Under the Dome Season 1, Episode 12 “Exigent Circumstances” Review

Rating: 3.7

If you’re still watching Under the Dome, I would like to personally congratulate you. We’re up to the season finale, guys! This week’s episode, “Exigent Circumstances”, proved just how many murders Big Jim could cover up in a two-week period. Additionally, it answered the question of just how gullible the townspeople of Chester’s Mill are. Spoiler alert: the answer is incredibly. The only way that Big Jim could be more obvious about his shadiness is if he were to paint MURDERER across his forehead using the blood and tears of the innocents.

The episode opens with Big Jim rallying the inhabitants of Chester’s Mill against Barbie. The standard method of pillaging and general destruction is strongly encouraged. On top of that, Big Jim puts Junior in charge of guarding Julia’s hospital room. GREAT plan.

His quest for who even knows at this point leads him to Dodee and the radio station. She suggests that they get the generator to bring the Dome down. For whatever reason, she turns her back to do something and tells Big Jim not to touch any of the radio equipment. Big Jim gets angry after hearing an unfavorable radio transmission and proceeds to destroy the equipment.

This FINALLY tips Dodee off that Big Jim is a sketchy guy. He tells her that the Dome can’t come down, not yet. Because his character arc is essentially fueled by bloodshed, Big Jim shoots Dodee after she calls him out as a “sick bastard.” He then burns down the radio station, “successfully” covering his tracks and killing off one of the only tolerable characters left.

Meanwhile, Norrie and Joe are on a mission to hide Hell’s Easter Egg/the mini-Dome as per Carolyn’s suggestion (she’s back!) Ben volunteers his room as the hiding place. I guess since he’s been missing for most of the season, no one would guess to search his property…

Angie breaks apart from the group to assist the refugee Barbie in getting to Julia before Big Jim can kill her as part of his master plan to…kill a bunch of people…? They drive to the clinic, rebelliously smoke a cigarette in the bushes together, and hatch a scheme to sneak Julia out without Junior seeing.

That brings me to this week’s WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT, ANGIE moment. She disguises herself in her candy striper uniform, pretending to make her rounds (because there are barely any doctors on staff so OBVIOUSLY a candy striper must be in high demand). She, once again, lays on the charm thick to convince Junior to leave his post. There is gross cuddling and a slobbering make-out session, which leads to Junior tasting Angie’s previous cigarette on her breath. THE JIG IS UP!

Julia is successfully loaded into the ambulance as Barbie is reported to Linda. Barbie kisses Julia and dramatically whispers, “I love you” before he turns himself in and sends her off with Angie. Um, pardon me, but what the hell was that??? You can’t just lightly allude to the couple the entire season and barely give them screen time as a couple, and then shove in an angst-fueled separation. This doesn’t create heart-wrenching drama. It just creates confusion for us poor audience members who feel zero emotional connection to the storyline.

Meanwhile, in Big Jim news: he arrests Norrie and Joe for hiding the mini-Dome. Guys, they’ve been trapped for two weeks. TWO. WEEKS. In this short period, we’ve now sunken so low that Big Jim is threatening children. Norrie was having none of it. She looks Big Jim right in the eye and tells him how pathetic he is and how little she fears him. And then there was anger and challenged masculinity.

Norrie and Joe are released in exchange for Barbie pleading guilty in front of the whole town. He is brought out in front of the jail, the charges are read, and the dramatic music is brought to full crescendo. This scene is paired with the Hell’s Easter Egg making shrieking noises and emitting a blinding light. After a long build-up, Barbie looks at Big Jim and says, “Not guilty.” And that brings us to next week’s finale, folks!

The only positive aspect of this episode was Carolyn being a logical badass. The fact that no one in Chester’s Mill has bothered to question Big Jim’s motives thus far is ridiculous. The man is your stereotypical scowling, gruff voiced, whiskey chugging villain. All he needs is a mustache that he can twirl while he picks off the inhabitants of the town one by one.

When she goes into full lawyer mode and lets him know that his ‘I can do what I want’ BS isn’t working, I was practically bowing down to her. I also love her as Norrie’s mother. She is fiercely protective and will do anything for her daughter, even when that means that she must challenge the most powerful and feared man in town. She is one of the most layered and relatable characters on the show, and sadly we barely see her. In a series filled with mediocre plots, terrible dialogue, and one-dimensional characters, that is a huge shame.

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