Under the Dome

Season 1 Episode 9

The Fourth Hand

43
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Aug 19, 2013 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

7.6
out of 10
Average
131 votes
  • Move over, Big Jim -- there's a new power in town.

    7.5
    The thing I cannot get over in this episode is that it has only been eight days since the Dome came down. EIGHT. FREAKING. DAYS. This is Episode 9, which means we're progressing at the rate of less than one day per installment my goodness, the people of Chester's Mill manage to do a lot in a limited amount time. It's like they're a town full of Jack Bauers, except that instead of foiling several terrorist plots in 24-hours they have managed to stave off a potential forest fire, survive both a plague and a missile strike, stage a riot, take part in a shootout and give up their constitutional freedoms in a little over a week.



    This is hammered home to us several times this episode. Joe mentions that the butterflies were outside the Dome only THREE DAYS AGO. And Norrie's Mom Who Was Samantha Mathis died JUST THE OTHER DAY. (Meanwhile, her Mom Who is Not Samantha Mathis is a no-show in this episode again, still grieving for her lost partner and letting their troubled teenage daughter figure things out on her own. Nice going, And new power player Max (Natalie Zea), bless her, has managed to stay out of sight of curious townsfolk for the whole time as she kept an eye on Barbie and Jim and tried to work out how to best turn this unfortunate event to her advantage.



    I have to tell you, here, when I first saw Zea standing so brazenly in Big Jim's living room and he had a rifle pointed at her, my immediate reaction was: pull the trigger, Jim! Please do not let idiot WINONA make things even worse for this show than they already are. But how wrong I was to judge her so harshly. Sure, every scene she polluted in JUSTIFIED made the show just that little bit less awesome (and that's tough to do, when most of her screen time involved Timothy Olyphant), but here she is excellent, and a welcome breath of calculating air as the conscienceless, possibly sociopathic, drug runner and would-be MaMa of Chester's Mill. Oh, we hate her, and it's doubtful Jim and/or Barbie are going to stand for her supercilious chicanery for too long, but while we have her around, let's hope the presence of Max the Supervillain makes of someone in this town a goddamned hero.



    And in this mission, I think we have an unlikely but viable candidate: Sheriff Linda! Now, I have previously been dismissive of both Linda and her real-life counterpart, Natalie Martinez, as viable candidates for, well, anything, but again, I feel it was perhaps the writers who were doing the actress a disservice, because here both women really step it up. When Linda and Barbie encounter the drugged out Larry, and he tells them that he is on a new trip called Rapture (which he bought from Creepy Reverend Undertaker) that leads the intrepid pair to the mortuary, and thence to the propane storage facility where Linda finds evidence that her hero Duke was totally in on it. Now, the drug stuff may be a little old hat to us now, but the fact that the propane is an ingredient in the recipe is new it's kind of like cough syrup being the secret to a proper Flamin' Homer and seeing Linda on the trail of a case and realizing that with no other law in this town, she IS the law (hey, look at that, another Judge Dredd reference) is an optimistic sign for things to come.



    So, in all, an improvement, this one, despite its still many, many sillinesses, and I am once again curious to know where things might go from here. With the Prophecy Kids now determined to keep the grownups out of the loop about their communing with the mini-dome, a new badass taking up Big Jim's reigns of power, Barbie's relationship (HA! They've known each other EIGHT DAYS) with Julia possibly compromised and Sheriff Linda on the trail of this new drug, there is a lot of potential for things to go, if not brilliantly from here on out, at least not too badly at all.



    Oh, and Junior? He seemed almost sane in this episode. And I am only just now realizing he's kind of hot. To be honest with you, at this point I would seriously keep tuning in just to see if they can redeem that stalker psycho in our hearts and minds over the next few outings. Because that would be quite a brilliant feat indeed.



    (Almost as brilliant as if the "fourth hand" of the title turns out to be Sk8ter Ben!)



    FULL REVIEW AT GEEK SPEAK MAGAZINE
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