We're one hour back into Under the Dome and I'm already feeling more confused than Joe McAllister at a... well, anywhere, actually. He's not that smart. So many things happened in the Season 2 premiere that looking back on the episode, it feels like nothing happened. Wait, did anything really happen? Confusion reigns because "Heads Will Roll" was an hour of malformed gibberish masquerading as network television. Instead of featuring any semblance of rational decision-making, characters were talked into setting out in new directions—sometimes by dome ghosts—and the show passed it off as plot. There were two senseless and awesome deaths. And new characters emerged from the barrels they were hiding in throughout all of Season 1. Maybe the new science teacher should've had more of a presence during the Dome's first days in Chester's Mill to give Joe a little break from his Dome sleuthing?
HOWEVER! For the first time in its run, Under the Dome gently caressed the classic storytelling staple of something called "theme" with a whopper of a debate that transcends even the most impenetrable of domes: medieval science versus dumb-person hocus-pocus hooey! It's a thrilling question that's sure to keep audiences entranced for minutes. And how did the show pull that off? To quote the poet Jesse Pinkman, "Yeah bitch, magnets."
For almost an entire year, we'd been waiting in anticipation to see what happened after Julia dropped the mini-dome egg into the lake and pink lights shot into the sky and everything went white while the town gathered 'round to see Barbie hung for fake crimes. And the answer was so obvious—the Dome became a Magne-Dome. If we're to believe the nonsense that the characters came up with, it became magnetic and caused havoc to teach the people of Chester's Mill a lesson: Stop killing people!
So obviously right off the bat, the Dome killed someone. We all knew that a character was getting sent to that big Dome in the sky in the first few minutes, but did anyone, besides everyone, think it would be Officer Linda? She went out a hero after saving Barbie's life while the Magne-Dome selectively chose what it interpreted as magnetic and when it would pull said items into its magnetic grip. Barbie's handcuffs were definitely magnetic, but the fence poles behind him definitely were not.
I guess the closer you got to the Dome, the more magnetic things became, which makes sense. But if you were far enough away, it was no problem? Mostly the Magne-Dome became a repository for bikes, barbecues, and patio furniture, so I'm assuming there was a Bob's Bikes, Barbecues, and Patio Furniture store nearby, because otherwise how would you explain this:
Let's not forget that it was Linda's idea to go to the Dome, and once again her reasoning for the decision was full of irony. "We need to take a trip to the Dome, before we all do something we're all going to regret," she said. Well I bet she regretted this:
I won't miss Linda because she was a terrible cop who didn't do anything except for that time she shot Officer Paul, but it's important to note that her idiocy was a huge part of the fabric of this series. If only there was a way this show could make her come back somehow. Oh well, that'll never happen! It was also nice to see Junior and Big Jim stand there and shout while imminent death barreled down on Linda instead of, I dunno, trying to put the parking brake on in the SUV or something. After Officer Linda died, Barbie, Junior, and Big Jim were like, "Oh well, that's too bad," and carried on with their lives full of blaming each other. Junior and Big Jim got into their two billionth argument since this show started, and everything was right with the universe again.
Barbie bolted and tried to steal a truck, but the female owner of the truck came up behind him with a shotgun and said, "Hey you are that murderer guy!" and Barbie grabbed her gun and was like, "No I am not," and then gave the gun back to her and she was totally cool with him from there on out because if you accuse someone of being a murderer and they do something nice to you like disarm you and then hand back your gun and say "I am not a murderer" then you have to believe them.
It turned out this lady, Rebecca Pine (classic Stephen King name), was the science teacher at Chester's Mill High (Go Fightin' Domes!), and she had been studying the Dome and for some reason not telling anyone about her findings. She believed that the magnetic fields the Dome produced were messing with people's brainwaves, though there was no rhyme or reason to how or when people would pass out from being over-magnetized. Under the Dome must be traumatizing for real-life scientists. I heard four scientists committed suicide just from watching this episode alone.
For some unknown reason, Barbie suddenly became concerned with Joe McAllister's safety and ran to his house to save him but it was too late! Joe and and Norrie and Angie were already being attacked by a magnetized stove!
Look at Norrie's face! She totally gave up and accepted she would be killed by a stove.
Stephen King wrote this episode, probably at gunpoint, so I had some great flashbacks to Maximum Overdrive as appliances turned on their human masters. And then I remembered that Maximum Overdrive was kind of dumb. This scene was also kind of dumb, so at least there was some consistency. Do I need to tell you that Barbie saved the kids from the stove? Barbie saved the kids from the stove.
The Magne-Dome pulled out all of the nails from the house (one stuck Joe in the hand haha, you could say he got nailed ZING) and I guess the entire house was being held up by two dozen nails because it crumbled to the ground like it was made out of Jenga bricks.
This is a great time to check in with Julia. How's it going Julia?
Boat-less Julia saved the woman with the help of a handsome stranger named Sam who had shifty eyes and they went back to his cabin and flirted a bunch and talked about how he wouldn't be welcome in town because he likes to get krunk on booze. But the real mystery is who was the woman who'd just appeared in the lake? She must have hatched from the mini-dome egg that Julia dropped in the water in the Season 1 finale, right? She's the real monarch I'm guessing, and the fact that I'm theorizing that a wet woman hatched from an egg at the bottom of the lake tells you all you need to know about this show.
The girl would later wake up and walk around town and hover over Officer Linda's corpse and say "Whoops!" She's obviously the Dome Girl and she needed to apologize to Officer Linda for killing her on accident, because the Dome is here to protect, not slaughter, Chester's Mill.
Also, I'm trying to organize this review in ways that make sense but it's really hard, so I'll just include an interesting detail about Sam right here. He's the brother of Big Jim's
dead wife Pauline and he had a scrapbook of hers that had some sketches of four bloody hands and the girl who was pulled out of the lake. So maybe Pauline's kindergarten fingerpainting sketches weren't just embarrassing pieces of art? Ugh, this show is getting some crazy combination of complicated and stupid.
Meanwhile, at Chester's Mill High, the school was under attack by pigs.
These pigs were never explained nor brought up again but I have to assume they're rabid swine that have acquired a taste for human flesh. NOW this show is getting interesting.
Inside the school, Rebecca Pine was showing off her model of Chester's Mill, which was elaborately detailed. This had to be a model that already existed pre-Dome, otherwise Rebecca Pine really needs a lesson in time management.
Rebecca postulated that if the town made a giant magnet within the Dome they could counteract the effects of the Magne-Dome. (Any scientists or magnet experts reading this who can verify that?) This did not sit well with Angie, who has adopted the religion of Domeism and rejects all science. She pulled Barbie aside and said that this was happening because they didn't kill Big Jim like the Dome asked them to.
Speaking of Big Jim, he locked himself in his bomb shelter (how's that medicine taste, Jim?) and was visited by the ghost of Dodee, who kept on fingering her hole and showing it to Big Jim. It was gross and that is not debatable.
Dodee kept on telling him stuff about sacrifice and how the Dome would get back at him by taking it out on Junior, but Jim was understandably freaked out about seeing the ghost of someone he killed and that's all he was concerned with. But he still delivered some great lines, like, "See ya sweetheart, go back to the Twilight Zone. I've got work to do." Or "Shut up and be dead! I'm busy!" I don't even know how he got stuck in the basement, what he was doing there in the first place, or what the point of these scenes was. To summarize, Dodee Ghost poked her bullet hole and then Jim got out of the basement, basically.
Then the Magne-Dome pulsed some more and people started passing out, but Junior and Angie eating it was the best.
What kind of weird reverse momentum pulled Angie backwards into a fall? I'm not sure the Dome had anything to with her spill; she may have just coincidentally slipped on her own, at the same time. Maybe she had an invisible dog leash on her? I dunno. This is what happens when you can't afford stuntmen. As for why certain people were passing out and others were not, the rules for not being affected by the Dome's magnetism appear to be that you have to be 1) over 25 years old, and B) one of the three main actors on the show.
Julia and Barbie reunited and they licked each other's saliva. What I like about them is their relationship is so believable. He killed her husband and lied about it and then she found out and banged him.
Not too far away, Big Jim was NOT done seeing ghosts. And they kept on giving him bad advice! Maybe this Dome really does want him dead, I'm thinking.
But Julia inexplicably changed her mind and decided she wasn't a killer LIKE SOME PEOPLE *hint hint Big Jim* but that didn't stop Jim from stomping on the trap door until it opened!
After Julia went from killing Big Jim to saving Big Jim, the Dome was pleased and the whiteface that covered the Dome went away and it became translucent again. Julia told Big Jim that the Dome didn't want her to kill him, it wanted her to end the killing! That was the Dome's purpose the entire time! And so three people learned that lesson while everyone else was just waking up from unconsciousness. I have to say, there are probably easier ways for the Dome to explain things to people.
More thoughts: So if the ghosts wanted Jim to die, does that mean they aren't part of the Dome? Could the Dome be trying to keep the ghosts out? That's what I'm going with.
Not too long afterward, Rebecca Pine came up to Barbie and Julia, and Barbie kickstarted an awkward love triangle problem when he said:
He really blew that. And so we have more Domeism versus Sciencism debating to do! Who do you think stopped the Dome from becoming a hellish magnet of death?
Now that everything was solved and there were no more problems in town, Chester's Mill went back to normal with Angie's diner a place for everyone to forget about how the Dome was still overhead, food was scarce, water was drying up, oxygen was running out, and everyone passed out from Magnet Brain Syndrome. Some authorly looking fella even had a cup of coffee.
And what was up with Big Jim now? It's like he was a changed man and only wanted to do good for people. He gave Phil dead Officer Linda's badge and made him sheriff, because Phil has shown some acumen for being in law enforcement, like that time Barbie kicked Phil's ass even though Barbie was handcuffed. Big Jim even offered up his place for Joe, Norrie, and Carolyn to stay in. Carolyn said sure and had some solid reasoning behind her decision to go live with the most dangerous man in town.
Jesus, is this episode ever going to end? We're close, I promise. Not everyone was happy with Big Jim. Angie said she woulda killed him and wouldn't have wussed out like Julia did. This is important to know for the final scene, maybe.
Then out of nowhere we saw Junior's mom Pauline in her art studio in a city far away! She's alive! So she didn't commit suicide like Big Jim said she did? It's useless paying attention to anything anyone says on this show, basically. And I really want this painting of Junior and am willing to pay fives of dollars for it if anyone can make it happen.
Then Pauline started brushing red paint over a painting of a door? Were we supposed to understand what was going on here? If you know what was going on can you let me know? Also, if you care, please let me know.
But Under the Dome was not done making ghosts, and in the final scene, Angie followed Dome Girl into an empty school and caught her looking into a locker. But when Angie looked into a locker an angry hall monitor or ghost or possibly Big Jim decided to stop her by chopping her up with an axe!
This was quite a shock since Britt Robertson is one of the few people on Under the Dome who can act, but maybe we should be thankful since she's giving the show a bar of quality that everything else can't reach. Anyway, Angie is totally dead, and now we'll be able to see how Robertson acts as a ghost.
Overall I thought this episode was lousy and made very little sense. I'm not sure it even had such aspirations. It was like a script was written in chunks by 12 different people who didn't read what the person before them had written. But that's not only what I expect from Under the Dome, it's what I need. I couldn't be happier that this show is back. I just have one request: BRING BEN BACK NOW. This show is much harder to take without my stoner buddy. See you next week... UNDER THE DOME!!!
– Why does Under the Dome continue to disgust us with a ghost sticking her finger in an open wound or a pregnant woman having her water break but we couldn't get one geyser of gore when Officer Linda was smashed against the dome by an SUV?
– Junior's little side trip hallucination scene was so fascinating, but I barely talked about it above. What was the deal with the snowglobe with the Zenith building inside? What's a Zenith building? Why did the snowglobe fill up with blood? Did the producers really need to use a harness cam on Junior?
– Do you think Angie will be back in ghost form?
– Who do you believe, science or Domeism?
AIRED ON 9/10/2015
Season 3 : Episode 13