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Under the Dome S02E08: "Awakening"


Hello, Dome-rs! Dome-igos. Dome... fans? Sorry, I lost some steam on that last one, much like Under the Dome! Hahaha, SEE WHAT I DID THERE? Though to be fair, "Awakening" was less of a dud than last week's spelunking adventure to Zenith, and we learned quite a few things, including that Dean Norris misses Breaking Bad so much that he convinced the Under the Dome writers to give him a gun and a badge! And for his first day as the sheriff of Chester's Mill, he even wore a purple shirt, in honor of Marie. So sweet. 

Let's see, what else did we find out this week? Well, for one thing, Joe's email address is ScarecrowJoe@TechSlop.com, which is just all kinds of fun if a bit (okay, a lot) stupid. But that's not all! And since Tim is still on his Dome-cation (he'll be back next week, thank the Dome), it's up to me and Jen to make sense of the madness. Are you ready? Because it's time to go back UNDER THE DOME...

KAITLIN: I am a bit uncomfortable with how much Dome Knowledge I have acquired in just two episodes. I think I'm getting sucked in by the absolute absurdity of this show. Like, it actually makes complete sense to me that the answer for what's supposed to happen next in/on/around/near the Dome is "in the cards," because OF COURSE IT IS. The postcards Pauline sent Lyle are full of magic, and now that they've revealed the red door to Sam, Pauline, and Lyle (who seems to have fully recovered from his bout of crazy) are going to be searching for it, even though they don't really know what it means. I hope there's a montage next week of them opening every red door they come across, because that could be fun.


JEN: It was only matter of time before you converted to Domism, Kaitlin! And yeah, that serum or whatever experimental and super-convenient fix-all medicine that Pauline and Sam stole and injected into Lyle's arm really worked wonders (as did their brilliant plan to snag it from a locked room with the ol' "someone's having a seizure!" trick). Talk about a stalling storyline, though: After we saw Pauline's painting of a red door and then the red door itself in last week's episode, all that really happened this week with the Pauline-Sam-Lyle cohort was that THEY realized they should be looking for a red door, because there was red door on the last postcard that Pauline tried to send to Lyle before the Dome came down. Big whoop. 

But on that note, here's a question I have about Pauline: Now that I realize that she's an employee at the psychiatric hospital and not a patient, and even though she's not obviously crazy (even though she's quite sensitive about the word), I want to know when we're going to get a little more insight into where her "premonitions" are coming from. Isn't she herself curious about why her journaling and her painting and her postcard-making can predict the future, so to speak? Has that ever been touched on in a way that goes beyond, "Oh yeah, Big Jim's wife was a rambling, paintbrush-wielding nutcase... OR WAS SHE?"

Regardless: The search for the red door is on like Dome-key Kong! (Personally, after all of Under the Dome's shilling for Microsoft Surface, I kind of want the red door to turn out to be product placement for Elizabeth Arden.) 


KAITLIN: Ah, yes. Red Door, what a lovely scent. But for some reason, I imagine it's what Julia would wear, and I wouldn't put it past this show to make that connection. I mean, if Barbie can cling to the underside of a truck for up to "16 klicks" between a security checkpoint and the Dome, anything is possible! I looked up that distance by the way, and 16 klicks (a.k.a. 16 kilometers in military speak) is almost 10 miles! Even if he didn't ride the whole way, that's crazy! Barbie's buff, but as far as I can tell, he is not part gorilla. Maybe the Dome gave him super strength? It did bring Melanie back from the dead and dig a huge tunnel, so I suppose it could probably turn Barbie into a superhero, too? (Oh God, CBS, if you're reading this, please do not try to turn Barbie into a superhero.)

Speaking of Barbie, what is up with his dad? His company, Aktaion Energy, is involved with the Dome as a government contractor, and the big reveal this week was that he both knows about and wants that stupid freaking egg. What do you think he wants it for? To help him rule all of Metropolis? (Shit, I need to stop making superhero references.)


JEN: DOMESPIRACY! I can't even guess as to why Mr. Barbie wants the damn egg, but he's clearly up to no good. Geez, he is such a vague and boring villain, what with all his high-ranking "friends" and his highly profitable Dome wifi and his one-man Geek Squad in Hunter, Under the Dome's latest new character. Hunter is on Mr. Barbie's payroll, but one thing you have to know, Kaitlin, is that he's a hacker of the people—and he's dying to blow the lid off whatever DOMESPIRACY is currently underway (have you checked out his website yet?). That's why he helped Barbie snoop around Mr. Barbie's files, which is how Barbie started to learn the "truth" about his dear old dad. I think their exchange at the start of Babie's little break-in—"Hey if this is a set-up, you're going to have a hell of a time picking up your teeth with broken fingers!" "I get it, you're tough, just get to his computer and put in the jump drive!"—was possibly my favorite conversation of the episode. 

That led to one of the hour's more painful scenes, where Barbie bought himself and Hunter some time while talking gibberish about a photo of his mom, and his dad believed—or pretended to believe—him. But the scene was important because it put Barbie on his path toward the Dome, and thanks to his coded email to Julia ("wrong place, wrong time, wrong weather"!), she was right there waiting for him when he finally arrived. I have to say, Julia yelling at the Dome before Barbie showed up wasn't as good as her "NOOOOOOOOOO!" when he went over the cliff last week, but it was still some very fine acting. 


KATILIN: That fine acting might just be what brought Big Jim out to the Dome to see what she was up to. You know, after he escaped from DJ Phil (who lives!) with the help of Junior and Rebecca the Science Teacher. I find it a little ridiculous that both Junior and Rebecca the Science Teacher would be so quick to join up with Big Jim after all the crazy shit he's been spouting lately. When Rebecca asked him, "Who do you think could be mad at you?" and Junior said, "This could take a while," I couldn't help but laugh. He still thinks the Dome is trying to send him messages, and this week, his evidence was that someone destroyed his carefully crafted windmill and strategically lit a car on fire underneath a billboard with his face on it. He acts like he's the first person that's ever happened to, but if I had a nickel for every time someone ruined one of my windmills or lit my car on fire because they disliked one of my TV reviews, I'd be a millionaire. So stop playing, Big Jim, because no one cares about you that much. 

I mean, even Junior and Rebecca the Science teacher thought he was being silly! It was pretty hilarious to see them take down Jim's "someone's out to get me" claims with "You sold two thirds of the cars in town!" and "Technically, two events are a coincidence, it takes three to make a pattern." Maybe they're starting to understand how we feel when we tune in every week! 

JEN: We can only hope so (I wouldn't count on it). Either way, "Awakening" left us with Barbie in custody, Lyle and Sam and Pauline on the hunt for the red door, Big Jim and Junior and Rebecca the Science Teacher on the same team again, DJ Phil drunk and in a holding cell, and Julia screaming at the Dome. Now let's hear your theories about what's next and why Mr. Barbie wants the egg!



ADDEN-DOMES

– During Barbie's voiceover in the opening sequence, he said that the Dome came down "a few weeks ago" instead of "two weeks ago." Progress?

– More and more, Under the Dome's characters are referring to the Dome without a "the"—like when Rebecca the Science Teacher expressed concern over Big Jim's donning of the sheriff's star with "Dome hasn't treated those who wear it too kindly."

– Barbie can write really fast! Could YOU scrawl out "Julia – I love You / We'll see each other soon. / All it takes is a leap of faith / ScarecrowJoe@TechSlop.com" as fast as he did?

– Another "maybe they're speaking for the audience" moment: 

Junior: "You're joking." 
Big Jim: "If I was joking, one of us would be laughing."

– LOL remember how, in the Season 2 premiere, the Dome was magnetic and Officer Linda DIED because the magnetism pinned her between a car and the Dome? But now it's just a dry-erase board. That Dome sure is fickle when it needs to serve a storyline, isn't it?

– Not only can Barbie write quickly, he is super skilled at writing backwards while panicking!!

– Was anyone else hoping, when Julia and Barbie started running toward each other on opposite sides of the Dome, that one or both of them would smash into it like a pigeon into a window?

– Earlier in the episode, when Barbie ordered Hunter to help him get to the Dome, Hunter was taken aback, exclaiming, "The place where the National Guard shoots trespassers on sight?" But at the end of the episode, when Barbie got caught, all they did was stuff him in a SUV and haul him away. Dang. 

– Now that Big Jim has handed out a bunch of walkie talkies to various Chester's Mill residents, Under the Dome's writers and stage far-off emergencies whenever they want!

– "The egg showed us Zenith last night. Maybe that's where the cliff leads." Joe is seeming a little too smart these days in terms of guessing at how everything is connected with not-great evidence as to why. It's almost like he's just reading bullet points from the writers' storyboards.   

– "Julia, hang in there. Whenever you get scared, just remember the first time we kissed at the Dome, by Joe's house, at sunset, stars coming out. I can't wait to hold you there again. Love, Your Stray." Ewwwww Barbie! Gross!

– Aww, poor Tom had to trade his mother's heirloom quilts for food to feed his kids! But doesn't the diner have an endless supply thanks to that lady's dead hoarder husband?

– We hope that CBS eventually finds away to do crossover episodes between Under the Dome and its upcoming computer dramas Scorpion and CSI: Cyber. Maybe the CSI: Cyber team can go after Hunter and the Scorpion dudes, who are probably good friends of his, will help him out? 

– When Junior, Big Jim, and Rebecca the Science Teacher responded to the car fire, Junior suggested it was the work of someone on "a vandalism spree." What if it was the same people who DJ Phil recently caught defacing the bridge? (It sure doesn't look like they're in jail.)

– Joe is a super annoying vlogger.

– "These postcards don't really tell us anything we don't know." Gee, thanks Lyle. Just like most of what's happened on Under the Dome lately!

– "I think that door could be a way back in," Pauline said in the promo for next week episode. Just like we've assumed since we first saw the thing!

– Another week with no Ben. As one of you suggested in last week's comments, we can only assume that he's on Dome-cation with Tim. 

– Speaking of Tim, thanks for reading, everyone! He'll be back for next week's episode!

– @thegroovologist is already a frontrunner for winning the comments this week (with a hat tip to @docspector for predicting such a moment last week!):


What'd you think of "Awakening"?



Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/22/2014

Season 2 : Episode 13

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