Episode 10 of ‘Under the Dome’ is what is commonly referred to as a filler episode. The producers want the audience to think that a lot is going on, but when it comes down to it, the overall plot has progressed very little. This is by far the weakest of the ten episodes we’ve seen this season.
The episode gets underway with Joe, Norrie and Angie waking up after spending the night sleeping in the barn with the mini-dome. They notice a caterpillar on the inside of the dome. Joe points out the markings, noting that it will eventually turn into a monarch butterfly. After they leave the barn, Dodee sneaks in and sees the mini-dome. She puts her hand on it and gets an electrical shock that knocks her out. The kids eventually come back and take her to the hospital, where Angie – trying to find the person who might be the fourth hand needed to unlock the mini-dome – asks a nurse if they’ve treated any people with seizures. The nurse replies that they haven’t treated one since the night of Angie’s 10th Grade dance. Angie then realizes that Junior must be the other person they’re looking for. (No points at home if you already guessed this. It was pretty obvious.)
Is it my imagination or is this the first episode where Rennie’s house appears to border a large body of water? In a twist that could only come from producers who worked on ‘Lost’, we learn that Maxine (Natalie Zea) is part of a business called the Osiris Corporation. Big Jim heads out to a nearby island with a mansion where he finds an older woman named Agatha (played by Mare Winningham) who claims to be taking care of the place. The owner of the mansion, Oliver Luckland (no relation to Alvar Hanso, I hope), isn’t there, but while Rennie is snooping around for more info, Agatha pulls a gun on him and reveals she’s actually Maxine’s mother. Big Jim doesn’t think she has the guts to shoot him, and he’s right. He ties her up and puts her on his boat to bring her back to the mainland. About halfway there, Agatha falls into the water, giving Rennie the perfect opportunity to off yet another resident. (Hey, he didn’t get to kill anyone last week!) Big Jim lets Agatha drown. I guess this would be more of a manslaughter charge than first degree murder, right? We don’t learn any more about the mysterious Oliver Luckland this week, but if Terry O’Quinn winds up playing him, I’m outta here!
Meanwhile, Maxine has something to show Barbie. She takes him out to the town’s cement factory, which she has converted into a modern-day Bartertown, complete with its own Thunderdome! There, citizens of Chester’s Mill bring items for trade and bet them on ‘Fight Club’-like activities. Maxine blackmails Barbie into participating in one of the fights, which he intentionally throws. Bad news for Barbie, though, as Maxine guessed that he might throw the fight and bet against him. Are you not entertained?! Actually, no I’m not.
Having learned part of the truth about the late Sheriff Duke Perkins last week, Linda enlists the help of Julia after the two find a safety deposit key in Duke’s cowboy hat. They head off to the bank, where they find a letter from Duke confessing to being part of the town’s illegal drug ring, and naming the others that were involved – including Big Jim. While there, Julia also opens her dead husband’s safety deposit box and finds a million dollar life insurance policy that he took out shortly before his death. Julia realizes what really happened to him and confronts Barbie about it later on. Turns out that when Barbie killed him, there were no bullets in Julia’s husband’s gun. He deliberately provoked Barbie to kill him. It was his way of committing suicide while making sure that Julia would be taken care of financially.
Big Jim returns to his home to find Linda waiting for him and ready to ask him some questions. Rennie talks her into waiting until morning and meeting at the police station. Linda responds that he better be there bright and early or she’s coming back and using her cuffs on him. I don’t think it was meant to be foreplay.
The episode concludes with Angie, Joe and Norrie bringing Junior back to the barn to test their theory about the mini-dome. Sure enough, when Junior places his hand on it with the others, activity begins to take place. The mini-dome projects pink stars in the air around them, much like a planetarium would do. (Didn’t Barbie suggest this same theory a few episodes back?) “What does it mean?” Junior asks. Sorry, that’s for the show’s A-list writers to tell us, and they seem to have taken this week off.