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Under the Dome S02E10: "The Fall"

"The Fall" was a very typical episode of Under the Dome, summer television's domiest science-fiction charade. All the hallmarks of scripted lunacy were there. There was a Dome, people avoided answering questions, some girl almost got locked in a bomb shelter, the Egg complained about things with an annoying high-pitched whine, and one unfortunate soul was impaled on a stalagmite. Classic Dome

Years from now we'll be asking each other, "Hey, remember that show about a Dome, a wobbly purple Egg, the girl who hatched from the Egg at the bottom of a lake, caterpillars, propane, and a town with a revolving-door sheriff policy?" And people who are lucky enough to have never seen Under the Dome will slowly back away from us while dialing 911. Because as implausible and insane as it sounds, those things are what this show is about. It's as if a five-year old snorted half a bag of sugar and made up a story on the fly and then someone made a TV series out of it. You know, like Axe Cop, but with a less believable plot.

"The Fall" picked up right after the cliffhanger from last week's episode, during Big Jim's thrilling reunion with his not-so-dead wife Pauline after she returned home following her teleportation from Zenith to Chester's Mill because she went through a red door in Zenith and ended up in the middle of the lake in Chester's Mill. And as is the cast with most of Under the Dome's cliffhangers and major plot points, the resolution to this one was entirely uninteresting. However, at least Dean Norris got to make some great faces as Pauline explained that she'd faked her own death and moved out of town because she thought the Dome would follow her, sparing her family the pain of being trapped underneath a Dome! Well, well, well, Pauline, don't you think you're important? Over the course of one chat, Big Jim experienced the four stages of emotion that a man who learns his wife faked her own death and ruined their kid's life because she thought that a Dome would follow her if she moved: anger, confusion, being on the verge of laughter because the story he's hearing is so ridiculous, and then super anger.

The most clever part of "The Fall" was the title, as it referred to another Dome-created microclimate change that accelerated the onset of fall (the season) and DJ Phil's fatal fall (a swan dive to a puncture-y death). Also, if you squint extra hard, that first lower-case 'L' could be an upper-case "i," which would make the episode title "The Fail," which also accurately described the hour. 

As for Chester's Mill's latest meteorological catastrophe, the Dome was accelerating the change in season, which was revealed when Rebecca the Science Teacher noticed local foliage changing color, signaling the onset of an early autumn. The temperature also dropped a few degrees and various characters said, "Brrrr!" and rubbed their arms for warmth. This sent Julia's head spinning. 

There, there, Julia. Let the concept of an unseasonably cool summer day sink in and just go with it. Or don't let it sink in, because this climate crisis was barely even discussed for the rest of the episode and had zero influence on the story. It probably helped that most citizens of Chester's Mill put on long-sleeved shirts. Looks like we'll have to wait until next week before winter comes and things get really serious when Chester's Mill suffers a sweater shortage. 

But there was no time to figure out what was really happening, because Barbie was back, and the music swelled and romance splattered across the screen as Julia and Barbie, America's sweethearts, embraced and kissed. Then Joe hornily kissed Norrie in a creepy pervy way and suggested they do a lot more like maybe dry hump. Then Melanie and Junior kissed for some reason? All three mouth-chews happened within a matter of minutes, in three quick scenes! It was an assault on our senses as mouth noises invaded our earholes and extreme close-ups of mismatched couples drinking each other's saliva stained our eyeballs. It was a waking nightmare that no one should have to see ever again. So let's watch .GIFs of all three racy liplocks! 

Ugh, grosser than watching your parents slip each other the tongue, but it looks like Joe and Norrie might actually have a real thing going behind the scenes? isn't a celebrity gossip site, but I'm going to make it official: They are totally doing it! 

Anyway, all this sexiness awoke Angie's Dome-ghost from her slumber, and she warned Junior about following his heart—but honestly, she came off as totally jelly now that Melanior was in full effect. Go back to being dead, Angie, you had your chance with Junior and you blew it by complaining about being locked up in a dungeon and smashing a snow globe over Junior's head! Britt Robertson sure seemed thrilled to be back, though:

Most of the rest of the episode focused on Barbie, Sam, and Pauline explaining what'd happened to them over the last few episodes (they searched for a red door because Pauline painted one and then they teleported into the lake in Chester's Mill—will I ever get tired of writing that?), which was so much fun for the audience. And while we viewers were revisiting a bunch of stuff we already knew, the people in Chester's Mill inferred what the Dome wanted in whatever way benefitted whatever psychotic path they were hurtling down. It was like watching superstitious people read their horoscopes and twisting the words to justify their nutty behavior. For example, "Maybe the Dome wants me to jump off this cliff and hunt down this shrieking Egg?" even though the Dome was just sitting there minding its own Dome business. And Big Jim is the biggest and jimmest offender! The man is certifiably insane. In fact, this show might just be about Big Jim slowly descending into madness and creating a fictional reality about Domes and Eggs inside his oatmeal brain. That's the only possible ending for Under the Dome that would satisfy me. 

Also, does anyone know what the point of Hunter is yet? I mean, obviously he's a bad guy, but was it really necessary to bring him along on the teleportation trip through a red door that plopped people into the middle of the lake in Chester's Mill? I have no idea why he's on this show right now, other than to be totally stoked to see two of his favorite internet celebrities, Joe and Norrie. 

This is how someone who writes for Under the Dome thinks "computer people" speak: "You're Joe McAllister, vlogmaster. And @NeitherNorrie, slaying the world 140 characters at a time." BARF. The word "vlog" is only used by hip grandparents and people from 2003, but Under the Dome won't shut up about it. And Twitter has never been used for anything meaningful, ever, so "slaying" might be a little strong. For their part, Norrie and Joe recognized Hunter as the webmaster and the guy who "direct Tweeted" Norrie. So now they're all friends until Hunter outs himself as a spy for Barbie's dad or he makes a move on Norrie.  

From there, everyone made a mad dash for the Egg. Big Jim and Barbie wanted to hand over the Egg to Barbie's dad in exchange for getting everyone out of Chester's Mill, and the Domesketeers wanted to protect the Egg because they're all crazy and Egg-sessed over it. Barbie convinced Melanie to join team #GiveUpTheEgg because he figured out that Melanie is his older half-sister (duh) and that was enough to change her mind, I guess? Big Jim eventually found the Egg (that Junior hid where Big Jim wasn't supposed to find it: on Big Jim's property) because it was screaming loud enough for him to hear, and Joe and Norrie, with the help of Hunter, turned a radar gun into an Egg detector, putting them on a collision course with Big Jim. This seriously happened on a television show that costs millions of dollars to make and that Amazon purchased for more than a million dollars per episode. 

Like, I'm trying to make sense of it, but it's so hard, guys. Big Jim walked Norrie and Joe at gunpoint to the bottomless pit inside the locker that teleports people to Zenith (ugh my brain) and demanded that they throw the Egg over the cliff, but when Joe and Norrie didn't want to do that, Big Jim just sorta slapped it out of Norrie's hands and it fell down the hole. 

And based on the earthquake that happened next, that may have been the wrong decision! Yes, the Egg gave the Earth a tummyache and everything started shaking comically like it would at an Earthquake "attraction" at a ramshackle theme park that's about to go bankrupt. That is, some things shook wildly and there were some overaggerated items jumping off shelves while other things couldn't be bothered to move at all. I mean, Pauline looked pretty chill during this major tremor. 

If you watch closely (or even barely pay attention), you'll see that a basket falls from the ceiling. Why is there a basket in the ceiling? And why aren't the vases on the shelves moving at all? I can't stop picturing the production assistants off camera, twiddling sticks to make the light fixtures and wall paintings shake a little bit. 

During this monster quake, the Egg screamed again and Melanie passed out for no obvious reason other to make something happen, so Barbie and Julia took her to Sam and they injected her with a bunch of drugs. But that wasn't even the weirdest thing to happen during all of this. 

The absolute best thing happened when Just Plain Phil (who's no longer a DJ or an Officer or a Sheriff) was stuck in his jail cell while all this shakin' was a goin' on, and his cell broke open, so he ran out as fast as he could and zipped through the locker to jump off the cliff into the bottomless pit because he'd heard it was a way out of town. Only instead of ending up on a playground in Zenith, this happened!

Well! That was a pointless death. Thanks for playing, Just Plain Phil. You were an integral part of the Dome's mysteries. The only question now is who Phil's Dome-ghost will visit.

Now the Egg is (maybe) in Zenith thanks to Big Jim's hand slap on Norrie, and the only (maybe) exit out of the Dome is closed off, replaced by that spiked-pit background from Mortal Kombat. Under the Dome has turned in a handful of insane episodes in a row that so far have amounted to nothing but confusion, headaches, and misery. It seems like Under the Dome is playing the long game, because we're not much closer to an explanation for the Dome than we were when we first heard there was a TV show coming out called Under the Dome. Can we rely on each other to help us through these final three episodes of Season 2? Would anyone else like to do these reviews for me? Does anyone know what is going on?


– Is Melanie the town whore or what? She was previously linked to Sam, then Joe, now Junior? She goes through men like Chester's Mill goes through sheriffs. Keep your pants on, girl. 

– Oh man, the scene where Pauline had a major headache and she was painting was brutal even for this show. 

– So all that time spent making a big plan to talk to people in Zenith and complaining about the order in which people would get to exit Chester's Mill was for... nothing? Great.

– Was there enough kissing for you, or did you want more?

– Should I have said "Ce-web-rities" instead of "web-lebrities"? 

– Where do you think Lyle is? In Zenith? Somewhere in Limbo? Drowned at the bottom of the lake? Hiding in a dumpster?

– F, Marry, Kill: the Dome, the Egg, and Norrie. GO!

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/10/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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