The second season comes to its conclusion and, man, does it end with a bang. Where was this the rest of the season? This episode ranks as the best of the season by a fairly wide margin, but it could be my favorite one of the entire series to date.
Since the beginning, one of the best parts of the show has been Dean Norris as Jim Rennie. This episode takes advantage of that to the fullest possible extent and the end result is glorious.
While it’s revealed that Pauline has survived the stab wound given to her by Lyle, it only delays the inevitable. It does give her a chance to have some poignant conversations with those close to her.
It also puts Rebecca in an impossible situation as she is asked by Pauline to load her up on morphine so that she can die peacefully. Moral arguments aside, it is one of the few times that Rebecca comes off as sympathetic.
Not that Big Jim really cares. All he knows is that she killed his wife and he is none too pleased.
What follows is what the tropers call a “roaring rampage of revenge” as Jim goes on a ruthless killing spree. He even goes so far as to give the dome an ultimatum and essentially declares war on the thing. Sure, he can’t break the barrier or confront the beings responsible, but he can put an end to whatever their plans are by killing their chosen ones as well as the other hands. Even innocent bystanders aren’t safe as he shoots Andrea in the head without hesitation. When Julia points out that she was his friend, he acknowledges it by saying he granted her a quick death.
Not only does this plot point work due to the fact that Dean Norris plays “incredibly pissed off” really well (which he does), but it also gives the characters who confront him a chance to shine in their own right.
Did anyone else get a “Shining” vibe near the end? The way Jim was walking and calling out to people was reminiscent of Jack after he had succumbed to the hotel’s malevolent influence. Heck, Junior shoots him square in the chest, but he still keeps coming. I know Jim is determined, but it really seemed like something else was keeping him animated at that point. I could be reading too much into it though.
Big Jim awesomeness aside, I was glad to see Norrie call out the Dome. Frankly, the fact that people still trust its intentions baffles me. The thing is clearly trolling them at this point. Look at the lightning scene. Just as they were making progress getting that one guy out from under the tractor, a bolt hits and kills him. Not to mention the other bolts that were hitting a little too close a little too frequently.
To be fair, it does throw them a bone in spectacular fashion. You could have a field day with interpretations of Melanie’s final line as she beckons for the characters to come with her. I would have had her say “come with me if you want to live”, but that’s just me.
I really enjoyed this episode. I know I lamented that the earlier episodes weren’t like this one, but in a way it’s good that it ended on a high note. You have to kick things up for finales, whether they be season or series, and this did just that.