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Spoilers if you haven't seen Episode 2 of Under the Dome!
It's funny how we can come up with our own "genius" ways of getting out of certain dark situations we might see on TV or in movies. For example, we might respond to the sight of a person being forced face-first into a tub full of water by saying, "Why doesn't he just play dead? Then the would-be murderer would stop trying to drown them and they could fight back properly." Of course, such a scenario requires the presence of mind to do something like that and in that situation, one would have to resist the impulse to struggle, which is probably not nearly as easy as it might be in theory. And let's hope it's only ever in theory. The same might be said for a woman kidnapped by a man whose affection for her crosses into obsessive, dangerous and abusive territory. Watching Angie deal with Junior tonight, I wondered why she didn't try to sweet talk her way out of that bunker? If he believes that her loss of interest in him is due to the dome scrambling her brain, why doesn't she pretend to be cured? Of course, that would mean ignoring the chains and Junior's increasingly deranged appearance, which Angie doesn't seem to be able to do.
In fact, instead of trying to win Junior over, Angie responded to his assault by goading him when he questioned her about that one time he saw her talking to Barbie. After first denying that she knows Barbie, Angie decided to piss Junior off by saying she and Barbie slept together. Angie's choice to flare Junior's temper suggests that it has yet to occur to her that batting her eyes and appealing to his sweeter side might be a more effective method of escape. But maybe him showing her the photos of them in happier times will prompt her to change course.
Angie and Junior's no-mance was just one story revisited in Under the Dome's second episode "The Fire." Another story? The dome! How many times did they say "dome" in tonight's episode? A lot. But in all fairness, they did just discover that they're "under a dome," which was first revealed to Phil and Dodee via Dodee's radio equipment, and later revealed to the whole town by Julia Shumway, who relayed it over the radio. The local station may not be a news station, but Julia's a reporter and the radio is probably a quicker way to get info out there. I can't wait until she discovers the internet! Wait, do they have wifi in Chester's Mill? Given that the generators are only just beginning to fire up, I'm thinking internet access is probably limited. But watching Joe record video of certain events on his cell phone suggests that it's only a matter of time before the highlights of the events under the dome make their way to the outside world.
The titular "Fire" of the episode had to do with Duke Perkins' house. Duke is confirmed to be dead. We saw his pacemaker explode at the end of the series premiere and he was most definitely dead when "The Fire" picked up. Linda learned that Duke left her his house, which was later burned to the ground. The fire started when the Reverend was snooping around Duke's home office in search of the propane invoices. He found them and, in an incredibly irresponsible move, burned them in a trash can, which he kicked toward the curtains. The place went up and it took half the town and a bulldozer to get the fire out before it spread throughout the town. Because we wouldn't want that to happen...
Poor Linda. Her fiancé's stuck on the outside, her surrogate father Duke is dead, the house he left her is gone and the information he was trying to give her is still unknown (to her). Plus, her soon-to-be brother-in-law Deputy Paul is armed and unstable. We saw Paul looking a bit unraveled earlier, but he took that to the next level, ruining the "Fire's out" party by freaking out and firing his gun, shooting it up at the dome. The bullet ricocheted and hit Deputy Freddie. Nice job, Paul. But at least we now know that the dome is bullet-proof.
What else did we learn about the dome? It's mostly water resistant. Some water gets through, but only a little bit. And it's round, as domes tend to be. Joe used his math powers to figure out the circumference. It was a busy night for Joe. When he wasn't doing math, investigating the edge of the dome, discovered the severed ledge of some poor soul who got chopped in half by the dome, and recording things on his phone, he was noticing Norrie, who just might have noticed him back.
As for Barbie, well there's never a dull moment for him. The episode began with him having a nightmare that revealed a few things about his recent background. It looks like he was some kind of debt collector who confronted Peter about money owed. Peter pulled a gun on him. They wrestled. Peter got shot. So it was kind of Peter's fault, though signs point toward Barbie having a spotty background. The fact that he's hoarding cigarettes for future currency suggests he might have done a bit of time, but that's unconfirmed.
Barbie fought with Peter in a nightmare-flashback. In reality, under the dome, Barbie fought with Junior Rennie, who confronted him when he was cleaning up the remaining evidence of his scuffle with Peter. Junior mistook the murder scene for a sex scene and picked a fight with Barbie for sleeping with Angie, which we know he didn't. The whole ordeal was sort of ridiculous, but it does kind of recall the book's history of Barbie and Junior. If I'm remembering it correctly, their past falling-out had to do with an unnecessary fight over a fibbing woman, though the scenario was a bit different and took place pre-dome. Regardless, this scuffle does set up some proper animosity between the two characters. Nice job, Angie.
Finally, there's Big Jim Rennie, who's proven to be a little bit shady, but does a beautiful job of hiding it in public, getting Rose's generator running, bulldozing the burning house and presenting Duke's will to Linda. What a swell guy… right?
And that covers it for the week! The fire was a mini-disaster, but the town came together to put it out, and if Paul hadn't have accidentally shot that guy, we would have had a happy ending. Of course, there's the propane mystery, Julia's dead husband and Angie locked in a bunker to remember. With that in mind, the fire was really just a blazing distraction from the real trouble that's brewing in Chester's Mill…
Just a reminder that Amazon Prime will have Under the Dome's latest episode streaming on Friday. The pilot is already on there. And you can read what Stephen King had to say about the changes made from book to screen here.
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