The people of Chester's Mill have to focus on rebuilding their lives after returning from the fake Chester's Mill. So naturally they focus on anything but that.
The people of Chester’s Mill snap back to reality (oh there goes sanity) in “Redux,” forced to return to their lives under the dome while reconciling the imagined year they all remember living, free from its rule while actually asleep in cocoons beneath the town.
What does 365 days’ worth of implanted but still realistic memories do to everyone (except for Julia and Big Jim)? It leads to a lot of silly fights, love triangles, and awkward exchanges. So, just another day in Chester’s Mill.
Because the episode actually often sections off most of the relationships affected by the year of implanted memories, let’s take a look at what “Redux” held for the show’s most prominent duos and trios, including a romance that didn’t really exist and the formation of the town’s most unlikely friendship.
Christine and Eva
What were Christine and Eva doing in the cocoons? (ASIDE: “Redux” is likely the most you’ll hear the word cocoon said non ironically outside of nature documentaries.) Well, the two came to town as anthropologists, sent to find the egg by Aktaion. Christine touched the egg, and all of the dome’s plans and intents were downloaded into her brain, which earned her the queen cocoon spot down in the caves.
Melanie is jealous Christine got the nicer digs because she touched the egg first 25 years ago. (Melanie, you were brought back from the dead. Can you not be so selfish?) But the two are working together to ensure the dome’s still mysterious plan is seen through to completion.
The dome wants the people of Chester’s Mill for something, but what exactly it is remains a mystery. We at least know why Melanie wanted them in the cocoons (Cocoons!), as Christine says Melanie’s job was to “Lead the people to be cocooned so the egg could infuse them with the life force.” What is something with as cheesy a name as “life force” and what is its purpose? The dome isn’t ready to share that just yet.
But Christine is willing to do whatever it takes to see that plan through, even if it means killing Melanie. More on that in a bit.
Big Jim and Junior
Junior actually enjoyed his time in the fake Chester’s Mill. Free of Big Jim, who was dead in that reality, Junior was looking to forge his own path. He was going to do so by burning down Big Jim’s house, of course. He never got to set the fire in the faux Chester’s Mill, but with a little encouragement, he goes about finishing what he started.
Help comes first from Sam. Junior is initially resigned to killing himself out in the forest, but his uncle prevents him from pulling the trigger. Sam, also on a suggestion from Christine, has decided to start up a support group for the townspeople. Junior, however, not wanting to tell other people about his issues, abandons the group and runs into Christine. With a little push from her, he makes sure Jim’s house goes down in flames.
Big Jim is furious about his son’s actions, but he’s even more dismayed that Junior tells him he no longer exists in Junior’s world. Big Jim is troubled by this (remember, this is mere hours after he shot every picture of Junior in his house in anger), but the show’s smartest/dumbest character has plenty of other concerns to attend to first.
NEXT: Big Jim becomes a super spy while Julia and Barbie figure out where they stand.
Namely, he’s suspicious of Christine and Eva, the woman Barbie had a relationship with in the fake reality. He doesn’t take them at their word, and he’s the only one actively concerned. He follows Eva out into the woods (after creepily eavesdropping on her in the Town Hall. Why does Big Jim need a house when he lives in the shadows?).
Out there, he watches her dig something up, somehow remaining out of sight despite sneaking up in broad daylight and hiding behind a tree half his width. And his plans are almost foiled too by his mortal enemy—a dog. After last week, dogs are certainly not this man’s best friend, but he’s able to shake his canine tail with a bit of food.
He follows Eva back to her hotel room, where she hides the device. He breaks in after her and steals the device, which contains footage of Christine initially digging up the egg. Jim however, decides not to tell anyone. He tries to warn Julia in the end that something is not right with Christine, and that the townspeople have changed.
But she won’t listen. Realizing no one wants him around or will hear him out, Jim to go live out on an island near the town. He has an unexpected partner in his travels, though. That meddling dog jumps into his canoe, wanting to take the trip with him (or just badly wanting more food). At least he’ll ensure Jim has someone around to listen to his ramblings out on the island.
Julia and Barbie (and Eva)
Speaking of Julia, she’s happy to have Barbie back in her life, but he’s not exactly reciprocating the excitement. He mourned her death, and even if it wasn’t real, he felt everything that came along with that, followed by an entire separate relationship with another woman.
The Sam and Diane of Chester’s Mill are back together physically, if not emotionally. Eva only complicates things when Julia meets her and learns the exact nature of what Barbie felt for her. She and Barbie are at least able to put aside their differences as they go in search of Melanie, though.
Or so it seems. The two continue to hash out their relationship woes in the caverns beneath the town while the murderous Melanie lurks in the shadows. She’s only intent on killing Julia, however, so she initially leaves the two alone while they reconcile that Barbie will still need some time to process his emotions. They also discover Ben’s dead body, and Barbie realizes Julia wasn’t lying about Melanie’s malicious plans.
Julia is further proven right when Melanie pulls her out of the caverns, planning to finish the job this time and choke the life out of Julia. “I should have just cocooned you like the others,” she says, presumably attempting to be intimidating. Barbie is stuck in the pit, only escaping conveniently after Julia has been saved… by Christine.
Yes, Christine, who was working with Melanie, stabs the latter in the back to protect Julia. And though that puts her down a soldier fighting for the dome, it ingratiates her with the townspeople, saving one of their most beloved (or maybe least hated) citizens.
And Christine certainly has something planned. Later that evening, she pulls another move out of the villain handbook, sitting alone in her office while using blood from Melanie to activate a glowing purple crystal. A monologue of hers kicks in as most of the townspeople gather in front of the town hall to stare up at the moon like a brainwashed mob. Whatever she has cooking in the name of the dome, everything seems to be going to plan.
Joe, Norrie, and Hunter
The other love triangle plaguing Chester’s Mill is also in an awkward place thanks to the imagined year in another reality. Norrie and Joe split up in that life, and Norrie still feels like she’s moved on, but Joe remains in love with her. But Hunter and Norrie seemed to become a thing in that other world, and their feelings for each other have spilled into the real world.
This infuriates Joe, who discovers the two having a great time together, leaving Joe to wonder where he stands with this girl after their two-week relationship was broken up by an imagined yearlong breakup. But it seems Joe’s unwillingness to not accept what happened in the imagined Chester’s Mill may actually be useful in the fight against whatever Christine has planned. Until then? Prepare for some teenage angst.