Violet recaps Season 1, Episode 5 of Under the Dome, entitled “Blue on Blue.” In this episode, families are bussed to the Dome for a Visitor’s Day with their loved ones in Chester’s Mill, but Barbie finds out from one of the soldiers that “something big is going down.” Following the recap, Violet provides her thoughts about the episode in pink font, and then Josh provides his thoughts in blue font.
The episode begins with Joe and Norrie talking to each other on walkie talkies, then walking together as Joe discusses his theory that he and Norrie are human receivers of the messages that the Dome is sending out. He then shows her that thousands of monarch butterflies have landed on the other side of the Dome, despite the fact that they aren’t in season.
Angie wakes up in the fallout shelter as Big Jim brings her a blanket. She angrily delivers the news to Big Jim that his son has been keeping her down there. She pleads with him to let her out, but he says he has to think on it, and locks her down there. When Big Jim comes out of the shelter, he finds that the Reverend has come to visit him, and the Reverend tells him that God has sent him a message: “Moab,” which the Reverend explains was a very wicked place. But Big Jim goes inside and tells the Reverend to stay away from him.
Barbie wakes up in his car to find Joe and Angie marveling over the butterflies. As Barbie touches the Dome, the butterflies fly away, and they see that people are being bussed in, one of which Joe recognizes. Norrie concludes that they’re finally getting their own “visitor’s day.”
Julia broadcasts a message that the people of Chester’s Mill will be permitted to visit with their loved ones on the outside at 10:00am that day.
At Big Jim’s house, Junior comes home and tells his father the news about people being bussed in. Big Jim authorizes him to recruit more officers to help with crowd control, and Junior starts to go to the fallout shelter for “supplies,” but Big Jim yells at him to do what he told him to do now.
As the townspeople make their way to the meetup point on the bridge, Linda asks Barbie to put up police tape to prevent anyone from touching the Dome, so as to avoid another accident like what happened to Duke. However, Linda runs right past the tape to her fiancé, they touch their hands together against the Dome, and kiss each other through it as well.
Back at the radio station, Julia and Phil pick up a radio transmission: “Zone 1 is painted. Green for 1315.” She wonders what it means, but Phil doesn’t seem concerned. Julia also wonders if her husband will show up to visit.
Joe briefly wonders where his sister, Angie is. Then Norrie sees a man on the other side of the dome holding up a sign with her name on it. He claims to be Norrie’s father, and she is confused because her moms told her she came from an anonymous donor. However, he shows her a picture of him with Alice, one of her mothers.
Meanwhile, the Reverend is preaching about “Moab” on the bridge, and seems to be having trouble with his hearing aid, as Big Jim stops him from preaching. The Reverend talks about how he and Big Jim need to confess their sins, because they “helped drug dealers make their poison.” However, Big Jim protests that they never let them sell it here, and it’s not his fault the Reverend dipped into their supply. The Reverend tells Big Jim that no one will follow him when they hear just exactly who Big Jim is, and warns Big Jim that he has one day to come clean, or he’ll do it for him.
Linda is feeling guilty for not telling her fiancé, Rusty, about the death of his brother, Freddy, who got shot on her watch. Julia tells her it was an accident, and encourages her to tell him.
Norrie’s mothers find her, and recognize the man who claimed to be Norrie’s father, thus confirming he was telling the truth. Norrie is upset at her mothers for lying to her, and telling her that the records were sealed, so she runs off.
Barbie apologizes to Julia for not telling her the “truth” sooner, and she asks him to keep an eye out for her husband. Just then, Julia sees her sister-in-law on the other side of the Dome, who holds up a letter she received from Julia’s husband, which reads, “I know this is confusing, but all I can say is sorry. Tell Julia she deserves better.”
A woman begins to go on the other side of the police line and Barbie stops her, but then Junior shows up in his cop uniform, to Barbie’s disbelief, and says he’ll take it from here.
Linda tearfully tells Rusty about his brother.
Joe follows Norrie, who doesn’t want to talk about her “dad.” Ben finds them and reports the news that China had threatened to attack us after the Dome showed up because they thought we were testing some kind of “illegal super weapon,” so the President had to talk him off the ledge and tell them we didn’t even build it.
Barbie has been watching Dodee communicate with someone on the other side of the Dome through the use of sign language. Visitor’s Day begins to wrap up, so he approaches her and asks if she can read lips as well as she can sign, then brings her over to try to talk with one of the soldiers. He gets one soldier’s attention by showing him a special gold coin, presumably from Barbie’s military days. Apparently it means something special, as the man comes over and salutes him. With Dodee’s help, he finds out that “something big is going down,” and their orders were to move out and don’t plan on coming back. They got their orders last night, after the butterflies showed up. Then the soldier has to leave. Dodee and Barbie realize that many insects use magnetic fields to navigate, and that if the Dome is altering them, there’s no way the government would stand for that. It all of a sudden hits Barbie that “MOAB” is a transmission that the Reverend’s hearing aid must have picked up. It stands for “Mother of all Bombs,” which is what the military calls the largest non-nuclear missile in its arsenal. Visitor’s Day was not about saying hello to their families, it was about saying goodbye.
Dodee runs to Big Jim and tells him the news that the army is going to blow up the Dome. Julia realizes that the military transmission she intercepted earlier, “Zone 1 is painted. Green for 13:15” might be the timeline. They figure out that “painted” means a target has been approved, “Zone 1” is Chester’s Mill, and “1315” is military time for 1:15pm. They realize they have less than three hours until the bomb hits, and decide to evacuate the town into the tunnels below the old cement factory for shelter.
Over at the diner, Joe and Norrie are looking for Angie, but Rose says she hasn’t seen her. Just then, Julia broadcasts the news about the missile and informs the town to seek shelter at the cement factory.
Big Jim goes down to the fallout shelter and cuts Angie’s chains. He apologizes for Junior, and tells her she can go. When she asks why he’s doing this, he says, “Well, if we’re all gonna die today, you might as well die a free woman,” then she runs off.
Julia finds Barbie helping set up the shelter, and asks him about the coin he showed to the soldier. He said the soldier probably only talked to him because he thinks he’s a hero. However, Barbie shares the story that his unit in Iraq helped rescue a captured soldier from insurgents after his company had been killed after a small arms fire. However, the insurgents didn’t kill his company, his unit did, in a case of mistaken friendly fire. He thinks that maybe he deserves to die this way, through more friendly fire.
Junior returns home, and Big Jim tells him that he knows about Angie and that he let her go. Junior hauls off in his police car to go look for her, although Big Jim unsuccessfully tries to stop him.
Angie runs home, but everyone is gone, and she doesn’t know anything about the bomb, or going to the cement factory tunnels. She runs into her room, where Junior is already waiting for her with a gun.
Down in the tunnels, Barbie returns Phil’s grandfather’s watch to him, which Barbie had apparently collected to cover Phil’s losing bet. Barbie comments that maybe he’s getting out of that line of work, and wishes Phil luck.
Angie asks Junior what’s happening, so he turns on the radio, and Angie hears the pre-recorded emergency broadcast about the bomb. Junior says that they’re all going to die, and that he knew it from the beginning. He apologizes to her and tells her all he wanted to do was to help her “get better.” She kisses him on the forehead, and lets him rest his head in her lap.
Down in the tunnels, Julia is drinking wine and offers some to Barbie. She muses that her husband may be in “some flophouse in Vegas,” but then says she’s made her peace with it. She goes on to say that she didn’t understand Chester’s Mill before the Dome came down, but now after everything they’ve been through, she’s glad she got to be a part of it. Barbie seems like he is about to confess what happened to Peter, when Norrie’s mothers come in frantically looking for Norrie, as they haven’t seen her or Joe since the Visitor’s Day event. Crowd control won’t let the moms back out, but Julia and Barbie sneak out another way to look for Norrie and Joe.
We see Norrie and Joe running around in town looking for Angie. Joe sees that it is 1:11pm, and tells Norrie to go to the shelter to be with her family, but she refuses to leave him.
Down in the shelter, Dodee and Phil begin slow dancing together to “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis, while above ground, Linda has run up to a lookout tower and found her and Rusty’s initials carved into it, and Angie is still quietly sitting in her room with Junior’s head in her lap. Dodee and Phil fondly tell each other that they “hate” each other, and families in the shelter huddle together waiting for “the end.” Joe and Norrie realize they’re too late to find Angie, and kiss just as the bomb strikes the Dome. There is a big explosion, but nothing happens to the Dome, nor does Norrie and Joe’s kiss cause them to have seizures. The townspeople realize that everyone is okay.
Barbie and Julia reach the edge of the Dome, see the haunting destruction that the bomb has caused on the outside, and hold hands.
Big Jim goes out to the bridge and sees the ruins on the other side of the Dome, as the Reverend comes up to Big Jim and says, “I saved us.” He explains that the Lord saved Chester’s Mill because he repented, and it’s time for Big Jim to do the same. The Reverend starts talking about how Big Jim thinks the town belongs to him, and maybe it used to, but today is a new day. Big Jim pretends to agree with him, then pushes the Reverend’s ear against the dome, causing his hearing aid to short and kill him, just like what happened with Duke’s pacemaker. Big Jim sees a monarch butterfly land on the other side of the Dome, then walks away and leaves the Reverend’s body lying there on the ground.
I actually enjoyed this episode and its sense of “impending doom,” even though we knew that the townspeople were going to be just fine, considering that we’re only 5 episodes into the season. We’re getting more of a sense of just how bad of a guy Big Jim is, if he’s willing to kill to protect his “secret.” It’s sad that he had to “think about” what he was going to do about Angie, but you could see that he was torn between doing the “right thing” and protecting his son. Would he have left her down there had there not been a bomb scare? I’m not so sure he would have so willingly let her go if not for that.
As for Barbie, we get to learn a little more about his character’s background, and the guilt that he carries with him, which probably led to him leaving the military and taking up the “career” he had prior to the Dome. However, now that Julia believes that her husband left her, she and Barbie appear to be getting closer, and it’s only a matter of time before the two become romantically involved. With things headed that way, it doesn’t seem like Barbie will ever tell her the truth about her husband, which leaves the possibility of the truth coming out some other way, out of Barbie’s control.
What will happen to Angie once Junior realizes they survived? Will he try to lock her up again, or worse, kill her? Junior’s clearly insane, so there’s no telling what his next move will be.
Will Joe ever see his sister again? Even if she is “a flake,” it was kind of weird that it took Visitor’s Day and their impending deaths for Joe to really care about Angie’s whereabouts, especially after he invited Norrie and her moms to stay at his house, since one of the reasons he had so much room there was because Angie was missing. And why weren’t Joe and Angie’s parents at Visitor’s Day? They probably would have been upset that Joe has had no idea where his sister has been the past several days!
What does it mean that Joe and Norrie did not have seizures when they touched? Were the seizures only temporary, or will they start up again?
I think what I liked most about this episode was the eerie calm and acceptance that came over the town as they waited for the end to come, as the haunting melody played in the background. I feel like this was done really well. I also liked seeing the contrast of the green and perfectly fine Chester’s Mill against the dark and gray destruction on the outside of the Dome after the bomb hit. It gave the show a real “apocalyptic” feel.
My question is, what’s next?
Under the Dome is picking up a little for me, but still has its wonky moments. For example, during “Visitor’s Day”, Sheriff Linda wants to ensure no one gets too close to the dome, to prevent further injury, but she has no problem going up to it and making out with the dome with her boyfriend on the other side. Also, when did Barbie become a cop? I understand that his military expertise would make him a decent cop, but he should be wearing a uniform. I have a feeling this may have less to do with the actual show, and more with keeping the hot guy looking stud-ly.
But, I thought the scenes between Big Jim and Angie were good. Jim’s internal struggle showed well through their interactions. I am wondering if he intentionally let Angie go, and had hoped Junior would kill her, as when the town is hiding in the cement factory, Jim is asked where Junior is, and he says something like, “finishing up some business”.
We now know a little bit of what is going on with the propane, which is good. We learn it was used in manufacturing drugs between the Reverend and Big Jim. I had a feeling that the Reverend was meeting his demise soon though.
All in all, a much better episode than the past few. I am not sure if it’s because I am able to get into the characters more now due to having a few episodes behind me, or if the episodes are just getting better. Either way, I am curious where Chester’s Mill will be next week.