This week’s episode, “Speak of the Devil”, was a test in how to sweep entire plotlines under the rug and drag out twenty minute’s worth of drama into the show’s hour timeslot. Under the Dome is like watching a forty-two minute flatline each week. The audience at home can make the viewing experience into a game! How long can YOU last before you give up and change the channel!
The focus this week was on The Scooby Gang (Norrie, Joe, Junior, and Angie.) For whatever reason, Joe hypothesizes that “The Monarch” isn’t a butterfly, but an actual person. This leads the crew in search of Julia, who they believe to be The Monarch who the Dome says will be crowned.
Cut to Julia’s house. She’s still pissed at Barbie for, ya know, the whole murder thing. There’s some empty dialogue and the obligatory “I never want to see you again” speech. Barbie leaves. The next knock on the door is Max, who, in typical one-dimensional villain fashion, insults Julia and shoots her in the chest. Drama!
Barbie must rush her to the hospital, with the help of Joe’s superior learner’s permit driving skills. Apparently there is no one on staff at the hospital that day, so it’s up to Barbie to save her life. He is able to do so by sucking the excess air out of her wound, something he learned as a part of his dark and troubled war past.
Meanwhile, Big Jim is still out for blood…and propane! His goal this episode is to expose Barbie’s secrets. I feel like Big Jim just closes his eyes, picks a random name from the list of townspeople, and then terrorizes them accordingly. In his pursuit of Barbie, he has some less-than-threatening talks with Linda and Max. He also has his mandatory character arc moment with Junior, the only person he cares about in the town.
In the end, to protect his own power and supplies (shocker!), Big Jim shoots Max and her cronies and pins the murder on Barbie. He puts out a radio warning that Barbie is a criminal on the run. When found, Barbie’s sentence will be the death penalty. Good to know that the justice system in Chester’s Mill is balanced and fair.
On top of it all, there is a Dome-induced tornado terrorizing the town. The reason? The Dome is angry. And you won’t like it when it’s angry. I’m really sick of this Dome as its own entity. It could be really cool and well done, but instead it just comes off like a bratty teenager throwing a temper tantrum.
The tornado dissipates when Junior saves Angie from flying debris. I am legitimately angry at their storyline. Before I was just bored and tired, but this episode has me wanting to crawl into the TV to hash it out with both of them. Junior’s whole “I’ll die without you” routine, using violence and coercion to win Angie back is disgusting. And Angie just plays into it. Girl, I want to root for you and see you break free, but you keep crawling back EVERY EPISODE. I can’t anymore. My rage levels are just rising as I’m writing.
The episode ends with the discovery that Barbie is The Monarch. I don’t know how the hell we reached that epiphany, but here we are. The gang heads to the Big Dome (the fact that the writers have to clarify is pretty hilarious) to get answers.
When all four teens put their hands to the surface, a figure emerges from outside Chester’s Mill. It’s Big Jim. Slowly, gaping wounds that are dripping blood start to appear all over his torso. When the camera pans to the group, they’re all holding knives. Junior’s is covered in blood. New theory: in order for the Dome to be lifted, Big Jim must die. Here’s hoping that he’ll be buried with his precious propane.