This weeks episode of Under the Dome rebounded with an okay, but uninspiring, episode titled ''Let The Games Begin''. The title alludes to the underground fighting ring run by Maxine, which raised all sorts of questions but none of them good.
For example: how did she manage to set this up in such a small town, without anybody in charge knowing about it? It almost seemed like half the town was down there and nobody noticed? For that matter how do the wagers work? How does she enforce them? She seemed to have no more than five people working for her, what makes these people loyal to her? A couple of days people were looting to get their hands on anything, but now they lost a wager they will happily comply and hand over their stuff? It all feels like the writers had a cool idea and just crammed it in the show, without actually thinking about if it fits logically.
The parts about the fight sequence I liked were the facts that Max is cunning enough to anticipate that Barbie would intentionally lose the fight and that Barbie basically said screw you to Max. What I didn't like was how they got there, Barbie could just as easily have said screw you upfront and avoided a lot of pain. But then we wouldn't have much of a reason to show this cool underground fight club eh?
It all led to a poignant scene between Julia and Barbie. Julia, who was investigating the drug scheme along with sheriff Linda, figured out why Peter died. He wanted to be killed by Barbie, or if unsuccesfull someone else, so Julia could cash in on his life insurance policy. I liked that Barbie and Julia found a way to be honest with eachother and Julia forgiving Barbie. Considering all that they've been through Julia has seen how Barbie really is, willing to risk his life for others. And Barbie never wanted to kill Peter, which was an accident he seems to sincerely regret. Though I wonder if Barbie's Jackrabbit past will come to haunt him one day.
So Big Jim finding out Barbie killed Peter, feels a bit pointless. But he might use it to arrest Barbie or turn the public against him. Big Jim also learned more about Maxine when he found her home and her mother Agatha out there on an island. Which begs the question how have they survived out there thus far? And how exactly has Max been following Big Jim and Barbie while hiding on the island?
Turned out that Agathe was a bit of a handful for Big Jim at first, but in a bit of a cliched way (you don't look like a killer, you won't shoot me), he turned the tables on her. In typical Big Jim fashion he wanted to take her with him as leverage, but during an accident she falls off the boat. Figuring Agatha's not worth the trouble Big Jim soon sails away. Except for the fact Agatha's hands are tied, it is another Big Jim murder that looks like an accident. This man is getting good at it or has been good at it for a long time. How did Big Jim's wife die again?
For now, Big Jim is heavily under suspicion by Linda and Julia after they found Duke's confession letter. I liked how Linda's investigation has been without a lot of obstacles so far, though I see that changing soon. I don't see why Linda let Big Jim off the hook that evening when wanting to arrest him. Now, I fear, he has time to cook up another scheme.
What was by far the most intriguing element of the episode for me was the search, or lack thereof, for the fourth hand to open the mini-dome/sphere. Like us the viewers, Angie pretty quickly figured out Junior had to be the fourth hand. As much as I hate it, it does make sense. It ties into his mother's craziness as well, which I'm unsure of how that exactly works. Maybe Junior isn't really crazy? It might somehow relate to the Dome? Though I don't really feel he's worth redeeming when he is choking the life out of Joe in this episode. Can't they just kill him and cut off his hand? Wishful thinking on my part.
And then there was the final scene, all four hands are places on the mini-dome/sphere and it opens up. Or, at least, it projects the sky around them. So why does it do that? Are they now able to communicate with the dome? I have no idea, but it makes for an interesting cliffhanger!