TV Show Review

TV Review: UNDER THE DOME: Season 2, Episode 7: Going Home [CBS]

Karla Crome Rachelle LeFevre Mike Vogel Under the Dome Going Home

CBS Under the Dome Going Home TV Show Review. Under the Dome: Season 2, Episode 7: ‘Going Home’ was something of a good news/ bad news sort of deal. The bad news was that Under the Dumb moments were still delivered with all the subtlety of sea bed-soaked dough. The good news: we didn’t have to stay under there, with them, the whole time.

Thanks to the culmination of clues, connecting the Chester’s Mill Dome egg (and two of its circumstantial residents) to another town, and Lyle’s (Dwight Yoakam) disappearance from a one way tunnel, under the school, several Dome-gnomes managed to get a break from Chester’s Mill.

Boy did we need a change of scene. No, wait… boy did the break in the narrative open up the plot, and expand on a few characters, some. Yeah, that’s the take away.

Before this break went into effect, however, there were a few reminders why one may have been necessary. Always good for at least one decent face-palm per episode, Junior (Alexander Koch) took the news of his uncle, Sam (Eddie Cahill), as Angie’s killer (before apparently jumping to his death) with a very large grain of salt to Barbie’s (Mike Vogel) eye. It wasn’t all that long ago that he was accusing his father of killing her, but not the uncle, oh no.

Father Jim (Dean Norris) had opted to kick his divinely appointed status into menace mode, and was openly expressing the folly of crossing him. One time believer, and current example, Rebecca (Karla Crome), would be intimidated into letting slip that his only real obstacle, Barbie, was out of the picture; but more on where that news came from.

With Rebecca apparently in their circle, Team Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) figured it best to keep Big Jim as under informed as possible. This meant dealing with the Sam situation on the down low – and also meant retrieving his body, as evidence for Junior & the town folk, before going public. Easier said than done. The plan, for Barbie to rappel to the bottom of the subterranean pit Sam jumped into, literally sucked. When Barbie being drawn into the darkness threatened to take Julia & Rebecca with him, he cut himself loose. I could’ve done without the last minute tear-jerker moment, but I guess I’m just jaded. That, and enough of a science/ sci-fi geek to see the writing on the wall of the gravity well. Two tips to scientist Rebecca: light travels farther than sound, so if you can no longer see the light of a flare, you’re likely not going to hear it hit bottom; and if something pulls with enough force to not just keep a man like Barbie from pulling against it, but also uproot his rappel line anchorage – from solid rock – then maybe two petite frames wouldn’t resist said force any better. I could be wrong, but I think Barbie agreed. In any case, he was gone, leaving Julia & Rebecca to deal with the town. Lucky him.

Between Big Jim, and the Four Hands, there was a lot of talk about the Dome’s will – and not just this episode. Frankly, it’s all starting to sound more than a little cultish, to me; and somehow, that fact has been making the Chester’s Mill experience more claustrophobic for me than any blight-of-the-week. Jim was able to use Barbie’s ‘death’ to further his image, as the town’s pillar of strength, while Julia was able to get some answers, regarding Barbie’s fate, after comparing notes with the Four Hands. It seemed to me that the instrument of this breakthrough could have been useful before now, as eventful as town happenings have been; but hey, materializing things out of thin air may be part of the show’s creators’ job description.

As for Barbie’s fate: turns out that lucky stiff stumbled upon Maggie’s sand pit. He was back in his home town (though it seemed like it took him a while to recognize it) – and yes, Dorothy, Sam was there, and Lyle was there. I would have expected Sam to have covered more ground (given his head start, over the cliff), by the time Barbie arrived; but since he was attempting suicide, I suppose he could’ve taken the time to ponder whether he was dead, whose f’d up idea of purgatory he was in, or worse: if he somehow wound up on Lost. He definitely had a sense of purpose, by the time they unwittingly crossed paths, as did Barbie.

Sam tracked down Pauline (Sherry Stringfield), the sister he had presumed dead, who, in turn, brought him to the mentally broken Lyle. Sam’s surprise, at Lyle being on the other side, meant that it hadn’t occurred to him that Lyle got out of the cavern (without going past him & Barbie) by jumping off the cliff where his stuff was left. In any case, Sam brought Pauline up to speed, regarding the future of events the three of them had long set into motion, back at Chester’s Mill.

Barbie’s sense of purpose had him stocking up, back at his place, but the life he had left behind (and had followed him to Chester’s Mill, at one point) was waiting for him. That meant being forced to perform some unfinished business – a matter that required burning one more bridge – but it played to his advantage. Barbie wanted back under the Dome, and gaining the resources to do so meant a family reunion, and a trip down (bad) memory lane.

Besides the (likely literal) breath of fresh air this Beyond the Dome arc brought to the series, it was interesting to see how Barbie & Sam dealt with their respective freedoms. Barbie understood that he had responsibilities back at Chester’s Mill – the kind he seemed to avoid having previously. With Big Jim Ascendant a threat to the whole town, Barbie was focused on somehow getting back. His transporting may be a way out, for the town folk, but re-entry to Chester’s Mill may amount to him as another angle of attack, to save his loved ones. Sam, on the other hand, who had only been concerned with bringing down the Dome, was allowed a reset (redemption arc, pending). Reunited with Pauline, Big Jim & Lyle no longer threats, and an infanticide solution to the Dome no longer a matter worth falling on his sword over, Sam seemed geared more towards gaining new insight, than taking drastic action.

Whether this outside perspective, and new sense of purpose (for Sam, anyway) sticks around long enough to breathe new life into the dynamic under the Dome, time will tell. With Chester’s Mill seemingly sliding dangerously close to Springfield level lunacy, I have to wonder if the bigger concern should be over the escapees bringing something useful back to the Dome, or the worst aspects of Chester’s Mill somehow infecting the outside world. Will this new twist constitute a relief effort, or a breech in quarantine?

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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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