At long last, here we are at what should have been the penultimate episode of the Under the Dome miniseries. Instead, it’s the penultimate episode of the series’ first season. Either way, it didn’t feel like much of anything more than a regular episode. Most series now on premium networks or cable have set up their ten or twelve or thirteen episode seasons to always build to the penultimate episode, allowing the season finale to be the aftermath and set up for the season to come. Considering Under the Dome in that setup makes “Exigent Circumstances” all the more curious. Especially given the promos for next week’s dark prognostications, have we earned this as a season ending yet? Hit the jump for more.
I have made the observation throughout the season about the general idiocy of everyone in Chester’s Mill, and “Exigent Circumstances” continued to showcase the town as full of lemmings (and a few outsiders who the egg trusts). The townsfolk have continued to give Big Jim unlimited powers, even when he “humbly” suggests otherwise. True, they’ve known this man for a long time, but he’s a used car salesman. Is that really the most trustworthy person in town? Or do they defer to him because he has “Big” in front of his name?
Big Jim doesn’t want the Dome to go down, because he is a self-appointed monarch. His reign will surely not last for much longer, and the Dome has has already foretold of his doom. In his maniacal grab for power (which was on hold for a few weeks while Max wasted our time), he has taken the approach to simply kill everyone in his way. So far it’s definitely working. And from Big Jim’s perspective, it’s a decent choice give the odds — there are only a handful of people who oppose him. The majority are with him and trust him even when there is no reason to do so, so why not get rid of the troublemakers?
Both Dodee and Linda (the two most useless characters in the history of ever on TV? That’s a strong statement, but I feel strongly about it) trust(ed) Big Jim despite their skepticism — and for Dodee, that ended with a bullet in the head. It is unbelievable that even after she heard independent confirmation that Barbie was a hero and Jim was a murderer and a fraud, she still spilled the beans to Jim and said that she wanted to be helpful to him. Get a grip, Dodee. Later, Linda questioned Big Jim’s motivations regarding tailing the kids, but she also gave in easily and continued to act as his puppet and the world’s worst tail since Magnum P.I.* (*I loved that show, but the idea that a private investigator would drive around in a red Ferrari … but he had the moxie to pull it off. Linda in her squad car, not so much).
I mean, when even Junior can see that something crazy is going on, you gotta start opening your eyes. It’s now coming down to Big Jim versus the Dome, and the Dome is not happy with what’s going on. But so far its powers have been fairly limited, and despite Barbie’s claim of innocence, him standing by a noose in the promos portends the crowd did not go his way. Will the Dome somehow help? Maybe it will bestow gifts: Norrie will get to go home, Joe will be given courage, Big Jim will get a heart and the whole town will get some brains. Until then, only one more hour to go …
Episode Rating: B
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Hell yeah Carolyn is back! I like her and wished she hadn’t had to go MIA for six episodes of the season. Norrie got suddenly badass in this episode, too.
— I bet those military “eyes in the sky” would really agree that Chester’s Mill is full of dopes.
— I haven’t been able to find any info on this, so if someone knows please tell me — were these last episodes of Under the Dome changed to accommodate a second season? Because if not, things are going to get really weird next week. Something felt different in “Exigent Circumstances,” like there had been a break and things were “adjusted.”
— I’m glad Ben is back too, to keep things fresh, but was it a good idea to transport that mini dome on a radio flyer? Or cover it with blankets when it began emitting a horrible scream?
— Angie knows how to work what she’s got, which was very uncomfortable given her relationship with Junior to start the season. But she can also be surprisingly resourceful, like when she got Julia to safety. But her nasty smoking habit betrayed her!
— D’aww, Barbie loves Julia. That was fast.
— “You are just a loser trying to scare kids” – Norrie to Big Jim.