“Under the Dome” recap (1.9): Mad Madam Max

Hello and welcome back to Under the Dome, the show that brought a whole new meaning to the expression “Holy cow.” I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point this summer I started looking forward to Under the Dome more than True Blood.  And now I find myself saying the whole “Chester’s Mill is a town like any other” intro along with Julia, even though, demonstrably, Chester’s Mill is pretty fucking weird.  This is another Carolyn-free episode, which is disappointing, but at least Norrie tells us that she’s “still grieving,” as opposed to some characters who only have feelings/memories when the writers find it convenient. So please join me in wishing Carolyn a speedy recovery, that she may soon find comfort in the arms of one of the town’s many perfect-haired ladies.

So it’s another day in Chester’s Mill and Julia is leading Barbie to the location of the mysterious egg. He’s not really into it, partly because he’s Action Guy and she’s Mystery Girl, and partly because he’s got her ex-husband buried pretty close by. But when they arrive at Dome’s nucleus, the egg and mini-dome have both vanished.

dome9.1My first thought was: “It hatched!”

Over at Rose’s diner, Angie once again extorts Big Jim for our viewing pleasure. She has unilaterally decided to keep the diner open in order to preserve some sense of normalcy (which is right on) and Big Jim is all “oh you wanna be a manager, little girl?” And she is all “actually, baldie, I was thinking CEO.” And it’s a small scene but I want to stop on it for a moment to talk about what a rare sight it is for a young girl to have a tactical advantage on a middle aged man on TV. Also, Britt Robertson and Dean Norris have great antagonistic chemistry, like when he menacingly enunciates the word “meat,” and she actually leans forward over the counter instead of pulling back. It’s one of my favorite dynamics on the show.

Across town, Barbie and Sherriff Linda are called to the home of a gun-happy Chester’s Miller (I really wanted them to be called Chester’s Millians but we can’t have everything). The homeowner fired a few shots when his house was invaded by a Drug Fiend.

dome9.2

Drug Fiend: The Dome! It is speaking to me! Maybe if I scream enough I can drown it out!

Linda: Ugh, this guy. What kind of drugs are you on, buddy?

Drug Fiend: It’s called Rapture! It’s like a weed meth mezcal cocktail with a cocaine garnish, basically, and I bought it from Pastor Lurch, in case you were wondering. AND I NEED MORE.

Barbie: So wait. Are you ODing or having withdrawal or a psychotic break or…?

Drug Fiend: I DON’T KNOW. I WAS GIVEN CONFLICTING DIRECTIONS FOR THIS SCENE!

So, one thing I would not OK okay with is Junior being turned into a sympathetic character. Because regardless of how the Dome is affecting Angie, his only evidence that she was “sick” was that she was breaking up with him, and he used that as grounds to imprison her. He walks into the diner to beg for scraps, and very inconveniently, Angie then has a pink star seizure. He takes her home (in the BACK of the cop car) where she learns that Joe and Norrie have been having the same symptoms. Norrie makes the connection between Joe’s “monarch” prophecy and Angie’s butterfly tattoo, but thankfully, Joe points out that the tattoo is the wrong colors for that. But it still has Angie worried that she really is sick. YOU’RE NOT SICK, ANGIE. YOU’RE PERFECT.

She brings her concerns to Junior, who says he has something to show her. They go to Junior’s mom’s old art studio. It’s covered in cobwebs, which I must say was a missed opportunity; it would have been much creepier if Junior had maintained it immaculately all these years. What they find is evidence that:

1. Mrs. Rennie was a really shitty painter.

2. Once she painted a picture of Junior standing beneath pink stars.

dome9.3Junior, your mom thought you were ugly.

Junior thinks it’s because she saw the future, but I think it’s because she was a really shitty painter.

When Big Jim arrives home for the day, he is greeted by a lost member of the DiLaurentis clan.

dome9.4

Her name is Max, and she is the lady responsible for Rapture. She claims she’s been hiding out in the Dome for a week, getting the lay of the land, so her takeover would go smoothly. Because what Max really is, is a psychological opportunist, here to play on the weaknesses of a captive audience. And since Big Jim provided her with the propane used to make Rapture (just go with it), he is, if not exactly her pawn, then certainly her bishop.

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