‘Under The Dome’ Greatly Improves With An ‘Outbreak’

Senior Contributor
07.16.13 25 Comments


After the last two episodes, Under The Dome got bumpy, and it didn’t solve all its problems tonight. But it did just finally start paying off a few plotlines, and hopefully this head of steam is going to carry over into the rest of the series.

The meningitis outbreak that suddenly threatens the town actually gives the show focus by giving it stakes and a sudden, credible threat. But more than that, the writing has improved, to the point where pretty much every annoying character or terrible plotline either was made more interesting or finally paid off.

Big Jim finally shows some interest in his shed, meaning the Angie plotline might finally be over and we can spend time on something actually interesting, like Dean Norris’ epic WTF face. The stereotypical lesbian couple started acting like more than big-city fancy-pants types, and the episode ended with them being granted a genuine, human moment where you buy these are two people who love each other. Although you’d think Hipster Glasses would have mentioned that whole “I’m a doctor” thing a bit earlier, because come on.

Meanwhile, Junior shifted from more annoying than creepy to genuinely disturbing in this episode, finding a gift for oratory and getting a crucial amount of power as a deputy that isn’t going to end well. He’s gone beyond just being a whiny kidnapper and shown a talent for manipulating people. Which, considering Barbie is squarely in his sights, is bad news.

Even Julia gets something of an improvement. Unfortunately, the character is still a self-centered, self-righteous twit, but at least now she’s a self-centered, self-righteous twit who knows her husband was a complete jerk, and that Barbie wasn’t there to swap coupons with him. Barbie, meanwhile, finally comes somewhat clean to her.

This isn’t perfect. The show continues to whale on Linda, to the point of giving her meningitis, and we have to sit through her grade school teacher dying and having it played up as a big emotional moment when we barely know and certainly don’t care about this old lady buying the farm. The teenagers largely exist to remind us that, oh yeah, there’s a dome, and it’s there for a reason. But this is paying off the promise of the pilot to some degree; one hopes that the supposed sapfest next week’s episode is made to look like won’t be the whole episode.

Any thoughts on the episode? Let us know.

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