by Kelly M. Smith:
Under the Dome Recap: “Manhunt”
Original Air Date (CBS): Monday July 8, 2013
Season 1 Episode 3
“It’s a small town son. We all support the team.”-James “Big Jim” Rennie
With the town of Chester’s Mill under lockdown thanks to a mysterious Dome that fell and encased its inhabitants within its impenetrable walls, the residents are trying to learn to adapt to their new lifestyle, while at the same time they are trying to find out what the Dome is, who or what made it fall on their town and, most importantly, how to get rid of it.
Episode 3, “Manhunt”, begins with kids at a skate park, having a bonfire. Joe McAlister is replaying the cell phone video that he took of disgraced police officer Paul Randolph “losing it” and shooting at the Dome. One of his shots ricocheted off the Dome and hit a fellow officer, killing him instantly. His best friend, Ben Drake, comes to talk to him when a lovely girl unknown to them asks to use the generator’s electricity at Joe’s house. She is Norrie Calvert, whose family got stuck in The Mill when the dome happened, and was also the other teen (aside from Joe) to seize when nearing the Dome.
Julia Shumway, the local newspaper reporter and editor, goes with Dale “Barbie” Barbara to the police station, to get the firsthand news about Randolph’s shooting spree and imminent capture (thanks in a big part to Barbie). While there, Second Selectman James “Big Jim” Rennie makes a speech to all of the spectators, ending by telling them that they should go home and pray, meaning , in layman’s terms, “get the Hell out”.
Inside the jail, policewoman Linda Esquivel is watching over Randolph, the jail’s only occupant, when he gets her to open the door. As she does, he overtakes her, hits her in the head and locks her in the cell as he escapes, leaving her trapped inside with a madman out there with access to as many firearms as he pleases.
Big Jim and his son, Junior, argue (not for the first time!) and then Junior goes to see his girlfriend, Angie McAlister, Joe’s sister, whom he has chained up and trapped inside his father’s unused bomb shelter. While there she tries to sweet-talk him into letting her go, that they could start over. Instead of undoing the chains that bind her to the bed, he leaves her.
Bit Jim, after arguing, goes to see the Reverend Lester Coggins, whom you may remember set fire to deceased police chief Perkins’s home in the last episode, to destroy gas and propane bills sent to the town hall in Jim’s name. Why they wanted these documents destroyed the viewers have yet to learn. While at his side in the local hospital (more like an intensive care unit, without the equipment needed to perform anything more major than an appendectomy), he threatens Coggins to keep this between them and tell no one or else “he knows what will happen”.
Julia wants to know why Barbie was in town when the Dome happened to fall, since he is not a local and claimed to have a military background. He tells her he was passing through and then turns her question around and she tells him about her missing husband who had grown up in The MIll, so she moved there with him, which is not exactly the whole truth. Barbie, having killed her husband in the show’s first episode, becomes uncomfortable and says he’s going to take a walk to get coffee at the local diner, the Sweetbriar Rose.
In the jail, Big Jim frees Linda and then gives her a lecture, which she cuts off rudely, telling him that they needed to find Paul before he shot up all the people left in the town. She also tells him: “Jim, I know you like to control things, but you do not control me.”
He goes to the diner, where Barbie is witnessing the townsfolk antagonizing Carolyn Hill (played by Aisha Hinds, from the CW TV series Cult and the HBO series True Blood; also the film Star Trek: Into Darkness) for being in a same-sex relationship with a Caucasian woman (she is African-American) and raising a Caucasian daughter, Norrie. When Big Jim walks in the teasing stops and he goes to properly introduce himself to Barbie, which he couldn’t do while they were fighting the fire in the previous episode.
He then makes an announcement to everyone in the diner that they need a search party to find their escaped prisoner. Two men immediately volunteer, as does Barbie after Big Jim cryptically says, “So, Barbie…you in or out?”. Linda is searching on her own already.
Meanwhile, Julia is announcing what news she has (which isn’t much) on the local radio station. As she does, she sees Junior and decides to follow him, as he gave her the brush off when she asked him a few friendly questions. She follows him to an abandoned building on the outskirts of town, right where the Dome stops, and follows him underground, where he confronts her.
The scene changes then to the search party finding Paul’s police car parked outside the woods and Big Jim believes that he has found his trail and starts to lead the party in that direction when Barbie contradicts him, telling him that it’s a false trail to purposely lead them astray and adds that he found the real trail. Big Jim and the others follow, but the viewer can tell that the man is none too happy about being publicly contradicted in his town by a stranger.
Norrie and Joe talk in his house and he asks her why she is in The Mill, she lies about having two mothers instead of a “typical” family and also declines to tell him that they were passing through on their way to send her to a boarding school for girls which is really nothing but a girls’ reformatory. Ben, in the meantime, is telling the popular kids who hated both him and Joe that Joe has a generator and is the only place in town where they can charge their cell phones and laptops. He brings the whole crowd over, including Angie’s ex-boyfriend, which upsets Joe to no end.
Back in the forest, Barbie was right, but his military training deserts him as he and Big Jim talk about the Army and Paul shoots one of the searchers and narrowly misses another. Before the others can get a shot off, Paul disappears into the depths of the forest once again.
Junior, underground with Julia, finds the end of the Dome and sees that his idea was incorrect–the Dome goes straight through underground; there would be no way out as he had suspected that he would find. Finally losing his already-thin patience, Junior beings to freak out and physically assault the Dome, bruising and bloodying his knuckles. He abruptly stops, sits, and begins to babble. Julia sits by him and tries to calm him down.
He tells her he is a screw-up and she proceeds to tell him the real reason she and her husband moved back to his hometown and started to run a nascent paper like The Democrat, which was because she was fired from a major Chicago publication and shamed in the city. FInally she gives him some very sound advice: “Just keep moving forward.”
In Joe’s house, Angie’s ex gets into a fight with Norrie and Joe defends her. When he is inches away from getting beat up, the generator loses its power, leaving them in darkness yet again, but, thankfully, the kids leave then, including Ben.
Cut back to the underground space with Junior and Julia again. She asks why his face is bruised and he tells her that Barbie did it…but not in self-defense (as is what happened last week), but for “no reason”. Julia is skeptical but Junior succeeds in planting the first seeds of doubt and suspicion into her mind, which is what he wanted.
Barbie and Jim, meanwhile, are still searching for Paul. Jim, wanting to prove his toughness to the new guy. He tells him about playing high school football and being one of the smallest guys on the team (though he is a fairly good-sized man) and that his nickname was originally an insult. He tells Barbie about how, during practice one day, he’d had enough of the teasing and tackled the other player, breaking his pelvis and causing him to be unable to ever play football again. He quotes the Bible, “an eye for an eye”.
Paul shows up and turns the gun on Jim, quoting his Bible quote back to him. Barbie and he have a standoff with their guns blazing. Paul is about to shoot and kill either Barbie, Jim or both when he is suddenly shot. They turn to see their savior: Linda.
When they get back to town, Linda is made the new sheriff in lieu of Chief Perkins’s death in the first episode. He says what is one of his most infamous quotes from the novel: “I’m sure Duke is eating roast beef and mashed potatoes right now with the Big Man in the sky.” The reverend is there to greet them, out of the hospital and Jim kindly reminds him of his swear to secrecy on what happened at Perkins’s house and about the propane bills themselves. Why did they need so much propane? Where did it all go and what was it for?
Another swear to secrecy happens between Julia and Junior, when she tells him she will never reveal his “episode” or the things he said while underground. “Everyone needs their secrets,” she tells him easily as she drives him home. He asks her to call him “James”, admitting that he has always hated being called “Junior”.
When she drops him off and picks up Barbie, the two men have a stare down of sorts before each going their own way.
Back at Joe’s house, Carolyn finds Norrie and her lies are revealed straight out, embarrassing her but Joe doesn’t seem to mind. She takes his hand before going to leave with her mom to thank him for everything when, suddenly, they both begin to seize at the exact same time, again talking about “pink stars falling”.
Back in the Rennie house, Jim insults his son, telling him to “let the grown-ups do the work”. Junior then goes down to see Angie and have her fix up his bloody knuckles. As he hands her the first aid kit, she sees a sharp pair of scissors in there and hides them quickly under her blanket, unbeknownst to Junior.
The last scene is Julia again asking Barbie why he was in The Mill. He laughs easily and tells her it was a bad case of “wrong time wrong place” and goes to shower, leaving his bedroom door open. Julia, a self-proclaimed snoop, goes through his bag and finds a map of Chester’s Mill with coordinates marked in red of the cabin where Barbie killed her husband.
This episode was much better than the first two and, if you haven’t started watching yet, now would be the time to do so. There are still ten weeks left of the show and it seems to only be getting better and more involved as each week passes!