Am I crazy, or was that maybe the best episode of the series to date? Could be both. The demons are telling me it's both. They're also telling me to "kill," which I take to mean they want me to do a good job with this review. Chill out, demons, I can't make you no promises about that.
What an odd series Under the Dome is. I'm about halfway convinced that the whole thing is a Truman Show-style experiment designed to gauge my reactions on a week-to-week basis in an attempt to figure out what the range of my potential reactions is. Might be they're testing you, too; but if I found out they had engineered this whole thing only to fuck with my head, I'd be merely a little surprised.
That's exaggeration, of course, but the unexaggerated fact is that I'm not sure I've ever watched a series that has gotten this sort of roller-coaster of shifting reactions out of me. By all rights, I should have given up on the series after about two episodes. Instead, I was determined to stick with it as long as it aired, no matter what. That's the King-phile in me coming out, of course; and also, I suppose, the amateur blogger. I mean, I've given up on King-based shows before (never did make it all the way through The Dead Zone), so it isn't purely brand loyalty. That's part of it, but not the entirety of it.
The rest might simply come down to the nagging suspicion that the series was capable of better, and therefore might theoretically DO better eventually, if only I stuck it out long enough.
This week? By damn, this week's episode is strong enough that it almost feels like the entire production has been rejuvenated. The acting is suddenly better; the editing seems crisper; the score by W.G. Walden (which has actually been quite good all season) has more heft to it; there's less of the "CBS cheese" that faithful commenter Chris C. has (quite rightly) complained about. We're not talking about an episode of True Detective all of a sudden, where everything clicks to an almost super-artistic degree. But we ARE talking about a series that all of a sudden seem to be showing signs that it might have another gear to shift into. Let's admit it: hadn't we all given up thinking that such a thing was even possible? I admit that I had, even when I was hoping I was wrong.
And yet, here I am, making surprised-face and blogging about it.