‘Under the Dome’ Season 2 Premiere Review – Dome and Domerer

Published 10 months ago by

The cast of Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 1 Under the Dome Season 2 Premiere Review – Dome and Domerer

[This is a review of Under the Dome season 2, episode 1. There will be SPOILERS.]

In this ever-changing world, it is reassuring to know that some things can remain constant. And with its second season now underway, that means Under the Dome has assuredly stepped back into its place as one of the most frustrating and dim-witted shows on television.

Now, there are plenty of programs out there that are unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, but Under the Dome feels like a special case because there’s no reason for it to fail so completely at basic things like plot, characterization, and dialogue that doesn’t trust the audience enough to believe they understand the difference between being unconscious and being dead. On the surface at least, the show has a lot going for it: It’s based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name; it has Dean Norris scowling and yelling at people for whole episodes at a time; and celebrated comic book (and Lost) writer Brian K. Vaughan developed it for television (though he’s now left the series). But none of that helped the series capitalize on an intriguing concept through the first season, and even with King on hand to script the second season premiere, ‘Heads Will Roll’, there is little to suggest things are going to get better any time soon.

Last season ended on a cliffhanger that saw Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara with his neck in a noose, waiting to be executed by Big Jim in front of a bloodthirsty group of townsfolk, while the dome was fulfilling some sort of prophecy about pink stars, after Julia dropped the screeching black egg into the lake. To its credit, the season premiere wastes no time in resolving Barbie’s fate, as the dome’s apparent reaction to the situation in Chester’s Mill sees it tear the town apart through the power of magnetism. At the same time Julia rescues a mysterious young woman who happened to surface in the very lake she dropped the egg into, opening the door for Sam Verdreaux (Eddie Cahill) – Junior’s uncle – to make an appearance.

Grace Victoria Cox and Rachel Lefevre in Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 1 Under the Dome Season 2 Premiere Review – Dome and Domerer

There are plenty of questions swarming around the woman from the lake like: who (or what) is she, why does she walk around like a somnambulist, and how it is that Julia can swim out to the middle of a lake and drag an unconscious person to shore despite having recently been shot? But this is Under the Dome, so viewers already know there isn’t a plot development that can’t be handled through inconsistent characterization or sloppy storytelling. And while it would be nice for characters like Junior or Linda to, you know, be consistent once in a while, and not change their motivation from scene to scene, the episode resolves half that issue by doing away with Linda altogether.

Maybe Linda’s death can be seen as redemptive, considering her arc last season consisted of her being either incredibly bad at her job or having almost no impact on the story whatsoever. At least that was until she decided to join up with Big Jim’s angry mob, only to turn on him in the opening minutes of ‘Heads Will Roll’, so that the two of them – along with Junior and Barbie – could wisely investigate why the dome had knocked half the town unconscious with its pregnant whale sounds. Even though Linda was an ineffectual, poorly drawn character, it was clear Under the Dome wanted to paint her last moments as courageous and noteworthy. Still, despite having all the necessary ingredients for a heroic ending, the series still managed to completely bungle the moment and turn it into something that was surprisingly not underscored by a sad trombone.

But beyond getting rid of a underwhelming character and introducing potentially underwhelming new ones, King seems most interested in setting up a token binary between science and faith that will undoubtedly bring plenty of intellectually stimulating debates to a series where Dean Norris tells a ghost to “shut up and be dead.” Of course, this potential conflict of ideologies requires the introduction of the world’s most underpaid science teacher, Rebecca Pine (Karla Crome), who just happens to be studying the dome’s “contractions” like a metaphysical ob-gyn, and quickly helps Barbie construct a giant electromagnet to counter the dome’s own magnetic rampage. Rebecca may be a goofy character, but at least she has some level of impact on the goings-on inside Chester’s Mill. For Rebecca’s sake, hopefully that will continue to be the case. Still, one can’t help but worry she’ll be reduced to a romantic foil for Barbie and Julia’s relationship.

The kids in Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 1 Under the Dome Season 2 Premiere Review – Dome and Domerer

‘Heads Will Roll’ ends with Julia convinced Big Jim learning the true meaning of Christmas has appeased the dome, while Rebecca is positive it was her insta-magnet that did the trick. But it also turns into the worst game of Clue when the lake girl apparently murders Angie in the high school with an axe. This is in addition to the episode setting up some questions about Junior’s mom; namely, how is it possible that Sherry Stringfield and Dean Norris could end up with a kid that looks like Alexander Koch?

To the credit of Under the Dome, there’s really nothing else like it on television. In order to perpetuate its own narrative, the series must consistently reset itself. So, after a day in which houses are ripped apart, people gather nonchalantly at a diner and eat food that come from who knows where, and Angie just takes the trash out to astonishingly empty trash cans. There is a lack of urgency in these moments that is at conflict with the conceit of the show, and suggests that, while thee is an intriguing premise at its heart, the series still isn’t quite sure what to do with it in either the short or the long term.


Under the Dome continues next Monday with ‘Infestation’ @10pm on CBS. Check out a preview below:

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  1. I like this show a lot for 3 reasons…
    1. There is nothing else like it on t.v.
    2. I enjoy the show for what it is and don’t let problems bother me too much.
    3. I like Stephen King stuff…



    The one thing that bother me was that the magnetism is really strong yet characters are wearing braclets, necklaces, ear rings, rings, belts, etc that are unaffected by the magnetism.

    Also, when Big Jim is s setting up the grenades on the basement shelter door he is doing so because the domes magnetism is compressing outside metal objects onto the door. However, wouldn’t it be difficult to get the grenade to stay on the door with duck time because of the magnetism? I feel like the magnetism would affect Big Jim carrying the grenades to the door.

    Either way ehhh, like I said, I take the show for what it is.

    • I was thinking the same thing about the magnetism issue. I mean it was pulling nails out of a built house. There are countless pieces of metal on clothing (zippers, snaps, etc.) but noone’s clothes got torn to shreds. And no, I’m not saying I wanted to see nudity, but it was just one of those little stick points for me that glaringly stood out. I do still enjoy the show though and was pleasantly surprised by Stephen King’s cameo.

    • The show has lots of those not Logic things going !
      Characters doing all the time stupid illogical things there !
      Stopped watching,good for u if it still entertains you !

    • I don’t watch the show (saw a bit last year, no thanks, I like avoiding crap for the sake of my own sanity) but I wonder what “duck time” is. Sounds fun.

      • Lol!. I meant duck tape!

  2. With everything that thrown from the outside to try to break the dome and outside, at least from the last episodes, grass is still green and sky is blue…
    Who’s writing this show?

  3. Keep in mind, the story in the book spans two weeks or so.(I haven’t read it yet.) I think this time the Network dropped the ball by renewing it. It’s ok to have one season of a show, on purpose. That’s why I started watching it, cause it would be resolved in 13 episodes.

  4. Season 1 was supposed to be one shot about 10 episodes I believe. When they found out they were being renewed,they suddenly were like, crap, we have to come up with more “stuff” . So you got the pink stars and all the other crazy, network we don’t know where to take this show.
    Put this show on AMC or FX, with their much higher quality writers, and you’d have something.
    In my opinion, the most ridiculous, lame, waste of a concept show was Revolution. Painful to watch, and so everyone stopped watching. Defiance is like that on Syfy, and I’ve about given up on Falling Skies, which has jumped the shark (again) with the Hitler youth garbage. When’s Walking Dead, Justified, The Americans, and Game of Thrones coming back ?????

    • I quite liked Revolution, even though it was cheesily patriotic.

      Defiance never looked that good but I’m trying to catch Falling Skies (seen seasons 1 and 2 and just have 3 more episodes of season 3 left before I can start season 4). I like it but it’s just been reeeeeeally slow and just found it weird how two episodes ago, Pope and Tom brawled in the woods for no reason at all after the plane was shot down. It’s like the writers had an episode to fill and put every TV cliche in the episode for the sake of it.

  5. Couldn`t bare watching beyond the third episode, this is just terrible, and i can`t believe i watched Dean Norris` face on such a low quality show…

    • I guess Dean Norris thought the same !
      He was in for a short run then the DOME happened and he could not get out !

  6. Season 2 Premiere episode was very boring!!!

  7. I started out liking the concept of the show but as S1 went out I found the show to be a little over the top and boring. The characters do more illogical stuff than the characters on TWD. The timeline is also an issue because this all happens within a timeframe of 2-4 weeks I believe and all of this could have been covered within the first season. Just a horrible show

  8. Biggest piece of misinformation I ever saw on TV, I wish they would consult with engineers that actually know electro magnetics before proceeding with taping the scene. Please don’t insult the engineering community by showing these gross errors in facts, at least check with Wikipedia, and for those of us who studied electronics and electricity are applaud, I wanted to puke after the first five minutes of air time. Crap, crap, crap….

  9. I wanted to like this show. I really did. I enjoyed the first 7-8 episodes, and then it just slowly bled any interest I had right up until the season end. There are small things that just really irritate me. Supposedly a bomb was dropped on the dome from outside, yet everything outside the dome (roads, grass, trees etc) all look completely normal after that episode. Some of the reactions to being caught in a bubble with limited resources and no explanation just seem so odd. The whole plot where Junior goes from being a outsider and a creep to a respected police officer in about 5 seconds is just plain stupid. It’s like the writers couldn’t make their mind up. One episode they appeared to put their energy into actually working on character progression and power struggles (and those were arguably some of the stronger episodes), and then other episodes they would just go off on some paranormal sci-fi tangent with 3 or more of the least likeable characters in the entire show.

    I’m just not feeling it. There’s no way this show can win me back now. It has passed the silly line and just carried straight on into crazy town (and not in a loveable Eureka way).

  10. I think the only reason they killed different importnat characters and so quickly and nonsensically is because the actors got better job offers or something. This show is so convulsed and weird but for some reason I probably will watch

  11. Selective magnetism…? *cries*

  12. Mike Vogel’s absolutely flat acting has to be the male equivalent of Kristen Stewart.

    And while I know this program isn’t produced by HBO: you’d think the writers and producers could take advantage of Vogel’s good looks by having more shirtless scenes.

  13. How can they sufficiently predictive program us about Agenda 21 if no one’s watching, lol?