Things continue trending downwards in the happy town of Chester’s Mill. One cop killed another cop — accidentally, maybe. The angry mob cares about semantics. In last week’s episode, the whole town came together to put out a fire. At the start of last night’s episode, the whole town came together looking to start some trouble. Deputy Linda led off-the-reservation Deputy Paul into jail, flanked an angry crowd of townspeople. Deputy Paul insisted that he wasn’t at fault: “It was the Dome that did it to Freddy!” Big Jim questioned whether Linda was up for managing the crisis. (The tiny police force has shed 75% of its employees in the last three days.)
Someone threw a glass bottle at Deputy Paul. Big Jim gave another one of his famous speeches. He’s the town’s only remaining councilman; he won’t stand for frontier justice; he called the townspeople “Friends,” in the tone of voice that suggested he was going to finish that statement with “…Romans, Countrymen!”
The mob dispersed. Inside the jail, Deputy Paul insisted from inside the jail cell that it wasn’t his fault. It was the Dome, he tells ya, the Dome! Then he started coughing. Linda went inside to check on him, and he clocked her — than he ran off, locking her up with a warning. “It’s going to kill us all,” he said, “If the town doesn’t kill me first.”
Across town, Big Jim and his son were having a father-son chat. Big Jim was concerned that his son wasn’t taking advantage of the possibilities of Dome life. “People are looking to me to lead, to stand up like a man does. It reflects poorly when my son is AWOL. This situation is an opportunity.” All Junior’s life, Big Jim has been providing for him. He got his son on the football team. Who cares if Junior didn’t want to play football — that’s what a man plays. Big Jim asked him what happened to his face, and Junior said Barbie beat him up. Jim was angry, but not at Barbie. “Nine years since your mother died, and it still looks like you’re hiding behind her skirt.”
Junior doesn’t have the most positive relationship with his father, is the vibe you’re getting. This may explain (without excusing) why Junior seems to think the right move in a calamity is to imprison his girlfriend in the nuclear bunker out back. But Angie isn’t just sitting idly. She found a radio, so she’s getting information from the outside. And she came up with a plan for getting out. Junior thinks the Dome caused all of this? Thinks the Dome made her crazy? Thinks he’s protecting her? She gave him a suggestion: “Has anyone tried going under it?” She reminded him about the cement factory tunnels; she started talking about the old days, when they went down there; she was flirting with him, using his psycho-puppydog devotion and maybe directing it into something positive. Maybe she was just hoping he’d die in those tunnels. If that’s a worst-case scenario, it’s not so bad.
Back up top, the non-bunker portions of Chester’s Mill weren’t looking so bad on Day Three. Big Jim wrapped things up with his co-conspirator, Reverend Coggins. The bills of sale for the propane all burned down in Duke’s house. “The only files left that can implicate us in this drug business are right here,” said Jim, pointing at his head and the Reverend’s head, the implication being that the Reverend’s head could disappear if it had to. Meanwhile, Barbie and Julia started asking each other questions. How did Barbie just happen to be in Chester’s Mill when the Dome came down? And how did Julia Shumway, who comes off like a big-city reporter who keeps Woodward & Bernstein Bobblehead Dolls on her desk, wind up in a tiny Maine burg? All questions were forestalled; Barbie caught sight of DJ Phil Bushey and decided to go visit the diner. (Mystery Spot Check: Now we know for sure that Big Jim, Reverend Coggins, and Sheriff Duke were involved in some drug business. Is Barbie connected to that somehow — and does that mean Julia’s husband was, too? Was the DJ involved? If we’re tracking this out, does this mean that representatives from the local political, law-enforcement, religious, medical, and media institutions were all involved? Is Walter White hiding in the forest, cooking blue meth for Chester’s Mill?)
Cracks are starting to form in the Chester’s Mill facade. At the Sweetbriar Rose, a couple of barfly-looking toughs were hanging out. One of them was played by Leon Rippy, who was Tom Nuttall on Deadwood. (I mention this just because it’s a sin not to mention when you spot someone from Deadwood.) Carolyn came by to ask if they’d seen her daughter, Norrie; she flashed a picture of the whole family together. The good old boys blanched. “My partner and I are a same sex couple with a child,” she said. “What’re you doing here in Chester’s Mill, anyway?” asked Barfly #1, in an accusing tone. When she said they were taking Norrie to a private school, Barfly #2 knew what she was talking about. “The girl’s reformatory!” he said. “Think they can pray the gay out of her?” That just about started a fight going right there; Rose came over to deflate things a little bit, but that’s the kind of nasty, brutish sentiment that looks liable to explode as the bad days pass in Chester’s Mill.
NEXT: Big Jim introduces himself