Under the Dome Review: "Imperfect Circles" (Episode 1.07)
While last week’s episode was all about explosion and terror, this one’s action kicks off between the sheets with a steamy scene with Julia and Barbie. Norrie caught a peek at an undressed Joe and later made out with him against the Dome (real line from Norrie: “Joe, I’m not having sex with you for the first time against the Dome.” She’s possibly saving herself for a cube or cylinder).
And while Norrie is discovering love, her parents are rekindling theirs, putting on a heartwarming dance in the middle of Joe’s living room. Although they were minor characters, Carolyn and Alice might have been the most likable, caring duo on the show—the main event at mind being Carolyn’s botched attempt to get Alice some much-needed insulin and the painful unraveling that follows in this episode.
We catch the aftermath of physical love when Julia has to attempt to rush Harriet, an in-labor resident, to the hospital a month early after she comes in contact with the Dome. We dive deeper into Junior’s unhealthy love for Angie. If you haven’t made the connection yet, this episode is all about loooove, and you know what they say: “If the Dome is a’rockin’, don’t come a’knockin’.” Or Dome is where the heart is. Or…
Like last week, it feels like we’re moving away from the exaggerated shells of characters we’ve seen before. This time, instead of showcasing frenzied looting and riots, we see the other side of the human spectrum, with loved ones banding together, locking lips and slow dancing their way through a doomy forecast. We see a child brought into this world, and hours later we see Norrie’s mother tragically exit. And ol’ Junior and Big Jim live to see another day, proof enough that life isn’t fair even under the Dome. But most importantly, it at least feels to me that the thumb-twiddling of the first few episodes wasn’t for nothing.
With all the mushy goodness present in this week’s episode, things are looking bleak for those without a cuddle buddy in Chester’s Mill. The scorned Junior finally loses his cool during an on-duty confrontation, resulting in a barbaric execution that will affirm—if all his psycho babble and his own father putting him on the streets didn’t already—that this guy is beyond repair. Big Jim isn’t far behind, although he keeps his demons far enough from the surface to uphold his position as the strong town leader. It’s become increasingly clear that these two are related, and Jim’s own recent shunning of his son might be out of disgust of his own character.
And yes, in some miracle of a turn of events, we finally (kind of) get to interact with the Dome. Norrie and Joe’s exploration of Chester’s Mill to find the hub of this whole thing are finally fruitful, and their interaction with the Dome at this time shows again that it’s A) a living, conscious thing and B) has a sense of mercy after sending Norrie home to see her mother before she dies. I think it’s safe to say that this enclosure might not be as much about punishment as it is a message, regardless of how slow our transparent, curved pal takes to spell it out.
Coming off of many near-pitiful weeks, the change in the last two weeks has been satisfying for me. And if CBS was ballsy enough to truly wait this long to really get the gears turning, I slowly feel my faith being restored that Under the Dome can’t be defined by its low points.