Under the Dome begins with Norrie, Joe and Angie finding a caterpillar inside the mini-dome. They discuss its meaning but decide that there will be no solutions until they find the fourth hand print. They figure that the person they need probably has seizures. Moments later, Dodee approaches the mini-dome after the three of them leave the barn.
Barbie stops by to talk with Big Jim about Max. The two of them conspire to get rid of Max’s insurance policy together. They go over a map trying to figure out where Max is hiding her secret when she enters the room. She gives Big Jim a shopping list of personal needs and takes Barbie with her for another chore.
Dodee touches the mini-dome and suffers for it; the mini-dome shocks her unconscious. Angie, Joe and Norrie rush in and find her with burns on her hands. Dodee wakes up when they get her to the hospital, but she doesn’t remember a thing. Angie takes the time to ask one of the nurses if anyone in town has issues with seizures. The nurse tells her not since Angie’s 10th grade dance. Angie runs off with Joe and Norrie trailing her.
Sheriff Linda is searching through Sheriff Perkins’s things when Julia arrives at the station asking questions. Linda eventually checks Perkins’s hat, which bears a safe deposit box key. The two women head over to the bank.
Big Jim investigates a property owned by Max’s real estate company. He meets a woman named Agatha, who upon further investigation we learn that she is actually Max’s mother. She pulls a gun on him but Big Jim overtakes her. She later dies after falling out of Big Jim’s boat as they sail back across the lake. He lets her drown.
Joe and Norrie catch up to Angie, who tells them that she thinks Junior is the fourth hand because he passed out during their 10th grade dance. She also admits that Junior kidnapped her, but his reasons were misguided. Joe is angered by this and threatens to kill Junior, but Norrie talks him down. If Junior is the fourth hand, they need him. Angie explains that she believes Junior is the fourth hand, and she shows them the pink star paintings in his room to make her case.
Max shows Barbie her operation. She’s running a fight club, and she wants Barbie to fight an old debtor of hers. Barbie initially refuses, but Max threatens him with revealing his secret to Julia. He throws the fight, which is what Max had bet on him doing.
Linda and Julia find Perkins’s safe deposit box, which includes his confession. He implicates Big Jim and Max in the operation. Julia then gets into Peter’s box and states that she needs to speak with Barbie. Meanwhile, Linda confronts Big Jim at his house. When he asks for the evening alone, she obliges, but foolishly warns him that if he isn’t at the station in the morning.
Barbie goes to Julia to confess to Peter’s killing, but she already knows. It turns out that Julia found insurance documents in Peter’s safe deposit box. They showed that Peter intended to die so that Julia could cash in his life insurance policy. Julia accepts what happened, but she warns Barbie that there can be no more lies in the future.
Angie convinces Junior to be their fourth person. He puts his hand on the mini-dome with everyone else, which causes it to light up the room.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it; this was an awful episode. The show just brought Max in last week, and one episode later, all of her leverage is gone. What’s up with that? Talk about horrible writing. The show could have gotten much more out of Max’s leverage than that. Under the Dome also whiffed on the Julia/Barbie front. It doesn’t make sense for her to accept Peter Shumway’s murder the way she did. That’s ridiculous.
The stupidity continued with Linda, who went to Big Jim’s house alone instead of bringing backup to arrest him. I don’t think there are many cops who are dumb enough to give a man running a drug operation extra time to plan his freedom.
Finally, a fight club? Really? That’s where the show-runners went with this? You have an entire town in turmoil, and the writers throw in a fight club? The logic behind that is baffling, especially since no one has said a word about it until now. That makes no sense at all.
Under the Dome remains one of the most inconsistent shows on TV. One week it’s great; one week it’s borderline idiotic. Unfortunately, “Let the Games Begin” was the latter.