EPISODE 2: The Fire
CAPTURED ATTENTION: Coming one week after the first episode is....the second one! The town of Chester’s Mill is trying to figure out what the hell to do since they are trapped inside one big ass dome. We have a gaggle of characters to get to know like a mysterious guy name Barbie (Mike Vogel), a shady city politician Big Jim (Dean Norris), a reporter Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz), smart kid Joe (Colin Ford), local psycho Junior (Alexander Koch) and many, many, many more. In this episode we dive a little deeper into their lives and the story gets thicker as the sheriff is officially dead, meaning the town’s leadership is dead too. Big Jim starts to make his play for power while everyone else tries to decide what the f*ck to do. We know some sort of drugs are being used (bad preacher) or sold or something, and Big Jim might be behind it. Things get odd when a fire erupts and…the fire department is on the other side of the dome. Ugh!
THE INVISIBLE SHIELD: A few quick notes before I dive into the review of the episode. 1) I have never read the book. I remember I held it in my hand once at Target, but that's as close as I got. It looked a little too thick for me. Also, I appreciate Stephen King. I respect the dude, but I’ve never made it through one of his books. Sad, but true. So as I write these reviews, I’ll look at the show based on it being TV entertainment…not drafting a compare contrast essay. 2) I don’t know if I missed most of the previews or not, but I didn’t realize Steven Spielberg produces this. I knew about Brian K. Vaughan and I knew King (obviously) had his hand in this, but Mr. ET? Then again, does he rep really transcend into TV?
Back to the review…I found the first episode interesting, but so far I’m feeling as if the show is playing it too safe, which is the network TV curse. Even though Hannibal is…a…bit…slow, it’s a bold ass show for NBC, and it’s a smart move but making it feel like its not an NBC show. I hope Under the Dome took notes from it because so far the show hasn't stood out for me beyond the two big mysteries so far. 1. The dome. What the hell is it? Where'd it come from? We learn that water can soak through the dome, that the military didn't do it, and that it hates electronics. 2. Who is Barbie, what’s his deal, and why did he bury a corpse at the beginning of the series? We know he killed the reporter's husband, but they are keeping that one quiet so far.
Besides that, everyone is waiting around for something to do or for their story arc to pick up. That’s the problem with a shit-bucket full of characters on a show. It takes a while to get to know them and be surprised by them, which is my problem with the death of Jeff Fahey in the first episode. He’s not a big enough star or was around long enough to qualify as a “jolt” death like a Ned Stark, but he has needed charisma that this show needs. Also, I hope they give Dean Norris some room to expand. He’s presented as the classic crooked politician, but we’ve all seen from other shows that it doesn’t have to be a cardboard cutout character. Here’s hoping. Oh, and once I saw this episode was directed by Jack Bender I have to admit it gave me more confidence in the show. He was the most consistent director on Lost.
Lastly, I'll end with the "theme" of the show. Honestly, I’m not sure anything really popped out in this episode. We see humanity starting to break under the strain, but hopefully things get a little thicker in the future. It better.
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