{TB Talks TV} Under The Dome: “Redux”

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under-the-domeTweetable Takeaway: This week’s episode of Under The Dome was TWICE as good as the 2 hour premiere because it was HALF as long. 

Airtime: Thursday 9 PM CBS

By: , Contributor

This week’s episode of was TWICE as good as the 2 hour premiere because it was HALF as long. If we can just get this show to stop existing, it’ll be at the top of its game.

At the end of last week, all of the residents of Chester’s Mill stepped out of goo-filled pods where they had been dormant for, I don’t know, a few hours. But to them it had been a year in an alternate reality where the Dome was destroyed and they moved on with their lives. What’s more is that two new principal cast members who are not Chester’s Mill residents were introduced in this dream state, but came out of their own pods at the end as real people.

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Turns out Eva and Christine are anthropologists. They were in Chester’s Mill the day the Dome went up (three weeks ago), and just happened to be looking for fallen meteorites. Because that’s what anthropologists do on terrible CBS shows. They of course found the Egg, and that’s the last thing they remember before being in the weird Matrix-like fake reality, where Christine was acting as the town’s trauma specialist for some reason, and Eva fell in love with Barbie.

Now out of the pods, Christine reveals (to the audience in the most egregiously exposition-y scene in a show basically made up of 96% egregiously exposition-y scenes) that when she touched the Egg, the motives of the perpetrators of the Dome were revealed to her and that she’s now working for them as a kind of double agent in Chester’s Mill.

Eva is still in love with Barbie, and possibly somehow still magically pregnant by him, as she was dating him in the pod dream world. This is clearly going to drive a wedge between the romantic leads Barbie and Julia. But the thing is, Barbie and Julia’s relationship has never been compelling, or even buyable, at all. First of all, they met THREE WEEKS AGO. And Barbie murdered her husband. And she knows that. Julia’s husband WANTED to be murdered so she could collect the insurance money, but STILL. Your husband who you’ve presumably known and loved for years and years gets killed in cold blood by an ex-military man from out of town you just met and three weeks later he’s the love of your life?

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Norrie and Joe’s relationship has always been a little more realistic if only because teenage relationships are supposed to be kind of thrown together and not taken seriously. But now Norrie and Joe’s relationship is on the rocks because in the dream world she changed (she joined a SORORITY, that MONSTER) and started to fool around with Hunter. Here’s my issue with Hunter:

Hunter was introduced last season as the uber-nerdy hacker guy with glasses that Barbie brought in with him from Zenith. But it seems like the writers/casting people realized he was actually kind of a hunk underneath those glasses. And suddenly Hunter is a suave, sexy, confident male lead foil to Joe this season. And Norrie is loving it. That’s the kind of show this is. Characters can change because the network wants a more attractive cast or something.

And therein lies the true problem with the show. It wants to be as complicated in its cast of characters and mysterious mythology as Lost, but you just get the sense the network execs are constantly giving the note to insert scenes or lengthy bits of dialogue so that new viewers can catch up. Next week I may count the instances of a character telling another character something that character CLEARLY already knows, but the audience may need a refresher.

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Anyway, Christine is somehow “changing” people. She seemed to do something to Junior, who went and lit his dad’s house on fire and walked away whistling. Big Jim saw this and warned Julia that the people who were in the pods came out different. It certainly seems so, as the episode finishes with almost all of them standing together, looking up at the moon. I think it’s supposed to be ominous, but it’s just confusing. What’s up there? Are they really just looking at the moon because… it’s full and pretty? Or are they under some sort of spell? Either way, it did not make me eager for next week.

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Paul co-created and writes for SHOWoff, a game that lets players predict what happens next on their favorite TV shows, earn points for what they get right, and see where they stack up against friends and the world (free in the iOS App store).  Check out the SHOWoff app at playSHOWoff.com
Twitter: @paulgulyas
Tumblr: paulgulyas.tumblr.com

Keep up with all of NAMES’s Under The Dome reviews here.
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