Can 'Under the Dome' be jostled to life by the threat of nuclear annihilation?

Under the Dome is the kind of show you want so badly to see succeed. It's based on work from a beloved novelist, Stephen King. The show is helmed by Brian K. Vaughn, master comics storyteller and LOST alum. It features Hank from Breaking Bad, that one guy from Pan Am most people liked, and the redhead vampire from Twilight before she was played by Ron Howard's daughter. Even forgetting all those checked boxes, it premiered in the summertime. There's not much else to watch! It sort of has to be good!

But outside of a solid setup pilot and a stray intriguing moment or two since, Dome has settled into a mostly predictable, and somewhat disappointing, routine. In episode two came the FIRE, followed by a MANHUNT and then a meningitis OUTBREAK. At least two of those events were made worse to be contained under a giant dome, no question, but for the story they dug up -- they really could have taken place anywhere, in or out of the show's setting. So the question becomes: why are we even watching? We signed up for weird, wacky shit taking place under the banner/dome of a fascinating concept. Standard-issue human drama feels even blander when you think about the kind of stories you could be getting.

So really, it's sort of nice that the US government fired a "Mother of All Bombs" missile straight at the Dome tonight and, even if they didn't destroy the thing as intended, made life a whole lot more complex and emotionally jarring for the people inside. Where are we now?

  • An entire town of people has just felt (or watched, in the case of Linda, Barbie, and a few others) their deliberate destruction by a government with which they no longer have any kind of physical connection.
  • To make matters worse? The dome is now surrounded on at least one side by scorched earth, with no land or even civilization nearby and the stark reminder that Chester's Mill residents are now hopelessly alone.
  • Big Jim killed a guy, deliberately! Driven over the edge after witnessing the ruin on the other side of the Dome or just tired of the guy's demented ramblings, Jim ended things for his preacher buddy.
  • Having witnessed the near end of the world, Julia is now that much more likely to fall into bed with Barbie, the man who killed her husband.
  • The teenagers finally kiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssed

None of which is to suggest that the episode in question, "Blue is Blue," was actually any good. No way! But maybe now, a warhead having exploded on the Dome, Dome will finally, really start to get interesting. Like the residents of Chester's Mill, a lot of us just feel sort of stuck with the thing at this point.