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Everything You Need to Know About Under the Dome Before Starting Season 2

???€?œLet the Games Begin???€? ???€?“ Julia uncovers the truth about her husband???€?™s disappearance and unravels some of Chester???€?™s Mill???€?™s darkest secrets. Meanwhile, Maxine shows Barbie how she plans to take control of the town, on UNDER THE DOME, Monday, August 26 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Natalie Zea guest stars as Maxine. Pictured (l-r) Mackenzie Lintz as Norrie, Colin Ford as Joe, Britt Robertson as Angie and Alex Koch as Junior. Photo: Brownie Harris /?‚??2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc..All Rights Reserved. Pictured Photo: Best Possible Screen Grab ?‚???‚??2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc.. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: CBS

CBS’s Under the Dome returns tonight for its second season and the “event” that so quickly went from a limited miniseries to a full-fledged TV show has gone way beyond its Stephen King source material. If you tuned out last summer but would like to just jump into season two, there are only a few important things to know. Here’s a really, really, really simplified rundown.

There’s a dome.
That’s the big thing! It covers the town of Chester’s Mill and no one knows how it got there. Here’s what we do know about this dome by the end of season one:

  • It’s soundproof. 
  • No, there isn’t a hole in the top. It’s a dome.
  • No, you can’t blow it up with a tank shell.
  • It’s somehow connected to a mini-dome and the magical egg inside. Like a Russian nesting doll made of red herrings. (More on that in a few … )

There are people inside the dome. The important ones are:

  • Norrie and Joe: Two kids who are connected by the Dome and have matching seizures during which they yell about pink stars falling.
  • Julia: Julia is the town journalist, so that means she’s extra curious.
  • Barbie: a.k.a. Dale Barbara, is a mysterious vet who mysteriously appears in Chester’s Mill. You learn he’s there because he killed Julia’s husband, Peter, because it was his job as a gambling debt enforcer to track him down. He also saves a bunch of people, hooks up with Julia, and gets framed for murders committed by Junior, the son of …
  • Big Jim: He is the Bad Guy. Former councilmember turned kinda cop, he kills lots of people and tries to mess everything up because he wants to maintain power and he’s hiding a secret stash of drugs.
  • Junior and Angie: Junior and Angie dated until he locked her in an underground shelter after he suspected she was cheating on him with Barbie. Junior is Big Jim’s son and becomes a makeshift cop after the Dome drops. He’s also a Bad Guy and he also has had the aforementioned pink stars seizures.
  • Dodee: Just kidding! She’s not important. She ran the radio station and then she was killed, but her death was so hilarious that she became the Dome’s unofficial mascot.
  • Other dead Dome-ers? Norrie’s mother Alice (because she ran out of insulin), Reverend Coggins (killed by Big Jim for stealing drugs or something), Maxine (Big Jim’s former partner in meth-making, killed by him), Deputy Freddy (killed by a bullet that ricochets off the Dome), Rose (owner of the local diner, killed by looters — who are then also killed), Agatha (drowned by Big Jim, Maxine’s mother) … There are other dead people, probably, but you do not need to know about them because they are dead. 

What are these magic eggs?
Good question. Lovebirds Joe and Norrie first find an egg inside a mini-dome that’s under the dome
. (Are you following?) The egg lights up and causes some people to see hallucinations. Later, Julia touches the mini-dome containing said egg and sees a ghost-double of Joe, who is saying: “The Monarch will be crowned.” Yes: A butterfly eventually hatches from the egg. After Norrie, Joe, Junior, and Angie place their hands on the dome together (they’ve all separately figured out they each have similar dreams about the “pink stars” that connects them), the mini-dome breaks, releasing the egg and butterfly. Both the egg and the butterfly “choose” Julia as the Monarch. A being who looks like the recently deceased Alice appears and says that it has taken “human form” to “bridge the divide” and “protect them.” In return, they just have to continue to protect the egg.

Wait, so what is it that made the dome?
It’s unclear. What is clear is that Julia has to choose between Barbie and protecting the egg — Big Jim’s got Barbie literally in a noose for killing people (whom his son actually murdered). She chooses Egg and (to protect it?) throws it into the lake. Then the pink stars everyone’s been blabbing about rise and the dome fades into light.

So Barbie is dead.
Maybe. Probably not.

Everything You Need to Know About Under the Dome