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'Under the Dome's' Natalie Martinez Teases the Hunt for Barbie, 'Huge' Finale Cliffhanger

"There's going to be a lot of close-to-death encounters and possibly some more death," the actress behind Sheriff Linda tells THR.

Under The Dome Natalie Martinez - P 2013
CBS
"Under the Dome's" Natalie Martinez

As CBS' Under the Dome marches toward its freshman season finale, Natalie Martinez's Sheriff Linda has continued to grow into her new position as the head of the law inside Chester's Mill.

After starting the year as the naive deputy to a sheriff full of secrets, Linda is now poised to lead one of the biggest manhunts inside the dome as the community searches the bubble for Barbie (Mike Vogel), who, last we saw, was being set up by Big Jim (Dean Norris) to take the fall for Jim's misdeeds.

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Martinez to preview the search for the town's most heroic individual and find out what to expect from the final two episodes of the summer hit.

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The Hollywood Reporter: What can we expect from the manhunt for Barbie?
Natalie Martinez: More and more stories are going to keep crossing, because you don't know who is telling the truth or what the truth is or what motives people have and what they're really after. With this manhunt coming up, when it gets to that point of the end, we're going to start figuring out who's who and who wants what, and that's what's really going to shock us in the next couple episodes.

THR: Barbie knocked Linda out and took off. How likely is she to believe him when they do find them?
NM: That's what makes her question him. At the same time, she can't go off and believe Big Jim, either, because he's been caught with his hands red. It's such a strange circumstance, because we're under the dome and that's making people do things that you would never expect they'd do and all these secrets are coming out. So yes, he knocked Linda out, but his argument is believable. But at the same time, you just don't know. That's the biggest tease about the show: You never know who is telling the truth.

THR: The kids all had a vision of a bloody Big Jim, each with a knife when they touched the dome. How will Linda navigate that threat? How will she be involved? Will the town find out about the Four Hands? 
NM: Linda is a person who has grown since the beginning of the show, and now she's going to start to learn how to trust her own instincts and follow her gut when it comes to what she thinks is really true. There are all these things coming up and all these stories that are being thrown at her, and evidence is showing up, but at end of the day she'll trust herself with what she believes in. At the end of the day and when you're under the dome, you only have yourself to count on.  

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THR: Will the dome be coming down anytime soon?
NM:
I don't want to say yes or no, but we'll start finding out more about it, and we'll be getting close to a lot of answers. There's going to be a lot of close-to-death encounters and possibly some more death.

THR: How big of a cliffhanger can we expect from the season finale? 
NM: We'll be facing the same question the whole world will, because it's going to be a huge cliffhanger at the end. We leave off with a huge cliffhanger. We don't know what's going to happen. We didn't get a full script until two or three days into shooting; we were shooting a script we hadn't read yet, because that's how dark they're keeping it. Things are constantly changing and moving around, and we're just as in the dark as everybody else is. 

THR: In terms of how Linda's season ends, is she in more of a position of authority within Chester's Mill, or is it still Big Jim's show to run?
NM:
I don't think Linda is as naive; she's finally growing up and coming from that small-town cop to being someone who is learning to trust their own instincts after never being in those situations before. She's stronger and standing up for what she believes is right. She has grown a lot this season.

Under the Dome airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Hit the comments below with your theories about what will happen in the final two episodes of the season.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit