Helix (SyFy) – Episode 1 – Pseudo-Recap

There’s a new show on the SyFy channel called Helix. It’s about a mysterious compound in the Arctic (Antarctic?) where scientists play with the kind of science we have a healthy fear of. Obviously, something goes terribly wrong and plots ensue.
Episode one opens with two guys in hazmat suits going into a room where two men are decomposing on the floor. They seem unconcerned. One guy isn’t dead, he’s alive and suffering. He’s all like, “Water…”
One guy (Sinister Asian Guy) gives him water and the he reacts like it was hydrogen peroxide and the second hazmat guy says, “What was that?” Sinister Asian Guy says, “Progress…”
Okay.
Meanwhile, at the CDC Lead Scientist Guy is  looking for things while his competent assistant hand-holds him through the basics of walking and talking at the same time. This idea of Super-Scientists being too dumb to live is consistent throughout the episodes I saw.
So, Lead Scientist Guy is  delivering an orientation speech to a bunch of new scientists about how they’re the only thing between the human race and certain death. Applause from his audience and the TV audience is assured he’s REALLY smart and qualified.
Back in his office some dude from the army is like, “There’s a secret base in a place that’s technically no country’s territory and they have something that needs investigating and the US military wants you to do it… By the way, tor brother is there.” It’s all very vague and specific at once.
Lead Scientist is all like, “I choose my team. I have reasonable questions.”
Army Guy, “Yeah, cool. Don’t worry about the details or the secrets.”
Apparently everyone is totes okay with the lack of details, jurisdiction, and trust. On the plane to the secret base we get back story and details.  The Assistant has a thing going with the Lead Scientist; Lead Scientist’s Ex-Wife is part of the team; Ex -Wife and Brother Mike cheated together.

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From Left: Army Guy, Sinister Asian, Security Guy, Ex-Wife, Lead Scientist, Brother Mike, Assistant, Country Bumpkin.

At the base Sinister Asian is consistently sinister, his lead security officer is dopey and takes his job very seriously even though he seems way under qualified and was somehow adopted by Sinister Asian who looks to be in the same age range as him.

Lead Scientist is checking his brother out and it seems, based on the fact that he looks to be decomposing, he’s sick… But with what?!
Everyone leaves to go mull it over. Lead Scientist watched Brother Mike’s video diaries and sees a weird hand gesture they use to use to tell each other their drunk father was drunk. Ex-Wife asks, “What’s it mean?” Lead Scientist, “Run like hell.” DUN DUN DUUUUUUN.
While everyone’s off lubing up their thumbs to put in their asses, Brother Mike breaks out of his room and  into the ceiling.
After a quick round of who’s fault is it, we cut to the Country Bumpkin Scientist and Army Guy. Apparently Army Guy’s specialization is essentially plumbing and Country Bumpkin’s is looking at stuff. She looks at the rats and the mice and asks where she can find some monkeys to look at. Security Guy says, “There are no monkeys here.”
Bumpkin is all, “But there MUST be monkeys.”
“No monkeys means no monkeys.”
So Army Guy is swabbing pipes and Bumpkin is all like, “lemme look at that.” She finds MONKEY HAIR in the pipe!
Brother Mike is on the loose and everyone is bickering.
Bumpkin and Army Guy go hunting for monkeys. After breaking into a locked area (no alarms go off and neither of them think make there’s something on the other side of this door we’ll want to keep locked in), they find a bunch of empty cages and one monkey. He’s all bald and angry so Bumpkin calls out to him like he’s a declawed kitten. Well, surprise, her attacks her face with his mutant monkey strength and rage.
Everyone is off in their separate corners doing science and pointing fingers. Brother Mike finds a group of scientists (the base if full of them) and spits black goo in their mouths… Somehow the CDC team determines that the virus of Brother Mike is looking for a perfect host. Knowing Brother Mike and a deadly virus are on the loose every one separates to  make themselves easier targets.
Army Guy uses a secret satellite to make a secret call. ( Outside he discovers a but load of frozen monkeys running away from the base.)
Bumpkin is alone in a basement with her monkey cadaver.
Ex-Wife is thinking in the locker room shower.
Assistant is having hand tremors alone in her room.
Lead Scientist is mulling.
Apparently the CDC doesn’t believe in the buddy system, common sense, or proper containment.
Army Guy bops it and they pat themselves on the back.
I guess there’s a big mystery around what the virus is, who Sinister Asian is, who pays for all this, and why everyone, despite years of education and field work, is so stupid.
Helix isn’t a bad show. I just feel it’d be a better movie. It’s a good enough premise but how long can this last. You’re so far from civilization, there’s no reason you can’t just lock it up and throw away the key. How long can they run around this base making bad decisions?

Recap: Under the Dome Episode 4

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When we last left our friends of Under the Dome, a lot of crazy shit had happened. When we rejoin our friends this week, more crazy shit happens.
So let’s get to it, shall we? (Be warned: this recap may — or may not — have more of my snarky personal commentary included. I’m sorry, I just can’t keep it bottled up inside anymore.)
Remember: This post contains spoilers about episode 4 of Under the Dome (titled “Outbreak”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.
Note: this is a LONG post.
So. At the end of episode 3, Julia (our resident snoopy reporter) had gone through Barbie’s things and discovered a map. At the beginning of this episode, Julia has taken said map and has put it in her purse by way of a newspaper. It’s all sneaky and spy-like. Or it would be, if it wasn’t also a raging case of “OMG you’re going to do this now?” But pay attention to Snooping Julia and her map, which luckily doesn’t sing (this is important later) (the map, not the singing).
Outside, at the edge of the dome, we have ourselves a mini-riot. The mob (but not The Mob) is going totally batshit because the military is leaving their posts on the outside of the dome. So our civilian mobsters are painting graffiti on the dome and are basically just screaming random shit about how they’re stuck in there and woe is me and all that. Reverend Lester, our resident clueless, bumbling criminal sidekick steps in and starts preaching about God and what God wants (yeah, I don’t even know) and newly-minted Sheriff Linda is trying to get the rabble to calm down. Of course it doesn’t work, so she pulls out her gun because, I don’t know, waving it while on the edge of the dome is supposed to make people stop being all mobby. (Remember what happened the last time someone pulled out a gun at the edge of the dome? Exactly. Not the brightest thing to do, Sheriff Linda.)
Anyway, Big Jim comes to the rescue (because of course he does). After he finishes berating Linda for her gun-pulling stunt, Linda collapses against the dome. (No, she doesn’t collapse out of shame.) Barbie and Big Jim load her up into her car and take her to the clinic.
Honestly, that Barbie guy is freaking EVERYWHERE. There is nowhere in this damn town he isn’t.
We’ll get back to Linda later, but the collapsing thing is important. Remember that part.
Meanwhile, let’s visit Chester’s Mill’s resident psychopath, Junior! He’s still got Angie locked up in his dungeon underground bunker. When we first see him, he’s bringing her a change of clothes, so she’s “more comfortable.” Of course, before he hands it over, he sniffs it.
I am not even kidding, you guys, he SNIFFS it. It’s so creepy, I can’t even begin to tell you.
Angie, in yet another attempt at getting out of her awesome little dungeon, acts all flirtatious and pretends she doesn’t want to stab Junior in the eye with a dull pencil (because you know she does). She tells him to turn around (I dunno, maybe because she’s pretending she wants to sleep with him?). When he does, she pulls out a pair of scissors from under her pillow, then lunges at him. With the scissors. Only she misses and stabs him in the hand instead. Of course, Junior is seriously pissed off and locks her with the leg chain to the bed again. He says she can leave when she’s ready, but not before. (What the hell does that even mean?)
Also, holy too stupid to live moment, Angie. What the flying fuck?
And THEN, she tries to get someone’s attention by screaming into a vent and holding on to a pipe. (You know this isn’t going to end well.) So unsurprisingly, the pipe — which turns out to be a water pipe — bursts, throwing Angie back against the concrete floor, knocking her unconscious. The dungeon then fills with water.
At this point, I am too busy facepalming to pay much attention to what else is going on. OMG Angie. You  had such potential.
All right. So. Remember how Julia is now all snoopy and looking through other people’s stuff like the world’s most annoying roommate? She’s on the way somewhere — I assume to confront Barbie or something — when she sees her husband’s car at DJ Phil’s house (well, trailer). She stops and confronts Phil about it. Phil tells her that Peter, her husband, sold it to him. And then he collapses. Just like Linda (I warned you that the collapsing thing was important).
So we all go over to the clinic (“hospital” isn’t quite the right term, since it’s not that big), where we see Alice and Carolyn (the token lesbian couple from LA) taking their daughter Norrie and her buddy Joe for some tests. (Remember, last week Norrie and Joe had a simultaneous seizure where they talked about pink stars falling from the sky in lines.) Alice, while a psychiatrist, did a medical internship and not a psychiatric one. This turns out to be Very Important, because the clinic has no doctors, so the nurses recruit Alice to be the acting doctor. Or something. But at this point, she’s still ordering tests to try determine what the hell is going on with her kid.
Julia, having taken Phil to the clinic, confronts Barbie about the map and what he’s really doing there. OMG WHAT THE HELL JULIA. (Seriously, you’re going to do this now?) At that point she gets rather faint and slumps against the wall (that collapsing thing again). Alice orders someone to take her to a treatment room. And yay, Barbie’s off the hook for now.
After examining the people coming in (and there are a lot of them), Alice concludes that it’s a meningitis outbreak.
A MENINGITIS OUTBREAK, you guys. In a town that’s COVERED BY A DOME. Where the hell did the meningitis come from? Wouldn’t it have been evident SOONER THAN THIS if Patient Zero was wandering around Chester’s Mill? Wouldn’t more people (like the rest of the town) be in trouble since apparently only Junior, Barbie, Norrie, Alice, and Carolyn had been vaccinated? Or maybe I’m overthinking it, I don’t know.
Anyway. Alice tells Big Jim she needs antibiotics to treat everyone, but the hospital is running low. So Big Jim gets a list from Alice and goes off somewhere to get the drugs (we learn later he goes to the town’s pharmacy). Then he leaves Junior to guard the clinic’s entrance. With a shotgun.
Oh, okay, let’s give the psycho a GUN and tell him it’s okay to use it. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA. (Have I mentioned he’s got someone locked in a dungeon?)
Over in another part of the clinic, Julia has left her room and is trying to get answers about her husband from DJ Phil, who apparently knows Barbie. Phil is completely out of it, thanks to the meningitis, and thinks Julia actually is Peter, and says, “I can’t make it to the cabin tonight.” And of course Julia’s all, “What cabin?” because she has no clue what the hell he’s talking about. She tries to get Junior to let her out, but Junior’s on his power trip and says no. But he does mention that he found Barbie in a cabin, which makes Julia all snoopy reporter curious. But Junior won’t let her out, so Julia goes to her husband’s office and takes his key card, which is still miraculously in his office, and leaves out the back door. To go find this cabin. Even though she’s got meningitis symptoms.
OMG the TSTLness abounds.
So. By this point, the clinic is running out of antibiotics and Big Jim isn’t back yet. Because, as we discover, the pharmacy has been broken into and ALL the medicine is gone. So Big Jim and Barbie (swear to god this guy’s everywhere) are all, “WTF?” and Big Jim has an idea of who took the drugs and where they are. So they go to Rev. Lester’s house, who is apparently a born again Christian and is about to burn all the medicine. Because it’s God’s will that these people die. Or something.
Really? A born again reverend? By this I mean a reverend who is born again WHILE being a reverend? WTF?
Big Jim and Barbie take all the medicine back to the clinic, but by then Sheriff Linda’s third grade teacher has died because she sacrificed herself so that Linda could get the last dose of antibiotic. Linda, of course, recovers.
All the people in the clinic’s waiting room are getting antsy and move to rush the doors. Junior fires a warning shot into the ceiling with his shotgun but then Linda appears before Junior can actually shoot people (I’m sure Junior’s disappointed at being thwarted like that). Instead, he starts telling random stories about various residents and says he’s one of them and they all have to fight this together. Then he puts down the shotgun and leaves. And the people calm down.
And Linda tells Big Jim about what a hero Junior is, and Big Jim asks if he’d reconsider a career in law enforcement. Cue ominous music (no, for real, the scene actually did cue the ominous music).
Meanwhile, I’m going WHAT. THE. HELL.
Barbie, who’s now back from the antibiotic run, corners Phil (which really isn’t that hard, since the guy’s in a wheelchair with an IV) and asks where Julia is. Phil says he doesn’t know, but Barbie gets all tough guy on him. Because apparently the sick dude with the IV is going to lie? I don’t know. Anyway. Phil explains that Peter had been asking about hit men before selling Phil his car. Phil apparently told Peter to take the cash and run and start over someplace else. So I guess Barbie isn’t going to get the money. (I don’t actually know if he did get the money from Peter…) Phil isn’t sure how much of this he told Julia, so Barbie asks Junior where Julia is. Junior tells him about mentioning the cabin, which makes Barbie get all panicky in that Barbie way of his, and demands the keys to Junior’s truck.
He discovers Julia passed out at the cabin. Because Julia did find the cabin, and because she’s gone all snoopy reporter on us, she found some documents that were apparently so shocking they made her pass out. (Kidding. The documents may have been shocking, but I’m pretty sure the meningitis made her pass out.)
Julia comes to, confronts Barbie about Peter, blah blah blah. Turns out he’s an enforcer for a bookie and he’d come to Chester’s Mill to collect from Peter (and possibly from Phil, I never got that part). Julia’s all “But my husband would NEVER gamble!” even though apparently Peter drained their bank accounts and their house is in foreclosure. Barbie’s all, “Wanna bet?” and produces a voicemail of Peter. And then he lies and tells Julia that Peter must’ve taken off somewhere to start over because he got in too deep. And then Julia’s all “I let you stay in my house! Your sorry means nothing to me! Get out of my house!” (And I’m going, “Ugh, seriously? SERIOUSLY?”)
Meanwhile, while all this is happening, Norrie and Joe have decided to find out if the two of them touching sets off their simultaneous seizures. So they set up an experiment. Someone set up a phone to record on video, and they touch. For a moment nothing happens, and then they fall to the floor. In a seizure. Afterward, when they look at the video playback, we see Joe sit up MID-SEIZURE and say “Shhh” to the camera. What the hell?!
So yay, everyone’s saved (well, except for Linda’s old teacher) and the meningitis outbreak is over! After only a couple of hours! Yay super doctor Alice! Joe and Norrie lie about having another seizure (because I don’t know), and Joe offers his house to Alice, Carolyn, and Norrie. Because both his parents are outside the dome, and his sister Angie is trapped in Junior’s house of underground horrors.
In a serious lapse in judgement, Linda deputizes Junior, which cues the ominous music again (OMG you’re all GOING TO DIE).
Big Jim goes home and finds the reverend on his porch. The reverend, now that’s he’s born again and all, returns the Propane Plot money to Big Jim and tells Jim to keep the propane. (Honestly what the HELL is up with that propane?) Big Jim goes inside to get a glass of water from the sink and hears Angie screaming. From his tap. At the kitchen sink.
Yeah, I’d be a little weirded out, too.
Big Jim follows the screaming to the bunker (even though you can’t hear it outside, so I don’t know). He goes inside the bunker and finds it filling with water. He also discovers Angie chained to the bed. Inside the bunker.
Dun dun dun…
Come back next week, when I make fun of the people under the dome again.
Under the Dome airs on CBS on Monday nights.

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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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Recap: Under the Dome Episode 2

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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.