This episode of Under the Dome features burning red rain, along with the age old question–is science or religion more important? We also find out that the mystery girl from the lake has a name, Junior finds out more about his mother, and Julia isn’t liking this new girl Rebecca. Check out Josh’s recap of Under the Dome for the episode titled Force Majeure! Oh, don’t know what force majeure means? You find out this episode! Let’s get started!
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Episode Recap of Under the Dome, Season 2 Episode 3: Force Majeure
Chester’s Mill Has a Census
On this week’s episode of Under the Dome, the mystery girl, who we learn is named Melanie, is snooping through a drawer of Barbie’s when he walks in on her. Julia comes in, and asks Barbie if he is interrogating her. Julia asks him to be patient, and Barbie seems distrusting of her. Barbie heads down to the diner.
Big Jim is getting a shave, and we learn the barber may have had an interest in Jim’s wife. It looks like Jim may have a new love interest though. Jim asks the barber to make a cologne for him to swoon Rebecca.
At the diner, the citizens of Chester’s Mill are filling out a questionnaire. Julia, Joe and Norrie chat about figuring out Melanie. Rebecca walks up and demands all children between 12 and 14 work on an experiment to get electricity flowing to the town.
Sam and Junior talk, and Sam asks why he thinks that he killed Angie. Junior seems foggy about it, since he blacked out during the time of Angie’s death. Sam talks about Junior’s mother’s blackouts, and explains that sometimes revisiting the area helped jog her memory. Junior decides revisiting the scene of Angie’s death might help with his memories.
The Rain Moves in–But Not the Good Kind
Back at the diner, the town gets ready to collect rain water for drinking water, but the rain is a dark red color. Melanie puts her hand in the rain, and it burns her hand. Lyle, the barber, tells Jim that this phenomena must be the 10 plagues. Rebecca walks up, and refutes his explanation. Lyle’s response is that he is looking to scripture for answers while Rebecca explains that she is looking at science. Sam brings in a wounded girl, and says that they should head out and rescue more people.
Mystery Girl Has a Name, Junior Has a Mission
At the school, Norrie, Joe and Melanie run into Junior. Using some tablets, Joe realizes he is receiving email. Joe reads an email from his dad, who tells him to take care of his sister. Joe breaks down since Angie is dead. Melanie tries to comfort Joe, so Norrie decides to talk with Junior. Junior checks his own email, and he receives a link to watch. The video is his mother, talking to him. She says that she is alive, and tells him to talk to Lyle for answers. The video then ends, and the internet has died.
Junior then heads out into the rain, to find Lyle. Joe and Norrie, in the meantime, have a thought that there could be some sort of weakness in the dome. Melanie and Joe decide to look for it. Norrie decides to tag along, and the wi-fi signal seems to be getting stronger on their tablet as they approach Angie’s death spot. Somehow Melanie is able to open the locker that Angie touched before she died. There is nothing inside the locker, and the signal for the wi-fi has died. Norrie becomes suspicious of Melanie, demanding to know who she is. Joe decides to figure out how Melanie could know the locker combination.
Joe does some research in the school’s records, and finds an old picture of Melanie from 1988–looking the same as she does now.
Rebecca and Jim head out to test a sample of the red rain. Rebecca provides some possible explanations for the red rain, while Jim seems unsure. A man stands in the roadway, however, and interrupts their conversation, forcing Jim to crash. The man pulls Jim out and drives away with Rebecca in the car. He radios for help, and Barbie and Julia are able to find him. Jim is brought to the triage area where others are being held for injuries, and Jim manages to tell Barbie that Lyle has Rebecca. Barbie and Julia head to Lyle’s barber shop, searching for clues as to where Lyle could be. Junior walks in, and offers to help find Lyle. Junior suggests searching a cement factory.
Lyle Feels the Dome? Possibly?
Rebecca in the meantime has been taken to a warehouse and locked up. We see that the mystery man is Lyle. Rebecca tells Lyle to let him go, and tells Lyle she knows how to stop the red rain. Lyle says he doesn’t want to stop the rain. He also says that the dome doesn’t want to stop the rain either. Lyle then threatens to “baptize” Rebecca with the red water. Lyle pours some water, scalding her back. Rebecca then breaks down and embraces Lyle’s beliefs in order to avoid more burning red water. Lyle isn’t convinced though, and calls her a “lost cause”. He grabs a pistol, but Barbie and Junior burst in. Lyle holds his pistol to Rebecca’s head though, and forces the two to drop their weapons. Julia walks in and tries to talk sense into Lyle. Julia then tells Lyle that the dome spoke to her. He says he hasn’t been spoken to by the dome, but has a “feeling” from the dome. Julia seems to be talking him down, and Rebecca begins unraveling her restraints. She escapes, and tosses the burning red water into Lyle’s face.
Rebecca Has Big Plans for Chester’s Mill
Rebecca resumes her plan to top the red rain, which appears to work. Rebecca then visits Jim to comfort him. She explains her method of stopping the rain. Rebecca then explains that some tough decisions will have to be made in order for the town to survive.
Rebecca meets with Jim, Julia and Barbie, and is concerned about the amount of supplies left for the people of the town. She says that thinning the herd may be necessary based on the supplies left. Julia is appalled, and realizes that the census form the citizens have been filling out is a way to determine who lives and dies. Surprisingly, Barbie seems to be considering Rebecca’s plan. Barbie chases Julia, and Julia says they will find a way, and leaves Barbie.
Jim and Rebecca continue their meeting, and Rebecca tells a story of a tribe in Borneo that would put its elderly in a tree and shake the tree. The elders who held on were considered strong enough to remain alive. Rebecca says that 3/4 of the people of Chester’s Mill could feasibly survive. Rebecca says that Jim has to make the decision who lives and who dies.
Junior is offered a Deal By Lyle
Lyle in jail sings with his burned face. Sam shows up to pay Lyle a visit. Sam warns that he could kill him, and that Lyle promised him that he would lie low. Lyle says that this dome is a force majeure–circumstances that break both parties from their contract.
Josh’s Thoughts: Under the Dome, Season 2 Episode 3: Force Majeure
Under the Dome is still firmly in the “meh” category for me. This episode put front and center the faith versus science argument. Often I am up for a good religion versus science debate, but I feel that the writers really made this a ridiculous argument. Lyle, a brand new character, came in holding the big religion banner, while Rebecca continues to hold the science banner, but neither character is all that compelling with their arguments.
Lyle decides that the red rain, simply has to be a plague sent down by God, since the rain has to be blood. Even though as Rebecca no-so-eloquently establishes that this can’t be blood, Lyle still insists on this being a plague. Of course Lyle decides that the best course of action to honor this “Dome God”, is to kill all the non-believers. Sounds like a reasonable solution.
Rebecca doesn’t get off so easily though. How does a science teacher, with no lab or test equipment, know the exact cause of this red, burning rain? This is an event probably no scientist has ever dealt with, and would take teams of the most brilliant minds to figure out–and it would take longer than a few hours. Also, how does diluting the lake cause the rain to stop raining red immediately? Precipitation isn’t something that happens immediately. It was pretty frustrating how unscientific the “science expert” is.
Some of the writing of this episode just felt disjointed as well. One big example of this is the conversation between Rebecca and Lyle when Rebecca is being held captive. Rebecca demands to know what Lyle did to Big Jim. Why does Rebecca even have to ask? She was there–Lyle forced Jim to crash, and pulled him from the truck. She was sitting right next to Jim when it happened! It really seemed like a weird moment for me.
There are a few things that have intrigued me though. Who is Melanie? Is she the dome? Or is the dome bringing people back from the dead? Was Melanie drowned in the lake in the past at some point? Where is Juniors mother? Is she in a different timeline? Is she outside the dome? What is going on? How does Lyle know who killed Angie? Was it him? He certainly has the capabilities it seems.
Well let’s see how episode four goes. I really want to like this show, but so far season two has been with ups and downs.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 2 Episode 3 of Under the Dome: Force Majeure
This show is kind of losing me. We bring in yet another new character that we never knew existed last season. And he’s a barber, so it’s not like he was secluding himself out in the middle of nowhere. It seems like he’s a very volatile person, which would have come up with all the happenings of last season. If he was such a religious fanatic, he would have made himself known sooner. But I guess we’re to expect more and more new characters, without any regard to the plausibility of their introduction.
There were just so many silly things that happened, to the point that makes this show not very believable. For example, the red rain was supposed to burn, right? Sometimes they took extra precautions to cover up, other times it seems like they weren’t as careful. Sometimes it looked like there was skin exposed which would have easily gotten hit by the rain, and looks like it did, but no one really makes a big deal out of it, or seems to be hurt at all by it (Big Jim). Then Barbie seems to be taking Big Jim’s side all of a sudden, like the show just wants to create drama between him and Julia. It just doesn’t make sense. It also didn’t make sense how Lyle got so far ahead of Big Jim and Rebecca that he would be standing in the middle of the road to block them, or that things would coincidentally go as he planned that he was able to drive off with Rebecca. How would he know that Big Jim would swerve so hard as to crash into a tree? I guess he got a “feeling” from the dome, right?
Lyle’s babble also didn’t make much sense. He spouts off about scripture, but then he seems to be worshipping the dome as his new god, rather than the biblical God. Make up your mind, buddy!
The only thing holding my interest is this mystery girl, who we have now discovered is named Melanie and attended high school in Chester’s Mill back in 1988. That means she was probably in the same class as Junior’s mom and Lyle. She must have drowned back then. Is this the dome bringing her back to life? Or just the dome appearing in her form? She seems more real than the other dome manifestations of people that we have seen, but then, we never really tested how corporeal they were. Did she suffer foul play back then? Was it at the hands of Lyle, by chance? Or Junior’s mom? This is the only aspect of the show that I’m curious about anymore. The girl and Junior’s mom. Other than that, everything else is kinda just blah to me.