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Under the Dome Season 2, Episode 2: Infestation

Title card
Title card

Chester's Mill faces its biggest threat yet, butterflies! Lots and lots of butterflies! Yes, it turns out that the magnetism has expedited their mating patterns (pretty sure it doesn't work that way, but whatever, science!) and now there are butterflies all over the place. Even Jim scoffs at the idea when he's first told about it, but there is something of a threat as they are eating all of the town's crops, which are already a limited commodity.

Fortunately, this becomes something of a B-plot as the focus turns to the aftermath of Angie's murder. It's a good thing, not only is the butterfly thing more than a little silly, but the Angie related material was a lot stronger in general. Some of the accusations are flimsy, but seeing as people are upset, it's justified.

It has some kinks here and there, but it delivered a lot more than either this episode's other plot or the previous episode did.

In any event, the characters feel more like themselves than they did before. While Big Jim's reformation seems legit, Dean Norris is still given better material to work with and he retains his status as show highlight.

We don't learn too much about the mysterious girl who Julia saved. She does become the prime suspect, though. From a meta perspective, it makes sense, but the characters really have no basis to pin the blame on her. Even the attempt to pin it on Big Jim felt a little forced, but I guess it had to be done to maintain the feel of a "whodunnit". By the episode's end, it looks like Junior is the likely culprit, but I wouldn't be surprised if the killer turned out to be a character we haven't seen before.

The other new characters don't really offer much more. Sam's OK, they just need to find something for him to do. I'm not crazy about Rebecca Pine. For a science teacher, she espouses some wacky dialogue and her actions don't seem that well thought out. Even her ominous warning that there are too many people and that there aren't enough supplies seems hollow. For one thing, that was made apparent several times last season, so trying to drop it as some major revelation now makes no sense. Beyond that, I'm not sure what she thinks can be done about it.

This episode wasn't great, but it was a significant step up from the previous one. The dome related stuff was silly, but the episode managed to counter-balance that with more character driven material that was much stronger. Hopefully the season can keep the upswing going.

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