directed by Jack Bender
This is a show I was planning to review every week as summer treat (similar to Persons Unknown), but I don't think Under the Dome is good enough to warrant that kind of attention. I wasn't entirely sold on last week's pilot, which I found half-decent with cool imagery, and this follow-up hour was (inevitably?) less interesting. There doesn't seem to be any sense of the panic and large-scale chaos this bizarre situation would most definitely create in a close-knit town, and I'm not invested in any of the characters just yet. (Although Rachelle Lefevre's red hair needs its own show.) The writers have also included a storyline where a lovestruck teenager's using the dome as an excuse to imprison his ex-girlfriend, which is really uninspiring because we have no connection to those characters or their relationship. Did Stephen King's book handle it better?
"The Fire" threw up some questions I've been asking myself (will the town's air supply run out?), but I can't shake the feeling Under the Dome has nothing to offer us beyond a cool concept... which, unfortunately, is equally fun to discuss with friends down the pub. Once the show's explored every avenue concerning 'what would life be like if you were trapped inside a giant dome?', and answered all the logical questions that arise from this event actually happening, I'm not sure what else Under the Dome has up its sleeve.
Quite a few shows have bad second episodes and some find their groove soon after, so I'm still going to keep watching for now. It just needs something compelling to occur as a result of the dome's inexplicable appearance, quickly. Oh, and if episode 3 also ends with a police office being shot dead, there's something spookier going on than an impenetrable barrier...
1 July 2013 | NBC