My number one complaint about Under the Dome (out of many) is that it’s almost impossible to feel a strong connection to any of the characters. Many of the characters are so one-dimensional and poorly written. The acting feels stiff, and the writers don’t seem consistent with the dialogue. As always, we have our regular offenders: Big Jim, Junior, and Angie.
This episode, “Imperfect Circles”, showcased Big Jim’s lust for power and raging alcoholism. Once again, he and Ollie are butting heads over vital supplies, primarily water and propane…with 100% more clichéd phrases than before! You’d think that if your town were trapped under a GIANT DOME that your priorities would be slightly different under those dire circumstances. But no, if you’re two power hungry old men like Big Jim and Ollie, your main concern remains your influence.
Junior is, as always, his bloodthirsty and borderline psychopathic self. Ah, some things never change! Due to his obsession with Angie, he goes into full-blown rage mode when he finds out about the incident from the diner. Good thing he’s a deputy with a fully loaded gun!
We finally see him kill a man in cold blood, even watch him tilt his head coldly to the side after gunning the man down. So in case anyone still had any lingering doubts about this boy’s questionable mental state, you can stop wondering now.
Episode seven also gives us yet another glimpse of the Dome’s power: dome-induced labor and hallucinations…a lot of hallucinations. It’s a rough time to be pregnant in Chester’s Mill. In the spirit of clichéd one-liners, when it rains it pours. Not only does this poor woman have to give birth, she also has to get through a carjacking. Way to complicate an already busy storyline. This show needs to just pick ONE dramatic thing at a time and run with it.
So, what do we have so far? Thirst for power, limited supplies, a pregnancy, kidnapping, unrequited love, teen angst…what are we missing? A tiny, otherworldly egg with mysterious powers, you ask? We have it covered! Norrie and Joe are smart enough to discover it in their quest to learn the Dome’s secrets. I half expected the “aliens guy” from the History Channel to pop out of the egg to confirm its origins.
I wanted to leave the saving grace of the episode, the whole series to be honest, until the end of this review. Carolyn and Alice had my heart breaking in both of their major scenes. The first, their intimate dance, took all of my emotions and wrapped them in a warm blanket. The acting, the dialogue, and the close camera angles all worked together to form an absolutely beautiful moment for the couple.
As I said before, when it rains it pours. The moment is shattered by a knock on the door; it’s the entourage of the pregnant woman, Barbie, and Julia. Alice must deliver this baby. She is visibly weak and struggling during the birthing process, but she pushes through and delivers a healthy baby girl. The moment that the woman named her newborn Alice, I knew my heart was going to get hurt. Foreshadowing is a powerful thing.
The scene between Norrie and Alice was pretty emotional. Both actresses really delivered, as did the dialogue in the scene. But it was Carolyn’s goodbye that just shattered my feelings. Once again, the intimate camera angles and genuine acting made for a heartbreaking farewell between my favorite couple on the show. This is the lesson that Under the Dome needs to learn: minimalism can be the best way to send your viewers through the maximum range of emotions.