Luik . . . I cannae lie to yeh, laddie; ahm no gonnae be in a pairfect pasition tae revue thahs wake's aipisode o Onder the Dohm. I dozed mah way thru a greht choonk oov it, ya ken?
Oops. Sorry about that. I watched two episode of Outlander today, as well as one Doctor Who (with the very Scottish Peter Capaldi as The Doctor), so about half of my thoughts since have been thought in a mental Scottish accent. Whether that's more of a Groundskeeper Willie or a Sean Connery I leave to your imagination. (Spoiler: it's neither. It's Begbie from Trainspotting, ya doss cunt!)
[Is that the first c-bomb in this blog's history? I suspect so; I've got no aversion to being a potty-mouth, but I know that particular swear is a bridge too far for a lot of people. I'm paraphrasing Begbie, though, so I figure it's permissible.
Quick side note about the word "cunt": my mom would not let my dad take me to see Predator when it came out in 1987, so my dad bought me a copy of the novelization instead. It contained many utterances of the word "cunt," which I had never seen. I thought it was a Spanish word, and decided to ask one of my parents what it meant. Happily for all concerned, some voice in the back of my mind spoke up and said, "DO NOT DO THAT!!!" in time to prevent me from following through on the question.]
Anyways, we're not here to talk about Begbie, or about any other Scottish concern; unless they are huge Under the Dome fans in the highlands.
And well might they be for all I know; as I've indicated in weeks past, I've got my hands full just trying to figure out whether or not I'm a fan. One way or the other, this much is sure: I probably only saw about two-thirds of it cumulatively. I repeatedly kept finding myself drifting off for a bit, and all told, I bet I missed twenty minutes at a minimum.
Do I feel like a lesser fan for this? Eh . . . not really. Fact is, it wasn't the episode's fault: I was knackered from a night of all-too-little sleep, so I'd probably have dozed off during just about anything. Many weeks, I'd conduct a rewatch for the sake of the blog, but that's just not going to happen tonight.
Instead, I'll give it a rewatch before next Monday's season finale, and any thoughts that seem like they simply have to be blogged shall be blogged at that time.
Tonight, then, what you're going to get is a bunch of dialect at the beginning, some especially naughty profanity, and then a personal reminiscence, followed by a few top-of-the-brain observations about what I saw of the episode. I've already done the first three, so it must be time for a few observations:
(1) This is a deeply silly show. Some might even go so far as to call it a stupid show. Some might even go so far as to call it a show produced by people who seem to feel their audience is composed of people who are not intelligent enough to know which is right and which is wrong: "a intruder" or "an intruder." Morons, in other words. Personally, I think that might be taking it a bit too far; but some might go there.
But I'll say this about that: if a show or movie is competently made to a sufficient degree, then I will be willing and able to cut it some slack. I wouldn't say "Turn" was a great episode in that regard, but it was paced and edited more compellingly than is often the case, and the actors seemed more engaged than usual. The end result was that the episode had that sense of urgency that is all too often so lacking for this series. Therefore, I enjoyed what I saw, even when I was rolling my eyes (or allowing them to drop closed for sixty seconds or so).
(2) If the dome is contracting, we have to assume that it is retaining its essential shape, right? Which would mean that each point of the dome would be moving inward equally. Now, I'm no scientist; far, far from it. On subjects scientific and mathematic, I, represented as a pizza, would consist of dried dough with nothing on it. I just ain't got what it takes, y'all. BUT, common sense indicates to me that if such a thing were happening to the dome, the amount of upheaval caused by it on the underside would have destroyed the entire town. And I suspect it wouldn't have taken much time; because, if you can dig it, wouldn't all that earth have nowhere to go but up? That being the case, wouldn't anything more than a very minor shift cause utter catastrophe? Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't think I am, and if I'm not, then what happened with the dome's alleged "contractions" this week would have to rank as the single dumbest thing ever done on this series.
(3) Dwight Yoakam was great throughout. I especially enjoyed that scene where he's standing in the high school tapping his foot, clearly excited for what's coming. He's dressed in his goin'-to-meet-the-Lord clothes, too, and in retrospect, that's really creepy stuff. Not force-fed fake creepiness, either; legitimate ooginess. THIS is what Under the Dome should have been; I'm happy to get even a peek at it. I'll miss Yoakam (assuming he's gone); he brought a very welcome energy to the series.
(4) Speaking of welcome energy, how great was Dean Norris in that final scene? He's strong during the whole episode, actually (what I saw of it); he gets to be almost entirely sympathetic, which helps. Heck, even that brutal slaying of Lyle seems like it's fairly justified.
(5) Mike Vogel was good, too. He's been better these last few weeks than ever before on the series, and it's clear by now that what his character needs is to be continually pushed up against a wall. Vogel doesn't excel at being interesting while he's just standing around doing nothing, but if you give him decent material, he does well with it.
(6) Ben the skater put in an all-too-rare performance this week. I'm not sure I understand what's going on there. It seems like they need to either be using John Elvis consistently or they need to dump him entirely; two brief appearances in an entire season seems utterly pointless.
(7) I have not been a fan of Karla Crome at all as Rebecca: she's not a bad actor at all, but I suspect she needs to be playing some type of role where her character isn't continually being called upon to look as though she just ate a lemon. Tonight, Rebecca had some doubts set in as to whether her scientific method is all it's cracked up to be, and I thought Crome did fine with that stuff. She went from making lemon-face to making sad-face, and her sad face is more interesting than her lemon face.
But good lord, how badly have the writers bungled the faith-versus-science element of this season? If you want to see that topic handled capably, watch Cosmos or Battlestar Galactica or Lost. If you want to see it utterly bungled, watch Under the Dome. I get the feeling this episode was intended to represent a victory of Faith over Science, but even that doesn't work.
I'm reminded of a scene from Dead Man's Walk (a prequel to Lonesome Dove), in which a man has died and the survivors are trying to give him a funeral. One character, Bigfoot Wallace, invites the dead man's friends to say a bit of scripture over the grave, and they all look around sheepishly, obviously not quite cultured enough to be up to the task. One of them, Long Bill, eventually says, "There's that scripture about them green pastures."
"So say it, then, Bill," prompts Bigfoot.
"Well . . . there's them green pastures," says Bill. "That's all I can recall," he says after a few seconds go by.
His compadres, figuring this is good enough and better by far than nothing, nod as sagely as if the dead man's grave had just been preached over by one of the apostles.
The faith/science angle on Under the Dome is like that: it's like somebody said, "Hey, this season should have an undercurrent about the divide between faith and science, with the dome as a catalyst." "Hey," said somebody else, "that's a great idea!" They then looked around at the writers' room and said, "How do we do that?"
"Well," said one of the writers after an uncomfortable science, "there's faith versus science." To which the other writers nodded sagely, and invented Rebecca Pine.
(8) So I guess the show really does expect us to believe in the idea of Junior and Melanie as a couple? Boy, speaking of poorly-handled subplots...
(9) Raise your hand if you were surprised by the implication that Don Barbara has a boss whose intentions are even shadier than his own? My hand is decidedly NOT up. I'm being snarky, but I've got no problem with that; it's an obvious revelation, but a satisfying one.
That's all that comes to mind. Like I said, I'll give it a rewatch next week and see if I missed anything vital. If so, I'll report on it as part of my season-finale post.
See ya in seven!