Under the Dome: ‘The Fourth Hand’ Review

Game of Domes

“When you play the Game of Domes, you either win or you die, and Big Jim plans on winning”

Let the games begin! Things have really picked up BIG TIME since Under the Dome premiered back in June. Last night’s episode, titled “The Fourth Hand”, had just a little bit of everything! The Dome mystery kicked it up a notch and added a whole bunch of new questions about what it is and how it got there and the mysterious Max, played by Natalie Zea, made her first appearance and ultimately spiced things up a bit by having connections with both Big Jim and Barbie! The plot thickens!

I can finally exhale and say FINALLY Big Jim has gotten around to taking over the town! The whole scene with “Random Ted” was just ridiculous, more on that later, but at least Big Jim has all the guns– and grenades– in town and is finally starting to take some control of the situation.

Now on to my review…

The Mini-Dome Mystery

The episode begins with Julia taking Barbie out to show him the mini-dome but, of course, there is only a whole in the ground when they get there:

Scooby Doo and the Case of the Missing Mini-Dome

Apparently Joe, the 14-year old scrawny teenager, picked this thing up IN HIS SLEEP and brought it to some barn! I would have actually loved to see this happen on my TV screen…. imagine Joe carrying this mini-dome through the forest back to grandmother’s house…. that would have been hilarious! My guess on this is that Mother Dome somehow had a hand in making Joe sleep walk the Dome into a barn. For whatever reason, it seems like Mother Dome doesn’t want Barbie to find Baby Dome– just a theory, but it seems like certain things have happened for a reason throughout the story and Joe randomly sleepwalking and moving the Dome before Barbie arrives with Julia to see it is…. convenient.

Something worth mentioning…. Joe reveals that Angie’s butterfly tattoo is, in fact, not a Monarch butterfly. Therefore, I highly doubt she is the monarch that this is referring to. The question is: who is this monarch and what in the fuck do they mean by ‘crowned’? Maybe it is referring to Angie, but maybe being crowned is actually a bad thing? I honestly have no clue but would love to hear some theories if any one has any!

Also, Angie is apparently the new owner of Briar Rose and she joins Joe and Norrie by having the exact same seizure they had, uttering the same “Pink stars are falling” nonsense that no one understands– except Junior apparently. Junior ends up driving Angie back to her house and it looks like Angie is finally joining Joe and Norrie in trying to solve this mini-dome mystery! Hell, even Junior is getting involved after hearing about the Pink Stars, and he takes Angie to his late mom’s art studio to show her this…

Pink Stars: The Next Mona Lisa

…What. The. Fuck. Did I miss something here or was Junior’s mom THE WORST ARTIST EVER! Did anyone not think to maybe let her know that her artwork, um, kinda looks like an 8-year old drew it and that it was TERRIBLE. Although I think they mentioned she was slowly going crazy so maybe that explains this…. but regardless, this is supposed to be Junior with pink stars above him. I honestly have NO CLUE what this means or if this does, in fact, have any connection to the ‘Pink Stars’ mentioned during the seizures. But I do think it means something and I think it relates to the very end of the episode where we see Angie, Joe and Norrie playing with their new toy.

Before we get there though, Joe, Norrie and the dog discover that the mini-dome has been moved into a random barn. Angie shows up and Joe and her have the most hilarious conversation ever:

Angie: You don’t remember last night? You came down the stairs and half scared me to death. I asked what you were doing and you said you were going for a walk all zombie like and you just walked out.

Joe: And you didn’t stop me? You didn’t think that that was weird?

Angie: OF COURSE! But what isn’t these days.

Norrie: I can’t argue that.

This is one of those cases where the dialogue is so bad that its good. They decide that they can’t tell Julia about the mini-dome and the threesome all touch the mini-dome together and HOLY SHIT:

Simon: Dome Version

“I think we’re missing a piece.”

The three of them together are getting much much closer to unlocking this thing! But they appear to be missing a 4th person. Also, did this remind anyone of a 2013 version of:


Simom… the world’s hardest game if your playing by yourself

I’m almost positive that the 4th person is Junior, everything else would make no sense at all. First, the three of them have all had seizures and said “Pink Stars are Falling in Lines”. Second, they are all young. And third, Junior’s mom’s painted him under pink stars. Its gotta be Junior! So hopefully Joe and his team of Domebusters can figure this out as soon as humanly possible because I am dying to know what will happen when all 4 of them touch the mini-dome! An interesting story just got that much more interesting!

Ted Goes Berserk 

In what was hands down the worst scene of the episode, and maybe the entire series, Ted goes off the deep end and starts firing guns all over Chester’s Mill. Ted is yet another one of those idiotic characters that randomly shows up out of the blue and offers absolutely nothing to the story whatsoever.

Had the writers developed the story from the very beginning this would have worked wonderfully, but sadly that is not what happened. All we get is a brief mention that Ted’s wife and kid crashed into the Dome on ‘Dome Day’ and Ted has been in a tailspin ever since. The story actually makes sense, I buy it completely…. but Ted is random and has never been on the show before so its so difficult to really feel any emotion for the guy. Maybe if they had showed the accident in the pilot episode and showed Ted in some minor scenes grieving leading up to this, it could have actually been really, really good….. but the one thing this show does (that is really starting to piss me off) is that it brings up some random event week after week that really doesn’t make any sense story-wise.

So when we meet Ted, he is freaking out about shooting at Larry the MethHead who is on the hunt for a fresh batch of drugs and somehow Ted ends up shooting his neighbor by accident…. um OK, sure. But then we finally meet Larry, he looks like he’s been hitting the meth pipe too much or not enough….

Got Drugs?

Clearly he’s going through some withdrawal which is EXACTLY what I wanted to see on this show. This scene was actually great because we finally got some revealing information on what this ‘operation’ is… and now we know that the Reverend was distributing a drug called ‘Rapture’ which apparently is like every high combined and makes you see heaven. Looks like the meth dealers over on Breaking Bad have a little bit of competition!

Also, with Max’s arrival, Big Jim ends up proposing the “Firearm Turn-In Program” in Domelandia since its probably not a good idea to let people have firearms when they are trapped inside a dome for a long period of time– makes sense to me. And he offers them propane and food. To my surprise, this was handled with little resistance from everyone in town except Ted. So Big Jim and Barbie go to alleviate the situation…. and Ted has straight up lost his shit….

Ted be crazy

Ted contemplates the situation as he sits upon The Iron Dome

…and I was half expecting something crazy to happen, but sadly nothing happened. Big Jim diffused the situation while Barbie did his best Jack Bauer impression and went up in a tree with a sniper rifle. Oh, and Ted also pulled out a grenade which Big Jim now has in his possession.

With the Ted situation fully resolved, Big Jim now has all the guns and weapons in town locked up in his bomb shelter and Chester’s Mill is about to be turned upside down. With Big Jim now firmly in control of the town and the meth operation slowly being revealed to certain people (Linda, Barbie and Julia)… Big Jim is going to have his hands full in the next coming weeks.

Of course though, I think Barbie vs. Big Jim has been put on hold with Max’s arrival and I have a hunch the story is going to shift to Big Jim vs. Linda once she finds out more about the drug operation.

Drugs to the Max

This episode also introduced us to a mysterious, new character: Max. And she is no Ted, that is FO SURE! The cool thing about this show is that they can introduce new characters pretty easily since there are probably a ton of townsfolk who are just laying low like Max. Max was smart… she’s an out-of-towner who is apparently running a drug operation through Chester’s Mill and she is clearly working with Big Jim on this. Plus she’s very easy on the eyes:

“Hi, Jimmy!”

So Max joins us and basically screws up everything with respect to the Barbie vs. Big Jim feud we all want so bad. Max explains to Jim that she happened to be passing by the ‘crappy town’ of Chester’s Mill to pay him a visit about their little operation when the Dome came down, and she obviously hates the place.

Max also explains to Big Jim where she has been: in a vacant house laying low, which actually makes sense since some of the residents were not in town on ‘Dome Day’, like Joe and Angie’s parents for example. Max was hoping the Dome wasn’t going to last so long, but she now realizes that she has some work to do in order to take advantage of this crisis. So she gets her booty stuck in Chester’s Mill, there is some chit chat about drugs and it is revealed that the Reverend had actually helped create this new ‘Rapture’ drug and we can only assume that this is their secret ingredient:

Rapture Secret Recipe

“Looks like Heisenberg has some serious competition”

Liquid Propane…. and a helluva lot of it! And of all people, LINDA finds it. I’m still in shock that she was actually able to think of a way to get through the lock! Linda, apparently on a roll with her discovery of how to break through a lock with a gun, now uses her newly acquired police skills to take a look at the surveillance footage and finds this:

Training Day: The Sequel

So we now know that Duke and Max are connected somehow– leaving Max, Duke, Big Jim and Rev Coggins all involved with ‘Rapture’. Then, this shit happens and my mind is blown:

“Oh, and Barbie and I know each other…. bitch”

I didn’t see this coming…. at all. In fact, I was so busy wondering what Barbie was going to think of Max that I didn’t even think it was possible that they had a pre-existing relationship. Not too much is revealed here but we know that Max has had a major influence on both of these two guys… so she let’s Barbie in on the plan and its revealed that shes into some illegal shit… booze, drugs, gambling…. sounds like an awesome night out on the Dome!

Barbie is reluctant to help but Max, of course, blackmails the shit out of him! AND Big Jim! This chick has bigger balls than both these dudes combined! So it looks like Barbie’s and Big Jim’s past secrets are finally catching up to them. For the time being, I think Barbie is going to be forced to go along with this plan, but will eventually grow a conscience. Also very interesting that Barbie made a phone call to Max after Peter Shumway’s murder…. so it seems to me that Max is going to be the one to re-arrange the status of the Julia-Barbie relationship! Plus, that scene at the end with Julia and Barbie, I think Barbie really likes Julia and eventually he will have to make a decision to get out of the Max and Big Jim situation.

Max…. you really shook things up girl! I thought I had a pretty good idea where things were heading, but The Fourth Hand blew all that out of the water! This episode of pretty damn good, except the whole Ted part… and hell, even Linda has started to do some legit police work and might actually find something out about this whole ‘Rapture’ thing (and for all the Bioshock fans out there, lets just pretend that Rapture is a reference to that wonderful game).

Points were actually awarded for Linda’s police work this week and this episode gets an 8.5. The story is moving pretty fast now and things are happening! I can’t speak for the rest of the Domies and Dorphans out there, but I’m beyond excited for next week’s episode!

I’ll be back to review next week’s episode, titled “Let the Games Begin“, talk about a fitting title :). Check out the preview below. Enjoy! And thanks for reading Dorphans!

My Top 7 Questions of the Week:

(1) Who is the Monarch and what does ‘being crowned’ actually refer too?

(2) It is only a matter of time before Julia finds out about her dead husband… will Max reveal this info to her or will Barbie? Or some other random person?

(3) Is Linda next up on Big Jim’s hit list now that she is actually performing real investigative work?

(4) What does “Pink stars falling in lines” mean? No way in hell it was the stars on that painting….

(5) How is the Dome creating visions? What is the mini-dome?

(6) What happened to Carolyn? Will she ever get involved in an interesting storyline? Will she return next week after a 2-week long absence?

(7) Who is the fourth person that will unlock the mini-dome? My guess is Junior.


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