This week, John Elvis, the actor who plays Skater Ben on Under the Dome, did an AMA on Reddit and someone asked him to pitch the show. Mr. Elvis wrote, “Pitch: The Simpsons movie, except Stephen King thought of it 15 years before. The GOOD bald guy on Breaking Bad is now the BAD bald guy. The Redhead from Twilight isn’t weird, and the dude from Texas Chainsaw Massacre isn’t a weenie that dies right at the beginning. The same people that made LOST make this show too. plus STEPHEN KING!!!! Drops Mic”
But let’s say that mic had a mass of about 12,000 metric tons, and it was dropped at a speed of 60,000 km/h. It would impact the ground with a kinetic energy of 500 kilotons, generating a bright flash, releasing a hot cloud of dusty gas, and throwing debris into the air in a wide radius around the impact crater. This debris is known as ejecta… and that’s also the title of tonight’s episode! So now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Remember “pink stars falling in lines” from season 1? Now the pink stars are falling on everyone’s faces and killing them if they live outside the Dome, or the Dome is running its favorite “Pink Stars Falling” screensaver. Either way, to the people of Chester’s Mill it looks like the outside world is ending. Inside the Dome, another apocalypse is happening… to everyone’s careers. Upon learning that the producers are in talks to renew UtD for a fourth season, every single extra forms an orderly line at Town Hall and starts jumping out the window. It’s only on the third floor, so they form a big squirming mush pile at the bottom, but it’s really upsetting to Barbie because human life! And it’s upsetting to Eva because Barbie!
One commercial break later, Barbie’s limp attempt to stop the world’s most orderly and understandable mass suicide has worked, and now the Dome is making the same sounds that submarine hulls make in movies. Concerned that the meteor storm has turned the Dome into a submarine (hey, this Dome has been windy, hot, cold, magnetized, and full of caterpillars; nothing’s too weird anymore), Barbie decides to go to the fire watchtower to look at the pretty pretty light show outside the Dome, and Eva goes with him.
At first he thinks the Dome is pretty strong, telling Eva, “It held against the largest non-nuclear ordinance the military ever has,” which sounds like he’s just reading the typos from his copy of the script. But it’s also, surprisingly, a callback to something that happened in season 1. “The meteor impact is thousands of times stronger,” Eva says, which is a callback to season 3, episode 5, when Alien Sex Lady Christine told Junior all about oxytocin. “Our bodies produce it naturally during sex,” she said. “This is about a thousand times stronger.” It seems like these aliens really only understand one number: 1000.
Barbie wants to save everyone in the world because of the fires burning their faces, but because Barbie locked the watchtower hatch behind him and then threw the key down on a stool, he can’t go save anyone, and the two of them are locked in the watchtower all night. Barbie wants to save people, but Eva says it’s scary to bring strangers into the Dome; and besides, wouldn’t it be better if Barbie joined her alien sex Kinship? But saving people, Barbie argues. And then, actual dialogue from the show :
Eva: Yes, some will survive the initial impact. But then the debris that was kicked up into orbit, that will rain down, and then the sun will disappear behind a dust cloud, and then comes the firestorm.
Barbie: How do you know all this?
Eva: I’m an anthropologist.
“All those people,” Barbie sniffles. “Billions of them…” But Eva doesn’t understand any number over 1000, so she could care less, but Barbie keeps arguing so she takes off her shirt. Barbie is seeing her point and then, right when Eva is at maximum nakedness, the key falls out… of her. From somewhere? And hits the floor. Barbie is shocked. “Did you hide this?” he demands, shaking the key at her. Then he thinks it through and turns bright red, “WHERE did you hide this?” he yells. Unable to deal with a woman who stores keys in Mother Nature’s coin purse, Barbie runs away. But before he goes, Eva asks him about some graffiti on the wall that reads, “Rusty hearts Linda.”
“Linda was our sheriff,” Barbie says. “She died when the dome was magnetized.”
Usually no one remembers anything on Under the Dome. Case in point, Julia and Big Jim are hanging out in a house, futzing around with plastic drapes, drinking whiskey, and swapping hair insults as the world ends. As Big Jim ogles a dead stuffed bird, he fantasizes about being dead and stuffed, too. Then he turns to Julia: “They’d have a hard time with your hair, though.” It’s awkward and it’s forced, but at least he’s remembering that insulting her hair is something he was doing a few episodes ago. Usually people on UtD are too busy crawling inside of spooge cocoons, or fighting over propane, or killing pigs to remember anything from episode to episode. Like right now, Julia doesn’t remember that less than three days ago, Big Jim shot Hoarder Andrea in the face for no reason at all, and then tried to shoot her.
But why bring up the (recent) past when they’re on a roll? “Remember that time everything froze,” Big Jim smiles. And a pipe went through Julia’s leg? And you guys had to put a bandage on her jeans? One week ago? Big Jim swills brown liquor right out of the bottle (callback to seasons 1 and 2) as he remembers Lyle Chumley (season 2). Julia even remembers her elderly husband that Barbie killed three weeks ago because Barbie was destined to become Julia’s one true love. Big Jim and Julia get drunk together, and just when you think that maybe Barbulia is no longer a thing and we’re going to get Big Julia instead, Indy shows up to save Big Jim from finding out where Julia hides her keys.
Speaking of adventures into the great ginger unknown, Chester’s Mill’s favorite horny teenaged sex ferrets, Fivehead Norrie and Scarecrow Joe, are hiding in the Sweetbriar Rose cafe with the wheelchair-bound Hacker Hunter and they’re having memories of their own. “Remember when we had seizures together,” Norrie says. “Yeah,” Scarecrow Joe says. “Remember when your mom died in your arms two weeks ago?” But before she can tell him to shut up, they have to gag Hacker Hunter and lock him in a freezer to save his life. Uncle Sam shows up and says, “I take it from the fact that you have someone in the freezer, you’re not part of the Kinship, either,” which passes for urbane wit in Chester’s Mill. They wheel out Hacker Hunter, who’s normal now, but he’s in pain because he broke some ribs along with his back, but fortunately Uncle Sam’s girlfriend killed herself and he’s been holding onto the pills she used. Then Junior comes along, and Uncle Sam goes “Get in the freezer!” to everyone, and they do, and suddenly he’s gone and it’s morning.
Norrie and Joe wheel out Hunter who suddenly turns into a 13-year-old girl and breaks a glass and starts shouting that he hates them and starts cutting himself. It’s clear at this point that this show is all about surrogate families, and Norrie and Scarecrow Joe are like the middle-aged parents of an adult child who still lives in their freezer and rants about things they don’t understand. Like any good mother, Norrie thinks Hacker Hunter is fussy because he’s hungry… for a KNUCKLE SANDWICH. She feeds it to him and then she and Joe peck each other lightly on the lips and she realizes what’s missing from their lives. Emotions! Emotions can defeat the Dome!
What happened when Joe and Norrie were in the freezer, no one is asking? Well, I’ll tell you. Junior took Uncle Sam down to the Rave Caves to be with Alien Sex Lady Christine inside her healing cocoon, because he doesn’t know that Uncle Sam put her there in the first place. Or does he? Now, Sam may be a tough guy when he’s facing a teenaged girl and has an axe (Angie, season 2) or when he’s got a letter opener and he’s facing a middle-aged woman (Christine, last episode), but this time Junior has a flashlight and the tables are turned. There is much fight! Junior wins! Then he puts Sam in a headlock and makes him touch Christine’s cocoon.
At the edge of the Dome, Barbie is watching survivors of the outside world run to the Dome and press up against it, screaming, “We want to be sea monkeys toooooo!” but he can do nothing except watch them catch on fire and continue growing his beard of sadness. Eva appears and touches his man boobies. “You should forget about those people,” she says. “The way you’ve forgotten about every single plot twist on this show for three seasons.” Barbie watches some little white girls press their precious faces to the Dome and then burn to death and that makes him sad, so he takes Eva’s hand and decides he’s on her side, he just won’t ask her to hold onto his keys anymore.
Big Jim and Julia are celebrating the return of Indy by getting drunk when another dog shows up at their door.
“There’s a way to save the town!” Norrie says. “Emotion!”
If only it was spraying crops, or building a giant windmill, or remodeling Town Hall, or organizing a witch hunt, but asking the actors on UtD to show emotion???
“We’re fucked!” Big Jim screams. “Why couldn’t they hire Bryan Cranston for this show? Or Bob Odenkirk. He’s a real discovery! They can do emotions! All I can do is drink brown liquor straight out of the bottle.”
But that’s okay, because he also finds some machine guns. Those are like emotions. Everyone remembers that all the other times Big Jim drank brown liquor out of the bottle while heavily armed he either blew up Farmer Rat or shot Hoarder Andrea in the face and it’s awkward, so they decide to make a special resistance pledge and vow to fight the Kinship.
“You have my forehead,” says Norrie.
“And my hair,” says Julia.
“And my axe,” says Indy, putting his paw on theirs.
Next episode: No one remembers anything from this episode. It’s every major actor on the show versus Barbie and a bunch of extras. Christine emerges from her slimming cocoon looking fabu. And Indy reveals he’s a good alien there to save everyone from this show and take them directly to the next Air Bud installment, Air Buddies 12: Escape from Dome Mountain.