Josh gives a recap of Episode 2 of the CBS TV series Under the Dome, entitled “The Fire,” while Violet offers her commentary in pink font!
This episode of Under the Dome titled, “The Fire” begins with “Barbie” waking up in Julia’s house, starring at a picture of the man he killed and Julia, as they were husband and wife. He has just awakened from a dream, reliving the murder he committed, prefaced by a phone call, with Barbie talking to what appears to be his boss regarding what to do about the situation this man and he are in. In the flashback, Barbie says that he needs his payment, and as he begins to leave, the man pulls a gun on him. Barbie manages to disarm him after trying to talk him down, and pulls his own gun. They struggle further, and the man is accidentally shot.
Oh good, we’re already getting some information about what actually happened between Barbie and Peter, Julia’s husband. I was afraid it might be a mystery for awhile.
Just after he wakes up, Julia comes to the room, and tells Barbie that he was talking in his sleep. At this point something clicked in Barbie’s head that he was missing his dog tags (which implies that he was in the military at some point). He has a quick memory of them being at the house of the murder he committed and has to return there to retrieve them.
Whose house was it, and why exactly were they there? It wasn’t Peter’s house, since he lived with Julia, and it wasn’t Barbie’s house, because Barbie’s from out of town. I guess we’ll get more information in bits and pieces as the season unfolds.
At the house, he seems to almost relive the events of the murder again, but he is able to locate them, and begins to leave. Junior interrupts him, however. First, I should get into Junior’s story up until this point. As we know from last episode, Junior is a bit crazy, and obsessive, and has locked Angie in his cellar. Junior tries to convince Angie that they are soulmates, and love each other, but Angie is not having any of his garbage. Junior brings food to Angie at one point in the episode, and Angie manages to knock him down with a briefcase, managing to make a break for the exit. Unfortunately for her, Junior has a secondary door that he locks to prevent her from escaping. This leads to Junior becoming angry, and locks Angie’s leg to her bed by a chain. Angie becomes infuriated at this point, and begins screaming at Junior, telling him that she never loved him. Interestingly we learn that Angie has known him since the third grade. How did she miss the warning signs that this guy would HAVE to have given off? Regardless, she thinks it is a great idea to tell Junior that she slept with Barbie. This prompts him to decide to hunt Barbie down, to eliminate the “problem” between Angie and Junior.
Yeah, I don’t get why she lied and told Junior that she slept with Barbie. She knows Junior is pretty crazy and would probably do something to hurt Barbie in his jealous rage, so she basically put Barbie’s life in danger for no reason. It’s not like telling Junior this information would help her situation at all, just the opposite.
Now Barbie’s and Junior’s stories converge, as when Barbie is leaving the house, he is confronted by Junior. Junior accuses Barbie of sleeping with Angie, and Barbie has no idea what is going on. This leads to a scuffle between Barbie and Junior, as Junior attempts to strike Barbie. This leads to a beat down of Junior however, but he seems unphased even in defeat. Barbie then continues is departure from the scene of the crime.
As Barbie is making his way through the woods, deputy Linda and another officer question him to what he is doing. The officer seems a little edgy, while Linda tries to remain calm. As they are talking, Linda receives a radio message that a house is on fire. Deputy Linda then requests Barbie’s for this fire, since he is “an able body” and all of the fire department is trapped on the outside of the dome. “What is this fire?” You ask? This is going to require some backtracking again, going over Linda’s storyline. At the end of the last episode, the dome has shorted out the sheriff’s pacemaker, and causes it to explode. In this episode, we learn that he has died.
Unfortunate that Jeff Fahey’s character died so quickly. I excited when I first saw that “Lapidus” from the TV show “Lost” was going to be in “Under the Dome,” because I liked his character in “Lost.” I didn’t realize he was only going to be on one episode though!
Later in the episode, we have the Reverend of the town talking to Big Jim about the death of the Sheriff, and they are concerned about the paperwork regarding the propane that seems to be a big cover up. The deputy then sees Big Jim as he is going through the files at the sheriff’s office, as he is presumably looking for the files there. He is able to play it off though, as he explains he was pulling the Sheriff’s will, which Linda finds out that the sheriff left everything to her.
Big Jim then reconvenes with the Reverend, and Big Jim tells him that he could not find the files. He then thinks that the files must be at the sheriff’s house. The problem is, Linda may head over there soon. Big Jim then “volunteers” the Reverend to break in to the house and look for the papers. At the sheriff’s house, he tears apart the desk, and finds them taped to the bottom of a drawer. He says, “The Lord works in mysterious ways”, and begins burning the papers in the trashcan. Just as he finishes his speech though, the curtains catch fire, and in his futile attempts to put the fire out, the whole house catches fire, trapping him inside.
Wow, that guy was dumb. You’d think he might be a little more careful if he’s in someone’s house where he’s not supposed to be. At least take the papers with you and dispose of them elsewhere, don’t light them on fire right there! And if you do light something on fire, pay attention to what you’re doing. The fire sure spread quickly.
Before the deputy arrives, Big Jim has shown up, and is concerned that the Reverend will be found out, since he figures the fire must be related to him being there. The deputy then shows up, questioning as to who would be there to start a fire. She then hears cries from the house, and heads into the building. As she heads in, Big Jim takes off, which at first I thought was to avoid confronting the Reverend and being implicated in whatever cover up there is.
When Big Jim first showed up, I’m pretty sure he heard the Reverend’s cries for help, but he didn’t say or do anything about it. What a jerk. He probably figured that if the Reverend just happened to die in the fire, all his problems would be solved anyway, so might as well let nature run its course.
At this point, much of the town’s people have shown up, and Barbie sort of takes charge of the fire extinguishing. They establish a rather futile water bucket line, using swimming pool water and garden hoses to try to stop the fire. Meanwhile, Linda has gotten the Reverend out, with only some smoke inhalation it would seem. They continue battling the fire, but it does not seem to be going well. The people of the town begin to worry that the fire will spread other houses, destroying the town, but Big Jim has come to save the day, bring a bulldozer. He is able to use the bulldozer to knock the house down, and smother the fire. The remaining flames are put out with the water they had been using before.
That assembly line was rather useless. Or at least the last person in line that was supposed to be throwing water on the fire was anyway – Barbie happened to be one of those people. If they’re going to pass buckets of water to throw on the fire, how about you actually try throwing the water onto the fire, rather than on the front porch, which is not on fire?? Oh, and Big Jim comes out looking like the hero, when he’s really the bad guy.
After the fire, Big Jim begins a rousing speech of how they are going to get through the situation they are in. As he is giving his speech, the officer that seemed a little off earlier, has decided to draw his weapon and go off the deep end, saying that they are all going to die in that dome due to smoke inhalation. He begins shooting at the dome, which ricochets, killing another fellow officer. While the deranged officer is distracted about the death he caused, Barbie is able to take him to the ground.
More incompetence. Did he actually think the bullet was going to blast through the dome? I suppose he didn’t know for sure, but it’s a theory they could try at a later time, when there’s not a huge crowd of people around! Now it looks like Linda is the only police officer left, now that the bullet ricochet has killed the only other sane one, and I’m sure the crazy officer is no longer fit for duty. Linda’s not going to be able to handle the whole town on her own, so I foresee some chaos in the near future…
In the aftermath of the fire, the deputy asks why the reverend was in the house in the first place, and he explains he was looking for a suit for the sheriff’s funeral. Big Jim is able to talk to the reverend alone before he is loaded in to the ambulance, and he learns that the paperwork is gone.
As for the wrap of Angie and Junior, after being pummeled by Barbie, he returns to visit with the chained up Angie. He tells her that he has killed Barbie, which Angie believes is a lie. He insists, but after Angie says that since she has known Junior since the 3rd grade, she knows that would not be possible. This causes Junior to admit that she is right, and uses her admission to say that he has gotten back to the Angie he “used to know”.
The sad thing is, Junior probably would have killed Barbie if he could have. If Angie really believes Junior wouldn’t have killed Barbie, it seems like Junior has changed a lot since 3rd grade. What caused that change? Is she only saying that because she wants to get back in his good graces again, so that she can get out of that fallout shelter?
There are also a few subplots that go on throughout the episode. One of them involves two kids with the town, Ben Drake and Joe McAllister, documenting the diameter of the dome. They also learn that the dome is water permeable, as they are able to feel some wetness as the military tests on the dome from the outside.
Only a little bit, and only when Joe places his hand against the dome where the military is spraying it with a high powered hose. What will this mean for future episodes? What else can get through? We now know bullets can’t!
Julia, upon learning that it is a dome, heads to the radio tower, commandeering the station, begins a sort of emergency broadcast, informing the public about the dome. Also, the Dodee and Phil, the people working at the radio station, are able to occasionally hear the military’s frequency on the radio, and learn that the military is probably not behind the dome, as they seem to be trying to figure out its origins as well.
So if the military isn’t behind the dome, then who is? If you’ve read the book like I have, then you know. However, from what the producers were saying at the Wondercon Anaheim 2013 discussion panel, it sounds like they might go in a completely different direction from what the book says is the source of the dome. If that is the case, I am in the dark as much as you non-readers are about where the dome came from! Another subplot is the fact that the military who are standing guard on the other side of the dome seem to be under orders to ignore everyone who is inside the dome. Any attempts that the citizens of Chester’s Mill make to communicate with the soldiers or get their attention go unacknowledged.
This episode was better than the last episode. I think the story I am drawn to the most so far is Barbie’s, figuring out if he is a bad guy or if we are just being led that way. I also like Joe McAlister’s story, although a seemingly small part of the story so far, he is actually getting into investigating the dome, despite being a teenager. I really can’t appreciate Junior’s and Angie’s stories, as I have hard time believing their characters. I am curious to find out about the propane however, as I can’t think of a reason to keep such a big secret from the town. I am still on the fence for this show so far, but we will see what happens tonight!
Compared to the pilot episode, things are starting to get a little more interesting in Chester’s Mill. However, I felt like things were handled in a really cheesy and over the top way. People seem to be going crazy all too quickly and doing very stupid, careless things, which give the show a far-fetched “that would never happen in real life” vibe, and which conflicts with the realistic true-to-life feeling that the show seems like it wants to portray. In other words, for a show that appears to want to be taken seriously, there sure are a lot of silly things going on. Granted, I’ve never been trapped inside a dome before, so I can’t definitively say what is and what is not realistic in that scenario, but so far “Under the Dome” seems a little “off” to me. In any case, I’m going to keep watching and see if I can get a better feel for the show. As I’ve said before, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when they start running out of resources. Barbie seems to be planning ahead for that, buying up cigarettes to use as currency later on down the road when money no longer matters. Speaking of which, how does he know they’ll be trapped under the dome long enough for that to happen? Hmm…