Is ‘Under the Dome’s’ Junior Psycho or Does He Really Know Something?

Alexander Koch as "Junior" on "Under the Dome" (Photo: CBS)

The bodies keep mounting “Under the Dome.” First, there was the death of Julia’s (Rachelle Lefevre) husband, Dr. Peter Shuman (R. Keith Harris), at the hands of Barbie (Mike Vogel). That was due to a gambling debt dispute, so not really related to the dome, but it’s the reason that Barbie is trapped under it. Then there was the plane crash that killed all the occupants, and then, when Sheriff Duke Perkins (Jeff Fahey) touched the dome, his pacemaker exploded, killing him instantly.

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That was just the first episode. In Episode 2, we learn that bullets ricochet off the dome when one of the deputies goes berserk and shoots at the dome and one of the bullet bounces back and hits his partner, killing him. So, with two members of the sheriff’s department dead and one heading for jail, it isn’t looking good for law and order in Chester’s Mill.

That may be why Junior (Alexander Koch) will get away with keeping girlfriend Angie (Britt Robertson) chained up and locked in a bomb shelter. Junior thinks that by going underground, he can escape the effects of the dome. Is he right? Is Angie sick because of the dome? Does Junior actually know something, or is he is just psycho?

While the signs point to Junior being crazy, Koch has a different take on his character’s behavior. In this exclusive interview with xfinityTV, he gives us some insight into why Junior may not be mental.

How would you describe Junior? Right now, to us, he’s looking a little psycho.

Alexander Koch: In the first episode, he comes out a little bit like this powder keg of a character, but, I think, there’s two sides to Junior. You’ll come to see the second side a little bit more over the series. I think that he’s just a town bully and this town jock. He’s been forced to fit into [this mold] by his dad, who wants him to be the all-American boy, the football star. He doesn’t necessarily fit into that mold, but he’s trying to do it and that’s forced by Big Jim [Dean Norris].

Then, I think there’s this broken child. This kind of lovesick, broken person who hasn’t recovered, exactly in the best of circumstances, from the death of his mother as a child, and he has this really strange relationship with his father. That hug that occurred in the first episode, it was just really awkward and strange, because that was probably one of the 10 times they’ve hugged in life. I think when Junior’s around Angie, he’s able to be the person he really is and be sweet and innocent.

What he does to her, locking her up, he thinks it’s all right because he can hold on to her and he can keep her safe. He wants to be her hero. Though he’s doing these things that are horrible, he feels in the end, they will be together, they will be happy, and they will be in love. It’s all in the name of love for Junior.

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Executive producer Brian K. Vaughan did say: “One person’s tortured is another person’s protection.” And Junior tells Angie: “I’m the only person who really knows what’s going on here.” Does he really know, or does he just think he knows?

Koch: There’s definitely elements of both. There are some things that Junior is so sure of. He knows that there is something going on with this dome, there’s something going on with Angie, and there’s something going on with Barbie. He doesn’t know what exactly, but he’s spinning it all together. It’s making a lot of sense to him that he needs to protect Angie, that there’s something metaphysical going on between them that connects them to the dome and connects everyone within that town.

It’s just the stories that he elaborates on. The stories are actually based in truth in terms of where he’s coming from when he says to Angie, “I’m the only one who knows what’s really going on around here.” There are some things that you’ll see over the season that are connected, that he’s known since he was a little kid that something was coming, that something was going to happen, and that all these things can’t just be some coincidence. There has to be some truth in what he has seen and what he believes.

Catch-up on Full Episodes of “Under the Dome” Here on xfinityTV

Is it more that he is prescient than that Big Jim is his father? You said that he has known since he was little that something was coming. Is that because he intrinsically knows it, or because he has picked up clues being around his father?

Koch: He’s picked up clues, not so much being around his father, but the mystery of his mother’s death, seeing stuff from the past, remembering stuff and experiencing the horrible death of his mother as a child, and having all these, I guess I’d say, relics and artifacts from his mother left behind, that he sees something.

Once this dome descends over Chester’s Mill, he makes the connection: “Wait, there’s got to be something… I remember this from my childhood, something about this is really eerily familiar.” He starts figuring it out in his mind, whether it’s true or not, or whether it’s little bit of him elaborating on the stories is something you’ll find out over the season.

You talked a little bit about Junior’s relationship with Big Jim, how they only hugged maybe 10 times in their life, but what do you think he thinks is up with his dad now that the dome has descended?

Koch: I think he has lived in his father’s shadow for most of his life. He has not been able to get out from underneath his father’s stature of being a politician and being this successful businessman. It’s a lot of pressure on him to be that and he hasn’t exactly been living up to his father’s expectations. He senses that disappointment and he sees those looks from Big Jim of, “You’re not doing as good as I thought you would. You’re not becoming the man I want you to be.”

Watch the Second Episode of “Under the Dome” Below:

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What’s coming up for Junior in future episodes?

Koch: You’ll come to see that things that are happening more outside the town take a backseat in terms of what’s most urgent to him. For him, it’s just about figuring out this mystery and trying to keep Angie safe and protected away from whatever is occurring outside. You see a little bit more of Junior’s thought of where this is all coming from.

What can you tell us about the propane?

Koch: I think that’s the thing that Junior doesn’t know much about. He might know a little bit, but it’s not something that is his main focus in terms of what’s happening at the forefront of this whole situation. His major and only concern at this point is trying to figure out how to keep Angie protected and how to save her.

“Under the Dome” airs Monday nights at 10/9c on CBS.

Catch-up on the Pilot Episode of “Under the Dome” Now:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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