Thursday, July 25, 2013

Under the Dome, Season 1, Episode 5: Blue on Blue

Norrie and Joe (now living together) test their weird apparently Dome-received messages and they find an entire wall of the Dome covered in monarch butterflies.  Barbie staggers out of his car (since Julia won’t let him stay at her house due to him being a violent debt collector out to break her husband’s legs) and joins them staring at the butterflies. Past them they see a soldier – who actually acknowledges their existence rather than ignoring them like the past soldiers. And buses loaded with relatives of people stuck under the Dome.

Julia passes the news across the radio that the military will let them visit their loved ones at a designated time at the edge of the Dome (apparently the general public showing up anywhere around the Dome is still forbidden).

At the shelter, it looks like Jim left Angie in all night. She asks him to let her go but he’s having trouble absorbing that his son captured her and has been keeping her there. He decides to leave her down there so he can “think about things”. Uh-huh, and there he goes down the moral precipice of no return. And when he leaves the house he runs into the Rev. Coggins, like some kind of karmic punishment who tells Jim god has spoken to him and said “Moab”.

God could do to be a bit more talkative and informative. I reckon Coggins was doing a crossword and got to “place in Jordan, beginning with M” and the dome got frustrated.

Anyway, Moab, Coggins explains waving his bible, was a wicked, naughty place just like Chester’s Mill! Chester’s Mill’s in the middle of nowhere Maine – after 4 episodes I think it’s far far too dull to be all that wicked and naughty. Jim isn’t impressed and Coggins continues to get the word of god in his hearing aid.

Jim goes back inside and starts agonising over a picture of young Junior, before his kidnapping days, when Junior himself comes in, in police uniform to tell him about the visiting. Rather than address the kidnapped Angie in the shelter, Jim instantly thinks about crowd control and how Linda can’t handle it – and in a complete migraine moment, authorises Junior to recruit more officers. He’s so desperate to undercut Linda and seize power that he’s going to increase the power of his kidnapper son? Whatever guilt he feels about it is dealt with by yelling at Junior for not rushing off to increase his power base faster.

At the Dome people start arriving and Linda recruits Barbie to help crowd control (2 recruits – 1 obsessive stalker who has kidnapped and imprisoned Angie, the other a bookie’s enforcer who murdered your local doctor. Whatever your talents Linda, you are an AWFUL judge of character). She warns everyone to stay back since it blows up batteries – then she touches the dome and even kisses her husband through the Dome.

At the radio station, Julia and Phil hear random numbers from the military but no idea what they mean – and he asks Phil if maybe her husband will come to see her, even if he has run from Barbie and his gambling debts. Phil dodges around it and thinks it’s possible (nope, he’s dead and buried). They hear over the radio that the news is being allowed to report on the families visiting

At the Dome, Linda’s fiance holds up a tablet (do batteries only break on the inside of the Dome?) and apparently a network wants to do a reality show of them. Joe looks for Angie and is confused that she hasn’t shown up with the rest of Chester’s Mill. And Norrie sees someone claiming to be her dad, despite her mum saying she had an anonymous donor.

Coggins shows up to tell everyone they’re sinners, as you do. Jim tries to silence him and they argue – Coggins wants to confess, he blames them for letting drug dealers use Chester’s Mill to make drugs even though they didn’t sell it there. Coggins demands that Jim confess his sins – or he’s going to expose him

Well, Coggins may as well have carved his own gravestone.

At the Dome, Linda tells her fiancé that his brother is dead and he walks away without saying goodbye. Alice and Carolyn arrive to see Norrie talking to her father; Norrie is furious at them for lying and telling her her records were sealed and Alice is blazing at Mike, the man, for never caring about his daughter until the cameras entered the picture. Julia hasn’t seen her husband and has a little reconciliation with Barbie since she doesn’t blame him for her husband’s decisions – and she sees her sister-in-law. It seems her hubby sent his sister a letter telling Julia sorry and move on. Wow, the man was going to run out on her and sent his Dear John letter to his sister to deliver? Ms. Manners must disapprove of that.

Barbie stops a woman touching the Dome who is overwhelmed by her estranged son coming back to see her. Of course, Junior takes the opportunity of his uniform to order Barbie away. Joe catches up with Norrie who angrily denies Mike is her dad – just a creep who wants to be on TV. They’re joined by Ben who learned from some of the strangers that US and China nearly went to war over the Dome, China assuming the US had built a super weapon.

Barbie notices Dodee talking to someone through the Dome using sign language and asks her if she can read lips as well – she can (I didn’t think Dodee was deaf… if she isn’t deaf why would knowing sign language be linked to lip reading?). Barbie shows a medallion from his old unit to one of the soldiers, apparently it’s very impressive. He learns that all the soldiers are pulling out – and once they leave they won’t be coming back – orders they got after the butterflies appearded. Hearing about the butterflies Dodee thinks that the Dome could be altering electromagnetic fields that insects use to navigate. Barbie thinks that’s worrying – because that means the Dome is affecting things outside the Dome and the government isn’t going to put up with that. He also remembers Rev. Coggin’s rantings. Apparently the not-so-good reverend is managing to pick up signals with his hearing aids that takes the radio station massive amounts of equipment to manage. That’s inefficient. But Moab is actually Mother Of All Bombs – biggest non-nuclear bomb there is; destroying the Dome and everything inside it as well.

Visiting time wasn’t about seeing families, it was about saying goodbye to families.

Dodee rushes to tell Jim, Julia, Linda and Linda tells them about the random numbers she heard – they have a time. 1:15pm. They plan to evacuate the town to the old cement tunnels that Junior investigated

To the Diner! Where Joe is still looking for Angie and Julia spreads the word over the radio for everyone to get to the cement works.

At the shelter, Jim goers down and frees Angie from her chain. He talks despairingly about Junior, sounding sad, contrite and broken. He tells Angie she can go. He’s motivated by the thought they could all die – she may as well die free. Angie runs for freedom

Jim out and sees Junior – and tells him he freed Angie. Jim tries to talk to him about it, and going to the tunnels – but Junior drives off in his car to Joe’s house. It’s deserted and he’s there waiting when Angie arrives, looking for Joe. He has a gun. He reveals the bomb is going to hit and apologises, again saying he wants Angie to “get better”. She holds him, wary eyes planning (there’s some good acting).

Julia has better priorities, she gets a bottle of booze and puts a picture of her husband face down. She joins Barbie down in the tunnels and Barbie tells them his war history in Iraq – including a moment of friendly fire in Iraq.

Dodee and Phil stay way too late at the radio station to prepare the last music anyone will hear – Phil doesn’t think the tunnels will save them from weapons of mass destruction. When Phil gets down in the tunnels, Barbie gives Phil back his grandfather’s watch which he apparently gave Barbie to pay a gambling debt. Then he and Julia get to bond (with extra awkward “where’s my husband do you think?” moments). In that moment of sharing before death, he almost confesses to killing her husband, Pete. But Carolyn and Alice run into the room, looking for Norrie who has disappeared along with Joe. They try to leave and go look for her but Junior’s assistants stop them which Alice and Carolyn have zero time for. While they argue, Julia and Barbie sneak out the back.

Norrie and Joe are looking for Angie. Joe tries to get Norrie to go back to the shelter with her family, but she won’t abandon her friend. The music plays on. Dodee and Phil dance. Outside, Linda examines graffiti of couples in love, presumably she and her fiancé are among them, Angie holds Junior’s head in her lap. Everyone huddles together.

As the bomb drops, Norrie and Joe kiss.

The bomb hits the Dome… and it doesn’t break.

Julia and Barbie go to the edge of the Dome. It’s still there – outside is a ruined wasteland. Jim goes to another section of the Dome and finds the same thing – he’s joined by Coggins. He thinks god saved the town because he repented. He’s a bit of an ego-maniac isn’t he? You’d think there’d be a lot more explosions and wastelands if a little drug dealing caused the wrath of god. He wants Jim to do the same – Jim pushes the reverend’s head against the Dome, his hearing aid explodes in contact with it, killing him and leaving a streak of blood on the Dome.

That was a pretty heavy issue with a lot of character development. Jim still stands on a precipice – he’s now willing to kill to keep his power and he was certainly considering leaving Angie in the shelter to protect Junior – and his position. I think as the season progresses we’re going to see Jim go further down the spiral – which leaves the question of what will happen to Angie, Linda, Julia and Barbie – and even Junior – who are most likely to threaten his sense of superiority.

I do like that, even when Norrie was furious with her mums, she was equally affirming of her family; Mike’s appearance didn’t prompt a sudden “oh daddy, at last my life is now complete!” response

I want to see more of Dodee and Phil, I like them together.

I think a lot of this episode rested on the tension of the MOAB which we knew wouldn’t work so it didn’t quite work for me. It’s episode 5, we know the Dome isn’t coming down, so everyone running around “GET TO THE SHELTER” didn’t create much tension. It didn’t help that everyone and anyone decided to go walking around outside.