Oh Under The Dome, you are like the dog that catches the car (or squirrel or anything, really, that dogs chase with no expectation of catching). You were a little summer show that somehow became a massive hit, and now you are just holding your ratings between your teeth and you don’t know whether to chomp down or run away from them in terror. I mean, you haven’t even really decided what you’re about: solving the mystery of a force field, or a small town forced to radically redefine its morality. And I have tried to give this show the benefit of the doubt, but the last two episodes have made it clear that this show doesn’t know what to do with its success.
Last week, Big Jim decided to wage war on Barbie, and anyone playing a drinking game with the word “propane” died of alcohol poisoning. Maxine shot Julia in the chest because of jealousy but Joe and Barbie swooped in to save her in Joe’s BEAUTIFUL ELECTRIC TOYOTA.
Angie broke her streak of being the smartest person in Chester’s Mill by telling Junior “Look, I need you to help me take down this Dome but once it’s gone I’m gonna get a restraining order and three state lines between you and me.” So Junior took his Dome hands and went home.
JESUS, ANGIE, DID YOU GET VACCINATED FROM STOCKHOLM SYNDROME?
The Dome threatened the whole town with a tornado, either because it was upset Junior left the Dome Kids or because Julia was dying. Whatever the cause, the tornado disappeared when Barbie saved Julia’s life with his magic/Angie persuaded Junior to come back with her boobs.
Afterwards, Barbie and Big Jim briefly joined forces to destroy Max, but Barbie was like, “Look I need you to help me kill Rapture McFightclub, but once that’s done, I’m gonna get right back to playing good guy/bad guy with you.” (Everyone was just blurting their master plans all over the place last week.) They managed to apprehend Max, but rather than bringing her to justice, Big Jim decided to kill her and frame Barbie.
And then, seizing the opportunity for all it was worth, Jim got on the radio and was like “GUYS. YOU GUYS. Barbie totally killed Max and her mom, both decent ladies who I liked a lot. Plus he shot Julia. And cancelled Firefly. If you see him, shoot him before he can say any words.” And Barbie fled, cursing his enemy for being such a cunning character, and so much better written than him.
Finally The Dome Kids—who I am increasingly convinced are getting stoned every time they touch the Dome—decided that the riddle of the Monarch would be decided by the butterfly in the Mini-Dome, because, like, butterflies are life, you know? They doubled their buzz by all touching the Macro-Dome at once, but were only treated to a vision of Big Jim bleeding from several knife wounds, and each of them holding a switchblade.
It was way un-mellow. Junior freaked out but Angie was like “Rad, the Dome wants us to kill Big Jim.” Given that this theory is predicated on the idea that the Dome wants to be taken down, I’m not sure it really flies, but whatever, I’m still Team Angie.
When this week’s episode begins, the search for Barbie is in full swing. Big Jim is updating the townsfolk at the diner, and who should be in attendance but Carolyn, who has newly emerged from her cocoon of grief. She may not be a butterfly, but her presence is very welcome, since she is one of few remaining voices of reason.
Big Jim: I don’t want to alarm you, but Barbie is a highly-trained killing machine who has had his conscience surgically removed.
Townsfolk: AAAHHHHH PAAAAANIIIIIIIIIC! Please be our dictator, Big Jim. Search our houses, strip our rights, but don’t let the Barbie hurt us.
Carolyn: Whaaaaat the fuck. How long was I up in that room?
Like Caesar before him, Big Jim accepts his “emergency powers” and promises to give them up just as soon as he can*.
At the radio station, Dodee is doing her Yogee thing when she overhears the army talking about Barbie. They also mention a mysterious egg, which stirs something deep in her memory. She starts going through the pictures on her phone.
She calls Big Jim because she is the world’s worst judge of character.
Back at the Mini-Dome, Joe is rhapsodizing about Barbie, who he is convinced must be the Monarch, when Carolyn bursts in. At first Norrie is afraid that Carolyn is going to narc on the Dome Kids, but nah, she’s totally cool with it. In fact, she encourages Norrie and company to move the egg so it’s safe from the mob about to sweep through town. Norrie is touched that her mother trusts her, and when they embrace, she calls her “mom” for the first time in several episodes.
Also bonding are Big Jim and Junior.
Junior: Dad, you need to be careful of switchblades and Roman Senators, and probably steer clear of any spindles, just in case they have a fairy curse on them.
Big Jim: Yeah whatever, crazyface. Why don’t you go keep watch over Julia, in case Barbie comes to save her. Er…I mean finish killing her. And if she happens to wake up from her coma, make sure to tell me so I can smother her. Er…I mean, hug her.
Junior readily agrees, although he’s starting to be confused by his father’s coldness/warmth. (Come on Junior, it’s simple. Your dad loves you every third episode.)