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We are nearing the end of the first season and to say Under the Dome fell below my expectations would be an understatement. The show is a mixed bag of good and bad elements on the best of days, but in this episode, appropriately titled ''Speak of the Devil'', it really took a turn for the worse. 

Junior might be turn-the-channel annoying, but Linda takes the cake as one of the dumbest characters on TV right now. It started when she let Big Jim off the hook even though she has evidence he is involved in a drugs operation. Things got gradually worse from there, even though that seems hard to believe by reading the previous sentence. 

First off why would she doubt Barbie. who she has seen helping and saving people? Why would she doubt Barbie because of what Big Jim says, who is someone she knows has been lying all this time? After that it snowballed. Phil lives! Apparently he has survived his gunshot wound, something that was never followed up on, and pops up at just the right time to cast some more suspicion on Barbie concerning Peter Shumway. Then it became Barbie must have shot Julia because she found out. Why on Earth would Barbie, who was in the military, shoot her in the upper right area of her body? Why on Earth would he call Linda for help to get her to the hospital? Why would he help save Julia's life? 

Another point, why would Maxine shoot her in the upper right area of her body at pointblank range? Plot convenience?

So that brings us to cement factory showdown. I wonder why there was no one there when an episode ago, which is a day in the show's timeline, it was full of people. Not to mention that Max apparently left the power switch to generator unguarded? Pretty dumb. Of course Max was going to lose and, playing by Barbie's rules, they were captured. Then another dumb ass moment followed, with Barbie leaving the prisoners in the hands off Big Jim. 

In a move nobody saw coming, Big Jim killed Max and her henchman. Barbie got angry and attacked Big Jim, but at just the right time Linda (full off suspicion) arrived. Really, if Linda had a wheel of fortune, all of the spaces on the wheel would have read ''Barbie is guilty''. There were almost half a dozen ways she could have checked if Barbie really did it, heat of the guns, bullets in the magazine, etc. But she opted to take Big Jim's word for it, again. Thus she attempted to arrest Barbie, who promptly escaped, because she is the most inept police officer ever. When Big Jim told her to shoot Barbie, she even started firing!  

I really don't know if Linda Esquivel can be redeemed after this episode, she might be better off getting killed. 

During the episode Big Jim had a talk with both Maxine and Barbie in which he hinted at his desire to rule Chester's Mill. There was some, unsubtle, foreshadowing for Big Jim's announcement at the end of the episode with references to 'kingdom' and 'throne' which tie into 'the monarch will be crowned'. Big Jim basically declared himself dictator of the town, even going as far as seeking the death penalty for Barbie. This is a moment that could have been great if it the build up wasn't so lousy. 

By the way, Dodee is apparently fine too! Hi Dodee! You just heard the right parts to make everyone even more suspicious of Barbie! At this point I'm fully expecting Julia to forget who shot her when she wakes up. But the fact that the military is looking for Barbie is good and it probably ties in with his Jackrabbit history. Speaking of which, where is the military anyhow? We haven't seen them since the MOAB hit and I can't imagine them letting the dome just sit there. 

Another possible Jackrabbit reference could be when Barbie mention his old sergeant in Fallujah in the hospital. Barbie sure knows a lot about medical procedures, delivering babies and saving lives. The whole hospital scene bugged the hell out of me. One, the whole hospital is empty, even with a fight club in town. Two, there apparently are no doctors and just one nurse. Three, she runs off from a gunshot victim to help someone who is trapped. I don't even...

The other big story of this episode concerned the mini-dome/sphere and the starry sky it projected at the end of the previous episode, but even this story line was worse than usual. The leaps in logic these teenagers make is baffling and Joe is such a know-it-all. The constellations and the four 'separate' stars that must 'The Dome Four', it all felt very far fetched for them to know. Even more so, than usual. The dome misbehaving might have been one of my favorite parts of the episode. 

Their reactions to it were funny as well, with Junior getting jealous after Joe suggested it might be Barbie who caused it. Joe tried to connect various people to why the Dome created a storm, but even he with all his smarts didn't make the logical connection he usually makes: Julia. Julia is the most likely candidate to be the monarch, the storm started when she got shot and ended when her life was saved. Not to mention she has touched the mini-dome/sphere without it rejecting her. It even showed her the vision about the monarch!

What I didn't like about the story was Junior being his creepy ass self again. Forcing himself on Angie and angrily grabbing her by the arm. Junior only returned to the barn after he made Angie, against her will, admit that she needed him. Then, of course, the storm got worse and Junior got to save Angie. Ugh. But, there was a nice moment with Big Jim and Junior in the fallout shelter, I could appreciate the honesty Big Jim had towards Junior there. 

The crazy vision 'The Dome Four' had caught me off guard. I wonder what the Dome meant by showing them Big Jim bleeding out while they were holding knives. The immediate analogy that popped in my head was Julius Cesar, another dictator who got stabbed to death. I'm interested to see where it leads. 

The bad far outweighed the good in this episode. Usually one of these elements like bad dialogue, plot conveniences or dumb out of character decisions isn't going to weigh down my decision much. But this episode was bad all across the board and then these elements start to add up, even the minor ones I otherwise would have looked past. I really hope the show can recapture what made other episodes so good in it's final two episodes. 

4/10


Pascal Buijnsters Pascal's a Dutchman and has been a longtime commentator on SpoilerTV and started out as a writer for SpoilerTV last year. He is quite a TV addict and writes for a local, Dutch, newspaper. Next to that he's into soccer for his local team, a gamer and a fanatical swimmer. He writes previews and reviews for SpoilerTV for a variety of shows.

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