After a couple weeks of little significant forward progress, Episode 4 of ‘Under the Dome’ (entitled ‘Outbreak’) decides to move things along quite a bit. Before the opening titles even roll, Julia Shumway becomes more suspicious of Barbie, Sheriff Linda passes out from a mysterious illness, and Angie attacks Junior with scissors, then finds herself at the mercy of an influx of water after she inadvertently breaks a pipe.
Let’s deal with Angie’s problem first. Junior still has her chained up in the family bomb shelter, and he arrives with a dress he’d like her to try on for him. She turns on the charm and gets him to face away from her, then attacks him with the scissors. Junior’s hand is injured, but not much else, and he reinforces the way he has Angie chained to the bed. Junior heads off to the hospital to get his hand patched up, and as Angie struggles to get free, the chain causes a water pipe to burst. She’ll spend most of the episode screaming for help as the water level rises (very slowly).
During a protest of townspeople near the edge of the Dome, Linda passes out and is rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, Julia has located the circled area on the map that she took from Barbie’s backpack. It leads to a trailer park and her missing husband’s car. It turns out that radio station DJ, Phil Bushey, lives in one of the trailers, and he actually purchased the car from Julia’s husband, who we learn was desperate for money. But Phil isn’t feeling well either, and Julia has to take him to the hospital.
At the hospital, we discover that dozens of the town’s citizens are ill. We learn that Norrie’s mother Alice (Samantha Mathis) is a psychiatrist but has studied medicine as well. She thinks that it’s a Meningitis outbreak. Big Jim Rennie decides to quarantine everyone inside the hospital while he and Barbie go off to the drug store to find some antibiotics. Rennie leaves Junior to guard the door with a shotgun. When Julia tells Junior that she needs to leave (she’s already learned about the cabin her husband was killed at from Phil), Junior mentions the cabin where he got in a fight with Barbie. Junior doesn’t let her exit, but Julia finds her husband’s ID badge in his office and uses it to get access to one of the hospital’s other exits.
Norrie and Joe wonder if touching hands was the reason they both had seizures, so they decide to film themselves with Norrie’s cellphone and see if they can recreate the incident. Sure enough, shortly after joining hands, the two collapse to the floor and again chant, “The pink stars are falling in lines.” When they watch the video after recovering, they see that Joe also put his finger to his lips in a “shushing” toward the camera. Joe suspects that the Dome doesn’t want them to show anybody the video.
Rennie and Barbie arrive at the town’s drug store to find that it has already been ransacked. Rennie immediately suspects that Rev. Coggins is responsible. The reverend believes that the illness is part of God’s plan for the town. Coggins has been burning the medicine, but Rennie and Barbie arrive in time to save enough to take back to the hospital and cure the sick.
Julia manages to make it to the cabin, but she also suffers the effects of Meningitis. She passes out, but shortly before doing so, uncovers paperwork indicating that her husband had lost all of their savings. Barbie, after learning Julia’s whereabouts from Junior upon his return to the hospital, arrives at the cabin to rescue her.
Rennie goes home to find Coggins waiting on his front porch. Coggins has a bag full of money, which is his cut of the drug ring the two men are involved in. Coggins says that he wants to repent and is returning all the money to Big Jim. When Rennie goes inside his house, he hears strange noises coming from the pipes in his kitchen. Heading outside, he makes his way to the bomb shelter, and sees that it has been flooded. He walks down the steps and opens the inner door to find Angie sitting there chained to the bed.
This is probably the fasting moving and most interesting episode of ‘Under the Dome’ since the pilot. A lot of progress gets made this week, the most significant of which has to be Big Jim’s discovery of Angie. The big question now is whether he’ll free her or assist his son in keeping her locked up.