“Alaska”, Under the Dome’s fifth episode of Season 3 opens with Christine and Junior basking in the afterglow of what has apparently been the best sex of Junior’s life. He is eager to begin their makeout session anew but Christine is distracted by the amethyst crystals that are embedded in the cavern walls. They have begun to flicker and as she watches them, she looks a bit distraught and asks Junior to promise her that he’ll do whatever she asks him to do, without question. Firmly under her spell at this point, Junior readily agrees, assuring her that he knows “how to follow orders.”
We find out that Christine has a good reason to be distracted by those amethysts when she records her latest progress report and reveals that the flickering stones indicate that the Dome’s energy supply is beginning to fail — when Big Jim smashed the egg, he compromised their power source: “One amethyst died this morning; a second one is losing power, which is causing the amniotic fluid in the cavern to dry up. It’s only a matter of time before the Dome begins to calcify. If the kinship can’t come together, we will all suffocate…” Barbie interrupts at this point, storming into her office. I had to chuckle when Christine says, “Barbie, come on in, hun. Have a seat.” Is she trying a little Southern hospitality on Barbie to throw him off guard and get him on board with her mission? It doesn’t seem to phase him as he demands to know who the hell she is.
Christine is spared from having to answer his question by a loud crash and screams coming from elsewhere in the building. Barbie and Christine race through the building looking for the source of the crash. They discover that the ceiling has come down in the area where Junior took a sledgehammer to what he thought was a non load-bearing column. Two people are dead and several others are injured, some seriously, and as they set out to help people and to get the damage repaired so that people can move in soon, Pete, obviously not a Christine fan, takes the opportunity to loudly proclaim that this is Christine’s fault and to challenge her leadership. When she attempts to give him orders regarding how the repairs should be done, he lashes out at her in front of everyone: “Lady, you lost the right to tell me what to do when you let Junior Rennie take his toy hammer to that column. This is on you!” He storms off and Christine tells Barbie that Pete is a menace and she wants him out of the group. Barbie tells her he’s “got this” and pairs up with Pete to complete the repairs. The way Christine was watching Barbie when he walked off with Pete had me wondering 1) Is Pete another one of Christine’s distractions, this time to keep Barbie from coming back at her with the ‘Who the hell are you?’ question; or 2) Is Christine assessing him like she assessed Junior in the previous episode? Or is it maybe a little of both?
Christine next seeks out Eva, obviously having been rattled by Barbie’s suspicions. Eva immediately confronts her again about the necessity of keeping up the false identities that they were given in the alternate reality because she’s tired of lying to Barbie. Frustrated, Christine tells her “I’m doing this for your own good. You’re not ready.” After meeting even more resistance from Eva, Christine finally relents and promises that she’ll tell Eva the truth and sets up a meeting with her at the cavern because “that’s where the answers are.” Yeah, and so is that handy mind-altering Oxytocin goo. Well played, Christine.
While all of this is taking place, Big Jim and Julia are out on Byrd Island trying to find the recorder with the proof that Christine became something ‘otherworldly’ after making contact with the egg. It has mysteriously vanished from where Big Jim stashed it and he suspects that Aktaion is behind its disappearance. He and Julia return to the Aktaion lab where Big Jim was held prisoner and while snooping around on their computers, Julia sees a file named ‘Alaska’ that looks interesting and begins to download it, but is interrupted when a gun is held to her head. Big Jim comes to the rescue and they negotiate a deal: If the Aktaion goons will tell Big Jim and Julia what happened in Alaska, they’ll tell them where the egg is. What Big Jim and Julia learn is that an archaeological team found what appeared to be a fragmented egg in a meteoric crater in Alaska. They collected the egg shards for research purposes, learning that the shards contained a clean energy source – like nothing they had ever seen before. What appeared to be a major scientific breakthrough, however, turned tragic when it was realized that all of the team members had become somehow infected through their contact with the shards. Whatever was inside the egg altered their behavior to the extent that they all committed suicide follow-the-leader style. Autopsies revealed that their bodies were filled with cells “never found in anyone on Earth.” Believing that the residents of Chester’s Mill may now be similarly infected, the Aktaion head scientist, Marston, tells Big Jim and Julia that there is an experimental treatment that may be able to reverse the infection and that they really need to find the person who made first contact with the egg and contain the infection quickly because “whatever the leader does, the group will follow.” Julia asks if the other infected people will be safer if Christine is separated from them, but the scientist doesn’t have an answer for her. Julia is willing to take her chance and agrees to bring Christine to Aktaion.
Racing the clock the get the Chester’s Mill townspeople to come together as a kinship, Christine next moves on to deal with Sam, who didn’t show up for his meeting with Joe in last week’s episode. Realizing that he has been drinking, Christine chastises him and tells him that selfish actions affect everyone in the group – if he had been at the town hall when he was supposed to be there, the people he was supposed to be helping wouldn’t have just been standing around in harm’s way when the ceiling came down. Sam isn’t buying into that and when Christine asks him what happened to the Sam she knows and worked so hard to get back on track, Sam informs her that’s not him. He’s just the town drunk. A tense conversation ensues where Christine tells Sam she won’t let him throw everything away that he has worked for: “You can get me the information we need. I can’t let you leave.” When Sam tells her it’s not up to her, she grabs him by the arm and tells him not to walk away from her. Sam continues his act of defiance by removing her hand from his arm and telling her that he’s going back to Abby. Poor Christine. Some of her puppets are taking on lives of their own this episode.
Queen Christine is not at all pleased to be challenged by yet another drone, but ever the resourceful problem solver, Christine decides to pay Abby a visit. With a few forceful, gut-wrenching words using Abby’s beloved daughter Courtney as an example, Christine convinces Abby that she destroys everything she loves. Then in what is probably the most disturbing moment of the episode, Christine then effectively manipulates Abby into protecting Sam by making “the right choice” if she cares about him – the right choice in this case being to take the bottle of pills Christine offers her and commit suicide. Wow, Christine is really stepping up her manipulation game.
Now that her Sam problem is on its way to being solved, Christine turns her attention back to Eva. Heading to the cavern for their scheduled rendezvous, Christine examines the flickering amethysts again and says that they’re running out of time. She proceeds to tell Eva that when she thought she was pregnant, she was on the right track: “The egg put a life force inside you. You are changing cell by cell into a better version of yourself, a woman who will bear Barbie’s child. But you have to protect him, Eva. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes. The child you’ll have together will replace me.” Eva tells her that she’s crazy and tries to escape, but Junior emerges from the shadows and holds her down so that Christine can slime her with the all important oxytocin, which is apparently “finite and precious” so anyone Christine gives it to should consider it a gift. Once she has been slimed, Eva is immediately on board with Christine’s plan: “I’m sorry I questioned you before. It seems so simple now.” After Eva leaves, Junior sees his new reflection in the amethysts and asks Christine what it is that he’s seeing. She stands next to him gazing at the their reflections and tells him that they’re the same now. After their little bonding moment, Christine then tells Junior they need to get to work leading the resistant because there isn’t enough oxytocin for all of the townspeople. She wants him to start with Joe because she needs Junior and Joe to work together to build something very special. When Junior informs her that Hunter says Joe and Norrie abandoned their work that day, Christine issues the order that Junior is to have Hunter find Joe and Norrie and bring them to the town hall to wait for her. Sounds like Christine is putting together an army of drones with Junior as her second-in-command in the hierarchy.
Once she gives her soldiers their marching orders, Christine heads back over to town hall to work on Barbie again. This time she tries a different approach with Barbie to gain his trust: “I’m sorry. I should have just handed the reins over to you and moved out of the way. I hope you know that I trust you 100%.” This new approach seems to do the trick and Barbie takes her aside to let her know that the ceiling collapsed not because of what Junior did, but because it was sabotaged. All signs point to Pete as the saboteur so Christine orders Barbie to take care of him: “We can’t have this man in the group. You know what you need to do.” Personally, my money is on Christine somehow being behind the collapse.
In order to make sure Barbie takes care of business, Christine orchestrates a showdown between the two men. She pays a visit to Pete, pretends to apologize for underestimating him and to say that while she respects his initiative, others in the group do not. She says that Barbie, in particular, is not a fan and tells Pete that Barbie knows Pete sabotaged the beams and is responsible for the deaths of two people. Once she sees Pete is getting fired up, she fans the flames by telling him that Barbie is planning to kill him and that she’s unable to change his mind no matter how much she pleaded on Pete’s behalf. She tells Pete that she knows that he isn’t the real threat, Barbie is, and that Pete could have anything he wanted if Barbie wasn’t in his way holding him back. Pete asks her what he should do and Christine’s response is to “do what feels right.”
Satisfied with the results of her latest mind trick, Christine leaves Pete’s tent and as she does, notices that Julia is standing in her office gazing out the window. Christine heads there to find out what Julie is up to, and what starts out as an epic battle between the redheads ends with Julia holding Christine at gunpoint and then delivering her to Aktaion. Christine’s last words to Julia before she is led away in handcuffs by the Aktaion goons are somewhat chilling: “You actually mean to save humanity. Oh, that’s just so sweet. Unfortunately, it’s much too late for that.”
While Julia is attempting to save humanity, Christine’s drone are busy carrying out their orders. Hunter has gone to retrieve Norrie and Joe, but in his efforts to do so, loses his balance and falls off a roof. When he is brought to town hall, Hunter tells Junior that Norrie pushed him on purpose. Even though Joe is there to back up Norrie’s account that it was an accident, the infected townspeople turn on them. The last time we see them, they are surrounded and Junior tells them that no one is going anywhere until they talk to Christine, which obviously might be a little difficult since she’s on her way to become a science experiment.
The episode concludes with two shocking scenes. The first is the showdown between Pete and Barbie that Christine so carefully orchestrated. Pete uses explosives to catch Barbie off guard and proceeds to beat him with a baseball bat. Eva steps in because of her sworn duty to Christine to protect Barbie at all costs, and when Pete strikes her, Barbie explodes and beats Pete to death. The second scene is Marston double crossing Big Jim, threatening to kill his dog, and then locking him in a giant birdcage and telling him that “Every proper study must have an experiment and a control. Christine Price is the experiment, and you, Jim Rennie, are the control.”
It has become obvious that Christine will stop at nothing to carry out the dome’s agenda, not even murder. Killing Melanie was one thing, but taking out Abby and Pete the way she did was a whole different story. As Marg tweeted after this episode aired, “Crazy Christine has no boundaries.” And while her increasingly ruthless and manipulative behavior did not completely surprise me, I have to admit I was a little taken aback by how calm Christine was as she was being led away to Aktaion to face who knows what. As desperate as she seemed throughout the episode to get collective going, I would have expected more resistance from her at the thought of being taken away from her mission.
I don’t know if any of my questions from last week were answered, but I sure have a few more after watching ‘Alaska’:
1. Now that she will presumably be locked up with Big Jim for research purposes, I’m curious to see what happens to the townspeople without Christine there to direct their every move. Will they go looking for their Queen? Will Junior or Barbie, who I’m assuming passed his test when he killed Pete, take over the reins and keep the collective moving forward, or will everyone just run amok without someone to lead them?
2. What did Christine mean when she told Eva that she and Barbara will have a child and that child would replace Christine?
3. Is Christine right when she tells Julia that it’s too late to save humanity?
4. Is this study that Aktaion plans to conduct on Christine and Big Jim truly to save people from this infection or are their motives more sinister than that? I don’t trust them.
As wild as the first five episodes of the season have been, I can only imagine that we’ve only just begun to have our minds blown by Under the Dome. Can’t wait to see what happens next week!
Can’t get enough of Marg in Under the Dome? You can view HD screen caps from ‘Alaska’ —> HERE.