Oh, "Under the Dome." You crazy, magnificent bastard. You're like the uncle who shows up every Thanksgiving with a sack of pigeon carcasses and a cheery toothless grin. Frightening, unnecessary and potentially dangerous to your well-being, but he's so much fun you keep inviting him over every year.
And you've been on a roll lately- ever since a handful of characters were jettisoned outside the Dome and into the harsh conditions of human civilization, you've been playing fast and loose, and upping the insanity every week.
Now, with "The Fall," and the relocation of all those characters back within the Dome's confines (sans Lyle, but Lyle is either dead, escaped, or trapped in some horrible inter-dimensional portal), a question must be asked. Can "Under the Dome" be just as silly-stupid-wonderful without the outside world's involvement?
The answer is a definitive "kinda, yeah."
"The Fall" doesn't start off particularly well. Big Jim goes a little loony when he sees his long-dead wife Pauline alive once more and breaking into his house, but he adjusts fairly quickly (boooooo- always err on the side of kill-people-crazy, Jim) and moves on.
It's at this point that we're introduced to the latest threat to Chester's Mill: unseasonable winter.
Like all other threats to Chester's Mill, it's less a real threat, and more someone saying "hey, it's a little chilly out today" and then the brave Chester's Millians arming themselves and screaming about the coming nuclear winter.
But lucky for us, "The Fall" introduces this new, harrowing plot device only to immediately throw it away and focus on something else. Thanks, "Under the Dome." If you did that intentionally, we appreciate it.
The real issue this week is that big pink egg, and every single charcter's race to retrieve it.
Barbie and Julia are planning to trade it to the evil authorities, for the safe passage of the Chester's MIll population. Big Jim is planning to trade it to the same evil authorities, for safe passage of Junior, himself, and now his wife, probably. Joe and Norrie want the egg so they can give it back to Barbie, who will do the thing we just specified above.
Now, given that all these people want the same object for nearly identical reasons, this would be the perfect opportunity for "Under the Dome" to reign things in and give us an hour that's all focused around a single Easter Egg hunt.
Instead, "Under the Dome" hobbles itself by trying to flit between far too many separate egg hunts, without connecting any of them in any meaningful way.
As a result, "The Fall" is unfocused and a little on the dull side. At least, until around the halfway point.