Things are on an upswing for Under the Dome. Not only are the episodes from the TV show getting more intriguing after a three-episode lull early on, it was announced on July 30 that the CBS thriller would be renewed for a second season, with author Stephen King penning the first episode.
(In case you missed last week’s episode, read the recap here.)
The show opens with pandemonium in Chester’s Mill as townsfolk begin voicing concerns about the depletion of food and supplies. Now that they are safe from being decimated by the bomb from last week’s episode, they have new things to worry about. Sheriff Linda and her team try to assuage everyone’s fears with little success, and in seeing the need for backup, she tries to enlist Barbie to join her as a deputy. (For being a sheriff, she is awfully bad at reading a person’s true character, as she gave psychotic Junior a badge two episodes ago and is now thrusting one upon Barbie who has a violent and lurid past.) Barbie refuses the badge, but promises her he will do all he can to help.
Angie realizes that the bomb has left her unscathed and she has just spent the last few minutes cuddling with her kidnapper. She knocks a snow globe onto Junior’s head and runs away. When he tells Big Jim she’s escaped, his dad tells him, “Find the girl!” Apparently, Big Jim doesn’t want Angie loose on the streets.
Meanwhile, Alice is growing feverish, as she no longer has any more insulin for her diabetes. She walks into oncoming traffic during a delirious episode and a truck swerves to miss her, but crashes into the town’s silo and water supply. It’s time for a Pee-wee Herman style freak-out. The town breaks out into riots and looting ensues to get the last of the town’s supplies from stores. Money is no longer of any use to the residents of Chester’s Mill and the true forms of currency are now batteries and propane.
In search for water, Barbie and Sheriff Linda discover dead fish floating in the Eastpoint Lake, which has been polluted with methane. (It’s interesting to note that everyone in this town seems to now have some sort of inherent medical or science knowledge and is able to conveniently access each situation.) Big Jim finds that there is an artisanal well on Ollie’s property—which is the last chance to save the town’s water crisis—and attempts to convince him to help out. However, Olly is still sour about a fence dispute that Big Jim didn’t back him up on years ago, so the councilman offers the highly sought-after propane in exchange for water. Olly mentions how convenient it is that Big Jim has a large supply of what the town needs most.
Phil and Julia notice that the frequency is jammed at the radio station, and Dodee—who calls herself a “radiohead”–turns out to be an expert in radio frequency, pulls out a Yagi antenna, and is able to trace what is causing it. They do notice that what they are looking for is close and within the dome, so they go on a search—Scooby-Doo style.
As tensions mount, so does desperation. Norrie believes it’s up to her to save her mother’s life and decides to use a hospital list of people with diabetes in the area and go to their homes and rob them of their insulin. Joe reluctantly joins her, and at one point, they are held by shotgun when a man finds them breaking into his home. That wasn’t enough to discourage Norrie as she tries again at another home only to discover that they are about to steal insulin from a young child. Norrie feels guilty and gets Joe to return all the boy’s insulin, except for one bottle, which steals her mother a bit of time. She mustn’t have felt that bad.
Angie runs to Rose’s diner for safety and reveals how she’s been kidnapped by Junior and how Big Jim was reluctant to save her. Rose seems a bit skeptical, but promises Angie she believes her story and will protect her. But just as she says this, the Dundee brothers break in the restaurant to steal food supplies. A scuffle ensues, Rose is beaten to death with a bat, and Angie is also knocked out. Barbie finds them and nearly breaks one of the brothers’ necks—a signal of him resisting his violent past—and rescues Angie. Unaware of the Junior situation, he hands Angie over to Big Jim to take her to the hospital. Things get more intense in the riot, and just as Sheriff Linda is about to use her gun on the civilians, it starts to rain. Does that mean the dome has an opening on top?
The “radioheads” continue investigating and find out that their antenna signals that the frequency jam is coming directly from the two teens who are walking on the street by them. Norrie and Joe reveal their concurrent seizures to them, and when they touch the dome at the same time, the frequency is no longer jammed and the radio starts playing in Julia’s car. Julia insists to Dodee that no one else must know about these children because the town will be on a witch hunt for them. Dodee is hesitant, but agrees to go mum on the situation for now. “It’s like the dome is using them,” says Julia. She also points out that the dome may be trying to “reassure” everyone because they were protected by the missile attack in the last episode, and when they needed water, it started raining. They discover the dome actually has created its own microclimate and that it is evaporating water from the lake, filtering it, and then raining. Chester’s Mill no longer has a drinking water problem, and once again a regular civilian has a scientific background.
Julia later stands with Barbie in the rain and they exchange a romantic kiss. It’s kind of ironic that she is falling for the man that killed her late husband, Peter.
The episode ends with Angie lying on a couch in Big Jim’s house. At first she is terrified he is trapping her inside again, but he comforts her that the front door is unlocked. He instead offers her a deal to put his son’s actions behind her, and in return he will protect her and Joe, making sure Junior never harms them again, and will provide any resources they need. For some ridiculous reason, Angie needs time to mull over this decision, and Junior walks into the door demanding to know what is going on.