Under the Dome Recap: Please Find Another Exit

Photo: CBS
Under the Dome
Episode Title
The Fall
Editor’s Rating

After a weird, nonsensical cut from last week's closer to this week's opener, Big Jim stands befuddled at the reappearance of his presumed-dead wife. His confusion turns, comically, jaw-clenchingly, to anger. Jim assumes Pauline is another menacing dome-vision, like bullet-wounded Dodee. (Foreshadowing.) Pauline explains that she faked her death because it was "the only way to get out of Chester's Mill," and 'cause she thought the dome would follow her. Because she had visions of it coming down, I guess? Swiss-cheese logic stapled to a miserable performance. This is Under the Dome.

A couple weeks ago, I enumerated every way the dome-weather subplots have threatened to murder us by boredom. I can't go through that list again. But we're back, with Rebecca "Normally Fall's My Favorite" Sciencepine here to explain the newly accelerating dome-seasons. Suddenly, it's getting colder by the hour. Barbie arrives to save everyone from more weather talk. He and Julia share a "we've been separated for two episodes" mega-kiss, hilariously boxing Rebecca out of the shot. 

After a night of bomb-shelter snugglin', Junior and Melanie, the Egg Protectorz, have an awkward post-cuddle morning, smooch included. As soon as Mel leaves, Ghost Angie/Dome Angie shows up (either way: Hi, Angie!) to make cryptic remarks to Junior and gush blood from her head. This, and Melanie's "joke" about being "locked up" in the bomb shelter, are the type of hand-holding crap this show needs to kill before almost anything else. Don't remind us What Junior Did; it's the single biggest event that's ever happened with his character. Spare us the catch-up and write a scene that shows us something or takes the story someplace or answers one of the 1,400 mysteries that have been scattered around like a busted pack of Skittles.

Uncle Sam, super intense, runs Melanie down on the street to tell her (1) he's back; (2) he's not here to hurt anybody; (3) he didn't kill/"kill" Melanie back in the day; (4) Lyle did; and (5) Sam has regretted it every day since. Looking forward to seeing what our new pal's new purpose in Chester's Mill is, if he's canceled the Domekid killing spree. He'll probably die (again) in the finale.

[Mid-episode Google break: "dean norris with hair." Not the results I was looking for. Here's this, though.]

Out in Pauline's art studio, Jim has worked through all his feelings and wants to reunite with Pauline, because she loved him "once." Even though Pauline just said she came back to Chester's Mill "for Junior ... and you." Meanwhile, Barbie and Julia have a spectacularly boring conversation about what to do with the egg and who should jump first and who should jump last. Yawn Jacob Jingleheimer Snooze.

Hunter-Hacker introduces himself to Norrie and Joe, who are "celebrities online." Norrie says "direct-tweeted," which is not a thing under or over the dome. Hunter becomes a temporary honorary Domekid, specifically working the egg-retrieval project. 

Melanie and Barbie are now officially, unceremoniously half-siblings, as promised last week/as previously pioneered on Lost with Jack and Claire. They still can't agree on what to do with the egg, though, indicating that this long-lost-sibling-ship has as little consequence as most major developments on this series.

At the diner (I don't want to keep referencing "the Sweetbriar Rose"; that name lost its folksy charm 20-ish hours ago), ol' stockpilin' Andrea Grinell is forced by the screenwriting gods to argue for staying in Chester's Mill because it's their "home." Sure, the dome scenario sucks, but this is home! Big Jim shows up to claim first-outta-the-dome rights with no real struggle. Great guy to trust, perfect plan. 

Pauline has been egg-stricken with a vision of the skies splitting and fire belching from the Earth. It's "the end of everything," and it's coming. Jim, in a panic, locks Pauline into her studio and hears the magic rhythm-shaker egg whining on his way out. The egg is going all Twilight Zone in the bomb shelter, glowing angrily and making computer noises. Jim, who is not allowed to touch the egg, is blasted into a wall. Joe and Norrie show up to calm/take over the egg, and Jim whips out a pistol and gets off a good one: "There's a long list of people who've gone against me; I got no problem addin' Joe McAlister to it." Joe and Norrie take Jim to the high school at gunpoint, which is a top ten way to get around.

Junior shares his father's penchant for one-liners tonight, busting into Uncle Sam's cabin and muttering, "Pretty calm for a dead man." Then he pounds the shit out of his uncle and, right before doing an ax-murder, gets a second visit from Angie. She says Sam "still has a part to play; so does each of the hands." Junior, a little overdramatically, chops the floor beside Sam's head. He shall not kill, not this day. 

The abyss is still an entirely unexplained location we are now being asked to accept/deal with on a weekly basis. At its edge, Big Jim gets wide-eyed and emotional about the egg's continued egg-sistence (ah? ahhh?) in Chester's Mill. He smacks it into the abyss and the cave starts collapsing. Pauline's apocalypse dream starts coming true. Like I said: Jim's the guy you want on your team.

Sprung out of jail by the domequake and acting on a hot piece of gossip he overheard in lockup, DJ Philly Phil heads to the high school. Barbie and Julia follow him into the debris-free Styrofoam locker-cave, where the unanswerable abyss has morphed into a pit of rocky Mortal Kombat spikes. And there lies Phil, R.I.P. Also, R.I.P. to everyone's hopes of getting out of this dome. (Countdown to the season-three pickup.) And lastly, and most annoyingly, R.I.P. to anything that resembled a point to these last few episodes. All those talks about escaping Chester's Mill, and how to do it, and whether to do it? And all that Chester's Mill/Zenith back-and-forth? Pointless. This is now just Under the Dome with a few extra characters and a new bad guy we're barely going to see.

Minutes From the Town Meetin'

As soon as it became fall, everyone (Big Jim, Joe, Norrie) started wearing sweet jackets.

The next episode's called "Black Ice," and the one after that is "Turn." Are we getting a fall/winter/spring trio?

What are Barbie's charms as a romantic partner? What do we even know about him as a person? I always try answering these questions when I see him and Julia being lovey-dovey, and I always fail.

Lyle's whereabouts: the Great Beyond? Or just the bottom of the lake?