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Review: Under the Dome, Episode #2

Jul. 2, 2013by: Ryan Doom

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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+0
3:34AM on 07/03/2013
I've been excited for this series and the first episode was a great intro, but this episode is kind of proving a fear: that this will get dragged out. The best thing about the show is the mystery of the dome and there is potential for some real horror between these townsfolk, but the big problem with it being so extended is that all the meaty horror bits are so far and few between. Back in the day when mini-series were a thing, and several of them were a good thing (Rose Red, Storm of the
I've been excited for this series and the first episode was a great intro, but this episode is kind of proving a fear: that this will get dragged out. The best thing about the show is the mystery of the dome and there is potential for some real horror between these townsfolk, but the big problem with it being so extended is that all the meaty horror bits are so far and few between. Back in the day when mini-series were a thing, and several of them were a good thing (Rose Red, Storm of the Century), they were only 2-3 episodes long, and it was just enough time for them to be entertaining, horrific, and well made. In this case, I agree, I think this will play it too safe. And with talk of this becoming a syndicated series spanning more than a single season, I fear this will get dragged out and become uninteresting. Never read the book, but part of the appeal is a lengthy, but contained story that contains horrific moments, while remaining intriguing and not overstaying it's welcome. With the people behind this show wanting to play this story out over a long period of time, I fear that all those things that make this a good story will evaporate.
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3:45PM on 07/02/2013

Not sure what to think

I don't like that water can soak through it but somehow sound waves can't penetrate it. Matter of fact, I dislike that break in the law of physics so much that it just might ruin the whole damn series for me. I didn't read the book so I don't know if that was included by King himself. As far as the reporter's husband goes, this is still network television so I believe in the end t hey want Barbie to still be the hero and not a murderer...so I think her husband will be made out to be a
I don't like that water can soak through it but somehow sound waves can't penetrate it. Matter of fact, I dislike that break in the law of physics so much that it just might ruin the whole damn series for me. I didn't read the book so I don't know if that was included by King himself. As far as the reporter's husband goes, this is still network television so I believe in the end t hey want Barbie to still be the hero and not a murderer...so I think her husband will be made out to be a horrible person that had it coming to him. I think I will pick up the book soon, but I'll read it after the series had ended.
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7:28AM on 07/03/2013
I agree with you. I haven't seen this episode yet, but in the book mist comes through if they spray water at it, and if two people are on either side of the dome they could have a normal conversation. I'm all for creative changes, because lets face it if you want to know the book, read it. But this show has change so many weird little things like that. Even the name of the news paper is different. Seems like a strange thing to change. Why not just make your own story completely, and have in the
I agree with you. I haven't seen this episode yet, but in the book mist comes through if they spray water at it, and if two people are on either side of the dome they could have a normal conversation. I'm all for creative changes, because lets face it if you want to know the book, read it. But this show has change so many weird little things like that. Even the name of the news paper is different. Seems like a strange thing to change. Why not just make your own story completely, and have in the title sequence "inspired by Under the Dome." I've read they even changed how the dome got there in the first place.
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