Under the Dome Season 2 Review “The Red Door”

Under the Dome Season 2 Episode 9 The Red Door 3

In a killer episode of “Under the Dome,” things really started moving as dots were connected, escapes were made, and mysterious tunnels were discovered, along with all sorts of clues and/or premonitions and/or flashbacks and/or God knows what else, in “The Red Door.” This was a lot to take in, and none too soon, as, no doubt like most people, I had about reached my limits with the vague details and prolonging of the inevitable. We all knew this had to be headed somewhere, and for once, we got a real idea of where that might be.

So, I’ll do my best to sort it all out. The military-looking outfit that took a hold of Barbie at the end of last week’s episode turned out to be working security for his father. First, Don tried to persuade his son to talk Julia into delivering the egg, which they called the “power source,” in exchange for his freedom, but Barbie wouldn’t budge, so, as many suspected, Don showed his true colors and authorized his men to use as much force as necessary to break his own son and get him to bend to their will and get that egg.

Of course, they underestimated Barbie, who managed to get the best of his assigned torturer and escape, quickly realizing where he was and heading straight to computer geek Hunter’s, where he was shocked to see Sam and Lyle there as well, having been brought there by Pauline after the group found that they were being tailed by some shady-looking guys. Turns out Pauline had been in contact with Hunter via the internet and was involved with the whole “Hounds of Diana” thing, so she knew him, too.

Needless to say, Barbie didn’t exactly embrace Sam with open arms, but Pauline stopped him, catching Barbie by surprise with her identity, as the long-missing and thought-dead wife of Big Jim Rennie and the mother of Junior. Barbie forced Sam to confess to killing Angie (who it turns out Junior had a long-standing, near life-long crush on), which a horrified Pauline realized she had inadvertently caused by Sam’s misinterpretations of her paintings. When she mentioned the last painting she did- of the red door- it turns out that Barbie knew it well, from his father’s backyard, in fact. So, Barbie did indeed know about that door we glimpsed before in a previous episode.

Even crazier, if his flashback/vision was to be believed, then Barbie also met Melanie back in the day, looking as she does now, on the very day a young Barbie left a yellow handprint on that very door. Their parents apparently arranged the meeting as well, with Don present at the time. So, what in the world lurked behind that mysterious red door? According to Barbie, it was a root cellar used to stash booze during the prohibition, but we knew there was more to it, and so there was.

Instead, there was a hidden doorway within the cellar when they all went inside that wasn’t previously there, according to Barbie, and lo and behold, after removing the obstacles, there was a passageway not unlike the one behind the locker back in Chester’s Mill. As Barbie, Sam, Pauline, Lyle and Hunter went inside it, swirling dusts enveloped them and most of them had visions, save maybe Hunter (or so he said). I already talked about Barbie’s, but Sam saw a flashback in which a young Junior, shortly after his mother’s “death” mentioned that Pauline said that one day Sam would “save him.” Meanwhile, Pauline saw herself at the crash site with the egg glowing in the center and Melanie there, saying: “This is where it began; this is where it will end.”

Lyle did not make it through, or else managed to slip away somehow, but Sam is waiting with Hunter for him to emerge while Barbie went after Julia and Pauline after Junior. We saw from the preview that Barbie eventually finds her, but the show actually ended with Pauline finding Big Jim instead, much to his surprise.

Meanwhile, back in Chester’s Mill, Big Jim, armed with the knowledge that Barbie had made it out, tried to get Rebecca to turn on Julia and secure the egg, after Junior admitted that it was what the outside team was after and that Julia was aiming to trade it for Barbie back, possibly at the expense of getting everyone out of the dome in the process. Rebecca instead told Julia that Big Jim knew, and she promptly went to retrieve the egg.

Big Jim went to the men and wrote a message on a pad asking to see their superior, and tried to bargain with him to exchange the egg for everyone in town getting out via the cliff, a la Barbie. The man said no, but agreed to let Big Jim and Junior out instead, in exchange for the egg. The man had a device that showed Big Jim where the egg was, which was Joe’s house, and off he went, but by the time he got there, Junior and Melanie had taken it elsewhere, much to his and Julia’s chagrin.

So, when we last leave the egg, it’s in the fallout shelter at Big Jim’s house, which has a nice symmetry, as it was where a lot of the first season’s action with Junior and Angie occurred. Indeed, much to my surprise and extreme happiness, it looks as if Angie will be back next week! Will the egg bring her back? Or will she emerge on her own, from the lake, a la Melanie? Or did Lyle find her somehow?

Hard to say, but I’m very happy with this new development, as I was quite upset when they killed her off. Now that I see there was a method to the show’s madness, I’m actually not as ticked off as I was, thinking they’d killed her just to kill someone because that seems to be a thing with a lot of shows now. Although, come to think of it, “killing” someone only to bring them back shortly thereafter is also seemingly a thing, too- I won’t say which shows did it previously, so as to not spoil anyone, but I’m sure some of you know the shows I mean.

I can’t help but wonder if that means former Sheriff Linda will be back, too. Or some of the others who died, for that matter. But whereas the deaths of most of the others made sense within the context of the show and what was going on, Angie’s death seemed particularly needless, especially given that the poor thing had spent so much time being locked in the aforementioned fallout shelter for so long before finally getting out, only to be killed off not long after. That’s what was so upsetting about her initial death- it seemed so pointless. Knowing that there might be a point to it definitely strengthens the case for doing it in the first place, however.

That said, though, I do feel like there was something oddly off about Melanie in this episode. For the first time, I felt like she might be up to something bad. When she made out with Joe, I sort of pawned it off as teenage hormones running wild, but what if it was more than that? What if it was calculated? Note how she inserted herself into Junior’s hiding of the egg, and then intentionally stalled him at the shelter. I don’t know that she could possibly know about Angie and what Junior did, but what if she did and somehow traded herself for her- one goes in, one goes out, that sort of thing? After all, Melanie died an untimely death, too- maybe she made a deal with the egg or dome or whatever.

I know, I know. It sounds pretty far-fetched, but look at the show we’re watching. Would you really put something like that past them? Besides, in the preview, it looked like Angie was pleading to Junior for something. Could it be to help her return? Junior would certainly make that trade, if I know the character. Or I could be way off. Either way, Melanie seems to be in the thick of this thing, cropping up as she did in both Barbie and Pauline’s visions (or whatever they were), and having some sort of connection to Barbie’s family, not to mention with most of our principal characters, including Sam, Lyle, and Pauline. Is it that far-fetched that she might resent being killed so young? And that she might do something questionable to return, even in a different time?

Who knows? I’ve all but given up trying to figure out what the hell’s going on with the show more often than not, but I still enjoy it, nonetheless. It’s all so crazy, who knows where they’re going with it? And yet, the more we know, the more it does make a sort of cracked sense, at least in the same way Stephen King’s stuff usually does in the end.

I found myself particularly thinking of “IT,” which revolves around a group of kids that had something happen to them a long time ago, only to find it come back to haunt them many years later. This seems like a slight variation on that, sort of an “IT”-meets-“The Tommyknockers,” maybe. Okay, granted, the show-runners went off-book with King on “Under the Dome,” but who’s to say they might not be paying homage to King’s past work in the process? Or that he might not have contributed to the revised storyline? He did write the premiere episode, after all.

So, place your bets, folks. What do you think will happen next on “Under the Dome”? Will Sam pay the price for his sins in killing Angie, or will he be forgiven? Is Angie really coming back, or was that a hallucination on Junior’s part? If she is really back, how did she get there? Does Melanie know more than she lets on? Is she up to something? What will Big Jim do now that he sees Pauline is alive? Or that Barbie’s back? What will the town do when they find out the same thing? Lots of stuff to ponder until next week, but plenty to discern, what with a few more episodes left yet in the season. Scratch your dome, then spill out the contents down below in the comments section and I’ll see you next week!