'Under the Dome': First rule of the cement factory is you don't talk about the cement factory

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barbie-maxine-under-the-dome.jpgMaxine has been a busy little beaver on "Under the Dome," what with organizing her giant "Mad Max"-style fight club and black market area.

Big Jim/Barbie/Maxine

As Maxine says, it's been nine days under the dome. And the missile was, what, a few days into the dome coming down? So it's been, at most, six days since everybody was taking shelter at the cement factory.

So Maxine's been quite the industrious little scalawag in the ensuing six days, charging people goods in order to get into the Cement Factory, where they can trade up by fighting each other. She blackmails Barbie into fighting, but he throws it, which she was expecting.

Meanwhile, while Barbie is investigating fight club, Big Jim is busy investigating Bird Island in East Lake, where he finds Maxine's mom Agatha (nee Claire), who reveals why Max won't deal in prostitution -- because Agatha's only way of supporting herself when she had Max at 16 was to be a 'ho, apparently.

Big Jim takes Agatha back to Chester's Mill, until she falls overboard with her hands tied and he just leaves her in the lake to drown.

In the end, Maxine's leverage over Big Jim and Barbie is kind of gone because Linda knows about the drugs and she confronts Jim, and Barbie confesses (and Julia had figured out) about killing Peter, which she's actually OK with because Peter took out an insurance policy on himself. Peter ... wanted Barbie to kill him so Julia could get the insurance money? Hmm. She tells Barbie no more lies and they're suddenly all good.

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Linda and Duke

Linda and Julie dig into the propane business and find Duke's safety deposit box key. Inside, they find Duke's letter explaining about the drugs. Linda tells Big Jim they need to have a talk about everything.

The Dome

After spotting a caterpillar inside the mini-dome (the monarch-to-be), Angie figures out that Junior is the fourth hand and when he touches the dome with her, Joe and Norrie, pink stars appear in the barn.

"But what does it mean?" wonders Junior (and all of us).

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • The Big Jim-Agatha storyline seemed rather superfluous. What was the point? If it was only to demonstrate that Jim is morphing into a bad guy, there are other ways to do so. Sure, it'll hurt Maxine, but ... hmm. Still seems kind of random.
  • So, wouldn't Peter's gun being missing but all the bullets being present mean the gun wasn't loaded? That's a weird detail to throw in there.
  • UPDATED TO ADD: We were remembering that Peter was shot with his own gun, but that must not have been the case. Apologies for the mix-up.
  • Did this whole episode seem really out-of-place? Are we just in a bad mood or something tonight? Because we didn't love Maxine last week, but this episode just seemed completely random. We're excited to find out the mini-dome stuff, but this episode didn't really advance that much. Felt more like a place-holder.

Leave your thoughts in the comments. Only three more episodes to go!
Photo/Video credit: CBS