As season 1 of Under the Dome begins to draw to a close, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that we’re going to get any real answers about the dome this year. What remains to be seen, then, is whether or not this show has asked the right questions: will viewers ponder the significance of pink stars for months? Are we invested in Barbie enough to keep him on our minds through the winter? Are we even confident that this story is going anywhere? I certainly had those concerns on my mind during this week’s episode, and I can’t say I I found much to reassure me.
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Jim Gets Bigger
Big Jim opens the episode with a new plan to sweep homes for Barbie — he’s hesitant at first, but the people are basically begging him to take control of the town. Officer Linda, last seen unilaterally jacking cars in the name of the law, is suddenly concerned about the peoples’ rights again, but she reluctantly goes along with Jim’s plan because I guess she does whatever’s convenient to the plot.
The kids, meanwhile, seem pretty convinced that they should probably kill a man because an egg told them to. Norrie’s mom comes out of her ridiculous parental absence and randomly wanders into the barn, as so many people are apparently wont to do, where she discovers her daughter and friends worshiping the magic egg that killed her wife. Rather than warn them to stay away from the probably hostile item, she decides to help them hide it, because every character on this show is an idiot.
Tonight also marks the night that Big Jim finally becomes as evil as everyone always assumed he was — so far, he’s been mistrusted largely because he’s the only one in Chester’s Mill without perfect hair, but tonight he shoots Dodee and burns down the radio station. His primary mission now is to make sure everybody stays away from that egg, because he needs it to keep the dome running and, by extension, maintain his stranglehold on small town politics.
That puts him at odds with Barbie, who knows enough about Jim’s misdeeds to threaten his position of power. Barbie manages to get Julia away from Jim’s reach — though Angie decides that she’s best hidden in the clinic where they stayed in a closet full of medical supplies, surely no one will ever go in there — but he’s captured and made to confess before the entire town. When Jim asks him how he pleads, however, Barbie replies, “Not guilty.” So … yeah, whatever, I guess they’ll have a trial or something.
One nice thing about this show is that there’s only one more episode this season. I’m tired of wondering what motivates these characters every time they randomly wander onscreen, tired of the show’s fundamental mythology being built around random intuitions that are never supported or challenged, tired of bad writing, pointless action, lazy acting and, above all, wasted potential. You have one more hour to win me over, Under the Dome. Make it count.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)