Kristina Carroll ’16/ Emertainment Monthly Editor
In this week’s episode of Under the Dome, there was much more time spent on the characters and the relationships they are beginning to form with one another, rather than on the hectic events caused by the invisible dome that has been implanted upon the quiet town of Chester’s Mill. Yes, the town is still in an uproar trying to figure out who, or what, caused the dome to randomly appear. However, the show seemed to take a step back from all of this, and instead focus on the each character’s past. I loved the way this episode was set up, because it gave us insight to exactly how each character got to be the person they are today. And now that we are given somewhat of a backstory for each character, it makes the show even more interesting.
With this being said, this episode still held on to the major plot points that we saw in last week’s episode, the first one being Freddy getting shot by Paul. Unfortunately, this week’s episode starts with us learning that Freddy is in fact dead. However, Paul does not believe that he is responsible for murdering him, and instead blames it on the dome. He assures the community that it will only kill more people as time goes on.
The first bit of character development we see in this episode is with Norrie and Joe. With Norrie having been separated from her moms, she asks Joe if she can crash at his place. I know I suspected some type of romantic involvement between these two last week, but now I’m positive that a relationship is underway. Because Joe’s parents are trapped on the other side of the dome, Joe’s friend thinks it ‘s a good idea to have a house party at his house, and invites dozens of people that Joe barely knows. One of the guests that shows up is a tough-looking guy who supposedly hooked up with Joe’s sister at some point. He ends up harassing Norrie, and Joe nearly gets into a fight with him after he tries to defend her.
Just as Norrie begins to thank him for his chivalrous actions, one of her mothers Carolyn shows up at Joe’s house. Norrie grabs Joe’s hand, and something really strange occurs. It’s almost as if some kind of electric current passes through them. We don’t know for sure yet what exactly it is, but we hear a “zap”, and all of a sudden they pass out on the ground. They begin having yet another seizure, and simultaneously chant, “The stars are falling in lines.” What does this mean?!?! I guess we’ll just have to wait yet another week to find out.
Joe and Norrie aren’t the only characters who we see start to form a bond together. Surprisingly, Julia and Junior also have similarities that have apparently brought them together. After Junior is convinced by Angie to search for an escape route through the underground cement factory tunnels, Julia follows him to the tunnels and confronts him. At first, he looks as if he’s about to kill her for following him. However, he takes his anger out on the dome instead of her, and starts having a meltdown during which he repeatedly punches the dome wall. Julia manages to calm him down, and they begin to have a very important, heartfelt conversation.
Junior tells Julia that “a man stands up, a man doesn’t screw up.” She responds by telling him that everybody makes mistakes. She recounts to him the true story of why she ended up in Chester’s Mill. Basically, while she was a reporter in Chicago, she was working on a huge story about the mayoral election. She was given some documents about one of the candidates that suggested that he was using bribery, and despite having doubts about their legitimacy, she decided to use the documents in her article. Well, it turned out that the documents were indeed false, and she ended up getting fired from her job. She was so ashamed that she felt she had no choice but to run away, and she soon found herself in Chester’s Mill.
After hearing Julia’s story, he admits to her that his relationship with his father is less than stellar. Big Jim is very demanding and critical of Junior, and based on the interactions that we see between the two of them in this episode, it seems like nothing Junior ever does is good enough for Jim. Julia can relate to Junior’s feelings of shame and worthlessness, and this results in the beginning of a friendship between these two characters. I don’t know about you, but this was a bit shocking for me, because I would never guess that these two completely different characters would find a similarity that would bring them so close together. Maybe Julia will be able to help Junior avoid trouble in the future. However, he clearly is still a psychopath, because he tells her that Barbie attacked him out of the blue, which we all know is a blatant lie.
Early on in the episode, Paul tricks Linda into walking into a jail cell, and locks her in, allowing himself to escape armed with a rifle. This leads to Big Jim organizing a search party in the town, consisting of the town’s strongest men. He even recruits Barbie, despite the fact that Junior told him that Barbie beat him up.
Barbie and Big Jim also begin to form a bond in this episode, as the two end up searching for Paul alone in the forest (at one point in the episode Paul shoots one of the other men involved in the search party, and Big Jim orders the rest of the group to go back with the injured man, leaving just him and Barbie to continue on with the search). Big Jim tells Barbie the story of how he got his name, and confesses that it was given to him by a bully. After being tormented nonstop by this bully, Big Jim finally went off on him one day, and beat him up. He ends his story by telling Barbie that sometimes an example needs to be made to gain respect.
At this very moment in the episode, Paul creeps up behind both of them and points his gun at Big Jim. Right when we think that it’s all over for Jim, Linda suddenly shows up and shoots Paul. This leads to yet another death in Chester’s Mill’s police department, leaving Linda pretty much alone. Big Jim ends up promoting Linda to sheriff, and she takes the place of her beloved mentor Duke, who was one of the first victims of the dome.
I loved this week’s episode of Under the Dome, because along with the fact that we now know much more about the characters, it has also left us with several key things to keep in mind for next week. The first major piece of information is that there seems to be something between Barbie and Phil, the radio station DJ. We see this when Julia tries to introduce Barbie to Phil, and Barbie refuses to meet him. He seems very uncomfortable, and it definitely looks as if Barbie knows Phil somehow. Maybe he’s connected to the murder that we see Barbie commit in the Pilot?
The second important thing that happens in this episode has to do with Angie and Junior. Angie is still being locked underground by Junior, but she seems to have come up with a plan for escape. Before, we saw her adamantly refusing to be in a relationship with Junior. However, in this episode we see her mindset completely change. She tells Junior that if they can find a way to escape, then they can start over and be the loving couple that they once were. Obviously, this is a lie, and she’s only tricking Junior into setting her free. But I think that she is absolutely brilliant. Toward the end of the episode, Junior visits Angie and she helps put a bandage on his hand, which he injured by beating at the dome. She sees a pair of scissors in the first aid kit, and subtly hides them in her bed. Hopefully they’ll be successful in helping her escape from Junior.
And finally, the last major thing to keep in mind for next week’s episode is that Julia is learning more and more about Barbie, and his reasons for coming to Chester’s Mill. After hearing Junior’s story about Barbie beating him up, she begins to doubt that Barbie was actually just “passing through” the town. When Barbie goes to take a shower, she starts going through his belongings. She ends up finding a map, with some sort of markings on it. Clearly, Barbie had a reason for coming here. Now she just has to figure out what it was. I think this new discovery will definitely put a strain on their relationship, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Julia stops trusting Barbie from this point on.
Next week’s episode is sure to be an interesting one, and hopefully it will answer at least some of our questions!