The Sacred Provisions of Our Constitution Continue to Erode 'Under the Dome'

Julia engineers a coup, frees Big Jim, and declares herself in charge of the town, as liberty dies and tyranny triumphs.  

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Well, the residents of Chester’s Mill finally did it, and it only took a series of murders, a shooting at a gazebo trial, a potential outbreak of engineered swine flu and thoughts of cannibalism to make it happen. Julia is finally, officially in charge of things. One assumes apocalyptic chaos will reign within a week, because having your town encased in an unbreakable dome is nothing compared to letting this maniac call the shots. In case you forget, Julia has literally never made a judgment or decision, or even a statement, that proved correct. Someone who actively and publicly wanted to destroy Chester’s Mill and murder all of its residents would be a more competent choice. But nope, instead Julia’s in charge.

How did she engineer this stunning coup d’état? Well, things have gotten so confused as of late that there really was no other viable option. Big Jim was of course in jail for his part in Rebecca’s scheme to poison the town with a pig virus. This town has now gone through so many sheriffs that the power of the badge has become totally meaningless. The latest one tries to engineer a public shaming of Julia, blowing up some food stores and making it look like her fault, but Barbie rumbles him and takes him out. Then Julia, who earlier had planned to put Jim and Rebecca on trial, instead decides to publicly forgive them, because we’re all in this together or something.

This bonehead decision (Big Jim is a repeated and admitted murderer) should herald an immediate impeachment of Julia from any kind of position of authority. Instead, the whole town bursts into applause, cheering as democracy dies. Julia and Jim shake hands in a pathetic piece of showmanship and the town goes on thinking that they’re all going to be safe when, of course, their doom arrives ever faster, like a winged messenger from hell.

For some reason, Barbie is still not being considered as a leadership candidate, possibly because he is an out-of-towner and Chester’s Mill is an insular place (no dome pun intended). He is also profoundly uncharismatic, which certainly doesn’t help, and for all his do-gooder action, he hasn’t thought to check in on the mysterious Sam, who we now know for sure is Angie’s murderer.

But wait! Did Sam do what he did for noble reasons? Because a bunch of drawings seem to suggest that the four kids who found the egg are the protectors of the dome, and so Sam thinks he can bring down the dome by killing these kids in cold blood. Yes! That totally redeems him! I’m sure when he tells everyone “I chopped Angie up with an axe because the mad rantings of my sister convinced me it would remove the dome,” the town will again applaud and appoint him to a position of power! I guess we’re supposed to feel sympathy for Sam because he almost smothers Junior to death but just can’t bring himself to do it because Junior mumbles some nonsense about Sam being all the family he’s got. But I am sick to death of Under the Dome trying to make me feel sorry for murderers.

I will give this to Junior, though: his loony detective work finally paid off this week, as he realized that the number scrawled in his mother’s diaries and paintings is the locker Angie got murdered next to. He and Sam pry it open to reveal…a tunnel!? To where? Well, obviously to the city of Zenith and that monolith and Sherry Stringfield. God, at least I hope that’s where it leads. If it just goes to a Denny’s, I’m really going to curse this show out for lack of plot movement.

Let’s not forget the dome’s hottest love triangle of the moment, between Egg Girl, Norrie and Joe. Egg Girl totally makes out with Joe in front of Norrie, and a shoving match ensues, and then Norrie makes some nasty faces at everyone. This television program airs on a major network and is pitched as exciting and high-quality entertainment. Why does it so often have the feeling of bad community theater? So many moments this week—the extras shoving each other weakly to simulate “chaos” at Big Jim’s trial, or the ex-Sherriff wandering into the prison carrying a half-empty bottle of scotch—rang so impressively false. How thuddingly unrealistic will simple dialogue scenes be next week? Tune in to CBS on Monday to find out!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.