Pilot

My favorite part of last night’s episode of Under the Dome was actually the preview for next week’s episode of Under the Dome when Dean Norris (pictured) shouts “IT CAN RAIN UNDER THE DOME!” This is hilarious for a few reasons, one of which being that it can rain under the dome, but the funniest of all the funny reasons is that everyone he is presumably yelling at is standing in the rain under the dome with him. They can see that it can rain under the dome, Dean. This show’s dialog seems to mostly involve people just telling each other really obvious things that they all already know. “I think it’s a dome.” I feel like we are five episodes in and half of the dialog is just someone saying they think it’s a dome, and the other half is people reiterating character traits about each other for the benefit of an audience who stopped paying attention three weeks ago when the cows stopped being cut in half. “You are a lesbian.” “I am a journalist.” “Etc.” Also featured in next week’s episode is someone finally asking the question, “What do we do when things start running out,” which is actually a question I asked myself this week when they showed everyone just chowing down on massive piles of diner food at the diner, like, the diner never paused to reconsider their portion sizes even though just looking at those plates you know half of that food is going straight into the dumpster. Guys! Be more thoughtful under that dome! (You may recall that Barbie bought a bunch of cigarettes in the first episode for sale on the future black market, a plot line I am eager for the show to pick back up.)

But none of that is what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about today is how come everyone on TV is one murder away from just being a murderer? Join me under the SPOILER after the jump:

So at the end of last night’s episode of Under the Dome, Dean Norris (pictured) murders the crazy priest (not pictured) by pushing his hearing aid against the dome because the dome hates hearing aids. It is probably the most visually interesting thing that happens on Under the Dome since the cows were being Damien Hirsted. (The missile that they shot at the dome last night COULD HAVE been a cool visual but instead it looked like someone taking one of those adult correspondence courses in computer animation had used Mac Paint to insert a missile GIF into the kissing scene, and when they showed the smoke stain on the dome I actually laughed out loud. The post-Apocalyptic wasteland surrounding the dome was OK. But the blood stain floating over the wasteland was the good stuff.)

Now, Dean Norris is obviously a “complicated” character, which is what you call a character that you are led to believe is good who then turns out to be not that good. It was very weird that he wouldn’t let Junior’s girlfriend out of her dungeon for almost 24 hours after he discovered her. He’s clearly kind of a shit dad. He buys propane in bulk for drug dealers to make drugs in the city limits (!!!!) which, once again, how is this city full of drug dealers, skate parks, and freeform radio stations going to be so surprised by a lesbian couple raising a child? But anyway. Sure Dean Norris is “complicated,” but we are definitely not supposed to think that he just goes around murdering people all the time. But, as in almost any TV show, when it is time to murder, the murdering is easy, and the aftermath is not nearly as hard as the pre-murdering now-murderer might have thought. Dean Norris actually SMILES after his murdering and then casually strolls away, happy as a murder-clam.

What?

Look, I know that we all contain multitudes or whatever, and that if you put a bunch of college kids into a fake prison beneath the Rathskeller that some of them will be jerks about it, but how come TV shows always have people committing their very first murder when the plot requires a murder, only to have it seem as if they might as well have been murdering people all the time they are so good at it and so comfortable in its wake? (A similar thing happens on TV shows with guns, where suddenly someone who has ostensibly never even fired a gun before because they were just your run-of-the-mill alcoholic doctor who got stranded on a desert island after a plane crash is shooting at moving targets while running himself and pulling some heavily-decorated-marksman in a covert navy seals division shit.) I know that this show, like all shows, is just a diversionary entertainment to make us all forget, even if for just a brief moment, that we are on a direct path to the grave, but just for once it would be cool if someone on TV hesitated before murdering someone and then maybe after they murdered them there were at least two seconds of that person feeling their soul go through a wrenching transition into the dark depths of nihilism. It doesn’t have to take too long. All I am asking is that we spend one one-hundredth of the time having a character who just murdered someone feel at least a little bit bad about murder as we spent having the journalist explain to the freeform radio DJ why he had to let her on the air even though she had not gone through freeform radio DJ school. I think that’s fair.

Next week: IT CAN RAIN UNDER THE DOME!

Comments (23)
  1. This episode was much better than the ones before it: Junior became more sinister; Big Jim became more sinister; Barbie and Julia became less sinister; Phil the DJ DJ’d; American Sign Language was used, that was fun; but the most interesting part, for me, was that apparently Under The Dome ran out of makeup or something, because a lot of the characters didn’t have the same makeup on as they did in the previous episodes. Notable examples: Phil and Norrie. And honestly, I preferred them without makeup.

  2. Gordon Shumway mos def did NOT go to broadcasting school because she breathed audibly RIGHT INTO THE MICROPHONE when recording her little warning. I learned not to do that in my high school radio class (I went to high school in 1912).

    • Excuse me, I meant freeform radio DJ school. That high school class was the last radio class I took, so I wasn’t aware of the different higher ed options available. I assumed it was all broadcasting school.

  3. Isn’t everyone, by definition, just one murder away from being a murderer?

  4. D’ooooohhhhmmmeee.

  5. (Side note: Gabe, artdork, flanny and I all watched Park Avenue and while it was a pretty interesting documentary of the effects of big businesses on government policies and the large dichotomy between the two Park Avenues in New York City, it was mostly common knowledge for anyone who listens to NPR, BBC, and other more-or-less non-biased journals. I would definitely love to see the reactions of someone who solely watches Fox News when they watch this. It’d be hilarious. But I’m sure they’d shrug it off #likeAtlas)

  6. Guys, would anyone be interested in joining the livechatting sessions that artdork, flanny and I have been doing every Monday night for this show? If so, you simply have to hop onto http://www.mobfd.biz/chat/ on Mondays from 10-11 pm EST. We have fun. Lots o’ fun.

  7. Here is my question, not specific to this episode – the dome is see through right? As in, not just one way? When the federal guys left and everyone was yelling, why was there not more signs? Like ‘hey relax we’re just going away for a bit, bbs’ or whatever.

    Also isn’t the one cop that’s left’s fiance out there somewhere? I gotta think if I was separated from my husband, and there were bullets bouncing off things just killing people willy nilly, I would occasionally meet him at the dome with a sign that say ‘I love you’ or something. Or maybe let’s tape up motivational posters on the outside – just a lot of ‘hang in there’ cat posters. SOMETHING. ‘Oh hey this dome is see through and there is literally no way to ever communicate with anyone on the other side of this thing’ <- quote I'm surprised we haven't heard yet.

  8. I assumed big Jim just let her out of the bomb shelter so he could have it all to himself, but then he was in the cement tunnels with everyone else so what do i know.

  9. why does hank’s bomb shelter lock from the outside? seems inefficient.

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