Unlike most viewers, I didn’t think that last week’s episode of ‘Under the Dome’ was all that horrible – at least not by the low standards I now set for this series. However, lest anyone was worried that this show had turned the corner, this week is a return to full-blown stupidity.
After discovering a tunnel behind the mysterious locker at the high school, Junior goes down to investigate, and Sam insists on joining him. When he gets down there, Junior finds that it’s part of the school’s basement that no one seemed to have known existed, although there are a lot of abandoned items (chairs, books, etc.) for an area no one knew about.
Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, Julia has a conversation with Barbie that implies that he’s indeed Chester Mill’s new sheriff (though he apparently doesn’t have to wear the dorky uniform). Julia also tells Big Jim that the town will get to vote on all decisions from this point forward, which is just brilliant given how the sheep of Chester’s Mill have responded to every crisis to date. Barbie heads off in search of Lyle, and – in the very next scene – runs into Junior and Sam down in the high school basement. (Wow, that guy moves fast!)
Junior steps on a tripwire (set by Lyle) that causes an explosion in the basement. Junior is able to get back up to the tunnel entrance at the locker, but Barbie and Sam are caught on the other side of a cave-in, where they discover a bunch of tunnels through the rocks. They split up, but eventually run into each other later on down the path. Junior thinks that Lyle killed Angie and is concerned that he’s out to kill the remaining “Hands”: Joe, Norrie and himself (and maybe Melanie as well). He leaves the school in the hopes of finding Joe and Norrie before Lyle does.
While all of this is going on, a dust storm has hit the town, which Rebecca explains is a topsoil reaction to the acid rain that came down a few episodes back. She suggests that dispersing water into the air will stop the storm, so Big Jim comes up with the idea of building – get this! – a giant windmill that will spray water and stop the dust. However, when he puts it to a vote, the town rejects his idea.
The Scooby Gang (that would be Junior, Joe, Norrie and Melanie) finally regroup. They head out to the middle of the lake and put their hands together. This causes the egg (which Julia had ditched there at the end of last season) to rise back out of the water and into Melanie’s hands. Taking it back to town, the four put their hands on it again, and pink stars start coming out of it – forming an image of the obelisk from the town of Zenith that we’ve seen in prior episodes.
After Ben Drake (one of Joe’s pals we haven’t seen since last season) has an asthma attack due to being outside in the storm, the townsfolk finally agree to let Big Jim build his windmill. The fan that he builds is huge, but they put the whole thing together in minutes and hoist it to the top of a tower, where it instantly stops the storm within about ten seconds.
Back in the underground caves, Barbie and Sam stumble upon a bottomless pit. (The dimensions of this cave are so goofy, I kept waiting for some Sleestak to show up). There’s about five minutes of male bonding between the two, where Sam tells Barbie that Lyle was responsible for killing Melanie 25 years ago. However, just when it seems like these guys are going to be friends, Barbie notices the huge scratches on Sam’s right shoulder and accuses him of killing Angie. Sam actually confesses and tells Barbie that the only way the dome will come down is if they kill all of the Hands. Barbie pulls his gun and tries to arrest Sam, but Sam decides that he’d rather fall backwards into the nothingness of the bottomless pit. I suspect we haven’t seen the last of him.
Julia and Rebecca set off an explosion in the tunnel, clearing the rock and giving Barbie a path back out. The episode ends with Julia finding Barbie, and Barbie telling her about Sam’s apparent suicide into the pit. Things fade to black before Julia has a chance to blame Barbie for Sam’s death, which I have no doubt she’ll do next week.
As if dealing with the dome every week weren’t enough, this new cave with its bottomless pit seems to indicate that the writing staff has run out of ideas for what to do with the dome, so they had to create a new mysterious area of the town to cause problems. If next week opens with Sam awakening in the Land of the Lost, I won’t be surprised… not one bit.