Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 1, Episode 10 of CBS' "Under the Dome," titled "Let the Games Begin."
When we reconnect with our favorite Chester's Mill trio, Angie, Norrie and Joe are sleeping around the mini dome. Norrie and Joe have tied themselves together for fear that Joe might get up and sleepwalk again. When they rise, they discover that there's now a caterpillar inside the mini dome -- and it's not just any caterpillar. Joe notes that because it's black, white and yellow that it will turn into a monarch butterfly. Cue dramatic music!
We're only three episodes away from the end of the season, and it's pretty clear the writers have decided to have a few drinks and write whatever pops into their minds. This week, it's an illegal fighting ring set up by Max to make money and entertain herself along the way.
In this episode, every main character group has their own little adventure for the first time in a while, so to make it easier, I'll break it down into the five big plot points.
Barbie gets bruised and bloodied
When Barbie comes to Rennie's house to discuss what they should do about Max, they discover that she also owns a real estate company and has some property on nearby islands. But before they can join forces to visit the island, Max bursts in out of nowhere and says she has to borrow Barbie. Either she has these guys bugged or her timing is just always impeccable.
Max takes Barbie to what she calls her "little project." Somehow Max stayed undercover from Big Jim and Barbie for 7 days, but was able to set up an underground fig club from the comfort of her living room. Impressive.
At the old cement factory, men are bargaining for goods their families need to survive by fighting to the near-death and Max is their ringleader. Max gets off on the power while Barbie is clearly disturbed. She forces him to fight by dangling Peter Shumway over his head (for the first of many, many times this episode) and after his expected protests, Barbie reluctantly agrees and is faced with a muscle-covered man he apparently had former dealings with. After a few bloody minutes, his opponent goes down. Sensing Max's pleasure at this, Barbie taunts the man until he gets up and knocks him out.
Turns out, Max has money on Barbie's opponent instead of him, because she knew he'd throw the fight just to spite her. After they argue, Max forces a kiss on Barbie and asks him to join her in power play. Barbie risks his secrets coming out and leaves Max, saying he'll never partner with her again.
Big Jim reconnects with a former classmate ... kind of
While Barbie and Max are off watching human cockfighting, Big Jim pays Max's estate a visit. When he arrives, he meets the groundskeeper, a seemingly harmless woman named Agatha, and finds out that Max doesn't actually own the house. He says he'll wait around for the owner. Inside the mansion, Big Jim is in the middle of snooping when he turns around and finds Agatha with a huge shotgun in her hand. Because every second of this show has to have a twist, we find out that Agatha is really "Maxine's" mother and she knows all of Big Jim's little secrets.
Agatha explains that she's actually Big Jim's former classmate who got knocked up and had to drop out of school. She also brags about how much she knows about Chester's Mill and ends up telling Big Jim all about Barbie's past. Because Big Jim really needs more leverage in this town.
After listening to Agatha spill the beans, Rennie is able to grab the gun away from her and tie her hands together. He then puts her on a boat for what could just be a romantic sailing trip. Instead, Agatha falls into the water and, because she's tied up, begs for Big Jim to help her. The predictable councilman drives away and leaves her to drown.
When he arrives back home from his full day of learning secrets and watching former friends drown, he finds Linda waiting on his doorstep threatening to arrest him because of what she found out today ...
Julia and Linda learn a lot of things we already knew
Julia goes to the police station to try and find Barbie but instead, finds Linda looking through files. The two chat for a few minutes and Linda decides to tell Julia what she knows about the propane scheme. For a journalist, Julia really doesn't have to press hard for stories.
After Linda shows Julia the tape of Duke and Max that we saw last episode, she discovers a key to a bank safety deposit box hidden in Duke's hat. The town's bank is predictably torn apart, but they're able to break into the safety deposit room. (Note to self, never leave valuables at the Chester's Mill bank.) Inside, they find a confession from Duke. In the letter we learn that the deceased sheriff lost his son to drugs and in bid to save others, he made a deal with the devil, AKA Max. Apparently he promised to help Max get the propane she needed for her 'rapture drug' if she promised to keep all mainstream drugs out of Chester's Mill. Duke's morals only went as far as the town limits.
The letter also implicates Big Jim, so now Linda and Julia are the only living residents other than Max who know about his secret. When Linda goes to arrest Big Jim, he asks her to wait until the morning. Because no one in Chester's Mill thinks like a normal human being, she agrees.
Junior is about to become everyone's best friend
So, Angie and Norrie and Joe are still trying to figure out who is the owner of the fourth hand when a nurse at the clinic mentions a student who once had a seizure after one of Angie's dance in middle school. Angie remembers that Junior had the seizure and grapples with the fact that the fourth hand belongs to her worst nightmare. She leads Norrie and Joe to Junior's mom's studio to show them the paintings so that they believe her. Junior catches them snooping and gets angry until Angie calms him down with promises that they're connected to something "amazing."
The four teenagers head to the barn and when they all place their hands on the mini dome, the egg explodes and stars fill the room. Joe notes that there are 'constellations' everywhere, but I'm not sure that the pink stars are really forming the Big Dipper. Sure, it's pretty, but we're with Junior when he asks, "But what does it mean?"
Julia and Barbie succeed in having the most screwed up relationship ever
At the end of the episode, we find Julia back at home waiting for Barbie. When he walks in, he decides to explain everything to her and confess the murder. Before he can finish, Julia interrupts him and says she knows. She found all of Peter's bullets in the house but no gun so she deduced that when Barbie went to collect the money from Peter, he pulled a gun on him and ended up dead. When Barbie admits to everything, Julia shows him an insurance policy she found that states it would be void if Peter had committed suicide. She says Peter wanted to die in order to save Julia.
As if the decisions of the characters couldn't get any more unrealistic, Julia decides to stay with Barbie, so long as he doesn't lie to her anymore. Barbie agrees but leaves out the whole Max thing. I guess omitting the truth isn't really lying. I see a very healthy future between these two lovebirds.
- Dodi spied on the teenagers and found the mini dome but when she went to touch it, she was thrown back and shocked. When she woke up, she didn't remember finding the egg, so Norrie and co. think they're safe.
- Angie ended up telling Joe and Norrie about Junior's kidnapping fiasco, despite her promise to Big Jim. Scrawny Joe threatened to beat him up, but Junior is their fourth hand so no can do.
- At the end of the episode, the caterpillar was secured in a cocoon (or "chrysalis," according to Joe).
- As far as we know, Junior hasn't had a seizure since the dome went down, yet he's touched it many times. Either this is a case of inconsistent writing or there's a reason for this.
"Under the Dome" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.