The CSI series finale ‘Immortality’ literally starts off with a bang when a suicide bomber kills three people and injures countless others at the Eclipse Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This bombing is what brings now FBI Special Agent Catherine Willows back home to Vegas, as she is now owner of the Eclipse, thanks to Sam Braun’s legacy. With the help of Catherine and of Gil Grissom, who has also returned to Vegas once he hears that Lady Heather is the prime suspect, the CSI teams follows the evidence and catches the real killer.

It probably seems strange that I would sum up the plot of a two-hour series finale in just a few sentences, but for me, ‘Immortality’ is not really about the case. It’s about seeing the CSI family together again one last time and knowing that they’re all going to have happy endings once this show is no longer on the air. That’s what most fans cared about and I think series creator Anthony Zuiker gave us exactly what we needed so that we could say goodbye.

The biggest highlights for me were, of course, Catherine’s scenes, so that’s my focus for this recap.

Catherine and Grissom:

The scenes between Catherine and Grissom were, by far, my favorite moments of the episode. Marg and Billy Petersen have such wonderful chemistry and it was just so wonderful to see them onscreen together again. Even though they hadn’t worked together since season 9 when Billy left the series, it was like no time had passed and they were right in sync with one another.

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In my absolute favorite scene, Catherine walks outside and finds Grissom sitting on a bench sketching whales and sharks. After patiently listening to his Grissom-esque explanation of how his drawing is a metaphor for Vegas, Catherine gives him one of her patented ‘Whatever you say, Grissom’ looks, a quick “Okay” and changes the subject. She needs a favor – she wants Grissom to help process some evidence with the new girl, who has had a rough first day on the job and could use a little ‘Grissom TLC’. Grissom says he would rather not but is still curious about this new girl, who when he encountered her earlier in the day, she acted as if she knew him: “Where’d that girl come from anyway?” Catherine’s response is priceless: “My vagina. You don’t recognize her? Grissom, that’s Lindsey. That’s my daughter!” If that isn’t a classic Catherine/Grissom moment, I don’t know what is.

Catherine and Lindsey:

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Speaking of Lindsey, Katie Stevens is not who we’re used to seeing play Lindsey, but it was still wonderful that they brought Lindsey back for the finale and so fitting that she is following in her mother’s footsteps to become a criminalist. She even looked like a mini Catherine walking around in her cute leather jacket. And now that we know that Catherine will be running the lab, I love the idea of Catherine running the lab and mentoring her daughter. That’s a happy ending I can definitely live with for Catherine.

Catherine and Sara:

I have to admit that I got a little nervous in the first scene these two had together when Catherine came barging into the crime scene, flashing her FBI badge and basically daring anyone to try to stop her from working the case. When Sara walked over and started talking about the conflict of interest and Catherine started to fire back at her about being the owner of the Eclipse and that she had to work the case as long as there were bodies on the floor of her father’s casino, it brought back memories of so many tense scenes between these two. Thankfully though, this time Catherine and Sara quickly come to a meeting of the minds and there was no conflict.

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Not only was there no conflict between Catherine and Sara, but they even had a wonderful moment of sisterhood later in the episode as they bonded over their mutual dislike of Lady Heather. This was another of my favorite scenes. When Lady Heather comes in for questioning, she seems to focus much of her attention of Sara, intent on getting under her skin. She unfortunately succeeds and Sara ends up storming out of the room. Catherine immediately jumps up and goes after her to give her a little pep talk about not letting Heather get to her. In yet another classic moment, Catherine tells Sara: “Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t feel the way you do about Grissom and I want to kill the bitch with my bare hands.” Yes, it was a hilarious line but it was also just a great reminder of how far their friendship has come over the years.

Catherine and Brass:

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They didn’t have much screen time together but I was thrilled to hear that Brass is now working for Catherine at the Eclipse. It’s nice to know that she has someone in her corner who will always have her back.

Catherine and the children:

One final scene that really stood out for me, even though it pertained more to the case and not so much to any kind of CSI reunion, was the scene where Catherine has to go tell the two little girls that their mom was killed in the bombing. Seeing how gut wrenching it was for her and knowing how much she wanted to protect them took me all the way back to the scene in the pilot episode when Catherine had to interview a little girl who had been molested.

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Catherine’s big heart and those fierce maternal instincts were the essence of her character and what made me fall in love with her in the first place, even more so than the fact she’s such a badass, so it was nice to be reminded of that side of her in the final episode of the show. I felt like we came full circle there.

As much as I’m going to miss Catherine Willows, I feel like this finale has given me the happy ending that I would want for her. She’s home, she’s with her daughter, and we know the crime lab will be in good hands with her. Maybe it’s not sailing off into the sunset on a boat with the love of your life, but it will do quite nicely so thank you to Anthony Zuiker for writing it, thank you to Marg for coming back and giving us the opportunity to say goodbye one last time, and thank you to CBS for allowing the show to have a proper sendoff.

"Never doubt, never look back. That's how I live my life." - Catherine Willows

“Never doubt, never look back. That’s how I live my life.” – Catherine Willows

Since this is the last time I’ll have the opportunity to make screencaptures of Catherine Willows, I probably went a little overboard. You can view those HERE

The complete series finale is also online now at

And courtesy of, we also now have the ratings for the CSI series finale. Marg fans will recognize that the series finale audience was the largest audience since Marg’s final episode “Willows in the Wind” back on January 25, 2012:

With an average of 12.12 million viewers, “CSI” is Sunday’s top scripted broadcast in viewers. The series finale of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION delivered its largest audience since January 2012 and ranked as Sunday’s top scripted broadcast in viewers, according to Nielsen preliminary live plus same day ratings for Sept. 27. From 9:00-11:00 PM, CSI averaged 12.12 million viewers, its biggest audience since Jan. 25, 2012, and scored 1.8/05 in adults 18-49 and 2.7/07 in adults 25-54, its best deliveries in those demographics since May 7, 2014.


Under the Dome 3.12 “Incandescence” unfortunately marks the conclusion of Marg’s story arc as Christine Price. We knew it was coming since Marg had said she was only doing 10 episodes, but it’s still sad that we’ve already reached that tenth and final episode. So, does Christine go out with a bang? Let’s discuss.

The first time we see Christine in “Incandescence”, she and Sam have the baby at the Dome wall. They are bathed in a beautiful yet eerie purple light, which Christine refers to as the Dome’s dying light. We’re seeing this dying light because Christine is draining some of the Dome’s energy in order to begin the cocooning process for the new Queen. She says this will hasten the calcification of the Dome but that without the amethysts, she has no choice because the Queen has to be cocooned. As she continues to drain the energy, at one point it appears as if the Dome is trying to pull her in. Sam seems to think so too, as he reaches out to draw her back. Christine tells him to let go of her, that it’s for the baby. Once she has extricated herself from the Dome, she reiterates to Sam that the energy drain is necessary, although she admits there is one serious side effect – the Dome is now calcifying even faster than it originally was.

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She and Sam then return to her office and encounter Junior, who seems even less like himself than usual. When asked where he has been, Junior reports that he was kidnapped by the Resistance and injected with some ‘b.s.’ cure made from Christine’s DNA. Christine embraces him and tells him that she’s happy he has returned to them and then proceeds to fill him in on everything he missed – that the baby has been born and so Eva is no longer with them because she has served her purpose, and that she and Sam have begun the cocooning process for the new Queen. Upon hearing this, Junior visibly bristles. He is clearly displeased that Christine and Sam are working together. Does he feel that his alpha status is being threatened?

This tense interaction is interrupted by shouts from elsewhere in the building and when they rush out to see what is going on, they realize just how dire their situation is. The Dome’s calcification has affected their air supply enough already that many of the elderly are struggling to breathe. Christine decides that it’s time to go check up on Joe and see how the plan to bring the Dome down is coming along. What she finds is that Joe, while having made progress, has stalled out when it comes to figuring out how to replace the shattered egg as a power source for their schematic. When Christine tells him that they need to bring the Dome down in 24 hours or less or they’re all going to suffocate, Joe panics and says that the lives of 2,000 people is just too much pressure to put on a kid. Deciding that he needs a pep talk, Christine reinforces to Joe that he’s one of the smartest people she knows and that she has faith that he can save them all. She then tells him to relax and close his eyes, that in the alternate reality, that was when he always did his best thinking. Sure enough, Christine is right, and moments later, Joe determines that the transmitter from the radio station could work.

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Satisfied that she has gotten Joe back on track, Christine returns to town hall and, surprisingly, assists in caring for the elderly. While she is doing this, Junior presents to her the idea of reducing the competition for air. If those who are least useful are eliminated, then the rest of them have a better chance of surviving until the Dome is brought down. Christine agrees and asks Junior and Sam to do her one last favor that may also help the new Queen in choosing her Alpha: “Take the elderly to the lake. Do what needs to be done.”

While Junior and Sam are off to ‘take care’ of the elderly, Christine records her final message to the new Queen. She tells her that she is their race’s last hope against ‘the others’ and wishes her good luck. Christine then heads to the cement factory where the new Queen has been cocooned: “It’s time for the final transfer – for my work to end and for yours to begin. I give you my life force.” Barbie and Julia rush into the room as we’re watching the life force drain from Christine into the cocoon, and before the transfer can be completed, Barbie forcibly pulls Christine away from the cocoon. There is a bright flash of light and the cocoon bursts open, knocking both Christine and Barbie to the ground, and then a shadowy figure speeds past them and out of the building. Barbie chases after the figure, while Christine remains on the ground staring at her reflection in a puddle of water. We know we are now seeing the real Christine for the first time because it is indeed her reflection that we see rather than the glowing alien visage we had seen so many times previous. To Julia’s surprise, Christine bursts into tears. In disbelief, Julia rips into her about how she has destroyed the town and so many lives. Christine continues to cry and when Barbie returns, he threatens her at gunpoint. He has every intention of killing her if she doesn’t tell him where his baby is. Realizing that Christine is no longer infected, Julia finally intervenes, telling Barbie to look at her: “She’s different.” Christine then tells Barbie that she thinks the ‘thing’ that sped past them was his baby.

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As they leave the cement factory, Barbie and Julia try to get Christine to tell them what’s going to happen next, but Christine doesn’t remember many of the details of the plan that she has been carrying out since she was infected. She doesn’t even understand why she’s still alive since her understanding is that she should have died as soon as she transferred her life force to the new Queen. Julia reminds her that she and Barbie interrupted that transfer, which is probably why she’s still alive. Desperate to do anything she can to make up for the harm she has caused, Christine tries to remember anything she can that would be helpful, she suddenly cries out that they have to get to the lake immediately: “I’ve done something terrible.” When they arrive at the lake, it’s even worse than Christine originally thought. Instead of just sacrificing the elderly to save the Kinship, Junior has gone rogue and rounded up the children and is leading them to the lake as well.

Barbie and Julia are prepared to break bad on Junior in order to save the kids, but Christine pleads for a chance to stop him herself because she’s afraid that if they use force, the children will be harmed. Pretending to still be one of the Kinship, Christine confronts Junior because he is not following the order that he was given. When he tells her that he took matters into his own hands, she cuts him off and tells him that the children are the future of the kinship and orders that they be taken back to town. As they are debating this, one young girl continues on her journey to the lake and begins to wade into the water. Christine rushes into the water to pull the girl back to safety, and at that moment, Junior realizes that she is no longer one of them and violently attacks her. Christine tries to apologize for everything she did to him, but Junior grabs her by the throat and is intent on strangling her until Julia and Barbie intervene, attacking him from behind.

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Convinced that Christine is one of the Resistance now, Julia and Barbie take her back to their hideout and vouch for her to the others. There is some debate at first because Hunter and Lily are obviously skeptical about whether or not Christine can be trusted. They finally relent and the members of the Resistance decide that it has been an exhausting day and that they all need to rest and then regroup so that they can continue to plan against the Kinship. Christine tells them that while she knows she can’t possibly make up for all that she did while infected, she wants to do everything she can to help them. She then takes her leave and goes to rest.

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As soon as Christine lies down, there is a flash outside of her window and she opens her eyes, sensing a presence in the room. It’s the new Queen, who looks just like Eva, and she has tracked Christine down. Christine tries the friendly route: “You have your father’s eyes”. The new Queen isn’t having any of that though and forcibly removes Christine from the building. We next see the Queen dragging her along outside, where she finally slams her up against the side of the Dome, stating “You have something I need.” As soon as she makes contact with the Dome, Christine’s human form begins to disappear and soon she is nothing more than a glowing alien energy source. The transfer now complete, the new Queen then leaves what is left of Christine pinned to the Dome wall until, echoing what nearly happened to her in her opening scene, the Dome absorbs her.

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Thus ends Christine’s, and Marg’s, journey on Under the Dome. Although I was saddened that “Incandescence” ended Marg’s time on the show, this episode was still probably my favorite one from her story arc. As fun as it has been to watch her play crazy alien Queen Christine throughout the season, those final gut-wrenching scenes where Christine regains her humanity and then has to live with everything she did while she was the Queen are where Marg truly shines. I’m very happy that Marg got to finish her arc doing what she does best. Her performance in this episode was truly brilliant.

You can view screen captures of Marg from “Incandescence” HERE.



As if the first half of season 3 wasn’t a wild enough ride, Under the Dome has really kicked it into high gear now. ‘Plan B’, the ninth episode of the season, opens with the Kinship attempting to strike back against the Resistance. Christine has sent Barbie and a team of armed men to ambush Big Jim and his own team at the Aktaion house. Their mission fails, however, because anticipating that there would be retaliation for the bombing of the caves, the Resistance has relocated to a new safe house, the town’s funeral home.

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When Barbie reports back to Christine that the Resistance is nowhere to be found, she is visibly agitated by their failure. Flinging her walkie talkie to the floor, Christine suddenly clutches her abdomen and doubles over in pain, crying “Oh no! No, I’m not ready yet”. She clearly has bigger problems than the Resistance to worry about at this moment. Her cries bring Eva rushing to her aid. Eva gets Christine to lie down and sees that the knife wound inflicted by Sam has apparently become infected. Christine interrupts her examination when the amethyst she is grasping in her hand begins to pulse and glow. The closer Christine moves it to Eva, the more the stone pulses with light. Christine, suddenly looking much happier than she did earlier, tells Eva the good news: she and Barbie are going to have a baby. Eva can’t believe it and wants to know how it’s possible since she and Barbie only slept together the previous day. Christine replies that “You’re carrying the new Queen. This isn’t any ordinary pregnancy.”

Leaving Eva to share the news with Barbie, Christine gets back to business. Junior reports to her that he has had the last remaining amethyst brought into town so that they can better guard it. He then tells Christine that he’ll keep searching until he finds and eliminates the Resistance. Christine tells him that he needs to spare Joe. Junior questions her because in his mind, Joe is just as guilty as the others, but Christine says that their plans have to be adjusted because of what happened to the amethysts and she now needs Joe’s help. Junior notices that she is holding her side and is obviously in pain and questions this because he thought the cocoon had healed her. Christine lies to Junior and tells him it did, but then tells him she needs to see the Dome wall.

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While all of this has been taking place, Hunter has managed to crack the code on Christine’s recorder and access her entries. He learns that the recordings are some kind of diary addressed to Barbie and Eva’s unborn child, the new Queen and she begins the entries by saying “It’s a shame we’ll never meet…” With that statement, we can assume that Christine will die before the baby is born.

As Junior and Christine approach the Dome wall, they see several dead animals lying nearby. It is as Christine feared, the Dome’s surface has started to calcify. She tells Junior that soon every living thing will suffocate unless she can bring down the Dome with Joe’s help. Junior questions Christine again at this point because he doesn’t understand what the Dome calcifying has to do with her increasing weakness and pain. Christine finally admits to him that what is happening to her is because she is connected to the Dome. With the egg destroyed and only one remaining amethyst, the Dome has no power source and is starting to shut down. She then collapses again and Junior carries her back to town.

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Once back in her office, Junior examines Christine and sees the now huge wound spreading across her abdomen. Determined to do whatever needs to be done to help his Queen, Junior looks to Christine for guidance. Her answer? Sexual healing, of course. Oh, the healing powers of that oxytocin! Once she is feeling better, Christine gives Junior some bad news: “James, this is temporary. Every one, every thing has a cycle and mine is coming to an end.” Junior expresses his confusion because he thought she was his mate for life. She tells him no, that she has actually envisioned Junior as being someone who will have many mates.

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Now that she is feeling better, Christine gets back to work. As she and Junior walk through the town hall, Junior eagerly scopes out potential new mates. When he zeroes in on the girl that he wants, Charlotte Chastain, Christine shoots him down: “The younger ones I need.” For the first time, Junior rebels against Christine and tells her no, that he wants Charlotte. Christine finally concedes: “Fine. But you’ll need to find me a suitable replacement. I need at least twelve girls.” She orders Junior to have them waiting for her when she gets back from introducing herself to Harriet, the young woman she has chosen to be Eva’s midwife.

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Once Christine has secured Harriet as Eva’s midwife, she takes her to meet Eva. Eva is again confused as to why she already needs a midwife since she only just found out she was pregnant. Come on, Eva. Get with the program! Christine yet again has to remind her that this is not an ordinary pregnancy – she’s giving birth to the Queen – and tells her that she needs to pack her things because they’re taking her to a place where her baby can receive the special care she deserves.

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At first Eva is reluctant to leave since Barbie isn’t there, but a surprise attack by Big Jim changes her mind. Christine and Junior take Eva to a barn where Harriet and at least a dozen young women dressed in white are waiting for her. Surprisingly, among them is Junior’s choice to replace Christine. As soon as he spots Charlotte, Junior confronts Christine: “I told you I wanted Charlotte.” Christine tells him that Charlotte came to her and said that she wanted to be a part of this: “Don’t worry. I promise she won’t feel a thing.” She then orders that “No one comes in or out” and the doors are closed in Junior’s face. Two things appear to be at play in this scene: 1) Based on Christine’s ominous words, these young women are about to be sacrificed for the new Queen, and 2) I suspect Charlotte’s inclusion in the sacrifice is probably Christine’s way of punishing Junior for rebelling against her and for being a little too eager to select a mate to replace her. After all, she is still the Queen.

It saddens me that we are seemingly nearing the end of Christine’s, and therefore Marg’s, time on Under the Dome. I hold out a little hope since Under the Dome is always unpredictable so anything can happen. I think it would be great if she did survive because it would be interesting to see how the real Christine would be and how she would cope with knowing all that she had done while her body was taken over by the Dome and its agenda. As of right now, though, I just can’t see any way that she comes out of this alive. Whatever the outcome, I will enjoy Marg’s performance until the bitter end.

HD Screen caps from Under the Dome ‘Plan B’ can be viewed HERE.



“Caged,” the sixth installment of Under the Dome’s third season, starts to shed some light onto what happened to bring the Dome down over Chester’s Mill and to give us a little more insight into what Alien Christine’s ultimate agenda is.

“Caged” opens with Marston showing Big Jim the video footage of exactly what transpired when Christine made contact with the egg: “Right there is where Christine Price became something else…On a cellular level, the person you know as Christine Price is not of this Earth.” Right there is also the moment that the dome came down over Chester’s Mill and the mini-dome came down over the egg itself. Marsten goes on to tell Big Jim that they’ve learned a lot about Christine but they still haven’t determined what she is or what she wants. Lucky Big Jim then learns that’s where he comes in as Marsten charges him with the task of pumping Christine for information about her agenda. Big Jim initially declines as he wants no contact with ‘that thing’, but ever the persuasive guy, Marsten tells Jim he has two choices: 1) help get the information from Christine that they need or 2) be injected with Christine’s inhuman blood to see what happens to him. Big Jim decides to be helpful.

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Much of Christine’s time in this episode is spent in a cage having some pretty candid conversation with Big Jim. She is honest with Big Jim from the start, showing him what I’ve speculated about for a few episodes now, that she is basically a chameleon — she can easily fake any emotion at the drop of a hat, depending on how she thinks the other person needs to see her. When Christine tells him that people will come for her, Big Jim mocks the idea of Junior as a knight in shining armor and tries to get information about who else she might have working for her. He tells Christine that if she’s relying on Barbie, her plan is flawed because Julia knows all about Christine and can’t wait to tell Barbie everything she knows. Is Christine getting a little worried at this point? It’s hard to say with certainty, but she does abruptly end the conversation by telling Big Jim that her human body is tired.

When Big Jim and Christine resume their conversation, it takes a turn for the philosophical with Christine extolling the virtues of the collective and telling Big Jim that the loneliness and emptiness he’s feeling is his ‘reward’ for only looking out for himself. Christine tells Big Jim that there’s no reason why her people and his can’t co-exist because they want the same thing. She says there’s no reason they should be enemies but that they will protect themselves. She goes on to defend her actions in stripping people of what makes them individuals: “Petty self-interest brought this community to the brink of destruction, but because of me, people are thinking about things other than themselves. Because of that, we have food. We have peace.” Big Jim balks at the idea of the collective and retorts that true progress comes from creativity and individual ingenuity: “The history of the world is made by leaders, not followers.” Christine inserts a reality check at this point: “Well, we come from very different worlds and from where I sit, you’re no leader. You’re just a very sad and lonely man.”

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They are interrupted this time when Marston has one of his goons toss in a can of tear gas and then brings Big Jim out of the cage. Marston is not completely happy with Big Jim’s progress and instructs him to up his game, or else. When Christine next awakens, she has cuts down the side of her body. Over in his own cage, Big Jim is sporting a fresh busted lip and informs Christine that they must have escalated with their experiments. Big Jim decides to demonstrate to Christine what a little fight and a little ingenuity can do as he uses the tab off of a can to pick the lock on his cage. Clearly more concerned about the dangers of her current predicament, Christine begs Big Jim to take her with him, promising that she can get him out of the dome if he does. Stroking his arm and his face through the bars of her prison, Christine really pours on the charm and tries to coax Big Jim into helping her. Perhaps in response to his own passionate speech about the need for leaders and creativity, Christine makes a persuasive speech of her own that appears to be designed to seduce Big Jim over to her way of thinking: “Once out of the cocoons, the concepts of me, ego, and self were gone from my mind. Immediately I saw the world in a new light, a better light — a world where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…Jim, what we want is no different than any living organism – to survive, to flourish…Aww, come on. Let’s work together”

Big Jim isn’t buying into Christine’s manipulations, but manages to get her to say that bringing down the dome is her ultimate plan, which is what Marston has been waiting to hear. He charges into the room to say he can take it from there but then tries to stop Big Jim from leaving. Displaying a little more of that ingenuity he was praising earlier, Big Jim uses the can lid to cut Marston’s throat and make his escape from the Aktaion lab. Christine again begs him to take her with him, but he says “You know, I can handle good and I can handle evil. But what I can’t handle is desperate. You’re in a position to tell me whatever I want to hear, but I ain’t buying. No hard feelings.”

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Although abandoned by Big Jim, Christine is ultimately rescued from the lab by Junior and Barbie, who have been trying to track her down for much of the episode. Once they rescue her, Barbie corners Christine for the truth about who she is. Christine confesses everything to him — that she was hired by Aktaion to find the egg, that Aktaion manipulated her into wanting to be a part of something great because the egg was supposed to be a new clean source of energy. She then tearfully tells Barbie that everything is her fault – she brought the dome down when she touched the egg and all of the lives lost and all of the families who were separated are because of her. Her emotional story, which matches the one Eva gave Barbie earlier, convinces Barbie who tells her it’s not her fault and when a gun-wielding Julia interrupts Christine’s confession and tries to tell Barbie the truth, Barbie’s not having any of it. Christine eggs Barbie on, telling him that Julia is the one who took her at gunpoint and gave her to Aktaion. That’s enough for Barbie and he calls Julia a monster and tells her that if she can’t get on board with the town’s new agenda, then she needs to just stay away.

Recovering quickly from her ordeal, Christine meets up with Eva for an update on what has happened while she was locked up and especially to get a report on Eva’s progress with Barbie. While not enough progress has been made on that front, Eva praises Christine for getting Barbie to finally trust her and Christine reveals the key to her success: “I became what he needed me to be, a victim for him to save.” Christine gives Eva her next set of marching orders: “The sooner you become his mate, the sooner he’ll be what I need him to be. Our protector.”

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Although she had made great strides with getting Barbie to complete his journey, Christine faces more dissension within her ranks. Sam has figured out that Christine is responsible for Abby’s death. He goes to see her and actually beats Christine at her own game of manipulation by convincing her how sorry he is that he strayed and how grateful he is that she has gotten him back on the right track yet again. When she embraces him and tells him she only did what needed to be done because of how important he is to her and to the group, Sam stabs Christine and leaves her to die. Junior finds Christine, and at her urging, he carries her back down to the caves where she re-cocoons herself with one last order to Junior: “Bring me Sam.” I can’t imagine that meeting will go well for Sam. I’m going to take a not-so-wild guess and say that openly attacking the Queen is probably something that the collective would frown upon.

I think my favorite part of this episode, and perhaps my favorite moments of the season so far, were the scenes between Christine and Big Jim while they were caged. Marg and Dean Norris played off of each other so well. It was a pleasure to watch their characters go head to head and I hope that we’ll get more scenes like that this season.

Marg was especially thrilling to watch in the scene where Christine puts on the show for Big Jim — quickly passing through all of the emotions that she has in her arsenal of manipulation. Marg played that so beautifully and really just all around rocked this episode. I love how Christine constantly keeps me guessing. When Big Jim asked her if she could do ‘honesty,’ it really got me wondering about whether we’ve seen any true emotion from Christine up to this moment. I think the answer is no, perhaps with the exception of when she is trying to explain to Big Jim why she believes in the collective.

I really cannot wait to see what happens next. Those amethyst crystals were still flickering at the end of the episode, so Christine is still in a race against time to make this collective successful.

You can view some HD screencaptures of Marg from the episode HERE.


It’s finally time for AAM’s recap of the “Under the Dome” season 3 premiere. For those who have never read my recaps, while I do give a general summary of what takes place throughout the episode, most of my commentary is reserved for Marg’s character. Apologies in advance if I neglect your favorites.

For those new to the “Under the Dome” experience, Season 2 of the popular CBS summer series concluded with a cliffhanger as the mysterious dome which had encapsulated the town of Chester’s Mill and cut them off from the rest of the world suddenly began to contract rapidly. Fearing that they would be crushed to death, the residents of Chester’s Mill, led by Dale Barbara, evacuated into underground tunnels they hoped would lead them to safety. Once they all descend into the tunnels, they are met by Melanie who tells them to come with her because ‘we’re going home. It’s time to move on.’ Season 3 picks up exactly where Season 2 left off as the residents take a leap of faith and follow Melanie into a dream-like, misty white landscape and somehow emerge outside the dome. As the town residents stand there trying to take in what has just happened and realize that Melanie is no longer with them, those pink stars that have been falling in lines for the previous two seasons suddenly shoot up into the air like fireworks and seconds later, the dome shatters. Barbie discovers that Julia, Junior, and Big Jim, who were left behind, sadly are casualties of the dome collapse, but otherwise the town and its people are free. Sounds a little too easy, right? Especially for a show that is based on a novel by none other than Stephen King. A quick glance at the clock shows that we’re less than five minutes into the 2-hour episode. What is sure to be a wild ride has only just begun…

We next experience what appears to be a time jump. It is one year later and, for the most part, the residents of Chester’s Mill are attempting to move on with their lives. We see that Barbie and Hunter are now in the military, Norrie has gone off to college, and the town of Chester’s Mill seems to be back to its old self overall.

Or is it? At the same time we’re watching everyone move on, we’re also being shown scenes where Julia and Junior are still back in the tunnels attempting to follow the path that the other residents took when they evacuated. They then have a run-in with an even crazier than usual Big Jim. How is this possible if Barbie found all of their dead bodies when the dome came down? Ah ha, now we’re getting more Stephen King-like. It seems that those who followed the mysterious Melanie are now in some kind of alternate reality and that perhaps Julia, Junior, and Big Jim are still alive after all.

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It is in this alternate reality that we are finally introduced to Marg’s character, Christine Price. Christine tells everyone that she is a trauma specialist who has been sent in by FEMA to help facilitate the healing process in Chester’s Mill. She serves as a therapist to both Joe McAllister whose sister Angie was murdered while the dome, and ironically, to Sam Verdreaux, who was Angie’s killer. She is also organizing a memorial ceremony to honor all of the lives that were lost because of the dome. While Christine seems genuinely passionate about helping everyone to heal, there is still something suspect about her. For one, her methods seem a bit unorthodox for a therapist, a little too intimate. When we first meet her, she is actually in Joe’s bedroom waiting to talk to him. Christine is also literally very hands on — not only in the sense of trying to control everything that is going on in the town – calling Barbie to come to the hospital for his girlfriend when she sees he about to do something she doesn’t like, etc., but also in the sense that there is a lot of touching involved when she is talking to Joe, Sam, and Junior, among others. Perhaps it’s coincidence — it’s still too early to tell — but she also seems very focused on the men. I’m getting the vibe that the enigmatic Christine will probably be a character that fans either love or hate, that there won’t be any middle ground on that.

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What also becomes apparent is that we are not the only ones watching the Chester’s Mill residents in their alternate reality. Melanie is also watching them, through some kind of strange purple crystal wall. When she realizes that Ben knows something is ‘off’ with the reality they’re living in and sends Barbie a message that he has proof that what they’re living in is not real, Melanie decides he must be stopped and kills him at the memorial ceremony. And here’s where it gets even stranger. She kills him by strangling him – not the Ben that is at the ceremony, but a version of Ben who is covered in slime and housed in a cocoon in the tunnels beneath the dome. And as Julia discovers as she is exploring the tunnels looking for Junior who has disappeared, that is just one of many cocoons that are in the tunnels. With purple glowing roots interconnecting them all to one larger cocoon that we can’t see into, this network of cocoons appears to house all of the Chester’s Mill residents that we originally thought had gotten out safely, including Junior who encountered Melanie when he got separated from Julia. Melanie tells him that he and his friends need to become what she needs them to be so that they can all survive – he just needs to be ‘fixed’ first. We see firsthand what happened to everyone as we watch Junior go through the same process. Once ‘fixed’, his name disappears from the memorial wall and he rides into town on his motorcycle as if he had been there all along. After she has dealt with Junior, Melanie turns her attention to Julia. She manipulates Julia into believing that they need to get the egg back in order to unlock the cocoons and free everyone and they set out to make this happen.

So Melanie is obviously a major player in this “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” experience that has taken over Chester’s Mill, but is she working alone? For the answer to that, I think we need to follow the purple — purple egg, purple roots connecting the cocoons, purple crystal wall to watch everyone through. And in our alternate reality, where do we see purple? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our friendly FEMA therapist is sporting a ring with a large purple rock in it and that she also has a large purple crystal prominently displayed in the room where she and Joe are meditating. The purple coupled with Christine’s ‘off’ behavior make a pretty compelling argument that she is not what she seems and is somehow in cahoots with Melanie and whatever her agenda is.

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Things come to a head quickly once Big Jim enters the mix. Melanie retrieves the egg from her father, and of course kills him because what’s one more body at this point? With the help of his new canine companion, Big Jim discovers the body and follows the trail to Julia. The two of them have words as Big Jim tries to convince Julia that Melanie is evil and so is the dome. Julia tells him off and heads back to the tunnels. When she arrives, she sees that Melanie has placed the egg on top of the largest cocoon. The purple roots are now starting to pulse and something big is obviously about to happen. As she watches, Julia questions what is happening, the overall purpose of the dome, and Melanie’s motivation. Once she realizes Julia is a threat to the ‘process that has started’, Melanie attacks Julia but also promises that they can ‘fix’ her too. Big Jim enters at this point, says that he’s not letting whoever is responsible for all of this kill his son, and proceeds to smash the egg with the butt of his rifle. With the power source destroyed, the alternate reality disappears and all of the Chester’s Mill residents are able to break free from their cocoons, with Christine emerging from the largest cocoon and immediately reaching out for the hand of, interestingly enough, Barbie’s alternate reality love interest, Eva. Is Eva in on it as well? The final frames of the episode are focused on the two of them and their ‘Uh oh’ expressions.

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The season opener was a very entertaining two hours of television. I especially loved the intensity level and the sense of mystery that surrounded everything and having that juxtaposed with Big Jim’s antics, his dark humor, and his interactions with the stray dog. I’m obviously eager to learn what exactly Christine’s role will be in all of it. Does being housed in the largest cocoon mean that she is somehow the leader or mastermind behind the dome? I think this is going to be a really fun character to watch Marg play because Christine obviously has a lot going on and so many different levels for us to delve through. I have a lot of questions about Christine at this point. What’s her motivation? Is she truly evil? Is she even human for that matter? If she is human, where did she come from? Has she been cocooned under the dome this entire time? Do any of the townspeople know her? The list goes on and on. I really can’t wait to see where the story picks up next week.

Screen captures of Marg from the season opener can be found HERE.