I’m at the point where I’m willing to forgive ‘Under the Dome’ its sillier storylines just to see a little more revealed about the dome itself, or to watch another well-acted scene with Dean Norris. That’s basically what we get in Episode 7, titled ‘Imperfect Circles’, which features a woman-in-labor storyline with a character we’ve never met before (and I’m guessing won’t see again).
The episode opens with Joe and Norrie in bed. Don’t worry, they haven’t slept together. Norrie is just waking Joe up so they can go off and play Joe Hardy and Nancy Drew some more in their investigation of the dome. Julia and Barbie are also in bed – and they have slept together. A knock comes at the door and it’s pregnant Harriet, who would like to have some yogurt. Wait a minute, who’s Harriet? Yeah, I don’t have a clue either, but she goes into labor when she sees a vision of her husband on the other side of the dome, touches it, and her water breaks.
This brings us to my big gripe about the episode. First of all, I think this is the first episode where it’s established that Julia’s house is right on the edge of the dome. Secondly, there seems to be plenty more of Chester’s Mill on the other side of the dome at this location – it doesn’t appear that Julia lives on the edge of town. I thought that all of Chester’s Mill was supposed to be inside the dome? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, shouldn’t the other side of the dome be in total ruins after the missile explosion a couple episode ago (about two days in the show’s time)? In fact, I think we see several dome barrier locations in this episode where the other side of the dome shows no damage whatsoever.
Angie is still at Big Jim’s house when Junior arrives. Rennie takes his son outside to tell him he’s evil and he can’t stay there anymore… Ahh, nothing like a good father/son talk. Angie tells Big Jim that she’s going to stay with her brother, but first stops at the restaurant to say goodbye to Rose (who was killed by a pair of intruders in the last episode). Rose’s dead body is still being held there since no one seems to be running the morgue these days. Someone call the health board!
Julia and Harriet are en route to the hospital when the two punks who killed Rose show up and steal their gas. Barbie arrives to save the day, but they can’t make it to the hospital now, so they take Harriet to Joe and Angie’s house, where Norrie’s two moms are also staying. As for those punks, Linda and Junior are able to track them down. Linda kills one in a shootout while the other tries to surrender to Junior. However, since Junior’s a raving psychopath, he kills the other punk as well. Linda has no clue that he was trying to surrender.
Big Jim has issues with Ollie. After agreeing to terms about exchanging propane for water, Rennie discovers that Ollie has commandeered his propane supply and hired a guard to watch it. When Big Jim tries to reason with the guard, he gets beaten up. Later in the episode, an intoxicated Rennie returns and opens fire on the guard while he’s loading a bunch of propane into a truck. Both the truck and the guard are blown to smithereens.
Meanwhile, Joe has surmised that the dome’s power source might be in the center of it, so he and Norrie head off looking for it and find… a big pile of leaves! Seriously though, underneath the leaves is a smaller mini-dome with a black egg-shaped object in the middle. When both Joe and Norrie touch the small dome at the same time, they see a vision of Norrie’s mom Alice in the woods. When they remove their hands, she disappears, but Norrie feels she needs to find her mom as soon as possible.
Back at Joe’s house, Harriet finally delivers her baby. Alice has been a huge help, so Harriet names her newborn Alice after her. Since there’s no way viewers can be expected to keep track of two Alices, older Alice dies of a heart attack – but not before Norrie arrives to say goodbye to her mom.
Out in the woods, the black egg starts to show signs of life… that look suspiciously like pink stars.
All in all, this is a pretty silly entry. I won’t miss Samantha Mathis’ character, as she didn’t add much to the show anyway. I’m glad to see Joe and Norrie (who seem to be the only two residents of Chester’s Mill who actually want to figure out what’s going on with the dome) discover the mini-dome, although who knows how long it will be before that plot point furthers along. The dome apparently has the power to create hallucinations or visions of other people (something that was not part of the original novel), so it will be interesting to see where that leads. Rennie has killed his second town resident, but somehow still comes off as one of the more reasonable citizens. (He’s had his own justification – right or wrong – for the two murders.) I continue to watch this guilty pleasure, even though I know it’s bad for me.