Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Under the Dome: Tough for Newbies

This series is getting tougher to watch for newcomers, as the two most recent episodes build heavily on the season opener. In this day and age, it's not too difficult to locate recent installments of shows, so this might not seem like a big problem, but it would definitely be frustrating to see someone channel-surfing and stumble upon the program, only to turn it off when they're utterly lost over who is who and what's going on. This is strangely coupled with the fact that there are many issues in Chester's Mill that are contained within a single episode, like the acidic rain... or last season's run on supplies or epidemic. It's somewhat confusing to have both long-running arcs and short issues that one would imagine would recur. Toss in the fact that audiences are being introduced to more and more of Chester's Mill's residents and following this series is becoming as complicated as Degrassi... or at least the daily soaps!

Under the Dome "Infestation" (S02E02): The Dome Girl runs off to the woods, and Norrie and Joe find her and bring her back to BigJim's house. All she remembers is that something made her go to the school, and she heard Angie scream. Julia goes to Sam and learns his identity, plus he shows her the drawing his sister did twenty years earlier.

Rebecca is going to start teaching again, so when Junior goes to open the school, he finds Angie's body in the hallway, covered in butterflies. BigJim and Junior each think the other is responsible, and Junior wonders if he could have done it while drunk the previous night. Joe, angry about his sister's death, brings DomeGirl's shoe to the police station, and it's a match to a print found in Angie's blood. [wow, for a radio DJ, Phil sure is taking to this police officer thing!] Though DomeGirl is arrested, a preliminary autopsy shows that someone with much larger hands must have been the killer, so DomeGirl is innocent. [Julia sure seems to have a strong stake in the girl's life...] Still, Joe, Junior, and Norrie nearly kill her, yet she does not seem wary of them. Joe searches for Angie's bracelet before the funeral, and finds it, just in time to hear BigJim use the funeral to make sure everyone in town still trusts him. [huge eye rolls over here...]

The influx of butterflies has led to more caterpillars, which will eat up the plants under the dome, so Rebecca lights the brush on fire to kill off the insects, but that won't be enough. [Barbie, of all people, knows that caterpillars typically feed on milkweed?] Barbie and BigJim both want to be in charge of crop-dusting, but Barbie wins out, playing a hero when he flies too close to the dome and nearly crashes. [haha, BigJim had a reserve tank for when he made drug runs out of town!] But, Rebecca is now concerned that there aren't enough resources for the number of people living under the dome, so more deaths are imminent.

Under the Dome "Force Majeure" (S02E03): BigJim is interested in Rebecca, who is trying to harvest wind for power and has the kids head to the school to work on a windmill project. When they discover that they can access the internet, they check out email and twitter, and Junior gets a message from his mother that says she's alive, and to ask Lyle, the barber, for answers. [another new character to focus on?] The signal doesn't last, so they try to follow it, and wind up at the locker where Angie was killed. DomeGirl knows the combination somehow, and the locker is revealed to be empty. Joe uses the school office's records and old yearbooks to determine that DomeGirl is Melanie Cross, who had that locker in 1988, but hasn't aged. [creepy.]

When it rains, everyone plans to collect drinkable water, but it turns out that what's falling from the sky is red and acidic, injuring anyone with whom it comes into contact. [ouch!] Lyle kidnaps Rebecca when she and BigJim are driving along, leaving him to burn in the falling liquid.
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BigJim radios for help, and Barbie, Julia, and Sam take off in the ambulance to save him. Meanwhile, Lyle believes that this is the apocalypse, and baptizes Rebecca by pouring the acid rain down her back. She starts going along with Lyle's beliefs, but he knows she's faking, and is about to hurt her worse when Julia, Barbie, and Junior (who recently learned from his uncle that his mother also had blackouts) arrive. Julia is talking Lyle down when Rebecca gets free and splashes rain at him. She then works on neutralizing the liquid, while Lyle is sent to prison, where Sam visits him and cryptically mentions that they made a promise 25 years ago. [how very I Know What You Did Last Summer...] Then, Junior goes to see Lyle, who says that he'll grant him full access if he gets him out of jail.

On top of all this, BigJim sets a mandatory citizen registration, which includes a survey to figure out how to best allocate people as time goes by. However, it turns out to really be a checklist to help Rebecca figure out how to thin the herd by 25%, as they're running out of food. [I'm unsure what angle Barbie is playing here...]

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