Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Under the Dome, Season 2, Episode 6: In the Dark

At the school, Sam and Junior (yes I’m calling him Junior again, since his insistence on being called James lasted for 10 seconds) decide to explore the spooky tunnel of spookiness. Rebecca asks them to come back, to get help, to tell others where they’re going – all of these are sensible suggestions so, naturally, they ignore them.

At the diner, Barbie and Julia are all happy again, and Barbie heads out looking for Lyle and Sam since he’s not entirely sure Sam’s all that trustworthy either (especially because of his history with Melanie). Melanie’s sat in a corner of the diner all angsty and self-doubty so Julia tells her how she just has complete faith in the Dome telling her what to do – because if you can’t trust a strange alien force imprisoning you in rural New England, what can you trust?

Julia also wants to establish democracy again while Jim is convinced it’s his town, that voting is a bad idea because the people can’t be trusted and he should lead them because RAWR. When Julia doesn’t listen, Jim goes to tell Barbie in a rather vile “control your woman, damn you!” kind of way. But Barbie has finally found some sense, especially after Jim tried to blame the genocide plan on him, every time he has tried to work with Jim it has backfired. And adds that while Julia may be a fluffy hippy, he isn’t if Jim decides to cause problems. He then heads to the school called by Rebecca. We also have a hint of a new domey drama – the wind and dust picks up.

Joe and Norrie are fighting over Joe being all Melanie focused while Joe tries to use “I love you” as an actual answer.  He storms out when she says she doesn’t love him. Ah teenage drama – am I watching the CW? No? Right, move on please.

In the tunnel Sam tries to talk to James about how killing is bad and vengeance killing really bad (of course, ulterior motive there!). James isn’t impressed he’s already killed a guy who dared to touch the woman he claimed and kidnapped and he’s happy to hunt and kill again. Perhaps fortunately for Sam, this is when Barbie shows up. They walk on until they hit a booby trap which blows up the tunnel. In a series of three stooges attempts to rescue each other from falling rubble, Barbie and Sam get separated from Junior

Sam and Barbie are then trapped together with Pauline’s journal (which Barbie now knows about and sees as important). Junior calls help which means medical treatment from Rebecca and ranting between him and his father. They should fight, guns at dawn, and kill each other. This would be a good thing.  Anyway they have a new drama. The dust storm (caused by the acid blood rain) is flying everywhere and coating the inside of the Dome – the dome lets in air (apparently) and if it’s coated it won’t and then they’ll all suffocate (the land under the Dome includes a forest and lots of farm land – and a huge space – surely that will take a long time?)

Rebecca has ideas to fix it. Jim continues to be an arsehole because waaaah he should be in charge (and he kind of wants Sam and Barbie to stay lost) and Junior fills Julia in on the four hands thing – only thinking Lyle is the killer not Sam. Melanie and Junior decide to go to Joe and Norrie to help protect them in case Lyle gets out of the tunnels (which they guess are the old cement factory tunnels) and starts hunting (again, they assume Lyle is the killer).

Jim tries to rally the town around Rebecca’s idea, but even if the idea is good and the need important, very few people are willing to listen to him any more. That whole trying to kill everyone didn’t win him a big fan club. As the storm gets worse the town finally decides to help implement the anti dust windmill.

Melanie fills Junior in on the whole dying and coming back to life thing. There’s also a whole lot of flirting subtext going on. Which brings Norrie in snarling (because women must hate each other!) but quick to join them finding Joe when she hears Lyle may be hunting him. When they join up they all decide to play spunky detective in Angie’s name to find out what the Dome wants (Melanie seems to be a convert to Julia’s “all hail the Dome” cult).

They go out to the lake and put their magic hands together (Melanie is the new Angie. Though they protest that Angie isn’t replaceable while totally replacing her). The egg, in the water, glows.

After which Norrie and Joe have a moment in which Norrie accepts that Melanie isn’t the font of all evil. She also apologises to Joe which I’m less ok with. All four of them touch the newly retrieved egg and the room fills with falling pink stars. It also forms the image of an obelisk that Junior recognises from his dream and Melanie remembers from her home town (also Barbie’s home town, Zenith).

Sam and Barbie keep snarling back and forth, Barbie questioning Sam, Sam dodging but also providing pretty plausible answers and rescuing Barbie from falling into a giant pit (this town has huge chasms underground it seems). The snarling continues as they discuss the fact they’re past the Dome wall and that they both went different directions but still ended up meeting up. Sam does say what happened to Melanie back in the day – he blames Lyle. He also calls Melanie the love of his life and he’s one of the few people willing to say how awful the Dome is. They then have an angst moment, Sam about Melanie and Barbie about all the people he’s killed – tapping into Sam’s own murder guilt.

They seem to be burying the hatchet until Barbie sees the defensive injuries Sam has from killing Angie. Barbie confronts him and Sam confesses (though he still thinks Lyle is a murdering danger – which isn’t inaccurate) – because killing the four hands is necessary to bring the Dome down (I have to be honest, I’d be totally murdering Junior right now. But then that may not be because of the Dome per se). He intends to kill himself – or letting Barbie killing him – after he’s killed them all. Barbie doesn’t agree with this plan.

We get some more snarling with Rebecca and Julia (Rebecca also wants to focus on the storm which could be more important) as they discover that the tunnels (and vast chasm) under the  school are nothing to do with the cement factory. They decide to blow up the blockage using Rebecca’s science and while doing so Rebecca explains why she is so well informed and educated but just a high school teacher (she came home to look after her sick father). At least Rebecca isn’t team Jim any more. They blow up the blockage

In the tunnels Barbie and Sam hear the explosion while Barbie holds Sam at gun point. Sam gives Barbie the journal since he thinks Barbie will eventually do what has to be done. He keeps going on about pain and loss and being tired – before stepping back down the chasm.

Julie finds Barbie and she learns Sam is dead. Meanwhile Jim points out the the newly appreciative detractors that Julia has disappeared.

Ok, stuff that was good – reconciliation. I am glad to see an end to the Julia vs Rebecca and the Sam vs Barbie and the Norrie vs Melanie battles. It also kills all the love triangles as well.

I don’t think Norrie was particularly unfair to Joe, but at the same time I can see the context of the apology the way she framed it – both teens are still grieving after all. I think one of the flaws of this show is that it has completely neglected to show that. 2 weeks since the Dome came down. Norrie lost one of her mothers, Joe lost his sister and, effectively, his parents – but their loss has rarely been given the power or impact it deserves

Melanie is such an Angie replacement it’s rather nauseating. Not just the extra hand, but it feels like by killing off Angie and replacing her with Melanie they could reboot Junior’s love interest and pretend the whole kidnapping thing never happened – something they’ve been trying to do for a long time.

And I hate Jim’s redemption. Julia is an awful leader – yes it was grossly ridiculous for her to ignore the entire town this way after assuming the mantle of leadership just last week. Why did she even try to take charge if she was going to drop it so quickly. But equally, it is ridiculous for anyone to think ”oh, he built a windmill, guess we can get over that whole attempted genocide”.

Carolyn and Phil have both fallen into the plot box. You’d think with Phil’s injury and Carolyn’s daughter apparently being hunted by a murderer, they would have been involved in some way but, no, apparently not.