"They totally saw the dome coming," Joe's skater friend said, when referencing The Simpsons Movie during tonight's Under the Dome episode. Great little nod to the animated film that technically came out before Stephen King's book was published, and shares a very similar premise when factoring in the giant dome that falls upon Springfield. Were there scary Rennies trapped under the Springfield dome? What about a rogue deputy with a rifle? Chester's Mill has all that and then some.
Tonight was a great night for Big Jim Rennie, whose many faces were featured throughout "Manhunt." There's the face he wears for the town, rallying the townspeople and trying to show confidence that they'd track down Paul, the deputy who shot Freddie last week and then, tonight, managed to escape Linda's custody, lock her in the jail cell and take off with one of the sheriff's department's rifles. Paul spent the episode on the run, and with his military expertise, he might have evaded Jim's search party for a while. In fact, he even managed to shoot at least one of Rennie's guys, and later, he had Rennie in his sights, until Linda showed up and took him out. RIP Paul. And that's one less law enforcer in Chester's Mill, though it's probably safe to say he checked out the moment he fired off his weapon during "The Fire."
I want to say that Linda is capable of handling things at the Sheriff's department, mainly because she did track down Paul. But she was sort of the one to let him get past her in the first place. In the end, it really comes down to a very short-staffed Sheriff's department, and with Big Jim seeming to inch closer and closer to taking over, that may become an even bigger problem for Chester's Mill, considering there's a dark side to him that keeps revealing itself. On the bright side, we did see Linda push back at JIm when he tried to take charge, so at the very least, there's some resistance there.
Jim may have revealed his cards to Barbie tonight, depending on how much Barbie read into Jim's "eye for an eye" philosophy speech about making an example. That, added to Big Jim's story about taking out a bully and shattering his pelvis makes me think he's intent on letting Barbie know that he's not a man to be messed with… unlike his son. Jim may not know the full story about Junior and Barbie's fight, but he does know that his son took at least one punch to the face from this mysterious out-of-towner with military training. Jim seems to be playing nice with Barbie, but behind that smile, he may be trying to intimidate him. Or at the very least, trying to feel him out, maybe to see if this is a guy who can work with him, or who might work against him.
And then there's Junior. Poor Junior. Is it ok to feel sorry for the guy? I know he has a girl locked up in a bunker, which makes him pretty horrible as a person, but he's also kind of a mess. When Junior gave his father his own personal version of the story about the fight with Barbie, claiming Barbie is psycho and acting like he wasn't the one who instigated the fight, Jim's response was to bring up Junior's deceased mother and suggest that Junior's still hiding behind her skirt. Talk about cold. Knowing that Junior's mother passed away makes me wonder if that loss is at the root of his abandonment issues, assuming that's the reason he locked Angie up the moment she tried to walk away from him. Just a bit of armchair psychology for you there. Maybe he just has some serious issues to sort out. Or maybe the dome's making him crazy. Both Junior and Paul blamed the dome for the bad things that have been happening. Paul said the dome killed Freddie, and Junior spoke to the dome as though it were an actual person. So, is the dome making people crazy? Or is it just reflecting some of the mental instability that was already inside Chester's Mill to begin with? That is the question.
And what's up with the seizures? Tonight, it was Joe and Norrie who fell to the floor with a "Pink stars are falling in lines" synchronized-seizure. Neither was in direct proximity to the dome when it happened, but the seizure did seem to take place the moment they held hands. That seemed relevant.
Other happenings around the Dome
Joe may not have figured out that his sister has gone missing, but Angie seemed to figure out that being nice to Junior might get her further than angering him. She attempted to sweet talk him, first by encouraging him to find a way out of the dome, and later by helping bandage his knuckles, which he cut and bruised punching the dome. Junior's punches were about as effective as Paul's bullets, except no one got killed when he let out his anger.
Julia spent some time with Junior when she followed him underground and into the tunnels, where Junior was hoping to find a way out from under the dome. They had a loosely bonding moment when Julia revealed a mistake she'd made in her past. She may have noticed that Junior's a bit unstable, but she didn't seem particularly scared of him. At the very least, she stayed calm with him when they tried to find their way out, which they did. And during their time together, Junior revealed that it was Barbie who punched him in the face. He also put some suspicion into Julia's mind, which resulted in her later looking through Barbie's things and finding a map of Chester's Mill with a location marked off, indicating that he lied when he said he was just passing through.
Is that location the cabin where Barbie accidentally killed her husband? If that's the case, I won't be surprised at all of Julia ends up paying that place a visit and maybe finding something of Peter's that causes her to grow even more suspicious of Barbie. You know sooner or later she's going to find out.
Sounds like Revered Coggins might have some substance abuse issues. Big Jim paid him a visit in the hospital and then spoke to him later and asked him if he was clean. That has to be relevant. And we're still waiting for more clues about the propane and why Jim wanted Coggins to burn those invoices in Duke's house.
Finally, Norrie spent the episode lying about her background. And I spent the episode thinking she reminds me of a gothy Thora Birch. It seems she's a little embarrassed by having two mothers, as she lied to Joe about her parental situation and made up a story about having a musician father. Granted, it's not all that abnormal for a teen to wish they had cooler parents, but after the comments made toward Carolyn in the diner, I'm thinking she didn't love learning that her daughter denied her. That seems more likely to be resolved eventually than the potential for conflict that might arise of those men in the diner aren't the only two Chester's Mill's residents who have a problem with Carolyn and Alice's relationships. Being outsiders doesn't help. That's a problem these two women share with Barbie, who's already put himself on people's radars.
And that about covers it. I'm wondering if Joe's recent seizure and the fact that his generator broke will draw attention to the fact that the kid is all on his own. It actually just occurred to me that Joe McAlister is home alone. Based on this behind-the-scenes look at next week's episode ("Outbreak"), maybe the Wet Bandits found Angie...