This week’s Under the Dome was plenty bonkers. We found out that Egg Girl is some old friend of Sam, Lyle and Pauline’s who died when she very softly bonked her head against a meteorite in 1988, and has been mysteriously resurrected. We learned that Sam probably killed Angie, seeing as he’s nursing a big defensive wound on his shoulder. We learned that the magnet-obsessed science teacher is a genocidal maniac. And we almost got the joyous, blissful relief of the entire cast being wiped out by a swine flu virus. But most importantly, this season’s best couples have really come into clear focus. There’s all kind of romance playing out under that dome, and I matched up the pairs I want to see the most of this season.

Big Jim and Rebecca

So this week Rebecca talked Big Jim into unleashing a swine flu virus through the town to whittle down its population by 25% or so, since she’s a science teacher and could see absolutely nothing wrong with that idea. To further advance the thuddingly obvious “science evil, faith good” metaphor, she almost unleashes it in a church, but has a crisis of conscience when she overhears that the virus has mutated and almost wiped out all of the pigs already. Sorry, did I say crisis of conscience? I just mean she realizes she can’t go ahead and kill everyone in Chester’s Mill, even though that’s probably the fate they richly deserve. This cold-hearted psychopath (and horrendous scientist) is somehow not summarily executed when her plot is discovered, but she’s found a real easy mark in Big Jim, who has enough of a heart to weakly object at first before she talks him into it. They’re made for each other.

Julia and Sam

Julia is the most screamingly stupid person on television. Every idea she has is a disaster; every hunch is misplaced; every judgment of character blows up in her face. She even seems to recognize and acknowledge this problem in this episode, but just goes on making wild assumptions about everything and everyone around her. Including: that the mysterious Sam, who lives in the woods, talks darkly about being betrayed in the past, and hasn’t been seen by anyone in decades, is probably a really stand-up guy who she should consider making out with. Now, from our Egg Girl flashbacks, Sam seems like the least likely suspect in Melanie’s 1988 murder. Lyle is a wacky religious dude prone to violence, and Pauline was plagued by insane visions. Sam’s just a handsome fella. This obviously means that he murdered Egg Girl/Melanie, and the episode-ending cliffhanger seems to confirm that he killed Angie too. Just what Julia needs!

Junior and Lyle

This week, Junior lets Lyle out of prison because he insists that his mother is still alive and that she faked her suicide to get away from Jim, thinking that the arriving dome would follow her to the city of Zenith (the only other place in the Dome universe, apparently). Then the two fight a lot and keep hitting each other and squabble over Pauline’s 1980s doodles. I really had no idea what that was all about, but enough with the squabbling, boys! We know what you’re really fighting about—your passion for one another.

The Casting Process on Under the Dome and Wild Notions About the Passage of Time

As we see in the flashback to the meteorite of 1988, Sam, Pauline and Lyle were all school friends along with Melanie. Now, Melanie is trapped in a teenage body for reasons we don’t fully understand, and that’s fine. But Dwight Yoakam is 57 years old, Sherry Stringfield is 47, and Eddie Cahill is 36. Just to clarify further there: when Dwight Yoakam was 21, Eddie Cahill was being born. I don’t care if you greyed up Sam’s temples a little bit. It makes no sense that these three were peers.

Egg Girl and Everyone

Melanie is the big mystery of the second season so far, but she’s mostly been solved already. She discovered the black egg in a meteorite in 1988, died for her troubles (literally from tapping her head against the space rock, which suggests she had a skull made out of a paper towel) and has been resurrected now with the arrival of the dome. Why did she die? Well, someone pushed her, and I’m willing to believe either Sam or Lyle or both had a crush on her way back when. Maybe Barbie, too, who she recognizes from her childhood in Zenith. And now she’s got Joe giving her the moony eyes, prompting annoyed snorts from Norrie. "How am I supposed to compete with a girl who's from a galaxy far far away?" Barbie tells her not to worry, but she replies, "Don't undermine my feelings of jealousy and abandonment." Alright, Norrie, take it down a notch. We got more important things to worry about. Namely, uh, THE DOME?