arms for whistleblower Lily (Gia Mantegna) – said friend’s daughter – even after Julia was less than diplomatic about the files she leaked. It was one big circle of jerks chasing after sentimentals.
Encouragingly enough, the only one dealing with drama, in any level-headed way, was Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz). Having taken a life, in order to save Julia, left her wondering if not feeling bad about it was a bad sign. There might be more upside to her emo, after all; but Team Unicorn still wasn’t going to waste treatment on ‘dormant Kin’ like her, or Hunter (Max Ehrich). Too-far-gone Junior was still the better choice, somehow, and that turned out as well as could be expected.
One very well-tread trope, of suspense/ sci-fi/ horror: hesitation in the face of the monster with a loved one’s face. Every Van Helsing has to forcibly remind the client that any given person is no longer that person – if only so Van can sleep with both eyes closed, without worrying about the client letting the monster in; but since nobody ever listens to Van Helsing, Eva got to go Monster Mom, and Junior got to flex some serious (and fatal – complete with telegraphed, 80s action hero set-up & punchline) smug muscle. It didn’t help that Julia & Hektor sort of sat out the action; but no reason to end threads, prematurely, through logical action/ reaction.
Julia taking a shot, instead of tending to Barbie, would have denied us the shocking end, to the sideways adventures of Christine & Eva, that was meant for us. It would have also denied us any chance of the Dome Drones gathering under their new Queen, to sing New York, New York, as the Dome comes down, before mass proliferation.
I’d be willing to take back every snarky thing I ever said, about this show, if that were to actually happen….
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