UNDER THE DOME Recap: “Manhunt”

     July 8, 2013


Just three weeks in to Under the Dome and it’s already apparent why the dome exists: Chester’s Mill is full of douchebags, and the dome quarantines them to protect the rest of us.  Well done, dome.  Unfortunately, those trapped inside the dome don’t make for very interesting specimens of observations, and “Manhunt” was just as boring, if not worse, than last week’s “The Fire.”  Still, things have to turn around at some point, right?  Hope springs eternal. Hit the jump for why this small town is about to get a lot smaller.

Even if Under the Dome was a series that had an indefinite run instead of a 13-part miniseries (which I really can’t get over), the fact that its second and third episodes have already felt like filler is a bad sign.  But it only has 13 episodes in which to tell its story.  This fact cannot be overstated.  Sometimes less is more — look at Sherlock and Luther and series of that ilk that run a two or three episodes a season.  They pack everything in, and it’s great.  But from what I understand about the Under the Dome book, there’s no reason why these stories need to be watered down so much to fill 13 episodes, especially when they’ve already cut / combined so many characters.

 under-the-dome-manhunt-mike-vogel-rachelle-lefevreIt’s not that things don’t really happen, it’s that nothing progresses past cliches or things we already know.  Big Jim is an asshole, we get it.  Barbie has a mysterious past, and Julia likes mentioning her husband every few minutes.  Junior is a world-class creep, and Joe is a nerd.  And?

Even the mythology was rehashed this week.  You can’t go under the dome — check.  There’s no texting or uploading to YouTube — check.  The toilets still work — we guessed this but, confirmed!  The dome makes electronics explode — check.  Pink stars are falling — check.  And?

Both in “The Fire” and in “Manhunt,” Under the Dome felt much too much like a network show that it was hopefully going to subvert.  The teenagers are all stereotypes, and there are no real consequences to anyone’s actions.  Junior laments how dangerous the cement tunnels are, which Julia surely knows, so why did they not put some of kind of breadcrumb trail to lead them back out again?  Why did Julia pause and chat with Junior about Barbie as their last remaining match burnt up and out, leaving them in total darkness?  Of course, they were fine and didn’t even have to sweat about being lost.

 under-the-dome-manhunt-britt-robertson-alexander-kochThe same is true with Joe.  The bullies come, use up his generator, and peace out.  He stands up to one of them, and there’s a vague threat of things “not being over.”  Wise-up, guy — you’re trapped in a goddamn dome with, potentially, a limited air supply.  When is anybody going to start worrying about these things?

The promo for next week is pretty much the same one they used for this week, more or less, so holding one’s breath for any actual action or investigation of social issues is not recommended.  In Chester’s Mill, as long as the toilets work and the radio plays, everyone seems pretty content to just wait things out.  Granted, the timeline has only been about two days at this point, but everyone else’s lack of interest in the dome itself and what it could mean makes Crazy Paul nearly looks like a soothsayer.

Episode Rating: C

Musings and Miscellanea:

under the dome manhunt rachelle lefevre– Oh Julia, you let your politics blind your journalistic integrity.  Good thing you have a possible career in radio ahead of you!

– I want more time with Rose, but instead we get more Junior.

– The homophobic guy at Rose’s also played Tom Nuttal on Deadwood.

– So the reverend is back and … ::snooze::

– Glad to see Angie finally wising up to play Junior’s crazy game so she can get out of there.

– Did anyone else notice that the first flame Julia lit was CGI?  Was that really necessary?

– Does Junior have a thing for Julia now?  “Call me James …”

– I want to like Norrie but I don’t.  Yet.

– The couple who seizes together stays together!

– Lesson learned: don’t joke around with Big Jim or you’ll get your pelvis crushed.  Hammurabi’s Law, motherfuckers!

  • Kpaqu1

    “a limited air supply” Well, water sprayed on the dome from the outside makes it through, so I think it’s safe to assume air would as well. The lack of urgency on everybody’s part is quite disturbing. Also, nobody with authority from the outside even attempts to communicate with the town (as Barbie does with the firemen in the first episode). Thus far no family or friends on the outside show up worried, I mean it is only their children trapped inside, ugh.

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    I’m sure what the writers were thinking was, It’s barely been two days, who’s going to start freaking out yet? Right now, it’s just this cool, unprecedented historical thing the people can say they lived through, right? They also probably thought it was just *so* meta to reference the Simpson’s movie.

    I would expect people to be practically camped out at the Dome’s perimeter (on both sides), figuring out how to communicate with the soldiers (is there nowhere in town to find a white board and some erasable markers?) and otherwise studying or examining the dome. Big Jim and his flunkies should have nothing to worry about. Nobody should be focused on them. They can hide all their gasoline and drug paraphernalia in plain sight and nobody should even notice. Even the homophobes would likely forget their prejudices for a while (and then the writers wouldn’t have to have them shot as punishment for their bigotry).

    But, oh yeah. This is Stephen King, and all his characters are stultifyingly stupid. All they’re doing is charging their iPods, or hunting down lunatics who can’t actually go anywhere, or unlocking jail cells because because a guy is coughing, or complaining there isn’t any bacon. Oh, well. At least there’s still milk and booze.

  • Marlboroliteman

    This show is a yawn fest filled with uninteresting, boring characters.

  • Ozweego

    That’s it! I’m one more show from being done with this series. Liked the Pilot, despised the 2nd episode and wished for redemption from last night’s show. Manhunt, was dull and pointless IMO. Nothing new was learned or exposed other then we now know when two epileptic people hold hands it triggers not so good vibrations.

    Same old same old:
    -Junior is still crazy
    -Jim is still a douche trying to cover his own ass
    -Chestermills police force is composed of other reputable police force dropouts
    -Barbie is mysterious (actually no, he’s just an updated Rocky from Rocky 1 without the lovable stupidity and semi-pro boxing skills)
    -the kids are still kids
    -that one epileptic chick has the biggest forehead in the town
    -no one seems concerned about the Dome
    -everyone still using every resource like they have an unlimited supply

    New stuff
    -Dome is now a sphere
    -Bacon shortage may lead to civilization breaking down (been saying this for years)

    As mentioned I will try one more episode to see if they can turn this show into what it should be, if not forget it I’ll read the book. Good luck CBS

    • Code1026

      I can save you an hour of your life – it won’t get better.

  • TheOscarRP

    Was I the only one when both kids had seizures choreographed to a lying-down version of Gangnam Style? Were there really no other gestures they could have had for the oh-so-mysterious seizures?

    • Papi

      My brother said the same thing… are they gagnaming? That entire sequence was confusing.

  • Ervin

    You expect this to get better? Wake up. It’s a Steven King novel. The never get better. The premise of this one is exceedingly dull, except as presented in The Simpsons Movie.

  • Ricky

    Allison, I’ve seen you mention a few times that this is a miniseries, but I’m almost certain they have said that they want this to be a regular, multiple-season series.

    EDIT: Here’s a quote from Collider’s Wondercon recap:
    “The panel was emphatic that the show is not a mini-series and that they have plans for it to continue long term. Since it takes about 36 hours for civilization to fall apart in the novel they will be diverging significantly from the source material.”

    If you think things are padded now, imagine them trying to stretch the mystery of the dome over multiple seasons. CBS, ’nuff said.

    • Daniel O’Reilly

      If that’s the case, it will likely be cancelled before it’s finished.