Under the Dome: Season 2 episodes 1, 2 &3

Episode 1- This one is written by the man himself, Stephen King. And there are so many preposterous things that occur. We lose and gain characters. But we begin our episode with Dale Barbara at the gallows as Julia drops the egg in the lake. Suddenly most of the gathered crowd collapses as a bright light shines across the dome and a mysterious girl appears in the lake. And from there on we have a typical UtD chain of nonsensical and frustrating events.

Julia jumps in the lake to save the drowning girl. She’s shot in the shoulder, so it seems unlikely that she’d be a strong swimmer at that particular moment. A man runs out of a house and helps Julia do CPR, then he asks her if she can walk. Umm.. she’s shot in the upper body and playing life guard. That made no sense. Junior poises himself to be a hero and refuses to hang Barbie. Linda threatens to shoot Big Jim, which is good since she’s the law and Jim is framing a man and publicly executing him. Very reasonable.

The four go investigate at “the dome” (which is making a perimeter around the whole town… it’s not one spot) where Linda dies saving Barbie. Anyone other than Junior, Big Jim or Barbie would have been reasonable. Her oath was to protect and serve, but another woman being cannon fodder, being a reason for male characters to have a change of heart. Boooo Barbie and Big Jim tussle and he runs off to steal a car from local Science teacher Rebecca Pine, another WoC who will probably have a short life span given this show’s track record of repeatedly victimizing women.

Julia and Junior’s uncle Sam tend to the alien who escapes and Angie, Joe and Norrie save Carolyn from flying kitchen accessories while Big Jim hallucinates Dodee telling him off again. Shortly after, Angie and Junior resolve to kill Big Jim. But then they collapse during a magnetic wave. Ms Pine creates a way to offset the magnetic charge. Barbie and Julia reunite and make out around an ocean of collapsed townsfolk. Big Jim finds Junior collapsed and freaks out, then he hallucinates Linda while Junior has a coma dream about his mom. Stricken with fear and concern for his son, Big Jim decides to hang himself but he can’t pull the lever. Julia says that she’ll do it but immediately has a change of heart. So he stomps on the trapdoor and Julia with lightning fast reflexes has a knife open in her hand and cuts the rope. 

Julia and Rebecca immediately quibble over whether magic or science stopped the dome’s nefarious magnetism. Because women can never be friends on TV.

Big Jim tells Phil that Barbie didn’t kill Dodee, then he invites Carolyn, Norrie, Joe and Angie to stay at his house. Yeah, that’s a safe place for Angie in particular… Norrie is prepared to tell him to fuck off but Carolyn says to keep your enemies closer. Angie still wants Jim dead. Good for her. Sam, Junior’s Uncle shows up at the diner, Big Jim is not pleased. Angie closes up the diner alone, she’s taking out rubbish when she sees that alien girl that Julia saved go into the school. Angie follows her but the other girl runs off. Angie sees that her locker is open and the gets an axe to the back. Welp, 2 deaths + 2 replacements + another straight white male added to the main cast. Fuck. Add to that the waffling that the characters do about killing Big Jim… dude’s crazy and a murderer. And now Junior being on board and Angie commending Junior for having her back after keeping her chained up (“to protect her”) last season… oh fuck that. Abuser turned hero is the worst trope.

Episode 2-

Ms Pine wants to reopen the school, Big Jim sets Junior off to check out the school where he finds dead Angie. At the diner Rebecca Pine tells Jim that butterflies are munching their crops. And Barbie and Jim speculate about who would do this. Phil is there and still suspicious of Barbie. They find a bloody shoeprint. Jim thinks it’s Junior, Junior thinks it’s Big Jim. Norrie and Joe are off in the woods oblivious when they find the mysterious girl from the lake. They pass by the school and Joe whose stages of grief are acceptance and anger. Barbie and Julia are discussing the new girl when they see a fire. Rebecca is burning the crops. Joe is upset and Norrie tries to comfort him to little avail. Norrie expresses the same suspicion that Barbie has about the girl from the lake. Because women on this show all hate each other on sight. Rebecca says that she burned the wheat to stop the caterpillars from infesting other crops.Big Jim decides that “this is a test for him”

Barbie’s like: Big Jim’s like, “This plague was sent as a test for me, Barbie.”

Julia goes to talk to Sam to find out is he’s holding anything back about the new girl and he finds out what’s happened to Angie, Julia finds out that Sam is Big Jim’s brother in law. Sam comes to examine Angie’s body for evidence and Junior reveals that he got blackout drunk because the vision of his mom threw him off guard. But he doesn’t think he would have hurt Angie. Barbie and Jim decide to rain pesticides on the remaining crops and they quibble over who will fly the plane and get the credit. Should they let Barbie- the former military pilot!? tough choice. Joe and Norrie bring weird girl’s shoe to Phil and it’s a match, Julia is pissed that they’re holding her… ummm… it seems reasonable. Less reasonable is hung over and emotional Junior switching gears from looking for something damning on Big Jim to wanting to kill the new girl in the span of 30 seconds.

Barbie damages the wing of the plane on the dome, he thinks he’ll run out of gas but Big Jim had a spare tank. Julia and Sam “clear” the girl from the woods when they find a man sized handprint on Angie. Umm… two people working together is a thing. And Julia and Sam go to free her while Joe points a gun at her. Julia and Barbie recap their day’s event and Julia goes on and on about Rebecca and how she’s too Team Big Jim and that Rebecca “doesn’t know everything about the dome.” Newsflash: no one does, at least she’s doing things that will help Chester’s Mill residents. But the fact that Rebecca was in Barbie’s proximity makes Julia see her as a threat… when she was with Sam all day and Barbie didn’t tee off like a 15 year old… makes female characters look dumb as hell. Angie’s funeral is the following day –it’s majorly inappropriate that Big Jim gives the Eulogy, mind you. She wanted him dead, he’d threatened her before. Really any other person was a better choice. Right before, Joe has a melt down while he’s looking for her bracelet, Barbie consoles him and then Junior finds that he has the bracelet and heads to Sam’s to confess that he thinks he did it.

Episode 3

Barbie and Julia are sheltering the young alien girl and Barbie catches her going through his things. She asks him where he is from and he asks her where she is from. Julia accuses him of interrogating her. Oookay.

Big Jim goes to get a haircut and some cologne from Dwight Yoakam. who is a religious nut bag… but that comes later.

Ms Pine decides to get all the teenagers together to help build a windmill. Joe still has the specifications on his school tablet. Norrie and the new alien aren’t exempt from this task. Julia tries to get new girl out of it, but the mystery girl says she would like to help. Norrie is not amused. And this time I don’t blame her. She didn’t get to be sheltered, she’s been through a lot with losing her mom and was never into the school thing. Now she’s being forced into educational activities and the chipper goody two shoes that she thinks may have killed HER FRIEND ANGIE (even though they don’t allow Norrie any time to grieve). 

They head off to the school to get the tablet, Junior is already there after talking to Sam about his blackout and Sam says that his mom used to go into fugue states but that sometimes if she tried to retrace her steps she would start to remember.

It starts raining what looks like blood but is really a chemical/algae rain that burns people’s skin. That might be worse than blood. Lyle (Dwight Yoakam) and Rebecca face off over religion and science.

The school has wifi again somehow and they have gotten messages from the outside. Including a message to Joe from his dad: his parents miss him, “now he’s the man of the house, take care of Angie” WTFF? Joe is the YOUNGER brother. Angie had lived on her own and is an adult. What kind of patriarchal BS… *sigh* Joe starts crying, worried what he’ll tell his parents, worried that they’ll all die in the dome… and he’s comforted by the new girl. Norrie hates it. She gives Junior her tablet and  stomps off. Junior has a message that says “I can help you James” (which is how so many emails in my spam box begin), and he finds a video by his mother. She confesses that she’s alive and tells him that Lyle has answers.

Then alien girl knows Angie’s locker combo… turns out she had the same locker in 1988! There’s no way schools keep records of that for that long. There’s no way that the combos weren’t changed. It’s so fucking pointless.

Meanwhile Rebecca and Big Jim head out to treat the water and stop the red rain. Suddenly a figure blocks the road and Jim crashes to avoid him, the disoriented Jim is tossed from the car and Rebecca is abducted by Lyle. Jim radios for help. Rebecca gets tortured. Barbie, Junior and Julia bust in to save Rebecca (except Junior who is looking for answers from Lyle). Lyle like Julia because she believes in the higherpower of the dome instead of science and she nearly talks him into letting Rebecca go. Rebecca doesn’t wait, she douses Lyle with the acid rain. Julia exclaims “Why did you do that?” Let me answer… she’s been caused pain and forced to fear for her life at Lyle’s hands all day. It’s obvious.

Anyway, Rebecca fixes the water. Lyle goes to jail, Junior lets him out. And Rebecca goes back to the crazy talk about “thinning the herd.” Maybe in time it would be necessary,  the acid rain killed some pigs, butterflies destroyed some plants but it’s been less than 3 weeks. And a bunch of people have already died anyway. Julia gets to be self righteous and outraged. Rebecca gives no fucks.

All-New X-Men #19

I’m still subscribed to a few more than I bargained for X-Men books… But at least in this one, Kitty Pryde gets some respect. 

The Original X-Men are still around and have now defected, along with Professor K to Cyclops’s Charles Xavier school, which is housed in the former Weapon X facility. 

In the streets of Miami, a woman is confronted by a group of armed mercenaries who tell her “Mutant is the abomination of the Devil.” and “God doesn’t want Mutants.” Which, of course, are rip offs of derogatory slogans used currently to oppress LGBT people by WBC and the like. There are huge issues with using real oppression to sensationalize fictional oppressed groups, among these issues, the fact that mutants are actually dangerous. 

The woman screams “I am not a mutant!” and then all the armed men explode.

This is exactly the plot of last week’s Agents of SHIELD actually. Way to recycle, Marvel.

Oh wait, but she didn’t make them explode, it was Kitty Pryde, Magik, Young Jean GreyBeastIcemanAngel+Cyclops.  

The mercenaries think they speak for God and are REALLY excited about the prospect of killing Scott Summers. They also take particular offense to Angel. To defend her team, Jeannie shiows her strength. 

The girl escapes the melee and makes a run for it, however she is followed but one of the cult/mercenaries/wackos and she still insists that she is not a mutant. Kitty finds her, saves her and… recognizes her. The girl’s name is Laura. She does not, however, recognize KP and makes a break for it AGAIN. 

While Scott pummels a man for intel, Jeannie reads his thoughts. These men truly believe that Jean Grey is the Devil. (BTW… Dynamite has the lockdown on THE redhaired She-Devil) 

Scott Summers attempts to give the police a statement. Not realizing STILL how much people hate mutants. Remember why the future Brotherhood came back and tried to force them in the time cube? No?

Kitty tackles Laura and they engage in a chick fight while officers think it’s just some bar brawl spilled onto the streets. Kitty Pryde tries to talk her way out of it, too; “I’m an associate of Captain America, not to name drop. Then she tackles Laura through a building and having her captive, Laura lashes out with some adamantium claws.

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Laura is, Laura Kinney, X-23: Last seen facing off with Hazmat in Avengers Arena. She’s a clone made from Wolverine’s genetic sample in which the Y chromosome was damaged.

I wasn’t thrilled by this issue. The best part was Angel facing off with the Purifiers. I like the idea of X-23 joining forces with KP and Illyana, so we will see how that goes. Next Issue:

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Agents of SHIELD Episode 9

From ABC.com: A mysterious force threatens to destroy Coulson and the team!

(isn’t that every episode?)

“Jack Benson was a friend of mine.” A woman buying toiletries from a gas station is harassed by the clerk. She tries to leave but he acts aggressively towards her. Suddenly canned goods fly off the shelves and pelt the man. He asks, “Did you do that?” She shakily says she did not. The man flees as shelves knock into him, hoses from the gas pumps flood the lot and newspapers (that show the headline that 4 men died in a factory accident where the shopping woman was a manager) burn, explosions ensue.

May and Ward get the news simultaneously… since they’ve had a sleepover… AGAIN. I have to say… I like this a TON better than Ward and Skye. It was just so typical. Ward needs to be everyone’s hero -but doesn’t let himself get close to anyone (oooh), Skye as a lost youth in over her head… blah blah. Instead we get May’s icy cool demeanor to match his, an action hero all her own instead of a girl who will need saving. A match of equals… Yeahhhhh

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Ming-Na Wen retweeted this cartoon. Is that Lego Marvel Heroes? I think that’s what I see. Haha

SHIELD figures the woman is a telekinetic (her name is Hutchins). At the factory a particle accelerator exploded, they are wondering if that’s what brought on telekinesis. They show up and the townspeople in her lovely church community are already on their frigging witch-hunt. As they chuck eggs at her a Police car runs at them. Coulson tackles someone out of harms way of the careening police car. But people get more riled up. The woman says it wasn’t her, but local PD gets ready to shoot. May preemptively tasers the woman and they haul her off. Which, while not great etiquette, I’d rather be tasered than shot.

FitzSimmons lament that they never got to play any pranks because they graduated early. Then they decide that Skye is a freshman and they should prank her.

Coulson is aggravated that May tasered her and now she’ll wake up in a strange room all alone and scared. So he wants May to explain it to her.

She does and the woman is very understanding. When Coulson and May suggest that a reaction has cause telekinesis she says that it is not her… that she is being haunted by demons.

Oh boy. The team think it’s delusions of persecution caused by guilt and trauma. But in the background we see the figure of a man (who then dissipates).

May says that people believe what they want to believe to justify their actions. “Is that what you need to believe to justify you shoot first policy?” Snarky… Oooh. Coulson tells her to stay away from Hutchins as things in his office get knocked over. Skye then takes her shitty mood and judginess over to Ward and she tells him that May has a stick up her ass and needs to get laid (which she is get laid, by the man Skye is talking smack about May to… like a High school Freshman) And then she tells Ward the story that FitzSimmons told her… I thought she was a genius or something… how did she fall for this?

The… ghost? tries to pick SHIELD’s supersecure room lock with a butter knife.

Tobias Ford hard been lodging safety complaints (all founded) against Hannah’s department. 

Fitz is thinking up pranks while Simmons works hard. She’s looking over the data from the particle accelerator and finds that it opened “a door” and the ghost-man? Tobias Ford finishes, “to Hell!” and he smashes the hologram with a giant wrench. Simmons screams and Coulson enters. Hannah was telling the truth! She’s not telekinetic! Tobias cuts the power on the plane. They’re going down!

May hops into action to land the bird. Skya asks “What can I do?” and May replies, “buckle up”. Yeahhh… that’s about all you can do, Skye. Nice that the woman you talk smack about for… doing her job… can save you all. AGAIN.

Simmons is explaining that she saw a ghost. Skye wants to be the one to explain the situation to Hannah (good thing she’s good at talking). 

Fitz, locked in the broom closet for the ordeal, thinks Simmons is getting really good at pranks.

Skye does talk to Hannah, tells her that she knows it’s not Hannah and that she doesn’t think God is punishing her. That God would forgive a mistake. Agent May coldly orders Skye to go fix the frigging plane. Which she’s offended by and tells May not to hurt Hannah more than she has. (yes, getting everyone out of mortal danger should obviously come second to one person’s feelings). Anyway. May stands guard.

Fitz, Simmons and Ward get haunted while they try to fix the plane. Simmons thinks the door may have been to an alien dimension, not Hell. (which, honestly while not “religious Hell” could still be rather Hell-like and then, what difference would it actually make?) Ward gets quite a beating from the able to appear anywhere at any moment Tobias. 

Skye is STILL shooting her mouth of about Agent May. STILL. That May’s “the Cavalry” and not sensitive enough to deal with Hannah. Coulson tells her to knock it off, and he gets emotional finally telling the real story of how May got that name and how saving youths in danger from a cult changed her. There was no horse, there was no gun, there was only Agent May. 

Coulson says that May used to be a lot like Skye. And Skye surmises that is why Coulson keeps her around, to see if that person comes back. (umm… not because she’s an insanely smart and qualified agent? But because he loves her and wants her to be like Skye?)

FitzSimmons says that less and less of Tobias is coming back every time. Maybe if they wait it out, he’ll be gone for good. 

“I don’t mean to scare you, I just need to use you as bait.” May draws Tobias away from the rest of her team.

Skye has it figured out. Tobias loves Hannah, he caused safety violations in her area so that he would have to meet with her. It was all to get her attention… because he likes her. 

Aaaaaaahhhhhh

After some brawling with May where he slips through her arms, May gets wise to this, too. She asks Hannah to say that May is a friend. Tobias confesses what he’s done (going too far with sabotage and killing 3 of his friends) and thinks he’s being dragged to Hell for it. May tells him that he can never go back to being who he was… and holding on is Hell. 

And at the end; Skye plays nice with May and May pranks Fitz who didn’t expect that from her at all. So maybe the warm and youthful May is in there somewhere…

My assessment of this episode: I actually really love that it’s Ward and May hooking up. 

But what the heck is Skye’s problem with May? She doesn’t even SUSPECT much less know that May and Ward are together, since Ward and Skye have flirted with each other in the recent past, I could understand if she was jealous for that reason. But just deciding that May isn’t “nice” …fuck you, Skye. 

Because, actually, I think she has been nice. Last episode: it was “nice” of her to confront her horribly traumatic past by picking up the Berserker staff so Ward didn’t have to do it on his own. It was “nice” of her to break orders and fly in to save Ward and Fitz with Skye and Jemma (in episode 7: The Hub). It was really nice (also episode 7) when she let Coulson talk out his problems by LISTENING to him instead of interrupting him with her feelings. FUUUUUUCK

And more about that traumatic past of May’s; Skye just can’t take her word for it. She actually needs a man, Coulson, to explain that it was a horrible and hopeless situation that changed May forever. Ummm…. But if it gets Coulson so upset than it must be really really bad. So now Skye can have empathy for May. (Which, once again, why Skye just decided to hate May… I don’t know)

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Really the only good part of this episode was the pranks. Fitz and Simmons reclaim some youth. The mop + gas mask flying out of the closet scaring even Ward and Coulson? epic. And of course May getting in, her sly smile… epic. 

Also, we glorified stalking behavior on TV again. Tobias was just doing it to protect Hannah. And Hannah said gently, “No Tobias, what have you done?” He kept hurting people to right the wrong he had done to Hannah not the 3 other men and their families and the gas station attendant and his family or the fact that he tried to crash a plane with people on it (including Hannah). Even though Hannah knows his behavior is wrong she still feels bad for him. Ugh. Sabotaging a particle accelerator is not romantic. STAHP