Recap: Under the Dome Episode 3

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Note: This is a recap of episode 3 of Under the Dome (titled “Manhunt”). If you have not seen this episode, do not read this post as it contains episode spoilers. You’ve been warned.

When we last left our friends in Chester’s Mill, I had a lot less ragey feelings toward all of them. (Apparently, hatred toward the characters is an unintended side effect of watching this show. Who knew?)

Anyway. Last week, we saw Big Jim’s henchman, Rev. Lester, set fire to Police Chief Duke Perkins’s house by accident (or accidentally on purpose?) with Lester STILL INSIDE IT, Officer Linda rushing in to rescue him (I still question the intelligence of that particular decision), and Officer Paul going totally batshit and shooting the dome, which ends up killing Officer Freddy. Meanwhile, Junior is still a psychopath, Barbie is still mysterious and handy to have around, and the residents are still freaking out (unless you’re a teenager; in which case, party!). If you missed it, last week’s recap is here.

This week, sadly, Officer Freddy is still dead and Officer Paul is still batshit. Julia (our resident reporter) and Barbie go to the police station to question Linda because that’s what reporters do, I guess. Meanwhile, a mob has gathered outside the station, calling for Paul to die and all sorts of fun stuff like that. Paul, of course, blames the dome. (Listen up, kids. Guns don’t kill people. THE DOME kills people. With guns. That people are holding.) Big Jim then gives a speech telling people that he’s taking charge because he’s the last remaining councilman (or maybe it’s because he’s power hungry and possibly evil; I don’t know). He also warns people against taking any frontier justice. Because, you know, that’s a Bad Thing.

Inside the station, Linda puts Paul in a cell. Which backfires, because Paul, in all his deviousness, pretends to choke, bringing Linda inside the cell. He then knocks her down, steals her gun, then jumps out into the hallway and locks her in the cell. Then he steals a rifle and takes off into parts unknown. (Presumably to make war on the dome.)

In another part of Chester’s Mill, the teens are still partying, because…I don’t know. I guess the apocalypse is the best time EVAH to throw parties and shit. (I may have a different perspective on this if I were still seventeen, but I’m not, so I just look at them like they’re slightly TSTL. Now, get off my lawn, dammit.) Their biggest gripe at this point is that none of their electronics work. The world is ending, but OMG they can’t text or upload videos of Officer Paul going batshit to YouTube so therefore the world is a horrible, horrible place. Yanno.

Next, we see Big Jim at home with Junior, being all familial and loving and shit. Actually wait, no we don’t. (I’m not convinced Big Jim has a loving bone in his body, to be honest.) Big Jim asks Junior where he was during the fire, because it looks badly on Big Jim when Junior goes AWOL during town crises like this. (I guess hanging out in your dungeon underground bunker with your captive wanna-be girlfriend counts as going AWOL.) Big Jim, noticing Junior’s black eye, asks where it came from. Junior responds with, “This guy, Barbie. He’s totally insane.” (At which point I went, “HA! Takes one to know one, doesn’t it?” Even though of the three of them, Barbie looks to be the most sane.)

Big Jim, in all his fatherliness, tells Junior he’s still “hiding behind his mother’s skirts,” even though said mother died nine years ago.

And then I went, “Oh wow, no wonder this dude’s insane.”

Anyway. So after getting verbally picked on by his father, Junior goes to visit our captive, Angie. Not surprisingly, she still wants to get out of her cell. Junior blames her anger on the dome. The dome, he says, is making her angry. Angie’s all, “Uh, no, it’s because you locked me in here.” And I was all, “Wow, someone sane in Chester’s Mill!” And Junior replies with, “Everything will all get back to normal once this dome is gone and you won’t be all ragey toward me anymore.” To which I replied, “Wanna bet?” (Not direct quotes. Well, except for mine.) (Seriously, what is it with these residents? Are they all insane? Or did the dome just bring out their special brand of crazy?)

You can tell Angie’s getting a little desperate to get out, because she keeps trying things to manipulate Junior into letting her out of the dome. (Not that I blame her.) This time, she tries to get Junior to take her to the underground tunnels at the cement factory, because they used to go there (before she found out how psycho Junior really was). Junior doesn’t take her with him, but does go off to the tunnels by himself.

Meanwhile, Big Jim goes to the hospital to confront Rev. Lester to find out why the hell Lester set fire to Duke’s house. After all, that wasn’t the plan. The plan was to get rid of any evidence of the Propane Plot, not set fire to the dead guy’s house. The Reverend’s reply? “I did what you asked. There’s no evidence left.”

Me: Facepalm.

Aside: Big Jim really needs to get smarter criminal sidekicks.

Meanwhile, at the diner… There are some homophobic comments made when one of Nori’s moms goes looking for her. (Nori has gone to Joe’s house, where Ben has invited a bunch of people over for a party and to charge their electronics using Joe’s family generator.) For her part, Nori doesn’t tell Joe that she’s got two moms and instead says she was on her way to visit her dad when the dome dropped over Chester’s Mill. Um. Alrighty then.

Big Jim shows up at the diner, asking for volunteers in the search for Insane Officer Paul, who has taken off to parts unknown (but not that unknown, since he’s under the dome somewhere). At this point, we learn that Paul is ex-military. But that’s okay, because Barbie’s ex-military too, and we all know that Barbie’s basically a murdering bounty hunter Marty Stu. So it’s all good. While the manhunt for Paul is taking place, all residents are advised to stay inside. Because, you know, Officer Paul has a rifle and knows how to use it. Oh, and he’s batshit crazy.

The manhunters go into the woods, where they know Paul has gone (I’m not sure how, exactly). Big Jim and the others start to go off down a trail, but Barbie finds the real trail — the trail the others are following is a dummy trail. (See, Marty Stu. That guy can do everything.) Big Jim then figures out that Barbie’s also ex-military, because who else would know about dummy trails? (He’s got a point; I certainly wouldn’t have known.)

Before the manhunt starts, Julia notices Junior walking — with a PURPOSE — somewhere. She, because she’s all reportery and nosy and shit, questions Junior to find out where he’s going. He refuses to answer and acts all pissy and suspicious, so OF COURSE Julia follows him. The rest of us know he’s going to the cement factory to try to find a way out (and if he does, maybe Angie won’t hate him because the dome will be gone!).

Julia gives herself away at the cement factory, when she tells Junior not to pick up the flashlight he dropped at the edge of the dome, which, not surprisingly, does not end at the tunnels. (She stops him just in time, because the flashlight explodes.) Junior gets all psycho-creepy-looking and asks what Julia’s doing there and why she’s following him blah blah blah. (It’s his basic tough guy act.) Junior starts punching the dome (all that dome rage); when he’s done, Julia tries to lead them back to the surface with matches by following the air flow. Or something. While they’re getting back out, Junior’s all woe is me and shit because of his daddy issues while blaming Psycho Barbie for his black eye. (The sad thing is, Julia looks like she might believe him about Barbie. Granted, Barbie may in fact be psycho. Hard to tell at this point.)

Okay. So. Back at the manhunt, Paul has started shooting at his mantrackers and actually hits someone. (Aside: Paul’s rifle looks like it has a silencer, but it’s still hella loud. What.) Since apparently only four people went on this manhunt, the third tracker takes the injured one back, leaving Big Jim and Barbie to FINISH IT, Mortal Kombat style. Barbie wants to stop for the night and continue in the morning, and he raises a valid point when he says that Paul isn’t going anywhere. I mean, there IS that damn dome. Big Jim insists on “finishing this tonight” for reasons I can’t quite understand. Barbie sums it up as “wanting to look like the big guy in town.” To which Big Jim replies with a random high school football story about how he tackled and beat some guy who was making fun of him. An eye for an eye, or something like that.

You can see where this is going, right? Paul appears behind Big Jim, waving his rifle and threatening to shoot. Barbie tries to get him to put the rifle down, but Paul just keeps waving the thing around. Linda then appears (out of nowhere, swear to god) and shoots Paul dead. (Aside, Big Jim had let her out of Paul’s cell before the manhunt began, so she didn’t do any ninja shit to get out of jail and into the woods. Sadly.)

And now, all but one of Chester’s Mill’s cops are dead. I’m not sure I want to be a police officer in Chester’s Mill; there’s a really high mortality rate for this job.

At the end of the episode, Julia notices that Barbie’s knuckles are bruised and questions his story of “just passing through” when the dome dropped. When he gets into the shower, she goes through his bag. (OMG seriously? WHY? Ugh, that’s such a cliche.) She pulls out a map. Of what, I don’t know, but I assume it’s the woods around Chester’s Mill — or possibly Chester’s Mill itself. Since, as we all know, Barbie was in town on a mission when the dome dropped.

Overall, I…I don’t even. The longer this show goes on, the more I dislike all the characters. (With the possible exception of Angie, who happens to be locked in a dungeon by her psychotic maybe-boyfriend.)

Join me next week, when I revisit the dome and poke at all the people in the test tube.

Under the Dome airs on Monday nights on CBS.

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I’m Canadian, which according to movies and TV means I’m part of the group that’s almost always wiped out during the apocalypse. I’ve watched too much Star Trek and Stargate over the years and spend too much time at my computer. Now, I’m waiting for the arrival of (and human enslavement by) the Borg or the Goa’uld. That is, if my computer doesn’t swallow me first.

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