Killjoys: Fancy That!

Episode 1.06: One Blood
Written by: Annmarie Morais
Directed by: Michael Nankin
Original airdate:  July 24, 2015

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One thing I have to give the Killjoys producers credit for is the nice world building they’re doing. This was the thing I liked the best about Lost Girl when Michelle Lovretta worked on it, because she started to develop a sense of the fae world, their good and bad customs, which lent a richness to the world that got lost when she left. I’m delighted she’s doing the same thing with Killjoys, because I think world-building should be an ongoing part of any series, not something you do in the first season, then drop, or only do when it’s convenient. Part of the reasons why the Harry Potter books work so well is that Rowling made the magical world developed and real from beginning to end. She gave it a sense of place and history, and that’s very important, even for character-driven series. In this episode, we learn a little bit more about Dutch, and about Killjoy culture, which I really enjoyed.

It seems everyone in this episode is after a Killjoy named Joe. Khlyen, Dutch’s mentor, forces her to go after him on her own because he’s desperate to retrieve the weapon that Joe stole. The rest of the Killjoys are merely told that there’s a “black warrant” out on Joe. The episode focuses mostly on our group, and Fancy Lee (a character I love, love, love!), so we didn’t quite get the It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World mayhem of a bunch of ruthless people after something that I was hoping for. Joe is a mentor for many Killjoys, and he and Dutch have an interesting relationship. There’s a great wrestling scene between them when she catches up with him.

Dutch’s main thing in this episode is sparring with Khlyen, who has outfitted her with a neural link so he can advise her throughout the mission. Their interactions are intense, with a creepy dangerous edge. Dutch is clearly afraid of him, and he has some power over her that we’ve yet to see.  He’s also unnerved by the end, by the weapon, and that marks a turning point for both him and Dutch I think. I find him a frustrating character, and that’s probably my own biases–I hate characters who manipulate others to act on their own agenda but refuse to share any information with them. Television is full of this type of character, usually men, because it creates drama. It just really rubs me the wrong way because it smacks of someone making decisions for someone else, and forcing them to go along with it. Khlyen isn’t meant to be a good guy, obviously, but I somehow doubt he’s meant to be all bad either, and that’ll be used to excuse his behavior.

Still, Dutch looked pretty fed up with Khlyen by the end of the episode, so that’s good. She appeared tired of the hold he has over her, tired of his manipulation. And given that he physically hurt her this time, which is new, she realizes she needs to get the upper hand. What I especially loved was that she told John and D’Avin about it, and enlisted their help. Fancy Lee made it pretty clear that trios of Killjoys don’t work, because two of them end up screwing (which is exactly where this series is headed to create drama). So that’s an interesting tidbit to keep in mind as we move forward, and just a bit more Killjoy lore (along with the fact that there’s an urban legend about Level 6 killjoys). Poor Johnny is going to get so third-wheeled.

I am annoyed that the doctor who was treating D’Avin, whom I very much liked last week, came across as deceitful and needy this week. And unethical and kind of dumb. It was a weird reversal to watch her throw herself at D’Avin in the guise of treating him. I didn’t so much mind her flirting with the military guy to get information, since we saw Dutch do essentially the same thing and more a few episodes ago. But it was irksome that she was dumb enough to get caught and arrested, unless that’s what she wanted. I can’t figure it out. Maybe the doctor D’Avin is looking for is in prison somewhere. She clearly has some designs on D’Avin, however, and not just to treat him. I hope it’s not just the writers making her bad to make room for Dutch and D’Avin.

The weapon they retrieved is interesting, a sort of DNA bomb. It seems like the perfect weapon to do some major damage to a culture ruled by families, if you ask me. That’s assuming you can get a sample of their DNA, and can get them in a room together. This discovery should have interesting repercussions going forward–we’ve had a hint that Dutch may be a member of one of those families, even though she was raised in a harem (a harem?).

All in all, a very enjoyable episode that opened up the universe a little more, and set some future plots in motion for the last half of the season.  They toned down Pree (thank you), and I hope they keep Fancy Lee around (because he’s right, sometimes you need that asshole who will do the thing others can’t, which he proved at the end of the episode). Hell, I’d take him over boring D’Avin to have on Dutch’s team, and he works well with Johnny. Looking forward to where this is going (except the Dutch/D’Avin crap I know is coming). This show should be a good ride over the next couple of weeks.

The Last Ship: Teddy Bear Picnic

Episode 2.07: Alone and Unafraid
Written by: Jill Blankenship and Jessica Butler
Directed by: Nelson McCormick
Original airdate: July 26, 2015

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Wow, I really liked this episode a lot! Great action, great suspense, it really moved the story forward, and even had time for a bit of character development for a character who is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. Chandler and some of his team infiltrate the new presidents entourage while Slattery continues to play cat-and-mouse with the sub.

Last week, I wondered if President Michener was with the guys on the sub, or just playing along. That question is still left up in the air after this episode, with the promise of a lot more to come. Early on, as Chandler’s crew studies the situation,  they believe he’s with them against his will, acting on their behalf because he doesn’t have a choice. A little later, however, it’s suggested that that might not be the case. Chandler infiltrates the inner circle thinking it’s a rescue, and leaves without knowing if it’s a kidnapping or a rescue. One thing is true, Bacon will get to cook for the commander-in-chief (because Chandler seems to recognize him as such). Also, Sean may not be so eager to blow the Nathan James up if his ally, the president, is on board, though that’s by no means a given. I really liked what they did there and am looking forward to seeing Michener interact with the crew on the ship as they try to figure out where he stands. I doubt they’ll make the sitting president a bad guy, but it would be interesting if he sort of believes Sean’s agenda, but more as a call to leadership of all, rather than a select few. That would be more in keeping with a politician. Plus, I can’t imagine he’d want to keep Sean around, so Chandler gives him options.

Danny has a part to play this week. Oh, Danny, your crazy self used to be so much fun. He does get a fun storyline this episode, but has apparently finally adjusted his meds. The bad guys are taking the virus out into surrounding areas to winnow out the last survivors and kill off the rest. Teddy bears will get this job done. Seriously, that was hilarious, because there’s nothing at all threatening about a big guy coming at you during the apocalypse offering you a teddy bear. Nope, nothing at all. And now that they’ve brought in Lt. Bivas, for special ops, they need to build her up, so he’s been toned down considerably.

Speaking of Lt. Ravit Bivas, I love her. She’s an Israeli soldier the crew picked up in Norfolk, along with Wolfman. In a shakeup of usual tropes, Wolfman spends the episode on a roof acting as communicator and coordinator, and doing a little sniping. Bivas is down where the action is, with Chandler’s team as they improvise a plan to find out what’s going on and to ultimately kidnap the president. She’s got some good action sequences, gets to be smart and clever.  While it’s a shame a new character is getting this instead of the other women on the ship, I genuinely love the character a lot. I don’t particularly mind her sort-of romance with Burk, though again entangling all the women in romantic subplots is just so annoying. The Danny-Kara romance was especially horrible for both characters, which I thought was the point, but then the show got them back on track, and now don’t even mention them. Grandson’s the only one who has escaped so far, and that’s only because they established her as a lesbian. This makes it doubly important, apparently, for them to make it clear all the other women on the show are sexually available to the men. Still, it’s a small-enough side plot that I can just ignore it, and it doesn’t really take away from her as a character (yet).

Beard and Danny also bring back a few presents for Scott, who is still working on the airborne cure project. She’s downgraded from monkeys to mice, however, and having very limited success with the delivery. They bring her one of the cult’s infected teddy bears and Niels. Niels recognizes Beard, because Beard is a memorable looking fellow, and we are reminded that the cult has no idea who or what Niels is, other than a scientist. He’s there Rachel Scott, but he’s also patient zero and they have no idea. And now Chandler has him. That should be fun–Niels is an interesting character, and I’m happy we might get to learn more about him. He’s meant to be a bad guy, and has done some bad things, but I can’t help feel a bit bad for the insecure little boy he obviously is. I’m sure the show will cure me of my bout of sympathy shortly.

I really enjoyed this episode from beginning to end. Everyone got something good to do, including the ship which nearly got bombed by the sub. Again. Sean and his brother had a fight. Again. But they also saved a lot of people from the virus and rescued/kidnapped the president of the United States. All in all, a pretty good day for Tom and his crew. As an aside, I can’t help but notice this episode was written by women. I think it might be the first one, but I’m not sure. Having more rather than fewer women in the writers room and behind the camera is really important. They aren’t perfect, but they bring some diversity that a couple of shows (Dark Matter, I’m looking at you) could really use. More, please.

Under the Dome: Cage Fight of the Century!

Episode 3.06: Caged
Written by:  Andres Fischer-Centeno
Directed by: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Original airdate:  July 23, 2015

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This episode had some trouble holding my attention, but pieces keep shifting around for Christine and her plans to turn the town into a Borg collective. The centerpiece of the episode was the ultimate cage fight showdown between collectivism and individualism. Big Jim lent his voice to the argument for rugged individualism, citing Churchill among other examples. Christine tried to soothe his aggressive claims to identity and progress with calming words about mutual benefits and belong to something greater. This all literally took place in bird cages.

Other than that, we had Confrontation No. 73 between Barbie and Julia over Eva (and other things). Barbie’s kind of caught between Julia and Christine. The programming is sort of working on him, but apparently his military trauma is blocking a full takeover. That doesn’t stop Christine from tapping into Barbie’s natural tendencies toward helping victimized women, which was a little eyeworthy, but actually true to his character. Julia spends the episode getting threatened, beat up, and tied up, so nothing new there. She and Big Jim are completely on the outs until they figure out how to undo the alien problem. One thing I will say that makes sense is that she and Big Jim can’t just play along, like Joe and Norrie, because they weren’t in the pods.  They might’ve had a chance to pretend early on, but it’s too late now, so I think it’s appropriate the show has them be the obvious opposition, while others not taken in by Christine work from within.

Speaking of working from within, Sam came back into the fold after finding Abby, but I suspect he’s pretending, as is Joe and Norrie. This means there’ll be some confrontation between Sam and Joe in a future episode for sure, and they’ll have to work together. I still love Joe. He’s my favorite character in this mess. He and Norrie fake out Junior, rescue Julia, and save Hunter for being put down like a lame racehorse.

So we have trauma as the thing that pulls people out of this? Joe went into this traumatized by his sister’s murder (which I appreciate hasn’t been forgotten), and Norrie lost her mother. They remind us every episode it’s only been three weeks since the dome came down, even though they spent a year in the other reality. Barbie has his warzone trauma, and Sam just had a girl commit suicide after having sex with him (sigh).

Wait, wait, wait. What am I doing, trying to make sense of this show? Silly me!

The cultural cage fight was the best thing about this episode, but it felt like we were shifting pieces around rather than moving forward. Still, it was entertaining enough, watching Big Jim try to be a tough interrogator when he’s a bull in a china shop, and Julia alternating between victim and revolutionary. Christine is probably too far gone at this point to be saved, so the season will likely end with her death, since the show likes killing female characters off at big moments. Hopefully the ride will be fun to the end, as it has so far.

Dark Matter: When Fembots Attack

Episode 1.07: Episode 7
Written by: Robert C. Cooper
Directed by: Bruce McDonald
Original airdate: July 24, 2015

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DISCLAIMER: Over twooooo dozen spoilers.

The crew finally gains access to the locked room, and discover a woman in stasis and an entertainment droid. In the process, the writers visit every single misogynistic cliche and sexist trope imaginable. For all the ground the show gained with the last episode in terms of character development and story, this one was as if someone dug up a time capsule from a 1980s Bellisario production and found this episode of Dark Matter on a BetaMax tape tucked in a corner. It’s hard to believe a show being produced in 2015 could be this bad with a straight face.

Lets sort through this mess, shall we?

Apparently, the writers felt we needed yet another episode focusing on the white men of the series. I can’t help but notice we’ve now had three episodes where they have received the most story and character development (if you want to call it that), while the non-white males and teenage female were relegated to a single-episode minority ghetto for their stories. Is poor Four ever going to be allowed out of that gym for anything other than meals? In order to tell even more of the white guy’s stories than they have already, they opened what I like to call the Vault of Disposable Women, and find a sick woman and a sexbot.

The sick woman is there to help us learn about the softer side of Three, with the time-honored trope of a wounded, tormented bad guy found by a kindly widowed farmer woman and nursed back to health. Hell, Xena: Warrior Princess even did the same story in something like its second or third episode (but there, she found a kindly widowed farmer man to nurse her back to health even though that show probably could’ve pulled off a farmer woman there). It’s nothing new. The writers go out of their way to show her tenderly dragging his wounded ass back to her cabin, show her tenderly wiping his forehead with a damp cloth, and show her tenderly cooking his meals and serving them to him. The show took the trouble to show us this, the thing we’ve seen in dozens of movies and shows. Then, inexplicably, the show switches from showing to telling. They tell us that big meanie Three tenderly took care of her for months and months when she got sick. Tell, not show. Now, typically, in this storyline, the even badder guys than our bad guy who has been tenderly taken care of would show up and our bad guy would have to strap on his guns and do bad things, because he can’t escape his bad past. But we don’t get this here. Instead, they tell us how awesome Three was to Sarah.

Really, I have so much hate for this. So much. Show us Three taking care of her, even if he’s torn about it. Even if it’s a struggle and he’s bad at it. Even if he resents it, but there’s something about Sarah that brings out a better side of him, however briefly. Turn that tired story on its head just a little bit and make it your own. It wouldn’t take anything away from Three as a badass to see him a little domesticated and humanized. I honestly think they told us and didn’t show us because they were afraid it would somehow diminish Three’s brutish bad boy persona. It’s OK to show a woman as a caretaker, but manly men aren’t ever supposed to be shown that way, lest they cease to be manly men. It was such a wasted opportunity to show us a different side of Three, even if it only comes out thanks to a single person. I just can’t believe they wasted a location shoot on something so cliched when they had the chance to turn the trope on its head even a little bit. Such a wasted opportunity, and so sexist to boot. And, then, as if it isn’t sexist enough, right after she and Three are shown having sex, she dies. Because we all know that a woman wanting sex for pleasure will lead to her death in short order, especially if she’s served her story purpose and it would be inconvenient to keep her alive and around.

But wait, it gets worse, because they also find Wendy the sexbot in the Vault of Disposable Women. Oh wait, I’m sorry, the “entertainment droid.” She cooks, she cleans, she does Five’s hair, she gives the men massages and sexes them up. All while looking like a 1950s housewife with a checkered apron and AquaNet helmet hair. Oh my God, where to begin with this.

  • She turns up in One’s room and offers herself to him for sex, telling him she won’t judge his performance and that she will experience pleasure as well. Once they are finished, a new subroutine kicks in, and she is suddenly evil. Because we all know a woman wanting sex for pleasure will make her evil.
  • She next goes into Two’s room and begins snooping around, then offers to school Two on how to best sex up One. There’s a moment there when she looks like she’s about to offer herself up to Two for sex, but Two quickly turns her down.  I’m a little shocked the show resisted going there, but apparently it was more important to make sure we know Two is straight than it was to indulge in male gaze shenanigans. Because we all know a woman wants sex with real men, even if watching two chicks make out is hot.
  • Wendy then goes to the bridge and shoots her android counterpart who is trying to get over her jealousy. Because we all know women are jealous of each other over the men, and can’t ever really be friends even when they might have a lot in common.
  • Finally, Wendy and Three have a knock-down drag out fight complete will ball busting. For a moment there I thought I was watching an episode of Xena with the way that fight was choreographed, and it felt totally out of place. Just before delivering the killing blow, Wendy tells Three he has antiquated and offensive notions of femininity. For this, she is stabbed through the gut, decapitated, kicked, and tossed out an airlock. Because we all know women who are critical of men and call them on their sexism need to be beaten up and killed.

I wish this list was more tongue-in-cheek, but sadly, it isn’t. Sure, Wendy had to be destroyed because she’d been programmed to destroy the crew. But, my God, the misogynistic subtext was shockingly blatant throughout this episode. And then, because the writers aren’t the least bit self-aware or self-reflective whatsoever, they bookend the episode with more One/Two nonexistent chemistry and awkwardness culminating in her giving in to his demands that she sleep with him after sending him tons of mixed signals in every episode. Because we all know that a woman is supposed to sleep with a man when he demands it, and that she really wants it even when she says no.

I wrote a few weeks ago that the show had begun to try my patience with Episode 5. Episode 6 was promising, but this one felt like a caveman showed up at my house, dragged me out by my hair, and made me watch it. It was hard to find the good in this episode. It boiled down to Two’s on-the-fly plan to get out of the trap Wendy had set for them, and the Android’s jealousy. The latter was fun and Zoie Palmer nailed the accent scene. I can’t decide if I think the show missed an opportunity for an Android showdown or not. It felt like they were building toward that, toward the Android being the one to take Wendy on instead of Three. But I guess they needed the big phallic guns and fight scene for Three to remind us he’s a manly man (even if he did get his ass kicked). Plus, a chick catfight on top of the rest of this would’ve just been too much, even for these writers, I think (because that’s what it would’ve been). In any case, the accents scene is funny, but it can’t save this mess of an episode.

A few more benign thoughts. Wendy was played by Ruby Rose, who was recently on Orange is the New Black. She made no impression on me in OITNB and she was similarly flat here. She has a very pretty face, but she cannot act. I don’t understand what all the hype is over her, but she wasn’t horrible as Wendy, at least, and seemed to have fun with the role. Also, even though Sarah said she’d never been on the ship, she makes a point of saying she does not recognize Two and the Android. Granted, they were the only two other characters in the room with her, but the dialogue seemed pointed, particularly in light of the fact that we did not see Two or the Android in the flashbacks during last week’s episode. Is it possible Two and the Android are recent additions to the crew?

I find myself in a strange position. There’s another show I watch, The Last Ship, which I mocked last season for being a sexist military dudefest. It’s still that, but somewhere along the line, the writers have managed to balance that out a little bit, and it’s become entertaining while still being flawed. Now, the show I feel I’m going to keep watching simply to mock for all its sexist tropes is this one, and it makes me a little sad. I don’t know what is going on in that writers room, but the show should be better than this. It really does feel like someone found it in a decades-old time capsule, and that’s not good. We’re in an age of stellar TV, by writers with vision who take risks and develop fascinating and complex characters. This show is a throwback, and I can’t help but think, after watching this episode, that the money spent to produce this tropefest might be better spent on something more contemporary and creative.

Killjoys: Dead Space

Episode 1.05: A Glitch in the System
Written by: Adam Barken
Directed by: Chris Grimmer
Original airdate:  July 19, 2015

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Here, we get more team dynamics over a salvage operation gone wrong that help set the tone for how things will be. D’Avin likes to blow things up, John likes to fix things, Dutch is in charge, and Lucy plays favorites. This episode starts out looking like your standard ship full of zombies chasing down our heroes fare for the first 15 minutes or so, then take a turn into “torture the male lead” territory. The killjoys come across a derelict freighter that they figure will be good for some salvage. Instead, it’s a trap, a military vessel that’s gone terribly wrong. On it, Dutch and D’Avin become infected with nanotech and are questioned relentlessly by a computer and a crazy old soldier. Dutch manages to save the day by being really smart and tough.

I experienced a bit of refreshing reflection last night as I was watching this episode. In one scene, John and Dutch are vying for who gets to do what in the salvage operation. Dutch pulls rank, again, and I actually got annoyed with her and said, out loud, “She really needs to stop doing that!” But then, I stopped and began to wonder why. Why should she stop? Why was it bugging me so much? I remember feeling annoyed when she did it in the second episode, too. She talks about family and friendship and partnership with John, so this sort of thing just seems to belie that, that he’s an employee. Part of my reaction is because I like John the best of the three main characters. He seems sweet and competent, but also eager to prove himself, and there’s a part of me that gets annoyed when it looks like both D’Avin and Dutch put him in his place.

Here’s where this gets refreshing. How many times have we seen a male character do exactly what Dutch did to John? How many times have we seen a female character defend their competence and their right to fight by his side, only to be left behind as support? Tons of times. TV and movies are full of that. And it irritates me every damn time it happens. So, I’m delighted for two reasons. First, it’s refreshing to see that trope unapologetically upended and reversed. Second, my reaction interests me, and again is probably colored by my liking for John, but it’s interesting that I was still irritated by it, rather than cheering it on. Now, I confess, had it been D’Avin who’d been put in his place by Dutch I probably would’ve cheered. They get away with this because John is clearly support, even if he’s smart and a competent fighter.

As for D’Avin, I don’t have much to say, beyond what I’ve said before. He’s a boring, boring character. A cardboard cutout. The memory loss mystery isn’t interesting. There was a fight scene in an elevator this episode that was awful. And the attempt at eye sex between him and Dutch a few times in this episode was just lame. It’s not there–they don’t have sexual chemistry at all. And then, after taking his shirt off for the fourth or fifth time in as many episodes, he inexplicably has sex with his doctor. I guess someone decided there needed to be a sex scene (which is fine, but it felt really tacked onto the episode for no reason). Maybe we’ll find out there was a point to it in a later episode.

Dutch got to be very smart in this episode. I liked that a lot. She got them out of the cells, and got the ship back. She was very much in charge. And I did love that John had her back so firmly–despite the fact that she keeps pulling rank on him (which is perfectly appropriate because she does outrank him), I love that he’s such a strong and steady friend for her. That’s been my favorite part of the show so far.

The cinematography in this one was a little annoying. It felt like every scene was partially obscured or filtered in some way. It was probably to mask the low budget and the fact that they were filming in a giant warehouse rather than a ship in space. It kept distracting me, particularly the bright backlighting and the odd border frames around the monitor footage. Weird choices. That and the camera work make me feel slightly ADHD watching this show.

Still, the show is shaping up nicely. I like the doctor character and hope she joins the team at some point. John and Lucy are the best parts of the show for me, though. Next week looks like it’ll be John and D’Avin going after Dutch, who was forced to go with the gray-haired man who trained her, after he threatens John. Great, more brotherly bickering (which is boring). Hopefully there’ll be good stuff for John.

The Last Ship: Hail to the Chief

Episode 2.06: Long Day’s Journey
Written by: William K. Rotko (story), Steven Kane (teleplay)
Directed by: Paul Holahan
Original airdate:  July 19, 2015

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The chess game between the crazies on the sub and Chandler intensifies this week in the aftermath of the destruction of the labs. Scott is desperate to continue efforts to manufacture and distribute the cure as much as possible, even with this setback. Chandler, on the other hand, is bent on stopping the sub. And since he’s the captain (commander), he gets his way. I had trouble paying attention to this episode for some reason. I’m used to the narrative jumping around between different parts of the plot (in this case Chandler, Scott, and Sean), but this time around it just made the episode feel fractured, particularly at the beginning. In terms of the story, this episode cleans up some things from the previous one, and takes a big step forward.

That plot advancement is the discovery that the HUD secretary, Jeff Michener is still alive and among the immunes. And twelfth in line for the presidency of the United States. Another chance to use that White House set later on in the season, perhaps? Though they made it sound like he was going to New Orleans. The president looks like he’s entrenched pretty tightly with Sean, which makes for an incredibly uncomfortable prospect for Chandler. I admit, that’s interesting–Chandler has maintained US Navy protocols throughout the epidemic. And, here’s his commander-in-chief ready and waiting to give orders while under the thumb of an obviously serious threat.

The guys on the sub continue to bicker with each other, and I expect that’s going to break down completely soon enough. Sean has a tense confrontation with even more unstable brother, who is still obsessed with destroying Chandler and his ship. I thought that took up too much time–it seemed to go on forever and was obviously not the end of it. The brother still attempts to defy Sean, only to be helped out by the good ship USS Nathan James, who scuttle the communications buoy before the brother can order the sub to fire on the Nathan James. We’re probably going to have various versions of that from now until the season finale, and they get kind of boring after awhile.

Chandler ran hot this episode. I was confused last week about how the sub managed to kill off everyone in Florida while skulking in that trench they were in. They explained it this week–once Niels figured out that Scott’s mentor was there, they sent their people on the ground in Florida after them, and got the location of the labs. That was not made clear last week, but in hindsight this was clever. The audience was left to wonder, along with Chandler and his crew, how in the heck they did that, and the explanation came later. Chandler seemed very out for vengeance in this episode, which seemed out of character to me. Yes, I know the sub is a huge threat, and very dangerous. They’re a better ship than the Nathan James and they’ve got a hold on Europe and are working on the US. But Scott had a point that they needed to focus their efforts on saving people, I think, even if she gave in and wanted Chandler to kill them for killing her mentor.

Speaking of Scott, one of the things she discovers is that the cure can be turned into a powder and dispersed in the air. To do that, she apparently needs to turn it into a roux. I don’t even know what that was about, it was so weird. But, with the help of Cook (did they really call him Bacon?), who talks about cooking for the commander-in-chief (dun dun dun foreshadowing) and understands absolutely nothing about biochemistry, they may have solved the problem. Whatever. That may be grounded in some real science, I don’t know, I thought it was funny.

A lot got done in this episode, and will continue for the foreseeable future. I loved the addition of a new government that should provide the basis for conflict for Chandler and his crew. In the long run it probably won’t, but it’ll be interesting to see them try to deal with that. I predict they’ll try to get to Michener, to see what he’s really about. Is he just using Sean, or is he a true believer? That’s the first question they need answered. Does Sean have some kind of hold over him? Is he a good witch, or a bad witch?

Under the Dome: A Boy and His Dog

Episode 3.05:  Alaska
Written by:  Bronwyn Garrity
Directed by:  David Barrett
Original airdate:  July 16, 2015

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Spoilers.

This week’s episode was a tale about a man named Big Jim and his dog, Indy. It’s a love story for the ages. Man meets dog as the world is going to hell, yells at dog, shoots at dog, grudgingly accepts dog as companion in exile, and through mutual hardship, learns to love and protect the dog above all others. OK, maybe not quite like that, but lets just say Big Jim has learned to unselfishly love something other than himself and power. In fact, perhaps this is our elusive third triangle for the season, Big Jim’s struggle to choose between his love of power and his love for a simple dog named Indy. This week the dog won.

While Big Jim is plotting revenge against Christine with his dog, Christine is busy putting out a dozen fires that have sprung up among her charges. There’s Pete, the cranky carpenter who challenges Junior to a pissing contest over a support beam. He can’t wait to say “I told you so!” when the ceiling of the makeshift shelter Junior is building collapses, injuring and killing several more townsfolk. She figures this is a perfect way to take care of two problems at once and sets Pete and Barbie against each other. Pete never questions why Christine suddenly shows up and makes nice to him with a bag of pork. Barbie wins of course, once Pete does the unthinkable and threatens to take Barbie’s girl, Eva away from him. So Barbie beats him to death with a pipe. Eva, too, is beginning to have doubts, so Christine lures her to the cave and smears goo all over her face after telling her she’s going to have a baby. They must have some good drugs in that writer’s room.

There are a few others on Christine’s plate. Sam is off getting drunk with Abbie every night and Christine can’t have that. So she convinces Abbie to kill herself, because that’s just the thing that will make Sam stop drinking and start helping. She needs Joe and Junior to build something for her (a cradle maybe, or a soap box, or a tree fort) so she sends Hunter to find Joe and Norrie, who are inexplicably on the roof of a house and feeling rebellious after Joe lost his virginity to Norrie last week. He climbs up and tries to force her to go with him, and predictably falls off the roof. He accuses Norrie of deliberately pushing him because she’s in the way. Oh, and he’s paralyzed now (maybe).

Big Jim and Julia team up to trade insults and infiltrate the scientists base on Bird Island. There, they learn that the Dharma Initiative found the egg in Alaska in the 70s and made some home movies of the event. They’ve been on an egg hunt ever since. And, the people who had first contact became infected. But not to worry, they say they have a cure, so Julia manages to all-too-conveniently capture Christine and brings her to them. She inexplicably pulls this off without a hitch or drama, so I suspect either Christine wanted to get caught or it’s needed for plot. Head scientist guy pulls a quid pro quo on Big Jim and when Big Jim lies about the egg, locks him in a birdcage and threatens to slit Indy’s throat. Big Jim sings like a bird.

This nonsensical alien takeover plot is super entertaining as far as I’m concerned. There’s no need to think about anything this show is serving up, because it’s all mixed into a messy, runny, brown and green pile anyway. I’m sure the season will have a bunch of nonsensical twists and turns. As long as Big Jim and Junior make up at the end, for their next round of I Hate You, No I Hate You, Betcha Didn’t See That Coming for Season Four, everything will be fine. Maybe they can manage this without turning Junior literally into a dog. Better yet, maybe they’ll do just that!