Under The Dome -- The Dome
A bit different from the book
I read the book over three years ago, so I'm a bit foggy on some of the facts from the book, which may be a good idea. I'm kind of viewing the show as if I hadn't read the book. The book is 1100 pages and I bought the hardcover version, so I almost got carpal tunnel trying to read it the first time, but I did thoroughly enjoy it.
The Barbie character [who I always joked while reading it, "Barbie? Where's Ken] has been changed a bit. I didn't remember in the book him burying Julia's husband and that's because he didn't. It killed me the way they called him, "Baaarbie." It still cracks me up. And Junior has been definitely watered down. No dead girlfriends in the meat locker that's no longer working, if I recall correctly. Maybe I'll try to get through the last Fifty Shades book so I can give Under The Dome a reread.
Anyway, Chester's Mill is having an average day. Only there's a man burying another man in the woods. The man burying the body is Barbie and the man he's burying is Julia Shumway's husband. After finishing his grim task, Barbie heads for the town line to get out of dodge.
As he heads toward the town line, Sheriff Duke and Deputy Linda are heading in the other direction and Duke takes notice of Barbie's car as they go on their way. Deputy Linda is engaged to fireman Rusty.
Julia gets called by a woman reporting that she's been seeing a lot of propane being brought into Chester's Mill. She tells Julia if the story comes of something, she's to keep her name out of it. It seems Big Jim and Sheriff Duke are involved in some shady business involving the propane.
Waitress Angie finishes having sex with Big Jim's son, Junior, then tells him it's been great summer fun, but it was just one of those things. Junior doesn't take that well and declares his love. Angie isn't impressed and heads out the door.
At the town line, Barbie isn't watching where he's going and crashes into a pasture of cows. That's when the ground starts shaking all over town. Barbie stares in horror as a cow is sliced in half with one side falling outside the dome and one falling inside. I saw people online complaining that the innards of the cow weren't real enough, but it looked real enough to me to gross me out. I think the cow was the best horrible moment of the entire episode.
Barbie meets up with local teen Joe as they watch a plane crash into the top of the dome. The fact that plane debris is able to fall through it seems to indicate the top may have holes in it, which I think differs from the book, since a big concern was air pollution and the people running out of oxygen eventually if they didn't discover a way to breakthrough the dome. Although some are saying the plane crashed from inside the dome, but to me it looked like it was from the outside.
News spreads through the town that they're trapped. Big Jim heads to the local radio station to hijack the airwaves to announce what's happened and to tell people not to drive their cars. Two women and their daughter, Norrie, hear the announcement and are about to ignore it when they see a truck smash into the dome right in front of them. Norrie suddenly starts convulsing on the ground in a seizure as she begins to say something like, "The pink stars are falling in lines." Meanwhile, Jim's little announcement stops his son Junior from either killing himself or self-mutilating himself with the knife he carries because of Angie's rejection.
Julia and Barbie meet up and find a woman who got injured when the dome came down and rush her to the hospital. The hospital is filled with injured people and Julia discovers her doctor husband is missing. Joe and Angie realize their parents are trapped outside of the dome. And Linda and Rusty touch their hands to the dome as they realize he's trapped outside of it while she's trapped within it.
Outside the hospital Junior watches Angie talking to Barbie and gets jealous. He approaches Barbie, but is interrupted from whatever he might have planned to do to him. He ultimately settles for going after Angie, instead. When she comes home he attacks her, but unlike the book she survives the attack to find herself locked in Big Jim's underground fall-out shelter. Junior is going to keep her his own private little girlfriend. Guess necrophilia was a little too much for CBS to handle.
Julia offers Barbie a place to stay for the night and he sees a picture of her missing husband. It's none other than the dead guy he was burying before the dome came down over the town. That's something else I think was changed from the book. Wasn't Barbie the cook or dishwasher at the local diner or was it a bar? I really need to re-read the book.
Meanwhile, Joe is trying to discover what might be the power source for the dome, when like Norrie he falls to the ground and has a seizure. He starts saying the same thing she did.
Over at the town line, Sheriff Duke and Deputy Linda are wondering why this has happened to Chester's Mill. Duke suggests that maybe it happened because they deserved it. He's about to tell her about his shady doings with Big Jim when he touches the dome and his pacemaker explodes from his chest.
I see a lot of people trashing the first episode and already chortling that it'll be cancelled soon, but I enjoyed it. The fact is this is only the first episode. The episode had a lot to accomplish in one episode. they had to introduce us to the characters and have the dome come over the town. If this was a book, it would be the prologue. Now we've met the characters, I'd like to see where they go with it. I'm also not going to hold it against the show because it's changed things and be some kind of book purist. A lot of the changes may have been dictated by the network. I'm just going to go with the flow. Although I do hope this is only a mini-series and doesn't become a series like the show runners seem to hope will be happening.
That may be why they seem to be saying at the top the dome isn't solid, since plane debris fell through, so the whole suffocation issue and air pollution doesn't become an issue and if it's a ratings success, they can turn it into a regular series.