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Under The Dome stepped up its game in Monday’s episode; people died, a baby was born and Big Jim emerged as the anti-hero. Things got awfully grim, like they would on an episode of The Walking Dead. So, while Under The Dome still has some major flaws (as a series), “Imperfect Circles” renewed our hopes in it.

The Players:

  • Director: Miguel Sapochnik
  • Writer: Caitlin Parrish
  • Cast: Mike Vogel, Aisha Hinds, Dean Norris, Colin Ford, Rachelle Lefevre, Natalie Martinez, Britt Robertson, Alexander Koch and Nicholas Strong

Episode Title: “Imperfect Circles”

Big Jim takes matters into his own hands when he feels his authority slipping. Meanwhile, the dome asserts its power when a life is taken away as a newborn arrives.

The Good:

  • The Anti-Hero: Big Jim is by no means a saint, but this Ollie character has turned him into an anti-hero. And Dean Norris makes a great anti-hero. In the first few episodes, he was unlikable because he was too villainy, but now he’s the best character the show has. He may do some questionable things (like killing), but it’s getting easier to root for the guy.
  • Grim Tone: Between the Big Jim situation and Alice dying, last night’s episode was carrying a heavy dose of grimness. But this is a lot better than those sappy endings we’ve been previously fed. This grim tone works a lot better.
  • New Discovery: Norrie and Joe decide to take matters into their own hands by searching for the dome’s nucleus, which they think is responsible for all the strange things happening to them. This time, they don’t come up empty handed. The young lovebirds find a tiny dome with a huge black egg inside. Not much else is shown regarding this tiny dome, but we welcome all new mysteries.

Best Line:

  • “I touched the dome, and think it did something to my baby!”–Harriet

The Bad:

  • The Killings: It’s inevitable that people are going to die on Under The Dome. They’re living with limited resources in an isolated place. But, it’s hard to understand why the writers would kill off a primary character this early on. When people die on shows like The Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones, fans are upset because they care about the characters. But with Under The Dome, the writers didn’t give us enough time to connect to these people. They weren’t fleshed out enough. So yeah, the moment when Alice dies is sad, but mostly it’s a damn shame because she was just beginning to become a real person.
  • Small, Annoying Details: Under The Dome suffers from a very unique problem. It’s a show that takes place under a dome, which means any new characters introduced are going to be under suspicion. Why weren’t they introduced earlier? Why wait till now to show us that they exist? That’s what happened when pregnant Harriet came a-wobbling onto Julia’s doorstep for some yogurt. The only reason why this situation is acceptable is because technically, it’s only been a week since the dome came down. But, how is this going to work in later episodes/future seasons? How are new characters going to be introduced when we’re under a dome here? We just can’t imagine it not being awkward. (Maybe the writers didn’t think this one through.)

Overall:

“Imperfect Circles” focused more on tone and character development than situation, and that makes it the strongest episode yet. There are still a lot of problems, but it’s early enough in the series where they can do something about it and be successful.

Rating: 9/10

Under The Dome airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS.

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What did you think of last night’s episode?