The dome is close to coming down, but not before a new queen is born and Jim kills at least one more character.

By Jonathon Dornbush
September 04, 2015 at 02:56 AM EDT
Credit: Brownie Harris/CBS
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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.

So Junior and Sam go through with it, and the elderly, under the spell of the life force, have no problem drowning themselves in the lake. They even line up single file to do so as if they’re waiting for a roller coaster, except the possibility of mortal injury on this one is 100 percent.

While Christine has her lovesick puppies doing her murderous bidding, she also has other pressing concerns to attend to. Joe is hard at work on cracking the amethyst puzzle now that the amethyst is cracked apart. He realizes he needs a replacement for the egg, but realizations aren’t good enough. C’mon, Joe, Christine needs ideas man. Don’t be a Jeremy Grey and get her down with your goddamn negativity. Thrive on the alien enthusiasm, or at the very least do it for Norrie, Christine suggests.

Norrie is exactly what Joe needs, and she just so happens to visit him to check in on her teenage love upon whose soldiers rests the fate of several thousand people and aliens. He informs her of the calcification, the air depletion, and the day or so they have left to live.

She brings this information back to headquarters, where Lily has been tracking the movement of the kinship with her handy dandy drone. (In Under the Dome’s passing, never forget how it tried to tackle the difficult social issues of the day.) They’ve watched as the kinship enacts its plan while dressed in all black like they’re all going to an emo concert right after the dome comes down.

They’ve tracked Christine, who, upon finishing her final recorded message for the new queen, goes to complete the transfer of her power and knowledge to her successor at the cement factory. There, she’s feeds her energy to the cocoon, only to be met with a surprise visit from Barbie and Julia, who Norrie radioed after Joe’s info dump.

They stop the process, only to be thrown back by a wave of energy as a mysterious shadowed figure escapes from the cocoon. And Barbie, who easily caught onto Eva’s murder at the hands of Christine, can’t quite believe his baby was the adult-sized blur that sped out of the cocoon.

To complicate things, Christine is now human again, though Barbie isn’t willing to fully trust her yet. They attempt to bring the now contrite and confused Christine back to the mill, but first run into Sam and Junior down by the river. Not only have they taken care of the elderly, but they went above and beyond the call of duty by bringing little children to drown too. Keep only the key demo alive (Did a TV ad executive write this?), those who will be most fertile in the short term, is what Junior argues, but Christine, pretending to still be their leader, commands they be returned to town hall.

The ruse works, until she rushes into the water to save a child. Junior understands that this isn’t the alien queen he fell in love with, but Barbie stops Junior before he can kill Christine. Unfortunately for Barbie, Junior is still juicing from the cure, and he pummels Barbie with so many thunderous punches you would think Junior was the star of his own comic book. He’s on the brink of bringing Barbie’s time in Chester’s Mill to an end before Julia takes a tire iron to him and beats him senseless. Leaving Junior unconscious, the trio returns to the mill to more bad news. Hektor has gone rogue, killing Dr. Bloom and fled in pursuit of Joe.

Believing killing Joe and ending his science experiment will ensure the aliens stay inside the dome, he attempts to kill him. But Norrie disposes of his fellow Aktaion soldier, and then Big Jim comes to the rescue (thanks to an alert from Lily), ending Hektor’s thirst for murder while quenching his own.

Though Joe makes it out alive, that isn’t the case for the resistance’s newest member—Christine. She decides to lie down, take a short rest while the resistance regroups. But she’s not alone in the room. The new queen is there, and she looks exactly like Eva, minus the atrocious wig and eyes like Barbie’s.

The new queen, fully grown into an adult, brings Christine to the dome wall, throwing her up against it and completing the transfer process. Christine disappears into jagged wisps as the dome assimilates her, leaving the new queen fully whole, the resistance nursing its wounds, and only a few hours left of air Under. The. Dome™.

Episode Recaps

Under the Dome

Chester’s Mill residents suddenly find themselves cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious, impenetrable barrier, which surrounds the town in this Stephen King adaptation.
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