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Under the Dome Season 2, Episode 3: Force Majeure

Title Card
Title Card

This episode tries to be big. It deals with Biblical phenomenon, pits science against faith, and discusses the true nature of man. Unfortunately, a lot of it falls flat. The aforementioned discussions aren't very well put together. It comes off more heavy handed than thought provoking.

Neither side really has a strong ambassador, the religious representative, played by Dwight Yoakam, is insane (because of course he is) and Rebecca is condescending and judgmental.

Oddly enough, the phenomenon here (red acid rain) had nothing to do with magnets. Even the dome didn't seem to be responsible as Rebecca's last minute solution solves the problem. I'm not sure how spraying a lake stops the rain that's currently pouring down from being red and acidic, but if nothing else, it made sure that it doesn't happen again later.

Joe, Norrie, and mystery girl (whose name is revealed to be Melanie Cross) have a B-plot that largely centers on getting internet access. It was kind of weird how much stock they put in getting e-mail, but given the circumstances, I guess it's justified.

Norrie's jealousy of Melanie really comes out of nowhere. She's never really been possessive or jealous, but she takes both traits to the extreme here. It's off putting on its own, but the fact that there's no reason for it only makes it worse.

The episode peaks near the end, when Rebecca says that there isn't enough food to sustain the town and that they may need to "thin the herd". From a pragmatic and logical standpoint, her argument makes sense, but Julia is rightly mortified by the suggestion and vows to do everything she can to keep that from happening. She seems to be the only one, which would be odd but seeing as her company is Barbie and Big Jim, it isn't that far out of left field.

At least Rebecca didn't propose using those sacrificed as a food source; that may come later though, you never know.

This season seems to be putting a lot of focus on Junior and the fact that his mother is alive. We're shown that there's some conspiracy at play and I'm not sure how much I care. I guess it's nice for Junior's development, but how any of this is relevant is beyond me.

In the hands of a better writer, this could have been a powerhouse episode. Instead, it falls flat as a result of wonky dialogue ("butterflies aren't locusts") and reveals that aren't all that dramatic (the locker was empty!) This season still hasn't blown me away, I hope that it finds its footing soon because right now it doesn't seem to have a clear direction or plan for where it's going.

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