Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 1, Episode 5 of CBS' "Under the Dome," titled "Blue on Blue."
It's been five weeks since we met the Chester's Mill captives and the general public is allowed to come visit the dome for the first time. And by visit, I mean they're being bused in like tourists by the military to gawk at the unlucky town.
When we left the town last week, Big Jim had just discovered Angie in the bomb shelter but had yet to decide what he was going to do about it. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't immediately let Angie go. Instead, he brings the blue-lipped prisoner a thin blanket and retires to the house to look through old photo albums and wonder, "Where did I go wrong?"
On the other side of town, the military brings buses of family members to the outside of the dome so they can see those that have been trapped. Even the members of the army seem to have a change of heart; instead of ignoring the residents, they actually acknowledge them. Morale is lifted in the town as mothers see their long lost sons and fiancées see their future husbands, but not for long. The cameras also lure out Norrie's absent father, which sends the teenager running because her moms lied about his existence. Even the dome can't stop family drama.
After the crowds disperse, Barbie uses his military hero status (he saved a man in Iraq after his troop accidently shot at their own) to get a soldier to explain that things are bad. Really, really bad. The government gave them orders to pack up and leave right after the field trip, with no plans to return. Using clues (and picked up radio signals from outside) Barbie and company deduce that a missile is going to be launched at the dome, presumably killing everyone inside.
Julia decides to send out a message to get everyone in town to convene at the old cement factory, the one she and Junior rendezvoused at a few episodes ego. As the townspeople head to safety, Big Jim has a change of heart and decides that since everyone is going to die anyway, he might as well let Angie go. He cuts her shackles and sends her running barefoot to her house. Unfortunately, the only person waiting for her at home is Junior, who found out his father released her. Hey, at least he's dedicated. Junior brandishes a gun while telling Angie that all he wanted to do was save her. Because she's about to die, she opens her arms to Junior and caresses him while he cries.
Meanwhile, the town hunkers down in the makeshift fallout shelter. While the outside world plans to destroy the town, the residents of Chester's Mill spend their last minutes together. It's interesting to see how they decide to spend what could be their last breaths on earth: Julia and Barbie share old liquor, the radio hosts slow dance to oldies, and Linda sneaks away to a water tower to look at engravings she and her fiancé left.
Everyone is safely in the underground tunnel except Joe and Norrie, who are off looking for Joe's sister and running away from moms who keep secrets. They realize their search is futile as the missile comes barreling towards the dome, and -- in a romantic gesture straight out of an apocalyptic John Hughes film -- Joe and Norrie kiss for the first time. Except the missile crashes into the barrier and does nothing more than create a cloud of smoke.
So alas, everyone is "safe." Well, almost everyone. At the end of the episode the reverend threatens Big Jim, promising that if he doesn't repent for his sins, the reverend will do it for him. Never one to take a threat lightly, Big Jim smashes the reverend's head against the dome, causing his hearing aid to explode. Earlier in the episode we found out that our ill-fated man of God thought he was receiving messages from the Lord in said hearing device. On the bright side, one less nutjob to deal with under the dome.
"Under the Dome" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.
"Big Jim doesn't see himself as a bad guy. He thinks he's doing right, he thinks he is the chosen leader of the town. He does save the town a number of times. Certain people, if they keep the trains running, see themselves as the right person for the job even though the way they go about doing that isn't necessarily all that kosher. There's a side of him that's as dark as ever. He has moments where he'll go to the dark side like that, which is really the fun part about playing him. I would really like the audience to go, 'Big Jim's a sweet guy, he's not really a bad guy,' then all of a sudden, in a heartbeat, the reptilian part comes out."
"The dome is a device, it's a fish bowl, and you put a bunch of fish in a fish bowl and bang on it and you see how they react. You'll see some fish eat other fish, you'll have other fish fight the fish that are eating the other fish, but that's kind of what this is, an experiment. But, also, we're dealing with the added element of what is this thing, where did it come from, is it man-made, is it other-worldly? What are the limitations of this world in which we now find outselves?"
"How do I play a character who is so determined not to examine her own life and her own choices and how far will I go in pursuit of a story to avoid that? The more my own life starts to fall apart in the show, the more obsessed I have to be with the dome and everything that's happening in Chester's Mill. We flirt with every possible outcome that thing could be. We examine it in many, many, many ways and it's still standing at the end of the day, so draw your own conclusions as to what that is, why that is, how that is, but as far as where we are in episode 10 right now, we're still perplexed and finding out some interesting stuff."
"There are two sides to Junior, the public persona that his dad wants him to be, the town jock and bully jerk, and there's the broken child that is inside Junior that he probably is more connected to because of past history with family and losing his mother at a young age. He finds this thing in Angie that fills this gap that's missing in his heart. He gets obsessed and wants to keep that quality. He wants to keep that love as much as he can so he does what he does."
"It's not like we have a clear trajectory of where we're going. We just get to play it episode by episode, which is awesome. It's so much more fun that way because we're living it as the characters are. In a show like this, we can go at any moment. I'm not dead yet..."
"I felt he was kind of simple, but because of his lack of parents (who are on the outside) and his sister isn't around, he has to grow up a little bit. He has to figure things out. So Joe does a lot of growing up in the first episodes. He goes on his instincts. Joe loves this. The dome may be a scary thing but it's also the most exciting thing that's ever happened in Chester's Mill. It's something to talk about, to think about; what is this thing and how can he figure it out? What does he have to do?"
"With Linda, what you see is what you get. As to why I stayed in town and why I became a cop, why I'm such a tough girl and I don't have parents, there's a story to be had there. But for the most part, what you see is what you get. It's very vulnerable, when you have somebody that doesn't have a clear past or history, it's like, Where are you gonna go? Who are you, really? Is the dome going to change you?"
"It's interesting where [the writers are] going; we make our speculations and we're totally wrong and blown away. There are some skills you have in life and in a crisis situation, they're heightened. [Dodee] gets a line to the outside world. Technology makes sense to her, people don't. Stepping out of the radio station and getting to interact with everyone, it's different. Because she doesn't necessarily trust anyone. She's keeping everything that she's finding pretty close to her and not really trusting everyone. She has some unique skill sets that she doesn't want everyone to know that she has."
"A lot of times, network TV isn't notable for bravery because what happens is you have a lot of executives who feel like the concept is a Christmas turkey. This is the most beautiful Christmas turkey I have ever seen. Let's sit down and have dinner. And when dinner is over, we're going to turkey sandwiches, and then the next day we're going to have turkey meatloaf and the day after that we're going to have turkey tetrazzini, turkey soup until there's nothing left but the bones. There's a tendency to run things until they're threadbare. I have no idea how far they're going to go or what they're going to do with it. But the one thing I've said to all the writers and to the people, the executives who are involved with this is, let's be thinking ahead all the time about how we're going to button this up. Because what guys like me do is, I run the story. And there's always more surprise. There can always be another story. And if you like 'Under the Dome' well then maybe there'll be something else that will come along. Who knows?"
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