Life in Chester’s Mill got a lot more dangerous last night in Under the Dome’s third episode, titled ‘Manhunt.’

After last week’s episode concluded with Deputy Paul (Kevin Sizemore) shooting at the sky only to have the bullets ricochet off the dome and land in fellow Deputy Fred’s body, this week kicked off with Deputy Linda (Natalie Martinez) hauling Paul into custody with Big Jim (Dean Norris). Linda, noble to a fault, refuses to let an angry mob of townspeople hurt Paul and insists on justice. Linda seems to be the only leader in Chester’s Mill who remembers how important it is to keep the town from going into full on panic – not to mention the fact that she seems to be the only law enforcement official left alive. Paul blames his actions on the Dome, but Linda has no sympathy for him, until he fakes choking and escapes imprisonment, locking Linda in the cell instead.

Big Jim is less concerned with Deputy Paul’s madness, and more concerned with his son, Junior (Alexander Koch). Big Jim is disappointed that Junior isn’t living up to the family name – he wants Junior to be a leader, like him, and accuses him of being weak – specifically commenting on Junior’s refusal to play football after Big Jim got him a spot on the team. (We later learn that Big Jim was a big, scary cornerback back in the day.) Jim is further disappointed when Junior lies and tells him that Barbie (Mike Vogel) attacked him out of the blue, giving him a black eye.

Upset with his father, Junior descends into the bomb shelter to visit his prisoner/ex-girlfriend Angie (Britt Robertson). After having heard on the radio that the invisible barrier was being called a dome, Angie convinces Junior that maybe things could go back to normal between them if he found a way out.

Angie cleverly plays on Junior’s vulnerability and frustration towards the dome, which he cites as one of the reasons he needs to keep her locked up. And she gives him the idea to try to go under the dome, through the old cement factory tunnels (where they used to make-out) that have been abandoned for years.

The next morning, after finding Linda locked in the police station, Big Jim goes into the Sweetbriar Rose (the town hangout/restaurant) to put together a search party (of able-bodied men only) to find Deputy Paul. Two men (with riffles) volunteer, but Big Jim, unsatisfied, approached a bloody-knuckled Barbie and told him to join them.

Barbie impresses Big Jim with his military training and general fighting-man skills while they search for Deputy Paul in the forest. Big Jim seems to respect Barbie’s manliness (compared to his son’s boyishness), but he also seems to be trying to find Barbie’s weakness. For his part, Barbie seems equally interested in sizing up Big Jim, but before any tension can be relieved, Deputy Paul shows up with a gun pointed at Big Jim. Barbie raises his riffle, and the two are at a standoff.

Suddenly, shots are fired, and Deputy Paul crumbles to the ground. It’s Linda, who went on a search of her own, and took down her last remaining fellow officer. When Barbie, Big Jim, and Linda return into town, Big Jim tells her that she has earned the title of Sherriff, telling her that they could “do great things together” – something Sherriff Linda is unsure of.

While Barbie was off bonding with Big Jim, his host, Julia Shumway (Rachelle Lefevre) was busy following Junior into the tunnels. She manages to track him silently until Junior, believing he has found a way out, runs straight into the Dome, dropping his battery-operated flashlight at the Dome’s feet. Junior is distraught, and gives the Dome a good beating before Julia interrupts to warn him that the battery in his flashlight will react with the Dome and cause a min-explosion.

Julia doesn’t seem scared or intimidated by Junior, and, instead, she talks him down and keeps him calm by telling him that everybody makes mistakes – all you can do is move forward. How that will translate into his kidnapping of Angie, we don’t know, but it seems to placate Junior for the time being.

While the two struggle to make their way back through the tunnels, Junior tells Julia that Barbie is a psychopath who attacked him, planting doubt in her mind as to Barbie’s true purpose in Chester’s Mill. When they finally make it out and return Junior to his father, the sight of Barbie with Big Jim makes Junior even more upset, and he cries at Angie’s bedside.

Angie continues to try to trick Junior into believing that she still cares about him, despite his crazy desire to keep her chained to a bed in a dungeon. Noticing his bruised hands (from when he tried, unsuccessfully, to break down the Dome in the tunnels), she takes the first aid kit and begins to patch him up, seeming genuinely concerned. Junior is so upset, he doesn’t notice her discreetly taking the scissors from the kit and hiding them under the blankets.

Julia, too, does a bit of covert action, when she snoops through Barbie’s things and finds a map of Chester’s Mill, marked at one particular spot, proving that Barbie is not, nor was he ever, simply “passing through” Chester’s Mill.

Finally, the episode ended with (potential) young lovers Joe (Colin Ford) and Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz), caught alone at Joe’s house by Norrie’s mother, Carolyn (Aisha Hinds). The two hold hands as Carolyn begins to yell at her daughter, who, unbeknownst to Joe, actually ran away from her mothers the day before. When the two touch, a spark occurs (like the zap that happens anytime someone or something touches the Dome) and the two suffer identical seizures side by side (like the ones they experienced in the pilot episode). Both chanting, “The Pink stars are falling in lines.”

Under The Dome airs Mondays at 10 P.M. on CBS.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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