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Monday, September 16, 2013

My Review of Under the Dome Episode 13- Curtains

The Monarch is crowned, pink stars rise in lines, darkness and light both come, and we get a pseudo-answer about the dome....

Julia is the Monarch.  I was honestly not expecting that.  I was expecting it would be Barbie or one of kids or, in a weird twist, Junior.  Julia never actually entered my mind as a contender.  So what is her first decision as the Monarch?  She drop the egg into the lake in order to protect it and make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.  That actually makes sense.  It could be found, but somehow I doubt it will be for some time.

I think Junior expected to be the Monarch given how badly he reacted to the news about Julia.  The problem with Junior is that he so desperately wants dad's approval that he is willing to go along with whatever  Big Jim wants.  He knows the Big Jim has killed people, but now that Big Jim has told him that they have a destiny together, I don't think that Junior will ever go back.  The truly scary thing is how quickly Junior turned on Angie and the rest.  Attacking Barbie was no surprise, but turning on Angie was something I did not think he would do.  Guess his "love" has limits after all.

Big Jim is becoming scarier and scarier by the week.  I think he is as unbalanced as his son is.  Barbie is right, Big Jim is a politician and has no issue switching sides if the need arises.  The scary thing is that he seems to honestly believe that everything he is doing is for the greater good of Chester's Mill.  I am not sure if this is his attempt at coping a justifying the horrific things he has done or if he is delusional enough to actually believe his own propaganda.

Linda's actions regarding the minidome make sense so long as you believe in what Big Jim says.  If Big Jim were telling the truth about everything, then the minidome is vital to the survival of Chester's Mill.  The problem is that Big Jim is a liar and Linda refuses to look at that basic truth.  She doesn't see that everything she is doing is tightening his grip on Chester's Mill.

The dome was apparently sent by some entity to protect Chester's Mill from something that is coming.  The nature of the threat has not been defined.  All we know is that it is that the dome is protection for Chester's Mill.  So, why this particular town?  Why not a bigger city or another town?  What is so special that Chester's Mill deserves this type of protection?  And who exactly are these entities?  Extraterrestrials?  Some lifeform within the Earth itself?  Or is this some massive hoax on the part of some human group?  Or is it the truth from some human group?

So, going into next season we have those answers as well as the question of what happened to Barbie.  Will what Julia did somehow save Barbie or will something else?  Or, will he end up being hanged by Junior and Big Jim?

Until next summer!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Review of Under the Dome Episode 12- Exigent Circumstances

Chester's Mill come even more tightly under Big Jim's grip, the kids get in trouble, someone else dies, and Barbie makes an interesting choice...

Chester's Mill is now Big Jim's personal fiefdom.  That man now has the town right where he wants them and he is milking it for all it is worth.  Out of fear of the "murderer" Barbie, they gave him carte blanche in his methods.  So not a good thing.  This demagogic @$$hole is manipulating people left and right and killing people who get in his way.  Wonderful leader, just the sort of person I would want to lead my town.  I get that he is supposedly a known quantity and that the people trust him, but I am seriously surprised that no one has thought to question anything he has to say.  Like I said last week, he has given them a story to swallow and they are interpreting *EVERYTHING* through that filter.

One of my big problems with Big Jim is that the man is a major league hypocrite.  He spouts off about following the rule of law and what not, but in the fine tradition of demagogues everywhere, he proceeds to completely violate everything he said in the name of "protecting the people".  What he actually means is protecting his power.  I suspect that the person who so conveniently said that Big Jim should be able to search houses may very well have been planted by Big Jim in order to get the ball rolling.  The problem for Big Jim is that the army knows what he did to the reverend and when Dodee overheard it, he killed her and torched the radio station in order to ensure that no one else would find out and he then pinned it on Barbie to an all-too-willing-to-listen-and-gullible Chester's Mill.

The other thing to hate about Big Jim is the fact that he is a major league bully.  Arresting teenagers for protecting their parents, threatening them, and shoving them up against walls is not the mark of a good leader or a decent man.  Big Jim also has to watch out for Junior.  The guy is so confused by what is going on that he doesn't know which way is up.  Big Jim is manipulating his desire for parental approval and Angie used him to help Barbie get Julia out of the clinic.  It is really hard not to feel sorry for him.  About the only thing that is preventing me from feeling sorry is what he did to Angie and the fact that he is at least somewhat of a loon.

Fortunately, there are some who are willing to stand up to him.  Unfortunately, they can't do much because Big Jim is using the townspeople to enforce his will.  As he said, he does not want the dome to come down (at least not yet) because it would threaten his power.  So he is doing everything in his power to ensure that the dome stays up.  He did not count on Joe, Norrie, and Angie standing up to him.

And it is a good thing that they did.  Hiding the mini-dome and egg with Joe's friend was smart.  I am also glad that Carolyn now knows about the mini-dome and that she accepted it without histrionics.  I just want to know what was up with the high pitched sound and red lines at the end.

I continue to be severely disappointed in Linda.  She knows that Barbie cares about Julia and that Julia's husband planned his own death, but she is still swallowing everything that Big Jim has to say.  She seems to be an honest, decent person, but she is also seemingly incapable of independent thought.  Not meaning to be harsh, but I haven't seen much on that front from her.  She is acting like since Barbie was involved in Peter's death, he must be involved in the other deaths.  That chain of logic is not flying at all, particularly where it comes to Julia.  I really hope she gets her head screwed on straight soon.

I was glad that Barbie chose to break his "deal" with Big Jim and declare his innocence, particularly now that Julia is awake.  Hopefully someone will take the time to look at the so-called case against him with a hint of rationality instead of this mob mentality that the town has adopted.  As soon as someone does, they'll realize that the case against him boils down to what Big Jim says being true.  If that can be undermined, the case falls apart.

Next week, the season finale....

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.