The death of a character helps slow down the show's pace.
Well that was an improvement over last week. Under the Dome‘s second season premiere did a fairly poor job of resolving all the dangling first season questions and of setting up what was to come in the new season. Thankfully tonight’s episode “Infestation” makes up for where the season premiere failed because there are moments that do a fairly good job of setting up this season’s conflicts and viewer expectations.
Tonight we said goodbye to an actual beloved character. While on a mission to open up the school for Rebecca Pine, who wants to start classes again, Junior finds Angie’s dead body covered in monarch butterflies in the high school hallway. Needless to say he and Joe are distraught. Both boys deal with their grief by seeking vengeance on those who killed Angie. Junior’s first guess is his father because Big Jim has murdered before and Angie was planning on killing him. But following a confrontation with his father, Junior begins to wonder whether or not he, himself, was capable of killing Angie: The night Angie died, Junior got drunk in the police station and blacked out.
Throughout the episode, Joe is consumed with a desire for vengeance and promises to make the person who killed Angie pay. He immediately rules Big Jim out as a suspect because he saw Big Jim passed out on the couch in his living room the night Angie was murdered. Joe and Norrie’s top suspect is the mystery girl from the river. Their suspicion is further supported by the fact that Phil—the town’s new and severely under-qualified sheriff—found a bloody shoe print at the scene of the crime that matches the mystery girl’s shoe. Once Joe brings Junior over to his side, Junior then manipulates Joe into contemplating murder. Junior says that the girl deserves what Angie got and asks Joe, “Don’t you want that for your sister?”
The two of them, accompanied by Norrie, head over to the police station and confront the mystery girl at gunpoint. Junior hesitates to pull the trigger, so Joe takes the gun from him, but Julia and Barbie rush in at the last moment and save the day (of course). Good thing because mystery girl didn’t actually kill Angie.
Overall, Under the Dome handled Angie’s death a lot better than it handled Linda’s death last week because her death actually has an effect on the characters. The show skated Linda’s death. Although the character is not greatly missed, it would still have been nice to see how her death affected each of the characters. This week, however, the writers let Angie’s death slow down the show’s erratic pacing. There was still a crisis that needed to be handled, but the writers did not let this crisis overshadow Angie’s death, and we actually got to see how the people of Chester’s Mill responded to the loss of one of their own.
(I would hate to come off as an Under the Dome apologist, but the argument could be made that the death of a young person resonated with the characters more than that of an incompetent sheriff because, in general, people are predisposed to care about the death of a child.)
NEXT: The caterpillars are coming