Monday, August 5, 2013

'Under the Dome' Review - 1.07 Imperfect Circles

        On the newest episode of CBS' Under the Dome, Big Jim takes matters into his own hands when he feels his authority slipping away; and the dome displays its power when a life is taken just as a newborn arrives in the world.

        It's the grand old dichotomy of a birth happening alongside a death on the seventh episode of Under the Dome. This story has been done many oh so many times before on television. It usually coincides plots that have been simmering throughout the season. That's why Under the Dome's use of the trope feels so underwhelming. Megan Ketch was perfectly fine as the pregnant woman. But she was introduced at the very beginning of the hour and yet the show wants us to care about what happens to her and her unborn baby! And was she suppose to be excited when Alice told her, "you're gonna have the first baby born under the dome"? And then came Alice's death. She had been on the series since the beginning and yet I noted just last week before that she wasn't long for this world much longer. But she had to live just long enough to deliver the baby and then die from the slowest occurring heart attack in the history of heart attacks! Just dumb plot mechanics that wanted us to invest in something that we had no reason to invest in.
        Surprisingly, Joe and Norrie are my favorite characters on the show. That's great because I came in expecting them to be the annoying teenage characters - which has instead fallen on Junior and Angie. They are adventurous and actually have some spunk. Characterizations are very thin on the entire ensemble so to have two somewhat distinguishable qualities attached to those two is quite promising. They are the heart of the series because they are the ones connected to whatever the dome is and what it wants. They are also asking all the right questions - the questions the audience keeps asking but the rest of the Under the Domers have no interest or desire to seek out. Alice's death really should not have landed well dramatically but Mackenzie Lintz sold her pain in that moment. And in the context of the Norrie character, it worked wonderfully especially when she then proceeding to march out and pound on the dome. The mini dome discovery will likely be very huge for the overarching mystery and with these two driving that plot I'm interested. However, I don't see their knowledge of the mini dome's existence to remain a secret for much longer.
        The big power play for control of the town between Big Jim and Ollie was also a big story here. Who has control of the town's resources is very fruitful story ground. Matching that with the descent of the town's councilman who's used to being in control but doesn't have what the town fundamentally needs sounds very promising. Plus, Leon Rippy's addition as Big Jim's new advisory is miles better than whatever Ned Bellamy was doing. The prospects of this story intrigue me but I'm sure the show won't be able to handle it in the longterm. That's an unfortunate thought to have at this point but it is what I'm thinking. I simply do not trust the writers enough to create meaningful stories and interactions that keep me excited.

Some more thoughts:
  • Stupidest Under the Domer: Linda. For overarming Junior and still actually trusting his word.
  • The show keeps saying Junior is just misunderstood and yet how can they continue to justify his actions with that excuse after coldly killing the guy?
  • Barbie and Julia makes no sense whatsoever. Sure, Mike Vogel and Rachelle Lafevre have decent chemistry but their character pairing baffles me by how terribly it was founded.
  • No, Phil or Dodee this week. They must be manning the radio station as they are the only people who ever work there. 24/7!
  • Angie seems like a better character when she's not interacting with either Big Jim or Junior. And yet, she will always turn around and Junior will be there! Along with a dramatic and scary music cue!
  • Wasn't the other side of the dome completely desolated after the bomb was dropped? Explain how the dome outside Joe's house and outside Julia's house look completely fine on the other side then.