Under the Dome Recap: Mixed Signals

Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 8

On Monday’s episode of Under the Dome, several key players got their wires crossed — both literally and figuratively.

Let’s take a closer look at “Awakening,” which, above all, found Barbie getting into more trouble than he ever encountered in Chester’s Mill.

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LOST IN TRANSLATION | Forced to put quite a bit of trust into his father, Barbie asks his old man to get a message to Julia, which can be done via e-mail once Don gets the military firewall lifted. Barbie’s message is short, sweet and layered with a hidden message encouraging Julia to jump off the cliff in Chester’s Mill. But when Barbie heads to the playground in Zenith, eagerly awaiting Julia’s arrival, he realizes that security cameras are following him — as is a computer whiz by the name of Hunter (The Young and the Restless’ Max Ehrich), who unsuccessfully tails Barbie and tells him that his father tampered with the e-mail to Julia. Lo and behold, a quick peek at Mr. Barbara’s files reveals that he added a line to the message: “So take the egg and bring it with you.” Hmm, what’s that smell? Ah, yes. Something very fishy.

As it turns out, Hunter works for Don at Aktaion Energy; he once hacked into their computers and, when given a choice between working for the company and spending quality time in a prison cell, he chose the former. Now, he protects Aktaion from hackers just like himself, and he’s able to get a second e-mail from Barbie to Julia (more on that in a second).

On the other side of the dome wall, Joe and Norrie realize the wi-fi signal is sporadically coming back. They show Julia the first e-mail Barbie sent, but she’s skeptical that it’s even from him. Instead of jumping from the tunnel’s cliff, Julia and the teens opt to send a handwritten note off the cliff’s edge, with the hopes that it will end up in Zenith. But before they can do so, Barbie’s second e-mail comes through, advising Julia (through secret code, natch) to remain in Chester’s Mill and meet Barbie at the dome’s edge that night.

Neither of those trained soldiers see Barbie hanging under the truck?

Neither of those soldiers see Barbie hanging under the truck?

And meet him she does, though their reunion is fleeting. With Hunter’s help, Barbie is able to pose as a radiation specialist for Aktaion and hitch a ride on the underside of a military vehicle that brings him to the dome. But he accidentally passes a motion censor while running to the barrier, and once he arrives there, the jig is up pretty fast. Military officials apprehend Barbie, but before they take him away, he’s able to write a message to Julia on the dome surface: “Not Penny’s Boat” “Not safe out here. Don’t j—“ (“Don’t jump!” he screams, though it’s clear Julia can’t hear him.)

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RUN OF THE (WIND)MILL | In slightly less dramatic Chester’s Mill news, Big Jim has appointed himself sheriff, and he offers walkie-talkies to the likes of Rebecca for protection, all the while continuing to spout about the dome’s plan for him. (Drink!) But it quickly becomes clear that only Big Jim is happy about Big Jim being sheriff, as evidenced by the destruction of the town’s windmill (which he helped hoist) and a car fire that’s set in a vehicle from his dealership. On a high note, the subplot involving Big Jim does provide my favorite exchange of the season so far:

Big Jim: I think someone’s trying to send me a message.
Junior: Not everything is about you, Dad.

I never thought I’d be proud of Junior for saying anything, but there’s a first time for everything under the dome, eh? Anyway, it turns out the culprit of these crimes against Big Jim is former sheriff Phil, who returns — alive, to my surprise! — feeling extremely bitter. But Phil, who’s still nursing a gunshot wound, is no match for Junior and Rebecca, who help Big Jim out of his shackles before Phil is tossed into a jail cell.

Big Jim’s final order of business for the day? Following Julia to the dome’s edge, where he sees that Barbie is not only alive (despite what he’s been told), but alive outside Chester’s Mill. Cue Big Jim’s serious face. Furrowed brow, clenched teeth. The works.

ALL SHOOK UP | Elsewhere in the episode, Pauline and Sam set out to help Lyle, who’s now babbling about his barbershop days and mumbling, “It’s in the cards” instead of repeating Melanie’s name. They’re able to get their hands on a new drug which gets Lyle speaking coherently again (unfortunately about the Rapture, sigh). Pauline presses Lyle about the meaning of “It’s in the cards,” and Lyle remembers that he had Pauline’s prophetic postcards with him when he jumped off the cliff in Chester’s Mill. The trio looks through Pauline’s postcards carefully, and she produces one more that she wasn’t able to send before the dome came down: It depicts a red door, which we know exists in Zenith’s woods… and could possibly lead back to Chester’s Mill.

OK, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

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. GuessWhat says:

    The show has gotten better the last few weeks!
    Now I am glad I stuck with it.

  2. UnderTheDomer says:

    Well, no disaster of the week so this was pretty good. Episodes dealing with the mythology are much better than the crisis episodes. The Big Jim B-story here was lame as hell and was just filler.

    • laurelnev says:

      I so agree w/ you about the mythology thing, but I’m not sure the writers even know where there going at this point. :) Hence, the slow infusion of mythology, yje changing direction, and too much that neither advances plot nor character.

      • laurelnev says:

        *the changing direction

      • thoughtbeast says:

        Agree. The direction of the show has changed since series creator and showrunner Brian K. Vaughan (comic book scribe and former writer/producer on LOST) left. Mr. Vaughan is the one who came up the idea on how to adapt Stephen King’s novel for television. If you remember, the producers initially told everyone during the first season the outside world would never be shown.

  3. laurelnev says:

    Well, since Rebecca told Big Jim that Barbie fell off a cliff and died, I’m sure it won;t take him long to put 2+2 together and figure out the locker tunnel cliff is some sort of an exit. The REAL question is what Barbie Senior REALLY wants with, and knows about, the egg.

    • hud says:

      Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Is this season going to be the last? or is it going to drag on into next year? Really , how much more anguish can a person stand? I believe this program would play out better on Nik@Nite.

    • NayNay says:

      Yeah and Big Jim will blow up the tunnel so everyone will stay trapped in the Dome. He is fast becoming my least favorite character ever.

      • Laura says:

        Mine, too. He’s become almost cartoonishly evil.

        It’s funny, though, how they showed last night that pretty much everyone in town hates him to some degree and knows he’s a self-serving liar, yet everyone still seems to believe everything he says about anything.

  4. Jake Holman says:

    The show is just plain awful! But it’ MY PLAIN AWFUL show and I watch it every week!

  5. Tom says:

    I think the show is really bad. It is so bad that you have to watch it. That being said, they just seem to jump around all the time. There really is no continuity in this program. However, I continue to watch because I just love the show…

  6. I think it brought many questions to light for the first time, lets not stop pick up the pace.

  7. Gayle says:

    Love the summary of latest episode. Used to be able to watch this, but now can’t access it
    anymore (for free) with CBS or Amazon. Don’t have TV. Watch on computer. What website
    can I watch this for free?

  8. scout says:

    People who love bad shows, premieres Oct. 32nd, check your local listings.

  9. This is about the stupidest show on television. I can’t believe its in prime time. At one point the town has big Jim in a noose for murders he’s committed and the next thing you know he’s back in charge of everybody. Poorly acted and poorly written. I can believe Steven King is involved cuz he’s a weirdo anyway but Steven Spielberg can do better. Cmon ABC its Crap

  10. Dee says:

    I love the direction the show has taken! I do feel Jim will blow up the tunnel or something because he doesn’t want people to escape Chester’s Mill and wants to control them forever! I am so down with the drinking for every time Jim talks about the dome’s plan for him…it drives me crazy! I don’t get why all the military presence though…it’s already been determined the dome isn’t radioactive or anything so I don’t understand why they don’t just let people go there if they wanted to.

    • sco says:

      Military sees them shield and them new power of somethingness they likes and wantee to acquire. Everyone military man wants dem egg of powerness to generate powerful shield. Shield who can protect or who can do some friggin’ damage. I sure wants such controllable shield, i bet they wants that too. And they wants that badly. Just imagine them tank with small such shield, open the shield to fire and unopen shield to hide when them evil man fires upon you. I calls it deem good win !

  11. Jimmy says:

    The past few weeks have been much better! There is gradual improvement on this show, and now I’m looking forward to the season finale, hopefully it’s better than the season 1 finale.

    As for the episode, I had a feeling Phil wasn’t dead because no one said he was, and if they introduced ANOTHER new character as Big Jim’s enemy, it would have been ridiculous. So having Phil as the enemy was smart and I didn’t see it coming.

    As far as the whole Barbie-under-the-truck thing, I don’t get how NO ONE saw him run under it before it left or run out from under it once it stopped moving. Also, if the military was looking for Barbie, wouldn’t SOMEONE have noticed him? He didn’t have much of a disguise on, only glasses.

    But it did set up a VERY interesting ending to the episode, which is sure to create some great drama next week since Jim knows Barbie is alive and outside of the dome.

    • NayNay says:

      I thought the same thing. Were the army guys blind? And the way he was holding onto the underside of the truck looked really uncomfortable, and he supposedly rode that way for 16 “clicks”, is that miles? Stupid, stupid, stupid

  12. Brigid says:

    Best episode of the season which isn’t saying much. Big Jim really has become a charicature and very annoying and the people in this town are really dumb. Please stick to the mythology and no more of the disaster of the week junk.

  13. Steve Azarro says:

    The program has failed, flopped, turned into a soap opera. But surprisingly The Bridge is going strong on it’s second season.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We liked it, but Big Jim has got to go.

  15. cherry says:

    I have only been watching bits & pieces of the show. They are stretching out Barbie’s story, it id becoming obvious the writers are running out of ideas. Would surprise me if there was a third season. Maybe Barbie’s dad will help out his son, but i am thinking Julia will go down the tunnel. Does anybody know if they ever said what the connection between Melanie & Barbie is?

  16. Disappointed says:

    This episode outside of Barbie’s stpry was so corny. The Big Jim stuff was just plain filler like someone else said.

    And “It’s in the cards. It’s in the cards”? The woman that made all the post cards that depicted all of the dome happening couldn’t put two and two together? Come one.

    And then after five minutes of trying to figure what’s going to happen next in the cards, she’s suudenly like “WAIT, I HAVE ONE MORE I DIDN’T SEND!” Like she didn’t know that without them telling here there had to be more. This writing is getting so pathetic.

    • hud says:

      Show is awful,but watch weekly,to see where it will go.Teenagers,anguished looks,Julia town pump,BigJim horrid.Losing brain cells,please end it.

  17. aanders says:

    Love this show!! The plot is definitely better after last weeks episode!! Can’t wait for Monday!!!