This episode tries to tackle quite a lot in just an hour. There are schemes upon schemes, characters are given insight as we get glimpses into their past, and more and more the characters are shown to be tied to each other in some greater capacity.
In regards to the latter, some of it worked. Seeing that Melanie and Barbara had met prior was actually a pretty effective reveal; seeing that Hunter just happened to know Pauline on the other hand, seemed a bit contrived. Lyle tries to hand wave the excessive coincidence, but it's hard to ignore and it's only moderately successful in what it is attempting to do.
This episode really does hammer in the idea that this show is trying to be "Lost". For crying out loud, there's even a smoke monster...kind of. Add the flashbacks and the mysterious organization trying to control and contain this thing that they don't understand and the parallels become apparent.
Dale's dad gets a bit more development as we see that he is something of a manipulative schemer himself. He could give Big Jim a run for his money to be quite honest. Seeing those two try to outplay each other might be an interesting thing to watch.
The thought occurred to me that, since he works for an energy company, that they might want the egg to do good. They constantly refer to it as a "power source", it was possible that they wanted to try and develop a clean, reliable way to power the world. Actually, that would have been an interesting angle instead of going for the obvious evil corporation stuff. Given the likely political leanings of the writers, my guess is that, if anything, they are tied to big oil and want to keep the egg so that others can't use it to develop clean energy. We'll see, I suppose.
I'm not sure why they don't want people getting out of the dome. Big Jim tries to strike a bargain to get everyone out, but they refuse. As long as they have the egg, what would they care? Even if the dome doesn't come down, just evacuate everyone via the magic cliff and leave Chester's Mill a ghost town.
It's also said that the egg is what's powering the dome, which conflicts with the idea that the dome was put down to protect the egg. First off, we're still not sure what it's protecting the egg from. Protecting it from the military doesn't make any sense as the egg seems capable of moving on its own. Not to mention the question of why it was put here in the first place. Europa or Mars seems like a safer place to stash the thing, but that's just me.
The show is becoming increasingly complex which is both a good and a bad thing. You have all these factions with their own agendas and they're all working against each other to various degrees, and that's pretty interesting, but there are times where it becomes too convoluted for its own good and you're just left scratching your head.
The acting has improved significantly since the early episodes of the season. The characters feel more real. As was the case for much of the last season, Dean Norris is still a show highlight. This show in particular gave him plenty to do and it was quite fun to watch.
As I said, the episode tries to do a lot. It doesn't succeed at everything, but it does more well than it does badly. There are flaws here and there, but it's far more engaging than the first half of the season and it does look like things are kicking into high gear as we move closer and closer to the season's end.