All right, so, I know I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up with Under the Dome recaps this summer. I got sick back in June and fell behind on a lot so the recaps sort of just didn’t happen. But my family lives on Ft. Drum in New York and they are wrapped up in this whole fight between Time Warner Cable and CBS. So, for the sake of my mom and everyone else back home I’m going to do a quick recap now. Because even if they do get back the channel they may not get back the on demand service.
And this is not an episode you can miss.
Not that it necessarily starts you out thinking that it’s all that important. As far as the characters are concerned it’s just another day under the dome. Norrie wakes up Joe so the two of them can go out to the dome and see if they can’t get it to react to them again – which involves some making out against the dome because, you know, of course it does. Teenagers think “Oh, hey, the dome reacted when we kissed and then touched it so… let’s kiss AND touch it at the same time.” Granted, I mean, it’s not like the logic is unsound.
Meanwhile Julia and Barbie doing a little of their own making out. Now that they’re all made up and such they are right into bed together. At least they are until Julia’s pregnant neighbor stops by to see if she has any yogurt. Barbie – because he must not understand small town culture and common decency – makes it very clear what Julia has been up to when he passes by both of them to go down to the sheriff’s office to help Linda keep the town under control. You know that would have been the gossip around town immediately after. I mean, it would have been. Except as soon as this pregnant neighbor leaves this woman hallucinates her sailor husband and walks straight into the dome. Which then causes her to go into labor with the first baby born since the whole thing started.
Back at the Rennie residence, Junior is still trying to talk to Angie but Big Jim kicks him out of the house for good. Things get a bit tense for a moment but he does leave. Junior goes into town to see Linda and go to work and they start tracking down the brothers who killed Rose. He knows them and thinks he can talk them down he and Linda run into them. But, of course, she goes and tells Junior that they were going to rape Angie which basically signs their death warrants. Junior is crazy but that crazy gets channeled right into love.
Angie and Big Jim talk for a moment and then she goes back to the diner to take care of Rose’s body before she goes home. Benny sees the door open and goes to investigate which freaks her right out. But he talks her down, tells her that Jim is okay, and then spends the entire day helping her take care of things. Good on you, Benny. Seriously, though. He is a straight up good kid. Angie asks him to help her bury Rose and he does it without a second thought. And he stays until after dark at the Sweet Brier diner helping her clean up the mess from the looting and the blood and everything.
Big Jim might have thought his troubles were limited to the problems at home with his son but he sure turns out to be wrong. In trying to go out and make good with Ollie – the douchebag farmer with the only deep running, working well in town – he finds out that Ollie took charge of Big Jim’s propane reserves. He goes out to check for himself and sure enough his security man has switched his loyalties and smacks Big Jim around with the but of his gun. Which then pushes Big Jim into a sort of downward spiral into alcohol for a while as Ollie taunts him and lords over him the fact that he controls the water and the propane now. Dude, Ollie. C’mon. Does Big Jim seem like the kind of guy you want to push like that?
Let me take a moment to talk about Big Jim here. So far? He’s not actually been that bad of a guy at all. In the books he turns into some tyrannical leader pretty early on. I mean, the entirety of the book lasts about a week’s time. Shit gets crazy real quick. But so far? He’s reacting to tough situations as they come around. I mean, obviously he has ulterior motives and, yeah, so, maybe he murdered the priest. The guy has to take care of himself still. But all in all he does honestly seem to care about Chester’s Mill and keeping people in line. Honestly, I could get behind him.
Anyway. Back to recapping…
Barbie’s path unexpectedly crosses with Julia and her neighbor Harriet again about twenty minutes into the episode. The two women are on their way to the clinic when the pair of brothers who killed Rose gas jack them and start siphoning gasoline from the van they are in. They take off before Barbie can stop them and he calls in Linda and Junior to continue the chase while he helps Julie and her pregnant neighbor. With the clinic closed they go to Joe’s house where Norrie’s mother, Alice, is struggling to get by without her insulin. Unfortunately, she’s the only doctor left in town at this point. She rises to the challenge though and she starts prepping everyone to deliver a baby on Joe’s couch.
Joe, by the way, is off with Norrie trying to locate the absolute center of the dome. He thinks maybe it’s like an atom. If the dome is the electrons spinning around then he figures it has to have a neutron at the center. They power onward even though Truman, the dog that Benny and Joe found when they were mapping the dome, eventually gives up before they even get close to the center and takes off yelping. Pretty much indicates that they are absolutely going to find something. And they do. Holy crap they do.
At the center of the dome they find something that is very clearly obvious underneath the leaves covering it. Mostly because it sticks out of the ground dome shape a good two or more feet high. They clear the the leaves away and then clear away all the dirt to find a clear dome underneath with a very strange black egg-shaped object inside. They try to give it commands and try to communicate with it but they don’t have much luck. Once none of that works they decide to touch this little mini-dome together. When they do, Norrie sees her mother standing in the woods. The figure doesn’t say anything but some how Norrie knows something is wrong so the kids race back towards Joe’s house.
Taking over for Barbie, Linda and Junior track down the brothers where they are holed up in some old garage or house or something. Both of them are armed and on the look out but of course they never see the cops coming. Linda and Junior surprise them but they make a move to escape. One brother shoots at Linda and she is forced to kill him while Junior takes off after the other. Except, after hearing his brother die and after Junior catches up with him, this other brother surrenders. Tells him he’ll go in quietly. He won’t cause any problems. But of course Junior shoots him anyway. When Linda calls out to him surprised he just says, “Got him.” And then he breaks his father’s rules and goes to find Angie. Not to kill her, just to see her and tell her that the brothers are dead. Of course, you can tell he’s a bit iffy about Benny still being at the diner. And to Benny’s absolute credit he doesn’t leave when Junior tells him to and instead stays by Angie’s side.
Big Jim, meanwhile, is across down in the dead of night making sure that Ollie knows that he’s not going to play his games. While his old security guard is loading up propane into the back of his truck, Big Jim lays in wait with a bottle of whiskey and a hunting rifle. As soon as the man gets into his truck Big Jim opens fire and the whole thing goes up. Later, after he drives away initially, he comes back to find other townspeople looking on at this ‘accident.’ Of course, you gotta think that Ollie knows or will damn well figure out what happened. Still, what can he do about it? Well played, Jim. Well played.
While the kids are rushing back to Joe’s place, things are getting very serious there. Alice starts to pass out during the delivery and Barbie has to pretty much take charge. This means not only delivering the baby but also unwrapping a cord from around the little girl’s neck, too, as Alice walks him through it all. Once everything is done and everyone sighs in relief, the dome has one more brand new resident. Harriet names her newborn daughter Alice in her honor which should pretty much be foreshadowing for anyone watching this show. Alice gets to hold little baby Alice and then her wife whisks her off upstairs as she starts to lose consciousness.
It turns out she had a heart attack and she’s really only just holding on when Norrie and Joe get back. Norrie goes up to see her mother and tells her about the dome sending her back. Alice actually thanks the dome for sending Norrie back home, as if the dome some how knew what was going to happen and let Alice see Norrie one last time. That opens up a lot of questions because if the dome knew that Alice was going to die it may have caused the hallucination to make Harriet touch the dome so that it could force her into labor before Alice died. The dome may have known that the baby was in distress and that it needed the town’s last remaining doctor to still be alive when she was born. Otherwise she may have died. Alice says that everything that has happened and will happen must matter. We just don’t know what it all means.
At least Joe gets to have a little bit of a happy ending this episode. Angie finally makes her way home with Benny in tow. I really do wonder how she’s going to explain where she has been. I figure that Joe is smart enough to figure it out sooner or later. He just won’t figure it out that night. After her mother dies Norrie comes racing out of the house towards the dome where she begs it to bring her mother back and Joe goes after her. But whatever connection she may have with the Dome it’s just not that strong.
The episode ends with Harriet and her baby in Joe’s room together, Barbie and Julia downstairs on the couch, Angie and Benny on the porch, Alice’s wife saying goodbye to her, and Joe watching Norrie plead with the dome.
Okay, that’s not the very end. At the very end the creepy black egg in the mini-dome starts sort of glowing and little purple lights start moving from the bottom part of the egg to the top. Who knows what that’s going to mean next episode. And who knows how long it’s going to take the kids to tell Dodie, Julia, or Barbie what’s going on.
At the very least, this is our first real indication that the writers were being truthful when they said the origin of the dome would be completely different than it was in the book. In the book, the dome was basically a malevolent structure. In the show, though, we’re already seeing that things might not be what they seem as far as the dome is concerned. Already it’s potentially saved one life and let a woman say goodbye to her daughter before she died.
So what exactly is going on?
Don’t expect to get any solid answers next episode. Or even this season. I mean, something’s got to be saved until the second one, right? But certainly enjoy the crazy ride we’ve got going here. And so long as this TWC thing goes on I’ll do my best to keep you all up to date as things go down under the dome. (Heck, I’ll keep doing them no matter what but especially so long as the TWC thing drags out.)
Hopefully they’ll get things figured out because next week’s episode looks intense.
See, this is what I like about shorter seasons. Every episode has to move fast and hit hard. You can’t just have a lot of filler. It leads to better storytelling over all – even if it does mean waiting longer between seasons. Under the Dome has it down. Hopefully it keeps up the momentum!