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Under the Dome Season 2, Episode 8: Awakening

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This episode is something of a mixed bag. It introduces a lot of new elements, but there were parts where it felt like they were padding out the run time a little. A lot of focus is on trying to send communications back and forth across the dome. It makes sense, but hardly makes for gripping television.

I was a little perplexed by Julia's skepticism regarding Barbie being alive. You could argue that she's trying not to get her hopes up, but at the same time, it was made clear that the cliff led to the park, so it feels a little off.

We do get some interesting developments as it is revealed that Barbie's father is interested in acquiring the egg. I'm guessing the government wants it, though to what end, I can only guess. It does act as something of a game changer as there is more at work here than we had originally thought.

In the dome, Big Jim demotes himself to Sheriff. It's an odd tactic that even Junior snarks about, but it does allow him to keep a better eye on the town's populace. He even hands out walkie talkies to everyone for safety. It makes sense at face value, and they do come in handy, though I wouldn't be surprised if there was some ulterior motive behind that. Either it allows him to eavesdrop and keep records, or there is some sort of GPS tracker in them that will let him monitor the "key players" more effectively.

I alluded to Junior snarking before, and he does that quite a bit here. I think I've mentioned my love of snark before, but in any event, it was quite entertaining.

Also entertaining was the final fight between the Rennies and Phil Bushey, who makes a return and is still in heel mode. It was a well choreographed fight. The advantage went back and forth, building up suspense and you really didn't know who was going to come out on top. While the Rennies emerge victorious, I could have easily seen Phil taking out Junior and then Big Jim before he could get free of the cuffs. Seeing father and son fighting side by side like that was kind of cool and it leads to some character development as it looks like Junior is starting to put his hostility aside.

Joe's turn at vlogging was bizarre, but I suppose it's not that out of character. The downside is that I could easily see this being a Chekhov's Gun for a "found footage" episode that is shot entirely from the POV of the camera phone. We'll see if anything comes of that.

Honestly, the biggest flaw this episode has is that it seems focused on setting things up for later. It wasn't bad in the "these plots are stupid, the characters are stupid and the dialogue is awful" kind of way, but it wasn't the most gripping hour of television. It advanced the plot and I'm sure it will pay off later, but it ends up making this episode more forgettable than anything else.

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