Under the Dome Season 1 Episode 3 – TV Review
Mike Vogel does look good behind a gun.
Though I do like how Barbie isn’t as much of a homicidal psychopath as Shelby.
Easier to empathise with.
TL;DR Barbie continues to find himself drawn into helping the town, Rachelle and Juinor go spelunking for an escape route (fruitlessly), Li’l Bro becomes an electricity pimp, and Big Jim inches ever closer to egomania.
He also gets some minorly tragic backstory, but it only proves how nuts he is.
The main plot this episode follows Barbie and Big Jim as they try to hunt down the trigger happy deputy from last episode, who has escaped Linda’s custody. Barbie gets a taste of Big Jim’s true self, while Big Jim figures out that Barbie might be shady as fuck (to be fair, he is). They almost get gunned down by Mr Trigger, but Linda shows up just in time to waste the dude, thus gaining some confidence, as well as some praise from Big Jim. Meanwhile, Britt reminds Junior of some tunnels under a cement factory and suggests he try to find a way out through them (I’m pretty sure she’s trying to get him killed. They’re dangerous). Rachelle follows him, and after they find the dome does indeed go way deep, she uses her journalism powers to get them out alive. Meanwhile, news of Li’l Bro’s generator gets around (thanks, mouthy Asian Friend) and he lets girls use it to charge their phones (kids these days, amirite?). This impresses Norrie (the gay chicks’ daughter).
Li’l Bro and Norrie also get that seizure again.
Yeah, the pace this episode is slower than its predecessors, but we are into episode 3 now. And given this is a Stephen King adaptation, any pace other than zero is fine with me.
I’m still a bit pissed off with the Junior plotline. Beth Broderick makes a passing remark to Barbie about how Britt hasn’t been to work since the dome dropped, but doesn’t seem at all bothered by it. I thought small towns were more snoopy than that.
We also get a truckload of emotional context for Junior. Big Jim, shockingly, is a terrible father. And he tells Rachelle his version of events RE the Barbie fight, which puts a lot of doubt into her mind about him.
I respect that they’re doing an admirable job of building Junior’s character and using him to further the plot, but I just really don’t like him. Subjectively.
It’s a personal peeve. I’ll wear it.
Why I hate this episode:
Norrie is my second most hated character. She is a super bitch, and not the good kind (like Rebekah, or Adalind, or Regina). She flat out lies about everything to Li’l Bro. This includes her being ashamed of her parents and omitting them from her tale. What a shitcunt little brat. Li’l Bro is way too good for you, ho.
Barbie gets shoved into helping Big Jim with his manhunt, then has to suffer suspicion and mistrust. Look, Big Jim, the only other 2 guys you brought with you are incompetent homophobes. The least you could do is cut Barbie some slack. I know Barbie’s just trying to keep a low profile, but I’m pretty sure not rolling around with the dictator of Chester’s Mill so he can spy and analyse you would be a better option.
Rachelle is only now looking through Barbie’s stuff and considering he might not be 100% trustworthy? Maybe she should have thought of that before allowing him to stay at her fucking house.
Asian Friend plays the “Oh, I’m so goofy and fun that I can just shrug off the fact that I told every rowdy teenager in town about your generator” card, but I’m not buyin’ it. Rude.
Speaking of shirking responsibility, Mr Trigger says it’s the dome’s fault that he shot his colleague. In his defence, though, he is a crazy bitch.
Oh, and when Rachelle does go through Barbie’s stuff, it takes her about 2 seconds to find the marked map of Chester’s Mill. If you’re gonna shack up with the woman whose husband you murdered, at least have the decency to put some effort into the deception.
Reasons to watch:
At least Rachelle actually does do and talk about her job this episode. She puts some of her skills to use when she harrasses Linda. And she learned a survival technique that she whips out to save herself and Junior from the tunnels.
We also get her backstory. She says earlier on that she’s in Chester’s Mill for her husband, but her tone makes it clear that it wasn’t by choice. Later, when she’s fighting the dark with Junior, she opens up and explains how she used to be a hotshot in Chicago. She published some unverified documents, got caught, and slunk in disgrace to this boony little town. Aww.
Big Jim tells Barbie a tidbit of his backstory. He got the name “Big Jim” from a bully in high school. In retaliation for the bullying, Big Jim shattered the guy’s pelvis (and presumably spoiled his footballing abilities). Yes, my pet. You have all the evil qualities of a genocidal maniac, and the means to apply them. Do it.
Extra bastard points for his treatment of Junior, who he lambasts for losing the fight to Barbie (instead of, you know, being concerned that his son got beaten up by a full grown man). Big Jim’s a real charmer.
For all her shitcuntery, Norrie isn’t without redemption. She stands up to a jock who commandeers Li’l Bro’s power supply for profit. And the whole “we touch hands, we seize, baby” thing with Li’l Bro has piqued my interest. Imagine what their sex would be like.
The homophobes from the bar get what they deserve when Mr Trigger shoots one of them. I lol’d.
Linda gets best line this episode when Big Jim keeps trying to butt into her business: “Jim, I know you like to control things, but you do not control me.” This is both empowering in the moment, but ironic later. Big Jim’s pat on the back seems to rub off some of his attitude onto her. Ooh.
Asian Friend references The Simpsons Movie. Nice.
Oh, and Britt, while more laidback this episode, hasn’t given up. She was obviously trying to get Junior killed by sending him into the tunnels (he mentions how nobody’s been in there because of some kids who died in them). When he later gets her to patch up his bleeding knuckles, she covertly steals the scissors from the first aid kit. Let’s hope she stabs him the fuck up and gets out of this shithole.