Author Archives: char

About char

I'm Canadian, which according to movies and TV means I'm part of the group that's almost always wiped out during the apocalypse. I’ve watched too much Star Trek and Stargate over the years and spend too much time at my computer. Now, I'm waiting for the arrival of (and human enslavement by) the Borg or the Goa'uld. That is, if my computer doesn’t swallow me first. When I'm not at ICoS, you can find me on Twitter @ApocalypseMama or on my blog at apocalypsemama.com. Of course, you can always email me at Char(at)incaseofsurvival(dot)com.

Review: The Book of the Crowman by Joseph D’Lacey

ThTheBookOfTheCrowman-144dpie Book of the Crowman

Series: The Black Dawn

Author: Joseph D’Lacey

Publisher: Angry Robot

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: March 2014

Blurb:

It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.

It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.

The search for the shadowy figure known only as the Crowman continues, as the Green Men prepare to rise up against the forces of the Ward.

The world has been condemned. Only Gordon Black and The Crowman can redeem it.

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Review: Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey

imageBlack Feathers

Series: The Black Dawn

Author: Joseph D’Lacey

Publisher: Angry Robot

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: April 2013

Blurb:

It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.

It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.

In each era, a child shall be chosen. Their task is to find a dark messiah known only as the Crowman. But is he our saviour – or the final incarnation of evil?

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Review: Astral Tide

Astral_Tide_bettersizeJPGAstral Tide
Author: Anna Silver
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Publisher: Anna Silver
Release Date: February 25, 2012

Blurb:

London and her friends are fugitives in a reprocessed world where anything New is illegal. But as Otherborn, they’re different. They can dream and create, which hasn’t gone unnoticed. After fleeing Capital City with an assassin on their heels, the Otherborn found nothing went according to plan. Now, they are down by two and on the run in the Outroads, but the Tycoons keep mysteriously gaining on them. And seven months later, London is no closer to her promise to go back for Rye, if there is anything left to go back for. But Zen is teaching London that there may be more to her heart than the pieces she left behind, and London can’t help but feel guilty about not looking back since they fled New Eden. Should she hold on to hope that Rye is more than just a memory, or embrace a new life and love with Zen?

In their race to outrun their enemies, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: they can only run for so long. Eventually, they’ll have to face what waits when the road runs out. Eventually, their fates will catch up to them.

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Review: The Woken Gods

The Woken Gods coverThe Woken Gods

Author: Gwenda Bond
Publisher: Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot
Genre: YA
Release Date: September 2013
Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Blurb:

Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke around the world.

This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school.

Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems. She escapes with the aid of Osborne “Oz” Spencer, an intriguing Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous relic. The Society needs it, and they don’t care that she knows nothing about her father’s secrets.

Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary gods, her estranged oracle mother, and, of course, Oz–whose first allegiance is to the Society. She has no choice if she’s going to recover the missing relic and save her father. And if she doesn’t? Well, that may just mean the end of the world as she knows it.

From the author of Blackwood comes a fresh, thrilling urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan.

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Post-apocalypse new parenthood, revisited

A really, really long time ago, I wrote about having a baby and being a new parent in the post-apocalypse (and by extension, the apocalypse). In those posts, I had all sorts of fun tips about how to survive with a baby and all that during the fun post-apocalyptic period before things settle down into quaint dystopia.

I had a baby not too long ago, so everything is once again fresh in my mind. Therefore, I’m here to add one more tip about having a baby in the post-apocalypse:

Don’t do it.

Why? you might ask. After all, won’t we need to repopulate the planet after a good majority of the population are decimated by Asgardians/zombies/evil space monkeys?

Well, yeah, obviously we’ll have to rebuild. But seriously, don’t do it when the post-apocalypse is so fresh you can still see the fires burning over New York City. Wait until after things have settled and humans have all been enslaved/made to fight each other to the death on TV/turned into zombies.

Because otherwise, you will probably die. Your baby, too. And you wouldn’t want to be responsible for the death of a helpless tiny human who looks really cute, now do you? I thought not.

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Recap: Under the Dome Episode 13

Under_the_Dome_title_screen

Le disclaimer: This post contains spoilers about episode 13, the season finale, of Under the Dome (titled “Curtains”). Do NOT read this post if you have not yet seen the episode and plan to.

First of all, HALLELUJAH this show is DONE. Time to celebrate!

Second of all, what the holy hell WAS that?! To the writers of this show, that was a terrible season finale. Terrible. I just…I can’t even… Did everyone go batshit?

So. The episode opens with the Baby Dome Posse, plus Carolyn and Linda, standing over the baby dome. Inside, the butterfly hatches. The Baby Dome Posse are all amazed because ZOMG this means that the monarch will be revealed!

Then the butterfly tries to get out, and each time it hits the baby dome, that part of the dome turns black. And THEN the big dome ALSO turns black. As in, completely opaque. It’s like midnight in there.

Linda’s really confused, because she has no freaking clue what’s going on (which seems to be her regular mindset, to be honest). Joe and Norrie tell her that they think the egg inside the baby dome is what’s powering the big dome. Which turns out to be a really stupid thing to do, because this is when Linda decides to grow a spine and is all “This is now POLICE property! DO NOT TOUCH!” Of course then she touches the dome, which promptly zaps her into unconsciousness. Because the dome’s protective like that.

But! Before she has her little nap, she calls for backup. Which is also a stupid thing to do, because now our resident psychotic megalomaniac, Big Jim, has just discovered where the egg is. (God, Linda, you are such a terrible judge of character. You worship Big Jim, who is seriously trying to be Lex Luthor or something, and you think Barbie’s the bad guy. Really?)

The three remaining members of the Baby Dome Posse take the dome and hide it while Linda’s passed out. (Remember, we last saw Angie with Julia. She wasn’t with the Posse.) Big Jim shows up at Ben’s house just as Linda’s waking up. Linda, giddy at having discovered that the baby dome is powering the big dome, tells Big Jim that this is their chance to bring down the dome. Big Jim, of course, is like, “Yeah, no, that’s not happening.” Because if the dome came down, he’d lose his corrupt kingdom and we CAN’T have that. Otherwise he’d have completely wasted his time at the Two Dimensional School for Wannabe Archvillains. All that tuition money…

While we’re on the subject of Big Jim, he’s annoyed that Barbie gave a not guilty plea when he was looking forward to burning him at the stake (or something). Big Jim tries some lame blackmail/threatening scheme, which Barbie basically laughs at. So Big Jim threw a temper tantrum and decided to build a gallows (or a scaffold, whatever you want to call it).

A GALLOWS. Because it’s the nineteenth century, yo.

Anyway. The Baby Dome Posse hide out in the cement factory (all traces of Maxine’s fight club thing are conveniently now gone). Joe broadcasts their location to Angie over the police radio, but he does it in a way that tells Big Jim nothing, which made me happy and Big Jim really pissed off. So Angie meets them there with Barbie and Julia in tow, and Junior of course tries to shoot Barbie. (Because shoot first, arrest later.) Julia tells the truth about who shot her (crazy jealous Maxine), but Junior doesn’t believe her. Because of course he doesn’t. Otherwise the episode would be a lot shorter. You know.

The Posse touches the baby dome, which promptly turns to dust and disintegrates. Convenient, that. In the midst of the dust, they find the butterfly. Sadly, it’s dead. But wait! No it isn’t! Because Norrie touches it and she apparently has super healing abilities! The butterfly flies off to Barbie, and Joe’s all smug in his I-told-you-so speech. Junior refuses to believe it, because Junior refuses to believe anything these days. The egg starts glowing and shaking (along with the factory) because I don’t know, maybe it’s mad that the Baby Dome Posse is too stupid to realize who the real monarch is.

Who is, apparently, Julia. She picks up the spasming egg, which immediately calms down because mommy! Then the butterfly flies over and lands on her hands. Ta-da! The monarch.

Junior, of course, refuses to believe it. Because he refuses to believe anything that doesn’t revolve around him. Or something.

Meanwhile, Big Jim has sent Linda to go look for the baby dome (she makes a good peon, that one). He comes across a gathering at the church and realizes that the residents are losing their shit because the dome’s now black and opaque. The residents are all, “OMG THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS!” and they’re convinced it’s the end times, though quite possibly without the Second Coming.

Aside: I thought the apocalypse was supposed to come with the four horsemen and the seven seals and all that? But hey, maybe the apocalypse has different rules in the dome.

Anyway. Big Jim decides he’s going to be the town’s reverend because why the hell not? He’s already the police chief, mayor, and judge (he’s not doing it out of guilt because he killed the previous reverend).

Over in Joe’s barn, Linda discovers the pink stars the Posse painted a few episodes ago. She radios Big Jim and tells him that the line “Pink stars are falling in lines” has been painted into the barn’s wall. And then Big Jim remembers his wife’s paintings from before she drove into a tree.

And then, megalomaniac that he is, he’s convinced that the dome is his DESTINY. Which he also tells Junior when Junior shows up to tell him that the Baby Dome Posse want to kill him. And then he tells Junior that he killed people to protect the town, because he’s altruistic like that. And Junior, for some random reason, has decided to actually care what Big Jim says and falls for the whole destiny crap Big Jim is spouting.

Also, Junior wanted to give the egg to his dad. The others, predictably, decide otherwise. Julia throws the egg to Angie, who takes off running. Barbie decides to distract Junior by tackling him WHEN HE IS HANDCUFFED. So obviously he’s going to get turned in to Big Jim. And if he isn’t, then we’d never get that shot that was shown in the previews, with Barbie standing by the noose. So you had to know this was coming.

In the woods, Norrie asks the egg what to do. A vision of her late mom, Alice, appears. Apparently, the people who built the dome have taken on the form of someone the Posse can relate to. (Or they’re lying and Alice is really an alien.) The dome was sent to protect them from something that will come at a later date (presumably this something will be a Very Bad Thing). To bring back the light, the Posse must protect the egg. If they fail to protect the egg, then DOOM. LOTS AND LOTS OF DOOM.

So Julia tosses the egg into the lake. Hey, that way, Big Jim can’t get it.

In the town square, Big Jim is getting ready to hang Barbie. But the egg is now protected, so it starts shooting pink stars — in lines — to the dome. The stars clear the blackness from the dome, making it bright. Like, radioactive explosion bright. Or staring-into-the-sun-while-in-space bright.

Basically, it’s really bright.

And Barbie’s still standing by the noose. Not in it.

And….that’s it.

Until next summer, that is.

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 12

Under_the_Dome_title_screen Le disclaimer: This post contains spoilers about episode 12 of Under the Dome (titled “Exigent Circumstances”). Do not read this post if you have not yet seen the episode and plan to.

Also, apologies for getting this post up so late. I had a hard time watching this without wanting to throw things at my TV, I was so pissed off at EVERYBODY IN IT. (There is seriously not a single likable character in this show. Not one.)

Okay, so in this episode, we discover that Big Jim went to school at the Two-Dimensional School for Wannabe Archvillains. Honestly, I don’t really care what else I’ve read online (mostly from the actors and the people behind the show itself), but THIS CHARACTER HAS NO LAYERS WHATSOEVER. He is made of two dimensions; aka, he is a flat character with no redeemable qualities. He has no motivations other than making sure he rules his little domed-in kingdom. Frankly, he seems to be a douche just because he can. All he’s missing is a mustache to twirl around while he’s killing people and otherwise making people’s lives hell.

Yes, I despise this character. I hope the dome zaps him and makes him go all splodey along the side of the dome. (Preferably with his insane son next to him.)

Ahem. Anyway. So Big Jim declares a state of emergency to capture Barbie (remember, BJ has turned Barbie into the murderous villain of the town because I don’t know, maybe it was lesson 2 at archvillain school or something). Linda, who is arguably the stupidest cop I’ve ever seen (in person, in film, or on television) is all, “I am NOT turning this town into a police state just because YOU want to make it one!” To which BJ replies, “It’s not me, it’s the PEOPLE who want it!” and Linda’s all “Well, okay then, if it’s the people.”

OMG Linda, your idiocy astounds. IT ASTOUNDS.

(If you haven’t already guessed, this entire episode is basically about Big Jim going on an evil villain power trip and Linda being a total moron and going along with it. That’s really the best way to sum up what went on.)

Junior has some weird moment where he actually cares about his dad, and goes off to warn Big Jim that someone will try to kill him. Big Jim’s all, “Psha, whatever. No one can kill me” and that’s that, basically. Big Jim goes off to continue his audition for the villain in a Marvel movie, and Junior decides he’s going to do his dad’s bidding. Which…I don’t even know. So Junior goes off to the clinic to “keep guard” over Julia because “Barbie might come back to finish the job” when we really know it’s because Big Jim needs to kill her to shut her up, because Barbie didn’t actually do any shooting.

Over at the radio station, Dodee overhears the military looking for the baby dome and its accompanying egg. And the military’s looking for Barbie because he’s got the “necessary expertise” for the egg. (I don’t know if that means he can disarm it or talk to it. Probably both, because Barbie’s the Marty Stu of the series.) Dodee suddenly remembers she saw the egg in Joe’s barn, even though last week she couldn’t remember a thing about the baby dome. How convenient that her dome-induced amnesia disappears now, because she runs off to tell Big Jim about what she heard AND to show him the picture of the dome egg.

Because, obviously, she is an idiot. How do these people not know that Big Jim is hazardous to their health? Seriously.

The Baby Dome Posse, meanwhile, are discussing Big Jim’s Ultimate Villain turnaround and his desire to kill Barbie. Joe is still convinced that Barbie is the monarch who will be crowned (when the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis because apparently the butterfly is like a timer). While they’re discussing this, Carolyn walks in and sees the baby dome and its egg.

And because she’s the cool mom, she tells Norrie to hide the egg because Big Jim and his henchmen are searching all the houses. Obviously, the egg can’t fall into Big Jim’s hands because he will probably find some way to corrupt it and/or break it. Because Big Jim’s like that. (Aside: Big Jim and the Henchmen would make an awesome band name.)

Joe and Norrie take the baby dome to Ben’s house, where they hide it under a massive pile of blankets. Maybe Ben likes to hoard quilts or something.

Meanwhile, Angie’s doing…something when Barbie finds her. He tells her the truth about the shootings and she believes him (FINALLY someone who shows even a lick of sense in this town). Barbie then tells Angie that Big Jim will try to kill Julia. Obviously, Big Jim can’t let his town savior facade crack, and if Julia starts talking about her shooting, that facade will crack faster than a dried mud mask (with or without cucumbers).

So Angie and Barbie go to the clinic to break Julia out. But! Big Jim has put Junior as a guard! Oh noes!

Yeah, Angie puts on the “woe is me, I’m so scared” girlfriend act and lures Junior away from the room, giving Barbie enough time to move Julia. Junior catches on when he kisses Angie and she tastes like cigarettes. Because I don’t know, I guess cigarettes = Barbie or something.

Anyway, Angie makes a break for it in the ambulance (Julia’s in the back) while Barbie turns himself in to Linda, who seems more and more like the village idiot.

But where’s Big Jim while all this is happening? At the radio station, listening to the military broadcast. It’s all going well for Dodee, until someone says they can’t go to Big Jim because they have evidence (footage, I think?) of him killing the reverend.

And that’s when you know Dodee’s about to be redshirted. I can’t really say I have any sympathy, because I thought she was pretty annoying.

Dodee figures out that Big Jim did all the killing. In a last-ditch plea for her life, she’s all, “I know where the egg is! I can help you! And you can make the dome go down!” And Big Jim, trying to be ominous, goes, “Oh, but the dome CAN’T come down.” Probably because if it does, he will no longer have minions or a domain to rule. And he’ll be all sad and pathetic and shit.

And then he shoots Dodee and sets the station on fire. And predictably implies that the blame lies with Barbie. And even more predictably, Linda (our village idiot) buys it.

Honestly, I don’t think Linda’s capable of thinking for herself.

Big Jim then goes off to Joe’s barn to find the egg. Carolyn tries to stop him from going into the barn, but he’s all, “MRAH *chest thumping* MRAH I RULE THIS TOWN,” shoves her aside, and goes in the barn.

Lo and behold, there’s no baby dome. So Big Jim’s all, “WHAT HOW CAN SOMETHING NOT GOING ACCORDING TO MY PLAN” and arrests Joe and Norrie because taking things out on kids is what you do while you’re having a tantrum. Duh.

So Joe and Norrie go to jail, and Big Jim does his intimidation thing. Joe looks intimidated, but Norrie’s more like, “Screw you, asshole” so Big Jim goes into her cell and threatens her. She is unimpressed. And remains unthreatened. (And we see further evidence that Joe is basically just a useless git who’s there because the baby dome needs four people to unlock it.)

Next, Big Jim goes to Barbie. Because if you can’t intimidate the kids, you intimidate the guy you’re trying to screw over. Or something. Big Jim threatens Barbie into making a full “confession” of the murders/shootings/blah blah blah by threatening Angie, Joe, Norrie, and Julia. Barbie’s like, “Fine, you win, I’ll confess in public. Just don’t hurt anyone!”

Right, right, of course Big Jim won’t hurt anyone.

Joe and Norrie are released and Linda follows them to their next destination. Why? Because Big Jim told her to (seriously, people, this woman is incapable of independent thought). Joe, Norrie, and Carolyn go to Ben’s, where the egg is losing its shit and screaming in a high pitched electronic voice. Linda follows them INSIDE BEN’S HOUSE and is like, “What is THAT?” (OMG Linda what is WRONG with you?!)

Julia wakes up and tells Angie who shot her (hint: not Barbie). It turns out Angie’s hidden her in a storage closet in the clinic, because she figures it would be the last place people will look for them. Sure, it’s a good assumption Big Jim’s already searched the clinic, but in this town, who the hell knows. Anyway, Julia tells Angie that they’ll kill Barbie (which we already figured would be the case, right?).

Big Jim brings Barbie out into the town square to do the public confession thing, but instead of confessing, Barbie says he’s not guilty. (And I shall imitate Nelson and say “HA HA” to Big Jim.)

And…somewhere by the dome’s edge, Junior touches the dome all by his lonesome. Because I don’t know.

We’ll find out what happens next on the season finale, which airs September 16. (Apparently it’s supposed to be a cliffhanger, so maybe we won’t find out much.)

Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.

Review: Crux by Ramez Naam

Crux coverjpg
Crux 

Book 2 in the Nexus series

Author: Ramez Naam

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Angry Robot

Release Date: August 27, 2013 (US/Canada), September 5, 2013 (UK)

Formats: Paperback and E-book

Blurb:

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. The world is a different, more dangerous place.

In the USA, the freedom fighters of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies.

The first blows in the war between human and posthuman have been struck.

GIANT FINE PRINT (yes, read this first): Crux is the sequel to Nexus. If you haven’t read Nexus, I highly recommend you do NOT read Crux. Why? Because this book picks up where Nexus left off, without stopping to explain what happened. It’s like getting on a one-way train made of nanites; it’s not going to circle around to explain how it got to your stop. It’s just going to keep going. And nothing around you is going to make a lick of sense. You wouldn’t want that, would you? I thought not. So if you haven’t read Nexus yet, stop right now and go read it. It’s a good book, so it’s not like it’s going to be a waste of time.

Also note: I will try VERY VERY HARD not to include spoilers.

What I Liked:

  • The characters. These guys are…well, they’re real. They’re flawed, they have layers, nothing is black and white. You know, they’re like real people.
  • This book goes at a pretty fast pace. I have the attention span of a goldfish, so fast pace is what I look for.
  • Once again, it’s got some thought-provoking scenarios that made me wonder how I would react if I were in that position. (If you’re wondering, my answers were always, “I have no freaking clue.”

What I Didn’t Like:

  • I have to wait a WHOLE YEAR to read book 3 in the series. See above re: attention span. It goes hand in hand with my patience (or lack thereof).
  • If you haven’t read Nexus, the first book in the series, you’ll likely end up wondering what’s going on with that random Nexus 5 drug.

My Thoughts:

It’s not a secret that I am a HUGE fan of Ramez Naam’s books. I reviewed the first book in the series, Nexus, on my own blog last year. This year, I’m spreading the love and posting it on ICoS first. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll recall the squeeing that came out of my brain through my fingers after I finished reading Nexus.

I’ll try to tone down the squeeing. I do know that not everyone will like this book. For me, it’s got pretty much everything I look for in a SF novel: science, gun fights, thought-provoking scenarios, explosions, characters that aren’t cookie cutter cut outs, spies, etc etc. Personally, I loved this book. YMMV.

Crux picks up a few months after Nexus ends — and it assumes that the reader knows what happened in the first book. If you haven’t read Nexus yet, you should. Where Nexus was the instigating action, Crux deals with the consequences of the release of the Nexus 5 drug. (Recap: it’s a liquid you drink that basically turns your brain into a computer, complete with apps. Also, it lets you talk to people telepathically. Basically, it’s pretty cool.)

And the consequences are fascinating. As with any emerging technology — or drug, or new anything, come to think about it — there will be people who will use it for good or for bad. Those who would use it for good can do amazing things with it. On the other hand, those who would use it for bad can do terrible, terrible things with it. This is not a new concept. Ramez Naam takes this idea and runs with it, but adds layers — instead of looking at the possibilities in terms of black and white, he adds motivations. Why would those who would use the Nexus 5 technology for bad want to go down that road? Why would people manipulate the drug for their own purposes? For those who would use it for good, what are their motives? Do they really want to use it for good?

This book sets up a war between humans (boring old us, just the way we are) and posthumans (those who are augmented by the Nexus 5 technology). And this setting really had me thinking. The reaction of the humans seem, for the most part, knee-jerk and violent. They want to get rid of the posthumans. The posthumans have all sorts of advantages that humans don’t, and babies are now being born with Nexus 5 in their brains. They don’t even have to take it as a drug. If there’s a whole generation of people who are augmented from birth, where does that leave the regular people? Will they be wiped out (you know, survival of the fittest and all that)? The humans, it seems, are running scared. And that is their big motivation, why they do the things they do.

When I look at it through that lens, I can see why the humans reacted the way they did. Would I react the same way? I honestly don’t know. I hope not, because the humans did some…unpleasant…things.

The posthumans, of course, are starting to fight back. Because obviously. They’re being threatened, so why wouldn’t they fight for their own survival? Of course, they’ve got the advantage, being augmented and all that. I can see the the upcoming war will be a fight for survival. It’ll be interesting to see who wins.

Now obviously, it’s not all rumination and navel-gazing. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of explosions, gun fights, people dying, etc. The good stuff that’s usually in a thriller. It’s all here! My favorite characters are back (I’m looking at  you, Feng), which make me happy.

I’m not gonna lie, I can’t wait to find out what happens. As you read your way through Crux, you know that there’ll be a war. And it’ll be unpleasant. Unfortunately for me, book 3 doesn’t come out until next year. NEXT YEAR, you guys. In September. (Granted, I’m highly unlikely to forget about book 3, but still. Boo.)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had the right combination of science, thought-provoking human condition scenarios, and spies/gun fights/explosions. What’s not to like?

Rating: ★★★★★

Crux on Amazon.com

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 11

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Le disclaimer: This post contains spoilers about episode 11 of Under the Dome (titled “Speak of the Devil”). Do not read this post if you have not yet seen the episode and plan to.

Wow. Okay. I didn’t think this show could possibly get any more WTF. I mean, remember back in the 90s when Days of Our Lives did that storyline where Marlena was possessed by the devil? (I realize I may have just tipped people off to my age, since I, you know, was old enough to watch that storyline and actually remember it, but whatevs.) Remember how people were all “WTF is that about?!” and were wondering how a show could possibly be that messed up?

Yeah, really, Under the Dome has a level of WTF that beats even the Possessed Marlena WTF. Especially since it’s going more in the soap opera direction rather than the sci-fi. (And I thought Stargate: Universe was a soap opera!)

So. Anyway. The episode opens with Joe and the Baby Dome Posse debating the meaning of the baby dome. (No double rainbows, though, unfortunately.) They decide to tell Julia because she touched the baby dome once and it didn’t electrocute her. So that must mean the dome trusts her. Or something.

So Joe goes off to find Julia to tell her about the baby dome being in his barn. When he gets to Julia’s house, he finds out that she’s been shot. What he doesn’t know is that Blonde Lady (you know, the drug queenpin) has shot her because JEALOUSY (or something). I have no idea if this is a “If I can’t have you, NO ONE CAN” thing she’s got going with Barbie, or if she’s just insane. Or both. (It’s probably both, with these people.)

Barbie gets Joe to drive the electric Prius (teehee, a Prius) to the hospital while he’s in the backseat applying pressure on Julia’s gunshot wound. He tried to get Linda to come, but Big Jim was in the station at the time for an interrogation and he managed to cast suspicion on Barbie’s character. Because drug enforcer and all. So Linda’s all, “Justice!” and shit and then her police cruiser runs out of gas on the way to Julia’s, so she carjacks Phil’s car.

When they get to Julia’s and all they see is the bloodstain, Linda’s like, “Barbie murdered Julia!” and Phil says, “Well, he did kill Peter Shumway…” So Linda’s all “Big Jim was right! Barbie IS a criminal! JUSTICE!” And I’m in my corner going, :facepalm:.

Anyway. Joe drives Barbie and Julia to the hospital (which used to be a clinic) and the nurse is busy because a tree fell on some dude. This is really just an opportunity to show off Barbie’s Marty Stu-ness, because he does some crazy doctoring shit that involves a pen and a plastic bag and *gasp!* saves Julia’s life!

Meanwhile, Junior’s left the Baby Dome Posse because he’s pissy that Angie won’t confess her undying love for him. (Dude. You kidnapped her and held her captive in a bunker. WHY WOULD SHE LOVE YOU? Clearly you didn’t hold her long enough for the Stockholm Syndrome to set in.) So he storms off and is basically, “I’m done with the dome. I won’t help you because if you won’t stay with me forever and ever THE DOME CAN NEVER LEAVE.”

Good to know he’s still batshit crazy.

Over at Big Jim’s neck of the woods, he’s off confronting Blonde Lady (aka Max I think) about shooting Julia. She replies with some threat about following her orders and then she won’t have to shoot anyone he cares about. He’s like, “But I’m single. There’s no one I care about.” Which of course is Junior’s cue to walk into the room. Because timing.

After Max leaves, Big Jim tells Junior to stay in the house and to not open the door unless it’s him, blah blah blah, Max is evil, blah blah blah, he’s going to settle this once and for all. So Big Jim takes off and leaves Junior at home. So of course Angie comes and convinces him to come back to the Baby Dome Posse to try to do whatever it is they’re going to do.

Max, all smug, is walking by the lake and discovers her mom’s body. Which pisses her off, obviously. So after Barbie and Big Jim finish their posturing, they go to the cement factory to take Max down, only she’s all pissed off and ends up holding them at gunpoint. (Oops.)

Of course, Barbie and Big Jim find a way to turn the tables because Marty Stu and Gangster! Once they’re outside, Big Jim shoots Max and her guard (WTF) and goes to shoot Barbie. Who, of course, disarms him and points the gun at him.

And that’s when Linda decides it’s a great time to pull into the cement factory. Because of course. So Big Jim’s all, “I’m the victim! He killed EVERYONE!” and Linda believes him, even though I have no idea why. So Barbie takes off and Linda shoots at him. She turns out to be a lousy shot because she unloads her entire clip and not a single one seems to even come close to hitting Barbie.

Back at Chester’s Mill, Big Jim visits the radio station and Dodee tells him about hearing the military say they identified Barbie inside the dome and that he’s the one they’ve been looking for.

That could mean any number of things, of course, but Big Jim decides it must mean bad and evil things. So he gets on the radio and tells the whole town that Barbie killed everybody and tried to kill him too. (OMG I hate Big Jim. He’s so slimy, like the used car salesman he is. Only he gives used car salesmen a terrible name.)

Anyway. The episode ends with the Baby Dome Posse touching the big dome. They have a collective vision, of Big Jim in a yellow shirt. Slowly, you see puncture wounds show up on his torso. The Posse is revealed to be holding bloody knives in the vision.

Junior goes off to find his dad, while the rest speculate that Big Jim needs to die — at their hands — for the dome to go down. And I feel like a terrible person for hoping that actually needs to happen because OMG I can’t even express how much I despise the Big Jim character. For serious.

Under the Dome airs on CBS on Monday nights.

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 10

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Regular disclaimer: This recap contains spoilers about episode 10 of Under the Dome, titled “Let the Games Begin.” Do not read this post if you have not yet seen the episode and plan to.

Okay, well, the good news is, there are only three episodes left. The bad news is…WTF. What was THAT about? The introduction of blackmailing Blonde Lady (I believe her name’s Max or something) just derailed a show that was already so far off the rails we were in the middle of the ocean somewhere where trains never go.

I just…ugh.

Anyway. So we start the episode at the baby dome, where Joe is doing some weird imitation of the Double Rainbow Guy because OMG THERE’S A CATERPILLAR IN IT!!! And — gasp! — it’s a yellow and brown caterpillar so it will turn into a monarch butterfly!!!!!! Dude, what does this mean??? (I have no idea. But you know, there’s that whole “the monarch will be crowned” thing from last week.)

So then Joe argues with the others about telling Julia, and we have a tell Julia-don’t tell Julia argument that ends with someone saying, “It doesn’t matter, we still need to find the FOURTH HAND for this thing!!!” Which apparently means someone else who’s had a seizure. Because I guess that’s the common denominator. Or something.

So they all trek off to find the fourth hand. Right after they leave, Dodee comes running in (where the hell was she hiding that nobody sees her?). So of course she touches the dome, because dome! Only it electrocutes her and shoots her across the barn (which was unexpected). She’s knocked out completely and comes to as Joe, Norrie, and Angie are wheeling her into the clinic (I guess they managed to get her off the barn floor, into a car, to the clinic, out of the car, and into a wheelchair without her waking up). Dodee can’t remember anything that happened, so Norrie tells her she got electrocuted on a generator. Um, okay.

Also, is it just me, or does the clinic look way bigger than it has in previous episodes?

Weird, right? And it only gets weirder…

So Barbie — he of the Marty Stu variety — and Big Jim — he of the slightly insane variety — work together to try to either bring down Blonde Lady or get her off their backs. I’m not sure which. Blonde Lady has a pile of illegal businesses (because of course she does), but she does have ONE legal business — a real estate company of some sort. And lo and behold, the company held onto one house on some island that’s conveniently inside the dome. So OF COURSE that’s where Blonde Lady must be hiding all her shit, right?

So Barbie and Big Jim plan to head out to the house to…break in. Or raid it. Or something. But then Blonde Lady shows up with a bizarre “shopping” (read: looting) list for Big Jim and orders Barbie to go with her somewhere. So Big Jim goes to the house by himself, and Barbie gets dragged to the cement factory, which has now been turned into some underground/black market entertainment complex.

And NO ONE noticed this?! Really?! Blonde Lady said she wasn’t “sitting idle” for the last week, but did the writers forget that the ENTIRE TOWN hid in the cement factory when that missile was coming? It certainly wasn’t being transformed into anything other than a giant panic room then.

And then of course Blonde Lady’s all, “I don’t care about anyone else’s survival, I only care about MYSELF.” So not only is she devious and shit, she’s also the most selfish person on this damn show. And holy hell this show has some selfish people.

Meanwhile, off in Idealistic Cop Land, Linda shows Julia the video with Duke meeting Blonde Lady with the propane. Then she finds a safety deposit box key in Duke’s old Sheriff’s hat, so Linda and Julia traipse off to the now-empty bank.

What do they find? A written confession about the Propane Plot! Which is, apparently, a plot to help the town NOT go broke. Which involved buying the propane (as the town), then selling the propane to Blonde Lady. In return, Blonde Lady kept all drugs out of Chester’s Mill. Reverend Lester laundered the money, and Big Jim was “the face of the propane” and sold the whole idea to the town.

Which…well, okay then.

After they find this, Julia decides to open her own safety deposit box, because of course she’s got one. In hers she finds her husband’s life insurance policy. For $1 million.

Right. Well, that’s unexpected.

Back to Big Jim. When we last left him, he was on his way to that island to check out that house that Blonde Lady’s company hasn’t sold yet. When he gets there, he finds a caretaker working for some dude named Oliver.

BUT. As it turns out, the caretaker is Blonde Lady’s mom, and Oliver doesn’t exist (at least I don’t think he does). BL’s Mom holds Big Jim at riflepoint (because THAT’S a good idea). Of course Big Jim gets the rifle away. So then Big Jim takes BL’s Mom on his boat back to Chester’s Mill. At some point BL’s Mom falls out of the boat (how convenient) and Big Jim leaves her in the lake to drown.

Ah, okay. THERE’S the Big Jim I know and love (to hate).

Of course, Blonde Lady has no idea her mother just drowned in a lake. She’s off at her fight club place, blackmailing Barbie into a fight. Barbie throws the fight (because of course he does) and Blonde Lady keeps trying to blackmail him. You know, what with the whole “What would Julia say if she knew you killed her husband?” angle. Barbie gets tired of it and walks away, leaving Blonde Lady dumbfounded. Either she didn’t expect that or no one’s ever told her no before (or possibly both).

And then Barbie goes back to Julia’s house and confesses to killing her husband. But Julia already knew, because she’d just found that her husband’s gun was gone (though all the bullets were still there). She explains the life insurance policy she found, and then she’s like, “I think he needed you to kill him for the life insurance. It would’ve been void if he’d committed suicide.”

Then it seems like she forgives Barbie. What.

And THEN. Just when you think the crazy ends there, we go back to the baby dome. Angie has managed to convince Junior to go with them — because Angie’s convinced that Junior is the fourth hand, since he had a seizure back in tenth grade. Not to mention his mom’s paintings. So Joe, Norrie, Angie, and Junior all touch the baby dome. The egg lights up and turns into a planetarium projector thing and shows them a sky full of pink stars.

Oh, and, that caterpillar is now a chrysalis.

Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 9

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My apologies for not getting this up earlier. I haven’t been feeling well these past few days so I’m unfortunately behind on many things.

Regular disclaimer: This recap contains spoilers about episode 9 of Under the Dome, titled “The Fourth Hand.” Do not read this post if you have not yet seen the episode and plan to.

Okay. I seriously didn’t think this show could get any worse, but surprise! It has. Honest to Godiva, the WTF level increased exponentially with this episode.

I don’t even know where to begin with this episode. It’s just…wow.

Okay. Well. The episode opens with Julia taking Barbie to see the baby dome in the woods. Only…the baby dome and its resident egg is gone! (Dun dun dun…) Julia gets all Type A and flails around for a bit, telling Barbie she needs to find the dome (and the egg, of course). Then Sheriff Linda radios Barbie and tells him there’s a shooting and he needs to get his ass over to the house because someone’s gotten hurt.

Side note: Does everyone in Chester’s Mill have a gun? Or do they just pass their guns around so there can be a shooting every other week and Linda’s got something to do? Because seriously.

So anyway, Barbie shows up at the location of the shooting where some crazy guy who claims to be hearing voices from the dome has holed up in another guy’s house. The owner of the house shot at the crazy guy, but hit his neighbor instead (crappy aim on that one).

All right then. We already know Chester’s Mill is harboring some serious nutjobs (Junior, anyone?), so I suppose it’s possible that another nutjob has started communicating with the dome. After all, Joe and Norrie have, so why not someone else? Only, it turns out that Crazy Guy doesn’t actually have a direct line to the Great Dome. Instead, he has had a direct line to some new drug called Rapture, and the “had” is a key part in why he’s now a raving lunatic.

Also, Rapture was cooked up by the late Reverend Lester.

Honestly, that guy is in some serious trouble up at the pearly gates, now that Big Jim’s offed him. I mean, the Propane Plot, now drugs. Tsk, tsk, Reverend.

Ahem. So anyway. Junior shows up at the diner (but didn’t he promise Big Jim he wouldn’t get near Angie again? Seriously, these people), and Angie’s all “Get away from me! Get out!” blah blah blah. Which would probably have had more effect if she hadn’t suddenly had a seizure and started mumbling about pink stars falling.

So of course Junior’s convinced that he and Angie are meant to be together forever or something. He takes Angie to his mom’s art studio (I guess his mom was an artist? That’s new) and shows Angie a painting that his mom did. In it, Junior’s standing on a hill, looking up at a sky filled with…(wait for it)…pink stars.

So then Junior’s all, “Do you SEE?! You talked about PINK STARS! My mom PAINTED PINK STARS! This means WE ARE CONNECTED!!!” And Angie just kinda stands there and goes, “Uh…”

Yeah, I don’t even know.

Anyway, back to Julia. She talks to Norrie and Joe about the baby dome disappearing. They’re all perplexed, of course, because when are they not perplexed? Angie gets home and announces that she had a seizure and talked about pink stars falling, and Norrie and Joe ‘fess up and tell her that they’ve had those EXACT SAME seizures.

Creepy, right?

And of course their priority is to find the baby dome. Actually, it might be Julia’s priority, because she’s Julia, but Norrie and Joe seem pretty curious about it too.

It turns out that the baby dome is inside Joe’s shed/barn thing. Aww, it followed them home. But wait! It didn’t follow them home! Apparently Joe went on some sleepwalking hike and BROUGHT IT HOME WITH HIM! Because it was cold? I don’t know.

By this point, you may be wondering what the hell Big Jim’s been up to. I admit, I saved that part for the end, because this particular plot twist makes not even a lick of sense.

So. Suddenly and from out of nowhere (for real) some random blonde lady shows up at Big Jim’s house. (Remember, this is the ninth episode. Where the HELL has this lady been hiding for the last eight episodes that NO ONE has seen her or even knew she was in town? She’s not a local. WOULDN’T PEOPLE NOTICE HER?! Ugh.) Blonde Lady starts in on her spiel about her “arrangement” with Big Jim (meanwhile, I’m going “the fuck?!”).

That arrangement? Yeah, it turns out that Blonde Lady is the brains behind Rapture and she wants to go back into production so that she can supply the fine residents of Chester’s Mill with some apparently awesome drugs. And one of the ingredients for Rapture is…propane! (Ah, that Propane Plot finally comes to light.)

I…I don’t even. Seriously, is this for real?

So then Big Jim decides to collect all the guns because gun control! (Well, not really, but who the hell knows why Big Jim does things?) So Linda’s all, “But America! Guns!” because that’s the predictable Linda response. Big Jim, of course, argues that the dome is its own sovereign nation or something and the gun collection is voluntary. Barbie just gives Big Jim suspicious eyes.

Big Jim does his thing, people turn in their guns — except for that guy who shot at his neighbor at the beginning of his episode. He wants to KEEP HIS GUNS because they’re all he’s got left after his wife died. Also, he’s got a grenade and wants to kill himself with it. Big Jim then tries to comfort him and make him see that there’s SO MUCH to live for (under a dome).

Okay, so Big Jim should NEVER emote like that. It just doesn’t work.

Anyway, Gun Guy pretty much says, “Screw you” and pulls the pin on the grenade. But then! Big Jim GRABS IT AND PUTS THE PIN BACK IN!!!

I…I don’t…I have no words. Can you even DO that?! WTF.

Big Jim, after having saved the day, collects Gun Guy’s guns and adds them to the collection. Barbie goes with him to his house for some random reason and Blonde Lady shows up to congratulate Big Jim on everything going according to plan. Then she kisses Barbie, just to prove a point (and to let Big Jim know that she and Barbie know each other).

WHUT.

And then we’ve got Barbie and Big Jim posturing and blah blah blah. Then Blonde Lady blackmails Barbie into working for her again, even though he was already working for her (I guess she’s the bookie he was working for back at the beginning of the series?). Barbie’s like, “There’s nothing you can do that would make me want to work with you again!” And Blonde Lady goes, “Oh yeah? Well I’LL TELL JULIA YOU KILLED HER HUSBAND!”

Because apparently we’re all twelve years old or something. Also, WTF kind of plot point IS this?!

So yeah, now that that’s settled, Barbie’s in on whatever plot Blonde Lady’s cooking up, Big Jim’s stockpiling all the guns in their dungeon underground bunker, and Junior’s all “WTF is going on?!” when he discovers Big Jim with the guns in the bunker.

Dear god, this show just gets more fucked up every week. To wit: the episode ends with Norrie, Joe, and Angie coming to the conclusion that the baby dome is only for people who’ve had seizures (oooh, don’t tell Julia!). Then they all put a hand on the dome, which then lights up a fourth handprint… So then of course they’re all, “Let’s go find this fourth person so we can unlock the baby dome!”

Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 8

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As usual: This post contains spoilers about episode 8 of Under the Dome (titled “Thicker than Water”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.

Wow. Okay. This show has managed to raise the bar on WTF. Granted, it hasn’t hit Sharknado levels (yet), but…wow.

The episode opens with Junior going home, even though Big Jim kicked him out. (I don’t even know why Junior would do this. Clearly he’s got daddy issues. Though I’d probably be batshit crazy too if I had Big Jim for a dad.) So Big Jim apparently knows that Junior killed that Dundee brother, who is apparently actually dead now, and is unhappy about it. (But…why? It’s not like Big Jim’s all innocent. Remember Reverend Lester? And that propane guard from last week?)

Anyway, Big Jim’s all, “You’re not my son!” and then something about Junior’s mother, which makes Junior go, “You DID NOT JUST INSULT MY MOTHER” and Big Jim’s like, “Oh yes I did.” The only thing missing was the finger snap. (Kidding. This dialogue didn’t actually happen. Though it might’ve made the episode more entertaining if it had.) Also, what’s up with the mother? Big Jim uses her as an insult a lot.

And then we go to Barbie digging a grave (presumably for Alice). By himself. With a shovel. And he does it PERFECTLY. Because OF COURSE he does.

Inside the house (I assume this grave is at Joe and Angie’s house because that’s where Alice died), Angie’s searching the kitchen for food and asks Joe why he hasn’t gone grocery shopping. Joe’s reply is, “But looting! And no food!” and Angie’s all, “Ugh, fine, we’ll go to the diner” because I guess the diner still has food in its pantry. Before they go, Joe tries to comfort Norrie, but then the ominous music started playing so I couldn’t figure out if Norrie was grieving or plotting murderous revenge. Or both.

On the subject of food, Big Jim goes to Ollie’s farm and proposes a partnership: they work together to provide food and water — Ollie grows the crops and controls the well, while Big Jim provides the propane to run shit. Ollie’s all, “NO I WANT TO RULE THIS TOWN I WILL OUST YOU IN A COUP JUST WAIT AND SEE” and Big Jim’s like, “Oh you think so, do you? I DON’T THINK SO.” Meanwhile, I want to throat punch both of them because oh my god WTF is wrong with these two?

So Big Jim, because he’s Big Jim, hatches a plan to confiscate Ollie’s farm under some random bylaw to a) get revenge for being humiliated, and b) get control of the well. As backup, he’s bringing the police and whatever “volunteers” he can draft into his crazy ass armed raid plan.

So Big Jim, the police (all three of them, including Junior, who’s on probation for killing that one Dundee brother), and the random townspeople who now get to use guns go off to Ollie’s farm. Ollie shows up with his farmer henchmen, who are more competent as bad guys and criminals than Big Jim’s henchmen ever were, so props to Ollie for that. Ollie refuses to turn over his farm and refuses to acknowledge the town bylaw. Then he threatens to withhold all food and water from the town because threatening! And then there’s a standoff and shooting and shit.

Then Junior switches sides and allies with Ollie. Because what the fuck?

But enough about the boys in the sandbox for a moment. Let’s visit Norrie and Joe! If you’ll remember, Norrie’s mom Alice died last week. Norrie seems to be going through the stages of grief, though she seems to have skipped the denial stage and has just gone straight to anger. At this point she blames Joe for Alice’s death, because Alice had the heart attack right when they touched the little dome. And OF COURSE it’s Joe’s fault that they touched the little dome because it was his idea to go look for the dome’s power source with his weird “the dome is an atom” thing.

Joe, because he seems to lack the ability to empathize with anyone, goes to the diner with Angie and draws a picture of the little dome with the dome-egg. Which Julia sees. And then Joe tells her about it. (OMG JOE WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.) So Joe and Julia go off to see the little dome and its pet egg, which is now glowing pink. (Does this mean that it’s communicating with whatever entity put it there? Ooo…aliens! Maybe?) Julia then touches the little dome (because of course she does) and sees another Joe saying, “The monarch will be crowned.”

Because THAT makes sense. (Later, we see Angie with a monarch butterfly tattoo. Which…ugh. Seriously.)

Then Julia tells Joe what she saw, and Joe’s reply is, “You saw me? But we saw Alice when we touched the dome and then she died! DOES THAT MEAN I’M GOING TO DIE OMG WAAHH.”

And then we see Norrie and Angie throwing snowglobes (that I think Junior gave Angie) at the dome because it’s cathartic or something. Um, okay.

All right. So, back to the boys who can’t play well in the sandbox.

After Ollie pretty much humiliates Big Jim in front of a bunch of people for not falling on his knees to worship/turn over the farm like Big Jim wanted, Big Jim’s all pissy because I don’t know, maybe he feels emasculated or something.

So OF COURSE Big Jim wants to go back for more standoff and shooting. He’s all, “We go back and TAKE THE WELL!!” And Linda, because she’s all idealistic and shit, replies with, “But DIPLOMACY!” And Barbie, because he’s the Marty Stu of the series, comes up with an alternate solution and says, “We should blow up Ollie’s well and divert the water to ALL THOSE OTHER DRIED OUT ARTESIAN WELLS! Then Ollie can’t control the water!” And Big Jim replies with, “Mrah *chest-thumping* I RULE THIS TOWN AND WE WILL DO THIS MY WAY *chest-thumping* MRAH!”

Ugh.

Meanwhile, on Ollie’s farm, Junior and Ollie are bonding in this weird revenge-against-Big-Jim moment. Then Ollie tells Junior that his mom didn’t actually die in a car accident; she died in a car accident of her own making (ie she committed suicide). Junior’s all, “No she wouldn’t do that YOU’RE LYING.” Ollie’s like, “I would NEVER. But your dad totally would.” And Junior’s all, “RAWR I WILL KILL HIM!!!”

And I’m like, “Jesus Christ, seriously?”

So yeah, the raid is on for that night. People start gathering at the edge of the farm with Big Jim, but Barbie sneaks onto Ollie’s farm to blow up the well. Because what. I don’t even. So Big Jim does his “Mrah! *chest-thumping*” bit and tells people where to go with their guns and all that.

Linda then says they should wait. And Big Jim realizes that Barbie isn’t with the group and he’s all, “Did Barbie go to blow up the well? MRAH MY PLAN MRAH!!!” With chest-thumping. And guns.

And then Barbie actually does blow up the well (after fighting one of Ollie’s farmer-henchmen dudes in hand to hand combat, of course). Predictably, Big Jim is all, “MRAH MY PLAN IS RUINED DAMN YOU BARBIE MRAH *chest-thumping*.”

People run away, blah blah blah, and then Junior appears out of nowhere and hits Big Jim in the face with the butt of his gun. Big Jim is taken to Ollie, who’s posturing and trying to be threatening and all that. Then his henchmen leave and he goes after them with his gun. Which conveniently leaves Big Jim and Junior alone for a few minutes — just long enough for Junior to ask why Big Jim lied about his mother all those years ago. While being his normal psychotic self, of course.

So Big Jim explains that Junior’s mother was “already unstable” and ran out after they had a fight. She got in the car and drove into a tree going like 80mph or something. And then Big Jim and Police Chief Duke covered it up. (Aside, if she was already unstable, wouldn’t you GET HER HELP? You know, BEFORE she drove herself INTO A TREE? Honestly these people.)

Junior: But WHHHYYYYY????

Big Jim: I didn’t want you to know she chose to leave us WAAAHHH.

Ollie (who has come back from chasing his henchmen, apparently): HE LIES!

So Junior shoots Ollie.

Because THAT makes sense.

Anyway, with Ollie now dead, Big Jim’s back to being the big man on campus and he’s his old smug self again. Barbie confronts him and is all, “People DIED because of you. You should’ve LISTENED TO ME. Blowing up the well wouldn’t have killed anyone! And IT WORKED! You didn’t want to blow it up because you wanted the well so you could CONTROL THE TOWN!! Mrah *chest-thumping* mrah!”

Big Jim, now that he’s comfy and secure in his position of power, is all threatening and “You do NOT want me as an enemy.” And Barbie’s like, “Ditto, dude.” (Remember, Barbie is an ex-military bookie’s enforcer. Big Jim is…I don’t even know.)

And then Junior’s back at the station and tells Linda he was a Trojan horse and destroyed Ollie from THE INSIDE.

WTF.

Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.

Review: The Incrementalists

TheIncrementalistsThe Incrementalists

Authors: Steven Brust and Skyler White

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: September 24, 2013

Formats: Hardcover and E-book

Blurb:

The Incrementalists—a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories.

Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste—and argued with her—for most of the last four hundred years. But now Celeste, recently dead, embittered, and very unstable, has changed the rules—not incrementally, and not for the better. Now the heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.

What I Liked:

  • It was an interesting idea. The sort of-not really reincarnation (soul jumping? consciousness transplant?) thing was fascinating
  • The alternating viewpoints gave more of an overall picture of the book
  • The fight for the surviving consciousness was interesting (especially since it was all in one person’s head)

What I Didn’t Like:

  • This was not the book that I was expecting. With the Incrementalists’ abilities, I thought the book would be more like fighting over not blowing up the world or something. Instead, what I got was some unlikable dead character who’s too egotistical to actually die wanting to take over the consciousness of her indirect descendant
  • Celeste got incredibly irritating. Okay, I get that she doesn’t want to die. Please make her go away
  • Phil was meh

My Thoughts:

Yeah, so, my list above pretty much summed up what I thought of this book. I thought there was so much promise in the premise (haha see what I did there?) and for some reason I honestly thought it was going to be about a group of people fighting to save the world or kill it. (I honestly do not even know why.) I mean, the Celeste character would’ve done a kick ass job trying to influence everyone to her line of thinking, whether that meant preventing people from blowing up the world or trying to get POTUS to hit the red button. She’s incredibly good at what she does, after all.

Instead, we had a book where Celeste refuses to die (and I do mean refuses) so when she does die she goes into the mind of her indirect descendant and tries to take over the poor girl’s head/life. And Celeste is ridiculously irritating, seriously.

So with Celeste not wanting to fade into oblivion, we have a bunch of Incrementalists seeding their memory gardens to find out where the hell she’s hiding. Okay, to be honest, the garden thing was interesting. You can share memories and go into each other’s gardens and things like that, and that actually was fascinating.

Overall, I thought the book had interesting parts, but the whole just didn’t do it for me. In the end, I wasn’t interested in the characters, and this is very much a character driven book (the plot is, of course, to find Celeste before she takes over Renee’s mind and essentially kills her).

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Links:

Barnes and Noble

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 7

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As usual: This post contains spoilers about episode 7 of Under the Dome (titled “Imperfect Circle”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.

So yay! We’re officially halfway through this season! Only six more episodes of a show with remarkably unlikable characters.

Anyway. This week in Chester’s Mill, the residents all have water again (because, you know, it rained when they needed it to and they’ve also got that farmer’s artesian well). So no riots. Except for the Dundee brothers, who aren’t rioting so much as running around bullying people. But WITH GUNS so it’s okay (or something).

Violently armed brothers aside, in Chester’s Mill we also have to deal with morning after awkwardness. Yep, Barbie and Julia (who last week shared a kiss) are waking up in bed together. This still seriously squicks me out because of the whole “Barbie killed Julia’s husband and she doesn’t know” thing. But maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

And then this random (very) pregnant lady shows up at Julia’s house asking for yogurt. Seriously, what? Where the hell did this pregnant lady come from? I thought Chester’s Mill was a small town? Though I can understand the yogurt bit (Pregnant Lady says it’s the only thing she can keep down); there was a point when all I could keep down was ramen noodles, so yeah, sometimes your food options are limited.

Also, she has the world’s roundest pregnant belly. Does anyone actually have a round pregnant belly? Or am I the only one who gets a strangely shaped belly while pregnant? (The size of Pregnant Lady’s belly doesn’t bother me; I might actually have been larger than she was during my third trimester(s). Which is…well, it’s large.)

So anyway, after Pregnant Lady gets her cup of yogurt or whatever, she waddles off (well she didn’t, but if she really WERE pregnant she’d have been waddling like a duck down that sidewalk) and runs into a hallucination of her husband, who is currently deployed. She thinks that maybe he’s come home early and reaches out to touch him. Only OF COURSE HE’S NOT THERE (because how could he have gotten inside the dome?) and she ends up touching the dome.

Which then sends her into early labor. BECAUSE OF COURSE IT DOES.

Meanwhile, at the Crazy Rennie House, Big Jim is chewing out Junior for locking her up in the dungeon underground bunker (and he’s not being particularly friendly or fatherly about it). And THEN he tells Junior he’s sick. And kicks Junior out of the house (what?), before telling him that if he gets near Angie again, he’ll be sorry. (And I’m going “OMG IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. NO WONDER JUNIOR’S INSANE.”)

Then Big Jim tells Angie she can stay at his house, and Angie’s all, “Haha no, not gonna happen.” But she does say she wants to say goodbye to Rose first, so Big Jim gives her the keys to the diner (I guess he owns it). So off Angie goes to the diner, where Ben (remember Ben?) finds her and helps her bury Rose. Afterward, they go back to the diner to clean it up.

Farmer Dude opens up his well for the town, and he’s all smug and shit because I don’t know. Big Jim proposes a partnership (propane and water) so that together they can rule the town. Ollie, all smug, asks Big Jim if the propane supply is still his. Big Jim’s all, “WTF? Of course it’s still mine!” while I want to punch Ollie in the throat. (Not that I like Big Jim more, mind you; it’s just that Ollie’s particularly grating with his smug doucheness.)

It turns out that Ollie’s taken over the propane supply but cutting off the lock and replacing it with his own. Also, he’s posted a guard there.

Okay, wait. What? Is this propane thing common knowledge in the town? Does everybody know where it’s being kept? If not, how did Ollie find out where it was? Did he have Big Jim followed during one of the propane delivery runs? WHAT IS GOING ON?

Later Ollie shows up at Big Jim’s office and is even more smug and douchey because he’s got the well, the crops, AND the propane. Now he’s gloating because he rules Chester’s Mill! And Big Jim. (You know this is going to be a recipe for disaster, right?)

Linda and her deputies are off looking for the Dundee brothers because they have to be arrested and all that for killing Rose. And then she tells Junior that they were about to rape Angie (OMG LINDA WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.) So Junior’s all, “Let’s KICK THEIR ASSES!” and Linda’s all, “But THE LAW!” and I’m like :facepalm:. (Seriously, how does Linda’s idealism survive in this place?)

Julia’s taking Pregnant Lady to the clinic. On the way, they get gasjacked by the Dundee brothers (I THOUGHT BARBIE KILLED ONE OF THEM?!) because gas is more valuable than the car or something. Barbie comes to their rescue (because of course he does) and shoots one of them in the leg. (The same brother he strangled last week, so maybe the Dundees are like cats and have nine lives or something.) He tells Linda and Junior where the brothers are headed and then helps Julia take Pregnant Lady the rest of the way to Alice’s. Why Alice’s? Because the clinic’s closed and Alice is apparently the only doctor (or anyone with medical training) left in the entire town. (Except, if you’ll remember, Alice is actually a psychiatrist so I don’t know.)

Alice of course takes charge and Pregnant Lady’s in active labor blah blah blah. But THEN Alice starts to get weak (she’s run out of insulin, remember?) and Barbie has to take over as midwife. Alice talks him through clamping the umbilical cord because it’s wrapped around the baby’s neck, and of course Barbie can do it. With a shoelace. And of course he can deliver the baby LIKE A PRO. (WHAT. THE. FUCK. This guy’s Marty Stu-ness is irritating as hell.)

You may be wondering what happened with Joe and Norrie and their weird connection with the dome. (Or not. But I’ll tell you anyway.) They find a little dome in the woods after Joe’s all “What if the dome is like an ATOM?! That means it’ll have a NUCLEUS IN THE MIDDLE!” (What? Seriously, what? I mean, okay, an atom will have a nucleus and electrons and shit but where the hell does he come up with this stuff?)

Inside the dome is…a black egg. (Oooo, aliens! Maybe?) They try talking to the little dome, but nothing happens so someone suggests they touch it. When they do, Norrie sees an image of her mom, and she automatically knows that something’s wrong (HOW?) so she rushes back to Joe’s house.

Where Alice has a heart attack and dies. What. (Also, crap, the town lost its last doctor.)

Meanwhile, Linda and Junior find the Dundees and Linda tries to arrest them. Of course that doesn’t work, so shooting and shit. Both of the Dundees die. (Well, I think they did. I thought one of them died last week but apparently not so who the hell knows.)

Oh, and Big Jim loses his (drunken) shit and goes to the propane supply place, shoots a fuel tank or something on the guard’s truck, and watches the truck blow up. With the guard inside. (Can that actually happen? Didn’t Mythbusters do a segment on that?)

And in the woods… the black egg starts to light up. (I really hope it’s phoning home…)

Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.