S110 – Under the Dome Review – Let the Games Begin

Under the Dome S110 – Let the Games Begin

A somewhat interesting episode marred with a bunch of problems.

“Let the Games Begin” –Julia uncovers the truth about her husband’s disappearance and unravels some of Chester’s Mill’s darkest secrets. Meanwhile, Maxine shows Barbie how she plans to take control of the town.

1) Plot Overview for The Fourth Hand, S109 of Under the Dome:

I thought this was a fairly bad episode.  We had two monolog-ing bad gals who spilled the beans about their plans and what they know, and once again Julia seems to forgive far too easily.

Joe and Norrie and Angie

The three domer’s find that JR is the fourth hand.  Magically JR had a seizure some time ago (before the dome came down) at the 10th grade dance, so he qualifies for domedom.  When the four hands touch the mini dome the pink stars appear in a very Spielbergian moment of wonder and awe.

JR and Big Jim

Big Jim tries to outwit Sam by finding her secret house on the island in the lake.  Turns out the caretaker of said house is her crazy mom.  The mom lets herself get captured by Jim and then Jim watches her fall out of a boat and drown.

Julia and Barbie and Max

Max tells Barbie her plan to take over the town by being the illicit dealer of entertainment at the cement factory.  She wants Barbie (I guess) to be her enforcer, but when he refuses she makes him do a fight club instead.  Pointless and kinda dumb.  Meanwhile Julia finds out more about Peter’s past and how he “protected” her by taking out a life insurance policy on himself and then “enticing” Barbie to kill him.  Don’t you believe it.

2) New Characters

  • Sheriff Duke – Not a new character but he is brought back in spirit when Linda finds out that he was involved in Sam’s drug production scheme to make drugs in Chester’s Mill in exchange for her not dealing drugs in the town.  Hey, isn’t Duke a cop?  Why not just arrest her instead?  I know his son died of drug abuse, but is making more drugs to sell outside the town really a solution?  Um, no.

3) Recurring Characters

  • Big Jim – Wow wherever he goes someone dies.  This week he allows Sam’s mom to fall out of a boat and drown.  Where was he taking her anyway?  I must have missed that part.
  • Julia – Barbie finally confesses to her.  Of course this is made easier by her discovery of Peter’s life insurance policy.  Well I guess everything has worked out for the best 😉
  • Barbie – See Julia.
  • Junior – Was right about the dome and his mom’s pink star painting was replicated by their dome séance.
  • Linda – Now knows about Sam’s involvement in the drug production.
  • Norrie and Joe – Lied about how Dodee got the burn marks on her hand when she was shocked by the mini dome.
  • Deaths – I guess Sam’s mom deserved to die, but she sure seemed like a nice lady when she pretended to be friendly to Big Jim.

4) Thoughts Theories and Observations

 The story lines from the first few episodes have now been wrapped up.  We know why Duke was letting Big Jim hide the propane.  We know that the dome may have been involved in events even before dome day, when the 10th grade dance party had seizures.  That must have been about 8 years earlier.

So I guess the last three episodes will start setting things up for next season.  I hope they are good episodes.  Now that CBS knows they have a hit they can spend some more money and effort on this show.  But will they?  We will have to see.

S109 – Under the Dome Review – The Fourth Hand

Under the Dome S109 – The Fourth Hand

Sorry this is getting out late.  I was on vacation last week and had to watch the show on DVR when I got back.

“The Fourth Hand” –Big Jim and Barbie discover that their lives are more connected than they had first thought when a mysterious woman, Maxine (played by Natalie Zea), appears unexpectedly in Chester’s Mill..

1) Plot Overview for The Fourth Hand, S109 of Under the Dome:

I thought this was a fairly good episode.  The story between JR and Angie has gotten interesting now that she has a suspicion that JR might really be trying to protect her from the effects of the dome.

Joe and Norrie

This week Joe and Norrie try to catch a chicken and then go searching for the egg and mini dome.  But it’s gone.  Someone (or more likely the dome itself) has moved the egg into their farmhouse.  The chickens and egg, get it?  Ha!  Anyway it looks like the egg needs to be activated by four hands.  Three of them we have already (Joe, Norrie, and Angie).  All of them have had a dome induced seizure.  So the question is, who will be the fourth hand?  Any guesses anyone?  I really don’t even have a clue other than they all seem to share one thing – youth.  Or as My Cousin Vinny would say “yoots”.

JR and Big Jim

JR may only be slightly deluded by keeping Angie safe from the dome, as he knew what the pink stars falling in lines might refer to.  The answer is his now deceased (by suicide) mom, was an artist who drew a picture of JR (after seeing him in a dream) outside a house where pink stars were falling from the sky.  Angie seems to believe his story for once.  Plus she probably doesn’t want to have any more seizures.  Big Jim is told by Angie that he needs to give her some real responsibility by making her owner of the diner.  He will consider it.  Meanwhile he figured out a way to get the town folk to give him all the guns, which he is now secretly storing in the bomb shelter.

The Monarch – All we know is that Angie’s tattoo is not a monarch butterfly.

2) New Characters

  • Samantha (Sam) – One hot chick who tricked Barbie into working for her over a drink.  She holds blackmail over him and Big Jim as she knows their secrets.  In Big Jim’s case she is the one who used the town as a cover for making the illegal drugs.
  • Crazy guy who lost his wife and kid on dome day –  Big Jim talked him down from his attempt to blow himself up with a grenade (Big Jim did a nice thing, but then maybe he really just wanted his guns).

3) Recurring Characters

  • Big Jim – Is stockpiling a whole lot of guns, grenades and ammunition.  Reminds me a bit of Season 2 LOST with the gun locker that Locke took charge of.
  • Julia – Tried to find the mini dome using the radio engineer’s homing device.  She claims the device is broken.  But the kids found the mini dome anyway.
  • Barbie – Does not have any heroic adventures this week.  In fact, we know he was tricked by Sam, who also knows he killed Julia’s husband.
  • Junior – May be right about the dome causing craziness after all.  It takes one to know one, I guess.
  • Linda – She uncovers Duke’s secret. Duke was getting hush money from Sam to keep the drug operation a secret.  I bet however that Duke wasn’t completely corrupt, but now Linda no longer venerates him.
  • Norrie and Joe – Have figured out (or at least theorized) a lot about the dome.  In fact, it’s probably why the dome chose them. You need a childlike faith to really “see” what the dome is up to.
  • Deaths – I don’t remember anyone really dying this week although one guy got shot by his crazy neighbor.

4) Thoughts Theories and Observations

 We haven’t seen any other seizures so I can’t guess who the fourth hand will be.  The monarch mystery was not explained this week either (although Joe mentioned the monarch butterflies we saw flying near the dome a few shows ago).  Angie still seems like the most interesting character arc so far on the show.  Max seemed to come out of nowhere.  She was really just hanging out the last 8 or 9 days?  This means she did not seek the shelter of the concrete mine when the bomb hit the dome.  She is one brave and tough women then.  I hope she really does have a way to make sure Big Jim and Barbie’s secret will get out if she dies ,because they should both have reasons to get rid her.  She better hope she doesn’t have any metal fillings or something that the dome could short-circuit.

BroadChurch – Thoughts on Episodes 1 and 2

This series plays on Wednesday nights at 10pm ET in August and September on BBC America.

Plot, Characters Thoughts Theories and Observations

This is an introduction to the BBC America show Broadchurch which begins in the U.S.A. on 7 August 2013.

A. What is Broadchurch?

Is it a street, or is it a church or something entirely unexpected?

Turns out the Broadchurch is a seaside town which caters to tourists during the summer season.  It’s a little bit like the New England beach town in the movie Jaws.

B. Who is in the show?

David Tenant plays detective inspector DI Alex Hardy.  He seems to have been through a case like this before as indicated by the pained expression on the beach and his “not again” when he sees the body of young Danny Latimer dead on the beach below the seaside cliffs.  So far Alex has been aloof to most people he meets but did insist to his police chief boss that he is the right man to investigate the case.

Olivia Colman plays detective sergeant DS Ellie Miller.  Her son was a close mate of Danny’s and she knows the family fairly well.  She also was passed over for promotion with Alex Hardy.

C. Why am checking out the show?

The mystery is interesting of course, but I really like the small town setting and the idea of all the secrets the town folk try to hide from each other.  This is very much like and Agatha Christie novel.  Also the whole idea of “good” and “bad” people in the town and our perception of them is a universal theme you see in detective stories.

D. Where is the show?

The setting of this British show is amazing with beautiful white cliffs and green green pastures and the old-time town.  It’s the sort of timelessness you sometimes see in beach towns.

E. Some theories and thoughts

I love being fooled by the show’s I watch but it doesn’t stop me from making wild guesses and assumptions.  I wonder if Danny saw some criminal activity and was killed for it.  I wonder if Beth Latimer was the first to have an affair and her husband is getting back at her for that.  I wonder if the psychic might be on to some truth by guessing a secret about Hardy. I have some deep suspicion of mother of the young journalist right now.  Her back-story will be interesting when we get to it.

BBC America’s Broadchurch

S108 – Under the Dome Review – Thicker Than Water

Under the Dome S108 – Thicker Than Water

A pretty good episode.  Much better than last week, I thought.

“Thicker Than Water” – Junior stands up to his father and is shattered when he discovers the truth about his mother’s past. Meanwhile, Julia learns firsthand the powers of the “mini dome”.

1) Plot Overview for Thicker Than Water, S108 of Under the Dome:

I thought this was the most “LOST-like” of all the episodes so far on the show.  We focus mainly on two sets of relationships: Joe and Norrie,  and JR and his Dad Big Jim.  And then we get the mystery of the Monarch.

Joe and Norrie

This week we get the story of Norrie dealing with the guilt she feels over her mom’s death.  She pushes Joe away and blames the death on him, but later comes to realize that she brought them to Chester’s Mill (to get to the detention type center nearby) because of her insubordinate behavior. She mistakenly blames herself, but Angie comes along to console her telling her it’s not her fault.  She finally lets Joe comfort her.  I thought this was a pretty good resolution and well-played.

JR and Big Jim

This was a plot right out of LOST with daddy issues and the unveiling of a family secret.

JR is more than a little crazy and we have suspected it had something to do with his mother’s unnatural death.  Big Jim has tried to push JR out of the house but JR refuses to leave.  Well after a bit of betrayal on JR’s part, Ollie (the well-spring hoarder) tells JR that his mom died not in a car accident, but in a car suicide. JR confronts his dad (by smacking him upside the head with a rifle butt) about this and Big Jim confesses that his mom did leave them both, subtly inferring that she may have realized that JR was a bit off kilter.  However let’s not forget about Big Jim’s propensity to criminal activity also.  That too may have factored into her suicide.  Anyway father and son seem to reconcile on the issue which is good because JR seemed ready to shoot his dear old dad.

The Monarch

The Monarch will be crowned is the new dome catch phrase.  Julia follows Joe to the mini dome and sees another Joe (did anybody ever see the movie Moon with Sam Rockwell) who gives her the aforementioned phrase.  The egg also seems somewhat energized as well after, or because, people touch the mini dome.  There doesn’t seem to be much point in speculating why yet.  Earlier this episode we saw a monarch butterfly and in previous episodes a flock (or swarm of butterflies) hovering at the big dome.  Then in a bit of a surprise cut scene we see that our girl Angie has a butterfly tatoo on her shoulder.  Interesting.  Also Angie attended the same detention center that Norrie was headed too.  Very interesting.

2) New Characters

  • Mini-Dome and Black Egg – Acts like an Oracle providing some future event prophesy maybe?
  • Townsfolk at Ollie’s farm – Had to die in a sort of inert battle scene near the well. (You didn’t think Linda or Barbie were in any danger did you?).

3) Recurring Characters

  • Big Jim – Tells his son the truth about his wife’s death and get’s rid of Ollie his main rival but gets a new rival in Barbie.
  • Julia – Has totally forgotten about her husband and has a nice scene with Joe about the changing moods of women (hey, she said it, not me!).
  • Barbie – Does something heroic again this week by detonating a bomb over Ollie’s well which activates some older dry wells.  Disobeys Big Jim’s plan and convinces Linda to side with him.
  • Junior – Crazy hate for his dad, but he can show forgiveness and maybe just maybe his protection of Angie was justified if the Monarch is Angie.
  • Linda – Finally realizes JR can’t be trusted with a gun.
  • Norrie and Joe – Grew closer (see section above).
  • Goodbye Ollie – This is what you get for not sharing your water.

4) Thoughts Theories and Observations

Jack Bender did a fine job directing this episode.  Angie deserves a crown for all that she has been through, but why does the dome care?

S107 – Under the Dome Review – Imperfect Circles

Under the Dome S107 – Imperfect Circles

A very confounding episode.  Pretty dull, with awful dialog at times.  (I know, tell us what you really think!)

1) Plot Overview for Imperfect Circles, S107 of Under the Dome:

First off, IMDB tricked me into thinking that this episode was written by Brian K. Vaughn aka the show runner.  So I was expecting lots of plot twists and mythology.  When I saw the preview with the mysterious “mini-me” dome I thought we would get exactly what I expected.  Unfortunately that was about it for mythology (although there was one other surprise, which I will get to).

Big things happened but nothing much progressed.  Okay on with the plot.  Angie is alive and well and living for now with Big Jim.  He tells his psycho son that he is most definitely a psycho son and its time for him to leave.  I must admit it was a tiny bit of a sad scene when said son called out to for his dad not to say goodbye like this, but JR made up for his brief lack of creepiness later.  Anyway Angie goes home and meets her brother after a very long hiatus.

Joe and Norrie do some necking against the dome.  There was a somewhat funny scene when Joe suggests they’re doing some wrong (in this method of summoning the dome) and Norrie says she won’t do “that” just to make it work.  Joe gets the bright idea (hey, aren’t there any adults who could be investigating the dome) that they should head for the center of the dome to see where its power source may lie.  When they get there they find a mini dome covered in leaves.  It shocks them when they touch it at first, but the mini-dome seems to like them, so it allows them to clear off the leaves and pour cold water on it.  And there they find an egg below it.  They try to speak to the egg dome but get no answer.  Until (and in Lost fashion) dead people’s ghosts start appearing.  Okay well the person they saw wasn’t dead yet, but alright.

Speaking of dead people.  Harriet the next door neighbor needs to borrow some yogurt where (awkward!), she sees Barbie and Julia together after I assume, a night of passion.  Harriet is pregnant and is called by the dome to touch it when lured there by her deployed somewhere-else husband.  After the dome touch she goes into labor, which gives Barbee another chance to play hero when he is forced to help deliver the baby.

Before that they run into some ruffians who steal their gas on the way to the hospital to find Norrie’s mom who is a doctor.  But Norrie’s mom is dying from a lack of insulin.  Which gives Barbie a chance to play hero, but before that he plays hero, by chasing off the ruffians.  Those same ruffians are caught by Linda and crazy deputy cop JR.  Once JR hears that one of the men had tried to hurt Angie, so he shoots him in the heart killing him.  JR then finds Angie and tells her that he is sorry for being crazy and that she doesn’t have to worry about any more men harassing her (except of course himself).

Norrie’s mom dies but has just enough left to tell Norrie to be strong.  Meanwhile Big Jim gets revenge on snaggle-tooth Ollie for stealing his propane which Big Jim stole from the town earlier.  Makes sense.  After Norrie’s mom dies and Norrie yells at the dome to bring her back, the black egg under the mini dome starts to pulse blue.

2) New Characters

  • Harriet and her ghost husband – Having a baby under the dome might not be good thing, especially if you touch the dome first.
  • Guy guarding the propane – He should have worn a red shirt (maybe he did) because his sole purpose was to die this week.

3) Recurring Characters

  • Big Jim – Gets rid of his crazy son.  Lets Angie bury his diner lady friend.  And blows up a truck killing propane guard guy.  It’s not a good idea to let this Big Jim drink whiskey.
  • Julia – Realizes she needs to sleep with Barbie.  Saves Harriet’s baby.  Doing heroic acts is her thang.
  • Barbie – Realizes he needs to sleep with Julia.  Saves Harriet and Julia from thugs.  Chases off bad guys.  And delivers babies.  What can’t this guy do? (Don’t forget that he helped put out a fire too).
  • Junior – Crazy and now murderous too.  Things are not getting better and better every day.
  • Linda – Keeps telling people to arrest them first for trial, but always ends up shooting and killing someone.  She doesn’t know that you can use handcuffs on captured prisoners before they can push you down.
  • Norrie and Joe – They like the dome and the dome likes them.
  • Goodbye Norrie’s mom – You seemed like a nice person who didn’t deserve what happened to you.  By the way, they couldn’t just find some candy bars or something to keep her alive a bit longer.

4) Thoughts Theories and Observations

Is the dome being energized by the town folk somehow, either through touching it or dying within it?  Why do the writers continually want to prove to us that Barbie is a hero? It’s getting a bit ridiculous.  This week’s show had a lot of big events but seemed dull and lifeless to me.  The dialog was bad, very pedestrian.  I don’t know if I can take this much longer.  Luckily we are more than half way through the season and next week we get Jack Bender back as director.

BroadChurch – A new BBC America detective show starts on Wednesday

This series starts on Wednesday August 7th on BBC America.  Since I am a fan of BBC-A show Orphan Black and I like mysteries I do plan to check it out.

Plot, Characters Thoughts Theories and Observations

This is an introduction to the BBC America show Broadchurch which begins in the U.S.A. on 7 August 2013.

A. What is Broadchurch?

Is it a street, or is it a church or something entirely unexpected?

B. Who is in the show?

By the ads it looks like David Tennant from Dr. Who is in the show with some other people who I don’t recognize.

C. Why am I going to check out the show?

It stars Dr. Who.  It’s a British mystery detective show.  It’s 8 weeks long so it will end just after the Summer 2013 season.  I just finished watching The Killing Season 3 and I am anxious to start delving into a new mystery.

D. Where is the show?

It seems to be filmed in England where some of my favorite shows reside.  Most specifically Poirot and Sherlock.  It might be filmed in Ireland so don’t be upset if I am wrong please.

E. How can I see the show?

Watch it on BBC America’s website as a free live stream now or Turn your TV to BBC America on Wednesday night at 10pm ET or DVR it.  I watched Orphan Black on DVR and I would recommend this method (especially as the show is aired fairly late at night), and you need to get your 8 hours of sleep.

Bonus:  Check it the review scores on the Metacritic website.

BBC America’s Broadchurch

The Killing Season 3 – Final episode Thoughts

If you want to help The Killing’s chances of renewal for a new season you should watch the Finale Episodes on your DVR.  The next replay of the episode will be at 1:00am Tuesday morning ET or at midnight tonight CT.

Plot, Characters Thoughts Theories and Observations

This recap will SPOIL EVERYTHING for The Killing Season 3.

A. PRISON SIDE OF THE STORY

Turns out that something Seward said to Linden will be key to solving the case.  The Seward’s lived in the city and Seward wanted his son to enjoy nature.  So they would walk a mile or so to the forest nearby.  It was at that forest that young Adrian, perched in his tree house, saw the murderer years ago.  The murderer tracked him to his house and killed Adrian’s mom and was able to blame it on Seward (since he had a criminal past and beat up his wife).

B. LINDEN’S CASE RESOLUTION

For a while now, Linden has realized that Seward did not kill his wife.  She figured it out once she connected the runaway’s murders to her old case.  She repeatedly tried to get her boss Skinner to help her reopen the old case.  He would not reopen it, because it might jeopardize their previous success in solving that case.  So with Holder’s help she followed all the leads which in this episode led them to Holder’s cop partner, Reddick.  I thought this might be murderer in my prediction blog post.  But The Killing had one more trick up its sleeve.

Holder is now detained by Internal Affairs for attacking Reddick at his home a few nights ago when he learned that Reddick got a call from Holder’s informant, and murdered friend, Bullet.  Unfortunately Bullet knew who the murderer was but was afraid to tell anyone.  She got the information from Angie Gower who escaped from police custody and was on the run.  Unfortunately she was found by the killer and her body (possibly) was burned to cover up her identity.  Then Bullet was killed and her body placed at Joe Mill’s storage unit so that Mill’s would be blamed.  But the coroner proved that the murder of Angie happened while Mills was in jail.  So if Mill’s wasn’t the killer.  It must be a cop.  Someone who could manipulate the evidence.  Holder thinks it’s Reddick but Internal Affairs says the assault complaint was directed by Skinner.

Holder now realizes that Linden is in jeopardy.  He finds out that she was last seen with Skinner and surmises that they are going to the Lake House, a place that Skinner was taking her for a romantic rekindling of their previous relationship.  Holder gets to the house but finds no one there.  He hears a shot and finds Linden standing a few feet from Skinner who is shot in chest.  Holder tries to get her to stop.  They have their man and he even tells her that Adrian is safe, but upon hearing that, she shots Skinner in the head killing him.  The end of Season 3.

Characters:

Seward – Was a lifelong criminal who had been disappointed in the criminal justice system for so long that he did not have the faith to believe Linden when she said she wanted to clear his name for wrongly accusing him of murder.  He did not want to die, and finally found the courage to talk to his son (he could never admit to Adrian that he beat his wife).  Once the time for execution came he found some courage when he saw Adrian wave to him from outside the prison window.  When he was hung however his worse fear was realized when he did not die instantly but slowly suffocated.

Reddick – Was a pretty terrible cop with a bad temper.  He knew the first victim and lived next door to her.  This turned out to lead the investigators to think he was involved in the crimes.  (I mean I thought so, since he brought out the rings evidence from the storage unit that were used to frame Joe Mills).  However he was not involved and using all the skills he could muster, figured out that Adrian wanted to be with his mom.  Which meant that he had hidden himself by her graveside because he was being followed.  Sure enough he was there safe and sound and Reddick found him.

Kallie’s mom (Danette) – This part of the show was very sad.  Danette used to play hide and seek with Kallie years ago.  But when Danette counted to five Kallie wouldn’t hide she would be right there in front of her.  Danette has been looking for Kallie for a long time and in sadness and desperation returns to Kallie’s favorite spot on the bridge.  Danette closes her eyes and with resignation counts to five, and then open her eyes, but no Kallie.

Holder – Realized his friendship with Linden was very strong.  In season one they mocked each others beliefs and personal ticks, but now he sees how they can really help and encourage each other.  Linden convinces him to go and talk to his girlfriend and they make up.  He realizes he is not a drug addict anymore.

Linden – Oh Linden.  She is seemingly stuck and can’t remove herself from her past.  Each time she grasps for happiness it always lets her down.  She falls for a married man and when his marriage is finally over and she is free to be with him again, she realizes that she never knew him at all.  She has a severe blind spot.  Which is not a good thing for a detective.  But she is good at police work.  She will not stop until her lingering doubts are assuaged.  She is brave under pressure.  I don’t think we ever saw her use her gun until now.  She does what Skinner wanted her to do.  She ends his life and probably her own as well.  She will most likely go back to into the criminal justice system from where she escaped years ago.

Thoughts:

The atmosphere and cinematography were superb in these final few episodes.  The two-hour finale was a good stand alone episode unto itself in my opinion.  It started with Linden’s running alone in the woods and ended with a lonely man in the woods.  In between we got great character moments from all the characters but especially between Linden and Holder in some of their happiest moments and saddest.

Questions:

I guess the only complaint I have is with some of the season’s overall story.  How could Skinner kill so many people without his family realizing it?  Skinner seemed very kind to his own daughter but didn’t really care for the lost kids.  Was he so psychologically wounded by finding his young protege doing drugs that all the young girls he meets thereafter had to die too.  And what is up with his ring collection?  Why would he give a key piece of evidence for his daughter to wear?  He seemed a bit too well-adjusted to be a killer and brilliantly covered up all his crimes without Linden suspecting a thing until it was too late.  Where is Kallie?  I still hope she turns up alive or at least that Lyric might take her place for Danette’s sake.

Stand by – We should know if the show will continue in a few days.

The Killing Season 3 Finale