Any episode of Under the Dome that opens with Junior getting slugged in the head with a snowglobe is off to a good start. Sure, significant stuff has happened: Dodee is trying to trace down the source of a strange signal being picked up and we have bad, bad water issues after seeing a lake filled with fish carcasses. Diabetics are all out of insulin. But what’s most satisfying for me is that after five episodes, at least one Dome has cracked. And it was on Junior’s head. Residents of Chester’s Mill, if you’re listening, you might try this approach with the real Dome.
So far, we’ve seen Under the Dome take polarizing twists and turns, and so predictably after last week’s rough-to-finish episode, this week catches viewers on the upswing. Not only are we dealing with the aftermath of the attempted Dome bombing, but people are actually acting like you’d expect (maybe all it takes is a “mother of all bombs” to shake some fear into people). Humans steal stuff in survival situations. Humans do awful things to other humans when necessities like insulin, fresh water and food are scarce. Who woulda thought? To me, that’s the interesting part of this show, and it seems like it hasn’t been properly introduced until now. But with a new season confirmed and plenty episodes left this summer, there’s still time.
But once this survival element is introduced, it’s stacked on in heaps. Here, we see Chester’s Mill’s mob—something that appeared to be easily tamed in earlier episodes—turn to a raging, uncontrollable beast. People are killed, cops actually have a good reason to draw their weapons. This is what I was hoping for, and these storylines are far more interesting than endless tales of “this spooky little town holds secrets,” because let’s face it: You can do that with or without a huge freakin’ Dome overhead.
Outside of what’s been established before—some iffy acting, some odd pacing—I have nothing but good things to say this week. Not only are we digging into what I think is the meat of the show, but we’re also learning valuable bits about this Dome. First, it kinda seems like it’s got a conscience now, supplying a town that’s drying out with some much-needed rain. It proves that, yes, we can sustain this story through a whole season, and maybe this thing overhead has a plan long-term.
We’ll see where this takes us next week, but on the heels of a second season, I couldn’t think of a better way to breathe fresh air into a show that seemed done for.