Under the Dome series premiere recap: They Eat Goldfish, Don't They?

In the first episode of CBS' summertime Stephen King adaptation, the small town of Chester's Mill is cut off from the outside world
Ep. 01 | Aired Jun 24, 2013

SENDING OUR LOVE THROUGH THE DOME Barbie has a message for the outside world. The outside world responds: "So. Barbie, eh? Boy, in the nickname lottery, you sure missed out."

Michael Tackett/CBS

They talked Dome Theory. "If this thing just appeared out of thin air, do you think it'll disappear, too?" Barbie seemed skeptical. He also talked like a guy with some background in official skullduggery. He noted that, even if the invisible whatever-it-is disappeared right away, the whole town could go into military lockdown. Julia was about to ask him more about his history...when they heard a woman screaming. There was a stump where her hand used to be; it looked like she'd been stretching across the border of town at exactly the wrong moment.

Meanwhile, Big Jim waltzed right into the offices of WYBS to make an emergency broadcast. He told everyone his name, and assured them he wasn't going to offer any good deals on cars. "We have a serious situation in town. It's very important that every motorist listening to my voice stops his vehicle now." Carolyn and Alice heard the radio announcement, but decided not to stop. (Norrie assured them it was just viral marketing.) There were other cars on the road; heck, there was a truck coming right down the street. And then the truck hit an invisible nothing and imploded eggs and fruit all over the place. The women got out of the car, freaked out; then Norrie doubled over, seizing, mumbling something that sounded like "The stars are falling in lines" over and over again.

Teenager Joe returns to his house to find his sister -- Hey, it's Angie, twist! -- but not his mom. Turns out that Mama McAlister was having brunch with Uncle Steve in that Denny's in the next town over. (Darn you, Denny's! First you rob Chester's Mill of its diner clientele, and now you're kidnapping our kids' moms!) With nothing better to do, Angie went to the hospital, where she works as a candy-striper. Barbie and Julia took the one-handed lady to the hospital, too. Julia learned that her doctor husband was not working this Sunday; for that matter, he hasn't worked Sundays in weeks, which came as a big surprise to her.

Barbie stepped out for a cigarette. Angie bummed one off him, and told him her own personal Dome Theory: Chester's Mill is stuck inside a giant fishbowl. "I used to have fish," he said. "Goldfish. But then one of them got sick, and the other one ate him. Did you even know they did that?" Barbie looked unsettled. Meanwhile, just behind a tree, Junior watched them talked, with jealous eyes staring daggers at Barbie.

In the headquarters of the City Council, Big Jim and Duke had a dark, shadowy conversation. Big Jim joked that it was a good thing he was the only councilman who didn't skip town for the big parade: "It's easier to reach consensus when there's only one voice to listen to!" He also strongly suggested that Duke consider authorizing additional police officers. Duke didn't like that idea: Last thing the town needed right now was a bunch of newbies with itchy trigger fingers. That's when Big Jim reminded Duke that his hands weren't clean. They've been stockpiling that fuel. Why? Unclear. Duke said, "I did what I had to do to keep this town from going broke." Expect to learn more about this in the future weeks -- not least because fuel just became a precious resource in the cut-off town.

Meanwhile, at the radio station, Dodee discovered something weird in the radio-wave ether. Strange music, curious conversation; it either sounded alien, or it sounded like Bjork. Someone military-sounding said something about a Dome.

Barbie went back to his car on the outskirts of town, grabbing some materials from the trunk. Junior snuck up on him and surprised him. The kid looks crazier by the second; he asked Barbie if they had ever met before. ("Something about you just looks so familiar," he said.) Julia interrupted them, and Junior walked off -- though not before he wished Barbie a very specific farewell. "Be seeing you," he said -- a reference to the great 1960s paranoid sci-fi show The Prisoner, which is also about people in an allegorical hermetically-sealed location.

NEXT: Series Premiere Cliffhanger-Twist Lightning Round, GO!

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