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Monday, September 2, 2013

My Review of Under the Dome Episode 11- Speak of the Devil

Very resonant title mainly due to Big Jim and Junior.  The kids continue to investigate the dome, Julia meets Maxine with tragic results, and Big Jim shows why he is the king of Chester's Mill...

There's a couple of sayings that this episode brings to mind.  First is, "If you sup with the devil, bring a long spoon."  The second is, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."  Or those are approximately the sayings anyway.  Both sayings are very apt where this episode is concerned and they both concern Big Jim and Maxine.  Barbie and Big Jim both got into bed (Barbie literally) with Maxine and ended up paying a price.  In Barbie's case, it shook his relationship with Julia and got her shot.  In Big Jim's case, he is lying to people to protect himself, which is why the second saying is so very apt for him.  The first saying also applies to Linda because she is starting to fall in with what Big Jim is saying about Barbie.  More on that later.  The second saying is particularly apt because Big Jim is managing to convince people that he truly wants what is best for them and not just what is best for him.  The people are not seeing him for who he is, rather they are falling for the spin that he is putting out because it is safe and easy.

Part of Big Jim's problem is that he has managed to convince himself that what is best for him is also best for Chester's Mill.  Therefore, any lying, killing, or other sins that he commits in the name of protecting himself is for the common good and therefore excusable.  So, in his own way, he is as unbalanced as his son.  Junior is more overtly dangerous, but Big Jim is also very, very dangerous.  I won't deny that he may have every intention of protecting the town, but he is doing so in some horrendous ways.  While executing Maxine and her "business partner" may have been incredibly pragmatic, and even good on some warped level, it was done with the intention of framing Barbie for what happened so that people would trust Big Jim.

While I cannot say that I am surprised that they town as a whole fell for what Big Jim was saying, I was surprised and disappointed that Linda appears to have done so.  More than anyone else, she has seen Barbie in action and knows that he is not the horrible person Big Jim is saying he is.  Is he dangerous?  Sure, if you do something to get him riled up.  But if you don't, he is a good man.  Linda has seen how helpful Barbie has consistently been, but she still swallowed Big Jim's lie.  The problem is that Big Jim mixed in a little truth with the lies and then spun the whole thing so that all of Barbie's actions would be viewed through the lens of someone who is a dangerous outsider and therefore suspicious.  I was so hoping Linda wouldn't fall for it but, sadly, she did.

I do wonder why the military is looking for Barbie.  Doody, like Linda, viewed what she found out through the lens that Big Jim set up and therefore leapt to the worst possible conclusion, that he was wanted for some bad reason.  But, what if the military wants Barbie for some other reason?  Maybe he could be used to investigate the dome from the inside.  Maybe he is working for the government to figure out why there was lots of propane going to Chester's Mill.  We just don't have enough information to figure it out yet.

The kids are coming dangerously close to going over a proverbial edge where the dome is concerned.  They had two different responses to the same event, the storm.  Joe thinks that the storm ended because Barbie saved Julia's life.  Junior, on the other hand, is convinced that the storm ended because he chose to come back with the others.  Is either correct?  Dunno, but I am somehow doubting that either is correct.  I am not familiar enough with meteorology to explain what happened, but it is possible that the limited atmosphere in the dome may have something to do with the storm breaking up.  It is also possible that if there is an intelligence behind the dome that it ended the storm for its own reasons.  The kids definitely need to bring someone else in on what they are thinking because they are now officially over their heads and are going to start sinking really soon.  Going after Big Jim is going to cause them problems, to put it mildly.

Two more episode left in the season, then reviews will start back up in October when Arrow, the Vampire Diaries, and the Originals start.