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Mark's Remarks #001 - Episodes Ranked - Under the Dome

#26. S1E13 “Curtains”
I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from the first season finale but this is an anticlimactic and arbitrary conclusion to what has been a mostly mediocre season. Everybody was waiting for the miniDome to open and when it finally does - nothing much happens. The last minutes of the first season leave a lot to be desired.
#25. S2E10 “The Fall”
There’s a lot going wrong in this episode. It is filled with the nonsensical craziness and poor storytelling we have come to expect from this show. The worst part is that an aspect that has been introduced just a few episodes prior to this one came to an unsatisfying conclusion: Big Jim throws the egg into the pit which blocks the way out and results in Phil getting impaled by a stalagmite.
#24. S2E11 “Black Ice”
Another episode that exemplifies that the writers have no clue what to do with Big Jim as he is sent on another redemption arc. Who cares if he held two teenagers at gunpoint, let’s talk about that game from decades ago. The heavy focus on yet another crisis, the romance between Barbie and Julia & Rebecca spouting sciency stuff that doesn’t make a lot of sense don’t do this episode any favors.
#23. S2E05 “Reconciliation”
Considering how much time Under the Dome has spent with the storyline of food running out, the resolution is completely anticlimactic and an utter disappointment. A random character’s husband is a survivalist and has accumulated a giant stash of food over the years? This is what we get after one and a half season? Okay, moving on…
#22. S2E08 “Awakening”
The episode felt like it was pointlessly stalling. I understand that some episodes need to be dedicated to putting the pieces in the right place, but with unnecessary subplots, nonsensical plotting, conspicuous inconsistencies and characters going around in circles, ”Awakening” was simply boring.
#21. S1E11 “Speak Of The Devil”
The writing for this episode is sloppy, even for this show's standards. Exposition, so much exposition. Unneeded and already done exposition to be exact. Also, ridiculously convenient timing. Linda showcasts once again how much of a bad cop she can be but one good thing: Maxine’s time under the dome comes to an end.
#20. S2E13 “Go Now”
It seems only fitting that a season that provided very few answers concludes with… well, no answers. Over the course of Season 2, we have learned very little about how the dome came to be or who/what is behind it. After two seasons of trying to escape, it’s disappointing that we still don’t have a definite answer whether they actually make it out or not.
#19. S1E09 “The Fourth Hand”
Some questions that have been hanging in the air for several episodes have been answered but alas, those answers are brought by Max whose introduction is contrived. Ted’s subplot is as much a waste of time as everyone handing in their guns is astonishing. But at least we’re one step closer in unlocking the miniDome after this episode.
#18. S2E04 “Revelation”
Just like the weekly crises, Rebecca’s plan to kill off half the town concluded in an unrewarding manner. This episode spends a big portion with the town’s dwindling food supply and it was feeble because in the end, nothing really happened. At all. While Rebecca becomes more tolerable going forward, it did nothing to ameliorate Big Jim’s character.
#17. S2E02 “Infestation”
The episode brings back the dreaded crisis-of-the-week and it was unspectacular to put it nicely. Problems are solved as quickly as they arise and given that this show has 13 episodes per season, it should stop wasting its limited screentime on these little disasters that won’t be of any importance the following day. Caterpillars with altered eating patterns due to magnetism? Moving on...
#16. S1E10 “Let The Games Begin”
As equally fast-paced as it was stupid. Everytime Maxine threatens to expose Barbie’s secrets, she sounds more and more like a toddler who is trying to scare her playmates by saying she will tattle on them. The fightclub is extremely redundant and Maxine’s background convoluted. Linda is being a decent cop for once and Junior gets punched in the face, so the episode is not completely worthless.
#15. S1E07 “Imperfect Circles”
A dull episode that wastes a huge chunk of screentime on an unestablished character giving birth. Said screentime could have been used to elaborate on the power struggle between Big Jim and Ollie. Even Alice’s death falls flat as the audience never got the chance to get acquainted with her. And apparently Joe and Norrie are the only ones interested in learning more about the dome… What the hell is the rest of Chester’s Mill doing?
#14. S2E06 “In the Dark”
Mostly the same old, same old with another crisis being miraculously solved by Rebecca, Junior being an idiot and the town switching sides every time they get a chance to do so. There are some good moments with Julia/Rebecca and Sam/Barbie stuck with each other and we are introduced to the bottomless pit but all things considered, this just just another so-so episode.
#13. S1E03 “Manhunt”
The lack of any kind of reaction to the dome is becoming more and more obtrusive. There is another “disaster-of-the-week”, Joe is too occupied hosting a “Recharge Your Phone” party to notice that Angie has gone missing. There is some plot progression with Junior’s discovery that the dome is actually a sphere & Joe and Norrie simultaneously suffer seizures upon touching but apart from that the episode doesn’t have a lot going for it.
#12. S2E03 “Force Majeure”
Despite the usual antics and redundant plotlines, this was a more enjoyable episode than the ones that came before it. There’s progress with Melanie finding herself in the high school’s yearbook of 1988 and Junior receiving Pauline’s message but as always, the weekly crisis drags this episode down by being uninspiring and ridiculously easy to solve.
#11. S1E04 “Outbreak”
Another day of characters failing to face the fact that the dome might be there permanently and another catastrophe that was gone as fast as it came thus preventing the show from building some much needed momentum and suspense. Some of the subplots move along but "Outbreak" completely neglects to flesh out the mythology of the dome. And good for Joe for remembering he has a sister. Good for you, buddy.
#10. S1E02 “The Fire”
It’s rather odd how calm and collected the majority of the residents of Chester's Mill react to their new living situation. People either seem entirely indifferent about the dome or go around randomly shooting at the dome. Other weak parts are how clumsily the fire was started and how out of place the subplot of Junior locking up Angie feels like which thankfully didn’t last very long.
#9. S2E12 “Turn”
A typical episode with many confounding moments and a weekly crisis as everyone tries to save Melanie. The show dabbles into the debate between science and faith again but doesn’t really get into it. The last few minutes are completely bonkers and took me by surprise, so it gets bonus points; Overall, it was above avarage.
#8. S1E08 “Thicker Than Water”
A acceptable episode that plants the seeds for the upcoming feud between Barbie and Big Jim. The weekly problems have been ditched (for now, as they make an unglorious return in Season 2) and at last, the town deals with problems that are related to the dome. Dean Norris delivers when he is held at gunpoint by Junior - that scene could have easily been soapy and cheesy but Norris manages to sell it.
#7. S2E01 “Heads Will Roll”
The Season 2 premiere is an improvement from the Season 1 finale but that is not saying much. This could have been a great opportunity to correct some of the mistakes that were made during the show’s freshman run but Under the Dome went the opposite direction instead and dug itself deeper into a hole of goofiness. Two characters were killed off and while Linda isn’t a great loss, the show never really recovered from Angie’s death.
#6. S2E07 “Going Home”
With an overwhelmingly underwhelming second season, ”Going Home” easily stands out as a good episode. An annoying crisis-of-the-week is nowhere to be found and there’s progress made by the end of the installment. While it doesn’t mean ”Going Home” is free of mistakes, it is a big improvement and better than the last several episodes combined that came before it.
#5. S1E06 “The Endless Thirst”
Well, that escalated quickly. It’s hilarious how the townspeople go from a little worry about resources running out to plundering the grocery store, to almost killing each other over a loaf of bread and back to helping each other out, all in the span of a few hours. Angie almost being raped, Rose’s head being smashed in, Norrie stealing insulin from a kid - for the first time there’s a sense of urgency and danger present.
#4. S2E09 “Red Door”
If only every episode was this exciting. Splitting the location with the outside world is a breath of fresh air, resulting in the show’s best episodes (the snoozefest that was 2.08 aside). It’s such a shame we didn’t get to see more of it. Featuring Rebecca as little as possible also contributes to making ”Red Door” one of best episodes.
#3. S1E01 “Pilot”
It did a fairly decent job at introducing most of the characters but it felt rushed and oddly paced at various points. Some of the problems could have been avoided had it been a double-episode, e.g. the dome comes down too soon. It would have been nice to see more of the characters before it happened. While it wasn't a spectacular pilot, it hit all the right marks to make me want to tune in again.
#2. S1E05 “Blue On Blue”
One of the most annoying characters is disposed of, prior to that there’s a pretty great montage to Skeeter Davis’ “End Of The World”, Angie eventually makes it out the shelter and there’s also dome-related drama. While it was obvious that the town would survive MOAB, it was good to have a crisis that revolved around the dome and involved the entire town and not just Joe and Norrie.
#1. S1E12 “Exigent Circumstances”
R.I.P. Dodee, you ‘ll be missed. She was one of the few characters who were actively looking for answer at this point in the show and it was sad that she was disposed of this early on. Junior questioning his father is always a good thing, and so is Angie and Barbie teaming up. Things move along quite nicely which creates some great momentum for the season finale which still holds the honor of being the worst episode of the show.


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About the Author - Mark A. Ondo
21 y/o Austrian. Music lover, avid TV watcher, cheesecake muncher and pseudo writer. His taste in television is as eclectic as it gets and he dedicates more time to fictional characters than he would like to admit. He currently reviews Nashville and Last Man On Earth, writes about various shows in Mark's Remarks and creates Best-Scene Polls for Grey's Anatomy.
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