There were some intriguing developments with the mystery of the dome in this episode that were able to save the show from its sometimes-painful dialogue and bad acting (except for Dean Norris).
(In case you missed it, read the recap for the last episode here.)
The episode opens with romance in the air as Norrie wakes up Joe—who is sleeping in his bed and nearly naked in his boxers—to go explore the dome. He gets flustered and tries to cover up while Norrie flirts with him. Ah, young love. On the other side of town, Barbie wakes up next to Julia in bed and they look longingly into each other’s eyes as soft music plays. Their passionate kiss in the rain in the last episode apparently ended up in sex, but things get awkward when he gazes at Julia’s wedding ring on her hand. Luckily, Julia’s pregnant neighbor Harriett knocks on her door to ask for some yogurt… and breaks up what could be an uncomfortable DTR talk. Even though Harriett is surprised to see Barbie staying with Julia, the new couple seems rather unfazed and lets her in.
When Harriett leaves Julia’s house, she sees her husband Greg—a Naval officer who has been on the other side of the dome—walking towards her. She thinks this means the dome has been lifted, and as she reaches out to touch him, he disappears, and instead she is shocked by the wall of the dome, which causes her water to break—a month too early. Julia tries to drive Harriett to the hospital, but they get held up by the Dundee brothers who siphon gasoline out of their car.
At Big Jim’s house, we continue where last week’s cliffhanger left off—when Junior comes home to discover his father chatting with Angie. Although Big Jim has had a hard time dealing with the idea that his son is mentally ill, he screams at Junior for being sick and kicks him out of his home as punishment, but looks pained while doing it. Even though Big Jim has reassured Angie that Junior will never come near her again, disowning his son will most likely push Junior off the edge.
Junior runs into Sheriff Linda, who tells him they are on a manhunt for the Dundee brothers who killed Rose and reveals to him that they nearly raped Angie. Even though she only wants them to surrender and doesn’t want to hurt them, she gives Junior an assault rifle. He promises her he will bring them in peacefully, and of course, she believes him. (This is one of the many nonsensical moves Sheriff Linda has made over the course of the show, and will mostly likely keep doing in order to push the plot forward.)
Big Jim visits Ollie and tells him that he will keep giving him propane as long as he supplies the townsfolk with drinking water from the artisanal well from under his farm. Ollie responds with, “Are you still sure the propane is still yours?” Big Jim looks terrified at the thought of losing power over the town without his precious propane.
As the town grows more chaotic, Norrie and Joe venture off to make out against the wall of the dome to see if they get any more seizures—they don’t. But they do continue to make playful banter about how Norrie kisses well and they tease each other about having sex. (On a personal note, it’s uncomfortable and creepy watching these teens talk about sexual intercourse.) Joe seems to read out of his high school science textbook and says, “If the dome is like an atom and there are electrons, there’s a nucleus in the center.” They go on a search for the center of the dome and are able to navigate through it because luckily, Joe already mapped out the dome early on and “paid attention in trigonometry,” he said. They bring along their dog, Truman; however, it runs away in fear once they reach the forest.
Back at Joe’s home, Alice is growing weaker without any insulin, and gets a cherished moment with her wife as they slow dance to M83’s “Wait.” (Alice’s black-framed glasses should have been a dead giveaway that they are hipsters.) Julia frantically knocks on their door and tells them that she can’t get Harriett to the hospital in time and she’s going into labor. As I’ve noted in prior recaps, Alice is a psychologist and only interned in medicine, but is now the go-to person for delivering babies. Even though Alice is losing steam, she helps Harriett and points out that this will be the first baby born in the dome. Earlier, Harriett insisted that the dome made her give birth early, so there is some more mystery on what the dome is trying to do.
Under the Dome is starting to feel more and more like Lost, what with the first birth and the teens in search for the control center of the dome. In one of the biggest developments since the pilot, Norrie and Joe find another dome in the middle of the forest, but it is on a smaller scale and there is a black, egg-shaped item in the center of it. Is there a matryoshka dolls metaphor here? After some failed attempts at talking to the egg like it is a computer by giving it commands like “end program” and “turn off,” the two simultaneously touch it, and Norrie sees her mother standing there for a split second. She knows the dome is giving her a warning and the two run off to find her.
Sherriff Linda and Junior find the Chester’s Mill murder suspects, and while she shoots one of them out of self-defense, Junior shoots and kills the other one point-blank despite the suspect’s insistence that he will go with them peacefully. For the first time, Sherriff Linda thinks she might have made a judgment of error.
Big Jim discovers that Ollie has hired a strongman to break into his propane reserves and take control over it. A clipped padlock and broken chains lie next to the fence. Wouldn’t Big Jim have put a better security system over the town’s most treasured commodity? Anyhow, Big Jim gets beat up by Ollie’s henchman and not only is his face wounded, but his pride as well. After a few swigs of whisky, he regains his courage and returns to the propane reserves. As Ollie’s man fills his truck with tanks of propane, Big Jim shoots the truck and it explodes, and also kills him. Nobody messes with the councilman in this town.
Harriett successfully gives birth to her new baby girl, whom she names Alice. There are a number of shots panning back from baby Alice to sickly Alice. (Yes, we get the symbolism of the circle of life—please stop.) When Norrie finally gets home, she sees her mom in bed—who has self-diagnosed the heart attack she just had—and Alice dies as the M83 song plays again. Alice is the first character who had been given some time for proper development before getting killed off in the show. Now, the town is without one of their only “doctors.”
The episode ends with a shot back at the egg in the forest. It looks like it has been awoken and is cracking. Perhaps the first birth under the dome will make a bigger impact than the people of Chester’s Mill think.