Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In Which I Review Under the Dome (2x13)

I am going to repeat what I said a year ago when Under the Dome season one ended: raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by CBS's Under the Dome. Over the past 13 episodes, I've come to the conclusion that the writers really are just making it up as they go along but pretending like this is some sort of structurally sound narrative with cohesion. It's not. Under the Dome is camp, but it's bad camp because it's trying ever so hard to not be campy. In this season finale, "Go Now," people die, things do not happen, and my new theory is that all these people are actually aliens from another planet who have forgotten their real identity. Oh and there were glow in the dark butterflies. Was this season worth watching and writing about? Perhaps not. It's a fun exercise, making fun of a show that strives to not be made fun of. But each episode feels more useless than the next and a season finale should not feel like just another episode. So to Under the Dome, I say: "go now." Go now and don't look back; if I never get answers I might be okay with it. 

 So, Barbie is "the One." He's Neo. Not surprising, really. He's the guy who exists outside the law cause the law wronged him or something but he has some super magical powers and his girlfriend is equally magical and together Neo and Trinity will save Zion from the Rogue Agent Big Jim. Wait. That's the Matrix. Backing up, now. Barbie, shockingly, takes on the role as leader for this episode, trying to lead his people to safety through the magical tunnels of purple glowing rocks. So, he's also Moses. Why Barbie? Well, why not. It's been pretty clear from the get go that Barbie was some sort of protagonist who would have a special connection to the Dome. So when Pauline (oh yeah, she's alive...for now) told Julia that while the Dome loves the Red Head, there is another who remains ignorant of his true destiny. So, Barbie is also Leia to Julia's Luke and Pauline is Yoda? Can everyone please stop being so gosh-darn trope-tastic? The whole episode is focused on Barbie trying to get everyone out of Chester's Mill through the hole in the ground that Melanie created when she was sucked through. God. That sentence alone makes me want to drink. What's inside the tunnel? Glowing purple rocks and butterflies. FOR REASONS. I have no idea why. What IS with the butterflies? Do they serve a purpose? Does anything serve a purpose? Honestly, for an episode that was supposed to be about getting people out of dodge, it didn't spend a lot of time on it until the end. So what did we spend time on?

We spent a lot of time watching people die. First there was random farmer man who was killed by freak lightening (where did that come from?) Then we watched as Pauline sputtered bloody spittle and tried to tell everyone that she would be a-ok while Sam, Big Jim, and Junior freaked out and tried to figure out a way to save her. There is no way. She's going to die. Rebecca sees this and when Pauline asks for her help, Rebecca obliges. Morphine euthanasia. Yes, I'm sure Big Jim will understand this perfectly. Pauline was in pain and there was no hope. And, of course, it's what the Dome wanted and "it's was the kind thing to do." See, Rebecca, here's your problem. You're dumb. I mean it. You really are. Big Jim is a thug with a big ego and small temper. What did you think he was going to do when he learned that you helped kill his wife? Thank you kindly? Cause no. What he is going to do is pick up a hammer and beat your brains out.  Which is what Big Jim does and it's Christmas cause Rebecca finally bites it. God she was annoying. RIP Rebecca. I know you were brought on to replace Sad Linda but frankly I preferred Sad Linda over your own special brand of smug arrogance and scientific know-how. She bugged, guys. She bugged.

This, naturally, does wonders for Big Jim who has always been so sane in the past. Papa Crazy Pants, remember? Turns out Little Crazy Pants might be the sanest one in the family, and as he once held a girl hostage in an underground cellar in order to get her to love him, that's saying something. Big Jim tries to make a deal with the Dome: bring back my wife or I'm going to kill all your special little friends. Erm, that would include Junior, Jim. You know, your son? Well of course Pauline doesn't come back and so Big Jim, with his hammer a la Thor, moves into action. Getting Julia alone was easy and he tells her that she'd look pretty with a broken jaw. Wow. Big Jim has reached new level of creepdom, who would have thought. Julia does manage to escape which I'm grateful for even if I find the Monarch totally annoying. Big Jim goes after her but is stopped by Junior who tells Big Jim, "I'm not your son anymore." Attaboy Junior. Of course being Big Jim, he couldn't not say something incredibly stupid to piss off his son further and says that this is HIS town. Yeah well, Jim you only got a hammer. Junior's got a gun. And he knows how to use it. POP. Right through the shoulder because of course they aren't going to kill Big Jim when they are banking on at least one more season to tell this tale. Julia makes it back to the cave, Junior following. There is a gap in the cave that is getting wider and Julia is on one side, Barbie on the other. Julia elects to stay behind while Barbie gets everyone to safety. You see...he's the ONE. Cue some dramatic music.

And now we come to the climax of the show. Going down a tunnel, there appears to be no exit. Just a bunch of rock. Oh and glow in the dark butterflies. I don't know what that is about. Norrie has a nervous breakdown and starts screaming at the Dome to tell them what to do and the butterfly lands on a piece of rock. It is SPEAKING to them! SPEAKING TO THEM! Whatever. Barbie uses is magical hand and touches the rock. Be the rock, Barbie. Feel the rock. Become one with the rock. There is a spiderweb like light that breaks apart the rocks aaaaaand....there's Melanie. Standing, bathed in light, looking like a drowned rat. "Follow me. We're going home." What the hell. Are you people all aliens who got lost on planet earth and are now going home to Mars or something? What do you mean, home? Cause several of you are not even FROM Chester's Mill so what does that mean? If you're aliens, then fine. Be aliens. Be angles for all I care. Be butterflies that pupate and become something new. I don't care. Just answer the freaking questions!

Miscellaneous Notes on Go Now

--What are the purple glowing rocks in the cave? Is it part of their spaceship?

--Sappy Norrie and Joey moment #456216

--RIP many people. I'm sorry you had to suffer in Chester's Mill, but you're free of Under the Dome and in a better place now. Don't look back.

--Gotta get me some glow in the dark butterflies.

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