‘Under the Dome’ continues to be hit-or-miss each week, but at least the latest episode (‘The Fourth Hand’) brings us new cast member Maxine (played by Natalie Zea, whom you may recognize from both ‘Justified‘ and ‘The Following‘) to add some much-needed eye candy to the show. Most of this week’s episode feels like more filler, but it wraps up with another interesting revelation about the mysterious mini-dome.
As things get underway this week, Julia takes Barbie out to the woods to show him the mini-dome. Once they get to the location, however, the mini-dome is missing. Once Joe and Norrie learn this about Julia, they’ll spend the remainder of the episode trying to figure out what happened to it.
Angie gets visited by both members of the Rennie family at the Sweetbriar Rose diner. First is Big Jim. Angie asks him to sign over the deed to the restaurant to her so that she’ll finally have a purpose in life. Big Jim says he’ll think about it. Not long thereafter, Junior stops by, which naturally freaks Angie out. Like Joe and Norrie in previous episodes, Angie suddenly goes into a seizure and utters the same “The pink stars are falling in lines” words that the other kids had. Junior – being the nice guy that he is (other than, you know, that incident with chaining Angie up in his bomb shelter) – drives Angie back to her farmhouse. There, Joe and Norrie tell her that they’ve been having seizures too.
Rennie arrives home to find mystery woman Maxine waiting for him. As it turns out, she’s part of the drug-running that Rennie has been doing in Chester’s Mill, and may in fact be the mastermind behind it all. Rennie had assumed she was on the other side of the dome, but she claims that she’s been staying in an abandon house for the past eight days.
Angie goes to the sheriff’s office looking for Junior to tell him what she’s learned from Joe and Norrie. Junior, in turn, takes her to an abandoned workshop where his mother painted pictures before she died and shows her a painting she did of Junior… with pink stars falling on him.
Big Jim comes up with the idea (which we’ll later learn was at Maxine’s request) to commandeer all weapons in Chester’s Mill. He does this through a voluntary program, promising food and propane in exchange for everyone’s guns. Barbie agrees to help Big Jim with this – no so much because he believes in what Rennie is doing, but because he thinks someone needs to keep a close eye on him. When Jim learns that an old friend of his in Chester’s Mill refuses to give up his weapons, he and Barbie go to take them from him, because Big Jim believes he’s unstable. With Barbie outside targeting the man, Big Jim is able to disarm a grenade the man is holding. In an ‘Under the Dome’ first, neither of the Rennies kills anyone this week.
One of the big reveals in this episode is that Barbie and Maxine know each other, and Maxine has been pulling Barbie’s strings just as much as she’s been pulling Big Jim’s. When Barbie suggests that he no longer wants to be her puppet, she threatens to tell Julia the truth about Barbie killing her husband.
This week’s episode concludes with Joe and Norrie finding the missing mini-dome in the barn at the farmhouse. Angie arrives shortly thereafter to tell Joe he must have been the one who brought it there, since he took a walk into the woods alone the other night. (Joe has no memory of doing so.) The three conclude that the mini-dome was moved because it only wants those who have the seizures to know it exists. When all three kids put a hand on the dome, a space for a fourth hand is revealed. They realize that their hands are keys to unlocking the mini-dome and that they need to find the person whose hand goes in the fourth spot. My money is on Junior.
While watching this episode, I was just kind of embarrassed for how amateurish the show is sometimes. A lot of the acting is really bad (especially all of the kids) and the writing is clumsy. That scene with the junkie on “Rapture”… Whoo boy, it felt like watching bad community theater.
I also don’t even remotely buy the explanation that Natalie Zea has been in town the whole time.
Yeah … I have to agree with Josh on this one. While I like her presence on the show, the fact that Natalie Zea’s character has been there all along (supposedly watching everything) seems a bit unrealistic. I guess it’s possible, but I hope this is the first and last time they go this route to explain any kind of new character.