Under the Dome: Hanging and Squishing and Axes Oh My
Hello Trashies, and welcome to the first episode of Season 2 of Under the Dome. There are a ton of five second scenes and quick cuts in this episode which are a bitch to recap. Stephen King wrote this one and now I may have to drive to Maine and hit him with a car. Too soon?
The previously on tells us that all of Season 1 was just two weeks of Dome Time. So in that time Julia thought her husband was missing, then found out he was dead, then hooked up with his murder. As a widow myself I think that’s a bit fast but I’ll give allowances for the hotness of Barbie and his manly scruff.
We open a new hottie drinking alone in a cabin in the woods. A very well lit cabin though he was probably off the grid before the dome came down. His name is Sam but just get used to me calling him Tag because I will always think of him as Rachel’s adorable assistant who made phone calls with his crotch. He rushes outside as the dome starts to fill with light.
At the hastily erected gallows, the light grows, a weird sound begins, and Big Jim orders his son to pull the lever to hang Barbie. For a violent stalker Junior is kind of a pussy and he’s all “But I’m afraid!”
Julia pulls her boat up and goes ashore. Suddenly a girl pops up in the water in the middle of the lake, trashing in the way tvs and movies use to signal drowning. (Summer PSA: that’s not what drowning looks like AT ALL, hit up Google and educate yourself.) Julia, recovering from a gun shot wound she took in the chest not two days ago, swims vigorously after her. Did the Dome just suspend reality completely?
Joe, Norrie and Angela are near the church, hear a rumbling, then suddenly the church bell flies out of the steeple to stick on the side of the dome. Joe pulls the girls out of the way as the church collapses. Aw, Joe wants to be Mini Barbie.
At the gallows a bunch of people fall down unconscious. Barbie wants to help them but Big Jim orders Junior to kill him. Junior refuses, saying they should go to the dome because it’s trying to tell them something. Big Jim goes to pull the lever himself but Linda the Pointless Lady Sheriff pulls her gun and stops him. She declares they are all going to the dome to find out what it wants to tell them.
Julia pulls the girl from the water and starts chest compressions. JULIA YOU ARE AN IDIOT! Air is always first. Tag rushes up and takes over, competently giving the girl mouth to mouth which works. How did he get there so fast from the woods? Tag looks at the girl like he recognizes her but just offers to take them both to the cabin to dry off. He makes this offer with such urgency he seems to be afraid they are going to die of hypothermia in the middle of summer. I fear Tag might still be a bit dim.
At the dome the Gallows Crew see a ton of metal stuff stuck to the dome and realize it’s been magnetized. It starts to pull Big Jim, Linda and Junior to it until they take off their gun holsters. Barbie is still handcuffed and gets stuck on the dome also. The handcuff keys are stuck on the dome and Linda struggles to free Barbie as the car is pulled to them. Barbie the Self-Sacrificing Murdering Enforcer tells Linda to leave him but she won’t. He gets free, she shoves him aside, then SPLAT, the car squishes her against the dome like a bug.
At Tag’s cabin the Creepy Pale Girl from the water just stares at Julia without speaking. Tag sews up Julia’s bullet wound because she tore her stitches during the rescue. Julia tells him Barbie is dead but Tag says he might still be alive. He tells her he was an EMT in town but was fired for drinking and now he just hangs out alone in his cabin, drinking and brooding. Aw, man, dark brooding alcoholics are my kryptonite.
Big Jim tries to get his gun off the dome to kill Barbie, so Barbie drops the dime and tells Junior it was really his dad who killed Dody the DJ. Barbie punches out Big Jim then heads back to town to find Julia. Big Jim claims he had to kill Dody because she was going to tell lies about their family and he is the only one in town willing to make the hard choices to save them. Junior points out that Linda just did that and walks away from him. I still hate Junior but anyone who hates Big Jim is okay with me. The enemy of my enemy and so on.
Julia tells Tag that the past doesn’t matter now that the dome is there and he should go into town and use his medical skills to help. But Tag can’t because he never got over his sister committing suicide nine years before. Right here is where everyone watching assumed the Pale Creepy Girl from the lake was his sister. Outside the bright light starts up again.
Barbie tries to steal a car but gets stopped by a woman with a shot gun. He disarms her in less time than it takes to blink but gives it right back to her, insisting he’s not a murder. They hear the weird noise again and the lady grabs a notebook, saying that the groans are coming faster, like contractions, but instead of giving birth the dome is killing people. She thinks the dome gives off electro-magnetic waves that are interfering with people’s brain waves. Barbie is impressed, assuming she’s a nuclear physicist, but she’s just the “high school science teacher,” Rebecca Pine. They just have one class called Science at their school? Not chemistry and biology and physics all taught by different people? Sure, why not, super intelligent, over-qualified high school science teacher is a character never seen before on a show with Dean Norris where tons of innocent people die. On an unrelated note, I wonder how much meth is trapped inside the dome? She tells Barbie it’s probably worse for people who live by the dome and Barbie realizes Joe’s in trouble and needs saving. Joe is always in trouble. Joe is basically the Dawn Summers of Chester Mills.
At Joe’s farm all the farm equipment is being sucked onto the dome, along with the house gutters. And the corn silo is shaking. Joe, Norrie and Angie go rushing in to get Norrie’s mom out. She’s unconscious in the kitchen while all the pots, pans and knives fly around the room. They try to get her out but the way out is blocked when the baker’s rack goes flying by. Then the radiator gets ripped out of the wall too. They flip the table to hide behind while the nails in the wood paneling fly out. Exactly how did the magnet waves pull the heavy refrigerator and radiator before the tiny nails and comparatively light-weight stove? JUST USE SOME LOGIC SHOW! One of the nails pierces Joe’s hand in an awfully familiar way.
Big Jim goes down to his Fall Out Shelter/Kidnap Victim storage facility but gets trapped inside when flying metal debris lands on the doors. And stays there, instead of being sucked to the dome. BECAUSE SCIENCE ONLY WORKS IN PART OF THE DOME AND STEPHEN KING IS A HACK!
Barbie and Rebecca get the kids and Norrie’s mom out just in time as the house collapses completely two seconds after they clear the porch steps. That’s some pretty convenient timing.
Big Jim is visiting by Dody’s ghost, sporting a smirk and a bloody bullet hole. He tries to dismiss her as a stress-induced hallucination. But Dody insists the dome is destroying Chester Mills because of him. Then she digs around in her bullet hole with her finger, reminding him that he killed her and she’s not going anywhere. Big Jim ignores her and find a grenade to open the door. Why does he have a grenade in his storm shelter? They are rarely effective against tornadoes.
Barbie and Rebecca have taken the kids and Norrie’s mom, who is still unconscious, to the high school. Sure, in times of crisis when medical attention is needed go to the school. THAT MAKES COMPLETE SENSE IN A LAND CALLED NOWHERE. Oh, Rebecca claims that the high school is in the center of the dome and therefore the safest place because it’s farthest from dome walls.
The dome appeared out of nowhere and does crazy shit like create butterflies and magnetize itself. IF IT WANTS TO KILL YOU STANDING IN THE CENTER ISN’T GOING TO HELP. Not to mention last season the center of the dome, where Joe and Norrie found the mini dome with the egg, was in the middle of the woods. Did the dome move? Did the high school relocate to the woods? OR DID STEPHEN KING JUST DECIDE CONTINUITY IS FOR SUCKERS? Rebecca and Joe decide that building a giant magnet by wrapping copper wire around metal will fix the dome magnetizing affect. They are fighting a magnet with another magnet. This strikes me as fighting a house fire by throwing Molotov cocktails through the windows but what do I know, I don’t teach high school science. But Norrie has other ideas. She thinks this is all happening because the Four Hands (her, Joe, Norrie, Junior) didn’t kill Big Jim after they saw the vision of him bleeding while they held knives. Barbie warns her that taking a life hurts your soul and insists they try the magnet first.
The Creepy Pale Girl wakes from a bad dream and stares at Tag with what might be confusion but might also be recognition. He keeps looking at her like he knows her. Tag and Julia have a cryptic conversation about her duty to fix what’s wrong and her desire to do the right thing. There’s some very mild sexual tension, about as much as your mom has with the grocery store bag boy when she wants paper instead of plastic. Julia heads off to fix things and Sam gives her a pocket knife to keep her safe. Oh, good, if there’s a boy scout camping emergency she’s all set.
Inside Sam goes through a scrap book filled with clippings, writing and drawing.
He pages past a two-page painting of four red hands to a two-page drawing of the Creepy Pale Girl. While that explains why he seemed to recognize her it doesn’t explain why he’s not freaked out that a drawing in his book came to life. He goes back to the couch but she’s gone.
Creepy Pale Girl has made it to town in the last two minutes, on foot, after nearly drowning, and beating Julia there. She slowly walks through the middle of the street, barefoot and staring blankly. Angie sees her, asks if she’s all right, and then just runs on her errand when the girl doesn’t answer. Way to be a good neighbor, Angie. I hope you are never around when I’m mugged. In her diner Angie tries to find her gun and Junior shows up. She tells him she’s going to kill Big Jim and Junior tells her he killed Dody and now he’s on board with the Big Jim Must Die plan. I am also on board with that plan. Junior offers to supply the gun but it’s clear he doesn’t want to do the actual killing.
Big Jim rigs the grenade up the door while Dody warns him that he can’t just leave and keep on killing whoever he wants. She accuses him of never having sacrificed and warns him he will have to now.
The towns people that aren’t unconscious have all joined in to wrap the radio tower in copper wire connected to generators. Man, this town is just full of easily influenced Sheep People who will do any crazy ass thing someone tells them to. “Let’s hang Barbie!” “Let’s build a giant magnet!” “Let’s have an orgy!” Sadly this is not HBO so I don’t think that last one will happen. Barbie plugs in the magnet, which seems to do nothing, but Rebecca insists it needs time to build a charge.
Dody warns Big Jim that if he doesn’t sacrifice and change Junior will pay for his sins. He ignores her, blows up the door, and scrambles out. The bright light starts up again and Norrie, Angie, Junior, Joe, Rebecca, pretty much everyone in town fall unconscious. Only Big Jim and Barbie appear to escape.
Even though Junior collapsed on the grass near the gallows he wakes up on a brick-paved street. He wanders by a weird green and brick tower to shop with a broken window. Being the morally bankrupt asshole that he is, he just reaches inside and helps himself to a snow globe. Inside is the weird tower, with the word ZENITH.
When he shakes the globe the water inside turns red, like blood, and he drops it, shattering it on the sidewalk. A blonde woman walks by and he follows her, calling out for her to stop. When she turns he asks, “Mom?” She looks shocked and whispers, “James?” Junior’s mom is Sherry Stringfield, who is 45 but has barely aged since ER. I turn 45 in two weeks and I would like to punch her in her unlined face. To my great happiness she’s wearing a really ugly sack of a shirt.
He tearfully asks why she left him but she insists that she didn’t leave him, he’s her sweet boy. He sadly says, “Not anymore.” (No. Kidding.) But she smiles and says he can’t fool her, he’s her sweet, sweet boy. That’s not vaguely incestuous and creepy at all. (To be fair I don’t think it was meant to be but this isn’t playing out with a very mother/son feel except in that “porn no one talks about” way.)
Big Jim has found Junior and tries to wake him, to no avail. Barbie is dragging unconscious bodies across the grass for no discernible reason when Julia pulls up in a car. To remind you, Creepy Pale Girl got to town on foot in two seconds while Julia took at least ten minutes to drive there. So either Creepy Pale Girl has special powers or Julia is a really bad driver. She and Barbie rush each other and hug, thrilled that the other is alive/there/not currently unconscious. They stand around making out while the entire town lies around them unconscious. NOT THE TIME OR THE PLACE, IDIOTS.
Big Jim is freaked out because he can’t wake up Junior and starts yelling up at the sky to tell him what to do. Linda appears as a ghost. In the afterlife Linda wears her hair down, all flowy and pretty. I suspect the actress was like, “You want me to come back for one episode just to die? FINE but I get to take that stupid bun out for one scene.”
Linda touches Big Jim’s face, which would indicate she’s not actually a ghost but a physical being. Linda tells him that everything he does is for his own selfish purposes. But he still has time to “learn the virtue of sacrifice” to save his son. Suddenly the noose starts to swing and creak. Big Jim climbs the steps to the gallows and they creak too like it’s a haunted house. They just built those gallows 12 hours ago, why would they be creaky already? Everyone together: BECAUSE STEPHEN KING IS A HACK.
Big Jim puts the noose around his neck, panting hard, and reaches out to the lever. Either he can’t reach it or he doesn’t have the nerve to do it. Barbie and Julia run up and Big Jim tells them the dome wants this but he can’t pull the lever. Julia volunteers and rushes to do it so fast Barbie’s hair blows back. Julia hesitates long enough that Big Jim starts barking, “Do it! Do it!” But she can’t be like him and refuses. He calls her a coward then stomps on the trap door until it collapses and he falls through. Quality Craftsmanship! Julia pulls out Tag’s knife and cuts through the rope like its butter. That’s a really freaking sharp pocket knife. Jim falls to the ground, still alive, and looks up at her, gasping, “Why?” As the dome turns from white back to transparent behind her, Julia tells him the dome doesn’t want them to kill, it wants them to stop the killing. Everyone wakes up and all the metal crap falls off the dome.
Creepy Pale Girl sits on the ground, Dead Linda’s head in her lap. She says, “Sorry,” and closes Linda’s eyes.
So I’m just going to say right now I think Creepy Pale Girl is what hatched out of the egg after Julia dropped it in the lake. She came out of the middle of the lake right where Julia dropped the egg, she travels at the speed of light, and she’s apologizing to people the dome killed. Why the dome needs a Creepy Pale Girl wandering around when it has all this other power is beyond me.
The townspeople dismantle the gallows while Julia and Barbie stand around making out some more until Rebecca interrupts them. Barbie introduces them and Julia clearly is jealous of her. When Rebecca says their giant magnet fixed everything Julia quickly corrects her that it was something bigger than us. Now, girls, you are both pretty.
At the diner Stephen King gets his cameo. Whoop de doo. This episode makes no sense, I’m not sure he should have been so eager to be in his own crap creation. Big Jim examines his rope burn when Phil (the other DJ) interrupts to chastise him for letting Barbie get away with murdering Dody. Big Jim tells him Barbie didn’t do it, but doesn’t confess that he did. Then Big Jim gives Phil Linda’s badge and makes him the new sheriff. SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THAT. First, city councilmen or no I doubt Big Jim has the power to just make some one the sheriff. Plus Phil is a DJ fond of smoking pot, he’s spectacularly unqualified to be the law in town. And Big Jim knows Phil still thinks Barbie killed Dody and he just gave him a badge and gun which is practically begging him to arrest Barbie. If Big Jim is trying to turn over a new leaf he’s failing epically.
Big Jim invites Joe, Norrie, her mom, and Angie to move into his house since Joe’s collapsed. Norrie’s mom (whose name I should really figure out) accepts and when he leaves assures Norrie that it’s only to keep her enemy close. Big Jim’s Goodwill Tour continues as he thanks Rebecca for her hard work and suggests she get some sleep before they solve the power and water problems in the morning. As he heads over to Junior Angie interrupts him to whisper that she would have pulled the lever and danced a jig. He goes to touch her arm and she flinches then tells him to go to hell. Angie, he sucks but he’s not the one that stalked you and kidnapped you. That would be Junior, the guy you have no PTSD flinching around. In fact, she asks Junior if he has her back. OMG MISDIRECTED ANGER MUCH? Tag comes in the diner and Junior is gobsmacked, telling Angie that Tag is his uncle. Tag greets him warmly but won’t stay because Big Jim is glaring at him. He’s looking for Creepy Pale Girl and Angie tells him she saw her earlier.
Outside the diner Julia sees him and gets out of the car to greet him, leaving Barbie behind. Nice. Tag tells her Creepy Pale Girl is missing then grabs her shoulder as she starts to swoon. Barbie can’t have this taller hot man touching his woman and strides up, all testosterone territory marking, asking if everything is okay. Julia introduces them and then do that “hand shake/penis comparison” thing alpha males do. Junior and Big Jim watch from inside the diner and Junior wonders why Tag showed up now. He starts to tell Big Jim about his dream with his mother but Big Jim interrupts him to apologize for dismissing what Junior said before. Irony! Junior tells him that when he passed out he saw his mom and talked to him then Tag showed up. Big Jim says it’s just a dream, calling him Junior, but Junior gets pissed off and leaves, snarling that his name is James.
His mom is sitting on a couch and seems to wake up (even though she’s sitting up). She says, “James!” then rushes over to her easel. She takes down a painting of Junior (as he looks now) and puts up a painting of a door. She paints thick red paint above the door while TV gives a report on what happened to the dome today. Outside her window is the weird green tower from Junior’s dream.
It’s dark now and Angie is taking out the trash when she sees the Creepy Pale Girl walking through town. She follows her into the high school, suddenly interested in helping now that Hot Tag is looking for her. She sees the girl looking into a locker and asks if she’s okay. The girl looks at her in fear and runs off. Angie looks in the same locker and seems afraid. She turns, sees an ax, screams and then blood splatters on the locker. As she falls she leaves a bloody red hand print on the locker.
So, one episode in and two of the main female characters from last season are dead. I guess #yesallwomen applies to fictional characters too.
Next week Joe pulls a gun on Creepy Pale Girl. I’m sure that will end well for everyone.