On one hand, I'm ok with new characters being introduced to Under the Dome partway through the first season. After all, only eight days have gone by, dome-time, so it's reasonable to consider that there are interesting characters hiding out all over town just waiting to be discovered. On the other hand, the introduction of Natalie Zea's Maxine did make me think that a series like this will need to be careful with such devices, lest Under the Dome stumble into Nikki and Paulo territory. (Lost reference). But as I said, we're still in the first season and only 8 days have passed, so Maxine gets a pass. But make a note of that, Under the Dome, lest you find yourself burying your newly introduced hotties alive to make amends.
Let's move on to the title of the episode: "The Fourth Hand." This references the necessary fourth hand required to unlock minidome, after which I anticipate the black egg to hatch a chicken that Joe will actually be able to catch and cook at his sister's diner. It's all coming together! Ok, not really. Obviously, something is supposed to happen when Angie, Joe, Norrie and the fourth hand touch the mini dome, which is now hidden away in a barn. Is it way too obvious to assume that Junior is the fourth hand? He does have his very own portrait of himself, painted by his mother pre-suicide, standing among pink stars. I'd say he's the likely candidate. Did Angie realize that? Or are they going to embark on a manhunt before eventually luring Junior into the barn to play patty cake with mini dome?
Moving on to bigger problems, Big Jim Rennie's got himself an arsenal. After a drugged up guy got trigger happy, Jim opted to invite the residents of Chester's Mill to lay down their arms, and by lay them down, he meant bring them to him where he could keep them safe and sound in his bunker. Giving up the weapons wasn't required, but an offer of extra food enticed many to volunteer their weapons. Ted was not one of them. Ted's a widower whose wife and child were killed by the dome when their car slammed into it. Depressed and suicidal, Ted planned to kill himself with a grenade, but Rennie wrestled it away from him and put the pin back in before it was too late.
Seeing Big Jim and Barbie working together again, we could almost picture them as friends, but not quite. It seems obvious that neither trusts the other. But in an interesting turn, Maxine showed up and later revealed that she knows both of them. Big Jim's shady dealings tie him to Zea's character, while Barbie knows her both professionally and personally. From their conversation, it sounds like Barbie and Maxine had a lot of sex a few months back. Not only does Maxine have that nugget of information to use against Julia if she so chooses, but she also knows Barbie killed Peter, which she appears to be using to keep Barbie at her side. Was anyone else hoping Barbie would just tell Julia about Peter tonight? Of course, it would probably wreck that little romance, but Maxine seems like the wrong woman to be forced to work for, especially in a situation like this where Barbie has seemed determined to work strictly freelance. What's he going to be like taking orders from someone?
So Maxine has dealings with Jim and Barbie. And she has something to do with the propane, which has something to do with a drug called Rapture, which Reverend Coggins was selling. Linda uncovered all of this - minus Maxine's connections with Jim and Barbie - during tonight's episode. So at the very least, she should have a vague idea that Maxine is involved in the propane situation and possibly the drug situation.
Other tidbits from the episode:
Angie's tattoo is blue and yellow, so it's not actually a monarch butterfly.
Dodee's Yagi device is supposedly broken. Either that or Dodee has just retreated to her radio station where she can avoid the kids and any other weirdness abound and wait for Phil to recover from his latest ailment. (Check out our interview with actor Jolene Purdy here to learn a few things about Dodee!)
Truman the dog returned! He peed on a bunch of stuff, scared up some birds and discovered the new location of the mini dome. I like to imagine Truman is going to save the whole town someday. Or maybe he'll sail a boat into the edge of the dome and then let himself out the emergency exit.
Finally, Joe walked in his sleep to bring the mini dome from the woods to the barn. If the mini dome can be transported, does that mean they could dig up the big dome and move it somewhere? Maybe then they could roll it across the country like a great big hamster ball. Sounds messy.