If all it accomplished was finally getting Angie out of that stupid bomb shelter, “Blue On Blue” would probably qualify as the best Under The Dome episode since the pilot. Fortunately it had a few other things going for it as well, most notably that someone on the creative team remembered this is supposed to be a show about a town trapped under a dome, and that maybe some dome-related drama would be a good idea at this juncture.
That’s not to say the episode was a complete success, however, so we might as well start with the negatives. Raise your hand if you care about Norrie’s parentage issues, or if you think her surprise meeting with her father is even the 10,000th most interesting thing the show could be devoting screen time to in the minutes before a giant bomb is about to hit the dome. I’m going to assume not many hands are raised. And while I was as relieved as anyone to see Angie running up the stairs out of that shelter (especially after being teased with the possibility that Big Jim would go along with keeping her hostage), her scene with Junior at her house had me seriously considering putting my foot through my flat screen. I’m just going to chalk up her sudden turn for the maternal to temporary insanity brought on by impending doom and assume the next episode begins with her shooting Junior in the face with his own gun...except I know we could never get so lucky.
On the plus side, “Blue On Blue” addressed at least a few of my ongoing concerns. We finally got outside the dome, however briefly, to get a taste of what the world at large thinks about what’s going on with Chester’s Mill. (The prevailing sentiment seems to be “Let’s blow up the dome and be done with it,” although People magazine is going with the human interest angle by putting separated lovers Linda and Rusty on the cover.) I could quibble with the logistics of visiting day: It seemed like there were only about two dozen people with any interest in seeing their loved ones (as with many TV towns, the population of Chester’s Mill ebbs and flows depending on the needs of the writers), and Linda’s plan of putting up crime scene tape didn't make a whole lot of sense. You’ve been in there for five days, and you’re just now telling people not to touch the dome?
A couple of positive interactions came out of the visitor’s sequence, however. Julia’s sister-in-law showed her a Dear John letter from Peter, which should mercifully put the whole “Where's Peter?” storyline to rest, at least until she finds out Barbie killed him. (Of course, that won’t happen until after she and Barbie finally get it on, probably towards the end of the season.) And Barbie gains the trust of a soldier, who shares the Army’s plan of firing a MOAB (mother of all bombs) at the dome, probably killing everyone inside.
Most of the population retreats to the tunnels under the cement factory, and although there’s not a whole lot of suspense here (the show would really run out of plot in a hurry if the entire cast were suddenly wiped out), the climactic montage set to the 1962 Skeeter Davis hit “The End Of The World” is well-directed by frequent Lost helmer Jack Bender. (Coincidentally or not, the same song was used in a first-season Lost episode.) The bomb explodes against the dome, rendering the visible world outside a charred wasteland, but doing no damage at all to Chester’s Mill. Everybody lives...except, it would seem, Rev. Coggins, who apparently annoyed Big Jim as much as he annoyed the rest of us. I won’t mourn the loss of one of the show’s most irritating characters; in fact, I have a few more suggestions for Big Jim’s hit list.
Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but for the most part, “Blue On Blue” felt like a course-correcting episode, as if the creative team realized some of their missteps and made an effort to point things back in the right direction. The show still has some huge flaws (I can’t imagine what can be done to salvage the Junior character at this point, but I’m pretty sure that putting him in a deputy's uniform isn't the answer), and maybe it will revert to its “crisis-of-the-week” form next week, but if Angie can get out of that shelter, anything is possible.
- It’s been a while since we got an interesting visual involving the dome, but I liked this week’s butterfly effect.
- It sure is windy inside that completely sealed dome! But then, the previews for next week suggest that dome weather isn’t an impossibility.