'Under the Dome': Townspeople die and chrysalises burst as the season finale nears

"You're a sick bastard. And one day everyone's gonna know it. And they're gonna smile when you die."

It would be hilarious if one of our Chester's Mill residents had lobbed that at poor, wide-eyed Joe up top there but no -- that's the late DJ/sound engineering expert Dodee describing Big Jim, who would seconds later shoot her in the chest and ratchet another murder in his widening murder belt. Oh, and then burn down the radio. WHERE THE MUSIC COMES FROM.

Shit's actually starting to happen on Under the Dome, huh?

12 episodes down, one to go in this up-and-down freshman season (UTD was long ago unburdened of that silly "miniseries" label). The initial thrill of cow severings gave way to weeks and weeks of lukewarm plots. Fires were put out. Water siphoned from wells. Boring characters gave boring speeches and cagey characters seemed only to act that way because, well, they're supposed to. Something about a mini egg-dome and an underground fighting ring and hey, we're almost at the finish line!

The overall quality of UTD has remained pretty weakly consistent, which I guess counts for something. Expect little, get little -- it's a dependable hour of television each week. But maybe, just maybe, developments in this penultimate episode will reap positive fruit next week and in the season ahead. Where are we at now?

  • After her near-death shooting last week (at the hands of Big Jim, no less), Julia was rescued from the hospital by Barbie and Angie, who drove the them away in an ambulance. Barbie stayed behind to deal with some town business, but not before trying to wake Julia with true love's kiss and telling this woman he just met, like, four days ago that he loves her. Awwwwwwwwwww weird.
  • Convinced that their weirdo dome-egg-thing would be confiscated in Big Jim & Co's home searches, Norrie and Joe decided to pass the thing off to skater/Simpsons truther Ben. Maybe the best part of the episode was watching them haul it in a wheelbarrow, covered in bedsheets just like ET in the movie ET. Haha a dome can't be anything except a dome for Halloween.
  • Once the dome was in Ben's possession, man...dome went loco. Screeching all the time. Needing more and more blankets. Things came to a head in the final minutes, when surrounded by the kids and Norrie's mom (and Linda, why not), that little chrysalis inside began to wrestle itself to life...
  • Angie and Junior made up, except the whole thing was a ploy by Angie to let Barbie escape the hospital with Julia. And Junior, the seasoned police officer, noted that she "tasted like cigarettes." That's not how she used to kiss!
  • Whatever stray father-son love exists between Junior and his dad may just unravel entirely next week, at least if this line holds any weight: "don't lie to me, dad! That would be very bad for both of us."

Who's to say if next week delivers or if we're treated to another round of boring speechifying by half the townspeople, but at least expect the SFX budget to double for the finale. If that means more farm animals cut in half, even if we need a flashback to get there? I'm okay with that.