Saturday, June 27, 2015

Under the Dome, Season 3, Episode 1 & 2: Move On & But I'm Not

And it’s a double first episode. Loki, what did I ever do to you?

We’ve now updated the opening voice over to “3 weeks since the Dome came down.” Just boggle at that. We’re also told they found a way out last episode (which they seemed to) but the voice over thinks it may lead to an alternate reality…

Under the Dome that’s a supreme amount of dubiousness and we’re not even past the voice over yet

To the tunnels before the portal of mist and white light – and creepy Melanie tells everyone it’s time to go home. Barbie moves to follow it Joe and Norrie don’t want to leave Julia. I want to make it clear that I’m so very happy for them to leave Julia. Yes yes I am. People are also worried about going through an unknown misty portal. Since the alternative is staying trapped under the dome and having to endure Big Jim with nowhere to go, I don’t care if the portal leads to Hell or Wisconsin, I would sprint through it.

They emerge into a field with no Melanie – and the Dome making terrible sounds (but they are outside). The Dome gets a nice firework display of pink lights – then explodes and disappears

The Dome is gone! The end! Yay!

Or not? Barbie goes looking for Julia and runs past Big Jim’s impaled body, James Junior unconscious or dead (maybe dead? Please?) and Julia also unresponsive. He holds her and cries. I’d feel sad for you Barbie but I kind of want all these people to die, so I’ll be over here kind of hoping they’re not breathing, sorry and all.

And now we’re in Yemen and Barbie is a soldier and Hunter appears to be his tech support guy… it’s a good thing I don’t expect this show to make sense. They’re rescuing people from insurgents while surrounded by random burning stuff for dramatic purposes. We have a firefight in which Barbie’s team does little and he is a Big Damn Hero (of course) before taking and abusing a prisoner because America and evil Muslims. He then shoots the helpless guy in the head.

Hey, can we go back to doing ridiculous things under a dome? I prefer that to random killing brown people for edginess and how I’m expected to still root for this guy after he murdered someone after mentally torturing them.

Hostages are rescued from evil insurgents and the nice aid worker thanks Barbie for being such a good mercenary and helping her save the world. She thanks him more in the shower later – they’re a couple (Under the Dome, you make me watch this drek yet still show that little of Barbie showering? You could have at least tried to make this whole thing less painful). Afterwards she tells him what a good person he is for murdering and abusing guys

Joe is also texting him for reasons. He ignores it and goes to bed to have more nightmares about Julia (it’s ok, I sometimes have nightmares about that terrible character as well. In fact the whole last season was quite traumatic, there’s a limit to how much stupidity we should have to endure). Apparently it’s been a year since the Dome came down – and Aid worker lady (can we get a name?( wants him to go to the memorial at Chester’s Mill

Let me be clear that this is a REALLY BAD IDEA. So of course he’ll do it.

This leads us to, I think, a flashback to James Junior and Julia and Big Jim when they were still under the dome and Jim pointing guns at them because he’s just the worst person in the world. He also thinks Julia is ridiculously foolish for think the Dome benevolent which puts me in the horrible position of agreeing with him. He lets them go, but shoots his son first in the shoulder because he’s a terrible person.

They try to cross the chasm (and James is bitten by a butterfly which I don’t think is even possible). He has a bullet wound that doesn’t bother him much and Julia’s leg has reset from “completely impossible to move” to “minor inconvenience” as it tends to. She’s also spooked by a bazillion butterflies. Butterflies. Seriously they’re both afraid of butterflies. There is, quite literally, not a less intimidating creature on this planet. BUSH BABIES are scarier than butterflies. Julia nearly falls to her death. Stop teasing show! She saves herself (booo) and is safe (boo), the nasty butterflies didn’t get her. Junior disappears though (yay!) They do battle with the terrible threat of BUTTERFLIES! And James loses

To Butterflies. He is beaten by butterflies. The butterflies won.  While he disappears from pure shame, Julia finds some slime.

Big Jim plays with guns and booze. Which is a better decision than most of what he does.

Back to the present, the memorial and Chester’s Mill looks all pristine again. I would laugh so much if the Dome suddenly appeared “what, you guys came back!? Totally asking for it!” People keep noticing Barbie, presumably recognising him from the Dome days. He also meets up with Joe who brings up painful losses (Ben also appears – the show rather depressingly expecting us to remember this sidelined bit character).

Both Ben and Barbie think they see Melanie. Show, you don’t tease me with her dying then bring her back, that’s just cruel.

And Melanie’s in like a geode with CCTV spying on Barbie. Ben tries to follow Barbie to make him admit that was weird (among other weird stuff that’s been happening – like Ben having asthma and everyone being totally mellow and Ben expecting people to remember him despite only appearing in 3 episodes in the last 2 seasons). Ben tells Barbie none of it is real.

Time to check in on some of the others

Sam is in prison and in an AA meeting and he may be being released soon (and not murdered).

Norrie has joined a sorority which makes Carolyn super happy – she’s also heading to the memorial but she wants to break up with Joe. The implication is Carolyn is not going to the memorial (despite her saying Norrie needs to pay respects to her other mother who is dead. But Carolyn doesn’t want to pay respects to her wife?)

Joe is not only ignoring Norrie’s texts but is also being stalked by a therapist who is reading his post and he’s putting off going to college. She wants him to make a speech at the memorial about Angie. The same therapist is also Sam’s therapist which must be ethically dubious – especially since he wants her to act like a go-between for him. He wants Joe to forgive him while she’s trying to convince him he should totally forgive himself for being a murderer (he killed Angie) because he’s a good guy really (when he’s not murdering). She also wants him to be part of the memorial, y’know in case all the bad memories don’t traumatise Joe sufficiently.

That same therapist, Christine White who has been sent by FEMA, also tracks down Barbie because she wants all the survivors (though poor Hunter is apparently an afterthought). We also get a name for the aid worker – Eva. Ben is also convinced he has proof now – and texts Barbie telling him

Melanie, in her little spooky Geode, disapproves

Christine leads the memorial (am I the only one who thinks it’s a little off how much she’s taken over this thing?). Various people talk about the people they’ve lost and Ben arrives halfway through before keeling over. Melanie muses some weird strangling woo-woo and pulls him into her purple shiny slime caves. Where she also has Joe…. And it looks like past Julia has also found these caves

In them she finds many pods inside which are sleeping people – including Joe, Norrie and Barbie. So I guess Ben was right it wasn’t real, he could see through the Matrix and the machines Melanie killed him for it. When Julia tries to touch Barbie’s pod, it grows spines. She’s now running on that leg and she has to evade terrifying butterfly guards.

This means Julia, Jim and James are all still alive, damn it show, that’s just cruel!

Melanie rescues James from the butterflies and kisses Jim to try and stop him going back to Julia – this transports him to a weird cloudy place with a really sticky floor because she wants to add him to her pod collection – what she calls fixing him.

To be fair to Melanie, if I saw Chester’s Mill I’d think humanity needed fixing as well.

Melanie goes to Julia next who has drawn a knife. Melanie lies to Julia about why she can’t free people from the pods – claiming James tried to free her and that’s why she’s free and James is now all podded.

Julia’s leg now hurts (though the wrong leg which is amusing) and Melanie tries to convince Julia that they really really really need the egg.

Back in the Chester’s Matrix, Barbie had Hunter open up Ben’s phone to find his proof – there’s a video of several extras in Chester’s Mill who all look exactly the same (sack whoever casts the extras! I’m sure I’ve seen episodes of Buffy where all the background characters looked the same as well). But when Hunter connects it to a computer the file gets all frazzled.

We also have to catch up with Joe and Norrie so Norrie can bring her unique brand of comfort – trying to get Joe to move on like she did (dwelling on her mother’s death was hard since she was just an extra) and it’s all moot because they’re in the Matrix so why do you expect me to pretend to care

Evil therapist Christine isn’t happy with Joe’s moving-on-ness and we also focus on her really ugly ring which I guess is relevant. And Barbie talks Eva into staying in Matrix Chester’s Mill a little longer and the video Ben took has completely disappeared. To make things more creepy, now James has being podded he appears in Chester’s Mill as well. Barbie is initially surprised since he’s supposed to be dead – before fake memories appear.

Barbie tries to convince Eva that they’re in the Matrix. She doesn’t want to take the blue pill. Barbie decides to assault a random passer by and realises it’s the same guy her murdered in Kabul. Of course Eva tries to talk him out this.

And to another Domey agent, Christine who wants Joe to forgive Sam for murdering his sister. She also tries to convince James to hang around, maybe keeping them in Chester’s Mill is easier on the Matrix. Barbie gets his hands on a gun which is probably a bad thing. Before he can shoot anyone he gets a call from Christine – Eva is in hospital. When he gets there he learns she had a health scare but she and the baby are fine – yes she’s pregnant and yes everyone is happy to share medical information with creepy Christine

Eva, of course wants to have her totally real baby and her totally real relationship with Barbie

Hunter and Norrie get together to talk about stuff, including how both of them have completely changed from what they used to be, fairly drastically but how great that is and now let’s make out, of course

Joe agrees to go see Sam, his sister’s murderer. It’s so profoundly self-serving and all about Sam and if Christine were a real therapist she should have been slapped upside the head for this. Joe slaps him and his apology down most epicly and appropriately – so Melanie has a prisoner stab Sam

And Junior decides to burn down his old house. Things aren’t quite working out for Melanie.

Outside Chester’s Matrix, Julia draws a message on the Dome asking for the egg to be returned and Melanie’s father (who owns the evil company of evilness) begs some other guy to give the egg back so they can return it – he helpfully expositions that fragments of eggs fell in meteor showers and this egg was the only one that was intact so he’d kind of like to keep it. And the whole town dying isn’t something that bothers him – only unlocking the power of the egg.

Her father takes a case and enters the Red door, the random portal into Chester’s Mill, watched by several ominous men with guns. He’s thrilled to see his daughter, she’s more interested in the egg and she promptly strangles him because (totally unshocking) she isn’t his daughter.

Big Jim finds the body and wakes up Julia – she tells him what a terrible person he is (true) and he tells her what an utter fool she is not seeing Melanie for what she is (also true); they’re both such terrible people.

Julia heads back to the butterfly pit and kills a butterfly, she is now badass butterfly killer!

Big Jim keeps arguing with a dog.

Melanie puts the egg on the giant cocoon when Julia arrives and for the first time she finally uses one solitary little brain cell to realise this is all kind of creepy and wrong and maybe not believing everything zombie girl says may be a good idea. So Melanie hits Julia instead then starts strangling her (is it wrong for me to cheer?)

Big Jim to the rescue! See despite having shot his son he now doesn’t want his son to die for REASONS. Jim destroys the egg

The Matrix is destroyed, everything goes dark and everyone crawls out of their cocoons. Including Eva and Christine.

I have to return again to that “3 weeks”. Each season is a little over a week – but these people have experienced extreme shortages, panics and general drama in that incredibly short space of time. 3 months, maybe, but even then it’s pushing it

Does anyone else have the feeling that in the writing room they just throw ideas at a wall and see what sticks. Now they’ve decided that “hey how about the Matrix”

Melanie is an evil monster. Are we shocked? Is anyone shocked?

I thought Eva wasn’t going to be real – but then I realised Rebecca died last episode – and lo the T-Dog chain continues. I feel like we need to sing “The Circle of Life” or some such – no matter how many Black characters you kill, another one always arises like some kind of racist renewable cycle. That means we’ve also got a love triangle. Oh. Joy. Because this show REALLY needs that

Ben also arose from nowhere to speak actual lines before dying… we should have known. Every single time a neglected minority character suddenly starts being more prominent, they die.

Maybe I should be happy that Carolyn is still banished to the background, then. She may get to live

Y’know this show is actually so bad that I’m almost happy to watch it. I want to marvel in just how awful it is and I want to know exactly what kind of demonic pact the showrunners have to make to get this drek renewed TWICE! Seriously there aren’t enough virgins in the world!