Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Under the Dome Recap: Outside Man

"Awakening" -- When Barbie enlists his father\'s help to reach out to Julia, he realizes that Don may know more about the Dome than he is letting on. Meanwhile, Big Jim appoints himself sheriff of Chester\'s Mill, on UNDER THE DOME, Monday, August 18 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.   Pictured (L-R) Sherry Stringfield      as Pauline,  Dwight Yoakam      as Lyle Chumley and Eddie Cahill as Sam Verdreaux Photo: Best Possible Screen grab/CBS2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We open on the peach dome of Big Jim's head, and a hilarious stare-down between Jim and himself in the mirror. This car-salesman emeritus/former councilman has elected himself sheriff, making him the fifth person to take the job since Dome Day hit three or so weeks ago. Important moment, though: Jim, who always tries to be a man of faith in public, ponders a Bible before choosing a gun. Science versus faith has run its course — now it's firepower versus faith. Visiting with Rebecca Pine, Jim says the scientific term for his murderous egomaniacal schemes is overzealousness. Ah!

Back at Barbie Sr.'s estate in Zenith, Dad makes Barbie write an email on a piece of paper, because dads are always making us do stuff that doesn't follow any logic. Barbie tries to covertly tell Julia she should hop into the abyss if she wants to escape the dome. The whole town could do this and the show would be over in one episode. What's going to happen with the hole? Big Jim nukes the high school? The dome closes off its own escape route? It doesn't seem like this show's interested in keeping Barbie and Julia apart for long, but we'll see.

At the high school, Joe and Norrie are working on a vlog when a sliver of service comes through and refills Joe's email. The young lovers run to Julia and Melanie to share the news. ("You'll never believe this," says Joe. "He's right — I barely did," adds Norrie. Oof.) Joe rightly deduces that the abyss is a one-way exit from the dome, but Julia is  annoyingly skeptical. Norrie, who's the dialogue martyr of the week, is frustrated. "Julia, why are you doubting this? I would be doing cartwheels if I was you."

Dwight Yoakam is super game to just be a mental patient repeating words over and over again for not one but two episodes. (At least he got to sing in his first appearance.) Pauline knows about a new, restricted super-drug that might (see: definitely will) get Lyle back to normal. The Cray-B-Gone works, which is annoying, and Lyle wonders if the rapture has come. Not much else happens with the former Domekidz — just a reaffirmation of the importance of the secretive red door. (Next week's episode title: "The Red Door.")

Cut to: STOCK HACKER DUDE, sitting before a slew of screens, two days' worth of stubble, tossing a stress ball around. Hacker's got a camera on the post-dome playground, and his computer recognizes Barbie's face. Hacker is happy, says "Gotcha," starts tracking Barbie. Barb figures this out pretty quickly, but manages not to go to his usual Hulk levels on the hacker, which is good because the guy notices something I didn't: Barbie Sr. added a line to his son's email asking Julia to bring the egg when she exits the dome. Confirmed: Barbie's dad is Charles Widmore from Lost. What's he know about the egg that we don't, though?

Junior discovers that his dad has become the new sheriff, so it's time for the 19th conversation about Big Jim feeling like he's been chosen by the dome, paired with Junior feeling like his dad's an idiot. (Again: #dads.) This conversation is on loop once we discover that someone has dismantled the windmill that was only recently erected. Jim, Junior, and Rebecca get pulled away from this mystery to tend to a burning car set up directly beneath the AMAZING billboard for Big Jim's Motorcars, which is seriously apparently what his car dealership is named. 

The Hounds of Diana are back, and now we know that they're run by this hacker guy, whose name is Hunter. "It's my website to tell the world it's being lied to about the dome," he tells Junior. Hunter snags a bunch of info off Papa Barbie's computer while Baby Barbie runs a patented TV Show Distraction. Barbie's dad commissions a field trip to Aktaion Energy, where he explains that his corporation was the first to figure out how to smuggle internet access into the dome.

As a funny contrast to the Aktaion technology party, Julia's standing at the edge of the exit-abyss with a paper note attached to a rock. Another email from Barbie comes in, and Julia splits to meet him by Joe's house, at the dome's edge. 

Big Jim's subplot is just so boring this week. Getting people out of the dome was a great move, writing-wise, but it's given us some weak pairings. If we don't have to spend another week watching the Jim/Junior/Rebecca show, that'll be good. At the police station, a rejuvenated DJ Philly Phil (whom I thought was dead — whoops) clocks Jim in the head with a gun. Phil's pissed Big Jim used him the way he uses everybody. Junior and Rebecca save the day, and Junior decides he's cool with his dad now. Phil is locked back up, presumably rendered insignificant once again.

Julia tries monologuing the dome into some answers, but it's a bust — the dome hasn't ever talked except through the ghost-bodies of dead people. Barbie, with the military right there on his heels, has a cool marker and knows how to write backwards quickly enough to tell Julia it's NOT SAFE OUT HERE. He gets pulled away before he can finish scribbling DON'T JUMP, but it seems like Julia gets the point. Big Jim, meanwhile, has some handy-dandy binoculars and is privy to the whole thing. Meaning yes, he's going to raise some new kind of hell next week, all over again.

Photo: CBS