TV Show Review

TV Review: UNDER THE DOME: Season 3, Episode 5: Alaska [CBS]

Dean Norris Under the Dome Alaska

CBS Under the Dome Alaska TV Show ReviewUnder the Dome: Season 3, Episode 5: ‘Alaska’ had a title that wasn’t nearly as inscrutable as the creative team thought it would be. In the event some viewers didn’t actually figure what the big reveal, out of Aktaion, was going to be, I won’t spoil it. With all the Under the Dumb moments that went into setting it up, then attempting a post-reveal twist, it’d be better to just quibble over the details.

Thanks to Christine “Cougar Melon-camper” Price (Marg Helgenberger), Junior (Alexander Koch) has consummated his way into officially becoming the Dome’s boy-toy. Helgenberger is Cougarlicious – I won’t be the one to dispute that – but having Junior taken off the deep end, by one woman after another, has to end. Make it stop; make him stop; just… stop.

The next time you hear a supervillain talk about the bliss of completely surrendering your will, think of Junior abdicating all rights to even being a character on this show. Unfortunately, this abdication applied to most of the Dome-estics. The get-out-from-Under-the-Dumb provision (thanks to ‘post-Matrix’ syndrome & Christine’s melon-camping) has worn itself thin, and my urge to kill is rising, again.

Oddly enough, Junior’s happy-funtime was the exception to the rule, as everyone else that indulged seemed to slip Christine’s string, to varying degrees. Joe & Norrie (Colin Ford, Mackenzie Lintz) made happy (thanks to Norrie’s rage issues), so now Norrie’s negativity was suddenly noticeable to the community minded. Sam (Eddie Cahill) found himself some punch-drunk love, in the arms of a former suicide case, and went derelict on his Christine assignments. Barbie (Mike Vogel) made another wild character swing – after going borderline domestic disturbance, with Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) – thanks to Eva’s (Kylie Bunbury) lack of poker skills (nothing says redeemable like the inability to lie about the conspiracy you’re involved in), and set out to get a handle on Christine’s power trip. Throw in the ready-made conflict, between Christine & rabble rouser Pete (Andrew J. West), and the whole ‘Needful Things’ arc was just about wrapped up – provided Christine didn’t fix things fast.

So, however convenient it was, that her master plan was coming undone, all at once, it was just a setup to demonstrate how diabolically brilliant a manipulator Christine really is. That, or how depressingly malleable the Dome-estics are – take your pick. In keeping with the ‘Needful Things’ theme, some of those fixes involved having corruptive influences killed off; all of them leaving Christine’s hands relatively clean. The climax to Pete’s rabble rousing came to a screaming, raging, blunt trauma end so fast, it was like the second going of Gareth (sorry, Andrew).

Typically, mouthing off about being the weak link, directly to the criminal mastermind, is an act of inadvertent suicide. Well, Eva got lucky. In addition to playing the role of Devil-in-a-small-town-full-of-smaller-minds, Christine was also playing the role of Mr. Sinister (X-Men reference; look him up). A Barbie-Eva pairing was key to Dome-icile phase 2, meriting the Gooey Hand of Christine being applied to Eva. As only so much of the good stuff was available, Christine was saving it for the really important Break-aways.

That’s where the episode sort of forgot itself, and went to Alaska.

First, though, a number of questions….

How did Big Jim (Dean Norris) manage to rig an explosive booby trap, literally in the Aktaion facility’s back yard, without being noticed? Why did the entire security detail rush out to investigate, instead of securing the facility? What took them so long to at least send one man back, to check on the principal resident? The answer: “ha-ha-you-fool – it is irrelevant! We just needed to get the principal resident answering a bigger question – lead up questions, which got us to this point, be damned!”

So resident egg-head, Dr. Marston (Frank Whaley) provided some definitive – if obvious – answers, complete with vintage footage (shot from an unlikely number of angles). As Dr. Marston was also an evil egg-head, Big Jim was allowed a touching man-and-his-dog moment, meant to speed up his umpteenth redemption arc. Julia, on the other hand, had the more satisfying task of interrupting the episode-in-progress; leaving those being held in wait, for the Gooey Hand of Christine… well, waiting.

With the Aktaion expedition arc set to take the momentary lead, I imagine a round of headless cock fighting is the next order of business, for the Dome-estics. I can imagine all sorts of ways that might actually be fun; but I can only indulge my imagination so far, before it makes the realities of this show that much more depressing.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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