When Lost began, viewers were drawn in because of the strongly written characters and the mysteries of the situation and locale. As the show progressed, most viewers began to splinter — some who were tired of the melodrama latched on to the island and its mythology, while others ignored the mythology and stayed invested in the relationships among the remaining characters (and we know who won out in the end). Still, there was always something to hold on to. The point is, Under the Dome should also have both of these elements, but it possesses neither. Because the residents don’t seem to know or care much about this dome, neither do we. As a matter of fact, the residents aren’t all that interesting themselves. Lost was a supernova. Under the Dome is a vacuum. Hit the jump for why “maybe this is how I deserve to go. More friendly fire.”
I can’t say for sure, but I’m almost certain that everyone in Chester’s Mill is on all of the Xanax from the CVS stores they raided. As if the concept of an impenetrable dome wasn’t bad enough, the residents are made aware that the government has grown tired of this pesky dome. It’s causing China to get trigger-happy, and butterflies and migratory patterns have been taken way off course. For the greater good, it’s time to put this thing down. But in true government form, there’s a brash decision that’s made without a concept of the effects. Even those dopes inside the dome can probably figure out that if anything hits it it will bounce off or crash and explode (the plane, the cars). But what the hell, throw a bomb on it!
Savvy TV viewers, anyway, certainly knew there wasn’t going to be any harm. First of all, we’re only five episodes into a thirteen episode miniseries, and secondly, all of the main characters decided to run around town instead of hiding in the bomb shelter. If the town had revolted, or if part of the dome had been broken, or if some people had gotten killed off (anybody, really), things might have been a tad more interesting. Forget that — what if the event had at least caused these chilled-out townsfolk to actually bare their souls? Not a single secret came out in this “we’re all going to die” moment. Big Jim silenced Lester, Barbie stayed mum about Peter, and Junior managed to beat Angie to her house (did she not see the police car?) and trap her all over again.
The most frustrating thing about Under the Dome is that even those who haven’t read the book can clearly see ways in which the show could be better. Until “Blue On Blue,” the time frame was such that the townsfolk’s nonchalance at their situation could almost be excused. So a big dome just entrapped you. Ok. But there are a lot of smart people in this world who know a lot of things, right? Someone will know what to do. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems.
As of this episode, though, a week has passed. That’s a long time to be unconcerned about your food stock and other issues, especially after the warning signs of a quarantine situation and a fire, both of which could have gotten completely out of control and killed everyone. The military is the least of your worries. The danger is from within, which everyone watching with half a brain has known since before the series started. Yet Under the Dome has yet to capitalize on any of those fears or feelings. Worse still, it’s made its characters so uninteresting (save, perhaps, Barbie) that had the bomb worked and everyone had been killed in this episode, I’m not sure that many viewers would have done more than shrug and say, Chester’s Mill style, “well, that was weird.”
Episode Rating: D
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Someone in the comments mentioned last week that it seemed from Barbie’s conversation with Julia that he had been hired to kill her. I didn’t catch that at the time, but I’m not sure that it was so clearly the case. If so, I don’t think she would still be so chatty with him and holding his hand and such. Although maybe that’s her type!
— I’m surprised Julia hasn’t entertained the idea that Peter might have committed suicide.
— Barbie’s military history story was ok, it was just told at a weird part of the episode.
— So because Doddie can do sign language she can also read lips?
— Linda making out with the dome was kinda creepy.
— I almost cared about Norrie’s father drama, but the fact that it ended up being such a trope (“you are only here for the cameras!”) and that it all went down in about fifteen seconds was just ridiculous. How did the writers ever let this go into production?
— Epic bomb kiss was the perfect opp for a selfie, Norrie!
— Not surprising that Big Jim kind of waffled on letting Angie go, but frustrating as all hell that Junior just caught her again in about thirty seconds. I was certain he was going to propose a homicide / suicide end-of-the-world thing.
— Moab = Mother Of All Bombs (but not an atom bomb, right? Because that would have just been stupid …)
— Bye Lester. You were a horribly written shell of a character, but still. No one should be brained via hearing aid.