Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Under the Dome, Season 2, Episode 11: Black Ice

Zenith now has a glowing purple egg in the middle of the playground – and lots of guys in haz-mat suits. The egg does not want to move and keeps having glowy tantrums

Which, in the dome, is causing Melanie immense, screaming pain. Sam and Junior rush her to the school where Rebecca has set up a triage centre because throwing the egg down the chasm also caused an Earthquake.

Can we agree that Jim needs to be pelted with angry badgers now? Please?

Jim takes Pauline to the school and he’s sure he’s done the right thing because he’s awesome even while Pauline is not happy and is telling Jim just how very wrong he is about everything. Which is when Julia and Barbie confront Jim on his kidnapping of teenagers and Barbie tells Jim about the whole passage being closed off and how Jim has ruined it for everyone. Jim stomps off and Rebecca drops in for some practicality – she needs help with the injured and it’s also getting super-duper cold. Barbie hasn’t finished pouting yet so he leaves Rebecca, Julia and Pauline to get shit down.

Norrie and Joe have picked up Hunter as a sidekick (and we’re reminded of how very very cold it’s suddenly become) to check of the egg being gone has stopped the dome. The Dome is still there – only not it’s frozen solid and Joe’s hand sticks to it (probably from woo-woo not cold). More concerning, the Dome is also sinking into the ground – they get Joe’s hand free by ripping off a layer of skin – but since his handprint is then dragged below the concrete, that’s probably a worthy exchange. Personally, the handprint sinking wouldn’t catch my attention – I’d be looking up.

They return to the clinic and see Melanie and all the injured and Norrie has a case of the guilts for dropping the egg – Barbie, rightly, blames Jim (who needs to be pelted with badgers). Joe also tells Rebecca about the Dome – it’s not coming down, it’s revolving, the whole sphere turning – which is also why it’s so cold and going to get even colder. Rebecca is also looking at their generator situation – which is low. They also worry that it’s going to get so cold the food stores will freeze

Julia and Barbie go to grab food but Barbie is now in a full on dudgeon, feeling all the despair about surviving under the dome (likely exacerbated by him having escaped and now stuck back in again). To further improve his mood (or possibly the Dome saying “stop whining!”), the ambulance they’re driving slips on the ice – one crash later and Julia is thrown around and has her leg impaled on something (and when using the word “impaled” it doesn’t really matter what that something is). Also the radio is broken and they can hardly walk for help because of the Death Cold.

Then they run out of fuel so the ambulance heater packs in – which means we have the standard “leave me to die” “no true love says our corpses should freeze together!” They snuggle by a candle heat – until the window freezes and shatters (Julia was beginning to sound hopeful, the Dome is not impressed by this hope). Another round of Julia trying to convince Barbie to leave her before Barbie realises hypothermia may mean Julia won’t bleed to death if they free her from the impaling thing. Which means they actually uncover Julia so she gets even colder. Once she passes out, Barbie frees her and carries her off.

Jim tries to make up with Pauline and she excellently calls out his narcissism, adding in how much she really doesn’t love him. After which she takes over from Junior at Melanie’s bedside (Junior now playing doting love interest which is still exceedingly creepy). Allowing the old friends to all reminisce about the whole weirdness. Pauline also seems to be buying into the idea that the Dome means nothing but good for Melanie.

Jim tries to convince Junior to convince Pauline that Jim’s a nice guy – Junior points out he actually knew Pauline was alive a week ago and didn’t tell Jim; in what universe does he think Junior wants them back together. He’s also not happy with Jim for the whole cutting off the outside world thing; Jim’s attempt to defend himself also reveals he’s responsible for the earthquake and Melanie collapsing. Can we throw angry badgers at him now?

As Pauline promises Melanie she’s going to stay with her this time, Melanie starts choking and then passes out. Junior accurately guesses there’s some shenanigans going on with the egg.

Speaking of, Hunter (who has frostbite), asks Joe and Norrie why the Dome doesn’t move when the power source moves, also why the egg fries anyone who touches it but them. Joe pretends these are deeply suspicious questions rather than really natural questions any sensible person would ask.

Suspicion interrupted by a random extra freezing to death (we have the most half-assed and quickly abandoned CPR ever). Then the generators pack in, plunging them all into darkness. They’re out of fuel. Rebecca arranges people to keep warm and Jim goes to get fuel from boats on the lake

But only temporary, as soon as Joe’s alone with Hunter’s bag he searches it, finds his phone – and a series of emails that look like Hunter is actually a mole tracking where the entrance into the Dome is, looking for the power source etc.  All sent to Don, Barbie’s evil dad. Also a book of signs he clearly used to communicate through the Dome wall (and likely why he has frostbite). While Joe is being all suspicious, that leaves Hunter to comfort Norrie who is feeling massively guilty over dropping the egg in the ravine. In her grief she reveals to Hunter that the people in Zenith have no chance of figuring the egg out because only a few people can touch the egg – and they’re all in the Dome.

Jim gets to the lake – and Lyle is there, in the water, asking for help. Yes, he did make it through – eventually. Jim looks at the freezing cold water and after a moment’s consideration, throws the man a rope. Lyle starts babbling about the world on fire and waves of thousand foot flames consuming everything; he’s decided the end is coming.

Jim gets Lyle to the school and Barbie gets Julia to the diner and performs CPR (enthusiastically this time) in front of the gas oven. We have a dramatic “will she live” moment when we all know she will. And lo, she does.

Morning comes round but also some other random shenanigans which mean it’s getting warmer. Jim has saved Lyle which means Pauline’s all fuzzy towards him – Nooooo! Get your throwing badgers, damn it!

Norrie and Joe follow Hunter and see him communicating through the Dome – but Hunter’s latest message is “stop examining the egg, potential catastrophic effect for Zenith”. Doesn’t change the fact he’s a mole. It’s a lie though – one he’s told the bad guys to save Melanie; he only works for the bad guys because they are holding his criminal record over him.

Then the Dome makes a horrible noise – and Melanie suddenly wakes up saying “it’s starting”. That doesn’t sound good.

Norrie touches the Dome (just use a fingertip or an elbow! Joe nearly lost an arm doing that!). The Dome isn’t spinning any more. Now the Dome is shrinking. Naturally this is very very bad.

I would snark about no-one thinking to reserve fuel for the generators (how often do we see people driving around for no apparent reason?) when they were considering all the possible shortages (including a food supply that was running out in a fortnight) - but wasn’t the whole thing about Chester’s Mill that it had vast tons of fuel stored because of Jim and the Reverend’s drug business? Wasn’t it one those semi-abandonned mysteries that implied the town was actually ready for the Dome? Are we just pretending canon doesn’t exist? Or are the generators just wearing out? In which case, back to my initial point on rationing –why was everyone merrily burning electricity for no reason. And worn out – the Dome’s been there for 2 weeks! What’s the warranty on these things?

Barbie pouting away as he is would normally have me bemoaning the man-pain, but in this case I’ll give it a pass. He got out. He had freedom all planned out, he had actually reached the outside world and come back full of hope. And now he’s stuck. Again. The whole idea that he was out and then CAME BACK only to be stuck again is enough to make most people a little snippy.

Can someone please push Jim off a cliff.

Also not impressed with Joe’s random suspicion of Hunter – because Hunter hasn’t actually done anything suspicious or asked anything suspicious.

It seems that the last few weeks of something approaching meta happened have plunged us back into random Dome effect of the week. Now the Dome is rotating because why not.

It’s a shame Rebecca was all gung-ho for genocide because she’d probably be the best leader for the town – she is the only one consistently with answers and the only one who can actually stay focused on the town’s problems for more than 10 minutes at a time. Of course, not only does her gender and race make her unlikely ever to be presented as leader (and let’s not pretend the genocide would stop her – it didn’t Jim) but the fact she DOESN’T have distracting family issues is also indicative.