At last, the episode where everything changes, all is made clear, each and every one of our questions is answered, and both the dome's origin and meaning are revealed!
You wish. No, it's just another intensely busy 40 minutes accompanied by a slew of new head-scratchers. The dome, you'll recall, is shrinking in on itself, although it's now happening in fits and starts, like it can't really decide whether to smush these people and get it over with or not. Joe posits, in an incomprehensible tone, that the dome may be "evolving." No idea how he reached that conclusion, but I'm crossing my fingers for Under the Cube.
We finally know what being the Monarch means for Julia: She can have her leg pierced with a metal rod and start walking on it with only a mild limp mere hours later. At Julia's house, which needs to be evacuated before it's flattened, we get a token reminder of her dead husband, the one her new boyfriend killed. She shrugs it off with a simple, "That was my old life."
At the high school, the townsfolk are relieved to mark the passing of the bitter daylong winter. Melanie's getting better, although whatever Barbie's dad, Mr. Barbara, and his lackeys do with the egg could presumably reverse her condition immediately. Welcoming Barbie and Julia to "our new nightmare," Rebecca uses her science powers to explain that the debris from the shrinking dome will crush them all a while before the walls get close. Julia doubts it, and Rebecca doubts Julia. "Now's not the time to debate this," Barbie interferes. He's right — science versus faith was so early season two.
Joe and Norrie hand Hunter over to Barbie, who has an old-fashioned thrash-attack when he finds out his hacker ally is, or was, a double agent. At the dome's edge, Barbie holding a gun to Hunter's head is enough to summon Mr. Barbara. Apparently Hunter is more important than we knew.
Suddenly, Melanie's hair is falling out, her mouth is spouting blood, and per Rebecca on the microscope, "Her red blood cells seem to be disintegrating." Rebecca says they just need to find some lima beans (?!) to determine Mel's blood type. Cut to: Rebecca and Sam with armfuls of canned beans. Her: "I can't believe we lucked out like this." Him: "Thank God for hoarders, right?" Then it's Rebecca's turn to learn that Melanie actually, um, died 25 years ago. Science just keeps failing this woman.
Melanie's blood type is the same as Rebecca's, so the two have a transfusion bonding session. Rebecca reminds us that her mother's death fueled her own lifelong quest for empirically sound explanations. "Maybe some questions have no answers," Melanie says, again probably referring directly to this show. Melanie mentions not having to die alone this second time, how she has all these new friends, and her brother. Brother?! Oh, yeah — Barbie is Melanie's brother. Right. We have to remember that.
Mr. Barbara shows up at the edge of the dome and takes part in an excruciatingly long back-and-forth where he and his son holler things and wait for their sidekicks to type/write those things out. Eventually, Mr. B learns that his long-lost daughter is somehow alive, which is enough for him to agree to return the egg without any further questions re: why. And the dome halts its shrinking!
Big Jim and Pauline are starting to get close again. Both Junior and Jim want Pauline to get back to painting, but she can't — her visions were nixed when Jim tossed the egg out of town. Nothing a little light romance can't handle, though. Pauline's muse comes all the way back, but there's blood dripping off the canvas when she's done (dun-dunnnn!).
Mr. Barbara is the first person to successfully touch the egg at the playground. Unfortunately, it turns out the men in black aren't his private army, I guess? They take orders from a higher entity and won't let the egg out of their sight. So Melanie starts dying again. Like I said: This is a notably messy episode, even for Under the Dome.
Julia visits the dome's edge for a teary plea. "Just please don't take any more of them," she asks, and the dome responds by resuming its shrinking. Oh, well — at least they've got a pastel prophecy to follow. "Wasn't sure anything this unscientific would interest you," Julia (seriously) tells Rebecca as they mobilize the New Domekidz and the Old Domekidz to all touch Melanie at the clearing where the egg was first found 25 years ago. After a brief discussion of quantum physics, the group grasps Melanie until she glows purple and awakes. Melanie rises and tells Pauline "it's so beautiful" before being sucked, screaming, into a dust-tornado/hole in the earth. This is Under the Dome at its Under the Dome–iest.
Pauline runs into the forest, convinced that she screwed up, which is a fair reaction considering that the plan was meant to heal Melanie, not deposit her into a brand-new abyss. Jim chases his wife and comforts her with his budding husband skills. Their passionate liplock ends in blood — psychotic Lyle evidently snuck up and stabbed Pauline mid-smooch, because he wants to go to heaven with her and everything. Jim pounds the singer turned barber, takes a second to consider his next move, and stabs his old frenemy in the chest. So much for Big Jim the Hero, and so much for Junior getting reacquainted with his mom. An anguished cover of the Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" kicks in and we're done. Finale's next week.