TV Show Review

TV Review: UNDER THE DOME: Season 2, Episode 12: Turn [CBS]

Dean Norris Sherry Stringfield Under the Dome Turn

CBS Under the Dome Turn TV Show Review. Under the Dome: Season 2, Episode 12: ‘Turn’ saw the walls closing in on the Dome-icile, forcing a reconciling of fact & faith, exes & estranged, and philistines with art appreciation. It also made one character into something of a rallying point. Just in time for the penultimate immolation.

With the Dome walls closing in, at odd intervals, the town folk were forced to evacuate to the school. For most, that meant leaving the school, collecting prize possessions, and returning, since the last Dome-doom crisis sent them huddling to the school, anyway. Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) seemed remarkably spry, for someone with a hole through her thigh; but the limp would eventually show up.

At the school, personalities were beginning to rub wrong, but nothing like the pitch-fork mobs of episodes past. Lyle (Dwight Yoakam), showing no effects of hypothermia, seemed intent on rubbing his history with Pauline (Sherry Stringfield), in the face of Big Jim (Dean Norris). A fine way to treat the guy that decided (against his worst judgement) to pull Lyle out of a frozen lake.

I was glad to see that Rebecca (Karla Crome) was somewhat restored to her role as the critical thinker – the fact checker in a fish bowl full of faithful & followers; but this once again put her at odds with Chosen One Julie.

When Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz) & Joe (Colin Ford) brought Hunter (Max Ehrich) forward, to confess his role as a plant, Barbie (Mike Vogel) didn’t take it too well. I understand that Barbie had very personal reasons to go off on Hunter working for his dad; but ignoring the mitigating circumstances of Hunter’s dealings, as well as the fact that Big Jim was still the one that doomed them all, made his tantrum seem like both an over reaction, and a waste of time/ energy. Barbie had something else in mind, however; although I wasn’t sure whether it was his plan, all along, or just something he put together, after his head cleared.

The one person who did lash out at Jim was Junior (Alexander Koch); but only because the Egg drop directly impacted upon Angie Melanie (Grace Victoria Cox). Pauline, beyond the rehashing of the dusty triangle, involving herself, Lyle, and Jim, was hung up on the loss of her artistic vision-beyond-vision. While Big Jim took it upon himself to restore her faith in her art, Lyle used her journal to reaffirm his own vision. Oddly enough, he did this alongside Junior, who was only concerned with finding a reassuring depiction of Melanie. The subjective nature of art was an oddly handled subject, here.

Melanie had previously been revealed as Barbie’s half-sister. Well, the reasoning behind that somewhat telegraphed plot twist was made clear, this episode, but not before others were brought up to speed. Not about their relationship; no, just about her being resurrection girl.

“Hey, Big Jim, while we’re reminiscing about our time with Lyle, in the Breakfast Club, my high school BFF has come back from the dead, and has been walking around, totally unrecognized by anyone but my brother – her boyfriend at the time.”

“That’s right, Rebecca, my sister and I are tied to living proof that science ain’t everything. Only, she may not be living proof for much longer – let’s all save Melanie.”

Oh, wait, I didn’t mention that Melanie was dying. Well, she was.

Seemingly, without the Egg, her body began to break down – at one point, waking with a hemorrhaging cough & her hair falling out. Considering that Rebecca & Julia were sniping over fact vs. faith, at the time, I’d say it was a drastic, but necessary way of telling them to shut up, already.

Rebecca did manage to figure on a stop-gap measure, involving a food item they still had enough of to spare (wasn’t there more talk about a food shortage, recently); but then she wouldn’t learn about all the things in Heaven & Earth, beyond her philosophy; so no dice. Apparently, the creative forces behind Rebecca fail to realize that science is a process; not an answer, or belief system. They just wanted an atheist every bit as stubborn as the resident true believers, I’d say.

Barbie’s plan was to use Hunter to leverage a personal visit from Don (Brett Cullen). The showrunners’ plan was to use half-sister Melanie to redeem Don. As I understand it, once Don was convinced that Miracle Melanie was restored, and under the Dome, he was willing to relinquish the Egg, in order to save her; this after having written off son Barbie, and the entire population of Chester’s Mill. This was supposed to be a redeeming moment for Don? The Egg seemed to accept him; but in any case, it was a moot point. Nature abhors a vacuum, so a conversion of big bad Don meant his supplanting by a bigger bad. More keep-away with the Egg, for the moment.

Don’s change of heart did do wonders for Melanie; but since she clearly had a direct line to the showrunners, the Don twist meant a relapse. The threads involving self-doubt vs hope, faith vs fact, and the subjective interpretation of Pauline’s art culminated in the formation of the Once & Future Four Hands society, and a laying of those hands upon Melanie. A mixed blessing. As quickly as she was restored, she was gone; leaving quite the morass behind her.

Oy, such pessimism. This is the great resurrection girl, we’re talking about, here. The last time she kicked off, there was a cold body to bury; now she gets pneumatic tubed to central office and everyone automatically assumes death. You’d think there’d be a certain amount of experience to the contrary, where disappearing into chasms, and the like, were concerned. Worst case scenario, she will likely wind up as another DOA (Dome ominous angel), returning to say something annoyingly useful… or just stare, smiling, at the Don-Barbie reconciliation (next to Hayden Christensen).

Well, that was the bad end I could deal with. What came next blew a hole in the episode big enough to suck down Big Jim’s ego. Unfortunately, instead of his ego, this latest cast dump seemed to take what was left of Big Jim’s sense of decency. Big Jim was never one of Under the Dome‘s heroes, although the show has twisted itself into knots to keep him from being the overall villain (poorly). Now, it seems, he has been dealt the blow that takes him to the deep end of the Yoda scale – fear to suffering. Other people’s suffering, is how that works, I think; so now it becomes a question of how much more damage can Big Jim cause to close out the season.

Personally, I was left wondering if there is any more damage Under the Dome can do to itself to warrant a series ender, rather than a season finale. This was a show that began as a mini-series, that evolved into a one-shot series, that was retooled to be an ongoing series, and its quality has taken a hit with each development; but I’ll save that rant for the finale.

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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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