Monday, July 29, 2013

'Under the Dome' Review - 1.06 The Endless Thirst

        On the newest episode of CBS' Under the Dome, the town begins to run low on water; the residents of Chester's Mill begin to fight for their remaining resources; and Julia discovers a strange connection that two of the town's residents have with the Dome.

        "The Endless Thirst" was perhaps the first real showcase of the show being the series we all wanted it to be after the pilot before it got distracted by imprisoned Angie, psychotic Junior and the creepy Reverend. The townspeople FINALLY realized that this dome is not coming down any time soon which thusly leads to widespread pandemonium. This is basically the looting episode. The town goes crazy and start looting and hoarding every vital resource they can get. It also proves just how inept this ragtag team of police deputies actually are. That depiction of police attempting crowd control was pitiful and embarrassing. But the absolute worst part was how it didn't feel natural for any of these characters. After spending five tedious episodes with them, I don't for one second believe that's how they would react in this situation. The series was trying to say something profound about how historically the police have used too much force in situations like this. But it just fail miserably and now makes against characters like Linda and Barbie - who up until now were just bland.
        That is perhaps the most disappointing quality of the series - its lack of well-rounded characters who have clearly been defined. The writing is the biggest to blame for this problem as it hasn't been able to create memorable characters who are consistent in their actions. Linda is a flip-flopping character. One minute trying to morally just in everything she does and the next able to just open fire on the crowd. Julia too was once furious and kicking Barbie out of her house. But now, that they almost died together, she's all over him for no justifiable reason whatsoever. Her investigation and wondering over how Joe and Norrie are connected to the Dome is an interesting thread but I'm not too engaged with it because I'm not rooting for this character. I continue to like Big Jim but that's only because Dean Norris is having so much fun playing this character not because of any specific characterization.
        And yet, this is also the best episode since the pilot because the show finally created a sense of panic in this community. Sure, too much of the episode's time was spent on pointless looting but that was a necessary evil. The townsfolk needed to turn on each other in order to make the show more suspenseful. The rules of society have changed for them and they need to adjust to their new normal. Would I have liked this to have happened in episode two instead of episode six? Sure. But I'm just glad that it happened eventually. The fact that the entire regular cast fell on the side of law and order was a major missed opportunity however. It would have been much better for someone we have somewhat gotten to know be the instigator of such uproar instead of just some random storeowner changing to bartering rules. But that's how things happened. Now, that the show has changed the rules of society it needs to make me care about the people running the community. Oh and it needs to stop brutalizing Angie because right now it is just the show that continues to prey and hurt the innocent white girl. And we have enough of that trope on television already.

Some more thoughts:
  • The series was renewed for a 13-episode second season to air in summer 2014 this morning. In more news, Stephen King himself will write the season two premiere. That sounds very promising.
  • Rose is dead. I guess she'll be missed, but honestly I don't care. Plus now Big Jim has a new old friend to talk with and argue other stuff.
  • And Alice is basically a dead character walking. She has no insulin left and needs a miracle to survive much longer. I basically called this since the beginning since she felt like a main character and yet Samantha Mathis was not billed as a series regular.
  • For the exact same reason, I worry that Norrie won't make it out of this season alive. That's a shame because I rather like her little dynamic with Joe. Strangely those two are the most likable characters of the bunch.