'Under the Dome' Recap: This Week's Most Stunningly Bad Line Readings

Unless you think it makes sense to ask someone to "build an egg detector."

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Last week I complained that Under the Dome was suffering because too many people (Barbie, Sam, Lyle) had left the Dome via underground cliff-jump, thus defusing its strange and terrible power. This week, everyone went back to Chester's Mill via a magic Red Door, and they even brought a couple newbies with them: Big Jim's long-thought-dead wife Pauline (Sherry Stringfield) and the dopey hacker Hunter (Max Ehrich). I'm long past recapping this show as if it's actually functional television with plotting and twists that make sense and cliffhangers to look forward to.

So I'm just going to draw out some of the most horrendous line-readings in this particularly demented episode (that saw Jim shuffling around looking for the magic egg inside the Dome as Sam, Barbie, Pauline and Lyle tried to get back inside) to organize my thoughts. Please enjoy:


"Hey, Jim. Enjoying your first day as Sheriff?"

Yes, we opened this week on Julia just accepting that Big Jim is the new Sheriff, even though a few weeks ago she was trying to hang him in the town square for his long rap sheet of murder and sabotage. Jim became the town Sheriff by…well, I guess…I mean, he definitely took the Sheriff's badge. And made sure no one else got it. And then he handed out a bunch of walkie-talkies, all official-like. So that puts him in charge of law enforcement, according to Julia, who I think is still supposed to be in charge of Chester's Mill. Instead, she walks around this week all moony-eyed about Barbie and tries to get the egg so she can save him, even though he specifically told her not to do that last week and the DomeTeens all remind her that the egg has terrible magic powers.

Julia Shumway is the worst person who has ever lived.


"Art Theory 101. A door always symbolizes a way in somewhere."

I'm not sure if Pauline is an art teacher, or if by "art theory" she's simply referring to the crazy visions inside her brain, which she daubs onto any nearby canvas (be it cloth or mud), not so much maniacally as with a tired sigh. And yes, Pauline has drawn a red door, so everyone figures that's the way inside Chester's Mill, and one Google search later the plan is set.

This craziness comes in the same episode that Sam admits responsibility for Angie's murder, saying he acted on the orders of Pauline's drawings, and she responds not by calling the police because he axe-killed a teenager but by saying they have to go to Chester's Mill to "atone" for their various sins. Hey, guess where else Sam can atone? A jail. A regular one! Not one run by Big Jim, or a Dome-Egg, or whoever's in charge when they get back.

Don Barbara

"What's the point of owning a security firm if it can't secure a damn thing!"

That's Barbie's dad (Brett Cullen), complaining that his team of private black-ops soldiers aren't helping him much in securing the DomeEgg, which I guess is what he's after? His attempts at reconciling with his son sure rang hollow. Don's security squad/shadowy energy company/whatever else sure do suck at their jobs, but since their job involves getting an egg out of an unbreakable dome, it's hard to really find fault with them. Luckily, they've also finally had the idea of communicating with the outside world via written messages, a la Leftovers Guilty Remnant. So some smart-guy just toddles up to the barrier to tell Jim to get the Egg. Now isn't that easier than all this son-imprisoning?

Big Jim

"I thought you could locate this thing. Build an...egg detector, or something. You're a scientist, figure it out."

Big Jim's relationship with science, and inter-personal relationships, and reality, has never been great (just look at how Pauline and Junior turned out). But he's basically got one friend left (Rebecca the high school science teacher) and since she's MacGuyvered a bunch of devices together for him in the past, he figures she can make an "egg detector" to find the egg quicker or what have you. The depressing thing? Next week, Rebecca probably will have built an egg detector.


"We're back, somehow."

Sam says this after surfacing in the town lake, having been sucked in there by a vortex of dark clouds that led him to a specific memory of his past, comforting Junior at his mother's funeral. Eddie Cahill, could you maybe dial up your excitement/intrigue level just a little bit when you read your lines? Because right now Sam sounds about as interested in his Dome Adventures as he does when he repents for Angie's axe-to-the-face death. Which is not at all. If this show is going to be dynamic in its final weeks, it had better give me characters who are a little surprised by cloud-vortex teleporters and the like.

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