Under the Dome Season 2 Review “Heads Will Roll”

Under the Dome Season 2 Premiere 2014 Heads Will Roll 3

In the season premiere of “Under the Dome,” the show sort of pulled off a reboot of sorts, with an assist from none other than the man himself, Stephen King, in “Heads Will Roll.” As those who read the book know, the show went off-book in a variety of places, particularly in regards to the ending, which was changed altogether, in part because the network wanted to keep going, but also because the ending was a little iffy, as can often be the case with certain King books. The plus side was that King not only signed off on this version, he contributed to it, writing the screenplay for the first episode this season.

All in all, it was really enjoyable, as we were introduced to a few new characters, and saw others meet an unfortunate fate. (Spoilers lie ahead: fair warning!) Still others experienced a complete turn-around in their priorities and overall attitude, notably “Big Jim” Rennie (Dean Norris) and his son, Junior (Alexander Koch), who were forced to rethink things as the conditions in the dome went absolutely haywire, and it started to magnetize and emit a alarm-like sound that caused many to pass out entirely.

The new characters included Sam (Eddie Cahill, formerly of “CSI: NY”), aka Junior’s uncle, who has an iffy and somewhat mysterious past that includes losing his job as a paramedic over his alcoholism and being somewhat banished from town and living in solitude by the lake. Then there was the girl who Julia pulled out of said lake, Melanie (Grace Victoria Cox), who Sam helped to save and who clearly has issues of some kind, possibly connected to the dome itself. (My working theory is that she intentionally tried to kill herself- but not recently- but rather, in the past, and the dome somehow resurrected her.)

There was also Rebecca Pine (Karla Crome, of “Misfits”), a high school science teacher who has been holed up trying to determine how the dome works, complete with a diorama mapping it out. She thinks that the dome can be un-magnetized by using copper wire rigged to the tower as a conductor to reverse it, which would stop everything metal from being drawn to the surface of the dome, and hopefully stop the alarms as well.

It ultimately did, but was it really Pine’s theory that caused it, or was it the fact that Big Jim slowed his roll and calmed himself down? We know from last season that when Junior went off the rails, it caused a storm in the dome- or at least seemed to- and that the whole “pink stars are falling” thing was directly connected to his mother- so maybe it’s connected to the entire family as a whole.

Speaking of which, our final major new character introduction was none other than mother Rennie herself, Pauline (Sherry Stringfield, of “ER”), who first appeared to Junior in a dream-like state while he was unconscious, but later cropped up at the end, looking very much alive and kicking- not to mention, still painting. In fact, it would seem she might have predicted some of the events taking place within the dome, if those paintings were any indication.

Not sure what the story is there, but obviously Big Jim lied when he said she committed suicide. Or did he? This is a Stephen King story after all, and as aforementioned, I suspect the girl in the lake was long-dead as well, so maybe the same holds true of Pauline, and she was somehow magically resurrected by something in Chester’s Mill before the dome thing even happened.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the unfortunate losses suffered in the episode, which saw both Linda (Natalie Martinez, also formerly of “CSI: NY”) and Angie (Britt Robertson, “Life Unexpected”) meet their untimely fates. Boo! To be honest, I saw Angie’s coming, the minute King himself cropped up in a cameo at the diner and said something to her. I was like, uh oh, that can’t be good, and I was right. Curse you, Stephen King!

I loved both of these characters, and neither one deserved to die. Then again, not unlike “Game of Thrones,” this show has made a habit of killing off many of the good guys, and letting the bad ones emerge unscathed, for the most part. Granted, Big Jim and Junior have made progress on redeeming themselves, but Linda and Angie were among those who didn’t really need redeeming, and that’s too bad that they are gone. Although, if the unexpected return of the decidedly deceased Dodee (Jolene Purdy, “Glee”) is any indication, maybe they won’t be gone forever. Fingers crossed.

All in all, a solid premiere, and despite the unfortunate fates of some of my favorite characters, a promising one. I’m definitely curious to see where all this is headed moving forward, and though I hope the show doesn’t overstay its welcome, I do think the new plotlines and characters have promise. Hopefully, the show will live up to the new storylines King has interjected, and lead to a more satisfying conclusion.

What did you think of “Under the Dome”? Are you happy with the new direction the show is going in? Were you relieved that Barbie was saved? Were you surprised by mother Rennie’s return? What do you think was up with the girl in the lake? Or Sam, for that matter? Were you sad to see Linda and Angie go? How do you think Angie’s death will sit with Junior and Angie’s brother, Joe? Who did it, for that matter? Will Angie and Linda return? (Actually, Linda already did!) Do you think it was Pine’s theories that saved the day, or Big Jim’s change of heart? Or a little of both? What do you think will happen next? Sound off below, and I’ll see you next week!