Between the promo for last week, the title and the synopsis, it was pretty clear this episode would be all about combining my two favorite tropes in the entire world (danger of freezing to death + violent injury far from any professional help). But the fact that they then managed to make this, like, a supernova of miniature favorite tropes in a Grey's Anatomy Hospital Shooter-style festival of danger and Feelings made my heart shoot the moon. Like, literally the only boring part in this entire episode was stupid Lyle needed to have his stupid simultaneously frozen and damned-to-hellfire ass pulled out of the lake in the middle of interesting stories about people I care about. I stopped caring what became of him two episodes ago. So, in ascending order of interest:
The Rennys (low tier interest)
Just because I get an odd satisfaction out of the way Junior sneers that all he's wanted to do since he found out about his mom was get out of here and get them both the hell away from Big Jim. I also quite liked Pauline disabusing her ex-husband's notions that they'll be One Big Happy Family.
(also, Barbie storming in at the beginning and raging at Jim for, among other things, threatening the kids? Hot.)
I feel like Mr. Pig Farmer's Wife dying was just there to fulfill the quota of "distraught person weeping over their lost loved one and begging for help that is too late," with emotional investment, without having to piss anyone off or making changes that affect the plot -- much like the deaths in Grey's "Death And All His Friends." On this front, it was extremely successful, and I approve.
(Also, I liked the practical aspects we touched on as far as how to gather people in order to best conserve heat and what happens when you stupidly wander around in sub-zero temperatures without covering your hands and face, HUNTER. Unless you're a major character, in which case you're fine.)
When Joe said the dome was rotating...I immediately imagined it was due to the dome hearing the townspeople grumbling about all the problems and then putting on a John Krasinski voice and saying, "Fine, I'll just rotate the whole time."
First she's barely breathing, then she's screaming in pain, then she's reuniting with her old lady of a best friend. In the middle of it all, I get to enjoy worry from the old love interest, who's experienced enough to dispense medical help and carry her like she's a feather, with that delightfully weird mix of "should this feel merely protective, or maybe romantic?",
and the new love interest, who can only sit and worry, and the stricken apologies of Pauline, who managed to convey her 15-year-old self's guilt and sorrow and make get a little verklempt about it all. If she does return to the land of the dead, and I can't see how she wouldn't even she isn't just a Dome manifestation, I'm glad they had that closure.
Whoops don't actually have shots of her and Pauline, oh well.
Joe/Norrie/HUNTER THE WEASELLY
First, OUCH @ Joe losing half the skin on his palm to the frozen dome surface, but there's Sam, leading him off to get it patched up. Pity that scene didn't make it to the screen. Must be interesting getting him from the guy who killed your sister.
Now, I'm glad Joe has his suspicion radar up and that being dead wrong about Melanie did not keep him from side-eyeing other new strangers, because it never would have crossed my mind that Hunter was anything other than a lovable dork with a passion for weird science. I'm still not 100% sure I trust him, because now I'm Julia again, apparently, and one false move makes me question you until you do something wildly selfless or someone else is revealed to be much worse. BUT ANYWAY. I'll hope for the best.
In the meantime, assuming he wasn't being sketchy to pull information out of her, let's say I liked Hunter trying to be nice to Norrie, draping her in blankets and trying to gently convince her its not her fault
AND NOW FOR THE REAL JOY. Their scenes were so over-the-moon fantastic that I immediately said "to hell with it" and started spamming my normally-carefully-Klaine-themed Tumblr with every post about them I could find in the easily tracked tags, so as to stare at their general phenomenal beauty. Not that I have not appreciated them from the beginning, but now I'm on a whole new level, where they creep into daydreams and I start thinking about them beyond the context of their canon scenes. I'll have at least a dozen before I'm done, because to quote one text post, "we got three cheek kisses, two forehead kisses and one hand kiss. could it get any better?" and the answer is YES. I'm so glad the promos last week gave the taste they did, because I nused that all week and it was still only like a tenth of what was to come.
Honestly, I've already lost several hours to watching and thinking about these parts over and over, so I'm going to unpack them in excruciating detail here because my Obnoxious Klaining side has been on the bench all season and it wants to flex its muscles.
I kinda like Defeated Barbie. Preferable as a temporary thing, but it's interesting seeing his formidable spirit all but snuffed out.
II. Initial Accident
I will say this for Rachelle, the woman can let out a very effective bloodcurdling scream. As in I learned what it meant to feel your blood curdle when it came out of nowhere. I'm not surprised he almost dropped her in panic. And thus begins part one of my romanticized hurt/comfort kink, "wound tending without painkillers." "Oh, I know, I'm sorry," not unlike you might soothe a struggling dog.
III. Settling In
Julia's realism can't keep me down; this is clearly romantic. I don't get a lot of chances to see him nuzzled up against her shoulder, especially as the genders are usually reversed for this sort of positioning, and it's just really sweet. He's kind of little-boy-lost right now.
I also like his stubborn refusal to leave, choosing without question to be by her side no matter how this goes down. Even if what goes down is the window above them immediately shattering from the cold.
IV. The Cold is the Cure
Round II of refusal to leave, now with EXTRA STUBBORNNESS. "I said. I'm not. Leaving. Without you." And when the new best of the bad options is "let your heart stop and then bring you back under the You're Not Dead Until You're Warm And Dead strategy," "You're not leaving me. Not for good." Also included in this section are a pair of those wonderfully long cheek/temple kisses.
V. SHOOT THE MOON
"I can't see you."
This is offically the point where I lost my head and started spinning of into wild post-Dome AUs in which somehow, improbably, they are in fact life partners. SAM WHO. I have avoided crossing the line of the here-and-now so far, keeping expectations in check (not least because I can't trust one or both of them won't die before this is over), but now it's like forget it, I want them to have a lavish wedding and buy a house and eventually be awesome parents to a couple of stubborn-willed, excessively curious, impetuous little scamps. He can officially lay claim to a moral streak of a loyalty a mile wide, and if she stuck with her deadbeat husband as long as she did then probably it is not unreasonable to expect the same of her. I'm going to focus on him, though, because this sort of swoon-worthy promising is my kryptonite. Also, HIS VOICE.
(um, I may have just also gone on a mini YouTube tour of Mike Vogel's greatest hits. Mostly Grounded For Life, because oh my god, still delightful even as a punk-ass smart mouthed teen Dean. Why did he suddenly become the most attractive man on television to me? My first impression of him was literally "His scruffy ruffian bad-boy image is not inherently attractive in any way," although I guess in fairness my next impression was "but I feel like his personality might somehow overcome that. Like, him knocking the kid out of the way was good.")
Sorry, sorry, I got lost reading through my old reviews and laughing that this one from season one that is somehow, word for word, applicable here too: No, go on, I am totally made to withstand hot army dudes keeping their significant others alive out of sheer desperation combined with unlikely skill and a pinch of luck.
I don't really think I have words to improve on this, besides the fact that these reassuring kisses to various parts of her face are an unprecedented level of thrilling.
Don't have a.gif, just wanted to note that in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where Julia limps to the door of the diner to see what's going on at the end, Barbie has one eye on her leg and his hand out to brace her when he comes up behind.
And since I have a TV post going,
I was delighted by Unexpected Pervy Nathan Fillion (plus Paget Brewster and Robert Patrick), Abed's endearing made-up sign language, Britta's devious attempts to spoil him on Fake Game of Thrones (I especially love the .gif of her shoving the book in his face that's been making the rounds on spoiler-free Glee blogs, which is probably the hardest show I've ever seen to remain unspoiled about), and Garret screaming "IT'S A BEAR DANCE!!!!", but otherwise that was a lot of bizarre and kind of boring weirdness.
My appreciation for Coat Check Girl really only lasted the length of that one episode, not least because I am so much more fond of the pretty redhead in this episode. Was that Abed showing genuine emotion at "I really liked her"?