When we last left the residents of the unlucky town of Chester’s Mill, Hell hath broke loose! Big Jim Rennie (Dean Norris) had “murderer” Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara (Mike Vogel) literally in a noose on a scaffold in front of the town. This episode (which was written by Stephen King himself!) picks up right where we left off. Spoilers Abound.
The Dome is doing weird(er) things now. The clear dome turned opaque and started pulsing and attracting metal towards it. The bell from a church flies out of the wall and smashes into the dome wall. Meanwhile, Big Jim urges his son, Junior (Alexander Koch) to pull the lever to hang Barbie, but Junior can’t. He is finally turning around from his crazy ways.
Meanwhile, an injured and shot Julia (Rachelle Lefevre), thinking Barbie is dead, rushes to the shore of the lake. Suddenly, a young woman appears to be drowning in the lake. Julia rushes to save her. She is aided by a newcomer named Sam Verdreaux (Eddie Cahill), who lives in a nearby cabin. High pitched noises and lights continue to emit from the dome. Almost all of the town falls unconscious. Frantically, Big Jim pushes Junior out of the way, readying himself to pull the lever to hang Barbie, but new Sheriff Linda (Natalie Martinez) pulls her gun on Big Jim, telling him to stop.
Big Jim, Junior, Linda, and a cuffed Barbie go to investigate the magnetic dome, but it starts pulling things with more force to it’s edge, including Barbie’s cuffs! He gets dragged to the wall, but heroically Linda comes to help him out of his cuffs as more and more things are pulled to the wall. The large cop car edges closer before flying at the wall, just missing a freed Barbie, but unfortunately smashing Linda. Death number 1.
Meanwhile, in Sam’s cabin, the girl who was drowning wakes up. She is mute and weird. Sam looks at Julia’s bullet wound, while revealing he is an alcoholic paramedic. These two have chemistry. Sam also reveals his sister killed herself 9 years ago and he’s not over it.
Back at the Dome, Barbie, Big Jim, and Junior are shocked in the wake of Linda’s death. Barbie reveals Big Jim framed him for Dodee’s (Jolene Purdy) death. Junior is not happy about it. Barbie punches Big Jim and rushes off to find Julia, as Big Jim and Junior fight. Barbie finds a car and smashes its window in with a rock. I guess he wasn’t counting on the owner of the car to raise a shotgun to his back. Luckily, Barbie is skilled and is able to wrestle the gun out of her hands. The woman starts talking about the dome, saying she has been studying it and knows about it. She is Rebecca Pine (Karla Crome), local high school science teacher.
Over at the McAlister house, Angie (Britt Robertson), Joe (Colin Ford), and Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz), rush inside to save Norrie’s mom (Aisha Hinds). She is unconscious on the floor and as they try to save her, the house starts to tear apart because of the magnetic pull of the dome. Everything goes crazy! A nail is literally pulled through Joe’s hand. It is gross and awesome. Luckily, Barbie and Rebecca come in time to save the kids as a giant oven flies at the them. As soon as they leave, the entire house collapses in a heap!
Meanwhile, Big Jim rushes over to Junior’s former torture bunker to get some supplies. He gets trapped inside when some metal objects block the door. As he tries to figure out a way out, he is plagued by “visions” of Dodee, who lectures him on his bad behavior and says everything he has done has been for himself.
Over at the school, Rebecca explains everything about the dome, the pulses, and the new magnetism. The school sits in the central apex. She thinks if they construct a big enough conductor/tower, they can fix it. Angie pulls Barbie aside and says the Dome wants them to kill Big Jim and because they didn’t, all this bad stuff happened. Barbie isn’t about it though. He isn’t going to be a killer.
In Sam’s cabin, the weird girl has a bad dream and Sam comforts her, but she looks at him with a scared face. Sam asks Julia why she was shot, but she doesn’t give him a clear answer. She says she can fix the town and leaves. Sam looks through a creepy journal, which has pictures of four hands and the girl. He is becoming more and more suspicious. When he goes to check on the girl again, she is gone!
The girl wanders the streets. Angie yells out to her, but she doesn’t respond. Angie goes to the cafe to look for a gun. She is approached by Junior. The former foes are going to work together to bring down Big Jim. He is going to get her a gun from the police station. Meanwhile, Big Jim rigs an explosive as “ghost Dodee” still taunts him. The explosion works and he is free of the bunker.
The construction of the magnetic tower is going well, but then the Dome pulses and almost everyone passes out again, except Barbie, Big Jim, and Julia. While passed out, Junior has a vision of a different town and his mother (Sherry Stringfield), alive and well. She calls him her sweet boy. Odd. Julia and Barbie finally reunite! She thought he was dead. They kiss. Big Jim finds Junior’s passed out body, and yell/cries to the Dome, asking what to do. A “ghost Linda” appears and taunts him, saying she wouldn’t dare tell the Big Jim Rennie what to do, he only does what he wants. She says it’s not too late to learn the value of sacrifice and looks to the noose.
Just as Big Jim is struggling with the noose, Barbie and Julia show up. Big Jim can’t reach the lever, so Julia says she’ll do it. Before she pulls it, she asks him why now. He just yells at her to do it, but at the last second, she doesn’t! So, Big Jim slams the floor door with his feet, bursting through and falling. Quick thinking Julia pulls out a knife and slashes the noose before he can hang! His sacrifice clears up the “white clouds” of the Dome and everyone wakes up! The creepy girl crouches near Linda’s body, and apologizes. What is that about?
Everything is good and happy now, right? The scaffold is thrown away, Barbie and Julia kiss. Big Jim tells Lenny Kravitz, er Phil (Nicholas Strong) that Barbie is innocent. Rebecca thinks she solved everything, though Julia thinks it was something else. In the cafe, if you are quick, you’ll catch a Stephen King cameo! Big Jim offers Norrie and family a space in their home. They accept. Rebecca approaches Big Jim, presenting him info about the downed power sources. Angie threatens Big Jim, saying she’d be happy to kill him. Then Sam Verdreaux arrives. We learn he is Junior’s uncle! So that means his dead sister is Junior’s mother. Small town, eh? It seems Sam hasn’t been seen in a while. Big Jim and Sam exchange glares.
Sam approaches Julia on the street. There is an exchange and he meets Barbie. Hm. Do I smell love triangle? Sam tells Julia the girl is missing. Big Jim and Junior creepily watch the exchange from the cafe. The last time they saw Sam was his mom’s funeral. Junior doesn’t think it’s a coincidence. Junior also tells his father he saw his mom when he passed out. She is still alive, but Big Jim denounces this belief. Junior angrily storms out, telling his dad to call him James, not Junior. Maybe things won’t be that different this season?
Meanwhile, in a loft apartment elsewhere, Junior’s mom paints pictures, of her son, and a door. A nearby television plays news reports about the Dome. So, wait. She is still alive? Whoa!
Back in the Dome, Angie sees the creepy girl and follows her to the school. The girl goes to a locker and then runs off when she sees Angie. Angie goes to the locker, looks inside, turns and screams when an axe/sword/shovel comes piercing down on her, spraying blood against the lockers. WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED.
That’s it for the premiere. Crazy stuff. I enjoyed it and I like the direction they are taking the show. I think Stephen King helped out a lot. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below! Any questions, comments, and concerns are welcome!
Under the Dome airs Monday @ 10/9c on CBS. Watch full episodes online at CBS.com, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.