Under The Dome: ‘The Fire’ Review

Hot In Herre

Cut in Half Dude
“Dude, where’s my body”?

Welcome back Dorphans! Under The Dome’s second episode, titled “The Fire”, had a lot to reveal! While I enjoyed this episode a great deal, I am still waiting for the writers to dive deeper into the residents of Chester’s Mill! The book focused greatly on the characters and their stories and how their pasts influenced the decisions they made once the Dome came down! So far, the TV series has not done this, but I am hopeful that we will be learning a great deal more about these people in the not-so-distant future. Also, before I get into the episode, for those that have read the book (and those thinking about reading the book), Stephen King has written a letter regarding the people who are apparently “miffed” that the show is not being true to the book. Take a look here:

http://www.stephenking.com/promo/utd_on_tv/letter.html (for those that haven’t read the book, don’t click as there is a small spoiler that may or may not happen on the TV series– I for one think it needs to happen though and sooner rather than later!)

With that out of the way….. I think Under the Dome could really benefit from Lost’s technique of using…


The opening scene was exactly what I WANT from this show. I remember watching Lost and always anticipating which character they would focus on next! It was that anticipation that had me excited to watch Lost every week which is why I was happy to see this episode begin with a flashback before the Dome came down (and don’t even get me started on the potential for flash forwards). The biggest qualm about this though was that this opening scene was the only flashback we got to see the entire episode, which was slightly disappointing! BUT– the first two or three episodes are needed to set up the plot with the Dome, and that is just as important! So as this show moves forward, I can only hope we see more scenes that take place pre-Dome.

We also got an answer to one of our questions, as a scuffle ensues between Barbie and Peter which leads to….

Peter Shumway Dead
He dead!

…Barbie accidentally shooting Peter. So Barbie did in fact kill Peter Shumway. Now we must ask ourselves: why was he confronting him in the first place and what exactly was he looking to get from Peter (gambling debts seem too obvious)?

This episode also reveals that Barbie had lost his dogtags and goes back to the scene of the crime to locate them. Obviously these dogtags have some sort of significance to Barbie and also connect him to the military in some way. More foreshadowing as well when Barbie runs into Norrie at the gas station and tells her to “hang on to that candy bar”. Barbie is smart, he knows that if Chester’s Mill is going to be trapped for a long time, depletion of resources will eventually become a problem (and the cigarettes he bought are not for smoking but rather for bartering). Such a small scene, but so important for the story of this town trapped under a dome.

The Plot Thickens…. but Angie is still an Airhead 

Angie and Junior got more air time this week but not too much happened with them. Angie is a complete airhead in the sense that if you’re locked up by someone who is completely crazy, you probably shouldn’t provoke them by saying you fucked some random dude! In a way, Angie is right though, she is fucking Barbie….. fucking him over completely!!!! Barbie has no connection to Angie whatsoever and now Junior is on his ass all because of Angie! If I were Barbie, I would be PISSED!

I can completely see what the writers are doing with this Junior/Angie storyline (there are obvious metaphors here based on what happened in the book), and I won’t spoil it for any one. And honestly, maybe they are leading up to the events that took place at the beginning the book but are simply going about it in a different way! All I know is that Junior’s character has not come across as I had hoped for up to this point! But with only 13 episodes this season, they better speed things up! At the very least, his conflict with Barbie is finally getting interesting– even if it was all started by Angie. Hopefully we will see less of airhead Angie and more of Barbie versus Junior going forward!

The Reverend

Lester Coggins
“Get ready evrerybody. He’s about to do something stupid!”

This episode introduced us to some new characters as well, the first being Reverend Lester Coggins. We also learned more about the relationship between the Reverend and Big Jim. Big Jim is such a great character for so many reasons. On one hand he is obviously hiding something from the town. On the other hand, he is a controlling, manipulative person as can be seen by the way he talks to the Reverend and lies to others like Linda (i.e. when he was looking in Duke’s office for the propane records). We now know that the Reverend, Big Jim and Duke were involved in something involving large amounts of propane– but we don’t know what exactly they were up too— yet!

Whenever Big Jim talks to the Reverend alone, his tone and attitude completely change. He is a complete dick when it comes to the Reverend, and honestly, I guess we can’t blame Big Jim here. Much like in the book, we have some very intelligent characters such as Barbie, Joe, Julia and Big Jim. We also have some very unintelligent people and I am glad the show is exploring these themes. Lester is a dunce and is the sole reason Duke’s house caught ablaze (unnecessarily I might add). He is someone that usually will complicate Big Jim’s plans even if the intention is to help. Throughout this story, there will be intelligent and unintelligent people making smart and stupid decisions (hmm, doesn’t that sound a lot like real life?, LOL). These decisions will greatly affect the lives of everyone else in town. Lester Coggins is the perfect example and in this episode he is sent by Big Jim to complete a simple task of destroying some propane invoices only to burn the entire house down because of his stupidity.

Paul Randolph (more on him below), who was also introduced in this episode, is another interesting character because of his lack of intelligence, rationality and common sense, and how Big Jim interacts with all of the different townsfolk is something I am very interested in seeing (plus Dean Norris is amazing)! In the end, Big Jim puts out the fire using….

Tractor Fire Fight
“Fire? No problem… I’ll just put it out with a FUCKING BULLDOZER”

…A BULLDOZER??!! Ummm…. W.T.F. That part of the episode was a bit silly if you ask me! But the fire scene was important…. not because we got to see them put the fire out (that part was, quite frankly, the worst part of the episode) but because it now makes Big Jim look like a hero to the townspeople (and I am still questioning his motivations in getting rid of that house– he didn’t know Coggins had found the evidence at that point). My thoughts are Big Jim was not trying to save anyone but himself here!

Glass Waterfalls and Bouncing Bullets

Lastly, THE DOME! I gotta save the best for last! Julia didn’t do much in this episode, but it was cool seeing her bounce the tennis ball off of the dome, very cool visuals there! She also made the discovery at the radio station that Chester’s Mill is in fact under a dome, that the dome is not radioactive and the military is not involved with the dome’s sudden appearance. She also makes this known to the residents of Chester’s Mill over the airwaves! I like Julia in the sense that she doesn’t take shit from no one! You go girl! Fiery redheads are BIG in 2013 (see Ygritte on Game of Thrones, Jessica on True Blood). So while the townspeople are questioning how they are going to continue breathing living under a dome, Joe is off with Benny at the Dome making discoveries left and right….. especially this BIG ONE:

Water thru the Dome
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Joe”

Apparently water can go through the dome, but only small amounts…. like a strainer for pasta! I guess that probably explains why they can breathe still! I really love what they have done with Joe and Benny– they almost represent the viewer in a way, trying to find out anything they can about the mystery of the Dome! While I find some of Joe’s lines to be so cheesy at times, we gotta remember these kids are 13-14 years old! So even when Joe makes that line about Barbie “being cool”, it is probably sincere, and probably something a real 13 year old kid would say!!!! Plus he’s teamed up with Bennie, the stereotypical stoner kid 🙂 and their conversations almost always amuse me! Did anyone else catch the Beetlejuice reference at the beginning?

Draw a Door
“Dude, I think you gotta knock three times before it’ll open”

Now with this discovery, I’d like to think that maybe if they got a littttttle bit closer to the Dome, they might actually be able to talk to people on the other side? This is something I hope they explore further!

And finally, at the very end of the episode, we meet Super Douche…. I mean Paul Randolph (Note: His name was Peter Randolph in the book). This one is going to be an interesting character– at least I hope. And with the absence of Andy Sanders (another major character in the book who doesn’t seem to be in the show whom I WISH was included and played by Chris Bauer who plays Andy Bellefleur on True Blood), I can only hope they do some interesting things with this one. He already got in a bit of a tiff with Linda when he suggested she was not his boss! And then…. after the fire, probably not the best idea to do this in front of the entire town:

Shooting the Dome
R. Kelly’s ‘Trapped in the Dome’ “…and then I PULLED OUT MY GUN”

Not the smartest move scaring the crap out of everyone in an already unpleasant situation… but hey, at least the guy is trying to escape! So he shoots at the Dome and the bullets ricochet off and hit Freddy Denton. At least we now know that bullets cannot penetrate the Dome! Plus we have a new contender for “Lord of the Idiots” now that Paul Randolph has arrived!

I’m extremely curious to see the ramifications of how this ending will come into play next week (especially because this didn’t happen in the book– it was a young child who shot at the dome in the book, which ended up blinding him with shot gun pellets– obviously much much too graphic to put on network television– I only mention these unique differences with the hope that people who haven’t read the book will pick it up because its UNRATED– network television can tend to make things less realistic, which is why I encourage everyone to pick this book up– it is THAT GOOD).

Another great installment of Under the Dome, but I’m not seeing this show live up to its full potential and for that it is actually getting a lower rating than last weeks pilot: 7.5 

That said, I expect things to pick up significantly now that we have established some of the stories! The show will hopefully start to focus more on the characters a bit more while providing us with some flashbacks of residents from the pre-Dome days (fingers crossed!).

As with last week’s “mystery” questions, I’ll continue that trend here as well– No spoilers in the comments please!

(1) What do the seizures mean and is there any meaning to “Pink Stars are Falling in Lines”? Why did Norrie suggest they were all going to die?

(2) What is up with the propane? Why did they need so much of it? Why are Big Jim and Lester Coggins (and Duke) trying to hide this information from everyone?

(3) What is the connection between Barbie and the late Peter Shumway? How will this effect the relationship between Julia and Barbie when she finds out (Obviously she is going to find out at some point, and this is not a spoiler as it wasn’t in the book, just my guess)?

(4) Why did Duke’s pacemaker explode and what other effects does the Dome have on electronics devices?

(5) How will Angie escape? What does Junior have in store for Barbie after the ass kicking Barbie served him up?

(6) The Dome acts like a sieve and water can get through but only in small amounts (which may explain why they are not losing air inside the Dome). Also, bullets are deflected by the Dome. Is there any way to escape the Dome? And of course, the big question—where did the Dome come from? Also, if there are sieve like holes in the Dome, couldn’t they talk through it if they were closer to it?

(7) How will inevitable depletion of resources and the aftermath of the fire effect Chester’s Mill (i.e. the smoke can’t just travel through the dome, even if it appears to act like a sieve)?

I’ll be back next Tuesday for the third episode, titled “Manhunt”! Happy viewing fellow Dorphans! 🙂 Comments and discussion always encouraged, but please no spoilers!!! Cheers!