The first six episodes of Under the Dome focused on the developing evil in Chester’s Mill. Characters like Reverend Coggins, Big Jim Rennie, Junior Rennie, and other assorted thugs gave a sense that the innocents trapped beneath the dome were locked in a zoo of chaos and brutality. From Angie’s victimization at the hands of Junior to Big Jim inflicting his will on everyone, to the death of Rose at the hands of bat wielding thugs, there has been a great deal of evil in Chester’s Mill. “Imperfect Circles” reminds viewers that there is good under the dome as well, as selfless acts of compassion are coupled with profound loss to form a great and painful hour of television.
It seems the Dome has officially become a character. It interacts with the cast, seems to have motivation and purpose, and is a constant presence. This week, Joe and Norrie discover a second dome, a tiny structure located deep in the woods right in the center of the dome event. Its purpose is not clear, but its existence is chilling and mysterious. As Norrie touches the mini-dome, an image of her mother, Alice, appears before her. Meanwhile, Alice’s delicate diabetic condition makes itself known at the worst possible moment.
As Norrie races back to find her mom, Alice, a doctor by trade, is delivering the baby of a friend of Julia’s…a baby that is coming way too early thanks to contact with the dome. As Samantha goes into diabetic shock, and Julia, Barbie, and Alice’s wife Carolyn gather around to assist the birth, viewers are made keenly aware of just how vulnerable these good people are. Alice, cut off from her life saving insulin, is helping a mother who has no other source of modern medicine. As Alice guides the birth while dying, for the first time, the goodness that exists beneath the dome feels like it is greater than the evil that viewers have endured for the first six episodes.
Speaking of evil, the two bat wielding thugs that murdered Rose last episode are still on the loose pursued by Deputy Junior and Sheriff Linda. Linda is another soldier of order, a good woman who wants to maintain law and civility in Chester’s Mill, but viewers are all too familiar with Junior’s brand of entitled selfish morality. Linda wants to bring the thugs to justice, but when Junior finds out their intent to rape his beloved Angie, a victim of Junior’s rage herself, it is clear that the two murderers will soon be victims of Junior’s fury. Indeed, he kills one in cold blood, saving Chester’s Mill from a source of violence for the moment, but also giving himself a taste of the power that his badge and gun allows him, power that his father is addicted to. One gets the sense this will not be the first taste of blood for Junior.
Readers of Y, The Last Man, Runaways, and Pride of Baghdad know that Under the Dome’s executive producer Brian K. Vaughan is not afraid to break a few hearts to tell a good story. As Norrie begs the dome to bring her mother back to her, as Carolyn cradles the body of her selfless wife, as viewers see the good brought into the world by the birth of little baby Alice, hearts indeed break as viewers are reminded that beneath the dome may be violence, evil, and the terrifying unknown, but there is also goodness and a willingness to sacrifice.
Den of Geek Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars