{TB Talks TV} Under the Dome Review: “Force Majeure”

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This week’s episode of is brought to you by…obscure Latin terms! A brief definition to start: force majeure – chance occurrence, unavoidable accident; a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to what’s important – TV! We begin this week’s episode when Barbie catches Drowning Girl digging through his stuff, trying to jog her memory. Julia walks in and instead of getting in a big fight (which they’re headed towards), they all go to the mandatory citizen registration set up by Big Jim. Now, it’s time to meet barber and all around sketchy dude, Lyle Chumley (not to be confused with Julia’s last name, which is Shumway) who dated Big Jim’s late wife back in the day.

At the registration, the old gang’s back together to discuss the fact that now Angie’s dead, the four hand prints required to wake the mini dome are now reduced to three. Before Julia can convince anyone else that the dome is here to protect them, Rebecca sends the kiddies off to the school to work on a windmill for electricity for the town. They’re still running out of supplies, so when it starts raining, they think they’re saved until they realize it’s raining blood. Yes, just like a biblical plague, blood is falling from the skies and, guess what – it’s acidic, so bad all around. While this is definitely not an everyday occurrence, I would argue that it’s not the weirdest thing to happen this season. Lyle pipes up, commenting that this will be the third sign of the apocalypse, after the swarm of bugs and the fire that blazed through town. Did I call it or what?

Rapid Moviez

Anyway, new power couple Rebecca and Big Jim take a leisurely drive until they almost hit a guy in the middle of the road. They spin out of control and the mystery man drags Big Jim out of the car and takes off with Rebecca. Rebecca is such a blah character, though, that I really couldn’t care less what happens to her. That’s actually my main issue with all the new characters this season – there’s nothing for me to grab on to emotionally. I don’t care what happens to them and I’d just as soon they were out of the picture anyway. So, when we see that it was Lyle who abducted Rebecca, I could really go either way about it. Rebecca is, understandably, upset and tries to reason with an unreasonable man who believes that the dome is sending the rain as a sign. When she still argues for science, Lyle “baptizes” her with the burning rain which seems to be anything but pleasant.

Let’s check back with the kiddies now. They’re at the high school and miracle of miracles, their email works again! Joe gets a heartfelt email from his dad reminding him to take care of Angie but it’s Junior’s email that’s more interesting. There’s a video from his (very much alive) mom telling him to seek answers from crazy Lyle and…the internet’s out again. Kids these days and their technology.

Back in Barbie land, Barbie and Julia are fighting (again) after they’ve taken Big Jim to safety because Barbie is now on Big Jim’s team come hell or high water (which could be next week’s episode). After some snooping, they find a picture of Lyle, Sam, and Pauline (Junior’s mom) and when Julia confronts Sam about it, he gets super shady and aloof. Junior shows up and helpfully tells them the pic was taken at the cement factory so that must be where Lyle has Rebecca hostage! If only every mystery was solved so easily and efficiently.

On the hunt for better wifi, Joe, Norrie, and Drowning Girl go back to the scene of the crime but when Drowning Girl realizes she knows the combination for the locker near Angie’s death, Norrie flips out and confronts her about her identity. In reality, this is a run of the mill cat fight and Norrie was just looking for an excuse to cut a bitch. Jk, jk. Somehow, Joe now believes Drowning Girl’s story and trusts her completely when, just last week he was convinced she killed his sister. Back to that later.

(Source: Dread Central)

Right after Rebecca lies, admitting that she believes in the dome’s power, Barbie, Big Jim and Julia bust in to rescue her, guns drawn. As Julia works to talk Lyle down, Rebecca gets free of her restraints and throws the acid blood in his face and the boys take him down. For some reason, this upsets Julia – I think she’s looking to pick a fight today. The next we see of Rebecca, she’s spraying down the blood rain puddle with water, which is the magical cure the town has been looking for. The blood rain stops, life goes back to normal. She explains (sort of) to Big Jim later that it was “pretty science-y,” so she won’t bother explaining. Aaaaaaannnnndd…the episode goes from bad to worse. Science-y? I’d like an explanation, even if Big Jim can’t handle it. Her victory pushes her to insist on “selectively thinning the herd.” Big Jim and Barbie seem to be on board, while Julia (understandably this time) is not. Rebecca estimates that they need to reduce the population by a quarter and Big Jim should be the one to decide who lives and who dies because the dome chose him to lead. Make up your mind, lady!

Well, Junior finally finds Lyle in the jail and eavesdrops while his Uncle Sam threatens Lyle, telling him what they buried needs to stay buried. He actually interrupts a very nice rendition of CCR’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” And here’s where the title comes into play. All bets are off. Now it’s Junior’s turn to interrogate Lyle who says he’ll spill the beans if he’s freed from jail. At this point, isn’t the whole town kind of a jail? I say do it, Junior!

Back at Rydell High, Joe looks up the convenient stats of every person who owned the locker for the last 50 years (plausible), and when Drowning Girl recognizes a name, cross references it with a handy yearbook. Drowning Girl is actually Melanie Cross who went to school there in the 80s…and she hasn’t aged a day! Gasp!

I’m still waiting for “Under the Dome” to surprise me this season. Angie’s death was a little surprising but in the book Angie died right away, so I’ve been expecting that for over a season now. I just need one twist that I don’t see coming a mile away, or even a character coupling that isn’t what I expected. At this point, I’d take another cow getting cut in half…I’m really not picky. Unfortunately, what’s in store for next week seems to be much of the same, but who knows? Miracles happen…under the dome.

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In Rikki’s perfect world, she’s Queen of Westeros, best friends with Mindy Kaling, and her other car is a TARDIS…a girl can dream, right?
@rikkimckernan

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