Only two episodes into the season, Under The Dome is already back in Crisis-of-the-Week mode. The butterflies are reproducing too quickly because of, oh, let’s say magnets, and the caterpillars they hatch are devouring all the crops, which they wouldn’t normally do, except…magnets. (Cue Insane Clown Posse scratching their heads.) Who needs a reason, really? The answer is always “that’s what the dome wanted,” even if no two people can agree on what it is the dome actually wants.
That’s one crisis; the other is the discovery that Angie has, in fact, been murdered. This is an unfortunate turn of events considering that Britt Robertson was one of the most appealing performers on the show, but if this frees her up to do bigger and better things, good for her. Her body is discovered by Junior, and considering their recent past and the fact that Junior shows up at the diner covered in her blood, you’d think he’d be suspect number one. But the residents of Chester’s Mill have a hard time remembering what’s happened from one day to the next, which is why the same people who were cheering on Barbie’s execution yesterday are now giving him a round of applause for saving the crops. We can only assume prolonged exposure to the dome is bad for the short-term memory.
The lynch-mob mentality is a constant, however. When a print found on the murder scene matches Mystery Girl’s shoe, Junior and Joe set out for vigilante justice. Exposition Joe becomes Vengeance Joe in decidedly unconvincing fashion. Coming out of his mouth, the words “Whoever did this is going to pay!” do not exactly evoke Liam Neeson. Fortunately, Julia and her new friend Uncle Sam find the imprint of a man’s hand on the body of Angie’s stand-in (it’s pretty obvious Robertson didn’t return just to lay under a sheet or a swarm of butterflies) and are able to save Mystery Girl just in time.
As for the caterpillar infestation, it provides an opportunity for Big Jim and Barbie to buddy up again one day after the former was trying to hang the latter. Have I mentioned that the relationships on this show have all the consistency of lumpy oatmeal? Last week Barbie and Rebecca Pine struck up a friendship and mild flirtation, but this week she’s resentful of his success dusting the crops and looks ready to take over Linda’s role as Big Jim’s chief toady. The episode begins with Barbie and Julia in bed together (he says “I’ve missed this,” as if they’ve had some epic ongoing love affair), but by the end they’re squabbling needlessly over what the dome wants, even though neither of them knows what that is.
At least Big Jim is consistent, in that he’s still putting himself first. After being saved from the gallows, he’s now convinced the dome has selected him for some higher purpose and is throwing a series of tests at him and the town. He’s still got most of the townspeople on his side, so at this point they really deserve whatever the dome decides to do to them. Junior’s not buying it (which, amazingly, makes him one of the smarter characters on the show now), but he’s got his own problems, as by the end of the episode he’s convinced himself he killed Angie. There’s another red herring for our overstocked pond.
Things end on an ominous note as Rebecca informs Big Jim that the dome isn’t big enough for all of them, and there are too many people for the available resources. (I mean, I think we knew that from the start, but fine.) That’s a problem that could lead to some dark and creative solutions, but I wouldn’t put a whole lot of money on that happening.
- Another example of the Chester’s Mill residents’ short-term memory problem: Everyone simply accepts Phil as the new sheriff. This guy was a DJ yesterday.
- Joe certainly has aged a lot in the two weeks since the dome came down, hasn’t he?
- On the one hand, Rebecca has to be a little smarter than Linda, since she figured out what was happening with the caterpillar infestation. On the other hand, she took it upon herself to start burning down all the crops, which was a real Linda move.
- Next week: Dwight Yoakum. Sure, why not?