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Home TV REVIEW: Under the Dome Is Back and “Heads Will Roll”

TV REVIEW: Under the Dome Is Back and “Heads Will Roll”

BY Lisa Casas

Published 10 years ago

TV REVIEW: Under the Dome Is Back and “Heads Will Roll”

When Under the Dome left us hanging (pun intended) last season, we saw our hero, Barbie, with a noose around his neck, Junior with his hand on the lever, and Big Jim screaming for his son to pull it. So much went down in the season finale, I wondered how the Dome could top pink stars falling, big Dome going dark, baby Dome breaking apart, and butterfly choosing a monarch. In the Stephen King penned season premiere, the answer was obvious. Magnetize the Dome. Because Science.

The season two premiere killed off two main characters, as well as transforming caricature villain Big Jim into a “perhaps not all bad” bad guy. Barbie and Julia were reunited and it feels so okay. Both meet new friends who I’m guessing will turn into new love interests. And the thing we were all waiting for…those ridiculously funny one liners were back in the way that only the Dome can do so well.  Let’s go under and take a peek.

The first scene in “Heads Will Roll” shows us new character Sam (Eddie Cahill from CSI: New York) in a unabomber cabin. Okay, the Dome just got ten degrees hotter. He’s been in the woods all this time (granted it’s only been two weeks)? Season two is looking up already.

Cut to Barbie about to meet the true death (sorry, wrong show). Big Jim screams at his son saying, “Pull that lever now!” I guess he has carpal tunnel and can’t do it himself. Junior refuses declaring, “I’m afraid!”

A glowing, piercing light shines down bringing with it a groaning, moaning sound that only dogs and the people of Chester’s Mill can hear. The Dome is now magnetized causing all metal objects to be dragged mercilessly around. A side effect… the sound causes many of the townspeople to pass out.

The church bell flies off getting stuck in the side of the Dome, and the steeple almost impales our band of misfit teens, Angie, Norrie, and Joe.

Junior says, “The Dome is trying to tell us something…The Dome is more than you think it is.”

Big Jim thinks his son is crazy or has a brain tumor or something and takes control of the lever (finally). If you want something done, you better do it yourself, big guy. He’s about to pull when Sheriff Linda steps in to stop him, gun drawn, saying she’s being “reasonable.

Pictured (L-R) Britt Robertson as Angie McAlister, Colin Ford as Joe McAlister and Mackenzie Lintz as Norrie Calvert-Hill Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

Pictured (L-R) Britt Robertson as Angie McAlister, Colin Ford as Joe McAlister and Mackenzie Lintz as Norrie Calvert-Hill Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

The magnetic Dome pulls Linda’s badge off, her gun, everything metal. Barbie is towed by his handcuffs, dragged into a wall. Linda is on it tonight, finding the keys and working furiously to free Barbie. An SUV comes at them while Linda fumbles with the cuffs. Barbie says, “Go!” but Linda refuses. She gets pancaked and my heart drops…there will be no Lovato/Flack love connection on Dome this summer (oh, I miss you CSI: New York). There’s rolling head number one, figuratively not literally. Linda is dead.

Meanwhile, Julia rows back to shore fresh from her egg toss in the finale. She spots a girl floundering in the water, jumping in to save her. Sam is conveniently on the scene to help and gives the teen mouth to mouth, reviving her. Well, duh.

Sam and Julia share much even though they just met. Did I mention Eddie Cahill plays Sam? He doctors up Julia’s gunshot wound confessing he was an EMT for ten years until the county decided they like their paramedics sober. He says he prefers being alone out in the woods “most of the time.” He’s all drunk and mysterious in that “is he going to kiss or kill me” kinda way.

Julia is feeling it and tells hot mystery man Sam, “A lot of people in town could use someone with your skills.” You better up your game, Julia.

Sam comforts the mystery girl showing he’s tortured soul with a kind heart in the span of about fifteen minutes. Julia says, “You’ve got a nice touch.” Oh, there she goes again. They talk about life, her bullet wound, and her “dead” boyfriend. Eventually she says, “Something awful is happening out there. I have to try to fix it. I might be the only one.” She is taking her monarch role very seriously. She leaves on her mission to “fix” her town’s Dome problem.

Sam looks through a creepy old scrapbook finding a drawing in it that resembles the nearly drowned girl. He goes to check on her and she’s gone. She wanders the streets in a daze weaving in and out of unconscious people. More on her later.

Back at the near lynching scene, Junior realizes that Barbie’s innocent and Big Jim is the one who killed Dodee last season. Big Jim explains his actions saying, “Someone has to make the hard choices.”

Barbie takes off breaking into a car only to be confronted by a woman with a big gun. He convinces her he’s not a murderer and these two show it is the night of sharing with strangers. Barbie’s new friend is high school science teacher, Rebecca, who’s been studying the Dome. She imparts some Dome wisdom with, “The groans are coming more quickly; they are getting stronger like a pregnant woman’s contractions, but instead of giving life people could die if they don’t wake up.” See, she is a Domephile!

Pictured (L-R)  Mike Vogel  as œBarbie, Natalie Martinez  as Deputy Linda Esquivel, Alexander Koch as Junior Rennie, and Dean Norris     as Big Jim Rennie. Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

Pictured (L-R) Mike Vogel as œBarbie, Natalie Martinez as Deputy Linda Esquivel, Alexander Koch as Junior Rennie, and Dean Norris as Big Jim Rennie. Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

Our band of three meddling kids runs to find Norrie’s mom #2 who’s unconscious in the kitchen. In the cool Carrie scene of the night, pans fly everywhere, knives shoot out straight into a door and all the exits are blocked. Nails begin to come loose with one hitting Joe in the hand and then straight through it.

Barbie and Rebecca come to the rescue, but no one can move that darn eight pound baker’s rack (plus the force of the magnetism). They almost meet their Dome with a runaway stove but escape in the nick of time when Barbie throws the rack out of the way. The house collapses leaving a pile of rubble.

Rebecca says if the pulses keep getting stronger it will rip Chester’s MIll apart. The only way to stop it is to demagnetize the Dome (remember, she’s been studying it for two weeks). She proposes making a giant magnet using copper wire. Angie is unconvinced the giant magnet approach is the best way to go. She reminds Barbie that, “We didn’t kill Big Jim, so the Dome got mad.”  Barbie says he is going to try science teacher’s way first. Angie’s not happy and enlists Junior’s help in getting her a gun.

Rebecca and crew build a giant magnet in ten minutes which is a piece of cake for those people of Chester’s Mill. Did you see the gallows they built in a few hours? I feel like the pyramids can’t be far off.

Big Jim gets locked in the basement and the apparition of Dodee appears saying, “Big Jim it looks like it’s just you and me now.” She has her crazy eyes on channeling Kathy Bates in Misery. Can “You’ve been a dirty bird, Mr. Man” be far off?

Big Jim tries to convince himself that he’s just under stress, hallucinating. Dodee says it’s his fault. Jim wants her to go away, stating, “See ya sweetheart. You’re like the Twilight Zone. I got work to do.”

Big Jim turns MacGyver in an effort to rig some explosives to get out of there. Pretend Dodee chides him, “You’re still thinking you’re gonna get outta here and keep on keeping on killing whoever gets in your way.” Dodee lectures him saying, “You’ve never sacrificed. Now you’re gonna have to.”

Big Jim blows his way out of the basement with a few parting shots for fake Dodee. “Screw you. I don’t care if you are the Dome.” “Shut up and be dead. I’m busy.” Dean Norris is hilarious as Big Jim and this was his best episode by far.
The groaning Dome continues with almost everyone succombing to the noise and passing out. Barbie is somehow unaffected.

Junior wakes up and we’ve switched shows. Cool, un-Dome like music plays, and it looks like a scene out of Her when Joaquin Phoenix fondles his phone, but instead we have Junior caressing  a snow globe. He examines it and the water inside turns red. He sees a lady and follows her. “Mom,” he says. Junior asks why she left him. She says, “I never left you. You’re my sweet boy.”

We’ve been tricked by the Dome. He is really dreaming still lying prone, knocked out by the Dome magnet. Big Jim finds him, turning into concerned dad, telling his son to hang on.

Julia sees Barbie and they hug and kiss; she’s thrilled that her boyfriend isn’t dead. She’s trying to cry but those tears won’t come although all the nose sniffling sounds are on point. I’m guessing she’s thinking of Sam.

Pictured Dean Norris as Big Jim Rennie. Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

Pictured Dean Norris as Big Jim Rennie. Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

Dead Linda shows up looking gorgeous, news anchor hair cascading down her shoulders. Death becomes you, sheriff.

Big Jim isn’t having it, asking, “Who the hell are you supposed to be? The ghost of Christmas future.”

Linda says, “Come to me Jim. Come to me. Everything you do you do for yourself. Time is running out Jim, but it’s not too late. To learn the virtue of sacrifice. To save your son.”

Jim does a complete about face and dramatically walks up to the noose, tightening it around his neck, conscience sprouting from the Linda lecture.

Barbie shows up asking, “Jim, what the hell are you doing?”

“What the Dome wants me to do. I can’t pull the damn lever.”

Julia graciously offers to pull away. You’d think a line would form at the left with all the people who would want to do the deed, but then again half the town is passed out.

She can’t do it, so Big Jim kicks the floor out hanging himself. Julia happens to have her trusty switchblade and cuts the rope saving Big Jim. She says, “The dome doesn’t want us to kill you. It wants us to end the killing.” The Monarch has spoken.

Everyone in town wakes up. The Dome is demagnetized with this act of compassion.

The townspeople break down the gallows allowing for some kissy time for Julia and Barbie. Rebecca barges in complaining that her magnetometer broke (piece of crap). It’s cute the way she thinks she demagnetized the Dome.

Angie is back working at the diner and has a final run in with Big Jim. The “former” bad guy tells her he’s sorry. What is with this kinder, gentler Jim? He even offers the homeless teens his house to stay at. I’m thinking the magnet sucked the evil out of him.

Sam shows up at the diner greeting Junior warmly; he’s Uncle Sam to Jim Junior. Wait, this is Big Jim’s brother-in-law? He has a stare down with bro before leaving to look for missing mystery girl.

Julia sees Sam and offers to help out. He says, “You look flushed, you okay?”  Simmer down there, Sam. Julia’s with Barbie, remember?

Junior confesses to his dad that when he passed out earlier, he saw mom.  He insists it was real and not a dream. Big Jim doesn’t really believe him. Junior storms off saying he wants to be called James from now on. Turns out Junior, I mean James, was right. Mom is alive! We see her in a basement painting a new masterpiece that we can’t quite make out.

So far, there’s only been one life lost, but the title states “heads,” plural, more than one. Head number two, here you go.

Angie sees mystery girl wandering late at night and follows her to the high school. The teen asks if she’s okay and chases her. Mystery girl gets away leaving Angie in front of a slightly ajar locker. She opens it, eyes wide with fear. Of course, we don’t get a glimpse. Then, a spear comes out of nowhere killing her, blood splattering across several lockers.

“Heads Will Roll” was a more cohesive story than almost everything we saw Under the Dome last summer. It had one main plot point – a magnetized Dome had to be demagnetized. Barbie lives, Big Jim grows a heart, Julia is still the Monarch, and Junior remains a little slow. We had the signature Dome lines of dialogue, but had to say goodbye to two of our girls. But does anyone really die while under the dome? Nah, we haven’t seen the last of Linda and Angie.

My main complaint? That heads didn’t actually roll. How cool would that have been? Oh, well, there’s always next week. What did you think of the season premiere? See you back here next week same time, same place for some more Dome discussion.


Under the Dome airs Mondays at 10 pm on CBS.

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