In the forest, the hunting party set off after Deputy Paul. Barbie noticed his fake trail; Barbie insists that he was just a grunt, but he was clearly a multi-talented grunt. Big Jim never went to war: "I never had the privilege," he explained. Something unexpected happened on that manhunt: I got the sense that Big Jim was starting to like Barbie. Maybe he admires the man's willingness to jump into the fray; maybe he looks at Barbie and sees the son he always wanted. Either way, he was excited to keep the hunt going, even after Deputy Paul shot one barfly. "We're finishing this thing," said Big Jim. "Are we trying to bring him in, or take him out?" asked Barbie. Big Jim couldn't see how that made a difference.
They had a moment together, Big Jim and Barbie. Barbie thought this was just a power trip for the older man. Big Jim took the opportunity to reveal his origin story. In his youth, Big Jim was a cornerback on the football team. It's a position for small guys, with the speed and the agility. "Back at school, we had this all-state wide-out, a real showboater. He called me 'Big Jim' as a joke." One day, the jokes got to be too much. The guy wouldn't shut up with the "Big Jim" stuff. "I put the mother of all hits on this punk," said Jim. "Went in low, completely shattered his pelvis. Guess what: Big Jim what'nt a joke no more."
This was an instructor story for a lot of reasons. To Big Jim, it was a lesson in power: "Sometimes, an example needs to be made. Command respect. An eye for an eye." But it's worth pointing out that this famous hit happened in a scrimmage: Big Jim took down a member of his own team, and an incredibly valuable member at that. The implication being: What's good for the team isn't always good for Big Jim.
Right then Deputy Paul came out of the wilderness. He held a gun on Big Jim and Barbie. He heard everything Big Jim said, about an eye for an eye. Here's the crucial thing: He didn't shoot the guys. Maybe he was going to. Maybe not. He told Barbie, "Drop your weapon." Turned out, those were his last words: He got shot by Deputy Linda, who was lurking just offscreen behind a tree. Maybe Linda's shot was justified: We already knew Deputy Paul had an itchy trigger finger. (You ask me, he didn't look like a guy who wanted to shoot anyone.)
The trio delivered the dead Deputy to Reverend Coggins -- the third dead cop in as many days. Despite this severe turnover in staff, Big Jim congratulated Linda. She stepped up. She filled Duke's shoes. He declared, "There's a new Sheriff in town." (Linda looked a bit wary, but also excited; by the end of the episode, she was wearing Duke's hat and falling asleep in his old jail cell/bedroom.) Meanwhile Big Jim offered Barbie some scotch. But then Julia showed up with Junior and punctured the burgeoning bromance. You could read Junior's thoughts in his eyes: Yet again, Barbie is palling around with someone in Junior's life; yet again, someone in Junior's life looks much happier with Barbie than with Junior.
Junior told Big Jim about his trip to the tunnels, and Big Jim didn't look impressed. He poured his son some milk, dismissively. Junior poured it out and went down to visit Angie. He was on the edge of crying. Angie saw his bruised knuckled and pulled out the first aid kit to bandage him; she also grabbed the scissors from the first aid kid, for later. (Please God, don't let Angie spend the entire summer slowly getting out of that bunker.) Speaking of bruised knuckles: Julia noticed that Barbie had some punching bruises, dug into his bag, and found a map of Chester's Mill with a specific place marked on the map. (Presumably, this is the cabin where Barbie killed Julia's husband.)
Over at Joe's house, he impressed Norrie with some references to Star Wars. (ASIDE: Not a critique but a genuine open question: Do contemporary teenagers really talk with serious fluency about the original Star Wars trilogy, like characters in a Kevin Smith movie? Weren't most high schoolers nowadays raised on Harry Potter? END OF ASIDE.) Norrie said, "I like nerds." Then her mom ran in, which caused some immediate confusion. Norrie and Joe held hands. There was a sound of electricity -- it sounded a bit like when somebody touches the Dome -- and they collapsed, chanting together "The Pink stars are falling in lines."
We're at the end of Day Three Post-Dome, fellow viewers. What do you think of how the show is developing? This episode was light on Dome mystery and heavy on inter-character drama. Intrigued by Linda's readiness to pull the trigger? Wondering what Julia will think if she gets to the bottom of the Barbie mystery? Any Pink Star theories?
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