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Under the Dome - Episode 1.02 - The Fire - Review

The second episode of Under the Dome, titled ''The Fire'', picks up the day after the pilot. Keeping the same intensity from the pilot seeming like a hard thing to do, but ''The Fire'' did so wonderfully. Everyone is still freaking out and hoping for a quick resolution to the situation. Although those hopes seemed to wane as the day progressed and the situation became gradually worse. The reveal that Chester's Mill was enclosed by a dome instead of a barrier has yet to set in truly for everyone trapped in there. There hopes for a simple air evacuation are gone however and this means the army won't be able to fly in supplies as well.  I'm looking forward to how they will deal with this further as resources become more scarce.

Speaking of the army, we got more glimpses of picked up transmissions from the ground team surrounding the dome. Who seem to have nu clue as to what was going on and are guessing about what happened as much as we are (and the residents of Chester's Mill for that matter). Though I still believe the government to behind this via the councilman, who has been stocking propane fuel for the generator of the dome. At least this is my current theory.

We got some insight into Big Jim Rennie (played by Ned Bellamy) along the way as well, who seems like an honest man up front but will betray you the second you are no longer necessary. He seems to genuinely care about the people of the town, but will also gladly use anyone to further his own agenda. As evidenced by his willingness to sacrifice reverend Lester Coggins (played by Ned Bellamy) after he cleaned up ''their mess''. I'm assuming the reverend surviving the fire means he has still another role to play and just might complicate things for Big Jim down the line. Another insight into how Big Jim works was with his 'heroic' save to put out the fire. Destroying the evidence about the propane deal had nothing to do with it of course!

It takes a cruel, cruel man to let another man burn alive. So I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Junior Rennie (played by Alexander Koch) has shifted straight into annoying territory for me. Without any context it's so hard to get invested in his character, why does he act the way he does? Why did Angie (played by Britt Robertson) care about him in the first place? Why sleep with him if you know what he is like? Why does his father, Big Jim, let such a loose cannon walk around without having anyone check up on him? One doesn't become a psychopath overnight, he would have had to know. Perhaps Dale Barbara (played by Mike Vogel) can knock some more sense into him?

Barbie, got a little flashback at the beginning to show what happened between him and Julia Shumway's (played by Rachelle Lefevre) husband Peter (played by R. Keith Harris). In what seems like a shake down gone wrong, seems Peter had some debts to the wrong kind of people. Did I pick up some chemistry between him and Julia there at the fire or am I just seeing things? I was glad to see Julia do the right thing and not withhold information from the people on what she heard on the radio. Too often these things get withheld for the sake of creating tension and drama, playing it out right away was a good move and in character from what little we've seen from her. 

Though I'm sure it fed right into the paranoia of deputy Paul Randolph (played by Kevin Sizemore), who started hoarding all the guns right away. Shocking the hell out of the other deputy Freddy Denton (played by Joe Knezevich) and Linda (played by Natalie Martinez) who quickly regained her composure and ordered Paul to help with the fire. At the end of the episode Paul's paranoia gets the better of him and a ricochet bullet kills Freddy. Paranoia, and panic in general, will play a much bigger role in future episode I'm sure. This episode really showed how small things, like a fire, we all take for granted to be dealt with can be become a much bigger threat.

But there is still a big complaint I have about the series, it's hard to care for the characters because we barely know them. In last week's review I said the show would have been better served with a two-hour premiere and I stand by that statement. There is so much happening right now and all we see the characters, logically I might add, do is react. For example we have Julia, the deputy, reacting to Duke's (played by Jeff Fahey) death. Apparently he was a father figure to her, we were never shown or told this until after it happened, because of that that moment feels hollow. Whereas otherwise I might have felt sorry this happened to her and hoped she would come out stronger because of it. 

Overall it was a good episode, it revealed several things about the dome (being like a sieve and letting air/water through) and the people trapped under it. The plot moved forward with intensity, but the characters still feel underdeveloped. 


Pascal Buijnsters Pascal's a Dutchman and has been a longtime commentator on SpoilerTV and started out as a writer for SpoilerTV last year. He is quite a TV addict and writes for a local, Dutch, newspaper. Next to that he's into soccer for his local team, a gamer and a fanatical swimmer. He writes previews and reviews for SpoilerTV for a variety of shows.

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