sherry stringfield under the dome video 'Under the Dome'   'Force Majeure': Dwight Yoakam, Junior's mom and a dead girl walk in to a bar ..The latest new episode of “Under the Dome” was titled “Force Majeure,” which in legal terms refers to extraordinary circumstances, or an act of God, that intervenes in a contract. In Chester’s Mill, the “act of God” would appear to be blood raining from the skies.

Who’ll Stop the Rain?

At least, that’s the Force Majeure for Reverend Coggins Dwight Yoakam. He’s decided it’s the End Times, what with the hoard of butterflies and the blood rain (which isn’t actually blood). And he’s also decided that this Act of God frees him from some contract he made with Sam and Pauline Verdreaux over 25 years ago. As an aside, it’s great that they had Dwight Yoakam sing a little bit in the episode. There should be a Chester’s Mill talent show while he’s still guest-starring.

Junior’s Mama

We get confirmation that Pauline Rennie is alive, via an emailed video from the Hounds of Diana that Junior gets to watch because the internet blinks on for a few minutes. The password for the video is his mother’s birthday (08-01-71), which is also the locker combination the Angie’s death locker (though the numbers are jumbled a bit). Melanie opens the locker, in between her attempts to get in Joe McAlister’s pants.

Nothing is revealed inside the locker, but it does lead Joe down a rather implausible path of looking up all the people who had that locker for 50 years (what? Who has that in their school?) and the name “Melanie Cross” jogs Melanie’s memory. When they look her up in the 1988 yearbook, it’s *gasp* the sweater from “Laurie (Strange Things Happen).”

No, it’s a picture of Melanie, looking exactly the same as she does now. Called it. She’s dead. But what connection does she have to the Verdreaux siblings and Lyle the barber? Did they kill her?

Thinning the Herd

The blood rain sparks another Woman of Faith vs. Woman of Science debate between Julia Shumway and Rebecca Pine. The gist is that resources are dwindling, so Ms. Pine figures either they can all starve, or 75 percent of them can survive on carefully meted-out rations. She says it’s Big Jim’s job to decide who lives. Dun dun dun.

You know what is kind of a shame about this show? That they didn’t get to stuff in Season 2 faster. I feel like they could have aired about half of the first season and then transitioned into this, if this is where they were always going. Rebecca vs. Julia and Pauline Rennie being alive and Melanie being a resurrected dead girl (or something) is oodles more interesting than the underground fight club and Big Jim vs. Barbie every week.

There’s certainly a chance all of Season 2 has been made up on the fly in between seasons, but I don’t think so. I think this is where the show was going and it would have been better if it had gotten there a little faster.

What did you think of “Force Majeure”?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."