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Home TV REVIEW: Hell Hath No Fury Like a “Force Majeure” in Under the Dome

TV REVIEW: Hell Hath No Fury Like a “Force Majeure” in Under the Dome

BY Lisa Casas

Published 10 years ago

TV REVIEW: Hell Hath No Fury Like a “Force Majeure” in Under the Dome

Do you get the feeling that the people of Chester’s Mill did something very, very bad and that is why this whole Dome thing is happening?

Since the series return, the citizens have been hit with a giant, magnetized Dome, an infestation of very hungry caterpillars, a Linda-smashing SUV, and an Angie-impaling spear. The woes of our Dome entombed characters saw no let up in “Force Majeure” where it became evident that hell hath no fury like a ticked off unseen, superior force. Acid rain, a shortage of food, and relentless census taking were just a few of the trials facing our beleaguered Mills residents.

The latest installment opens with mystery girl going through Barbie’s stuff. Her excuse? She’s trying to remember something, anything about her life… uh, with Barbie’s belongings? Julia continues her inexplicable bond and trust of new girl and accepts this excuse.

Barbie says, “Be more careful with bringing strays into our house.” Julia responds with, “Let’s not forget the last stray I brought in was you.” Trouble in Dome paradise?

Dwight Yoakam shows up in a creepy turn as the town barber sporting a straight razor giving Big Jim a close shave. They talk women with Jim asking about science teacher, Rebecca. He’s noticed those hero worship eyes she’s been flashing at him, and he’s more than interested.

Big Jim is now part-time census taker. He’s getting all the townspeople to fill out reports with Rebecca helping out. She’s taking her job as head bossy pants very seriously. I think she wants to be named Dome Queen to Big Jim’s Dome King.  She even says, “I serve at the pleasure of our councilmen.” Oh, I bet you do science teacher.

Rebecca is apparently going to have a science project every week. Big magnet last episode, big windmill in this one. She sends Joe to the school to get a miniature windmill they made, hoping to duplicate it on a larger scale to bring electricity to the Dome. Strange that Joe would want to return to the sight where his sis was murdered, but he goes taking Norrie and mystery girl with him.

Uncle Sam counsels Junior telling him to stop torturing himself about possibly killing his girl, Angie. He says, “Your mom had blackouts too, fugue states. She would get glimpses if she went back to the place she blacked out.” It’s back to school time for Junior.

Pictured (L-R)  Rachelle Lefevre  as Julia Shumway and Eddie Cahill as Sam Verdreaux Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

Pictured (L-R) Rachelle Lefevre as Julia Shumway and Eddie Cahill as Sam Verdreaux Photo: Brownie Harris/CBS

Things go from mysterious to disgusting with blood rain pouring down on the Mill’s residence. It’s actually acid rain disguised as blood. As Jim and Rebecca drive around, sheets of blood rain down on their vehicle. They talk about the meaning of it all with Jim asking, “Do you think we’re being tested. To see if I’m worthy.” She says, “We can handle this. Believe in me and I will believe in you.” They’re bonding through philosophy when Big Jim almost hits a hooded man in the road. They crash into a tree with Mr. Hoodie dragging Big Jim out of the car and taking off with Rebecca.

At the high school, Joe gets an Internet connection and can see his email for the first time since being Dometized. They check…Twitter. OMG, of course they do! #sendhelpnow

After his Twitter fix, Joe discovers an email from his worried dad. He doesn’t know how to respond, should he tell Dad that Angie’s dead? New girl comforts him to the disdain of Norrie. Junior also checks his email and gets a cryptic message saying “I can help you James.”

“Is he okay?” asks mystery girl.  Best line of the night is from Joe, “I don’t think he’s ever been okay.”

Junior’s email is a recent video from his “dead” mom. She says, “You must have so many questions. If you need answers, talk to Lyle.” What? She repeats it twice, so we know it’s important. The video goes out after she says the Lyle bit. Junior takes off on a Lyle hunt.

Big Jim is rescued from the torrents of acid by Barbie and Julia. He’s in bad shape, but manages to let everyone know that it was Lyle who took his car and left him to die.

Cut to Rebecca tied up in a chair with Lyle hovering over her. Rebecca begs creepy barber to let her go so she can “stop this rain.”  He doesn’t want the rain stopped and says, “Neither does the Dome.” He threatens Rebecca saying “quit interfering with the plan.” To drive home his point he brings a bowl of acid rain extremely close to her face.

Barbie and Julia are also on a Lyle hunt. First, they argue more about the nature of man, good or evil. Barbie finds a picture of Lyle, Sam and Pauline, sister of Big Jim and Sam. Barbie looks at it accusingly as if a picture of Sam and Lyle means that hunky Sam is really Satan. Julia radios Sam asking about the pic with him saying Lyle dated his sister twenty five years ago, so what? Junior shows up recognizing the building the picture is taken in front of. They take off because Lyle must be there.

Sam is taking care of injured Big Jim who asks the EMT, “Why?” This apparently makes sense to Sam who answers, “ I may hate your guts but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna let you die. At least not yet.” Evil smile. No! Don Flack is bad? Dome, you are one evil force majeure.

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

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

Barbie and Junior rush into Lyle’s lair brandishing guns, but Lyle forces them to put their guns down by threatening Rebecca. Lyle says the rain is here to rid this town of non-believers. Julia tries to rationalize with him saying, “The Dome is here to protect us. All of us.” She says the Dome spoke to her. She inches forward trying to reason with Lyle.

They go deep with Domisms rattling off things like, “If you want the darkness to abate you must earn the light. Help me achieve the Dome’s true plan.”

Rebecca manages to untie herself and splashes the bowl of acid on Lyle’s face. Barbie subdues him with Julia furious saying he was about to give up. She’s mad?

Joe thinks the magnetism last week created a worm hole that’s allowing the Internet to come through. He looks for it with his Ipad geiger counter. It beeps him straight to the locker where Angie was killed, bloody handprint still on it. Mystery girl knows the combination and unlocks it. Joe opens it revealing … nothing.

Norrie goes crazy girlfriend on mystery girl, asking, “How did you know that combination? Who the hell are you?”  She continues later, “Listen *itch, you need to come clean.” She confronts new girl demanding an explanation. Joe defends the mystery girl and now he’s got a plan to help her.

Meanwhile, Rebecca is back at Big Jim’s side comforting her guy and bragging that she stopped the rain with some fancy chemical compounds. She also adds, “Some tough decisions are going to have to be made.” She lets Jim know that they are running out of food, now. “We need a contingency plan. It may become necessary, selectively, to thin the herd.”

Pictured (L-R)  Dean Norris šBig Jim and  Dwight Yoakam guest stars as Lyle, the town barber. image © CBS

Pictured (L-R) Dean Norris šBig Jim and Dwight Yoakam guest stars as Lyle, the town barber. image © CBS

Julia is outraged realizing that the census could be used to determine who lives and who dies. “Let’s get out of here,” she says to Barbie. He doesn’t make a move. Don’t you hate it when that happens? He slowly follows her saying, “She’s just talking about a contingency.” They argue more before she says, “We don’t get to throw anybody out of the lifeboat.” Julia storms off.

We see Lyle singing in his cell, acid burned face, light shining on him from one window. Sam visits with Lyle asking, “Aren’t you afraid of people seeing us together?” Sam says, “I could kill you and nobody would know, nobody would care. You made a promise twenty five years ago that what we buried would stay buried.” Lyle declares a force majeure has released him from the contract. He dismisses Sam saying, “I grow weary of this conversation, see you on the other side.” Junior is watching the whole thing from his jail stalker cams.

Junior goes to Lyle for a little interrogation time, asking who killed Angie and what’s the connection with Sam. Lyle’s not talking until he gets an all access pass and a one way ticket out of his cell. We’ll have to wait for next week to see what he reveals.

Final scene of the night shows the teens finding the locker number that mystery girl unlocked in a school log from 1988 because I guess no one else has had that locker since then. They pull the yearbook from that year and the picture is of the mystery girl. So now it’s a time traveling Dome?

“Force Majeure” followed in typical Dome tradition with so much happening, this ain’t your FIFA soccer match. Leave for one minute and you’ll miss about sixteen things. Two characters were revealed to have much more to them than meets the eye. Sam is not the sweet EMT he first appeared, and mystery girl may actually be mystery woman in her forties who doesn’t look a day over fifteen. What did you think of all the shenanigans tonight? Too much going on or was it Under the Dome perfect?

Under the Dome airs on CBS on Mondays at 10 pm

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