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Under The Dome Season 1, Episode 5

Under The Dome Season 1, Episode 5

under-the-dome-blue-on-blue‘Blue On Blue’

This week the town of Chester’s Mill took a trip down education lane and learnt a new word called MOAB. Easily confused with the biblical strip of land in Jordan, but certainly not to be confused with the city in Utah, MOAB provided the central focus for this week’s episode – that being the ‘mother of all bombs’. Could it be that Under the Dome is finally getting exciting? Well, let’s not jump in with the weighty adjectives just yet but it has started taking baby steps in the direction that leads to excitement town.

We begin with Big Jim and Angie as we left them last week. Confused as to why Junior would lock a girl up in his bunker, and trying to bide himself some time, Big Jim decides to leave Angie where she is, a decision that doesn’t go down well. With a scream that piercing, it’s surprising Angie doesn’t shatter the dome herself…that girl has some serious lungs on her.

Far away from Angie’s shrieks though, it’s all smiles for the townsfolk as the military return to the outer dome perimeter, bringing coach loads of the residents’ family members with them for ‘visitors day’. Whilst the residents try to communicate with the people on the other side of the dome, something akin to a game of Pictionary and Charades rolled into one, a couple of ‘big’ things happen. The first of which is Linda having to tell her fiancé that his brother is dead – something that would have had more impact had it not involved dodgy lip-reading and scribbling on an iPad.

The second big reveal involves Julia, who’s greeted by her sister-in-law brandishing a letter from Peter before he disappeared. Julia, despite her flaws, must be the quickest reader in the world because that letter was too long to read that fast. But then she is a journalist, or so she keeps reminding us. The letter said that Peter was sorry and that Julia deserved better, something that ultimately seals Julia’s belief that her cowardly husband had run away.

Meanwhile Barbie, who’s been staring at the military with his best blue-steel pose, gets suspicious as to what is really going on outside the dome. After getting word that the military are once again heading out, with people’s loved ones in tow, a soldier reveals to Barbie that the military are being told not to go back to the dome. Uh oh. Things are about to hit the proverbial fan.

This all ties in rather nicely with barmy Rev. Coggins, who keeps hearing the word ‘MOAB’ in his ear, which he believes is God speaking to him (though it turns out to be military radio interfering with his hearing aid). Thinking that he’s the Lord’s trusty disciple, Coggins tells Big Jim that he has to confess his sins to the town or he’ll do it for him. Big Jim isn’t one for ultimatums so this was only ever going to end one way for the Rev.

Ex-military boy Barbie is on hand to decipher the MOAB riddle and warn people that the military are planning on detonating a massive ordnance air blast on the dome. When asked if the bomb will work, Barbie answers yes…and it will kill them all too. There’s really very little to explain why the military think a MOAB is a good idea, apart from the fact that a flight of butterflies is attracted to the dome, thus signaling a change in their migratory patterns or some similar nonsense. Apparently this is cause enough to attack the dome with a missile. Logic, are you there? The butterfly scene is pretty, showing what the series is capable of doing with CGI, but it’s all too fleeting and, as ever, there’s not enough explanation behind the actions/reactions.

With the threat of obliteration nigh, Big Jim orders the town to take shelter in the underground cement tunnels and he releases Angie from her shackles, saying she might as well die a free woman. Oh Jim, you crack us up. When he tells Junior that Angie is gone, a frantic Junior flees to find her. Having not seen his sister since before the dome arrived, Joe is also searching the streets for Angie but Junior finds her first. As the townsfolk shiver in fear to the sounds of Skeeter Davis’ ‘End of the World’ (because that’s not depressing…), Junior apologizes to Angie for his actions and Joe and Norrie kiss at the exact moment the missile hits the dome.

Do they all die? Of course not. The missile destroys everything in the immediate vicinity, but the dome and its inhabitants remain untouched. The fact that Under the Dome is chained to one location means they simply can’t fool viewers into believing that everyone could actually die. You know from the beginning of Blue on Blue that no harm will come to the characters – which makes for an anticipated anti-climax. The surprise comes in the form of Joe and Norrie kissing and not having a joint seizure… What does that signal for the future and did it have anything to do with the missile? Questions, questions.

The final scene sees Big Jim put an end to Rev. Coggins – as we knew he would – and it’s bye bye to the Reverend as he bleeds from his ‘talking’ hearing aid and hello to hell for Jim, who’s well and truly crossed into devil territory.

You can see that Under the Dome is attempting to rise up from beneath the clichés but it still has a long way to go until it becomes good TV. The comedy is here to stay, with more giggle-worthy moments than heart-stopping ones, but it looks like there might be light at the end of the tunnel. Words, prepare yourselves, you might just get eaten next week.

★★★

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