Under the Dome failure to answer any of the questions it raises has been one of the recurring complaints in these season 2 recaps. (For example, did we ever find out what the deal was with those purple stars? Or why the people of Chester’s Mill don’t know the difference between falling and ascending?) In tonight’s episode, we learned that some of the inhabitants of Chester’s Mill are just as frustrated with the lack of answers as we are. In a moment of frustration, Joe says to Barbie, “This is a chance to find an answer. To find one damn answer!” (And you know he’s serious because he uses the word “damn.”) There was decent headway in the mysteries of Junior’s mother Pauline, who the hell Melanie (a.k.a. the character formerly known as Mystery Girl) is, and who killed Angie (RIP teenage witch from The Secret Circle). This week’s episode title is “Reveletions,” but some of these revelations were rather underwhelming…
Whereas last week’s episode focused on religious fanaticism, this week is all about scientific fanaticism as embodied by Rebecca. She spends most of the episode trying to convince Big Jim that the time has come for them to execute their extermination plan, or as Big Jim likes to call it, their “reduction option.” At the beginning of the episode, Big Jim is sitting in his office going through the census he and Rebecca collected in last week’s episode and is having a hard deciding who is and isn’t a burden on the town’s resources, and more importantly, whether it is the right thing to do. We find out, however, that Rebecca is not troubled by trivial questions of right and wrong because… science. For several weeks now, Rebecca has been keeping track of the town’s livestock and has noticed that a strain of swine flu, which has laid dormant in the town for quite sometime, has become active and is killing the livestock. Never one to miss an opportunity, Rebecca tells Big Jim that she decided to extract the virus from the pig, mix it with samples of influenza, and cultivate it inside eggs until it was strong enough to casually infect and kill one-fourth of the town’s population—basic high school teacher stuff.
Big Jim, who has never had problems playing god before (how many people has he killed?), is appalled that Rebecca expects him to do the very same thing now. Rebecca, ever the cold and calculating scientist, says, “It’s not God. It’s Darwin! It’s survival of the fittest!” She insists that infecting the people with the virus is the only way to figure out who in the town can carry their own weight. She manages to convince him when she spells out the math for him: in seven days they will run out of food, in 14 people will be starving, and on 21 they will turn on each other.
Big Jim and Rebecca’s plan, however, is foiled by the dynamic duo that is Julia and Sam, who Julia runs to after her falling out with Barbie. Throughout the episode, Uncle Sam and Julia were hot on Rebecca and Jim’s trail as Sam used his incredible Sherlock Holmes-like powers of observation and deduction to figure out their plan. But all their investigating turns out to be for naught, as Rebecca, who gave Big Jim an empty vile because she didn’t think he was up to the task, has a crisis of conscience at the last minute and can’t go through with inserting the virus into the town’s holy water supply. (Is nothing sacred anymore?!). It’s a shame Under the Dome rushed through this plot development so quickly. By the end of the episode, Big Jim and Rebecca are in cuffs and in jail.
NEXT: We get answers!