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How Come Everyone On TV Is One Murder Away From Just Being A Murderer?

By Gabe Delahaye / July 23, 2013 - 11:54 am

My favorite part of last night’s episode of Under the Dome was actually the preview for next week’s episode of Under the Dome when Dean Norris (pictured) shouts “IT CAN RAIN UNDER THE DOME!” This is hilarious for a few reasons, one of which being that it can rain under the dome, but the funniest of all the funny reasons is that everyone he is presumably yelling at is standing in the rain under the dome with him. They can see that it can rain under the dome, Dean. This show’s dialog seems to mostly involve people just telling each other really obvious things that they all already know. “I think it’s a dome.” I feel like we are five episodes in and half of the dialog is just someone saying they think it’s a dome, and the other half is people reiterating character traits about each other for the benefit of an audience who stopped paying attention three weeks ago when the cows stopped being cut in half. “You are a lesbian.” “I am a journalist.” “Etc.” Also featured in next week’s episode is someone finally asking the question, “What do we do when things start running out,” which is actually a question I asked myself this week when they showed everyone just chowing down on massive piles of diner food at the diner, like, the diner never paused to reconsider their portion sizes even though just looking at those plates you know half of that food is going straight into the dumpster. Guys! Be more thoughtful under that dome! (You may recall that Barbie bought a bunch of cigarettes in the first episode for sale on the future black market, a plot line I am eager for the show to pick back up.)

But none of that is what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about today is how come everyone on TV is one murder away from just being a murderer? Join me under the SPOILER after the jump:

So at the end of last night’s episode of Under the Dome, Dean Norris (pictured) murders the crazy priest (not pictured) by pushing his hearing aid against the dome because the dome hates hearing aids. It is probably the most visually interesting thing that happens on Under the Dome since the cows were being Damien Hirsted. (The missile that they shot at the dome last night COULD HAVE been a cool visual but instead it looked like someone taking one of those adult correspondence courses in computer animation had used Mac Paint to insert a missile GIF into the kissing scene, and when they showed the smoke stain on the dome I actually laughed out loud. The post-Apocalyptic wasteland surrounding the dome was OK. But the blood stain floating over the wasteland was the good stuff.)

Now, Dean Norris is obviously a “complicated” character, which is what you call a character that you are led to believe is good who then turns out to be not that good. It was very weird that he wouldn’t let Junior’s girlfriend out of her dungeon for almost 24 hours after he discovered her. He’s clearly kind of a shit dad. He buys propane in bulk for drug dealers to make drugs in the city limits (!!!!) which, once again, how is this city full of drug dealers, skate parks, and freeform radio stations going to be so surprised by a lesbian couple raising a child? But anyway. Sure Dean Norris is “complicated,” but we are definitely not supposed to think that he just goes around murdering people all the time. But, as in almost any TV show, when it is time to murder, the murdering is easy, and the aftermath is not nearly as hard as the pre-murdering now-murderer might have thought. Dean Norris actually SMILES after his murdering and then casually strolls away, happy as a murder-clam.

What?

Look, I know that we all contain multitudes or whatever, and that if you put a bunch of college kids into a fake prison beneath the Rathskeller that some of them will be jerks about it, but how come TV shows always have people committing their very first murder when the plot requires a murder, only to have it seem as if they might as well have been murdering people all the time they are so good at it and so comfortable in its wake? (A similar thing happens on TV shows with guns, where suddenly someone who has ostensibly never even fired a gun before because they were just your run-of-the-mill alcoholic doctor who got stranded on a desert island after a plane crash is shooting at moving targets while running himself and pulling some heavily-decorated-marksman in a covert navy seals division shit.) I know that this show, like all shows, is just a diversionary entertainment to make us all forget, even if for just a brief moment, that we are on a direct path to the grave, but just for once it would be cool if someone on TV hesitated before murdering someone and then maybe after they murdered them there were at least two seconds of that person feeling their soul go through a wrenching transition into the dark depths of nihilism. It doesn’t have to take too long. All I am asking is that we spend one one-hundredth of the time having a character who just murdered someone feel at least a little bit bad about murder as we spent having the journalist explain to the freeform radio DJ why he had to let her on the air even though she had not gone through freeform radio DJ school. I think that’s fair.

Next week: IT CAN RAIN UNDER THE DOME!