Under the Dome recap: 'Awakening'

On the outside, Barbie and Pauline try to save people within the dome; on the inside, Big Jim becomes another in a long line of sheriffs.
Ep. 08 | Aired Aug 18, 2014

UP AGAINST A DOME Julia talks with Barbie at the Dome edge, but is still just as lost.

Brownie Harris/CBS

The episode really starts to suffer when the action returns to Chester's Mill. Believing Barbie to be dead, Big Jim assumes the role of town sheriff, and Junior is quick to point out how the Dome has not been really kind to many of the sheriffs. However, Big Jim ignores this fact because he believes that the Dome has a plan for him. What that plan is? Who cares. It's really all a means to one end for Big Jim: accumulating more power. Week after week, Big Jim's lust for power has grown rather tiresome. Furthermore, what's the point of accumulating power in an isolated town? There's nowhere to go from there while the Dome is in place.

Unfortunately for Big Jim, he doesn't get any time to adjust to his new job as someone has started vandalizing the town. First, someone tears down the windmill, which Big Jim helped construct. After the first incident, Big Jim assumes someone is trying to send him a message to which Junior hilariously responds, "Not everything is about you, Dad."  With each episode, Junior 's contempt for his father gets funnier and funnier. But the new sheriff is convinced the vandalism is about him after someone sets a car he sold on fire under a sign for his car shop.

It's very clear, however, that this person is no long-haul revengeful Emily Thorne. It's revealed that Phil—who was written off as a suspect early because he was in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest—was behind all of this and is angry at Big Jim for manipulating him. There's little reason to have any sympathy for Phil because he was stupid enough to trust Big Jim at all. Who should we feel sorry? Junior and Rebecca. These two rush to the police station to save Big Jim, who's been tied up to the jail cell bars by Phil, and for some reason have the hardest time taking out someone who (a) was shot in the chest only a few days before and (b) is drunk. In what world is someone recovering from a gunshot wound able to resist two people for so long? Honestly, this whole plotline is rather pointless and doesn't seem to go anywhere.

Elsewhere in Chester's Mill, Julia is doubting Barbie's email. Joe is insistent that it's from Barbie, but Julia says that there is no way to be sure. It's always nice when Julia decides to think. Instead of taking a leap of faith over the cliff, Julia and the kids decide to drop a note down instead to confirm it is really Barbie. A second email from Barbie comes through right before they drop the note, which contains a coded message instructing Julia to meet Barbie at the edge of the Dome near Joe's destroyed home.

As Barbie is making his way to the Dome's edge, he accidentally trips one of the military's motion censors. He makes it to the Dome, reunites with Julia and starts writing a message on the Dome's surface: "Not safe out here. Don't j—." But before he can finish, he is apprehended by the military. As he's being dragged away he yells, "Don't jump." What's worse? Big Jim sees all of this transpire, which means there'll be more drama next week.

Dome Thoughts:

Joe is starting a video blog.... jokes!

–Julia yelling at the Dome toward the end of the episode is unintentionally funny.

Under the Dome crossed "Not Penny's Boat" and "We have to go back" off its Lost checklist. Wonder what's next? Maybe they'll set off a nuclear bomb to bring the Dome down... or did they already do that?


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