Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 1 – TV Review
So we’re back under the dome again.
Do you think we could go back to having some actual drama and tension, or is the onslaught of random, non-sensical dome happenings, paired with spiritual, “the dome wants us to” jibber jabber going to continue?
If you’re an optimist, turn back now.
TL;DR More random dome happenings and jibber jabber, don’cha know. The dome becomes magnetic, which is a minor inconvenience (except to Linda, who dies); Big Jim tries to kill himself after a few dressings down from an apparition of Dodee (the radio engineer who he murdered); Junior dreams of his mum, who may be alive; Barbie gets into a love triange; Julia gets into a love triangle; Angie gets axe murdered.
Moving onto a Nicholas Sparks movie seems like a fair trade-off.
So the plot picks up directly after last season’s cliffhanger. The white dome has the dual propeties of magnetism, and something something affecting brainwaves, which conveniently renders all non-essential characters unconscious. This development, along with Junior’s refusal to pull the gallows lever, sees Barbie released. He, Junior, Big Jim, and Linda go to investigate the dome wall, but Big Jim’s car is pulled towards it and crushes Linda to death rather unceremoniously. Barbie fucks off and ends up running into a school teacher named Rebecca, who has been studying the dome’s developments. They join forces to save Norrie, Joe, and Angie, who themselves were trying to save a knocked-out Carolyn from Joe and Angie’s house. They do. Barbie helps Rebecca with a plan to counteract the magnetism, but it fails. Meanwhile, Julia helps save a random girl from drowning near the spot where she chucked the egg into the lake. She is helped by Sam, a guy from a nearby cabin. Drowning Girl is okay, so Julia runs off to town. Meanwhile, Big Jim is tormented by Apparition Dodee, an apparent agent of the dome. She convinces him to kill himself. He, Barbie, and Julia converge at the gallows, but Julia prevents Big Jim’s attempted sacrifice. This evidently appeases the dome, and the magnetism and brainwave garbage stops. Elsewhere, Junior gets knocked out and dreams of his mum, who we later see is, like, alive or something; Sam turns out to be Junior’s mum’s brother, who isn’t on great terms with Big Jim; Drowning Girl wanders off and acts mysteriously; Angie and Junior try to kill Big Jim as per the dome’s instructions, but Angie later gets cut the fuck up.
What she lacked in savvy, she made up for in blood splatter.
If this season premiere is anything to go by, we’re in for a gauntlet of ass-pulled, magical bullshit dome activity, coupled with increasingly pervasive soap opera tendencies.
The axe murdering is a step in the right direction, though. I’ll give it that.
Why I hate this episode:
Arbitrary dome properties, however, are giving me that Lost feeling. Is your dome/island feeling dull and lifeless, with no drama? Then just give it a new, mildly destructive (but only to incidental characters) power that will be seldom seen past this one episode. Easy!
The fact that the episode spends so much time and employs so many characters into building this super mega anti-magnet, only for the dome magnetism to be negated by “Big Jim does a thing,” is fucking insulting.
I’m not ideologically opposed to love triangles, but 2 new ones in the opening episode? Jesus. You’ve got Julia being jealous of Barbie and Rebecca. Then Barbie is jealous of Sam and Julia.
Sam awkwardly stuffs in a hint of who he is when he mentions his sister’s suicide. He and Julia are having a fairly innocuous conversation about things in your past, then he’s like “EXPOSITION INCOMING. PREPARE FOR EXPOSITION. So my sister killed herself 9 years ago. Beer?” Oh, dialogue.
Big Jim having never mentioned Sam before seems pretty silly. Yeah, they clearly don’t get along, but even someone as egotistical as Big Jim would probably want to know how his brother-in-law is. Even if only to see if he’ll be a threat or not.
Speaking of Big Jim being egotistical, he’s apparently taken a How To Reduce Your Evil Insanity course between seasons. Instead of going on a murder spree and then trying to get other people executed for it, he instead shrivels up into a self-sacrificing baby from just a few hours of nagging from Apparition Dodee (and later, Apparition Linda). His goal is to save Junior from retribution that the apparitions talk about. Considering that Junior found out his dad was a murderer, and disowned him so hard that he’d decided to kill him himself, I find that difficult to swallow. Big Jim is after self-preservation above all things.
I presume she’s thinking about it, but Julia never voices the fact that Drowning Girl came from the exact spot where she dropped the egg (in a deserted area) is suspicious.
Linda’s death is random crap. Barbie’s handcuffs get magnetised to the dome wall, as do Linda’s keys for them. She struggles to free him, and then Big Jim’s car comes at them. Barbie is freed just in time, but Linda gets caught. That is some selective-ass magnetism.
It’s also hilariously bloodless, which is made especially bizarre by the fountains of blood that ejaculate forth from Angie when she gets axed.
Then, having just seen a car get slammed into the dome wall, Barbie goes off to steal a car. The magnetism isn’t as powerful further in, but come on, Barbie.
Oh, and I can’t even pretend to give half a shit about Junior’s mama drama. Apparently she’s alive in some town called Zenith. Junior sees her there in his dream (after he gets knocked out by magnetism), and we later see her there, just casually painting away. With parents like these, Junior is beginning to make sense.
But it’s not all bad:
She does have a TV on, though, and we see a news clip that shows the outside world is still paying attention to what’s happening with the dome. So all hope is not yet lost.
Barbie doesn’t get exectuted, thank God. There’s still at least one hot guy on this show (sorry not sorry, Sam).
Linda and Angie were two of my favourite characters, but at least Under the Dome has the balls to properly off some people. The dome apparitions might keep them technically hanging on, but this is good enough for me. For now.
Junior has finally opened his eyes to his dad’s evil, and will hopefully be less gullible and obstructive from now on.
I’ll give him points for offering to steal a gun from the police station for Angie so they can go murder Big Jim. Looks like you’ll have to continue the plan without her, Junior.
Drowning Girl seems to be true to her egg-connection nature, because she’s mysterious as hell. Sam appears to recognise her, and he is shown looking through a scrapbook and finding a drawing of her. After she wanders off, she ends up at Linda’s body, and cradles her and apologises to her. Then Angie follows her into the school at night, where she’s looking in a locker. She gets spooked and runs off. Angie looks into the locker and we see her reaction is one of horror, and that’s when the axe is swung. Whether it was Drowning Girl herself with axe in hand is yet to be determined.
Stephen King cameos as a patron in the diner.
Linda is the one who saves Barbie from execution. I’ll miss her.
Joe and Angie’s house is torn apart by the magnetism, so Big Jim offers them (and Norrie and Carolyn) to stay with him. So close to getting that knife in, Angie. So close.
Best line goes to Big Jim, who is no poet when replying to Apparition Dodee’s demands for him to sacrifice himself: “Shu up and be dead. I’m busy.” Direct.
Phil (the radio DJ) is appointed the new sheriff by Big Jim. Okay.
Oh, and Joe takes a nail to, and then through, the hand. Profuse bleeding must be a McAllister specialty.