Under the Dome 1.11 “Speak of the Devil” & 1.12 "Exigent Circumstances”

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

Okay, we’re doing a two-for-one, because I had a hard time even seeing both episodes this week. “Speak of the Devil” came through all right, but was terrible for the most part. “Exigent Circumstances” was much better (continuing the show’s wild leaps in quality), but unfortunately delayed by the President’s speech and thus I don’t have a full recording. Not planning to buy it, either, but I saw most of it. I’ve had practice by now coping with the varying writing quality, after all.

Episode 11 can be summed up in a few simple sentences about plot:

  1. Maxine shoots Julia, for daring to be the woman Barbie actually loves.
  2. Big Jim makes a mad grab for power, in a variety of ways. First off, killing Maxine (only on soaps do villains live forever, poor Gwen from Passions!) and her henchman execution-style, and then manages to frame Barbie for it pretty deftly, with help from the surprisingly gullible Sheriff Linda.
  3. Mare Winningham did actually drown, her hands bound by Big Jim, as Maxine discovers her body on the shore. Pretty bad day for Maxine all around.
  4. When Angie makes it clear that she and Junior won’t rekindle their love, he angrily withdraws from the Seizure Club. This makes the Dome very unhappy, apparently, as it whips up a high-altitude twister that does very little damage, but looks cool, like CGI batter in a blender. Everyone seems to buy Angie’s explanation for what’s happening with very little evidence.
  5. The reunited Seizure Club touches the Big Dome and sees a vision of Big Jim bleeding from stab wounds. All four of them are holding knives in their free hands. What could it all mean? Ask Angie, she probably already knows!
  6. Oh yeah, Barbie saves Julia’s life with his battle-field skills, but leaves her comatose as he goes into hiding and Big Jim gathers a mob.

Episode 12 gets more subtle and more fun. Though the body count is tragic this time. Maybe only the even episodes are good? I’ll have to check my ratings.

The mob is pretty easily led by Big Jim. Remember, these are the folks that gave him all their guns. Now they want him to ransack their houses looking for the dangerous killer Barbie. Barbie, to his credit, only cares about saving Julia, because he realizes if she awakens and says who shot her, Big Jim’s fiction crumbles. This is sort of Barbie’s fault, though, as you should never tell the villain you plan to take him down in advance of actually doing it, which is what he did two weeks ago. Big Jim is a final solution kind of city councilman.

Sadly, Dodee ends up in his crosshairs accidentally this week, as she comes clean about the Little Dome and about the military’s need to find Barbie, who’s the only civilian inside who is trained to handle “the object.” Unfortunately, the talkative military radio troops also saw Big Jim kill the Reverend, which Dodee sadly overhears. She compounds her problem by wanting to use the Little Dome to bring down the Big one, which Jim now knows is the last thing he wants. So he shoots her and burns down the radio station, again framing Barbie. Did I say subtle?

The Seizure Club have decided that Barbie may be the monarch who will be crowned, so they help him save Julia and hide the Little Dome, with the help of Norrie’s remaining mom Carolyn, who can’t believe due process isn’t being served by Big Jim’s lynch mob. She does buy them time to hide the dome with Benny, who as usual is cool, mostly because she has just hated Big Jim from the start. It’s clear whom she blames for Alice’s death.

Barbie rescues Julia but ends up captured, awaiting a trial. How fair will it be and what will the Dome have to say about it? Maybe only Junior knows.

1.11 “Speak of the Devil” 

1.12 "Exigent Circumstances” 

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at http://cornekopia.net

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