Another day, another crisis under the dome! Those of us who attended the Under the Dome Comic-Con panel on Sunday had the opportunity to see tonight's episode, which saw the residents of Chester's Mill visited by loved ones and estranged family members. And tonight I can actually talk about it in detail since it aired. If you haven't seen tonight's episode, titled "Blue On Blue," consider yourselves spoiler warned!
The dome continues to be a catalyst for drama, but how directly is the Dome interfering in people's lives? Joe and Norrie might not be the only two people receiving messages from the Dome. Either that, or Reverend Coggins' "Moab" message was merely his hearing aid picking up some frequency from outside the dome, but I'm not sure hearing aids work that way. So let's say it was the dome warning him of "Moab," that's one more mystery to explore, though it won't be Coggins exploring it. His arc ended tonight as Big Jim decided it was time to eliminate one more unpredictable scenario for himself. But we'll get to that in a bit. Let's get back to Moab, which Coggins took to be a biblical reference, but may have actually been a warning of what was to come. Moab = M.O.A.B. or "Mother of all Bombs," as explained to us by Barbie. It seems "Visitor's Day" was really "Goodbye day" as family members were invited to see their loved ones one last time before the military shot a missile at a bomb, which would effectively demolish Chester's Mill, if it succeeded in penetrating the dome. Of course, it only succeeded in destroying the area outside the dome. When the dust literally settled, we could see the stark contrast of protected inside area and devastated outside area.
So, as relieved as the Chester's Mill residents likely are that they survived the blast, it's got to be twice as scary knowing this capsule can withstand such an assault. I also like to think it'll be awkward when they encounter the military people who essentially tried to kill them.
The "M.O.A.B." was this week's big threat, and as we've seen in previous weeks, that arc was effective in pushing the plot forward in a number of areas. Here's what happened while people were preparing for the end of the world.
Big Jim let Angie out of the bunker, but it's well worth noting that he made this decision only after he heard about the missile. He initially left her down there to think about his next move, which suggests there were alternative thoughts going on in his head. But with the missile on its way, he figured there was nothing to lose by letting her go. So the decision wasn't quite as merciful as it might have been otherwise, and tonight we saw Jim's murderous side when he pushed Coggins' ear against the dome, knowing his hearing aid would malfunction, and sure enough it did. Coggins (presumably) died not long after blood started spurting out of his ear. Gross. Big Jim killing Coggins fulfills one thing that happens in the book, though things happened a little bit differently in King's novel. But the general situation seems about the same.
We'd seen Coggins going off about sinners before. Last week, he was burning medication and this week he was preaching about "Moab." But we also know he's involved in whatever sneaky dealings Big Jim and other people in CM are trying to keep quiet. Tonight he mentioned something about helping drug dealers make their poison, which is one more big clue about that developing mystery.
Julia found out that Peter was going to leave her. He sent a letter to his sister telling her as much. So she's that much closer to learning what was going on with him, but she still doesn't know he's dead. Barbie was going to tell Julia, since the missile was coming, but he never got to it. We did see Barbie have a moment with Phil, and it seems he's haunted by an incident in the military involving friendly fire. At this point, it looks like Barbie's feeling a lot of remorse. It seems like it's only a matter of time before Julia finds out about Barbie's involvement in Peter's death. I'm thinking they might save that inevitably dramatic reveal until just as Julia and Barbie are crossing into more-than-friends territory. Romance seems inevitable for these two, and now that Julia knows Peter was leaving her, she might decide she's off the hook in terms of her marital obligations, right?
Speaking of romantic entanglements, Norrie and Joe kissed! And they didn't have a seizure doing it, which is interesting. It was a big episode for Norrie, who learned that her father isn't actually some anonymous sperm donor, but a man who had a relationship with Alice. Dad had pictures to support this, which he showed her through the dome on Visitor's Day. I thought it was kind of odd that this guy would surface now, showing up with photos and no way to actually speak to his daughter. Seemed like an inappropriate time to cause such major chaos in the personal lives of his daughter and ex-whatever without being able to really sit down and discuss it. But that was before we knew that Visitor's Day was actually Goodbye Day. If he thought this was the last time he was ever going to see his little girl, it's not hard to understand why he'd want to approach her and have some kind of communication with her before it was too late. Of course, we'll have to wait and see the fallout from this revelation.
Dodee and Phil had a sweet moment while dancing to Skeeter Davis' "End of the World," a great pick by Phil, who compiled a "last thing we'll ever hear" playlist, which also included some Beethoven. Phil is a lot more likable in the TV show than he was in the book, I'll say that much. And Dodee's "I hate you" comment makes me think these two are really just great friends, but who knows? Maybe there's another romance destined here.
Linda ignored her own rule about not letting anyone touch the dome by giving Rusty a kiss through the dome on Visitor's Day. She also had to reveal to her fiancé that his brother was dead.
And after Big Jim let Angie go, Junior - who's now badged and uniformed - quickly tracked her down and held her at gunpoint. Let's all celebrate Junior's keen detective skills, announcing "I knew you'd come here" when Angie found him waiting for her. In her bedroom. At her house. How he figured out that she'd go home, we don't know. I guess he's just that good. Sarcasm aside, Angie played the situation cool, not panicking as he pointed a gun at her. And when she found out the missile was coming, she seemed to give in and let Junior rest his head on her lap. So... is she forgiving him? Or was she just willing to put it all aside and let the world end? It'll be interesting to see where that picks up.
In other news, butterflies were flocking to the side of the dome at the start of the episode. It was a beautiful piece of special effects work, and did a nice job of mixing "pretty" with "creepy." But what was that all about? Dodee said something about insects using magnetic fields to navigate, so it could just be science at work here. Or maybe that was just one more example of the dome giving a warning, as it seemed like that was the place where the missile later hit. And at the end of the episode, there was just one lone butterfly left. A surviver-butterlfy… like Jim Rennie? He was the one left looking at it through the dome, past the spot of blood left by Coggins' ear. An eery image if ever there was one. See what I did there?
Finally, we found out that China threatened to attack the U.S., believing the dome was some kind of weapon in development. The president managed diffuse the situation, but it sounds like the dome's having a big impact on the world outside. At the very least, the residents of Chester's Mill can rest easier knowing that if China does attack, they're probably safe. The dome is impenetrable from bullets, trucks, planes and missiles. Then again, no one can get out, which still sucks.
By the Book
Without getting into end-of-the-book spoilers here, it's well worth acknowledging that "Visitor's Day" in Chester's Mill ended much differently in the book. So that's a major deviation. And as I mentioned, Coggins dies in the book at the hand of Rennie, though that happened differently. But the sentiment remained the same. The reverend was making trouble and sooner or later people were going to start listening. He's now one less person in Big Jim's way.
Here's a new poster for the series. It's quite mooving. (Sorry.)