Last week, we saw the residents of Chester’s Mill suddenly get trapped under the dome. We’re not sure who built the dome or who put it over Chester’s Mill, but its appearance sets off a panic in the town. People get trapped inside, people get trapped outside, people go crazy. (Well, maybe not that last part. Yet, anyway.)
This week, we rejoin our intrepid Chester’s Millians (Millivites?) as they face life under the dome. Note: Don’t read this post if you haven’t seen Episode 2 (“The Fire”) of Under the Dome. Spoilers ahoy!
The episode opens with a flashback/nightmare from Barbie, and we finally get a glimpse of what happens between him and Julia’s (the reporter’s) husband. It turns out, they fight about…money? Julia’s husband says, “I don’t have it,” which to me means Mr. Julia either owes money or he’s got some sort of item Barbie (or Barbie’s employer) wants. In any case, Mr. Julia pulls a gun, and he and Barbie fight over it. Barbie pulls his own gun, the two fight some more, and Mr. Julia ends up shot. And, you know, dead.
When Barbie wakes up, he asks Julia if she’s seen his dog tags (she hasn’t). In the flashback we see Barbie tossing down the dog tags somewhere; he obviously wants them back.
Of course, I still have no idea who Barbie works for, what Mr. Julia owed to Barbie, and why Barbie goes by Barbie. I suppose that means I’ll just have to stay tuned.
In another part of Chester’s Mill, Joe comes out of a house with his friend, Ben. (Remember, last week Joe had a seizure and was talking about stars. To quote Ben, they were pink stars. I…don’t even know.) Outside of the house, there are people digging in the yard, apparently trying to find out where the dome ends underground. (Hint: it doesn’t seem to end.) After Ben makes a quote about not having to write a trig exam, Joe realizes that he can use math (trigonometry, to be precise) to find out how big the dome is. Math geeks FTW!
Over at the radio station, our intrepid (and sole) DJs, Dodee and Phil, are trying to find other radio stations, signals, transmissions, etc. from outside the dome. They get intermittent transmissions, but can’t send anything out. The dome blocks all signals so that nothing gets out.
Outside the dome, the military is patrolling and have their own radio equipment. Julia sees this and heads directly to the radio station, where she hears a broadcast from the military. They refer to the barrier as a dome. Julia, in all her reporterness, immediately goes on the air and announces that Chester’s Mill is under a dome.
This was either smart or stupid, since Julia’s announcement, of course, leads the residents to panic. But on the plus side, the dome isn’t radioactive. Because yay! Also, we learn that the military doesn’t know what the dome’s made of, which means that they’re not responsible. The DJs and Julia to wonder who is responsible. (My vote’s for aliens. Just because.)
Now it’s time to check on our resident psychopath, Junior. He’s holding Angie captive in an underground bunker, because he saw her talking to Barbie and he assumed that the two are, I don’t know, Romeo and Juliet or something. (Bonus points for the prepper aspect, but minus bonus + regular points for being, you know, batshit crazy.)
When we first join Angie and Junior, she’s trying to call for help. Junior, annoyed, decides it would be much better to chain her to the bed. Because he wants her to get back to her normal self and get back to loving him, and obviously the best way to do that is to hold her in a bunker and chain her to a bed. (Oh wait…)
Since that works about as well as you’d think it does, Angie says that she never loved him and that she and Barbie had oodles of sex. Which does pretty much what you’d think it would, and Junior stomps off (presumably in search of Barbie).
He follows Barbie to the house/cabin/whatever where Barbie and Mr. Julia (Peter) had their fight. Junior, being Junior, mistakes the evidence of a fight as evidence of a night of sex. (Yeah, I don’t know.) Junior claims Angie as his, which leads to Barbie expressing his condolences on Angie’s behalf. Junior jumps Barbie (because of course he does), but because he’s Junior and is slightly insane with a possible superiority complex, he thinks he can take Barbie. Who’s an ex-military hit man or something. (Good job, Junior.)
Of course, Junior gets his ass kicked. Barbie tells Junior to stay away or next time he won’t stop. (I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see that fight.) Junior goes off to Angie and tells her he killed Barbie, and Angie’s all, “Yeah right, like THAT happened.”
Over in another part of town, we see our resident psychopath’s equally nutty father, Big Jim, talking to the coroner (and reverend) about police chief Duke Perkins and his role in whatever plot they’d hatched concerning all that propane. Big Jim isn’t pleased that Duke was starting to tell Linda, a fellow police officer and essentially his surrogate daughter, about their plot. He also isn’t pleased that Duke left his house and all his possessions to Linda in his will. (And if you remember from last week, Duke died after his pacemaker exploded out of his chest.) So Big Jim and Rev. Lester decide to clean up their mess.
Which apparently means “set things on fire!” At least to the reverend. (I guess Propane Plot would naturally lead to thoughts of fire? I don’t know.)
Okay, let me recap that part. Big Jim tells Rev. Lester to go to Duke’s house to find anything about the Propane Plot before Linda gets there because there’s nothing in Duke’s office. (The only other place Duke would’ve left this stuff was at home. Which now belongs to Linda.) So off goes the reverend. And, as Big Jim predicted, the invoice for the propane was taped under something. Rev. Lester then lights the document on fire…and then drops it in the trash can. As he leaves, he nudges the trash can with his foot, moving it directly under the curtains.
And that goes about as well as you’d think it would. The house goes up, with Rev. Lester trapped inside. Linda, our female police officer (the only one in Chester’s Mill, it seems) saves him. Afterward, she asks what exactly he was doing in Duke’s house. His reply: he was getting a suit for Duke’s body. (Yeah, even Big Jim didn’t look impressed — or convinced — with that excuse.)
So, basically, we’ve determined that Big Jim has incompetent help. Or something like that.
The fire spreads to the grass, fence, and surrounding area. Which is unfortunate because the fire department is trapped on the other side of the dome (we know this from last week). Crappy. So Barbie and the police officers organize a bucket brigade, which does basically nothing. The town is still in danger of turning into a bonfire when Big Jim shows up with a bulldozer. He tears the house down, which either a) puts out the fire, or b) allows the residents to get a better handle on putting out the fire with their bucket brigade; I’m not actually sure.
Well, I guess a bulldozer’s one way to put out a fire.
After the fire is put out and Rev. Lester is put in the ambulance, Big Jim and Linda thank the residents for their help and Big Jim gives a speech about sticking together and getting through anything.
And then we see Paul, one of the three remaining police officers, go nuts in public (he seemed to have been slowly losing it over the course of the episode, stocking up on rifles and whatnot). He’s convinced they’re all dead because they’re trapped in the dome and there’s no getting out. To prove his point (or to prove he’s insane, I’m not really sure), he pulls out his gun and shoots at the dome above him. The bullet ricochets off the dome (because OF COURSE the bullet does nothing to it) and hits his fellow officer, Freddie, instead. (Aside: Freddie is Linda’s fiance’s brother; the fiance, Rusty, is trapped outside the dome with the rest of the fire department.)
Barbie tackles Paul, takes his gun away, and points the gun at Paul instead. (Honestly, Barbie is a handy guy to have around. Lucky for Chester’s Mill he was busy burying Julia’s husband when the dome dropped, hey?) Freddie dies, thanks to Paul and his…um…Paul-ness.
And that leaves me still wondering who the hell Barbie is and where he came from, and what the hell is up with all that propane.
Under the Dome airs on CBS on Monday nights.