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Under the Dome - Episode 1.03 - Manhunt - Review

This weeks episode picks up the evening after the fatal shooting of the deputy, Deputy Linda Esquivel (played by Natalie Martinez) locks up Paul Randolph (played by Kevin Sizemore). Soon after he is locked up he starts to cough as if something is amiss. Deputy Esquivel suddenly decides to lose all common sense and opens the cell door to check on him. Of course there was nothing wrong with former deputy Randolph and he escapes, leaving Esquivel locked up. The ensuing ''Manhunt'' takes up most of the episode. After two solid episodes this is apparently the best they could come up with? These are trained police officers, how would Esquivel fall. for what has to be, the oldest trick in the book?

Even though the set up was lame, the manhunt that happens the following day led to some nice interacting between Big Jim (played by Dean Norris) and Barbie (played by Mike Vogel). Which in turn gaves more insight in their characters and their motivations, but also had some revelations on their past. The way James Rennie got the nickname Big Jim was a standout moment for me. As was the rising tension when Big Jim pieced together the fact that Barbie had beat up his son Junior (played by Alexander Koch). 

In the end they find Randolph or rather he finds them and it leads to a stand off. Apparently deputy Esquivel will not be fooled twice and kills him. Big Jim is quick to come around to the deputy he underestimated, calls her the right person for the job after all and makes her the Sheriff. Let's hope Linda won't forget his quick turnaround and won't be Big Jim's puppet. 

For me that was the best part of the episode, the rest ranges from mediocre to bad. Teens in almost any show tend be notoriously bad, this show is no different and nearly every line uttered at the party made me facepalm. The only point worth noting was when both Joe McAlister (played by Colin Ford) and Norrie (played by Mackenzie Lintz) touched each other and both went into seizure mode. All the while mumbling that ''pink stars are falling'', I'm curious as to what it means. 

There is no way around Junior Rennie unfortunately, but his scenes are fast becoming the ones I dread most. How nobody seems to notice his lying psychopathic ways is beyond me, you don't go crazy overnight. His scene with Big Jim was that supposed be Big Jim giving him tough love? And Junior being rebellious? These scenes would mean more if we knew anything about the character, but we don't. We learned his name is Jim though, I guess that is something. 

Also worth mentioning is the mind boggling scene in the underground tunnel. Julia Shumway (played by Rachelle Lefevre) following psycho kid around wasn't the smartest move to start with, but when he goes all repressed angry "You shouldn't have followed me.'' the last thing I would do is start a conversation. Again the whole situation gave us some more insight into both Julia and Junior, but the way they got to those scenes wasn't believable in the slightest. 

There were also a number of cringe worthy scenes in the episode I haven't mentioned, like Carolyn Hill (played by Aisha Hinds) telling the hillbilly (played by Leon Rippy) at the bar ''Welcome to the 21st century'' about her being a lesbian. Big Jim telling Linda that Duke (played by Jeff Fahey) was now "eating mashed potatoes and roast beef with the big guy". Or Julia mention to Junior that ''this is our last match.'' only to use to talk to each other. The match goes out, but turns out they were at the stairs to the door already! Magic! 

One last thing I wanted to mention as well is the lack of panic. People are still expecting the military/government to save them from the predicament they're in, that's fine. But we're now at day 3/4, rescue isn't coming and people should act like it. Watching people continue to go about their day as if it were any other regular day is becoming increasingly unbelievable. 

Overall, this was a solid but uninspiring episode hampered by some bad writing. The lackluster story was a backdrop for some character development, but not all of it good. Here's hoping Under the Dome can bounce back next week. 


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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