Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Under the Dome, Season 2, Episode 4: Revelation

Jim looks through the census information while Rebecca harries him to pick people to kill already! She’s raring for this genocide (remember, again, the Dome has been around for 3 weeks at most but mass death is needed now!)  Even more fun, Jim hopes the Dome will guide him in making this decision

Yes, who lives and who dies in Chester’s Mill will be decided by YAY!GENOCIDE Rebecca and Jim looking for signs from a Dome that randomly does things for funsies. The leaders of Chester’s Mill, everyone – maybe the Dome is in place to protect the rest of us from the intelligence deficit within.

Rebecca is still massively Praise Jim the Saviour but still steals a card from his wallet

Barbie himself isn’t a big fan and asks Jim about it (Jim objects to his extermination plan being called an extermination plan because it sounds bad). Barbie wants a veto power – that the mass death plan is only implemented if both of them agree. Well I’m sure it’s reassuring to those killed that Barbie and Jim agreed on it!

Lyle, in prison, is preaching to himself apparently. James shows up to release him because his mother said Lyle had answers but also because James does terrible things (though the show seems to forget this).

When James takes Lyle to his barber shop he reveals that Pauline (James’s mother) faked her own suicide and got out because she may have known the Dome was coming. James questions the niceness of a person who would leave her son alone not just with Jim but also with the Dome coming; especially since it meant he attended his own mother’s funeral. She also sent a load of postcards documenting everything that was going to happen under the Dome (hey skip ahead! Never mind stuff that has already happened!). Unfortunately the cards end with the burning rain – which is what Lyle took to be the rapture. I mean, lack of pictures = end of the world. We can see his logical progression here… yeah.

They go to search Sam’s house for Pauline’s journal and the two men-who-need-to-die squabble and Lyle clubs James unconscious and runs with the journal.

To a random farm – we have a sick piglet so naturally the farmer calls in Rebecca. Seriously? Ok, I can accept that there are no vets at all under the Dome, but an experienced farmer is going to know far more about piggy diseases than a high school teacher! The pig has died from contagious swine flu, time for a new panic – we’ve found the random Dome threat of the week. More ridiculously – Rebecca is careful to mask up when entering the sty and taking a blood sample from the dead pig then, while standing over it, in the sty, she takes her mask off so she can say something dramatic.

Julia goes to Sam (because we’re forcing this damn love triangle come what may!) to get his help on the anti-genocide plan since Barbie has abandoned her. They decide to go search Rebecca’s house, finding sciency stuff, a whole lot of organising and a leaflet for a prayer group. They also find lots of information about pigs.

At the lab Jim catches up with Rebecca in the lab to demand why she stole his keycard – she’s injecting swine flu into eggs as part of her genocide programme.  She’s mixing swine flu with normal flu (why does this tow have a lab with flu samples?) to create a plague that can kill a quarter of the town. Because that’s totally a good idea – there’s not enough going on under the Dome, we need some biological weapons added to the mix. See, her logic is you release the plague and only the strong will survive it, everyone else will die – solution!  Jim hates the idea because he could be at risk as well!

Rebecca is adamant – they will be out of food in 7 days

Julia and Sam go to the farms to see what nefarious plot Rebecca is up to – and Julia decides it can’t be an inventory of resources because Rebecca is evil and doused Lyle with acid rain! Oh how evil, how could she fight against the man who kidnapped her, tortured her and threatened to kill her? The very idea! Anyway then find that the pig farm Rebecca visited now has lots of sick pigs - because the pig farmer decided to take a science teacher’s word that there was nothing to worry about a pig with a contagious disease in among the others? How could Rebecca not have known it was contagious!? Her whole plague plan RELIES on it being contagious! She’s so concerned about the food supply that she’d let all these pigs die?!

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, this show just makes me want to swear at the screen!

Anyway, Julia and Sam have decided Rebecca is using the pig virus for genocide – because LOGICAL LEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP and that Rebecca doesn’t actually realise how strong the virus is (because she has no way of knowing).

As Jim prepares to slaughter half the town he compares the decision to his decision not to force his wife into a mental institution which would have prevented her committing suicide. Rebecca shares her own experience of her mother dying and not knowing why – so she turned to science to learn (and then kill lots more people).

Norrie, Joe and Melanie do some random thinking about what it means that Melanie is around when Barbie joins them (they’re waiting for Julia). They decide not to tell him about the unaging Melanie with the amnesia and instead show him the email they received (I would laugh so hard if all they got was spam. Even under the Dome, the spambots will find you!) MOOOOAR product placement.

Unfortunately when they get to the creepy locker, Melanie opens it because she hasn’t quite grasped the concept of keeping something secret so now Barbie is part of the big secret. To find out more they go looking at records on microfiche because all those handy computerised records are gone. Apparently. But at least we’re in the town that keeps school locker numbers the same and recorded for 30 years!

They find a newspaper story about Melanie disappearing in 1988 – and that her family had only arrived in town recently (she wasn’t in the 87 yearbook). And she’s from the same town as Barbie. Barbie keeps playing the “no she can’t be Melanie, this is impossible” game which is just silly when you consider what the dome throws at them every week. An unaging girl from the 80s is pretty small fry.

They go to her old house but she doesn’t feel anything or remember anything – she does hold Joe’s hand though. Oh yay a love triangle! Just what we need! Norrie isn’t a fan of this but also notices Julia and Barbie are on the outs. Personal talk interrupted (thankfully) by tearing the wallpaper and finding that Melanie used to paint pink stars on the walls – which she saw falling out of her window (isn’t a teenager a bit old to be drawing on the walls?) She saw the stars falling where they found the Minidome (hey remember that?)

They go there and Melanie remembers going to that spot to find the pink stars  - and she went with Pauline (James’s mother), Sam and Lyle. Sam was her boyfriend. She tests her memory again – they found a meteorite (ALIENS!) They all touched it and got the same glowy palms that James, Angie, Joe and Norrie got with the Minidome. It cracked open and there was an egg inside – that Melanie picked up. She ran with it and one of the others pushed her – she fell into the crater and hit her head on the meteorite, dying. The glowing egg stopped glowing she didn’t see who pushed her – only knew it wasn’t Pauline.

Barbie digs up the shell of the meteorite – and Melanie’s necklace. Barbie believes (Melanie: “if I died… what am I?” A ZOMBIE!!!! C’mon Norrie she fed you that line). Barbie also realises that Sam was lying when he said he didn’t know Melanie.

Be fair, I’m sure if your average 40 year old saw someone who looked just like a 16 year old friend, they wouldn’t connect the two either. You wouldn’t expect them to say “upon my word, it’s my unaging ex-from when I was a teenager, how truly odd!”

Jim goes to the diner (Phil remind us he’s still alive) filled with people and picks up one of the large jugs of water (the plague must be mixed with water for maximum exposure of this air based virus) when Julia and Sam arrive and confront him in front of everyone about the virus. He throws his credibility at them but the town folk hold back. They pull the vial out of his pocket but Rebecca has the virus

Rebecca is at the church putting the virus in the baptismal water which people have a habit of dipping their fingers in and crossing themselves with. She overhears the farmer randomly complaining about his pigs being dead and sees baby Alice.

Julia pushes her to the ground when she leaves and Rebecca protests that she didn’t ACTUALLY go through with the genocide. Oh well, that’s ok.

Sam and Phil put Jim in prison and while Sam and Jim argue, Julia brings in Rebecca so Jim can then be all shocked that Rebecca USED him and was going to unleash the virus without him (because, y’know, people advocating genocide are totally trustworthy). Rebecca’s all sad about not being able to play god. Julia plans a trial for them but Jim mocks her that Barbie was on board with the virus

Not as I recall, he wasn’t.

Barbie, Melanie, Joe and Norrie arrive at Sam’s place to find Junior unconscious who tells them about Lyle.

Sam and Julia return to her house for more bonding – and Barbie knocks on the door. She says “no” and closes it (that is an AWESOME response) and refuses to listen to him, not tonight. Sam thinks this is a great chance to make his move and kiss her goodbye and she pushes him back. She says no but offers to let him stay so they can discuss what to tell the town. As she turns away he checks some big scratches on his shoulder. Which, by the dramatic music, I assume are defensive wounds.

I’ll leave off for a moment the idea that Rebecca is able to cook up weaponised flu in this lab that happens to be lying around in Chester’s Mill because it pales next to the awfulness of her plan. Even putting aside the whole horrendous monstrosity of deciding a quarter of the population need to die (after 3 weeks under the Dome! Honestly if this woman got stuck in traffic before the Dome she was probably planning how many drivers she needed to kill) but unleashing a plague is not something that can be predicted or controlled. They will spend resources fighting it, that’s natural. Even those who survive will be ill – possibly with long term effects and certainly with short term debilitation; and she has no way of predicting how many people will actually die from it. Especially since this is Influenza which CAN KILL ANYONE no matter how healthy you are, flu can cause pneumonia. And it’s the FLU. It mutated? Well that’s what flu DOES, it’s why it’s so damn hard to vaccinate against the flu because there are 8 squillion versions mutating away.

This is…. mind boggling. And no, it’s not Darwin. No evolutionary theory includes the idea of a murdering science teacher unleashing biological weapons.

Also, again with the time line – not only because of her ludicrous apocalyptic scenario being considered so soon – but that they will run out of food in 7 days, 4 weeks after the Dome came down. Chester’s Mill only has a month worth of food? My kitchen has enough food to feed me for a month! And Chester’s Mill had a large amount of its population leave to go to a parade before the Dome came down (one of the points of season 1 was the lack of emergency personnel because of it). This place had at least one SHOP! It has a school with, presumably, stock for school dinners, a hospital with its own food store. It has FARMS. It has so many pig farms that Julia and Sam visited several. That single Sty alone had enough pork in it  to feed, what, a thousand people? There’s a lot of eating on a pig

I actually like Jim’s ridiculous analogy of making a touch choice to kill half the town and comparing it to him not making the choice to force his wife into a mental institution. Because, with what we know of Pauline, it shows the real choice – to escape Jim’s awful decisions and need to be in control you need to take extreme measures to escape him