Brownie Harris/CBS
Jonathon Dornbush
September 04, 2015 AT 02:56 AM EDT

Here we are, folks, down to the wire. With news that Under the Dome is going under after next week’s episode, the series concluding its magnificent tale of domes, aliens, monarch butterflies, and too many bad decisions by the people of Chester’s Mill to count.

And in a town full of “shoot first, ask questions later” types with the egg timer of their lives ticking down, the penultimate chapter in their story is the perfect time for plenty of murder, cartoonish levels of fighting sound effects, and tackling stem cell research.

Yes, “Incandescence” decides no topic is off limits as the dome continues to calcify and doom is mere hours from befalling all those… Under the Dome™. The kinship has Eva’s alien queen baby (“That’s ridiculous, she’s a baby! She’s nobody’s queen,” Barbie tells Julia in one of the show’s most self-aware moments.) and Christine is planning on enacting the final steps of her plan to take down the dome.

Barbie wants his baby back, though, and it takes Julia talking him down to see reason, which is doubly amazing considering the lack of oxygen in the dome as it calcifies. Their next move has to be smart, so they regroup at the new home base, a conveniently placed mill.

There, Jim agrees to talk Hektor down from killing everyone after Lily promises to erase all the drone footage she has of him murdering someone with breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three weeks straight. Barbie and Julia return, the former taunting Hektor for being the secret scumbag leader behind his scumbag father.

“That’s why I came under the dome(™), to make things right,” he says in defense of Barbie’s accusations, and little does Barbie know “make things right” at the moment means killing everyone.

Without a cure, the resistance is left with few other options, but the news of Barbie’s half-human, half-alien baby conceived out of a brainwashed marriage fostered in a coma zone called the matrix (Did the Wachowski’s give that news more than a slight shrug? Do they even know? Probably not.) excites the Aktaion research team. They can use the umbilical cord, full of rich alien stem cells to create another cure. Those cells will contain a purer form of the virus than Christine’s DNA, and luckily for them no one seems to be against stem cell research under the dome™.

The plan is settled: They’ll track down the cord, harvest the cells, and concoct a new cure. Not that Hektor is particularly fond of the plan—he wants to poison the dome’s food supply and kill everyone, but Jim talks him down from doing so while Joe works on a way to bring down the dome.

So Julia and Barbie check the cord’s known location (Did it move? Probably not, but these aliens are a wily bunch, maybe they’ve developed sentient umbilical cords in those cocoons.), only to find Eva’s dead body in the motel bed and no trace of the baby. They realize she was suffocated, and through fast enough leaps in logic that even Sherlock Holmes would guffaw at, they realize Christine must have killed Eva once she served her purpose. They do find the cord, however, meaning the trip wasn’t a total bummer, aside from the whole having to grieve for a person Barbie was tricked into loving and having a baby with by alien mind control. Or something.

The two of them drop off the cord with Jim after Norrie radios to warn them where Christine is (Why, of course she’s in the also conveniently under-utilized-until-this-episode cement factory), but Jim ain’t got time for no cord cure. He’s got a gun full of bullets and a dome that he’s no longer going to be under to prepare for. So Jim goes off on a treasure hunt to fill up his pockets before he’s unleashed back on the world at large.

And up to a point, the plan to unleash the domers on the world looks to be going well. Christine has cocooned the new queen, those she forces the dome to calcify more quickly as a result. To help offset that little problem, she requests something of her two most loyal pets, Sam and Junior. She wants them to take the elderly in town, who are close to death because of the depleting oxygen, and dispose of them. Save the air for the hot, young people, she demands, and intimates whoever best completes the task might basically be the new queen’s plaything. (The queen, I will remind you, may be able to go through gestation in three days but is at still this point a baby.)

NEXT: Murder, murder, amethysts, murder, alien baby, and… murder.

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