Dome-breros, I know I come around these parts every Tuesday and throw a bunch of sarcasm at you, but I am being one-billion-percent serious when I say that this particular episode of Under the Dome was one of the worst episodes to ever splatter onto our television screens. R.I.P., logic and common sense; what a shame it was to see you brutally murdered, set aflame, and launched into space in "Reconciliation." Did you misplace your phone or accidentally call your wife "Blurglepants" after watching this episode? If you did, it's not your fault—Under the Dome made you dumber. Your brain has essentially been replaced by a kumquat.
And is it any coincidence that the episode that shaved several points off our IQs was the one in which Julia Shumway, professional journalist for the Chester's Mill Independent, rose to power? It was going to take several expertly crafted and convincing speeches and a whole bunch of nick-of-time deus ex machinas to save Chester's Mill from the incompetent rule of Julia Shumway. Luckily, both were more readily available than a free coffee refill at Sweetbriar Rose.
Let us begin with something that happened even before the episode started tripping over its own feet and repeatedly smashing its teeth into the pavement. The "Welcome to Under the Dome" message designed to give first-time viewers (run, first-time viewers, run until you cannot run anymore!) a brief overview of what's happening stated that a dome came down over Chester's Mill TWO WEEKS AGO. In Junior's first scene, he said he received an email from his mom two days ago, which we saw happen two episodes ago. So in 12 days, the following happened in Chester's Mill:
You know how some shows have employees whose main job is to make sure that story timelines match up and there are no inaccuracies? The guy who took that gig on Under the Dome's must've quit on his first day. Haven't we seen Barbie and Julia wake up in each other's arms like 20 times? Are they taking lots of mid-afternoon naps? Or maybe all that stuff I listed above really did happen in less than a fortnight, in which case everyone in Chester's Mill is doing a bang-up job of keeping it together because I would've lost my marbles by now. I have trouble staying sane when my DVR is recording two shows at once, but Chester's Millians deal with near-death situations by getting an omelet and a cup o' Joe at the town diner.
Or maybe the pressure IS getting to the townfolk, because for the first time in forever, the people of Chester's Mill were not operating under one singular hivemind. They formed "opinions," and had "debates" based on their own individual "feelings" rather than blindly burning down whatever Big Jim told them to burn down. Well, only two guys really did, but like an electoral college or the Nielsen ratings system, they represented EVERYBODY.
That's Greg siding with Big Jim; he was angry that Julia turned Chester's Mill into a police state by throwing Big Jim in jail and conspiracy-theorizing that Big Jim was set up because he was never caught with a virus in his hand. And that's Wendell who's all pro-Julia; he chose the Shumway ticket mostly because he didn't want to support someone "who tried to murder everyone with that virus of his." Obviously Greg was a total doofus, and what we would call a "truther," but then again, the alternative was to follow a lady who was power-tripping because a butterfly landed on her. Whose side do you choose!?!?! Regardless, neither of these actors should add their performances in "Reconciliation" to their sizzle reel.
Tension in town was higher than Ben watching The Incredibles on Blu-ray, and Julia set a trial to determine how guilty Big Jim and Rebecca the Science Teacher were for their plot to indiscriminately murder a quarter of the town using biological warfare. Julia, always the fair dictator, decided that Big Jim and Rebecca the Science Teacher needed legal representation, so she asked Caroline (who is still on this show, btw) if she would lawyer up and Caroline agreed as if it was no big deal to defend the lives of two people who'd just tried to infect the town with manmade pig disease so they could have extra cans of peaches. I found this rather amusing.
Meanwhile, in jail, Big Jim and Rebecca the Science Teacher were bitching and moaning about something, who knows. But Rebecca the Science Teacher did explain science to us when she said, "The virus was stronger than I thought, if the evidence changes, your thinking has to change, it's called science!" What do you know, she's right!
Unfortunately for Julia, holding a trial before an angry mob wasn't as easy as it sounded, and soon the crowd got as rowdy as a mosh pit at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert right in the middle of Darius Rucker's sweet guitar solo in "Only Wanna Be With You."
Is that the whitest thing you've ever seen, or just the second whitest thing you've ever seen? And Wendell, previously the voice of reason at the diner, decided he would give his own brand of lawyering a shot.
So that was the big trial. I'd say it went pretty well.
Hey let's check in on Joe! He and his harem were off touching Domes and generally letting the palpable hatred between Norrie and Melanie grow in hopes that Norrie's blood pressure would cause her eyeballs to explode. Joe finally called Norrie a bitch, but only after Norrie went to Bitch-Con 5 by unnecessarily bringing her dead mother into an argument with Melanie.
That pushed Joe away and he fell into Melanie's open mouth! You know what they say, girls from the '80s who hatched from a Dome egg at the bottom of a lake are so easy.
Norrie was not happy!
Norrie is like that short guy who talks tough and gets his ass beat right after the bell.
Anyway, before Melanie and Norrie could start snapping each other's training bras again, Joe had an idea:
When that didn't work, he decided they should all take a blood test to determine whether they had blood or not, apparently. Because when they went to the high-school science lab to look at the blood under microscopes, Joe hit a blank.
Apparently Joe expected the blood samples' hemoglobins to spell out "H-U-M-A-N" and "E-G-G-L-A-D-Y" underneath the microscope? Under the Dome has done a lot of stupid things, especially with Joe, but I don't think anyone will ever recover from this one.
Back in town, Julia was pretty bummed about Officer DJ Phil's version of courtroom justice, so she asked him to quit but Officer DJ Phil wasn't scared of no lady.
Hahaha, he couldn't take off his badge fast enough once Barbie showed up. And that nod! That will keep me laughing for decades, and I will tell my grandchildren about that time DJ Phil wussed harder than anything ever.
That disgraceful surrender would only fuel
Officer DJ Phil's quest to take down Julia, so he came up with a plan. I forgot to mention earlier that just before the trial, Julia suggested that the townspeople pool all their food so that everyone would get a share and no one would starve. Phil's plan was to blow all that shit up.
It was a pretty solid plan that wouldn't fail unless DJ Phil did something really stupid like say that the wires of the generator were frayed when no one even knew how the place blew up in the first place. So of course DJ Phil told everyone that the wires of the generator were frayed. Luckily for DJ Phil, everyone was too dumb to realize that he'd just confessed to blowing up all the food. However, DJ Phil was only 90-percent stupid, and hid the food in a side room before he blew the spot where the food was being collected. Somehow. I mean, I'm confused. Everyone was moving stuff in the main room when it blew up, but after the explosion, most of the food was in Phil's secret side room. However, compared to some of the other dumb stuff that happened in this episode, it's actually believable that Phil moved all the food really, really fast.
Later, nosy Caroline came around and realized that Phil had hoarded all the food and discovered that he'd planted the explosion, so DJ Phil made her useful and took her hostage. Barbie showed up and there was a big fight between Barbie and two of DJ Phil's thugs (DJ Phil has some thugs now, just go with it), so Barbie got to show off more of his military moves.
Then there was a tense showdown between Barbie and all-of-sudden-villain DJ Phil!
Barbie saved the day for the, well, I guess 14th day in a row since only two weeks have passed. But what about the food shortage!?!? That was fixed by that crazy lady Andrea who had a monster supply of food in her apartment. It's like she lived inside a Costco. Apparently her late husband was a survivalist and collected all this food in case something bad happened. And he just kept it inside the house wherever.
AND THAT IS HOW THE BIG FOOD SHORTAGE WAS RESOLVED! Some crazy lady had a bunch of food in her house. Literally just lying around. That picture above is of Julia in the crazy lady's LIVING ROOM. Her furniture was made out of pallets of instant mac-n-cheese. She brushed her teeth with Hawaiian Punch, mayonnaise, and celery sticks.
Then there was a huge feast at the diner, and everyone stuffed their fat faces like they were reenacting Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and food was falling from the sky.
Then Julia brought in Big Jim and Rebecca the Science Teacher and basically decided to bury the hatchet and everyone clapped like idiots.
But that wasn't all! Rebecca the Science Teacher, Junior, and Sam (the latter two were headed to the locker after following some incredibly convoluted clues that were sneakily planted by Sam) met up at Melanie's mysterious empty locker and discovered that it had been kicked in and was actually a tunnel that led somewhere underground for the episode's big WHOA moment... except it was more like an UGH moment.
And that was "Reconciliation," one of the worst episodes of Under the Dome that ever Domed our Domes. WAS WENDELL'S LIFE WORTH IT!?!?!? Does anyone know where Ben is? I miss that guy.