Under the Dome Recap: 'But What Does It Mean?'

Let The Games BeginWell, that was a whole lotta silly.

This week on CBS’ Under the Dome, (too many?) secrets were spilled, the mini-dome’s fourth “key” was identified and Mad Max perhaps filed a copyright infringement lawsuit somewhere.

RELATED | Under the Dome Renewed for Season 2

ENTER THE THUNDERDOME | Big Jim and Barbie confabbed about handling their mutual Maxine problem, only to get interrupted by the fashionable drug lord herself. While Jim sneaked off to a nearby lakefront property to locate Max’s “insurance policy,” Barbie was led to the town’s cement factory, where Max spent the past eight days setting up an underground fight club-slash-barter market. Lest she reveal his secret — that he killed Julia’s hubby! — Max forces Barbie to take to the ring against an old, angry debtor of hers. Barbie ultimately throws the fight, yet that was just as Max had planned, so she wins.

Later, Barbie gets fed up with Max’s (incredibly tiresome) blackmail threats and goes to ‘fess up to Julia — but not only had she (elsewhere, in a duller corner of the episode) put together what happened between the men at the cabin, she’s actually pretty OK with it! (See, Peter had taken out an insurance policy and then set out to make Barbie kill him. It’s all very posthumously romantic.)

AGGIE’S GOT A GUN | Checking out a lakefront property owned by Max’s real estate company, Big Jim meets a kindly woman named Agatha, who ultimately pulls a gun on him once he discovers she is actually Maxine’s momma (and an old classmate of his, but that reveal was… random). Jim almost immediately gains the upper hand and disarms Brat Packer Mare Winningham, then on their way back across the lake in his boat he lets her drown when she, for some invisible reason, tumbles overboard.

JUNIOR LENDS A HAND | Young’uns Angie, Joe and Norrie (DON’T WORRY, YOUR SURVIVING MOM IS PROBABLY DOING FINE) wake to see that a caterpillar destined to become a monarch butterfly is crawling around inside the mini-dome, which, you know, kinda makes some sense, so they set out to find the fourth “key.” While they’re away, suspicious Dodee discovers the mini-dome, but gets zapped/burned when she goes to touch it. When Angie is reminded that Junior once “passed out” (seized?) at a school dance, that info, coupled with his mom’s “pink stars” paintings, lead the kids to deduce that he is the fourth hand.

Sure ’nuff, after they read Junior in on the mini-dome sitch — and after Angie finally reveals to how she had been kidnapped, but for misguided reasons, SO IT’S TOTES OK — Junior proves to indeed be the final key, triggering a light show that didn’t quite rival Bruno Mars at the VMAs but nonetheless filled the barn with constellations of pink stars.

“But… what does it mean?” Junior asks on behalf of us, the audience.


* Is it me or does Deputy Linda suck the air out of every scene she is in? (And now she is even sadder!)

* Why is salt a hot commodity in Mad Max’s Underdome? Margaritas?

* I’m sorry, Max’s mother Claire changed her name to Agatha?

* Who else chuckled when Maxine spoke of the great “chaos” going on in Chester’s Mill, where everyone is acting pretty damn tame considering they’re encased in a supernatural dome?

* What is the point of Max now that her barrel of secrets — Barbie’s killing of Peter, Big Jim’s drug trade — have leaked out?

* It was pretty windy in the dome this week, wasn’t it?

* Maxine talks big about wanting to live life as well as she can in the dome, with all her luxuries. Are bras not on her list?

What new questions do you have about the Dome?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. big jim says:

    well considering they probably had most if not all these eps in the bag before season 2 was announced i’m not surprised max’s insurance has been taken care of already. now to deal with the aftermath

  2. Dave says:

    I know I will get … “so why watch?” with this comment but let me preface it by saying I won’t be viewing from here on out.

    Now for my comment…

    this show is really horrible.

    • tnsmoke says:

      I am still watching, too, nothing else on and am stubborn and commited to THIS season only. That being said the show is terrible, no suspense. Each new thing they throw out at us is boring because the writers for this show can’t write or something. The acting is horrible and I keep harping on the fact that there is NO hero to root for. Barbie sure isn’t, nor is Big Jim or Julia or any of the bratty kids. I didn’t read the book, gave up on the Stephen King phase 20 years ago and only a few of his book adapations have been excellent (The Shinning, The Dead Zone). The BEST actor so far on the show (Mare Winningham) died in her only appearance.

      • majamababe says:

        We don’t know for sure if she died. If you go back and watch that sequence, it appears that she jumped in the water and then tried to get Big Jim to untie her hands. If she survived all this time, I can’t imagine she would die like that – not being able to get her own hand untied and swim back to shore. Also, the look on Big Jim’s face said it when he remembered who Claire/Agatha was – he is Max’s dad. And it wasn’t hard to figure out that Junior was the fourth hand. Very predictable plotting for this week’s episode.

          • Plum says:

            See, it kinda seemed like Mare did a dive off the boat; I swear she’ll turn out to have been the breast stroke champion of Deliverance. I like Mare better than Max; I think they were going for a Caprica One vibe with Max but instead it’s coming off all Bitchy Cashier At The Limited.

            And my god, how did Chester’s Mill get so many cage fighting thugs? I’m guessing not paying salaries for Norrie’s MIA mom, the injured DJ and all those dead cast members has left a huge budget for extras from SOA.

            Forget the pinks stars; Barbie was extra smokin’ this ep. He gave a little smile when he was sassin’ Big Jim that was beyond cute. I can see why Barbie doesn’t smile more, he had a whole Sawyer thing going on that could be dangerous in enclosed spaces. How hilarious is it that Julia was like meh to the whole Barbie killed her husband thing?! Yep, Barbie really is that hot.

      • zazzy says:

        “The BEST actor so far on the show (Mare Winningham) died in her only appearance.” …or did she? I won’t be surprised to see her resurface (pun intended).

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Lol i agree. A show can have JUST enough for you to continue watching cause your curious and its not disgustingly horrible, and yet at the same time still be horribly written and acted. This show is garbage…but im sticking around for the red head and Barbie, and iv already put in what…8 or 9 hours of my life into the show? I’ve got the time to continue watching and see what the Dome ends up being and why it existed (etc). Though now that theres a season two…idk…

      • Plum says:

        I’m sticking around for Barbie and the Seizure Kids. Big Jim and Shy Junior are fun; they always do somethin’ stupid and then find a creepily clever way to get away with it.

        But I’m ready for the Occupy Chester Mills people to vanish into the background, and for the story to focus more on the main cast and less on the riot of the week.

  3. FatherOctavian says:

    My suggested answers for a couple:

    “Is it me or does Deputy Linda suck the air out of every scene she is in? (And now she is even sadder!)”

    Yes. She’s the show’s authority figure who has no ability whatsoever to project authority. Bad miscasting. Lets down both the actress and the material — though let’s face it, the material she’s given isn’t great.

    “* Why is salt a hot commodity in Mad Max’s Underdome? Margaritas?”

    Maxine’s preparing for the long-term. The generators are going to run out of propane eventually, and then the refrigerators won’t work. When the refrigerators won’t work, curing meats going to be the only way to preserve the food supply. If things go on that far, salt will be work way more than gold

    • katrina says:

      Salt isn’t a renewable resource either. So when they run out…

      • Not to mention you’re giving Max a whole lot of credit for knowing anything about preserving meats.

      • Hera says:

        Salt is not something you can grow out of ground. They are added in processed food for flavouring. Pretty sure the only way to get salt naturally is from sea food from open ocean (sea water). Chester’s Mill has a lake, pretty sure they don’t have access to the ocean, I think that’s why they are going to be valuable if you don’t want to get sick.

  4. Toldja says:

    Yup..the shower is getting dumber by the week. I was laughing at the wind, too! And how about all the new hair cuts and styles this week? HA. and uggh.

  5. Alichat says:

    * Maxine talks big about wanting to live life as well as she can in the dome, with all her luxuries. Are bras not on her list?

    O.M.G. I said the exact same thing. She wants them to dig up some silk-infused conditioner from that little town, but can’t be bothered to slap on a bra so the girls will stop dancing?

  6. Alia says:

    So, if the secrets are out, they can kill Max now, right? Please? I’ve enjoyed the actress in other things, but this character is doing absolutely nothing for me.

  7. Saabgirlatx says:

    I was waiting for Julia to reveal Peter was terminal-hence the secret life insurance policy and going to see a bounty hunter with a gun and no bullets but ah, no such closure.
    Yes, dept Linda has no business being a cop ( not that JR. Does either but hey). Do we think big Jim is the father of miss Max??? (Reason for that reveal, even tho it was good to see Mare Winningham!). If the town is really that small wouldn’t they know who lives in the mansion on the only island around?????

  8. DavidSask says:

    I will follow this show until end of season but the Maxine character has jumped the shark big time of this show, its just unnecessary not believable character!!!

    • Tim says:

      i think the Maxine character was added when they honestly thought there weren’t just gonna get one season and not close off all off all story lines in 13 episodes so they needed more story lines like…the drugs…thunder dome? and needed more filler

  9. LOL says:

    I’m not normally the “kill him/her!” type, but all I can think of is how sweet it would be to see Barbie and Big Jim unload their guns into Max at the same time. She’s the worst.

  10. JBarrett says:

    And why is it that not one person has not gone bat-sh*t crazy on that radio station?

  11. K. says:

    This show is little over the top but I like it anyways, it’s my fun (dumb) “whoops I meant Dome” show of the summer!!! Nothing like seeing pink stars falling and hey I still love you even if you did kill my husband and if Big Jim keeps killing people off every episode and nobody knows,,,,,

  12. St says:

    I gave up on this show few weeks ago. And don’t regret it. Came to quickly read in recap what is happening and did not even understand half of it. I see show keeps getting idiotic. Gonna see the last episode to see what lame cliffhanger they will create to keep people interested in season two. But I suspect that they will loose huge crowd of viewers next summer. And will be canceled in the middle of the season or at the end.

  13. SK says:

    I wonder, does Stephen King have a say on the storylines? It has some not so bad and some really bad storylines. I just can’t believe SK is okay with this? I love the book and this is so far removed from the book but I was willing to watch it until season 1 is over and not watch season 2. But then it sort of started getting better that I thought, maybe I will watch season 2, then Max showed up. WTH?

    • d4h8a15r16m23a42 says:

      I’m assuming he’s ok with it, he is writing the season 2 premiere. The show has declined since the start but I’ll continue to watch. Love a lot of the actors and I don’t watch much during the summer.

    • Maryann says:

      I read King was excited about getting to take the premise in new directions.

  14. jami1331 says:

    Hahaha! I thought the same thing about the wind :)

  15. tcompliment says:

    Where did the lake come from? Why was everyone so freaked out about the water tank draining when they had thiws giant lake under the dome?

    • Primobabe says:

      The lake is contaminated with methane. When the dome came crashing down and sank deep into the ground, it cut through a natural pocket of methane somewhere near the lake. All the fish died.

  16. Kristoffer says:

    So have we seen this lake/ocean before? Jim and Barbie were having a conversation in front of Jim’s house and wasn’t there a lake in front of the house that we have never seen before? Weren’t they concerned with the lake being contaminated just a few episodes ago? Yet that looked and sounded like thriving lake with lots of waves and birds flying around – meaning plenty of water. I am starting to wonder how far they can go with this? I was enjoying it at first but now it just seems like they are making it up as they go along. Maxine pops in out of no where, decides she wants to sell drugs, the girls mom has gone upstairs to morn and decided to just stay there, I mean what’s next? Tornadoes inside the dome? Oh wait….

    • Tim says:

      it looks fine but when barbie threw a match in the water it lit on fire mean it will take weeks to be cleaned

    • tnsmoke says:

      At this rate what’s next is SHARKDOME-O

    • tcompliment says:

      sorry, must have missed the part about the lake being contaminated.

      • I’d missed the part where the lake was contaminated, too. Still, water contaminated by methane doesn’t seem insurmountable. Why is no one like supernerd Joe working to decontaminate this enormous source of potentially potable water?

    • Cate Amos says:

      I was kind of surprised to see Big Jim on waterfront property as well. I thought it might have been something I missed in a previous ep., but glad to know it goes along with all the general inconsistencies of “logic” that have been displayed so far.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Actually, I believe in the very first episode or two, they laid out a map showing that the dome had landed in the middle of a lake. The lake has always been in play.

  17. ncis4evr says:

    OMG, margaritas! Yep, that’s it. Claire/Agatha, potato/potahto. The only thing funnier than the show is your weekly recap. Love it!

  18. AkronBob says:

    Who is Maxine’s father?

  19. Cate Amos says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Agatha/Claire makes a miraculous comeback later on. I’m going to employ the comic book rule about death – if you don’t actually see the dead body, is that person really dead? It looked to me like she tripped overboard on purpose. I could easily see her playing the damsel in distress so Big Jim could be pulled in the water while she got back into the boat. My gripe about illogical choices this week is the fact she was planning to hold Jim hostage with a rifle for hours. She could have retrieved his hand gun as soon as she disarmed him and had better control of the situation.

  20. Maryann says:

    One side comment…Agatha said she had changed her name after she got pregnant and dropped out of high school.

    I can’t stand Maxine, and this is the first development in the show that feels forced to me or that I majorly dislike. I love the actress on The Following and on Justified, but this Under the Dome character is just not working. She just feels like she is tacked on as a filler or an afterthought.

    That said, I love the show and can’t wait to see what will happen next, week to week. The pink stars and the mini-dome is really cool, and it seems from the previews that all hell breaks loose next week, both in terms of the town events, and the supernatural events. This show and Siberia are both really hitting their stride now…it’s going to be hard to decide which to watch as it airs and which to watch later.

    • Len says:

      Maxine annoys me.

      Yet at the same time, I see where the writers are at.

      We needed answers about the drugs and about Barbie being an enforcer. Clearly neither one is a leader, so someone needed to be the boss. I would have been quite disappointed had they not dealt with that aspect, and that’s why despite Maxine being really annoying, I see why she was needed.

  21. Saabgirlatx says:

    On another note, while I do love me some Stephen King, what is up with these distracting character names… Agatha? Maxine? Dale Barbie? Shumway?

  22. grey says:

    I decided to watch the “Castle” repeat instead of “UTD” and I’m glad I did. I came here for the recap to see what I missed. Not much apparently – other than more bad acting and storytelling. It seems I’m able to watch one week but not the next. That tells me I need to officially give up on this show. I too was trying to hang until the end of this “season” but I don’t even think I’m going to bother. Thanks to all for the recap and the great posts – especially the funny ones. LOL! They’re better written than the show! Ha!

  23. kalli says:

    At the rate the bodies are piling up under the dome, will there be anyone left for season 2???

  24. The Squatch says:

    Not that it really matters in regards to the storylines or anything, but I did find it amusing that when she was holding Big Jim hostage with that .22 semi-auto rifle that when they both stood up quickly you clearly hear the sound effect of a shotgun slide being racked. Oops. hehe

    • timE says:

      It more than likely was an m1-carbine, but yes I did chuckle at the shotgun pump action sound. It didnt look like she even moved her hands for it to make any sound, let alone a un-spent shell ejecting or hitting the floor as well.

      I still like watching though. Much more entertaining than “big brother” to me.

  25. Sam says:

    There is reason why Stephen King only had the dome last a little over a week. There is only so much you can plausibly do in a scenario like this. I guess murder and kidnap aren’t really that big of a deal. Especially when you have to use the same small set of characters to push your narrative a few seasons. We’ve all seen what happens when they try to bring new people in….

  26. DG says:

    Watching this ep, two things occurred to me: 1) this is an absolutely terrible hour of television that derails any momentum the series had built, and b) the writers should be fired.
    The blunderdome storyline is just plain idiotic. I really mean that. An idiot came up with it. How it got ok’d by producers/distributors is beyond me.
    I recently watched an interview with Vincent Gilligan talking about how his method of writing for BB is to give away the bare minimum that will keep the audience invested. UTD has presumably way more complicated and convoluted plot points than BB by the very nature that its a sci-fi show, and SHOULD be taking longer to tell this story, even before the last two weeks terrible episodes, but they are just racing through the story and it gets more and more annoying each week. I can’t buy in to this story or the characters if I’m constantly being fed one awful plot point after the other

  27. Patryk says:

    I have not watched this episode yet but having read the recap and watched the previous episodes I am not liking this. I have read the book and enjoyed it greatly but it started deviating from the storyline towards the end of the first episode. I know Stephen King gave the writers permission to do this but they did it in a very horrible way. They should have just stuck with his storyline and ended the show with the first season, that would have been enough for me. This show is getting ridiculous and I will still vaguely watch the show but I wont be following it like I would have.

  28. MadMuz says:

    I cant believe some of the silly storylines, like the baby “Alice” that was born 6 (six) weeks premature, yet was perfectly develloped and healthy?? Where are the 2000 odd people most of the time? (minus all the ones big jim has knocked off of course) If it is only a few days since the bomb, how come the land outside the dome has miraculously repaired its self? Why is no one very upset at the situation? Why arent there teenagers whinging they cant get the latest video games or apps? Why isnt someone claustraphobic? Why arent ther workaholics having panic attacks coz they cant get to work (outside the dome) Why arent people worried about thier mortgages etc. Why is there electricity everywhere anyone goes? I mean how many generators have they got? Has everyone got a generator? …. on and on it goes….. please end it soon…. put us out of our mysery…. even if it is just someones dream or story they are telling around a camp fire?

  29. Paige says:

    what I want to know is where did all these bikies and gangs come from? I’m Australian so I’m may not get this right but Chester’s Mill is meant to be in a small farming community in Maine. Does Maine really have this many gangs? Especially in a small town where Duke did a deal to store propane so that there would be no drugs present in town at all. I don’t know about in America and I don’t want to be stereotypical, but in Aus there probably isn’t a gang of bikies that’s not associated with drug sale/consumption. And didn’t Julia say during the birth episode that there were only like 187 people trapped under the dome? There looked like there was over 200 people in that cement factory alone!

    Also why would Big Jim let Agatha drown? If he wanted to get control of the whole Max situation plus be the man controlling the whole town again why not throw old Aggy in the bomb shelter as a hostage to get some leverage.

    Plus I can understand them letting Junior be the fourth hand, like it could give him a way to redeem himself, but I think the viewing audience would much rather just see him die in a really horrible way. At least that is what I would like. It have been really great to also see him struggle with not being a part of something that Angie is a part of.

    And I agree on the bra thing. Hilarious!

  30. MadMuz says:

    I thought straight up that big Jim would bump Aggie off when he realised SHE was the insurance policy anyway Seems if you cross big Jim in any way, you are history.. BTW, where was he taking her in the boat anyway? Prolly the bomb shelter as Paige mentioned. I am from Aus also, it seems over here most people I know are almost over it, hopefully they wont keep dragging it on and on, feeding us a tiny bit of info each episode to keep people hanging on….. it is becoming frustrating to alot of people I know, myself also. It seems the ratings are taking a plungs, it ued to be aired twice a week in the start, now they dont bother repeating it…. if you miss it, you miss it. Hopefully it isnt going to drag on to next season to find any real answers…. here in Aus they tend to not bother showing second seasons…. like V….. we never got the second season. Junior is ok…. he is just a bit bonkers and more than a bit creepy, but he obviously isnt dangerous to anyone, unless they attack (or even look at) Ang or put poop on his mother. I reckon junior is the key to the whole thing personally.

  31. zazzy says:


  32. Ib says:

    I love this show,, it’s so silly, i cant wait to see what they come up with next,, love junior, i think he’s a sexy psycho,, wish i had someone that sexy crazy after me,,, loved him in that fresh clean bleached white t shirt,, The deputy chick , sorry to say, sucks,, she might be the next one to die if Big Jim has anything to say about it,,,,, fingers crossed, , Super glad Barbie and Julia are still together,, i mean come on, Barbie is a major upgrade compared to her dead husband,, , who wouldn’t want to share a bed with barbie,, And i do think it’s hilarious how everyone has amazing hair, and trendy clothes and accessories,, , Where do people go to the bathroom? Where are they getting gas for their cars? Why isn’t trash piling up all over the place? This show is just so fun to watch,, I’m hooked!! How they manage to do a second season is beyond me,, Oh yeah, i’m so glad the nosey chick got zapped by the mini dome, serves her lard ass right!

  33. Angie says:

    I love this show! I think a lot of the critisism it’s getting can be applied to most shows, it’s kinda hard to follow and there’s little bits of detail that are important that the first time you think is irrelevant but is rather important, like juniors knife in the first episode! Imma keep watching it through because I’m hoping it will half conclude itself before the second series :p

  34. MadMuz says:

    To me it is just getting all too silly now. It is just turning into ‘the bid jim’s dastardly deeds show’ I am sure he will be taking a dive quite shortly tho, especially now the dome ‘has instructed’ the fabulous 4 to murder him….. All getting over the top now, it is just turning into another american drug orientated shootem up police show with a wishy washy do-gooder cop with no deputies now chasing the only guy she could count on…. to do what? throw him in juniors bedroom…. er, I mean jail? As I said earlier, why is the land outside the dome still so lush and green? Hasnt it only been 10 days since the dome appeared? and 5 days ago the moab went off? Where is baby Alice and her mother? Where is norries one remaining mother? There was probably less than a dozen actors in this episode (Less after Jim shot his quota)? Where are they getting thier food from? Did someone fix the towns water tower? What has become of the deputy that got shot in the kneecap with a hunting rifle at close range and his leg didnt fly off? . How much propane have they got left….. even tho the generators I have seen have gas tanks not propane tanks? You never see anyone delivering the propane or empty propane bottles anywhere? Come on writers, make it more interesting or give us some answers and pull the plug please….. no series 2 please, we only get more questions each episode and too few answers…. show some mercy…..