Saturday, August 3, 2013

Under the Dome, Season 1, Episode 6: the Endless Thirst

At the edge of the Dome people gather to see the utter devastation wrought by the bomb outside – that failed to do anything to the Dome. Norrie meets up with her parents and they leave with Joe as the crowd gets tense, Linda tells Jim about the Rev’s death (not realising Jim killed Coggins) and the bystanders start to voice their worries – shortages happening, people dying and Jim’s authority being questioned. With the Dome now seeming impregnable, Julia worries about them running out of everything. Since Linda can’t find her deputies – or Junior – she gives a badge to Barbie to fill in. Barbie agrees to help – but doesn’t want a badge.

As Alice, Carolyn, Norrie and Joe drive Alice suddenly asks Carolyn to stop the car. She jumps out, hot and confused – and asks when their flight to LA is. Completely unaware of what she’s doing, she walks out into traffic and is nearly hit by a huge truck, it swerves around her and crashes into the water tower. They run over and free the driver from the truck. Linda and Barbie arrive to get the driver to safety and confirm the water tower is broken and they go to check Lake Eastpoint, the main source of water for the town. Alice is sick and confused because she ran out of insulin during the panic over the bomb.

They go to the town clinic, but between Rev Coggin’s destroying the drugs and the town’s usual complement of diabetics, there’s no insulin left. In desperation, Norrie plans to steal insulin from other diabetics to save Alice.

At the radio station, Julia and Phil can’t hear anything except a high pitched whine, the same noise Linda’s police radio made. It’s blocking out all other signals but it’s so strong Phil predicts it must be inside the Dome, not far away – Julia suggests looking for it but Dodee already has it well in hands (really, Julia dropping in on the radio station  and throwing her weight around the competent Phil and Dodee is more than a little silly). Dodee is using a techy thing to find the signal and adds that it started as the missile hit. Julia drives while Dodee directs her – but the signal starts moving

Linda and Barbie head to the lake, talk relationships and Linda assumes Barbie and Julia are an item since there’s strong chemistry behind them – and when they arrive at the lake they find a whole lot of dead fish. They return to Jim with the news – the lake water has been polluted with methane released by the Dome’s appearance. That leads one source of water (unless rain can form under the Dome), the artesian wells that dot the territory including one still flowing on a man called Ollie’s land – a man who was heckling Jim in the crowd earlier.

Angie is still imprisoned by the creepy Junior who talks about looking after her again. She deals with this by hitting him on the head with a snowglobe and making a run for it. She runs through the woods and Junior goes to his dad for help finding her - Junior actually stands up to his dad for once (on this of all things) and blames Jim for letting her go in the first place - but Jim demands Junior find her for fear of her telling the town Junior’s a depraved kidnapper.

Well, if it were ever in doubt, there goes any semblance of Jim’s morality

Jim goes to see Ollie who is not exactly overflowing with charity and holds a 15 year grudge. But Jim has propane – which Ollie desperately needs – to trade, though Ollie does find it a little suspicious that Jim would have so much of what the town would be so short of.

Linda cools down a budding riot at the store as the shop owner is less willing to take cash which is becoming useless and news of the lake being contaminated is spreading more worry and panic. She relies on their goodness to hold them together – but also tries to give Barbie a gun, which he thinks is a really bad idea given how scared everyone is.

With panic acquisition going on at the shop, Linda and Barbie set to work trying to calm people down – and Linda grabs Junior as he passes, looking for Angie, and sets him to work as well. The crowd becomes more and more agitated and loud – and Angie joins it out of the woods. But when she sees Junior (and he sees her) she turns and runs – though I think the crowd would be safer.

Angie runs to the diner and tells Rose about Junior and Jim kidnapping her and holding her. Rose comforts her but Angie doesn’t know if anyone will believe her – Junior is a cop and Jim the councilman. Rose promises to help Angie

At the shop, order dissolves and full scale looting breaks out and when he rescues a woman from a choke hold, her attacker punches Barbie – and Barbie loses it, chasing him from the shop down the road and attacking the man. It takes Linda to bring him back to his senses. Linda resorts to some old riot gear left in the police station – but the tear gas is 10 years old and no longer effective.

Looters also attack the diner – knocking Angie out and hitting Rose with a baseball bat. While Angie is unconscious (I think Rose may be dead), one of the looters watches the door while the other advances on her to, it’s heavily implied, rape her.

Jim takes his propane to Ollie, and Ollie calls it the “first shipment”. Jim threatens to seize the well and Ollie threatens to shoot Jim, making it clear that he doesn’t give a damn what kind of legal paperwork Jim scrounges up (apparently Jim has a reputation for bending the rules and the law to suit himself)

Meanwhile, Norrie and Joe are housebreaking for insulin (albeit highly reluctantly in Joe’s case) but the man, Ray Garcia, has already used his supply as well. At the next house they find the diabetic is a little boy. They leave and run into Dodee and Julia still looking for the signal. Dodee realises the signal is coming from Norie and Joe. They talk and Joe and Norrie tell them about their seizures and show them the video of their last seizure.

In town the outright riots continue, with Linda and Barbie unable to stop them – and Barbie notices the man keeping watch on the Diner. He charges in – seeing Rose lying in a pool of blood and Angie unconscious he beats down the attempted rapist and only keeps himself from strangling the man when he flashes back to killing Dr. Shumway (Julia’s husband). Barbie runs out and tells Linda that Rose is dead and plans to hurry Angie to the clinic. But the tires on the police car have been slashed and another man is being beaten – Linda takes out her gun, points it…

And it starts to rain. Everyone calms down and starts celebrating – it can rain inside the Dome. Jim shows up and celebrates with everyone, almost seeming to accept praise for it. Since Jim’s car works, Barbie rushes Angie to him so they can get a lift to the clinic. Barbie tells Jim about Rose – Jim and Rose seemed to have a budding relationship in the past. Jim’s face sets to rage and he tells Linda and Barbie to find Rose’s murderers while he drives off with Angie.

Julia, Dodee, Norrie and Joe go to the Dome edge – it’s bone dry outside much to Julia’s confusion which allows Dodee to explain micro-climates and how the water from the lake evaporates but is trapped by the Dome. The evaporation will also filter the methane out of the poisoned lake. Norries touches the Dome and Joe touches her hand – and all the radios start working again. Well and truly freaked out, Norrie returns to the clinic with Joe, refusing the offer of a lift.

Julia starts thinking – first pointing out the bleeding obvious – then saying that the Dome protected them from the missile strike – and when they needed water, it suddenly started raining. She doesn’t think it’s a coincidence – the Dome is helping or reassuring them. Dodee doesn’t buy it and thinks they need to tell Jim about the kids, but Julia disagrees and thinks if word gets out there’ll be a witch hunt for the kids (I agree) and Dodee agrees to keep silent. For now.

At the clinic, Norrie gives Carolyn the one vial of insulin she kept – Carolyn reassures her that at least Alice is better for now. Julia finds Barbie walking in the pouring rain so they can have a sexual tension moment, when a reassuring hug turns into something more and they kiss. (Hey, is now a good time to mention I killed your husband?)

Angie wakes up at Jims and tries to tell him Rose needs help – and Jim gives her the bad news. Jim reassures Angie she can leave whenever she wants – but he’d like to make an arrangement with her. He says he always knew Junior was “off” since his mother died (oooh ploy for sympathy). He promises her that Junior will never touch her again – and offers to help her as she needs it with the necessities that count in town these days – so long as she keeps her mouth closed. She counters that she wants Joe to be looked after as well. And Junior arrives

I’m becoming wary of this show, especially since it’s been renewed for a second season. I’m bemused, exactly how many “random shit happens – WITH DOME!” storylines can you have? And I feel there’s a lot of convoluted elements being introduced – like the water tower being hit, Coggins deciding to burn the drugs so there was a reasonable semblance of a shortage in a short period of time, the police officer losing his ever loving mind on the second day, the fire brigade being at a parade when the Dome first appeared along with all the town’s doctors, the random meningitis outbreak, the lake being polluted by an inconvenient methane pocket – that strain credibility.

Unless they turn up something like a master mind introducing random elements to see how they react like some kind of twisted science experiment, I don’t accept that ALL of these random events that make the Dome a story of tension and drama rather than slow gnawing worry can be just chance based. It’s all happening too quickly. I would much rather Julia’s theory be right – that there is some kind of force manipulating events to cause these things to happen.

And if they are then it’s only going to get worse as we get more and more random weird shit happening, UNDER A DOME, to give some semblance of ongoing plot to back up the character development.

Can we actually have a role for Angie beyond being the eternal victim? It’s getting disturbing now. But while Jim’s offer is a classic, vile rich, influential person buying off a victim (even if he is rich in unconventional means now) I can understand Angie thinking about it – and smartly haggling – especially since under the Dome she has little guarantee of anything resembling a justice system taking care of Junior or, as she previously said, anyone believing her.