Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 4 – TV Review
Does it help that Rebecca is actually staring down an off-screen single mother and her child, who she plans on murdering, along with everyone else in this church?
It doesn’t, does it?
TL;DR Rebecca and Big Jim have a plan to infect Chester’s Mill with swine flu, but are both too pussy to enact it; the divide between Julia and Barbie grows; Melanie remembers how she died in the 80s, but not who killed her; Lyle brings Junior no closer to the truth about his mum.
He does bring Junior closer to getting knocked the fuck out, though.
The major plotline this episode follows Rebecca as she schemes to use some super swine flu to kill off anyone not strong enough to survive it. Big Jim originally finds it reprehensible, but they both eventually agree to carry it out. Julia and Sam spend most of the episode hot on their trail, but when it comes time to get their Big Damn Heroes moment to save the town, it proves unnecessary, because neither Big Jim nor Rebecca actually have the balls to pull it off. Back to the cull drawing board, then. Meanwhile, Barbie tags along with Joe, Norrie, and Melanie as they search for clues to her past. When they come across the original location of the mini dome, Melanie has some scheduled flashbacks that show that she, Pauline, Lyle, and Sam found a meteor in the same spot back in 1988. It even had the four handprints mechanism, and an egg inside, too. But either Sam or Lyle (Melanie doesn’t remember which) got freaked out and accidentally killed Melanie. Considering that she could be mistaken for a lump of wood, I don’t blame them. And Junior jailbreaks Lyle in pursuit of answers. Lyle shows Junior a collection of postcards that Pauline has painted in the 9 years she’s been faking her death that depict all the major events that have occurred under the dome. Junior and Lyle also track down Pauline’s old sketchbook/journal, but Lyle gets shifty when Junior accuses him of murdering Angie.
Also, it looks like Sam probably murdered Angie. It’s just murder, murder, murder with this town.
I’ve been on the cusp of giving up on Under the Dome. But now, thankfully, we finally get an episode that isn’t a “problem of the week” filler fluff piece. So I’ll stick with it for now.
But this is me, after all, so things are still disappointing and bland.
That’s network sci-fi for you.
Why I hate this episode:
What bothered me the most is effectively trivial: the flu plan. Why did Rebecca encourage Big Jim to go to the effort of doing that sneaky census if her grand plan all along was to enact a Darwin-esque, survival of the fittest situation with her swine flu? The flu isn’t going to put on its reading glasses and sift through the census files to determine who it wants to gunk up. As someone who had vanilla swine flu a few years ago (along with every other person I know), everyone just gets sick, and what happens happens. Your census was superfluous, Rebecca.
Not that I expect any charity from Rebecca, but she’s also a huge cunt about how she intends to spread the infection: the church’s holy water bowl. I’m going to have to side with religion on this battlefront, because Miss Science is being a fuckwit. Way to be impartial, Rebecca. Just sick up all those who oppose your ideology. Really respectable.
Rebecca’s un-holy water plot was a backup to Big Jim’s original instruction of poisoning a regular town meeting’s table water. But she didn’t expect him to go through with it, so she can’t fall back on that as mitigation for her anti-religious, homicidal mania.
Also, Big Jim so totally chokes. Weak, man.
Julia is so mad at Barbie that she won’t even let him in to see her at the end. And in typical TV character style, he allows her to slowly close the door in his face, rather than tell her that he’s learned that Sam is a lying fuck, and she should beware. Naturally, Sam is inside as well. Just spit it out, Barbie.
While I can understand that a group of teenagers would be panicked at the events of a magic meteor, I don’t think roughly pushing one of your group down a steep hill is an appropriate response. Bloody 80s teens.
Naturally, Melanie has to fall at the right spot and hit her head at the right angle on the meteor to be arbitrarily killed. Should someone this insanely unlucky really get a second chance at life?
Norrie shows another flicker of jealousy over Melanie cosying up to Joe. Bitch, it’s not like you’ve known him much longer than she has. Relax.
Julia and Sam make the logic jump from “Rebecca wants to cull the town” to “a farm with dead pigs means she’s going to use swine flu to do it” unbelievably quickly.
They “expose” Big Jim’s plan at the town meeting. But Big Jim doesn’t even have the actual virus on him: Rebecca took it to the church. But for some reason, the assembled townsfolk believe Julia and Sam over their revered Big Jim and he gets arrested. Maybe Rebecca’s possession of the flu would give them some credibility, but given how gullible the people of Chester’s Mill have proven to be in regards to Big Jim (remember, they condoned a public execution), I don’t think that’s enough.
Rebecca’s crazy eyes are still firing on all cylinders.
Oh, and after his arrest, Big Jim tells Julia that Barbie was the first person on board with the flu plan. Which is either 1) Big Jim just stirring shit. Or 2) some ass pull garbage from this show. Barbie makes it a point earlier in the episode that he and Big Jim be in agreement about any cull plans before they’re enacted. Big Jim only learns about the flu plan this episode after stalking Rebecca. So unless Rebecca had gone to Barbie first with the plan, which she then would have had to inform Big Jim about, then it’s not true. But knowing Under the Dome, either explanation is equally possible.
But it’s not all bad:
So close to a culling. So close.
And the resource crisis isn’t going to magically go away (unless it does. This is Under the Dome, remember), so I’ll remain as optimistic as I can be for now.
For all her prejudice and agenda pushing, I’ll give some points to Rebecca for having the right mindset to get shit done. It’s a shame that she pulls out at the last minute. Maybe she has more in common with those fundies than she realises?
Melanie is now confirmed to be a resurrected, dead teenager. So that’s something. She is certain Pauline didn’t push her, because she could see her still at the bottom of the meteor crater at the time she fell. Which leaves her then-boyfriend Sam, and the now-crazy Lyle, as suspects. Barbie and Junior reckon Lyle could be Angie’s killer, so things aren’t looking too cheery for Lyle.
But that might not be the case. Sam shows his true sinister side when we catch sight of some harsh scratches on his shoulder. I’ll have to guess that maybe Angie fought back? And if he’s the killer, it might also explain how he was so efficient at catching the struggle marks on her body: because he put them there.
Regardless of that possibility, though, Barbie and the kids are at least certain that Sam has been intentionally hiding his past from everyone. There’s no way he wouldn’t have recognised his dead girlfriend turning up on his cabinstep. And by the laws of shady shit, he probably is her killer, you know?
Rebecca seems particularly keen on murdering a single mother and her baby, because they’re nothing but resource sponges. I love it.
When scouring newspaper articles for info on Melanie, Barbie and the kids find out that Melanie’s family moved to Chester’s Mill from Zenith. Which is the town Junior visited in his dream that Pauline is currently living in. It also happens to be Barbie’s home town. Ooh.
1988 Melanie drew pink stars on her wallpaper. Everything is connected.
Lyle tells Junior that Pauline faked her death and fled town because she thought the impending appearance of the dome would follow her; she was protecting Junior. I do hope we get to sit down and have a chat with Pauline soon. So we can clarify all this clairvoyant shit.
I told you the 1988 secret that Pauline, Lyle, and Sam were keeping was some I Know What You Did Last Summer business. Not as cool. And just shy of being as 90s fabulous.
When Barbie and the kids dig where Melanie’s body should be, they find her necklace that she was buried with, but they don’t find any human remains. Spooky.
Julia smashes Rebecca into the ground when she thinks she’s stopping her from unleashing the flu. I lol’d.
Oh, and he’s definitely evil, but Sam sure is a stone cold hustlah. Julia is his putty.