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Review: Under the Dome, Episode #3

Under the Dome, Episode #3
07.09.2013by: Ryan Doom
7 10

EPISODE 3: Manhunt

CAPTURED ATTENTION: Coming after the second episode, it’s the third one! Last week, one of Chester’s Mill’s finest couldn’t handle being under the dome and lost it, accidentally shooting a fellow cop and leaving the force down to a single officer (a short female cop named Linda). 

This week, when she hauls his ass to jail despite the town's people wanting some street justice, he escapes (of course), leaving Big Jim and Barbie to embark on a Manhunt (the episode titles are a little obvious). Then we have Junior who still has his ex locked away in a storm shelter, because he’s…you know…off. Also, he’s trying to find a way out…under the dome. Lastly, we also have young Joe (the normal one so far on the show) who is dealing with standard teenage stuff like getting the only goth girl in town and having a party.

THE INVISIBLE SHIELD: “Manhunt” is a definite improvement over the last episode. Finally, I feel like the show might be finding its legs. The longer all these poor saps stay under the dome, the more we’ll see characters snap under the pressure, which is obviously good for the viewers. As I stated last week, I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know what characters have gotten the screw job and which haven’t. I don’t know what storylines got dropped and which were invented for the show. And I don’t care. Let it unfold however the producers feel well make the best TV.

Regardless, the tension is starting to grow nicely and the characters are mostly starting to come together. Out of all the characters so far, I like the nutty desperation of Big Jim’s son, Junior. At first his kidnapping of his booty call seemed more pathetic that anything else. Of course that’s an awful crime, but somehow it came across as more juvenile than criminal. But his elevated level of creepiness is working as he stares and smiles a little too long. I’m curious to see what he’s capable of doing. I also like his old man, Big Jim, which isn’t a bold statement considering his previous role on Breaking Bad. Small nacho crumbs are being left to figure out just how big of an asshole he truly is. I just hope he’s a major asshole and turns into a character you love to hate ala Lost's Ben. 

The other mystery man is Barbie, who I can’t tell if he was miscast or not. Obviously, we haven’t been given any back story yet, but actor Mike Vogel hasn’t displayed the depth yet to truly make that character memorable. Hopefully, he and the show will prove me wrong. He needs a moment or two to really solidify the character. 

I would have hoped that two fellow Lost men (Jack Bender and Brian K. Vaughn) would have been able to amp up the weirdness of living under a dome. That’s what this show is really lacking. It needs a LOT more of the Lost “oh shit” kind of moments, and we haven’t seen many of those yet (and yeah I know they can’t copy it, but they could mimic the tone).

However, “Manhunt” has given me hope. It’s hinted that the show might get there. I won’t spoil too much, but there’s a decent ending complete with duel chatting/seizures. It also feels like they might be revealing a little more about the dome’s powers, which might be a good thing. Sooner the better. They don’t have to explain everything, but in today’s TV market, Under the Dome can’t play it safe. They need to wow the audience, and wow them really, really soon.

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