TV Show Review

TV Review: UNDER THE DOME: Season 2, Episode 10: The Fall [CBS]

Britt Robertson Under the Dome The Fall

CBS Under the Dome The Fall TV Show Review. Under the Dome: Season 2, Episode 10: ‘The Fall’ could have (by its title) referred to fallout from the return of the Zenith expedition, the sudden seasonal shift, that served as the Dome-doom-of-the-week, or even the dropping of the plot’s key element off the portal cliff. Personally, I’d just as soon think of the title in terms of a qualitative low point, since the series began.

Barbie (Mike Vogel), Sam (Eddie Cahill), and Pauline (Sherry Stringfield) all made their way through town – in broad daylight – without being noticed by anyone but the persons they wanted to see. Well, not Pauline. She ran into Big Jim (Dean Norris), after lingering in his house too long, and it wasn’t a happy reunion. I seem to recall Big Jim being motivated by a drive to honor Pauline’s memory. Well, either the Dome Messiah thing has really messed with his head, or the showrunners have settled on making him irredeemable (again), because his first cogent reaction to Pauline’s return was to blame/ guilt her for Junior (Alexander Koch) turning out like Junior. Some actual reconciliation effort came later, but first impressions still count for something.

I’ll just assume that her co-conspirators, in staging her death, knew how to fake her dental records. Otherwise, it would mean that no one checked.

Sam caught up to Melanie (Grace Victoria Cox), who freaked out just mildly enough to take him at his word that it was Lyle that killed her, back when they were all the same age. Speaking of creepy age differentials, Melanie had just come from creeping on Junior, after the pair stashed the Egg in Big Jim’s bunker. As it was the same bunker where Junior had imprisoned Angie (Britt Robertson), it shouldn’t have been too surprising when she appeared to warn Junior about impulse control.

I hate long goodbyes; so Angie joining the ranks of the Dome’s ominous angels (let’s call them DOAs, why not) made it clear that Junior’s Angie complex wasn’t going away. I did, however, take heart that angel Angie was out to cock-block Junior/ Melanie – even if she might have been referring to Pauline, Jim, or Sam.

If angel Angie kept Junior’s obsession alive, then Sam’s return offered him a chance at revenge. Sam pretty much waited for Junior to do just that, and Angie could have spared us (and Sam, I guess) a lot of pain, by popping up at Sam’s before Junior’s payback session got underway; but I guess that (and having Junior actually doing the deed, instead of a slow approach) would have prevented a soul-saving moment for both Junior & Sam. Melanie’s connection with the Egg would make this water-under-the-bridge official.

Barbie’s reunion with Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) went as expected, taking attention away from the Dome-doom-of-the-week. This time around, it was climate change. A premature chill was settling in, turning leaves brown. I was under the impression that it was changes in solar light levels that brought on the color change, but I’m in no hurry to challenge Under the Dome‘s science.

To that end, Hunter (Max Ehrich) was discovered by Joe (Colin Ford) & Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz), while they searched for the Egg (having finally noticed it was gone), and the three had a grass-is-always-greener geek-out session (okay, mainly Joe & Hunter; Norrie just made sure it was translated for layman viewers) that eventually led Joe & Norrie (not Hunter) to the Egg; but not before Big Jim found it.

With the Egg now up for leveraging, by both Big Jim, and Team Julia, everyone wanted to get their hands on it. Melanie, on the hand, wanted to keep it out of play, and needed some handling. Barbie put the pieces of memory, regained during the return trip through the Red Door portal, together to fill in Melanie about their connection to one another (hint: “there is another Skywalker”), but that seems to be a detail for further along the plotline. It was practically a throw away, as far as reveals go; although I suppose they had more immediate loose ends to tie up.

Remember Phil (Nicholas Strong)? He was the DJ-turned-Dome proclaimer-turned-deputy-turned-Big Jim thug, that came after Big Jim for having thrown him under the bus, even as everyone else forgot about him. Apparently, everyone then forgot he was locked up for that. So Norrie just happening to spell out the whole Egg-scape plan, out loud, in earshot of Phil: no harm coming from that, or the scene would not have happened, right?

As Barbie & Julia planned a mass exodus, from under the Dome (why nitpick over the portal – didn’t Team Julia already see the Zenith end of the portal, via drone?), Big Jim & Pauline reconnected over her art. When the Egg started screaming (Clarice), the sound hurt Pauline so much, she didn’t seem to notice the boiling hot tea she spilled on herself (it didn’t hamper her painting, either). It also tipped off Big Jim as to its location, then waylaid him, when he tried to recover it. Luckily, Joe & Norrie came by and stopped it from acting up, so Big Jim could go full villain.

The fallout from Big Jim’s measure, meant to secure the well being of his immediate family, was an earthquake, a temporary short circuiting of Melanie, and a long term loss of Pauline’s visions. On a side note, where the earthquake was concerned, the kind of pressure it takes to warp prison bars would likely cause the concrete to crumble all over the cell’s occupant. Just saying.

The real question, that our would-be Dome Messiah never bothered to ask himself, was if the Egg was the center – if not source – of the Dome, then what happens when that center/ source is removed. The best case scenario would be Zenith getting the Dome for season three; but that would be too easy. The worst case scenario would be the Dome – and maybe the town under it – inverting down the portal hole; but that would also be too easy (and edgy). No, the ramifications of Jim’s Egg drop will likely be another convoluted affair, but it did shed some light on the shedding of Big Jim character.

It would have been easy to blame the abdication of his self-appointed Dome Messiah role on Pauline’s reappearance. As he had already schemed to use the Egg to get just himself & Junior out, however, he had already put the well being of the town folk on the back-burner, before the family reunion. No, the Zenith arc just needed a self-interested Big Jim to do something disastrously stupid, in order to set up a Dome-doom scenario to close the season out on.

Of course, there’s nothing like stupid chasing after stupid to drive home a point. Phil will now be remembered as the sacrificial lamb, used to underscore the town’s new predicament.

As it may very well be the single dumbest thing done, effecting the most people on the show, so far, the soup that comes out of the egg drop might finally mean a pick up from rock bottom for this show. Who knows, we may one day remember “Tossing the Egg” the way some people remember the actual meaning behind “Jumping the Shark.” That is, of course, if there will be anything left to make this series worth remembering.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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