Under the Dome: “The Red Door” recap – Guess Who’s Back in the Dome

“The Israelites would paint their doors red with the blood of lambs as a symbol of sacrifice,” said Lyle, in the latest episode of  “Under the Dome,” aptly titled “The Red Door.”

Let’s not start in with this biblical allusion shit, UTD. Save that for “LOST.” If there’s anything that’s consistent with this CBS show, it’s its ability to not make sense, and I think if viewers are anything like me, that’s what keeps them coming back (that, and an obligation to write recaps for an awards site).

Terrorist Barbie

After last week’s dramatic reunion between Barbie and Julia at the dome, Barbie got taken to an interrogation room to prove he wasn’t a terrorist. But the interrogator knew the truth about Barbie and had some questions—specifically how he got out of Chester’s Mill—before urging Barbie to get Julia to hand over the power source.

“I just think you want something you’re never going to get,” said Barbie.

Soon after, Barbie received a visit from his father in the interrogation room, and his father admitted that the email message to Julia was tweaked by the government in order to try to get the magic egg. Don Barbara told his son that getting the egg would be the only way he would get released and probably not killed. But Barbie told him, “Can’t help ya.” Outside of the interrogation room, Don pressed one of the guards to do whatever it took to get Barbie to hand over the egg. But we knew how this would end: After getting roughed up by the guard, Barbie managed to escape because that’s just what he does on this show.

Meanwhile, Don went back to his office and got Hunter to send a new video message to Julia. . .


Big Jim paid Julia a visit at her house, asking why there were army man camped right outside of the dome area near her house (even though he knew that Barbie was on the outside). He also asked her if she wanted to do a memorial for Barbie because BJ also stands for “Big Jerk.”  Julia put on her best Meryl Streep face and pretended like she was still in mourning, even though she had figured out that Big Jim was on to her.

Soon after Big Jim left, Julia shut the door to reveal a house full of teenagers—Melanie, Norrie, Joe, and Junior. Yep, she’s kind of become the Mary Kay Letourneau of Chester’s Mill. After some discussion, they decided to go back to the high school to see if they could get a Wi-Fi signal and send another email to Barbie. Julia ushered the kids out of her house like a slew of bozos from a damn clown car. Junior decided to go back to the station to keep an eye on his dad.

At the high school, Julia and the teenagers discovered Barbie’s father’s video message for Julia, where he pleaded with the redhead to hand over the egg so Barbie could be let go safely. Melanie found Don Barbara’s voice familiar to her (foreshadowing).

Julia was torn. She wanted to try to save Barbie, but Melanie pleaded with her to reconsider, since the dome was meant to protect them and also because Barbie had basically told her to stay put. Because Julia was leaning toward handing over the egg (and because Norrie and Joe were being big jerks to her), Melanie left in a huff.

Down at Fraggle Rock

At the station, BJ confronted Junior and asked him if he knew Barbie was alive. When Junior caved and yes, BJ told him he wanted him to keep telling him the truth and to go to the cliff with him.

Just when you thought Big Jim was going to jump off the cliff, Junior told him that Barbie didn’t want Julia to jump off the cliff, which made BJ second-guess the whole thing (I mean, if Julia didn’t jump off a bridge, would you?). According to Junior, Barbie had warned Julia about something to do with the power source, which was still missing. Since Big Jim was still trying to find his purpose within the dome, he told Junior that as the only two lawmen in Chester’s Mill, they had better track it down (although Junior knew exactly where it was).

First method of tracking it down: Accosting an innocent scientist. Big Jim bee-lined for Rebecca Pine, thinking that she knew what was going on, but she didn’t have a clue. However, she did agree to once again play both sides and help Big Jim figure out what was going on with the Barbie situation.

Junior went back to Angie’s to retrieve the egg to take it to his father. But Melanie caught up with him, changing his mind, and the two decided to find a new place to keep it safe: the bunker where Junior had kept Angie hostage all those days ago (yes, “days”).

“Red Door! Red DOOR!”

“Why red? Why a door?” said Pauline, of her own artwork. Seriously, what was she thinking?

Outside of the dome, Pauline, Sam, and Lyle were going through Pauline’s old drawings, trying to figure out how these played into the dome universe. Somehow, the three decided that if they found the red door in her pictures, they could find a way back into Chester’s Mill.

So they headed back to the playground where Barbie had crash-landed and discovered a shed with a red door. Surely, this had to be the way back into Narnia. Nope. Inside this particular shed was a precocious little kid who said, “No grown-ups!” before running to a tire swing to make himself dizzy. For Pauline, this was reminiscent of her son Junior who used to twist himself around in the same manner.

Later, the three met Pauline’s former best student—Hunter! Yes, in addition to being Don Barbara’s assistant, he was also connected to Junior’s mother. The meeting got interesting when Barbie, dressed as a guard, came running into the room for Hunter’s help only to discover Sam and Lyle alive and well.

Barbie told Pauline that her brother had killed Angie, which caused Pauline to come to this logical conclusion: “We have to go to Chester’s Mill to atone for our sins.”

Via his nerd technology, Hunter found them all of the red doors in Zenith. But Barbie knew the red door in Pauline’s pictures IMMEDIATELY—he’d grown up there.

The Best Scene of “Under the Dome”. . .EVER

If there’s one thing I want to remember about “Under the Dome,” it’s the intense scene between Big Jim and an army man outside of the dome, where Big Jim wrote messages on a notepad, ala Michael Hutchence in INXS’ “Mediate” video.

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Since top secret stuff is apparently not top or secret, the army man showed BJ a map and the big man immediately knew that the power source was in Angie’s place.

Through the Red Door

Julia learned that Junior had taken the egg, so she went to pay Big Jim a visit, but he didn’t know where it was either. Junior had double-crossed both of them. Big Jim revealed that he knew Julia wanted to trade the egg for Barbie.

Meanwhile, Barbie concocted an elaborate plan where he paid a lookalike kid $10 to distract his father, while he, Lyle, Hunter, Pauline, and Sam escaped the energy facility and to the red door Barbie had grown up with.

Once through the red door, each character had a vision. Barbie saw Melanie talking to him as a child—with his father in the background. Sam saw an exchange between himself and Junior at Pauline’s “funeral.” Pauline saw the spot in the woods where she had discovered the egg 20-some years before, with Melanie telling her: “This is where it all began and this is where it ends. For all of us.”

Also, Hunter willed himself through the red door and into the dome for no other reason than that he doesn’t have a life. “You think your dad’s gonna give me a promotion if he catches me?” Just another unnecessary new character in an old dome.

So where do all of these characters end up after going through the red door? Big surprise—back in the dome. In the lake, specifically.

And what was the first thing Pauline did when she got back? Headed to her house, natch, where she saw the man she hadn’t seen in decades.

It’s kind of ironic that “Under the Dome” was up against the Emmys Monday night. The best of the best on television versus the campy sci-fi series that strays so far from the Stephen King novel that it may as well be a spin-off. But isn’t that what makes UTD a guilty pleasure?

What do you think of all of the characters being back in the dome? Is life better on in the inside or outside?

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