TV Show Review

TV Review: UNDER THE DOME: Season 3, Episode 12: Incandescence [CBS]

Marg Helgenberger Mike Vogel Rachelle LeFevre Under the Dome Incandescence

CBS Under the Dome Incandescence TV Show ReviewUnder the Dome: Season 3, Episode 12: ‘Incandescence’ officially got the countdown to Dome doom started; this amounting to the customary last minute reshuffling of the deck, allowing us some idea of who jumps ship, goes down with it, or mans the lifeboat. The fun part (anybody out there still playing Under the Dumb drinking games?), of course, is always watching characters make that last minute scramble, like so many roaches when the lights come on.

When bad actors find out that someone has dirt on them, the thing to do is usually getting dirt on them. As such, Lily (Gia Mantegna) found herself having to make a deal with the Devil. In other news: Big Jim (Dean Norris) resumed his role as the Devil. The scramble was on.

Elsewhere, Barbie & Julia (Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre) figured out the particulars to Eva’s death (CSI really has made a lot of people smarter about foul play, after all), and finally resolved to take decisive action regarding Christine (Marg Helgenberger). Not that Christine was going to be made available for that – the show had other ideas of how to deal with her.

As if to tempt fate, Christine resorted to a mass culling solution, to everyone’s dwindling oxygen problem (temperamental Dome thing). I hate to be that guy – y’know, the one offering mass murder tips to TV Show characters – but slitting the throats of the expendables seemed more cost effective, oxygen wise, than marching them off to a mass drowning.

The fact that the culling was actually Junior’s (Alexander Koch) idea, and his getting pissy with Sam (Eddie Cahill), were more good reasons for his bad end. No backsies, showrunners; Jimbo Jr. gotta go.

Speaking of bad ends, Big Jim’s desire, that Barbie make Christine’s end a slow one, was how she survived the last assassination attempt, in the first place; but the show thinks it needs such empathic moments – like Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz) failing to see the irony of a panicked reporting on panic wasting oxygen – so why bother bothering.

Learning about Hektor’s (Eriq La Salle) plan for Joe (Colin Ford) didn’t help calm her down, either; but panicked reaction was just the order of the episode. UTD was never a smart show, but it did seem to go out of its way to kill off certified scientists. To be fair, the Dome has not been a venue for particularly wise scientists; so when Dr. Red Shirt – aka Dr. Bloom (Allie McCulloch) – played the “I know everything & I’m telling” card, she officially became Dr. Doomed (I had to! Don’t you understand!?). This pretty much ensured Hektor a place in the comeuppance race; and between his Joe problem, his Bloom doom, and his guilted Lily problem, there may have been a pool forming, on which character got to serve him his write-off papers. While Norrie was able to follow through, on her recently earned merit badge, the actual ticket puncher might’ve seemed like a series soft serve, to some; but I sense the show is winding up for a big pitch, in one particular baddy’s direction.

Christine, on the other hand, got a get-out-of-guilt-free card with a transfer of title (and all associated wrong doing) to kid Barbie. With pre-Kinship Christine on board, Barbie & Julia got the inside track on the end game – just in time to head off Junior’s latest overreach. I don’t care how jacked Junior got, Barbie was Special Forces – trained to take down the most ridiculously endowed Bond villain henchman. If his turn at Junior was unsatisfying, his musings on being under Kinship control, meant to help us give Christine a pass, was worrisome. Keep that redemption crap away from Junior.

It’s not that Christine got a walk, in any case. The end of her reign, as Kinship Queen, ushered in the reign of the Dome’s Quizat Haderach. If Barbie couldn’t handle Junior, his newly reborn daughter literally left him in the dust. She was also a little on the greedy side – collecting her final pound of flesh from her donor (thus ending the new adventures of old Christine) – but wasn’t alone, in this regard. CBS may have been so eager to promote this penultimate episode, that they gave away what should have been one of the better twists of the series.

I have to admit, ‘Incandescence’ did whet the appetite a bit, for the finale. Two Big Bads down – complete with one attempted redemption foregone, some actual resolve on display – promising to do away with a season of sentimental hand wringing, and a genuine arch-villain – that isn’t Big Jim (yet). As loaded as the climax should be, an actual post-Dome resolution would be a very heavy lift, at this point, and quite potent. So potent, in fact, that I can already smell it coming. Practically a tag line.

The Under the Dome finale: it’s gonna be loopy whether you inhale it or not. Get your drinking buddies – scramble, scramble!

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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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