The second episode of Under the Dome aired last night on CBS and while it wasn’t quite as captivating as the first hour of the series, it was still an excellent hour of TV. Like any good mystery, the episode answered some lingering questions from the pilot and set up a bunch of new ones as the residents of Chester’s Mill learn that they’re trapped under a dome.
“The Fire” began with Barbie having a nightmare/flashback to his confrontation with Julia’s husband. Apparently, he was trying to get money from him for his boss and Peter didn’t have it. Barbie roughed him up a bit and gave him a warning and then as he turned to leave, Peter pulled a gun on him. The two fought, destroying the kitchen they were standing in and then Barbie pulled out his own gun and shot Peter.
It’s nice to know the main hot character isn’t a straight up cold-blooded killer, but he’s still got a pretty big weight on his shoulders, especially while staying with the wife of the man that he killed in self-defense over some mysterious money situation. But Julia and his conscience are not Barbie’s only problems.
Angie attempted to escape from the fallout shelter, but Junior tied her up and confronted her about Barbie. At first, she had no clue who he was even talking about, but then she insisted he just gave her a cigarette. Crazy Eyes wasn’t buying it so Angie changed her story and told him about all the sex that she had with the man and how he was so much better than Junior. Needless to say, he didn’t appreciate that and headed out to find the man in question.
Barbie was in the process of returning to the scene of the crime because he’d realized that he’d lost his dog tags. He finds Peter’s gun and sees that it wasn’t loaded and then he puts on his dog tags just as Junior shows up at the door and assumes the messy kitchen is where he got busy with Angie. Barbie, of course, has no idea what he’s talking about and the two fight. Barbie easily gets the advantage and warns Junior (again) to stay away from him or next time he’s going to really hurt him.
News of Duke’s death spreads through the town and Big Jim stops someone from attempting to dig underneath the dome to get them out since the exploding pacemaker proved that it’s not a big fan of machinery (and also answers the question why can’t they dig their way out). Big Jim and the Reverend have a hush-hush conversation about Duke, the propane and the fact that the Reverend is high (anyone else having AHS: Asylum flashbacks?).
But here’s the thing. Big Jim didn’t accuse the Reverend of being on drugs; he accused him of using ‘their stuff’, presumably something with the propane. What does that mean? It must be bad because the Reverend headed over to Duke’s house, found the invoices for the propane and set them on fire. Unfortunately, the Reverend wasn’t very bright because he threw the burning papers in the trash, which caught the curtains on fire and when he tried to put that out, the fire quickly spread through the room, trapping him.
Meanwhile, Julia was at the radio station and overheard some of the military communications, including the fact that they were referring to the barrier as a dome and they’d tried to cut it with lasers and failed. Julia commandeers the radio station to tell the town they’re under a dome and for the first time, people genuinely start to panic (finally!). Joe is doing some of his own investigating and realizes the dome is about 10 miles across and acts like a sieve when the military attempts to get water through the barrier.
This brings up more questions. The military doesn’t know what the dome is or where it came from, which means they’re not responsible for it. But more importantly than that, why would the military stationed right outside the dome be instructed not to communicate with the people inside? That makes zero sense, especially when they were running their water test and didn’t ask Joe or his friend if it was actually getting through the dome. They might not be able to hear through it, but everyone has access to paper.
Linda is doing her best to keep order after Duke’s death, but another deputy has gone past panic and headed right into lost his mind territory. He wants to arm the cops with rifles and he’s quite paranoid when he sees Barbie walking through the woods. Linda manages to put his freak out on hold when she gets the call about Duke’s house being on fire and orders everyone, including Barbie, to get to the scene.
Big Jim arrives first and he hears the Reverend calling for help inside and he totally ignores him (someone doesn’t want any witnesses left). But Linda hears him as well and rushes in to help him, managing to drag him out. Barbie organizes the townspeople to get buckets and hoses because they have to put the fire out before it spreads to the rest of the town and taking everyone with it. Big Jim gets in his car and drives away.
The fire continues to spread because the buckets are not enough, but Big Jim returns with the bulldozer and knocks the house down. Then he gives the typical disaster movie big speech about how they’re all in this together and the town will prevail and all that. Everyone claps, but then Deputy Crazy starts ranting about how they’re all going to die and he starts waving his gun around. For some reason, he decides to shoot the dome and the bullet ricochets off and lands squarely in another deputy’s chest.
Barbie tackles him as Linda rushes to the fallen officer (her fiancés’ brother). But it’s too late; he’s already dead (so does that mean Linda and Lost His Mind are the only cops left? Barbie seems to be a jack of all trades and we learn his name is Dale Barbara, thanks to the dog tags, which Julia may or may not have picked up on his lie about where he found them). Anyway, it was another great ending that already has me anxious for next week.