Under the Dome Recap: Acid Trip

Under the Dome Dwight Yoakam

You know how a family dinner can get really awkward when the topic of religion comes up? That’s essentially what happens on Monday’s installment of Under the Dome, with much uglier repercussions than uncomfortable silence.

Here’s what went down this week in Chester’s Mill:

CLOSE SHAVE | In case you were hoping for another shady Chester’s Mill resident to make his appearance, you’re in luck! Town barber Lyle Chumley (played by actor-musician Dwight Yoakam) enters the fray and quickly butts heads with Rebecca about why the dome is causing trouble. Lyle turns to the Bible to make sense of what’s going on, firmly believing that recent incidents — including a downpour of acid rain that begins at the start of the episode — are plagues indicating the forthcoming Rapture. “There’s a new God in Chester’s Mill. And it’s going to show no mercy to infidels,” he says. Okay, buddy! Meanwhile, Rebecca is all about the scientific facts, which doesn’t go so well for her. Lyle kidnaps Rebecca and brings her to an old cement factory nearby, where he douses her with toxic rain until she admits the dome is testing Chester’s Mill. And while there may be some of us at home who are eagerly awaiting Rebecca’s demise, it’s not to be just yet: Barbie, Julia and Junior save Rebecca in time, giving her yet another opportunity to suggest population control. Will she ever give it a rest?

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MIXED SIGNALS | Meanwhile, Norrie, Joe and Melanie head to the local high school to elaborate on a science project Rebecca once conducted in class to generate electricity. When the acid downpour keeps them trapped inside with Junior, they’re surprised to find a Wi-Fi signal that gives them a window, however brief, to the outside world. (Man, how many Facebook notifications must they have?) A strange website called HoundsOfDiana.com has tried reaching out to all of them, and Junior can’t resist opening an e-mail from the site, which leads him to — surprise! — a video from his mother, who’s looking very alive and very well, for someone who’s allegedly been dead for years. Pauline urges Junior to talk to Lyle for answers, but the signal is lost before her video message is finished. Later, the group traces the signal’s source to the locker where Angie was killed, though they find nothing inside.

Oh, and Norrie is totally not okay with Melanie hanging around and freakishly predicting the locker’s combination. She’s even less thrilled moments later, when the gang pulls out a 1988 yearbook from the high school and finds Melanie’s photo, where she looks exactly as she does in the present day. (Side note: I’ve always enjoyed Norrie, but after this episode, I have to say she’s probably my favorite character. Spunky, but not annoyingly so — quite the feat in Chester’s Mill.)

FAMILY MATTERS | While searching Lyle’s barbershop, Julia and Barbie find a photo of Pauline, Lyle and Sam Verdreaux, also from 1988 — back when Pauline and Lyle apparently were dating. And of course, there’s something toooootally fishy going on here. Sam visits Lyle in jail and says that whatever they buried 25 years ago was supposed to stay buried, but Lyle isn’t on the same page. Instead, he offers to tell Junior everything he knows about Pauline’s whereabouts, so long as Junior busts him out of his cell.

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Some parting questions: Until Joe received that e-mail from his dad, had you totally forgotten his parents were alive outside the dome? Would it be socially acceptable to start a drinking game for every time a character says, “The dome is trying to protect us”? And most importantly, what did you think of the episode? Hit the comments with your thoughts.

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. simon says:

    This was the best episode of season 2. Really enjoying the new plotlines.

  2. dome watcher says:

    This season has been horrible so far. silly to think Barbie would side with big Jim on anything given the events of last season

  3. Dan says:

    Anyone else catch the locker combo was Pauline’s birthday?

  4. Diane says:

    That science teacher needs to go. I was rooting for Dwight Yoakam in that scenario.

    • SK says:

      Me, too! I was hoping he was going to make her drink it. She’s sooo annoying!!

    • CJ says:

      She is unbelievably annoying! I want to scream every time she shows up. I can’t believe they killed Linda and replaced her with Rebecca.

    • The Squatch says:

      Her character just doesn’t make sense to me. First she’s telling the Lyle character about how she doesn’t believe in the dome in any way other than scientifically, but then later talking to Big Jim about how the Dome “chose” him to be leader and keeps testing him.

    • Alichat says:

      Thank you!!! They killed Linda and Angie for screen time to push this Kool-Aid drinking aggravation on us?? Ugh

    • Ruth Dimitry says:

      Who knew it was Dwight Yoakam????? My room mate recognised him!!!! YOU GO MIKE!!!

  5. Linda says:

    I think the acid rain was red Kool-Aid and Barbie’s been drinking a little too much of it.

  6. And here I was thinking Junior MIGHT have a sister nobody knew about until the yearbook thing. Now, I’m thinking Melanie might be that thing they buried 25 years ago.

  7. Cj says:

    This is an open letter to anyone working on under the dome. I look at that poster of the boy and the dog separated by the dome shield and I think how the shows has yet to capture that iconic image and feeling. It’s drifting further and further from Stephen king-esque and too far into lost the tv show territory.
    Here’s a couple of problems with the show. 1. Neal Baer. I can’t think of a worse choice for show runner. Just because he has been in the industry for god knows how many years doesn’t make him qualified to take on a show like this. What about his back ground in law and order made anyone think he was right for this? Just because he was available doesn’t mean it’s a smart choice to hire him, as this show clearly proves. He needs to go back to procedurals. Also the only episodes worth watching are the ones written by Brian k Vaughan and Stephen king. Every other writer sucks!!! It’s depressing how Brian Vaughan is stuck with these hacks.

    2. Stop introducing important characters all of a sudden and making them suddenly the most important person on the show, like tonight with Dwight Yokam. It’s lazy. Put some thought into planning out your season and series instead of just making it up as you go alone. Establish some rules and stick to them. Use foreshadow. Invest in your show the way you want the viewers to.

    3. Give the characters some consistency. Maybe it will help the actors performances as well. Also why did you hire 2 new characters and make them the most boring people ever? Eddie Cahill is like watching paint dry when he is on screen. And I have no idea why the black teacher went from being nice and helpful to being a total bitch from one episode to the next. Plan your new characters better because if your plan is to just have important new characters popping up at the start of every season… Well that’s just bad writing.

    4. Stop having the same stories over and over. Make every episode count. We have had like 3 episodes about food shortages already. Enough. Make it count the first time.

    5. Watch the show eureka about a town essentially cut off from the rest of the world. Or any number if star treks to see how the characters interact while they are basically a city alone in space. One week they have a character episode the next an episode where the ship breaks down. Use that as inspiration and have your b story run through the season but a different a plot in every episode itself. Go back and watch the stand and it and other Steven king shows from the 90s to get more of a feel for how the show should feel.

    That’s all for now. After all you guys get paid for this.

    • SMS says:

      I agree, this is getting too painful to watch.

    • Mike says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. But don’t you get it. This isn’t the showrunner; it’s Stephen King. The guy is a hack write who got lucky and has used the same formula time after time. It’s a car that goes crazy (Christine), a dog that goes crazy (Cujo), pets that go crazy (Pet Cemetery) … all of his characters are cliched (there is always a religious fanatic who goes crazy, the old Black person is usually the repository of wisdom); and while he starts out with an interesting premise, there is never a real payoff (It was a giant spider from outer space, The Stand ends up being about the forces of good and evil playing it out with a bomb in Las Vegas). Every one of his books/movies has turned out to be a giant waste of time. I am sure I and thousands of others will hate myself/themselves at the end of the summer when we find the reason for the dome. Like everything else Stephen King writes it will be a disappointment.

  8. Cj says:

    Actually one more thing if an axe murderer is running around town don’t send three more kids alone to the school where he killed the sister of one of those kids. Good god that’s bad writing.

    • JJM says:

      Kids under the dome be like #yolo

    • Gandalf47 says:

      Have you never watched “Scooby Doo”?

    • Bolls says:

      The least they could do is acknowledge it. I hate how this show drops things from one episode to the next. And if they can’t play out the story of the brother losing the sister better just don’t use the brother for a few episodes. They desperately need new writers who can flesh out this show. Brian Vaughan can’t do it alone and it’s making him look bad.

  9. JJM says:

    Can somebody explain why Norrie realized she had a dad outside the dome, but since the discovery of her paternity she hasn’t even thought once about it? Especially after her mother’s death?

  10. Dabney1960 says:

    Please explain why the town barber has the worst haircut in Chester’s Mill.

  11. Dennis says:

    so I think Rebecca is evil or at the very least actively working against the dome, there is something off about her

  12. JeffDJ says:

    Is there some reason the barber has a last name (Chumley) that’s confusingly similar to Julia’s (Shumway)? And it’s stunning how the teacher started off as an interesting addition to the show and has suddenly become the character I most want to become the axe murderer’s next victim. (Also, anyone thinking Phil as the perp? Ever since he was deputized he’s seemed a little off. Also, he had the access to plant what’s-her-name’s bracelet in Junior’s cell.)

  13. Cate Amos says:

    It amazes me that all the other kids have suddenly gone AWOL. Last season they were throwing raves, turning the town into their personal skate park, and getting ready to throw down just to get their electronics charged up. Where’d they go? I guess if I was there age and knew my wack-a-doodle science teacher wanted cheap labor to run experiments on a Dome life, I’d go into hiding too.

  14. Jessica Wagoner says:

    I believe it was 1988, not 1998, so minor correction there. :-) Its getting very interesting I think. Finding out all these little details bit by bit on how most of the characters tie into each other or all tie together into Chester’s Mill’s big secret. It’s captivating! I don’t particularly care for an hour time slot overloaded with commercials and have only what few precious minutes of the actual show.

  15. Jane says:

    On a show populated with annoying characters Rebecca is the worse. Please Please kill her. Honestly, who thought this character or actress would add anything.

  16. NP says:

    It’s been a long time since I wished a character on TV would die as much as I wanted the science teacher dead last night. Where did she come from and why is everyone listening to her? She’s a high school teacher for gods sake

  17. Moment says:

    I had to roll my eyes at the neutralizing the Red Algae stopping the rain so quickly thing. You had one character blaming the Dome for the rain, another the Algae. They never quite say which caused by the science was a bit funky there.

  18. bj says:

    Maybe the science teacher caused it by adding something to the water so that she could find an excuse to “cull the herd” and get rid of the people she doesn’t like. That’s how she knew what to do to neutralize it so easily.

    • John Jacob says:

      This is my exact theory. All of these “I heard about this happening once” stories coming from her is annoying too. Even when she is at the lake spraying the mixture she has an evil look on her face. She is doing it intentionally so she can become the town “hero” instead of Big Jim. I think she is faking being an ally with him and she will eventually knock him off in a power grab move.

  19. Zoe says:

    The whole Joe/Norrie and Barbie/Julia “”””””””tension”””””””” is just contrived shipbaiting (because people apparently ship those things) to keep the teenagers watching. And oh my god, I am SICK of new characters being created. Unless they’re willing to hire one of those horrid background extras, don’t introduce new people like they’ve been there all along.

  20. Pat says:

    I just had a chance to watch this on my DVR. Holy cow, Rebecca has to go. I think they should but her in the tallest tree and chop it down. Also, Barbie is really starting to change and I sure hope that Julia kicks him to the curb, for good! Also, Melanie Cross from 1988???? If that is her then we are headed in a “LOST” show and I cannot believe this. Maybe, just maybe Melanie Cross was her mother. When I see her with Joe and Norrie, she does look way,older then they do. She could have psychic abilities and that is why she knew the locker combination and also looking at what is coming next week, her saying that this is where she died well maybe she is able to channel her mother, but she doesn’t realize that her mother is speaking through her. I can only hope that what I am saying turns out to be the scenario,otherwise we are headed as I have said into the “LOST” territory.

  21. CountryQueen says:

    All of you complaining about the introduction of new characters, need to realize that the dome has only been in place about 3 weeks. It’s not like we’ve been here for years or months, so of course we’re still meeting new people.

  22. Ugh says:

    Most ridiculous line of the night (Julia to Barbie): “I thought I knew you!” Really? You’ve known him for 2 weeks and you’re shocked that there are things about his personality that slipped your attention? I’m shocked!

    • tp says:

      Exactly. Same thing with Norrie. She doesn’t believe that “Melanie” could “see” the locker combo but it’s totally believable that there’s a mini dome and it’s telling you to kill Big Jim.

    • Monent says:

      Juniors radical shift towards disliking his father was somewhat funny too. He used to follow Big Jim like a mindless sheep regardless of what he did, now he’s on the I hate my Dad bandwagon. He can’t have been that stupid to not see his Dad was evil.

    • Sandy says:

      Agreed. But when they hooked up it was supposed to be like a finding your soul mate kind of thing. Don’t forget season 1 he went bananas trying to save her life as well as her making him a changed man. I think the writers just need to put a wedge between Barbie and Julia by introducing a man that might threaten their relationship of 2 weeks. Only 9 or 10 more episodes to go

  23. Mike says:

    There is no character consistency because there are no real characters on this show. They are all stereotypes and caricatures designed to move the plot along. I think Stephen King has a draw full of stock characters and he pulls them out and uses them whenever it serves him. No one has any dimension.

  24. tp says:

    I swear I hate this new site. I just typed out my view of the episode, hit post comment and it disappears. Not the first time this has happened. Now watch this have no problem posting. Oh well…such is life.

  25. Kaliera says:

    Even with a science teacher the science on this show is so lame. Acid rain falling from the sky, but throw a jacket over yourself and you’re fine, cause acid no way burns through cotton or nylon, or leather, or car paint, or rooftops, or plastic bowls….smh

  26. Bob the Bunny says:

    Incoherent, totally plot drive based on the last 5 minutes of events. Needs more butterflies and Big Jim getting so full of hot air that he gets bigger and bigger until A) becomes a giant balloon and lives at the top of the dome singing church hymns B) explodes and rains down as parts of a giant octopus beak and all. B, of course, is the correct answer.

  27. Ryan says:

    Dwight Yoakam’s Acapella version of ‘Who will Stop the Rain’ is the best thing that will happen on TV this season. Added such depth to his character. Little things like that are what makes Stephen King a success.

  28. Liam Knuj says:

    So Sam, Lyle, and Pauline are all about 17 in 1988? That would make them about 43 in 2014. Really?? Sam looks like 55 , Lyle looks at least 60, & Pauline was married to Big Jim, who looks at least 65 (and in the video email to Junior, Pauline also looks about 55).
    Somebody didn’t do their homework. Should have made that earlier incident 1978, not 1988!

  29. Rick says:

    What name did Dwight use for gods name? I been trying to find a clip of it, but so far, failed.

  30. FreeRyde says:

    The got on the internet and all they thought off was checking mail?

  31. claireb says:

    Isn’t Yoakam too old to play this character? If Lyle Chumley was supposedly Pauline’s age and Pauline was born in 1971, that would make him late thirties to early forties in 2008 which is the year the series is set in, I think. Dwight Yoakam just looks much older than this – which he is because he was born in 1956. Am I mistaken that Pauline was supposedly born in 1971?