Under the Dome Recap: Honey, We Shrunk the Dome

Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 12

Of all the questions posed by Monday’s Under the Dome — and there were many — the one that prevailed was an issue of science versus faith.

Well, maybe that wasn’t only the important question. There’s also, “Why is the dome shrinking?” “How will the folks in Chester’s Mill ever get out?” and “What could a third season of this show possibly entail?”

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a brief recap of Season 2’s penultimate episode, “Turn”:

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SIZE MATTERS | Joe, Norrie, Hunter and Rebecca are among the first to spy the dome’s contractions. Rebecca is unsure (that’s new!) of what’s causing the shrinkage, but getting everyone to the center of the dome seems like a safe-ish bet for protection. Of course, the real reason behind the dome’s contractions is the egg’s absence from Chester’s Mill, so Barbie enlists Hunter and the teenagers to help get the egg back (after Hunter sheepishly admits that he came to Chester’s Mill to spy on Don Barbara’s behalf, which earns him a few of Barbie’s signature slams against the wall).

The quartet heads to the dome’s edge, convincing the guard at the barrier (via a gun to Hunter’s head) to retrieve Don Barbara and inform him of the egg’s much-needed return. Norrie and Joe play one of Melanie’s recent vlogs, in order to prove she’s come back to life, and Barbie informs his father that without the egg, everyone in Chester’s Mill will die. (Probably by getting crushed to death, which ranks on the more gruesome end of the Ways to Die Under the Dome scale.) Barbie Sr. says he will return the egg via the root cellar in Zenith, and Norrie and Joe are sent to the lake to await his arrival. First, they make a quick pit stop at the sheriff’s office to pick up a walkie-talkie, and Joe finds a gun, which leads to a truly hilarious conversation between the teenagers. (“The last time you held a gun, you almost shot Melanie in the face.” “In other words, I didn’t!” That’s sound logic if I ever heard any.)

But the pair never needs the walkie or the gun. When Barbie Sr. retrieves the egg at the playground in Zenith, he’s able to safely pick up the power source without getting zapped (though his touch does cause the egg’s glow to cease). Just then, every guard in Zenith turns on the elder Barbie, insisting that the egg must stay where it is.

GOOD AND EVIL | The real dilemma of the hour, though, is Melanie’s rapidly declining health. (This week’s mysterious symptoms: coughing blood and hair loss. Hang on, is this The Strain?!) Rebecca and Julia don’t see eye-to-eye regarding how to help the girl — Rebecca is based in logic and science, while Julia continues to wax poetic about the dome and its many signs. The first point goes to science: Rebecca realizes that a blood transfusion can buy Melanie some time, and lima beans can help determine which blood type will match Melanie’s. (My personal favorite part of the episode is Rebecca’s sudden exclamation of, “Lima beans!” and Sam responding the way that all of us at home probably did: “Come again?”) The transfusion process happens remarkably quickly — like, within two scenes — and Melanie’s health is somewhat restored.

But when Barbie Sr.’s failure to retrieve the egg suddenly sends Melanie’s health into decline again, it’s Julia’s believe-in-the-dome philosophy that prevails. She visits the dome’s barrier and, uh, has a nice chat with the glass encasing, telling the dome to take her as long as the others can be spared. The dome listens pretty much instantly, and the contractions start up again.

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TAKING A STAB AT IT | Elsewhere in the hour, Lyle tries to interpret Pauline’s postcards for Junior, hoping to find a prophetic image that indicates Melanie will get healthy again. But all Lyle can focus on is the image of him and Pauline walking safely into Heaven together. So, no help there. Meanwhile, a distressed Pauline is unable to conjure any more visions without the help of the egg. But after she confesses to Big Jim that she’s lost faith in just about everything and everyone, Big Jim soothes her and tells her she was brought into his life to guide him. So, in a scene that plays out like a way creepier version of the pottery sequence in Ghost, Big Jim assists Pauline in painting her next vision. The result: An image of a healthy Melanie, standing above eight handprints. (Never mind that blood dripping from your easel, Pauline. I’m sure it’s fine.)

In a convoluted scene that surely had Sherry Stringfield longing for her medical jargon days, Pauline explains that eight hands — four old, four new — must be laid upon Melanie in order to make her well again. All of the main players (including a skeptical Rebecca) carry Melanie’s body into the woods where she died in ’88, and once Sam and Junior each grab one of Melanie’s hands, the girl is revived and seems completely healthy. Well… until a gaping hole opens in the ground beneath Melanie’s feet, and she sinks into the abyss. Distraught, Pauline confesses to Jim that her latest vision hinted at Melanie’s disappearance, but she didn’t realize the meaning behind the premonition. Big Jim kisses his wife to calm her down, and when he pulls away, Pauline’s mouth is covered in blood — a result of the knife that a jealous Lyle just stabbed through Pauline’s back (not fatally, though, as next week’s previews assure us). But it’s Big Jim who makes the biggest move of the hour, grabbing Lyle’s knife and putting it through the barber’s chest, offing the man for good. The drama in Chester’s Mill is at an all-time high, my friends. And there’s still one episode to go!

Parting questions:

* Considering that Junior seemed a bit uneasy the first time Melanie kissed him, were you not a little surprised to see him acting so affectionate with her this week?

* Was I the only one who chuckled when Julia denounced her husband as “her old life”? It was three weeks ago!

* Was there a point in having skateboarder Ben return for one scene, only to take a jab at Norrie?

And most importantly, what did you think of the penultimate Season 2 episode? How do you think the finale will shake out? Are Junior’s sassy one-liners quickly becoming the best part of every episode? Tell us 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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37 Comments
  1. laurelnev says:

    This is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT show than it was in S1. Better, but totally different. Couldn’t decide if the hole was “Lost-ish” or “Once Upon a Time-ish,” but we’re most definitely crossing into massive suspension of disbelief territory here. Glad I held on, but I hope it ends up being worth it. Not sure WHERE they’re going from here.

  2. Mike says:

    The translators writing whatever they wanted instead of what Barbie or his dad said was the highlight of the episode.

  3. John Jacob says:

    This has literally turned into the stupidest show I have ever seen. Each week it just gets more and more laughable. My fiance and I were chuckling to ourselves during the final scenes. It has turned into a budget version of Lost.

  4. Coal says:

    I miss Zenith

  5. Coal says:

    Oh and someone should really ask julia to whom she is referring to when she says that “the Dome is protecting us” cause the body count under the dome is climbing.

  6. Matthew Weber says:

    I watched like the first few episodes. The book was so much better. Caught the premier this year (just because of Stephen King actually writing and directing it), but it is still totally different. I don’t really understand why they changed it so much. The book was good and had plenty of material for two or three seasons (it was like 1000 pages after all).

  7. hud says:

    These people are so stupid they deserve to be crushed. Please end this show. Replace it with Longmire. You CAN do it CBS..

    • Former Fan says:

      Bravo! Great idea. However, CBS is stupid for carrying this drivel (which I began watching but stopped – I now just read the recaps, which are so much better than the show itself) and A&E is stupid for dropping Longmire (a great show which I watched every week and had little to no recaps). Too bad for both of the networks.

  8. lolCAT2000 says:

    I’m weirdly compelled to watch this show because I love a mystery, but I’m feeling let down by the scripts inconsistencies in the way the dome behaves, the various “catastrophies” the residents are dealing with as well as the varying relationships among the residents themselves.

    Acting, directing and script was at a low point during this episode for me.

    However, the whole series has a strong sense of “throwaway”, leacing me with no desire to ever re-watch it – but just to relax + forget to make sense for 45 minutes it’s kind of OK.

    No biggie though. One of the few things I’m actually watching on TV these days.

  9. zac says:

    Angie died like what a week ago? Junior was crazy for Angie and now he’s crazy for his Mom’s bestfriend? I dont get it

  10. Jane says:

    I am truly amazed by this show. Every time I think it has hit a new high for stupidity, bad writing, and bad acting it manages to get worse. Last night was astonishingly bad on all levels. I truly hoping the final scene next week will be the Dome crushing everyone in town and the words “the end.” One thing I do know is that is there is a 3rd season I will not be back for it.

  11. Michelle says:

    So what was the point of Julia being ‘The Monarch’ last season? Did they just forget that?

  12. R.O.B. says:

    I have not read the comments yet but am I the only one that thinks this has become almost excrutiatingly bad this season? The acting, especially by the kid who plays the teenage boy, is terrible. The woman who plays the scientist is like a block of wood – she has no facial expressions. Even trying to watch more seasoned actors like Sherry Stringfield emote the nonsense that is in her script is painful. I have been a faithful watcher but this has gotten so stupid that I’m done after this season.

  13. bj says:

    I think Jr. is the type who gets quickly obsessed with any girl who likes him so I’m not surprised about the kiss.

    Three weeks? It seems like 3 years! lol

    And I have a question. Since the guard saw Barbie’s message to Barbie Sr. about the red door, why aren’t the guards heading for the dome now to get the people that can control the egg?

    That was a great review. Thanks.

  14. SethKane says:

    Did the writers forget that Norrie still has a Mom?

  15. Fred says:

    Interesting thing: The actor who played Julia’s dead-husband was credited as co-starring for this episode. And I’m pretty sure we saw that photograph before in season 1, so he probably wasn’t credited for that, which makes me think that he would have appeared in a deleted scene, maybe as an apparition when Julia went to the dome… That’s just my theory, but I’m curious about this.

    Also, I didn’t really see the usefulness in bringing back Ben, although it was nice to see him, because some characters are included too little in the story and just suddenly pop up randomly in a few episodes. I’m talking about Carolyn of course, Norries mom. I like the actress and her character, so I hope they make her a regular again next season. The way she’s treated now makes me think they just let her recur so they can kill her off (in a random way like Linda) when they need a ‘shocker death’. Which I hate… So I hope she’ll stick around.

    Also, what was the point in the Joe/Norrie scene with the gun?

    One positive thing: Thank God Lyle is dead! He was annoying.

    • Jimmy says:

      I’m happy Lyle is dead too, I couldn’t stand him. I also didn’t see the purpose in Ben being back for the episode, it seemed completely random. And to be honest, while the actress who plays Carolyn is good, the character has no purpose story-wise – that’s why they haven’t been using her. So if they kill her off, it won’t be a huge deal because she’s never on or even mentioned. And yeah, when I saw he was credited in the episode, I figured he would appear as an apparition to Julia, which would have been really cool since Angie has appeared as an apparition to Junior.

  16. suzyku says:

    I really enjoy this show no matter how sarcastic the reviewer here gets! Rebecca Lannucci needs to “get over herself” now, no longer cute or funny. Hopefully we’ll get a season 3.

  17. review says:

    CBS needs to fire the showrunner. This show is now a complete mess and it is proof that the writers are writing it as it goes along.

    If the show is to be continued, give it an end date in advance, bring in a new showrunner and give it a proper structure with better character development.

    • Jimmy says:

      Completely agreed, this show doesn’t seem to have a clear direction or flow of the story, it just seems to happen as it happens. I’ve heard quite a bit about Neal Baer and not much of it is good, so I think hiring a new showrunner would be best for the show if they intend to continue it. And considering this season supposedly ends on a cliffhanger, I hope they continue it for at least 1 more season to wrap it up. But apparently, the show already has plans for 3-5 seasons and stories that go beyond the book (not that it matters much since this show doesn’t follow the book at all). One thing this season has improved on is better character development, we got next to none in season 1, but this season has gradually gotten better with it.

  18. Jimmy says:

    This episode was okay, certainly not one of the strongest in the season, but it provided a good lead-in for the season finale. And for once, Big Jim did something useful! I’m so happy Lyle is gone, I cannot stand him. Hopefully Rebecca is the next to go because I still dislike her and don’t see the point of her character, other than to contradict Julia’s beliefs with her scientific ones. As for the ending, with Melanie falling into the abyss, my theory is that hole is now the new portal into Zenith, since the one in the school is gone.
    But, there are still so many things that haven’t been explained.
    What does Julia’s “monarch” status have anything to do with anything? It hasn’t been addressed much in this season and doesn’t seem to have any effect on what happens with the dome.
    Where on earth, or at least in Chester’s Mill, is Norrie’s other mom?! We never see her and she is never even mentioned, so what’s the point in keeping her around?
    Why is Norrie one of the 4 new hands? She doesn’t live in Chester’s Mill; it was completely by chance that she was in town the day the dome came down. So what importance is she to this whole thing?
    Where has Ben been this entire season, and why did he show up in this episode? That scene served less than zero purpose.
    How exactly could Pauline predict the future back 25 years ago? Is she psychic? Because just having a “gut-feeling” about all this happening isn’t reason enough to paint all those painting and send post cards for 9 years, much less fake your own death.
    And, if the egg really is the power source for the dome, why has no one thought of destroying it? With most things, if you kill the power source, you kill what it powers. So, by destroying the egg, will the dome come down?

  19. Why doesn’t anyone mention alien control of the dome? They did talk through the “dead” to the key players last season? Why don’t they try to understand that alien science is behind the thing and they are all part of a big test or experiment? All this clueless conjecture about “what the dome wants”. The dome doesn’t want anything, but the creatures managing the dome sure do. This show needs to veer back to closer to the book and Big Jim needs to get his. So sick of his self-centered BS. Me, me, me.. it’s all about me.. good grief, enough already.. put him out of his misery.

    • People do weird things when they are scared. Why do you think there is such thing as religion? People have a need and others abuse it, no matter how much is true.

      btw almost everyone is self-centered if not extremely naÏeve at the same time. Combined with a cocktail of emotions and in this case a lot of crap comming from Hollywood. As if the crap they were putting in movies all those years and in recent years in probably all of them spilled over in to tv shows.

  20. Brandy says:

    It’s weird, but the dumber this show gets, the more I’m drawn in. I love it!

  21. Jen says:

    I will of course watch the end of this season after watching every other episode but I am disappointed they are trying to stretch this into a 3rd. What else could they possibly do with this show? I also am wondering, like the other commenters, where is Norri’s mom and why did they bring Ben in for that pointless scene? Maybe he was under contract to do one more. And maybe the actress that plays Mom ripped the script in half and refused to be in this anymore LOL

  22. Alicia Gray says:

    This show is pure trash … and I love every moment of it.

  23. Karen Veerkamp says:

    What the hell why was tonight’s show not on Sept29,2014