by Guest Contributor Olivia Richards
This week’s episode of Under the Dome was, compared to the past two episodes, a significant improvement in the series. Although there were still many cringe-worthy moments, I wasn’t rolling my eyes quite so much at the ridiculous dialogue and sketchy plotlines. This is very reassuring considering the recent announcement that the series was picked up for its second season. There is hope yet!
Once again, Chester’s Mill faces the crisis of its rapidly depleting natural resources. In this episode, “The Endless Thirst”, the water supply is the primary concern. After an appliance truck (conveniently) destroys the town’s only water tower, inhabitants of the small town go into instant panic mode under the dire circumstances. Food and water are now running dangerously low, the townspeople are beginning to riot, and things are looking grim.
Additionally, traditional currency is no longer accepted. I found this to be a very interesting element that the show is addressing. It makes sense that both propane and batteries would now the most valued commodity while Chester’s Mill remains isolated from the rest of the world.
However, in traditional Under the Dome style, there is a dilemma: where will these precious commodities come from? The answer is, of course, Ollie. I was so relieved when we got rid of the obnoxious Reverend, and now we have the stubborn farmer. Fantastic. With all of his obsessive ranting about his property and rights to his resources, shouldn’t he be more concerned with the fact that he too is TRAPPED UNDER A GIANT DOME?! This was major facepalm for me.
Speaking of tired storylines, we have Angie. I have now confirmed that Angie is to Under the Dome as Lucie Manette was to A Tale of Two Cities. Completely useless character? Check. Inability to fight back or use logic or use deductive reasoning? Check. Passing out during the worst possible moments? Double check. This episode also confirmed that Big Jim is the LEAST comforting human being ever.
On a positive note, Norrie really stepped up when her diabetic mother was at risk for a major health scare, tracking down the town’s scant sources of insulin. Norrie and Joe, yet again, had my respect throughout the episode. The crowning moment for these two partners in crime was breaking into what turns out to be the home of a diabetic child, stealing just enough to spare both lives.
Although this week’s episode was a major improvement in my opinion, I still feel like the show, as a whole, is thriving on obvious plotlines and convenient deus ex machina solutions. This week, the Dome accepting rainfall solved the water shortage issue. Next week, will a cow come and slaughter itself so Chester’s Mill can eat?
Will the Dome itself continue to be treated as an independent character? This time around, it was treated like a benevolent force; it brought the town much needed water and provided a sort of filter system during the evaporation process to keep it sanitary. This good vs. evil development could be very beneficial for the series, or it could complicate the plot and take away from the development of the characters. For the sake of the next season, I sincerely hope it proves favorable.