I gradually became a big fan of Under the Dome when season 1 was broadcast on Channel 5 last year and I was obviously looking forward to season 2 so see how the folk of Chester’s Mill are getting on. Here are a few of my thoughts on season 2 so far based on the first five or six episodes.
First of all I have to comment on the departure of some of the main cast members. In the space of the opening episode two main characters were dispatched with unsightly haste.
First of all that nice Sheriff Linda was squished between the Dome and a vehicle when the Dome went all magnetised. Shame as she was one of the more interesting characters from the beginning – she had had to step up when Jeff Fahey’s Sheriff Duke Perkins had his pacemaker explode on him at the start of the series. (I kind of hoped she would step out from behind the car all flattened like Wile E Coyote but no such luck.)
Then at the end of the first episode of season 2 that nice Angie got dispatched by a mysterious axe-wielding killer. Again, Angie had an interesting storyline as she had been kidnapped by crazy Junior Rennie who locked her in his bomb shelter on Dome Day. This provided one of the best moments of the first season when Big Jim found her and you wondered just what he was going to do in order to protect his crazy son.
Plus she was kinda cute…
But whatever the reasons for the hasty dispatch of the characters it means that substitutes needed to be found quickly. Angie was immediately replaced by Melanie Cross who has inexplicably reappeared after being missing for 25 years. This is Very Convenient as she can now take the place of Angie in the “four hands” quartet.
Then there’s Sam, a former paramedic who is under the Dome with everyone else but has been hanging out in his cabin all this time so we’ve only just met him. Seriously?
Also we have a new lady scientist/schoolteacher Rebecca Pine. Initially it seemed as if she would just be there to pull solutions out of the hat to solve Dome-related problems such as a red acid rain that was causing mayhem. But her character took an interesting twist when she decided there wasn’t enough food to feed the population and there needed to be some “culling of the herd” via some swine flu she had cooked up. Anyone who died would be one less mouth to feed and only the healthy would survive. Big Jim Rennie was predictably all for this but luckily Rebecca had second thoughts at the last minute. Still, it was an interesting moral dilemma for some of the characters; Do you kill some to save some if the alternative is that everyone dies?
The show does get a bit silly in its dealings with Big Jim. One minute he’s leading a lynch mob to hang Barbie for murders Big Jim committed, and then all is forgiven. Then Big Jim is in the cells for the swine flu plot, and the next he is forgiven. I want to shout at the screen “Don’t trust him!” But then I remember that history has shown how a charismatic leader can take control when he says what the people want to hear. Maybe the show should concentrate more on this aspect using the Dome as a metaphor.
I also find the show more interesting when it deals with the problems that the “Millers” have to deal with because of the Dome, e.g. food shortages, dust storms, acid rain, etc. When it deals with the sci-fi elements it does get a little silly with all this mini-dome and four-hands malarkey. And I do have a problem with how new characters are just dropped in, or that new information is just conveniently dropped on the screen. E.g. the email mysteriously works again so that Junior can get a message from his mother, who is supposed to be dead.
And the sudden appearance of Melanie in the lake felt a bit credibility-straining, but as least she’s tied into the appearance of the Dome-egg thing when it arrived via a meteor in 1988.
Plus she’s kinda cute…