Under the Dome: “Exigent Circumstances”


Grade: C-

Airdate: 9/9/13

This episode of Under the Dome would have been good if it was a silent film or possibly in a foreign language I know nothing about. Again, the dialogue and how the lines was delivered was terrible save for Britt Robertson and Aisha Hinds, who were just OK. How this show can make so many good actors bad? I don’t know.

This was an action heavy episode, so it had less lines for people to struggle through than normal. The “previously on” reminded us that everyone was shot last week and Murder Barbie (Mike Vogel) is on the loose. The episode opens with Big Jim (Dean Norris) addressing a crowd about the Fugitive Barbie situation and Carolyn (Aisha Hinds) is just there. Disappeared for five episodes? Nobody disappeared for five episodes. Big Jim is pretty much turning Chester’s Mill into a police state and declaring himself Hitler– he passes out red armbands later.

The Pink Stars gang, minus Junior (Alexander Koch), is having a stumble-through-dialogue session in the barn when Carolyn walks in. She sees the mini-dome and promises to help protect it. She and Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz) finally have the family moment I have been waiting for since Alice died six episodes ago. They were cute and their dynamic was one of the best parts of this episode.

Junior left the gang again this episode and is conned by his dad to watch over Julia (Rachelle Levefrve) and make sure she doesn’t tell anyone Barbie didn’t shot her. Shot-’em-up Barbie finds Angie (Britt Robertson) outside the barn and they agree to go break Julia out of the hospital to save her from Big Jim. Of course, Junior is there. Angie is able to distracted him because he was about the IQ of your average goat. Barbie gets Julia into an ambulance and has Angie drive her away as he gives himself up to Linda (Natalie Martinez), which seemed like a stupid and unnecessary move. Angie ends up getting Julia to safety and she wakes up and remembers she was shot by a woman.

Big Jim has the not-subtle Nazi references doing a house-by-house sweep looking for Killer Barbie. Norrie and Joe (Colin Ford) take the mini-dome and hide it at Skater Ben’s house, because it was already check? That detail was never explained. But, to distract them Carolyn decides to stand up to the Nazis and not let them into the barn. After they grab her, Norrie and Joe arrive and attack. Big Jim then decides to arrest the kids because he knows there is an egg that they are hiding.

Big Jim then has stand-offs with Norrie, Joe and Barbie as they are locked in cells in the jail. He keeps going on about how it is a lawful investigation. I’m glad Norrie finally laughed about that. Big Jim then black-mails Barbie into saying he will confess to all the murders that happened in the past couple episodes, including Dodee’s this episode — it was Big Jim, surprise surprise. Big Jim releases Norrie and Joe to Carolyn and promises he will stop looking for Julia. But, he does convince Linda to tail the kids because they might have a way out of the dome.

At the end of the episode, Big Jim takes Barbie in front of the townsfolk to confess. Norrie, Joe, Carolyn, Linda and Skater Ben crowd around the mini-dome as it makes an unpleasant noise and seems like the butterfly is going to hack. All episode, Joe had been thinking that was going to mean the monarch would be crowded. Barbie then says he pleads not guilty to all the murders. So, Barbie is the monarch.

There was a lot of action this episode and that made it better than most because it meant no dialogue. The plot line was interesting enough to just barely convince me to come back for the season finale next week. Maybe I will watch it on mute with subtitles and see if it is better.

Under the Dome: “Speak of the Devil”


Grade: C

Airdate: 9/2/13

C is the only grade I could have given this episode of Under the Dome. It was very average. I am starting to think it is a good premise trapped in a bad show. The dialogue got even worse with week, being bad for both the bottom rung of Joe (Colin Ford) and Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz) all the way to Big Jim (Dean Norris) at the top. Come on show, if Dean Norris can’t even make your lines sound good it’s time for new writers.

The episode opens with the pink star gang staring up at the constellations that the mini-dome created last week. Apparently, it also created some LSD fumes because everyone sounded like they were tripping. They decided Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) might be the monarch and Joe runs off to tell her. Junior (Alexander Koch) and his spastic lunacy then decides to leave the gang because Angie (Britt Robertson) will not be his girlfriend.

Meanwhile, Julia answers her front door and Max (Natalie Zea) is there. But, she might as well had been a terminator because she said something that had about as much meaning as “Are you Sarah Connor?” and then shots her in the chest. What? Barbie (Mike Vogel) and Joe find her and take her to the hospital. I would say rushed her but the show does take the time to tell us Joe has his temps but not his license and plug in their electric car. Obviously, Julia isn’t going to die. The show has been renewed for a second season and Alice was the emotional season one death. I’ve decided Carolyn has gone to visit Ruby in the Land of Lost Characters.

While this is going on Angie goes to track down Junior and it is storming inside the dome. This was one of the interesting point elements surrounded by terrible dialogue and Julia’s anti-climatic and temporary death. She dies just as Angie and Junior are screaming at each other. The tornado is about to touch down but it goes away as Junior saves Angie from getting hit by a flying bench and Barbie brings Julia back to life.

The pink stars gang is convinced the dome was trying to tell them something. Joe thinks Barbie is the monarch and the tornado was contacted to Julia’s life. Angie told Junior the dome was creating the storm because he left and it stopped when he come back. Because it is conveient for him to be a nut at that moment, he believes her.

Big Jim is causing all sorts of trouble this episode. First, he tells Linda (Natalie Martinez) that Barbie is the real danger to Chester’s Mill, not him and the propane smuggling drug ring. He then runs into Max, who says she shot Julia because Barbie crossed her and will do the same to Junior if Big Jim does. Nobody is really evil in this show, just sometimes threatening psychos.

Big Jim decides he is going to kill Max and enlists Barbie’s help. They go to where all shady things in town happen: the cement factory. Max, her bodyguard and the bad dialogue find them. They make all kinds of threats to each other, which don’t matter because Barbie is able to disarm them. He plans to take them to Linda, but then Big Jim just shots them. So, Big Jim kills the only villain the show had but instantly fills her shoes by threatening to shot Barbie. He is quickly able to disarm him too, but Linda shows up right when Barbie has a gun to him.

He is forced to knock out Linda and run away. Good idea, Barbie. Haven’t you been paying attention? Running from the police is just going to end up with some sort of police officer shooting you. Big Jim then goes on the radio tells everyone that Barbie shot Julia, killed Max, her friend and her mom that he let drown last episode. And he says Barbie will have a fair trial but says he will get the death penalty. Sure, Jim and isn’t the towns entire criminal justice and legal system made up of Linda and Junior/ the two biggest idiots in town?

Earlier in the episode, the pink star gang figured out that mini-dome had created a star map of big dome. But, four stars are in a line and out of place. The gang goes there and all puts there hands on the dome at once. Big Jim then appears outside the dome. He starts bleeding from four stab wounds and the gang finds themselves each holding a knife. Junior freaks and runs to find daddy. As Angie and Norrie agree that Big Jim must die and they have to do it.

If it was in a better show, the plot would be getting really good. But for every cool plot twist there is Max delivering lines like, “He said the one word a woman never wants to hear: no,” and long linger shots to show us all the phones are Microsoft produces.