Imagine you’re a resident of Chester’s Mill. Not one of the main characters, just some poor schlub trying to survive a ridiculous situation day-to-day. One day Big Jim is the hero and the leader of the town and Barbie is about to get strung up by the neck. A couple days later Big Jim is in jail for trying to wipe out half the town’s population, but by the end of that day everyone has gathered for a party at the diner and all is forgiven. Oh, and you’re going through sheriffs faster than clean socks. At some point, might it not occur to you that the dome does, in fact, have a purpose? And that purpose is to seal off the rest of the world from the worst town on the planet?
These are the thoughts with which I tried to amuse myself during tonight’s stupefyingly inane installment of Under The Dome. There may be a guiding intelligence behind the dome, but it’s increasingly difficult to believe there’s one behind this series. Alliances are made and broken at the drop of a hat. Relationships turn on a dime every few days or so. Characters exist for a season and a half without ever once making the slightest bit of sense. (RIP Sheriff DJ Phil.) Arbitrary nonsense scraped up from the Lost cutting room floor lurks around every corner. Even when the show appears to have settled on a workable framework for the season, it blows up the status quo every ten minutes, leaving us grasping at straws while trying to figure out exactly what this is all about.
"Reconciliation” begins with nearly 10 full minutes of exposition catching us up on the story so far, which I sort of thought was the job of the “previously on” segment, but never mind. Big Jim and Rebecca Pine are going to be tried for trying to release a deadly plague, and the townspeople are divided. I guess they have to argue about something, but if I were a Chester’s Miller, I’d have long since given up on trying to figure out whether to listen to Big Jim or Julia or the Sheriff-of-the-Week. I think I’d pretty much just hang out at the Sweetbriar until they ran out of beer.
Anyway, Norrie’s mother Carolyn, who is apparently a character on this show again, is assigned to represent Big Jim and Rebecca. This means nothing and nothing at all will come of it, but at least she gets to kick Sheriff DJ Phil in the face. Julia announces to the assembled townspeople that supplies are running low, which leads to a lot of shocked cries of “WHAT?” from people who still don’t get the whole dome deal. A volunteer food bank is set up and shortly thereafter blown up because, as I mentioned, this is the worst town in the world.
It turns out Sheriff DJ Phil blew up the food bank because… wait, why would he start having reasons for his actions at this late date? This character was badly conceived, badly written, and badly acted, but at least answered the question, “Could there possibly be a worse example of law enforcement than Linda Esquivel?” Elsewhere in Dometown, Junior unwittingly (redundant, I know) clues Uncle Sam to the identities of the three remaining Hands, including himself. Since it was Sam, not Lyle Chumley, who killed Angie, this ranks as one of the 15 dumbest things Junior has done to date.
Exposition Joe, Chester’s Mills’ most eligible bachelor, thinks the dome might speak to Melanie Cross if she puts her hand on it, but no such luck. Instead she puts her lips on Joe’s, much to Norrie’s dismay. This love triangle is a real bummer for Joe, the worst thing that’s happened to him since…oh wait, his sister died three days ago. That’s ancient history, however, since nothing that happens under the dome has any real consequence. By episode’s end, Julia has welcomed Big Jim and Rebecca back into the fold because, hey, bygones. This is at least the third time this has happened with Big Jim, but I’m sure he’s learned his lesson this time. Until next week, that is.
- Has Mackenzie Lintz’s performance always been 98 percent eyerolls? Because it’s really getting annoying.
- “If you want to think I’m the bad guy, then fine,” says Barbie to the woman whose husband he killed. But of course all is quickly forgiven, because relationships are like weather in Chester’s Mill. If you don’t like how you’re getting along with someone, just wait a minute.
- There’s a tunnel under Angie’s locker, revealed in a shot suspiciously like the Lost first-season ender at the Hatch. Maybe Desmond’s down there waiting to knock some sense into these fools.
- “You’re the best sheriff this town’s ever had, Phil.” Faint praise, Big Jim. Faint praise.