Last week I described my feelings for Under the Dome with one word: apathy. However, last night I actually found myself a little interested in what was happening in Under the Dome, and that’s because things were actually moving and changing for once. Angie finally got out of the bomb shelter; a missile was shot at the dome, deflecting off of it and destroying the area surrounding Chester’s Mill; and Big Jim, tired of the inane ramblings of the Reverend, murdered him in cold blood. Last night’s episode of Under the Dome had a quality to it that has been missing from the entire series up till this point: a sense of urgency. And while I still think these characters are too paper-thin and the acting way too bland for me to ever fully get invested, I can say, without a doubt, that last night’s episode of Under the Dome, “Blue on Blue,” was the best since the series’ pilot.
The overall reason I enjoyed this episode of Under the Dome more than I’ve enjoyed the past three is because the show split its time pretty equally among its characters; therefore, instead of getting stuck with for long stretches of time with Junior, Linda, or Joe and Norrie, we got to see more of Barbie and Big Jim. Specifically, Big Jim was the most interesting character to spend time with in this episode, because I wasn’t sure until tonight of the lengths that he would go to in order to protect himself. We now know that he, similar to his son, has no issue with using, abusing, and, ultimately, murdering individuals as long as it benefits him. Even though they are father and son and have similar character traits, I think the reason I actually find myself liking Big Jim and hating Junior is because Big Jim is a more charismatic and layered character and is also being played by a far superior actor, Dean Norris.
Similarly, Barbie is another character that keeps me interested due to his personality and the performance of the actor playing him. Barbie’s earnest and kind intentions (he gives Phil his grandfather’s watch back, even though he had lost it before gambling) come across as true and believable, while I also know that he could take down almost anyone in Chester’s Mill in a fight. Mike Vogel is doing a great job of keeping those two sides of Barbie (his struggle for redemption and his “tough guy” persona) in check, never letting one outweigh the other.
Overall, last night’s Under the Dome was not a terrible episode of television, and I found myself actually enjoying some parts of it. This still doesn’t mean that there weren’t major issues with the show (I will address those underneath), but as I promised in my review from last week, I would try to focus on the positives of Under the Dome whenever I could. So as long as they can keep Junior and Linda off my screen, have Angie doing more than comforting Junior (Seriously, what in God’s name was that scene?), and give me more time with Big Jim and Barbie, then maybe I can keep these positive vibes going in the weeks to come.
– The scene between Norrie and her birth father was so unnecessarily contrived and painfully awkward that I couldn’t take it seriously. Who in the writers’ room thought that scene would actually play well on TV?
– Love how Linda tells Barbie that no one could touch the dome, and then two seconds later she’s literally kissing the dome when she sees her fiancÃ©. Way to uphold the law, Sheriff Linda!
– Another thing about Linda and her fiancÃ© (I believe his name is Rusty?): what egregious product placement with that tablet. Look, honey, I know you’re stuck and we’ll probably never see each other again, but hey, we are on the cover of People!
– What’s Julie’s deal? Last week, she kicks Barbie out of the house and is disgusted with him, but now, literally a day later, apparently due to the near death circumstances of this episode, she ends it by holding his hand. She’s giving way too many mixed signals, and this whole flirtation between the two of them is going to get mad awkward once she finds out he killed her husband, which has to happen soon, right? Please don’t save that reveal for your finale, Under the Dome.
What did everyone else think of last night’s episode of Under the Dome?
The only episode I haven’t like so far was #3, the “meningitis” one. Sure, we were all tired of Angie being the damsel in distress, but Junior might just be crazier than Kathy Bates. I haven’t read the book, so the reveals are new to me. I’m less annoyed with Julie’s change of heart because if you’ve ever lived in a small town, stranger…and I mean STRANGER…things have happened. I think the show is well cast.