Don't Get Mad, But There Are Things About Under The Dome We Find A Bit Hard To Believe


Photo: CBS

Photo: CBS

Up to this point, Under The Dome has rigidly adhered to the tight internal logic, established in its pilot episode, of how life would proceed in a small American town if an enormous dome suddenly and without explanation descended on it and trapped its residents inside. Haha, just kidding, it's been a mess all along, but the latest episode really pushed the limits of what an audience member paying even a little attention could reasonably accept.


So Big Jim (Dean Norris) comes home to find he has a visitor: it's Maxine (Natalie Zea), who appears to be Chester's Mill's answer to Breaking Bad's Lydia Rodarte Quayle, the money behind Big Jim's secret drug operation. Where has she come from -- you know, since THE TOWN IS TRAPPED UNDER A DOME? Oh, she happened to be making a visit on Dome Day and got trapped there with everyone else. Cool, so what has she been doing for THE PAST EIGHT DAYS? Apparently nothing! She found a house whose owners weren't there and haven't been back and she's just been CHILLING THERE rather than emerging to talk to Big Jim before now. There's no indication that she holed up in this place because she was, I don't know, SCARED; she's full of bravado and bitchiness with Big Jim. Maybe she was waiting for the water to be turned back on so she could wash her one dress and underwear, take a shower, and blow out her hair before coming by, and before that she was just reading and possibly journaling her thoughts. After all...

Journaling Their Thoughts Is What Everyone In Town Is Doing, Apparently

The townspeople who aren't in the opening-credits cast are nowhere in most episodes, until a dispute of some sort arises and the cops have to get involved, which happens about once a day as opposed to HUNDREDS OF TIMES A DAY as I have to think would happen in any town where normal life had been interrupted, food and power were basically unavailable, the water supply was disrupted for a significant length of time, and the only authorities are one good cop, a couple of sketchy cops, and a clearly crooked municipal politician. But no, from what we can tell, everyone is treating this CATASTROPHE as an opportunity for a nice staycation and just staying home, maybe tending to their vegetable gardens so that they have SOMETHING TO EAT now that the SUPERMARKET HAS ALREADY BEEN LOOTED, and we know for sure they're not ALL SURROUNDING THE CHICKENS SO THAT THEY CAN EAT THOSE because ONLY THE TWO KIDS HAVE EVEN TRIED THAT FROM WHAT WE HAVE SEEN. Angie (Britt Robertson) has taken possession of the diner, and plans to offer a couple of daily menu options now that Big Jim has worked out a barter deal with WHATEVER FARMERS ARE INSIDE THE DOME AND I CAN'T IMAGINE THERE ARE THAT MANY OF THEM, but why? From what we've seen SHE NEVER HAS MORE THAN ONE CUSTOMER. AND WHERE DID SHE GET COFFEE FROM. Do the rest of the Dome-ites even know the diner is open? I mean, I know the phones don't work, but is the town so big that once everyone ran out of gas or siphoned it for their generators, no one's even walking by to try to LOOT IT LIKE THEY LOOTED THE SUPERMARKET? Or was that one looting just an isolated incident because since then THE DOME HAS ALTERED BASIC HUMAN NATURE as it functions IN SURVIVAL MODE?

Junkies Gonna Junk

Okay, back to Maxine and this "Rapture" business with the drug operation. The point of showing Larry (Evan Gamble) and his CRAZY DRUG TRIP at the start of the episode was so we know that when they're not quietly doing jigsaw puzzles at their dining-room tables (because LORD KNOWS THEY ARE NOT EATING THERE), Chester's Mill residents are taking drugs, so we will understand that Maxine must keep the drug business going in order to supply the town's demand, except why? By definition, there is a finite amount of cash under the dome (no Brinks trucks delivering more; no ATMs to dispense it even if they did); even if Maxine amassed all of it, WHAT WOULD SHE SPEND IT ON? Not to mention, if it hasn't already, surely cash is at least STARTING TO LOSE ITS VALUE? Is she going to start taking payment in trade? WHAT'S SHE GOING TO DO WITH DOZENS OF TOASTERS AND TVs? I guess she's really certain that this situation is only temporary, because she hasn't seen that there will be at least one more season of this.

But Junkies Respect "The Clinic"

After Big Jim manages to disarm the suicidal Ted (Raheem Babalola), he suggests that he be taken down to "the clinic" so that they can try to "sedate him for the night." So just a few episodes ago, people were robbing each other for insulin, and yet none of Chester's Mill's apparently many drug addicts has managed yet to KNOCK OVER "THE CLINIC" and HELP THEMSELVES TO SOME DRUGS? HOW CIVIC-MINDED OF THEM.


I MEAN I CAN'T THINK OF ANOTHER REASON WHY NO MORE THAN FOUR PEOPLE ARE EVEN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. And like, fine, the military tried to nuke the Dome and succeeded only in fucking up the area directly around it (I guess? That's what happened, right?), but then they just GAVE UP? The Chester's Mill residents who might have been on vacation in Europe when all this happened haven't tried to COME HOME? The fact that Domes are just randomly falling onto American towns isn't leading the news EVERY DAY so that people in the rest of the country DEMAND ACTION? The companies that supply the town with consumer goods just CROSSED IT OFF ITS DISTRIBUTION LISTS? People on road trips who didn't hear about all this aren't just DRIVING INTO THE SIDE OF THE DOME EVERY DAY? IT'S NOT LIKE CHESTER'S MILL IS AN ISLAND, or if it is MAYBE THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED AT SOME POINT because I FEEL LIKE I AM TAKING CRAZY PILLS and ALL YOU TIME WARNER CUSTOMERS WHO CAN'T WATCH THIS DON'T KNOW HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT.

  • Sarah

    I stopped watching the show after 3 episodes precisely because of these sorts of stupid things, but my goodness this was HILARIOUS. I'm sorry you had to suffer through the show to write it.

  • MCM

    I am two episodes behind. They sit there on my dvr taunting me to watch them but I just can't. If I didn't have this "television completion" disorder I suppose I would just delete them. It really is terrible.

  • Rico Muscatel

    Thought that was Blake Lively at first.

  • Carrie Snead

    I read this book a few years ago, and am a King person in general, so that's why I've been suffering through this nonsense. The book takes place over the course of about a week, so a lot of these things were non-issues. And while I knew this wasn't a real miniseries, and they were going to stretch it all out in order to have future seasons, I underestimated how badly that would affect the pacing, plausibility, characters, everything. I'm checking out at the end of this "season."

    **Vague book spoilers**
    The ending of the book is junk, like most King endings, but even though I don't expect the series to end in the same way, I do expect that it won't be satisfying. So if you're sticking around just to see how it turns out ... I'd advise against it.**

  • Mike McComb

    I'm a bitter-ender :::pauses to pour one out for Smash::: but I had to drop the show after last night's nonsense. Once it started getting into Majora's Mask territory with the mini-dome/egg unlocking foofaraw, I just couldn't anymore.

  • stacey ann

    What was up with Natalie Zea's eyebrows, did anybody else wonder? Are eyebrows the size of 2x4's coming into style or something?

  • shelwood

    You still had disbelief to suspend after the incident a week or two ago where the water tower gets knocked over by an appliance delivery truck, making deliveries, driven by a guy decked out in full appliance delivery store uniform? How is that a viable business Under the Dome? Why is that guy still going in to work?

  • Helen Suarez

    I get the other stuff being outrageous, but the fact that no one outside is constantly running in to the Dome does have an explanation, they may not make it too clear in the show, but it's implied, and it is made very clear in the book, and that is the fact that the military places a perimeter around the Dome, including making it a no fly zone, making it impossible for anyone to even try and get through, which is why people don't keep running into the Dome in their cars or otherwise, but birds still do hit it, and that is also made clear in the book. The book is definitely more detailed and accurate than the show, but even in the show some of these other things are implied including the Dome being all over the media and the people's outrage over it especially those who have families and homes within the dome. The whole Maxine angle thankfully isn't in the book and yes, I agree that her surprise appearance was ridiculous. I actually liked the book, though I realize I'm in the minority, but I'm a huge fan of King and I take his work at face value and like the fact that his ending wasn't what everyone expected, but it was a good note to end it on and I enjoyed the full story. As for the show, yes due to the producers wanting more and more seasons, I do foresee them stretching this out till it's not just implausible but utterly ridiculous, it's a shame they didn't do the book more justice and choose to just tell the story even if it meant making it a miniseries with no second season.