“Just think about it. We could have met every girl we’re ever going to meet.”
The above quote – one of the few considering the consequences of imprisonment – pretty well sums up what Under the Dome is doing wrong. The show is quite happy to consider the question “What is the dome?” but is surprisingly reluctant to approach the question of “What would the dome do to this community?” just yet. Aside from the suspiciously-unshaven cop’s rapid descent into gun-toting panic, the episode mostly focused on small town mysteries – What’s the deal with that stalker kid? What’s the story with Big Jim and the Reverend? Why on earth is the late Duke’s house so absurdly flammable? – that were essentially unrelated to the dome. The subdued tone of the episode, as it ambles from storyline to storyline, was at odds with the heightened stakes.
I expect that the encroaching scarcity of resources and sequestration-induced cabin fever will become more important in future episodes, but I would appreciate more tension than the show’s current atmosphere of growing unease. More events like the fire will hopefully be on the horizon, events whose import is increased by the reduced resources caused by that mysterious dome.