Under the Dome: Incandescence

Last week’s episode of Under the Dome, “Love is a Battlefield,” featured a scene in which Scarecrow Joe actually sings “Love is a Battlefield” at the top of his lungs while dancing, but despite containing such marvels I was unable to recap because I was curled up in a fetal position on the floor, chewing my knuckles and wailing because CBS had just announced that it was canceling Under the Dome. There were only three episodes left! Forever! How could I possibly enjoy watching Eva give birth to her alien slime baby, then throwing her doula through a window, before being murdered with a pillow by a singing Marg Helgenberger who seemed to be improvising her nonsensical Death Lullaby on the spot?

This calcifying Dome isn’t running out of oxygen! It’s running out of episodes! *sob*

Under the Dome has always been a runaway train, with the writers chopping up the furniture and throwing it in the firebox to keep the engine going. But the hope is that the beautiful trainwreck that awaits us all at the finale is going to be a magnificent conflagration of world-shattering nonsense. So far this season, the nonsense is: (1) The Dome is calcifying, so everyone’s running out of oxygen, (2) Eva is giving birth to the new alien queen baby that she made with Barbie, (3) Eriq La Salle is secretly the head of Aktaion and he’s inside the Dome because of something.


How terrible would it be if in the last two episodes everything started making sense? In order to prevent some kind of rational ending, everyone on this show needs to act as irrationally as possible. Things start on a promising note with Junior on the run. Team Aktaion used Christine’s DNA to make a cure for the alien Lifeforce, but it only made Junior super-strong and super-angry and he beat a bunch of people to death (even though he couldn’t break the shoelaces that bound him to a cot until his dad, Big Jim, untied them). He almost gets caught by Barbie and Julia who are driving down the road in their Prius, except the normally silent and smooth-running Toyota Prius seems to be making engine noises like a regular car, allowing Junior to hear them in time and hide. Even inanimate objects are doing their part to behave irrationally. So far, so good!

Junior makes it back to Town Hall which is alien HQ and tries to impress Christine with the fact that his Lifeforce is super-strong and he killed two Aktaion guards, but instead of getting slime sex from Christine, he gets a hug. Other things are on her mind, horndog! As the Dome calcifies and runs out of oxygen, the old people are feeling the effects first. “Their bodies aren’t as efficient,” says Uncle Sam. Christine applies a damp cloth to the foreheads of the olds, because that is the best way to oxygenate blood, but it’s not working, so they have to drown them all to provide more air for the youngs. Thanks, Obama! Cut to: Junior and Uncle Sam competing to see who can march the most old people into the lake. Keep it irrational, guys!


Meanwhile, Team Aktaion has abandoned the scene of Junior-inflicted carnage at the daycare center to irrationally hole up at Ye Olde Paper Mill, when everyone knows that the place you go in Chester’s Mill is always Ye Olde Cement Factory. Despite being mentioned nine million times per episode by almost every single character, Eriq La Salle is surprised to hear that the Dome is calcifying and running out of oxygen. Apparently, Eriq is a fancyman who’s been to Reddit where one Redditor calculated that it would actually take a 2 mile wide dome containing 2000 people 31,782,543 days to run out of oxygen. Shut up, science!!!! We hate you! Fortunately, Fivehead Norrie brings it all home. “The more we move around and panic the more oxygen we use up,” she panics.

Back in the Prius, Julia and Barbie are having a conversation that many married couples have after the birth of their first child:

Julia: She’s not even human.

Barbie: She’s my baby and I love her forever!

Julia: No, for real, she gestated in 3 days and it took the deaths of 12 women to birth her.

Barbie: How can you know how I feel? My parent feelings are enormous!!!


Julia acknowledges Barbie’s feelings then suggests that whether it’s his baby or a homicidal alien space queen “Our next move has to be smart.” Unlike their previous 45,979 moves. I mean, why start now? So they drive to Ye Olde Paper Mill where a plan is made using media-friendly buzzwords. “Let’s use a drone to find the alien baby!” says Camgirl Lily. “Let’s find stem cells!” says some scientist lady who’s trying to find a cure. Throw in a reference to Millennials and let’s go viral!

But because “The government will never admit that an alien Lifeforce infected US citizens,” Eriq La Salle murders the scientist lady, ties up Camgirl Lily, and goes to kill Scarecrow Joe before he brings the Dome down and saves them all. Joe, remembering a location from Season One, is at the old radio station salvaging the transmitter. He’s guarded by an Alien Cult Guy (Note: the aliens have somehow found hundreds of matching Navy t-shirts to wear) but the Alien Cult Guy gets shot by two Team Aktaion Guys who get shot by Fivehead Norrie who almost gets shot by Eriq La Salle who gets shot by Big Jim. Then Joe salvages the transmitter anyways.

Camgirl Lily also remembers locations from Season One. “Guys,” she says. “Something’s going down at the cement factory.” What’s going down? Un-American things! Christine has forced the alien queen baby to participate in purple tentacle porn, and now it’s encased in a cocoon. While the flugelhorns of doom play, she tries to give the cocoon her Lifeforce, but gets interrupted by Barbie and Julia which causes the cocoon to break open early and something runs out of it really fast. “I love my baby!” Barbie cries, envisioning all the future high school track meets he can attend.


Christine is no longer the alien queen and she screams, “Oh, god, no, the lake!” Ignoring Whitney Houston’s explicit instructions, Junior and Uncle Sam are drowning children at the lake because oxygen. Barbie and Julia fight Junior and subdue him both by appealing to his sense of reason and by hitting him with a tire iron. At the height of drama, as the oxygen runs out, and the alien queen baby is on the loose, Julia calls a time out. “We’re exhausted,” she says. “Why don’t we take a break? When we regroup, we’ll go over everything Christine did.”

Sounds like a plan! But somebody should have told the alien queen baby they were on a break because she finds sleepy Christine and…here’s the big reveal! What IS the baby? A sexy MILF? A scary xenomorph? The Flash? Nope, it turns out to be Kylie Bunbury, the actress who played Eva, in a discount wig.

“You have your father’s eyes,” Christine moans, keeping it irrational right up until the end because Bunbury’s eyes are brown and her father, actor Mike Vogel’s, eyes are blue.

In the cocoon, alien baby queen somehow grew to adulthood and also grew a stylish midriff-baring  tee, some moss green pants, and a pair of knee-high boots. If only they hadn’t interrupted her cocooning she might have grown a statement bag and some great accessories, too. She kills Christine and eats her Lifeforce, and then…tune in next week for the final episode!

Will things suddenly get rational? Seeing that the promo for the finale promises space mushrooms, another sinkhole, laser sights on guns, purple energy beams, and the announcer refers to it as a “global phenomenon,” “earth-shattering,” and actually instructs us to prepare ourselves for a “Holy Moley, mind-blowing television event” I declare that ridiculousness will prevail!

Grady Hendrix has written for publications ranging from Playboy to World Literature Today and his latest novel is Horrorstör, about a haunted Ikea.


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