Finally, Under the Dome is on TV and if the pilot is an indication of how the rest of the series is going to be, be ready to be hooked. A pilot is not an easy episode as the creators have to introduce the main characters and the plot quickly. And what we can say about Under The Dome is that the show doesn’t lose time to do so.
It starts in quite a King fashion with a mysterious man burying a body into a grave in the wood – yeah welcome in KingLand. Later we find out his name is Dale “Barbie” Barbara (with such a name his childhood must have been a wonderful period) and that he is in Chester’s Mill for unclear reasons. Then we meet the sheriff Duke and his deputy Linda a young woman recently engaged. Both appeared as the average small town American heroes we find immediately likeable.
We are then introduced to Big Jim Rennie, a local politician is enjoying a dinner and bribes the waitress for her vote with a $100 bill. Too eager-superman, he is clearly hungry for power. In less than a couple of minutes we already have our good – but certainly at the end they won’t be that good – and the mean characters.
Then follows the new American TV show tradition: presenting two characters while they’re having sex. And this scene is for Junior and Angie two teenagers who aren’t just the typical couple we could expect. Indeed, Junior appears as an abusive lover when Angie calls their relationship “a fun summer” and refuses that he ditch college.
Finally, here comes Julia Shumway, the new editor for the local paper investigating on the woman’s extra deliveries of propane. Luckily for Julia she is only journalist who is going to be trapped inside the dome so no competition for her. So everybody is enjoying is little everyday life when suddenly the ground is shaking like an earthquake before cutting Chester’s Mill off from the rest of the world. As you can imagine, yes the dome has just came into life causing quite a horrible yet funny scene with a unlucky cow. RIP dear cow. She was in the wrong place at the wrong moment. The same can be said to the small plane which crashes into the dome and explodes, nearly killing Joe who luckily is saved by Barbie. Told you, the “bad” appear to be not that “bad”.
And the show only needs 15 minutes to launch its first political cutting remark:
“What if the government built it?” asks Joe
“I doubt it…’cuz it works” Barbie answers.
Quickly everybody in town understands what’s going on. The Dome doesn’t appear to be human-made, there’s no way to escape, power lines are down and phones are useless. It seems there’s no way to communicate except through the local radio station which is miraculously still broadcasting. Except, on our side, we understand that relationships will be tested. Especially for Linda whose fiancé is outside the Dome and for Joe and his sister who are all by them as their mother is also on the other side.
Soon, the town trapped under the Dome became the center of attention of journalists and the Army. The imaginary of the Dome is great offering us some incredible scene. After the birds falling from the sky, here comes the truck crashing against the dome. Meanwhile some kids are suddenly suffering from convulsions. For no reason they faint, their body shake and they’re starting to talk incoherently which certainly will become a key point in understanding a few things about this Dome.
The weak plot-line of this episode is certainly Junior who turns from the nice college boy to a psycho as he breaks into Angie’s house and knocks her unconscious to bring her to his father’s fallout shelter where he locks her in. Oh by the way his father: it is Big Jim.
Meanwhile the chaos is starting inside the town and soon we’re facing with the idea some people may have known what would happen. First of all, the Sheriff whose peacemaker has some issues just a couple of seconds before the Dome appears. This failure occurs a second time when he is about to reveal something. Then, it appears that he and Big Jim were collecting a lot of propane right before the Dome. Hmmm, interesting.
And of course, I end this recap with another American TV show tradition: the couple we are going to shipper (or not): Barbie and Julia (the news editor). During the whole episode, those two are pairing to find out what’s happening and it ends with Julia inviting Barbie to stay at her house. Yes, you’re seeing what’s coming already don’t you? Well as every “couple” in a show we need a little obstacle making this complicated. Remember the guy, Barbie was burying at the beginning of the episode? Well, we just found out who he is: Julia’s husband. Surprise!
Welcome under the Dome.