Well, that’s a bit more like it. This season has been better than last year’s dreck, but it still has lacked in spectacle. This week brought that missing spectacle and also might have brought an extinction level event to the world outside of Chester’s Mill in a rather thoughtful and intense episode of Under the Dome.
So last week we saw Sam stab Christine and refuse to fall under the sway of the dome collective. This week, those actions may have had some pretty dire consequences for the rest of the world. Now, it isn’t really clear whether the meteor shower struck the Earth because of Sam’s actions and Christine’s fall, but there is a certain coincidence in the timing of the two events. What was clear is the fact the dome was originally constructed to protect those who live under it. That’s right, as the dome residents (well the few that aren’t all zombified by Christine) watched in horror, a meteor shower struck outside the dome, potentially wiping out all life on the planet. Yeah, the dialogue got a bit clunky, what with characters constantly informing the viewer that meteors killed the dinosaurs, but what the episode lacked in finesse, it made up for in visual intensity. The meteors falling outside the dome and, in some cases, striking the dome was an impressive sight as was the wall of fire that surrounded the dome after the meteors hit. It had a pretty epic feel -something this show has been lacing for a very long time.
As for the characters themselves, most Chester’s Mill residents are all Borged out by Christine except for our cast of regulars. Barbie was struggling between his duty as a soldier and the temptation of the collective and Eva. The heroic part of Barbie wanted to find a way to allow the outside world in through the red door, to save as many people as possible, but how do you save an entire world? Eva, who plays the alien seductress role rather well this week, tried to tempt him away from his heroic path and it looked like Eva won. That last shot of the episode, with Barbie walking away from the dome with Eva while people-families-burned outside was shocking to say the least.
Barbie wasn’t helping but that didn’t mean Chester’s Mill didn’t have heroes. Joe and Norrie were on the case and not only helped Hunter remove himself from the collective, they also found a way to potentially take the collective down once and for all. Joe and Norrie began the episode trying to talk Hunter out of suicide as last week; Christine tried to Kevorkian Hunter and convinced him that his death would benefit the collective. Joe and Norrie had none of it and Norrie even knocked Hunter the F out when he tried to slash his wrists. And y’know what? Watching the character of Norrie grow more kickass every week, I came to the conclusion that if the X-Men films ever recast Rogue- MacKenzie Lintz, the wonderful actress that brings Norrie to life-is your girl!
Saving Hunter wasn’t Joe and Norrie’s only contribution this week as the duo also discovered that the connection to the collective could be severed through intense emotions. So now, our heroes have a weapon against Christine who was still recovering in her slime cocoon safeguarded by Junior.
Speaking of Junior, through Junior, Sam learned that all the members of the collective are inhabited by alien intelligences. So that’s Christine’s big plan, possess the Chester’s Mill residents with alien consciousness and protect those residents with the dome. That’s actually a huge piece of the show’s puzzle that fell into place this week, the origin and purpose of the dome.
So if that’s the case, what is Julia’s purpose as the Dome’s chosen? Julia was rather active this week, drinking and reminiscing with life outside the dome with her sworn enemy “Big” Jim. Jim and Julia had a ringside seat at the apocalypse and downed many glasses of scotch while the meteors fell. Plus, Julia even went a whole week without getting thrown off something or knocked out. Actually, Jim and Julia’s conversation got rather existential as both wondered if they were the only human beings left on Earth.
This week also saw the return of that wonderfully tense claustrophobic feel that permeated the first season. As the meteors fell and everything outside Chester’s Mill was destroyed, the viewer really got a feeling that the town is a very small place but now it may be humanity’s only hope. I never really thought this series would actually go full apocalypse, but there you have it. In season one, in one of the most effective scenes that the show has pulled off to date, Joe and Norrie entered a trance and started babbling, almost in tongues, about pink stars. Now, the answer to the truth regarding those pink stars was answered and in grand fashion. In fact, a bunch of dangling plot threads were tied up this week as Under the Dome got back to its roots a bit.
The episode may have been more Tommyknockers than it was Under the Dome, but it was finally an episode worthy of the name Stephen King.