TV Review: Under the Dome – 102 – “The Fire”

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This week on Under the Dome we were introduced to Lester Coggins and Big Jim’s duplicitous nature while Linda got a new house and Chester’s Mill lamented their lack of a fire department. Read on for my review of the episode and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, tweet me @ObsessiveViewer and like the site on Facebook.

MAJOR SPOILERS WITHIN. BEWARE.

My friend (and Obsessive Viewer Podcast cohost) Tiny said he was having a hard time getting into the show. He isn’t too crazy about the changes the show has made from the book. He has been subsequently fired. Not really, but it is a common complaint amongst King fans. To each their own, though. King released a statement saying “If you loved the book when you first read it, it’s still there for your perusal.” Check out his full statement if you’re unhappy with the changes.

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 8.24.13 PMDean Norris was fantastic this week. The way he switches between Big Jim’s two sides has a fluidity to it that I think lesser actors wouldn’t consider. One moment he’s a kind-hearted politician guiding the town in the crisis, in the next breath he’s a threatening son of a bitch.

This week Big Jim played off of Reverend Lester Coggins. Lester (played by Ned Bellamy, who you may recognize as a guard in previous Stephen King adaptation The Shawshank Redemption) has been colluding with Big Jim in the mystery propane drops.

This week we got a hint at the use of the propane when Big Jim accused Lester of using drugs. Lester didn’t deny it, saying it was judgment day. Given the rest of the episode, I’m really looking forward to Big Jim and Lester’s interactions. Lester is a liability to Big Jim, though, so the dynamic between them is going to be fairly tense. When Jim heard Lester in the house, there was a moment where he did nothing. It was a nice look at how much of a heartless bastard he truly is, willing to sacrifice a loose end in a despicable way.

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 8.23.00 PMBut enough about Big Jim and Lester. Let’s discuss Barbie. Dale Barbara had another, more violent, altercation with Junior Rennie. Junior, believing Barbie to have slept with Angie, followed him to a cabin and the two fought a bit. I like the way this pair is being handled. Junior is a love-struck psychopath, I think before the end of the season, he’s going to snap.

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 8.30.59 PMAngie told Junior she slept with Barbie. It revealed a bit about Angie’s character that she would say something purely out of spite with no regard for others’ well being. It seemed true to the character. I’m curious how the rest of her containment will play out.

Barbie spent a portion of the episode searching for his lost dog tags. In the process, we got some information about the mysterious death of Peter Shumway. I’m back and forth when it comes to this. I feel like they played their hand a bit early by revealing the circumstances of the death. But there’s still a lot we don’t know. So I can’t complain too much. I really like that the gun was empty. It looks like Barbie will have to carry more guilt as he gets to know Julia better.

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Joe McAlister and Ben Drake did some research with the dome. I don’t know where this will lead them, but finding the dog next to the bloody legs of its owner was a nice touch that felt like classic Stephen King. They learned that water comes through the dome, at least a little bit. That means air must as well. Paul Randolph will feel foolish when that information comes to light.

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 8.26.30 PMThe fire that the episode’s title references was in the house of the now deceased Duke Perkins. It was a nice moment that showed the community coming together. More importantly, it gave Big Jim a chance to help save the day and make sure everyone noticed. He pretty much pushed Linda out of the way to get the spotlight.

Paul freaking out was a great way to end the episode. I really hope the series continues to play up the community aspect of the story. Introducing and then killing off Linda’s brother-in-law was a welcome surprise too.

All in all, it was a good episode. I’m looking forward to next week. What did you think of the episode? Comment, Tweet or Facebook me. And read the rest of my Under the Dome reviews here.

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Parting Thoughts

  • I really want to believe that Ben Drake drawing a door on the dome was a Dark Tower reference.
  • I wish people would conserve their damn resources. It’s freaking me out a little.
  • Barbie stockpiling cigarettes was a great touch. I like that he’s thinking ahead.
  • Barbie telling Julia he found the dog tags in the bathroom was stupid and maybe bad writing since he already gave himself a good alibi earlier in the episode when he told Julia they were probably in his car.
  • Joe should probably start wondering where his sister is pretty soon, right?

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7 responses to “TV Review: Under the Dome – 102 – “The Fire”

  1. i retweeted it for you! some of the changes from book are annoying some like what junior does to angie in book make sense as they wouldnt want to show that on network tv I like how the reverend is an evil guy ! Jim Rennie is a great character and Angie is very weak and selfish

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    • Thanks Steph! I can understand people disliking the changes. I finished the book a couple weeks ago, so it’s really fresh in my mind.

      I really like the way certain things from the book are being introduced, though. I don’t know if they will serve the same purpose as they do in the book, but I thought mentioning the dog tags at all is very telling.

      I really wonder if the show had been made for Showtime, the Junior Rennie storyline would’ve been more in line with the book. It’s a really dark plot. I like the captivity aspect of the show’s version. But the darkness of the book is better. There are ways the show can resolve it that would be very cool and dark, but I don’t know if they will or not.

      Like

  2. Weaker than the first but still not bad 😀

    Like

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