UNDER THE DOME
Dale 'Barbie' Barbara - Mike Vogel
Jim Rennie - Dean Norris
Julia Shumway - Rachelle LeFevre
Junior Rennie - Alex Koch
Rebecca Pine - Karla Crome
Angie McAllister - Britt Robertson
OTHER UNDER THE DOME SEASONS
OTHER STEPHEN KING SHOWS
Salem's Lot '79
Salem's Lot '04
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Bag Of Bones
Heads Will Roll
The light that is suddenly pulsing from the Dome, causing people to collapse into unconsciousness, makes various people think again about hanging Barbie. How can they stop what is happening when they don't even know what that is?
Picking straight up from the cliffhanger ending of the last season, this opening episode takes no prisoners right from the very start, taking out a major character very early on in the episode. After that, nobody is safe. The storyline builds as the characters who were split apart find their way back to each other and encounter new people who are going to be significant.
The more supernatural elements of the plot (Junior being taken to a place where he can communicate with his supposedly dead mother, Big Jim being visited by visions of dead people and a girl emerges from the lake and appears to have a special link with the dome) are ramped up and the absence of the egg and the monarch storyline gives the plot a decent focus for a change.
The effects, with the dome attracting metallic objects, are variable, but there are some exciting sequences, even if a nail/hand interface barely slows down the victim. This is all thrown at the screen with pace and brio and it seems that UNDER THE DOME has returned to do some business.
Hopefully this will mark an upturn in the show's quality.Top
The butterfly population within the dome has gone mad laying eggs and now the caterpillars are going to ravage the crops, unless Big Jim and Barbie can work together. The hunt for a killer is on.
After last week's impressive opening, the show immediately slips back into disaster of the week filler material that moves very little forward. Jim Rennie continues to win over the hearts and minds of the populace, now through his new caring, sharing persona. Only the second episode in and this kind of standalone episode stuff does not bode well for the rest of the season. Hopefully, this week's episode was the anomaly rather than the season opener.
The hunt for the killer and the identity of the new mystery girl are the ongoing plot strands, but the larger mystery of the dome and what is happening outside of it are being completely ignored.Top
It's raining acid blood. Lyle the barber thinks that it's a sign of the end of days whilst Rebecca the schoolteacher thinks it's science. There's an acid-fuelled stand off and a new arrival turns out to have come directly from 1988.
Well, you certainly can't accuse the show of not having any incident. Blood from the sky, girls from the past, Junior's mother is alive, the barber and Big Jim's brother have secrets and Julia finds another reason to be mad at Barbie. It's all happening and none of it makes any sense at all. It does, at least, provide an opportunity for a little science versus religion conversation that never adds up to anything approaching a theme and the creation of another crazy preacher in the town shows a very serious dearth of ideas.
Email signals come and go for no reason other than the story needs them to so that Junior's missing mother can send a message and there are hints about a town called Zenith.
Frankly, though, the relationship between Julia and Barbie is getting a bit repetitive. She loves him, she loves him not. Enough already. Pick one.Top
Jim has decided that the town's population needs reducing and Rebecca has found the way. Julia sets about stopping them whilst Barbie chases email messages and a blast from the past.
The Dome is interested in secrets. All of the town's dirty little secrets are being pulled out into the open and only then does the Dome stop torturing them. In this case, it's the secret behind the death of a young girl and the visions of Junior's mother. What does all this mean? There might one day be an answer.
They might also answer why nobody inside the Dome is talking to anyone outside. Two sheets of paper is all that it needs. The townsfolk seem uninterested in making contact with the outside and the outside world is making no attempt to help them out, or console them, or advise them or anything. That's not the least believable thing about all this anyway.
The whole 'releasing a virus to thin the herd' storyline is so horribly predictable that it's almost as painful as the dialogue that goes with it. When the show started it had some grit and realism to it. It is now so far off with the fairies that you wonder how they are ever going to bring it back.Top
Big Jim is in prison and Rebecca is finding it harder than she thought to run the town, especially after the newly-opened food bank gets blown up.
A few more smaller questions are answered as Angie's murderer is revealed to the audience and what lies behind the locker is revealed, but there's a good deal of filler around the story of the food bank and the sabotage. The politics of the Julia/Jim factions is pretty dull and we've seen all of that before.
The new bad guy is revealed and is disappointingly obvious, but then a good deal of this show is disappointingly obvious. It's time that some larger questions started to be answered before interest wanes too far.Top
In The Dark
Barbie and Sam follow the tunnel behind the school locker and find more than they bargained for. Julia tries to find a way to save them and Big Jim regains credibility by dealing with a dirt storm.
This show gets more outlandish by the episode. The most normal thing that happens is that Barbie and Sam find a bottomless pit and discuss a few matters including murder and time travelling girlfriends. Speaking of girlfriends, the teen love triangle gets even more tiresome, but is, at least, sidetracked as the four hands attempt to reclaim the lost 'egg' that is linked to the Dome.
Disaster of the week is the sand storm that is just dull. The townsfolk come together and build a windmill in, like, twenty minutes flat and hook up a fire hose to resolve everything.
And still nobody is trying to contact the outside world and the outside world is making no attempts to contact the townsfolk. There might be a good explanation for that, but since we've not had a good explanation for anything up to this point we're not betting on it.Top
Barbie tests the depth of the chasm under the school and finds himself in a playground in his home town. The only thing to do now is to find his father, who happens to be the only man who can get him back to the Dome.
There are so many WTF moments in this episode that it fails to make any sense at all, but might just be the start of revelations about the true nature of the Dome and those who were involved in its creation. For one thing, what is Barbie's real connection to the Dome? The doorway out goes directly to his home town and his father is the only one who can get him back to it? What's that about? Also the red door that seems likely to be the only way back in is hidden on his father's property. In terms of a swerve to the side, they don't come much more neck-straining than this one. It's a completely new direction for things.
With so much happening outside of the Dome, events inside seem to be totally sidelined. Julia gets upset at Barbie's apparent death and Big Jim uses it to help rebuild his power base, but that aside it's what's going on outside the Dome that matters.
It’s unexplained why Barbie gets beaten up by some ex-friends, apart from that he was supposed to do a job and then disappeared. That job may have been to kill his father, but Barbie reneges on that so quickly and then it is so completely forgotten about that it might as well have never happened.
There are lots of new things to think about in this episode and it is certainly taking the show in a new direction. Whether it's a better one remains to be seen.Top
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