Recap: Under the Dome Episode 5

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As usual: This post contains spoilers about episode 5 of Under the Dome (titled “Blue on Blue”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.
So when we left Chester’s Mill last week, Big Jim had just discovered Junior’s dungeon and Angie, who Junior may be hoping will someday develop a raging case of Stockholm Syndrome.
When we rejoin the Chester’s Millivites (Millerites? Millians?) this week, we see a flock of Monarch butterflies attached to the edge of the dome. Which is…a little random, really. (The butterflies are pretty though.) Joe and Norrie are contemplating the butterflies as only they can, and they come to the conclusion that the dome is trying to talk to them. Erm…okay.
Not through the butterflies, but through their seizures and the fact that they say pink stars are falling and all that while they’re seizing. (And maybe the seizures are them short circuiting or something (??) so they can’t touch each other because then there’ll be interference like when a microphone gets too close to the amplifier.)
This is weird and slightly random, but may actually make sense. Especially after we saw last week’s video of the seizure, when Joe sits up mid-seizure and says “Shhh.” So I guess it’s possible.
Anyway. Back to the dungeon.
So Big Jim has discovered Angie. When we return to the dungeon, the water has been drained, but Angie is…still chained to the bed. Big Jim is all, “Oh sure, I’ll let you out. Uh, what the hell are you doing in here, anyway?” And Angie’s all, “Your son is keeping me here because he is INSANE.” And Big Jim’s like, “Right. Okay, bye!” and then leaves.
Which isn’t all that surprising, really, since Big Jim seems like he’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal himself. (Mmm…fries…)
When Big Jim comes up from the bunker, he finds Reverend Lester waiting for him, in all of Lester’s born again glory. Lester is going on about how god has given him a message: Moab, not referring to the city in Utah but to the biblical location. Big Jim dismisses him as being a crazy old coot, but we find that Lester is actually getting the word “Moab” through his hearing aid.
So…does this mean that the dome is talking to Lester too? (Actually it’s not, but I’ll get to that later.)
Meanwhile, with the butterflies, Barbie touches the dome and all the butterflies leave, revealing the military on the other side. And…buses. Like the big charter buses, Greyhound style. The buses pull up to the dome and out come…family members.
The military has, apparently, allowed the relatives of the trapped townspeople to visit them at the edge of the dome. (Well, that’s a new development. Weren’t the military ignoring the dome earlier?)
Julia, our resident reporter turned DJ, announces on the radio that there are family visits, so of course there’s a mad rush to the edge of the dome so people can mouth conversations and mime hugs to each other. (Because, remember, nothing gets through the dome. Not even sound.)
Sheriff Linda tells Barbie to keep everyone away from the edge of the dome so that no one gets zapped. And then promptly runs up to the dome to dome-kiss her fiance, who has appeared on the other side. (This must be a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”)
So basically the entire town shows up at the edge of the dome (the butterflies are gone, obviously), waiting to see their relatives. Norrie isn’t expecting anyone but is shocked to discover someone holding up a sign with her name on it. It’s her dad, and he’s got photos of her as a baby — and a photo of him with her mom Alice (the blonde mom). Norrie of course is all, “What? You can’t be my dad, my moms said my dad was an anonymous donor!” And then Alice and Carolyn show up and pretty much confirm that the dude is, in fact, Norrie’s dad. So Norrie loses her shit and takes off. Because of course.
Reverend Lester shows up at the gathering, preaching about Moab (yeah, I don’t even know) and is stopped by Tough Guy Big Jim. Lester gives Jim an ultimatum: confess your sins or I’ll tell the town what you did! And there’s something about drugs mentioned. (I assume this has something to do with the mysterious Propane Plot, but since we don’t know ANYTHING about the plot, I don’t even know.)
Meanwhile, Julia’s looking for Peter, but instead finds someone named Mary, who shows Julia a letter that basically says Peter’s taken off. Julia is about as impressed as you’d think she’d be. (But Barbie still hasn’t confessed to killing him.)
As everyone’s leaving, Barbie stops Dodee, who apparently knows sign language, and asks her to read lips (because of course she can read lips, right?). Barbie brings Dodee to the edge of the dome and starts talking to a soldier.
We discover then that the military had gotten new orders the night before, telling them to bring the families and then withdraw — and never return. Barbie then puts two and two together — Moab doesn’t refer to the biblical city (and god has not been talking to Lester). Instead, Moab is an acronym that stands for mother of all bombs.
So I guess the military is going to bomb the dome. At 1:15pm.
Wow. That sucks.
But what about the residents? Will they die from the thermobaric missile that will be shot at them (what exactly IS a thermobaric missile, anyway?).
Hopefully not, because they’ll be evacuated to the tunnels under the old cement factory.
So Barbie, Julia, Linda, and Big Jim go off to evacuate the residents (they seem to be the only ones in town who do this kind of thing). But then Big Jim does something surprising — he goes back to the dungeon and frees Angie. (I know, right? I was shocked, too.) But I had to wonder — would he have let her go if the missile wasn’t headed for Chester’s Mill? Or would he have left her there?
Angie takes off and goes home because Big Jim never told her about the cement factory. Junior finds out that his dad let his captive go, so he also takes off for Angie’s house and is his usual psycho self. But when Angie learns about the missile, she kisses Junior and hugs him.
WHAT. No, seriously. WHAT. (Sometimes I don’t understand this girl.)
Norrie and Joe are still above ground, looking for Angie, but they don’t go back to Joe’s house because…I don’t know. Maybe because Angie wasn’t there when they left it? Barbie and Julia leave through the other set of tunnels to look for Norrie and Joe because…I don’t know, Julia wanted to be heroic or something. Linda leaves the cement factory because she wanted to look at some initials she and her fiance had carved into some tower somewhere.
And this is where you know that the missile won’t affect the dome because otherwise half the main cast would be wiped out. (I could do without Junior, though.)
Norrie and Joe kiss as the missile drops on the dome. BUT. They don’t have seizures! And they’re still alive!
Actually, everyone’s still alive. Because, as you may have already guessed, the missile did shit all to the dome. It’s still in place, as sturdy as can be, but the land around the dome looks like a war zone. Nothing outside survived, but everything inside is hunky-dory, like the missile never happened.
Big Jim goes to the surface and is examining the damage on the other side of the dome when Reverend Lester shows up. Lester’s all, “The Lord saved Chester’s Mill because I REPENTED!” and Big Jim and I are both, “WTF?”
And then Big Jim pushes Lester — hearing aid first — into the side of the dome. Lester’s hearing aid loses its electronic shit and kills Lester (because of course it does). Now that’s the Big Jim I’ve come to know.
Come back next week, when I revisit the fish bowl once again.
Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 4

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When we last left our friends of Under the Dome, a lot of crazy shit had happened. When we rejoin our friends this week, more crazy shit happens.
So let’s get to it, shall we? (Be warned: this recap may — or may not — have more of my snarky personal commentary included. I’m sorry, I just can’t keep it bottled up inside anymore.)
Remember: This post contains spoilers about episode 4 of Under the Dome (titled “Outbreak”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.
Note: this is a LONG post.
So. At the end of episode 3, Julia (our resident snoopy reporter) had gone through Barbie’s things and discovered a map. At the beginning of this episode, Julia has taken said map and has put it in her purse by way of a newspaper. It’s all sneaky and spy-like. Or it would be, if it wasn’t also a raging case of “OMG you’re going to do this now?” But pay attention to Snooping Julia and her map, which luckily doesn’t sing (this is important later) (the map, not the singing).
Outside, at the edge of the dome, we have ourselves a mini-riot. The mob (but not The Mob) is going totally batshit because the military is leaving their posts on the outside of the dome. So our civilian mobsters are painting graffiti on the dome and are basically just screaming random shit about how they’re stuck in there and woe is me and all that. Reverend Lester, our resident clueless, bumbling criminal sidekick steps in and starts preaching about God and what God wants (yeah, I don’t even know) and newly-minted Sheriff Linda is trying to get the rabble to calm down. Of course it doesn’t work, so she pulls out her gun because, I don’t know, waving it while on the edge of the dome is supposed to make people stop being all mobby. (Remember what happened the last time someone pulled out a gun at the edge of the dome? Exactly. Not the brightest thing to do, Sheriff Linda.)
Anyway, Big Jim comes to the rescue (because of course he does). After he finishes berating Linda for her gun-pulling stunt, Linda collapses against the dome. (No, she doesn’t collapse out of shame.) Barbie and Big Jim load her up into her car and take her to the clinic.
Honestly, that Barbie guy is freaking EVERYWHERE. There is nowhere in this damn town he isn’t.
We’ll get back to Linda later, but the collapsing thing is important. Remember that part.
Meanwhile, let’s visit Chester’s Mill’s resident psychopath, Junior! He’s still got Angie locked up in his dungeon underground bunker. When we first see him, he’s bringing her a change of clothes, so she’s “more comfortable.” Of course, before he hands it over, he sniffs it.
I am not even kidding, you guys, he SNIFFS it. It’s so creepy, I can’t even begin to tell you.
Angie, in yet another attempt at getting out of her awesome little dungeon, acts all flirtatious and pretends she doesn’t want to stab Junior in the eye with a dull pencil (because you know she does). She tells him to turn around (I dunno, maybe because she’s pretending she wants to sleep with him?). When he does, she pulls out a pair of scissors from under her pillow, then lunges at him. With the scissors. Only she misses and stabs him in the hand instead. Of course, Junior is seriously pissed off and locks her with the leg chain to the bed again. He says she can leave when she’s ready, but not before. (What the hell does that even mean?)
Also, holy too stupid to live moment, Angie. What the flying fuck?
And THEN, she tries to get someone’s attention by screaming into a vent and holding on to a pipe. (You know this isn’t going to end well.) So unsurprisingly, the pipe — which turns out to be a water pipe — bursts, throwing Angie back against the concrete floor, knocking her unconscious. The dungeon then fills with water.
At this point, I am too busy facepalming to pay much attention to what else is going on. OMG Angie. You  had such potential.
All right. So. Remember how Julia is now all snoopy and looking through other people’s stuff like the world’s most annoying roommate? She’s on the way somewhere — I assume to confront Barbie or something — when she sees her husband’s car at DJ Phil’s house (well, trailer). She stops and confronts Phil about it. Phil tells her that Peter, her husband, sold it to him. And then he collapses. Just like Linda (I warned you that the collapsing thing was important).
So we all go over to the clinic (“hospital” isn’t quite the right term, since it’s not that big), where we see Alice and Carolyn (the token lesbian couple from LA) taking their daughter Norrie and her buddy Joe for some tests. (Remember, last week Norrie and Joe had a simultaneous seizure where they talked about pink stars falling from the sky in lines.) Alice, while a psychiatrist, did a medical internship and not a psychiatric one. This turns out to be Very Important, because the clinic has no doctors, so the nurses recruit Alice to be the acting doctor. Or something. But at this point, she’s still ordering tests to try determine what the hell is going on with her kid.
Julia, having taken Phil to the clinic, confronts Barbie about the map and what he’s really doing there. OMG WHAT THE HELL JULIA. (Seriously, you’re going to do this now?) At that point she gets rather faint and slumps against the wall (that collapsing thing again). Alice orders someone to take her to a treatment room. And yay, Barbie’s off the hook for now.
After examining the people coming in (and there are a lot of them), Alice concludes that it’s a meningitis outbreak.
A MENINGITIS OUTBREAK, you guys. In a town that’s COVERED BY A DOME. Where the hell did the meningitis come from? Wouldn’t it have been evident SOONER THAN THIS if Patient Zero was wandering around Chester’s Mill? Wouldn’t more people (like the rest of the town) be in trouble since apparently only Junior, Barbie, Norrie, Alice, and Carolyn had been vaccinated? Or maybe I’m overthinking it, I don’t know.
Anyway. Alice tells Big Jim she needs antibiotics to treat everyone, but the hospital is running low. So Big Jim gets a list from Alice and goes off somewhere to get the drugs (we learn later he goes to the town’s pharmacy). Then he leaves Junior to guard the clinic’s entrance. With a shotgun.
Oh, okay, let’s give the psycho a GUN and tell him it’s okay to use it. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA. (Have I mentioned he’s got someone locked in a dungeon?)
Over in another part of the clinic, Julia has left her room and is trying to get answers about her husband from DJ Phil, who apparently knows Barbie. Phil is completely out of it, thanks to the meningitis, and thinks Julia actually is Peter, and says, “I can’t make it to the cabin tonight.” And of course Julia’s all, “What cabin?” because she has no clue what the hell he’s talking about. She tries to get Junior to let her out, but Junior’s on his power trip and says no. But he does mention that he found Barbie in a cabin, which makes Julia all snoopy reporter curious. But Junior won’t let her out, so Julia goes to her husband’s office and takes his key card, which is still miraculously in his office, and leaves out the back door. To go find this cabin. Even though she’s got meningitis symptoms.
OMG the TSTLness abounds.
So. By this point, the clinic is running out of antibiotics and Big Jim isn’t back yet. Because, as we discover, the pharmacy has been broken into and ALL the medicine is gone. So Big Jim and Barbie (swear to god this guy’s everywhere) are all, “WTF?” and Big Jim has an idea of who took the drugs and where they are. So they go to Rev. Lester’s house, who is apparently a born again Christian and is about to burn all the medicine. Because it’s God’s will that these people die. Or something.
Really? A born again reverend? By this I mean a reverend who is born again WHILE being a reverend? WTF?
Big Jim and Barbie take all the medicine back to the clinic, but by then Sheriff Linda’s third grade teacher has died because she sacrificed herself so that Linda could get the last dose of antibiotic. Linda, of course, recovers.
All the people in the clinic’s waiting room are getting antsy and move to rush the doors. Junior fires a warning shot into the ceiling with his shotgun but then Linda appears before Junior can actually shoot people (I’m sure Junior’s disappointed at being thwarted like that). Instead, he starts telling random stories about various residents and says he’s one of them and they all have to fight this together. Then he puts down the shotgun and leaves. And the people calm down.
And Linda tells Big Jim about what a hero Junior is, and Big Jim asks if he’d reconsider a career in law enforcement. Cue ominous music (no, for real, the scene actually did cue the ominous music).
Meanwhile, I’m going WHAT. THE. HELL.
Barbie, who’s now back from the antibiotic run, corners Phil (which really isn’t that hard, since the guy’s in a wheelchair with an IV) and asks where Julia is. Phil says he doesn’t know, but Barbie gets all tough guy on him. Because apparently the sick dude with the IV is going to lie? I don’t know. Anyway. Phil explains that Peter had been asking about hit men before selling Phil his car. Phil apparently told Peter to take the cash and run and start over someplace else. So I guess Barbie isn’t going to get the money. (I don’t actually know if he did get the money from Peter…) Phil isn’t sure how much of this he told Julia, so Barbie asks Junior where Julia is. Junior tells him about mentioning the cabin, which makes Barbie get all panicky in that Barbie way of his, and demands the keys to Junior’s truck.
He discovers Julia passed out at the cabin. Because Julia did find the cabin, and because she’s gone all snoopy reporter on us, she found some documents that were apparently so shocking they made her pass out. (Kidding. The documents may have been shocking, but I’m pretty sure the meningitis made her pass out.)
Julia comes to, confronts Barbie about Peter, blah blah blah. Turns out he’s an enforcer for a bookie and he’d come to Chester’s Mill to collect from Peter (and possibly from Phil, I never got that part). Julia’s all “But my husband would NEVER gamble!” even though apparently Peter drained their bank accounts and their house is in foreclosure. Barbie’s all, “Wanna bet?” and produces a voicemail of Peter. And then he lies and tells Julia that Peter must’ve taken off somewhere to start over because he got in too deep. And then Julia’s all “I let you stay in my house! Your sorry means nothing to me! Get out of my house!” (And I’m going, “Ugh, seriously? SERIOUSLY?”)
Meanwhile, while all this is happening, Norrie and Joe have decided to find out if the two of them touching sets off their simultaneous seizures. So they set up an experiment. Someone set up a phone to record on video, and they touch. For a moment nothing happens, and then they fall to the floor. In a seizure. Afterward, when they look at the video playback, we see Joe sit up MID-SEIZURE and say “Shhh” to the camera. What the hell?!
So yay, everyone’s saved (well, except for Linda’s old teacher) and the meningitis outbreak is over! After only a couple of hours! Yay super doctor Alice! Joe and Norrie lie about having another seizure (because I don’t know), and Joe offers his house to Alice, Carolyn, and Norrie. Because both his parents are outside the dome, and his sister Angie is trapped in Junior’s house of underground horrors.
In a serious lapse in judgement, Linda deputizes Junior, which cues the ominous music again (OMG you’re all GOING TO DIE).
Big Jim goes home and finds the reverend on his porch. The reverend, now that’s he’s born again and all, returns the Propane Plot money to Big Jim and tells Jim to keep the propane. (Honestly what the HELL is up with that propane?) Big Jim goes inside to get a glass of water from the sink and hears Angie screaming. From his tap. At the kitchen sink.
Yeah, I’d be a little weirded out, too.
Big Jim follows the screaming to the bunker (even though you can’t hear it outside, so I don’t know). He goes inside the bunker and finds it filling with water. He also discovers Angie chained to the bed. Inside the bunker.
Dun dun dun…
Come back next week, when I make fun of the people under the dome again.
Under the Dome airs on CBS on Monday nights.

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Recap: Under the Dome Episode 3

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Note: This is a recap of episode 3 of Under the Dome (titled “Manhunt”). If you have not seen this episode, do not read this post as it contains episode spoilers. You’ve been warned.
When we last left our friends in Chester’s Mill, I had a lot less ragey feelings toward all of them. (Apparently, hatred toward the characters is an unintended side effect of watching this show. Who knew?)
Anyway. Last week, we saw Big Jim’s henchman, Rev. Lester, set fire to Police Chief Duke Perkins’s house by accident (or accidentally on purpose?) with Lester STILL INSIDE IT, Officer Linda rushing in to rescue him (I still question the intelligence of that particular decision), and Officer Paul going totally batshit and shooting the dome, which ends up killing Officer Freddy. Meanwhile, Junior is still a psychopath, Barbie is still mysterious and handy to have around, and the residents are still freaking out (unless you’re a teenager; in which case, party!). If you missed it, last week’s recap is here.
This week, sadly, Officer Freddy is still dead and Officer Paul is still batshit. Julia (our resident reporter) and Barbie go to the police station to question Linda because that’s what reporters do, I guess. Meanwhile, a mob has gathered outside the station, calling for Paul to die and all sorts of fun stuff like that. Paul, of course, blames the dome. (Listen up, kids. Guns don’t kill people. THE DOME kills people. With guns. That people are holding.) Big Jim then gives a speech telling people that he’s taking charge because he’s the last remaining councilman (or maybe it’s because he’s power hungry and possibly evil; I don’t know). He also warns people against taking any frontier justice. Because, you know, that’s a Bad Thing.
Inside the station, Linda puts Paul in a cell. Which backfires, because Paul, in all his deviousness, pretends to choke, bringing Linda inside the cell. He then knocks her down, steals her gun, then jumps out into the hallway and locks her in the cell. Then he steals a rifle and takes off into parts unknown. (Presumably to make war on the dome.)
In another part of Chester’s Mill, the teens are still partying, because…I don’t know. I guess the apocalypse is the best time EVAH to throw parties and shit. (I may have a different perspective on this if I were still seventeen, but I’m not, so I just look at them like they’re slightly TSTL. Now, get off my lawn, dammit.) Their biggest gripe at this point is that none of their electronics work. The world is ending, but OMG they can’t text or upload videos of Officer Paul going batshit to YouTube so therefore the world is a horrible, horrible place. Yanno.
Next, we see Big Jim at home with Junior, being all familial and loving and shit. Actually wait, no we don’t. (I’m not convinced Big Jim has a loving bone in his body, to be honest.) Big Jim asks Junior where he was during the fire, because it looks badly on Big Jim when Junior goes AWOL during town crises like this. (I guess hanging out in your dungeon underground bunker with your captive wanna-be girlfriend counts as going AWOL.) Big Jim, noticing Junior’s black eye, asks where it came from. Junior responds with, “This guy, Barbie. He’s totally insane.” (At which point I went, “HA! Takes one to know one, doesn’t it?” Even though of the three of them, Barbie looks to be the most sane.)
Big Jim, in all his fatherliness, tells Junior he’s still “hiding behind his mother’s skirts,” even though said mother died nine years ago.
And then I went, “Oh wow, no wonder this dude’s insane.”
Anyway. So after getting verbally picked on by his father, Junior goes to visit our captive, Angie. Not surprisingly, she still wants to get out of her cell. Junior blames her anger on the dome. The dome, he says, is making her angry. Angie’s all, “Uh, no, it’s because you locked me in here.” And I was all, “Wow, someone sane in Chester’s Mill!” And Junior replies with, “Everything will all get back to normal once this dome is gone and you won’t be all ragey toward me anymore.” To which I replied, “Wanna bet?” (Not direct quotes. Well, except for mine.) (Seriously, what is it with these residents? Are they all insane? Or did the dome just bring out their special brand of crazy?)
You can tell Angie’s getting a little desperate to get out, because she keeps trying things to manipulate Junior into letting her out of the dome. (Not that I blame her.) This time, she tries to get Junior to take her to the underground tunnels at the cement factory, because they used to go there (before she found out how psycho Junior really was). Junior doesn’t take her with him, but does go off to the tunnels by himself.
Meanwhile, Big Jim goes to the hospital to confront Rev. Lester to find out why the hell Lester set fire to Duke’s house. After all, that wasn’t the plan. The plan was to get rid of any evidence of the Propane Plot, not set fire to the dead guy’s house. The Reverend’s reply? “I did what you asked. There’s no evidence left.”
Me: Facepalm.
Aside: Big Jim really needs to get smarter criminal sidekicks.
Meanwhile, at the diner… There are some homophobic comments made when one of Nori’s moms goes looking for her. (Nori has gone to Joe’s house, where Ben has invited a bunch of people over for a party and to charge their electronics using Joe’s family generator.) For her part, Nori doesn’t tell Joe that she’s got two moms and instead says she was on her way to visit her dad when the dome dropped over Chester’s Mill. Um. Alrighty then.
Big Jim shows up at the diner, asking for volunteers in the search for Insane Officer Paul, who has taken off to parts unknown (but not that unknown, since he’s under the dome somewhere). At this point, we learn that Paul is ex-military. But that’s okay, because Barbie’s ex-military too, and we all know that Barbie’s basically a murdering bounty hunter Marty Stu. So it’s all good. While the manhunt for Paul is taking place, all residents are advised to stay inside. Because, you know, Officer Paul has a rifle and knows how to use it. Oh, and he’s batshit crazy.
The manhunters go into the woods, where they know Paul has gone (I’m not sure how, exactly). Big Jim and the others start to go off down a trail, but Barbie finds the real trail — the trail the others are following is a dummy trail. (See, Marty Stu. That guy can do everything.) Big Jim then figures out that Barbie’s also ex-military, because who else would know about dummy trails? (He’s got a point; I certainly wouldn’t have known.)
Before the manhunt starts, Julia notices Junior walking — with a PURPOSE — somewhere. She, because she’s all reportery and nosy and shit, questions Junior to find out where he’s going. He refuses to answer and acts all pissy and suspicious, so OF COURSE Julia follows him. The rest of us know he’s going to the cement factory to try to find a way out (and if he does, maybe Angie won’t hate him because the dome will be gone!).
Julia gives herself away at the cement factory, when she tells Junior not to pick up the flashlight he dropped at the edge of the dome, which, not surprisingly, does not end at the tunnels. (She stops him just in time, because the flashlight explodes.) Junior gets all psycho-creepy-looking and asks what Julia’s doing there and why she’s following him blah blah blah. (It’s his basic tough guy act.) Junior starts punching the dome (all that dome rage); when he’s done, Julia tries to lead them back to the surface with matches by following the air flow. Or something. While they’re getting back out, Junior’s all woe is me and shit because of his daddy issues while blaming Psycho Barbie for his black eye. (The sad thing is, Julia looks like she might believe him about Barbie. Granted, Barbie may in fact be psycho. Hard to tell at this point.)
Okay. So. Back at the manhunt, Paul has started shooting at his mantrackers and actually hits someone. (Aside: Paul’s rifle looks like it has a silencer, but it’s still hella loud. What.) Since apparently only four people went on this manhunt, the third tracker takes the injured one back, leaving Big Jim and Barbie to FINISH IT, Mortal Kombat style. Barbie wants to stop for the night and continue in the morning, and he raises a valid point when he says that Paul isn’t going anywhere. I mean, there IS that damn dome. Big Jim insists on “finishing this tonight” for reasons I can’t quite understand. Barbie sums it up as “wanting to look like the big guy in town.” To which Big Jim replies with a random high school football story about how he tackled and beat some guy who was making fun of him. An eye for an eye, or something like that.
You can see where this is going, right? Paul appears behind Big Jim, waving his rifle and threatening to shoot. Barbie tries to get him to put the rifle down, but Paul just keeps waving the thing around. Linda then appears (out of nowhere, swear to god) and shoots Paul dead. (Aside, Big Jim had let her out of Paul’s cell before the manhunt began, so she didn’t do any ninja shit to get out of jail and into the woods. Sadly.)
And now, all but one of Chester’s Mill’s cops are dead. I’m not sure I want to be a police officer in Chester’s Mill; there’s a really high mortality rate for this job.
At the end of the episode, Julia notices that Barbie’s knuckles are bruised and questions his story of “just passing through” when the dome dropped. When he gets into the shower, she goes through his bag. (OMG seriously? WHY? Ugh, that’s such a cliche.) She pulls out a map. Of what, I don’t know, but I assume it’s the woods around Chester’s Mill — or possibly Chester’s Mill itself. Since, as we all know, Barbie was in town on a mission when the dome dropped.
Overall, I…I don’t even. The longer this show goes on, the more I dislike all the characters. (With the possible exception of Angie, who happens to be locked in a dungeon by her psychotic maybe-boyfriend.)
Join me next week, when I revisit the dome and poke at all the people in the test tube.
Under the Dome airs on Monday nights on CBS.

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Recap: Under the Dome Episode 2

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Last week, we saw the residents of Chester’s Mill suddenly get trapped under the dome. We’re not sure who built the dome or who put it over Chester’s Mill, but its appearance sets off a panic in the town. People get trapped inside, people get trapped outside, people go crazy. (Well, maybe not that last part. Yet, anyway.)

This week, we rejoin our intrepid Chester’s Millians (Millivites?) as they face life under the dome. Note: Don’t read this post if you haven’t seen Episode 2 (“The Fire”) of Under the Dome. Spoilers ahoy!

The episode opens with a flashback/nightmare from Barbie, and we finally get a glimpse of what happens between him and Julia’s (the reporter’s) husband. It turns out, they fight about…money? Julia’s husband says, “I don’t have it,” which to me means Mr. Julia either owes money or he’s got some sort of item Barbie (or Barbie’s employer) wants. In any case, Mr. Julia pulls a gun, and he and Barbie fight over it. Barbie pulls his own gun, the two fight some more, and Mr. Julia ends up shot. And, you know, dead.

When Barbie wakes up, he asks Julia if she’s seen his dog tags (she hasn’t). In the flashback we see Barbie tossing down the dog tags somewhere; he obviously wants them back.

Of course, I still have no idea who Barbie works for, what Mr. Julia owed to Barbie, and why Barbie goes by Barbie. I suppose that means I’ll just have to stay tuned.

In another part of Chester’s Mill, Joe comes out of a house with his friend, Ben. (Remember, last week Joe had a seizure and was talking about stars. To quote Ben, they were pink stars. I…don’t even know.) Outside of the house, there are people digging in the yard, apparently trying to find out where the dome ends underground. (Hint: it doesn’t seem to end.) After Ben makes a quote about not having to write a trig exam, Joe realizes that he can use math (trigonometry, to be precise) to find out how big the dome is. Math geeks FTW!

Over at the radio station, our intrepid (and sole) DJs, Dodee and Phil, are trying to find other radio stations, signals, transmissions, etc. from outside the dome. They get intermittent transmissions, but can’t send anything out. The dome blocks all signals so that nothing gets out.

Outside the dome, the military is patrolling and have their own radio equipment. Julia sees this and heads directly to the radio station, where she hears a broadcast from the military. They refer to the barrier as a dome. Julia, in all her reporterness, immediately goes on the air and announces that Chester’s Mill is under a dome.

This was either smart or stupid, since Julia’s announcement, of course, leads the residents to panic. But on the plus side, the dome isn’t radioactive. Because yay! Also, we learn that the military doesn’t know what the dome’s made of, which means that they’re not responsible. The DJs and Julia to wonder who is responsible. (My vote’s for aliens. Just because.)

Now it’s time to check on our resident psychopath, Junior. He’s holding Angie captive in an underground bunker, because he saw her talking to Barbie and he assumed that the two are, I don’t know, Romeo and Juliet or something. (Bonus points for the prepper aspect, but minus bonus + regular points for being, you know, batshit crazy.)

When we first join Angie and Junior, she’s trying to call for help. Junior, annoyed, decides it would be much better to chain her to the bed. Because he wants her to get back to her normal self and get back to loving him, and obviously the best way to do that is to hold her in a bunker and chain her to a bed. (Oh wait…)

Since that works about as well as you’d think it does, Angie says that she never loved him and that she and Barbie had oodles of sex. Which does pretty much what you’d think it would, and Junior stomps off (presumably in search of Barbie).

He follows Barbie to the house/cabin/whatever where Barbie and Mr. Julia (Peter) had their fight. Junior, being Junior, mistakes the evidence of a fight as evidence of a night of sex. (Yeah, I don’t know.) Junior claims Angie as his, which leads to Barbie expressing his condolences on Angie’s behalf. Junior jumps Barbie (because of course he does), but because he’s Junior and is slightly insane with a possible superiority complex, he thinks he can take Barbie. Who’s an ex-military hit man or something. (Good job, Junior.)

Of course, Junior gets his ass kicked. Barbie tells Junior to stay away or next time he won’t stop. (I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see that fight.) Junior goes off to Angie and tells her he killed Barbie, and Angie’s all, “Yeah right, like THAT happened.”

Over in another part of town, we see our resident psychopath’s equally nutty father, Big Jim, talking to the coroner (and reverend) about police chief Duke Perkins and his role in whatever plot they’d hatched concerning all that propane. Big Jim isn’t pleased that Duke was starting to tell Linda, a fellow police officer and essentially his surrogate daughter, about their plot. He also isn’t pleased that Duke left his house and all his possessions to Linda in his will. (And if you remember from last week, Duke died after his pacemaker exploded out of his chest.) So Big Jim and Rev. Lester decide to clean up their mess.

Which apparently means “set things on fire!” At least to the reverend. (I guess Propane Plot would naturally lead to thoughts of fire? I don’t know.)

Okay, let me recap that part. Big Jim tells Rev. Lester to go to Duke’s house to find anything about the Propane Plot before Linda gets there because there’s nothing in Duke’s office. (The only other place Duke would’ve left this stuff was at home. Which now belongs to Linda.) So off goes the reverend. And, as Big Jim predicted, the invoice for the propane was taped under something. Rev. Lester then lights the document on fire…and then drops it in the trash can. As he leaves, he nudges the trash can with his foot, moving it directly under the curtains.

And that goes about as well as you’d think it would. The house goes up, with Rev. Lester trapped inside. Linda, our female police officer (the only one in Chester’s Mill, it seems) saves him. Afterward, she asks what exactly he was doing in Duke’s house. His reply: he was getting a suit for Duke’s body. (Yeah, even Big Jim didn’t look impressed — or convinced — with that excuse.)

So, basically, we’ve determined that Big Jim has incompetent help. Or something like that.

The fire spreads to the grass, fence, and surrounding area. Which is unfortunate because the fire department is trapped on the other side of the dome (we know this from last week). Crappy. So Barbie and the police officers organize a bucket brigade, which does basically nothing. The town is still in danger of turning into a bonfire when Big Jim shows up with a bulldozer. He tears the house down, which either a) puts out the fire, or b) allows the residents to get a better handle on putting out the fire with their bucket brigade; I’m not actually sure.

Well, I guess a bulldozer’s one way to put out a fire.

After the fire is put out and Rev. Lester is put in the ambulance, Big Jim and Linda thank the residents for their help and Big Jim gives a speech about sticking together and getting through anything.

And then we see Paul, one of the three remaining police officers, go nuts in public (he seemed to have been slowly losing it over the course of the episode, stocking up on rifles and whatnot). He’s convinced they’re all dead because they’re trapped in the dome and there’s no getting out. To prove his point (or to prove he’s insane, I’m not really sure), he pulls out his gun and shoots at the dome above him. The bullet ricochets off the dome (because OF COURSE the bullet does nothing to it) and hits his fellow officer, Freddie, instead. (Aside: Freddie is Linda’s fiance’s brother; the fiance, Rusty, is trapped outside the dome with the rest of the fire department.)

Barbie tackles Paul, takes his gun away, and points the gun at Paul instead. (Honestly, Barbie is a handy guy to have around. Lucky for Chester’s Mill he was busy burying Julia’s husband when the dome dropped, hey?) Freddie dies, thanks to Paul and his…um…Paul-ness.

And that leaves me still wondering who the hell Barbie is and where he came from, and what the hell is up with all that propane.

Under the Dome airs on CBS on Monday nights.

Under the Dome: Creepiness and…a dome

Under_the_Dome_title_screen
Source: Wikipedia

Okay, it’s summer (well, summer in TV Land, anyway), which means that there’s nothing on TV except reruns and reality shows. Let’s face it, TV’s basically boring as hell until the season starts again in the fall.
But! This summer, we get a treat — a summer series based on Stephen King’s novel Under the Dome, also called…Under the Dome. And I, your intrepid sci-fi geek, will recap the series for you (and possibly with you) weekly. The premiere episode aired on Monday, June 24, in the U.S. and Canada. Which means that if you haven’t yet watched the series premiere, you may want to skip this post until after you’ve seen it. Because there will be spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Overall, this show is creepy as hell. I’m not really sure why I’m surprised, because it’s based on a book by Stephen King. You know, the guy who wrote Carrie. And The Shining. And The Stand. But, creepy not withstanding, the first episode was really quite fascinating. (Maybe because I haven’t read the book? I should get on that…)
The episode opens with some guy — who we later learn goes by the name Barbie (seriously, what?) — digging a grave in the woods somewhere. I was immediately drawn in, because some dude digging a perfectly formed, rectangular grave by himself with his bare hands and a shovel deserves to be noticed. I’m just saying. We get a flash of the dead guy’s face before the tarp gets dropped into the grave. Which, I don’t know about you, made me ask a bunch of questions (which kind of annoyed my husband, come to think of it): Who is the dead guy? Why did Barbie kill him? What does Barbie do, exactly, that requires killing people in the middle of the woods outside of tiny towns? And why does Barbie go by the name Barbie and not by his first name, the perfectly respectable name of Dale?
Anyway. We’re then introduced to some other town residents, none of whom I could really keep straight in my head. (Honestly, in my notes I have “Who are these people?!“)
And THEN. There’s this earthquake thing and then the dome drops over the town, making a noise like someone dropping a glass into a bowl of water. Or possibly the sound of a wet-dry vacuum sucking up that container of juice your kids knocked over because they were running around the kitchen when they weren’t supposed to. Ahem.
And then we see the cow. The poor, harmless, bisected cow. We’re treated to a few closeups of it — possibly a few too many — which was gross and yet strangely fascinating at the same time. Also, why didn’t the cow have bones? (Or at least, I didn’t see any; maybe I just wasn’t paying attention since I was looking at the INSIDE OF A COW. A cow that happened to be in TWO PIECES.)
The centerpieces/antagonist of this show is The Dome. So what do we know about it?

  • It’s high: A plane crashes into it and and explodes, leaving only a purse and a leg as evidence that it had people on board. (The purse would’ve sufficed when making that point, really.)
  • It’s soundproof. Firefighters and Chester’s Mill police are trying to talk to each other through the dome but end up looking like mimes in uniform. The miming reporters are even more entertaining.
  • It’s electrified and sends off electrical signals that disrupt things that rely on electricity. But it might not be electrified and may not injure/maim/kill you if you keep touching it and/or throwing yourselves at it. (Go on, keep trying. I dare you.) Or, if you’re the police chief, you keep touching the dome over and over and over, even though you know it fucks up your pacemaker. And then your pacemaker launches out of your chest like something out of Aliens. (Can pacemakers do that?) BUT KEEP TOUCHING IT.
  • It’s strong like transparent titanium. We see a plane crash into it. We also see a truck smash into it head-on; afterward, the truck only had a cargo section left since the cab was completely obliterated. It can cut buildings in half. It can cut people in half. And, as we so plainly see, it can cut cows in half. Basically, this is not a thing you want to hit under any circumstances.
  • You can’t see it from the inside, but (based on the closing shot), you can actually see it from the outside. Well, you can see the outline of it, at least.

Now that the dome is in place, it’s like a giant fishbowl (so says Angie, one of the characters). Only the fish are human. So what do we know about the residents of Chester’s Mill?

  • For a small town, there are a lot of residents I can’t keep track of.
  • The councilman (Big Jim) looks sort of like the dude off The Commish, but actually turns out to be the dude off Breaking Bad.
  • Big Jim has Weird Tension with the police chief (he of the launching pacemaker). What IS the story behind the propane? Hmm…
  • The vampire lady off Twilight is now a reporter/editor. She is married to a doctor, who seems to have disappeared. Only he really hasn’t, because remember the dead guy in the opening scene? Yeah. (And the plot thickens…)
  • Big Jim’s son is Junior (Angie’s boyfriend/bed buddy), who seems like a total psychopath. So basically, this family’s just completely fucked up. In a really creepy way.

The show sounds interesting already, right? I mean, just the characters alone are pretty compelling. Throw in a giant, see-through, electrified dome and I am hooked. What was even more interesting (to me, anyway) was that whenever someone had a seizure (and it’s not established if these characters have a history of seizures), they would say, “The stars are falling in lines.” The stars are falling in lines? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Maybe this guy was right all along, and it all comes back to aliens!
Or, I don’t know. It’s based on a Stephen King novel, after all.
So, I have to say, this show looks interesting. I mean, it’s creepy to begin with, and with everyone cut off from the outside world, people are bound to get creepier. Or Junior will completely lose his shit and kill everyone in town. I don’t know, it’s hard to say.
Is Under the Dome a science fiction-y show? No, not really. Honestly, it almost seems like a character study to me.
But on the other hand, it also strikes me as a great (albeit fictional) case study for a post-apocalyptic situation. Okay, so a giant dome isn’t really an apocalypse, but for the people of Chester’s Mill, it could be. They’re cut off from the rest of the world, they can’t get in or out, they can’t get supplies into the town, people will start panicking pretty soon (probably), a psychopath is running around the same town as a guy named Barbie (who kills people in the woods)… Sounds pretty post-apocalyptic to me.
Personally, I’m curious to see where this will go.
Stay tuned for next week’s recap!