Under the Dome S01E08: “Thicker Than Water”
At this point in Under the Dome’s sea (there will be another, for better worse or much, much worse), it’s pointless and repetitive to compare the show to the rest of television because it will never leave the ‘ table. All we can ly do is put it side by side with itself and judge it on its own. And you know what? In that context, “Thicker Than Water” deserved an “Atta boy!” and a pat on the back, because it was a much more tolerable episode than what we saw earlier in the sea, continuing the entum I sted to feel last week.
We’ve arrived at a place where episodes don’t just center on some made-up catastrophe (goodbye, meningitis!), and the ongoing problems the townspeople are facing are building up instead of being swept off the shelf at the end of each week so the show can reset itself and move on to the next problem (hello, meningitis!). What’s more, the idea that the dome may be a permanent fixture is truly sting to sink in for the residents of Chester’s Mill, which is finally closing the gap between their mentality and ours because we all know the dome isn’t going anywhere until the show’s ad revenue dries up. These adjustments are making Under the Dome a much more competent show that’s not nearly as embarring as it used to be, so now all we have to make fun of with a wink and a poke is the dialogue, acting, the character actions, and the overall writing. This is what crawling out of a hole feels like, people! But now I’m wondering if I even want the series to improve, because I’ve been enjoying its ridiculousness as a pable way to spend Monday nights. For me, bad TV is more fun to than mediocre TV.
Three major plots moved forward in “Thicker Than Water”: the attack on Farmer Ollie’s water hole, the mourning of dead Dr. Alice, and whatever the F that egg was. We’ll st with Big im aulting Rancho de Ollie, because that’s the that had the most guns. It’s interesting that Under the Dome revisited a problem that it’d already addressed—a water shortage—only eight episodes into its en voyage, but there we were again, talkin’ ’bout being thirsty.
You’ll recall that in “The Endless Thirst,” the town’s collective pair of rode up high and s were ng each other over the head for a few Snickers bars and Aquafinas, and then the dome intervened with a rain storm, sending everybody happy with a garbage can full of the dome’s tears. At that point it wasn’t clear whether the water shortage was fixed; the episode sure made it seem like the dt was over, but common sense, the enemy of Under the Dome, t us that the rainwater wouldn’t last too long. So it was logical for “Thicker Than Water” to bring back the parched s and dried-up veggies. But ly, it was all an excuse to kill Farmer Ollie and put the hat back on Big im’s dome. Where it belongs! And also it was an excuse to give unior some wacky shit to do because that guy is town banana pants to the maxx.
Big im’s initial chat with Farmer Ollie went something like, “Fuck you, im,” because Farmer Ollie had it in his head that he who controls the water also controls the town, and Farmer Ollie wanted a slice of that pie. But my question is, WHY? Who ly wants to be in charge of a mess of a town like Chester’s Mill? Even Game of Thrones’ Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish was like, “Ummm, thanks but…” concerning a lordship at Harrenhal, and that place had a cool spooky castle! Chester’s Mill has an abandoned cement factory, a population full of jittery, hungry, gun-toting hicks, and half the is unior! Even the mayor of Detroit is laughing at Big im and Farmer Ollie fighting over control of a place with no food, no water, and no hope. But yeah, these boys both wanted power and their battle wouldn’t end until unior s one of them dead.
A second round of chit-chat between Big im and Farmer Ollie involved more guns and one poor rent-a-cop sap named Cer, who was so obviously going to end up getting s by the farmers that he may as well have been wearing a bullseye or an Obama/Biden 2012 campaign sign. See, the farmers countered Big im’s idea of “eminent domain” and the town’s right to seize property with a better solution: lots of dudes with guns. unior—who was on the scene unarmed because Linda finally figured out that providing a mentally ill maniac with a weapon was a bad idea—totally switched sides and betrayed his dad because he was still sad that Big im had kicked him out of the house earlier in the episode. Bad unior! And totally embarring for Big im, who had to run with his tail between his legs.
When talking with Ollie didn’t , Big im decided that his option was to come back with even more guys and have an -fashioned shootout, because more is always better and what could go wrong? Bare had a more subtle idea: Blow up the well with lots of made explosives, and hope that the water diverted to other accessible water supplies. Sound plans all around, guys. Great . So Big im went back to Farmer Ollie’s crib, with D Phil (remember him?) as p of the posse. It’d been a long time since we’d seen Phil and he needed something to do, so why not hand him a gun and ask him to fight some farmers? Well, Phil got s during the clumsy ault on Farmer Ollie’s ranch, but Bare destroyed the well and then everyone decided to cease fire immediately. However, that didn’t stop unior from crackin’ his dad’s face with the butt of his GIANT sgun (yes, someone—Farmer Ollie—handed unior another huge gun in this episode) and taking im prier so they could out some issues.
Now’s probably a good time to mention that Big im had lied to unior about how unior’s died, even though it means nothing. Big im said she died in a accident, but Farmer Ollie hit unior with the truth: It was suicide! Admit it, if unior was your , you’d off yourself, too. The details aren’t important because the was just a way to put unior between Ollie and im, and after Big im cried his eyes out, d his pants, and admitted the truth while his held him at gunpoint, the title of the episode finally made sense. Family! It’s that’s “Thicker Than Water”! Mind exploded (from the gun I stuck in my mouth). unior chose over water and s Farmer Ollie dead because Farmer Ollie was going to shoot Big im dead. And that, , is why you don’t give unior a gun.
Anyway, the water was restored and the water crisis was averted again, this time thanks to guns and bombs and not the divine intervention of the dome. But all was not well between Big im and regular-sized Bare! Bare accused Big im of wanting Ollie’s well for power, and the two said macho things to each other along the lines of, “I don’t like you!” There’s your conflict for the rest of the sea.
Much less exciting was Norrie’s sadness over her ‘s death. Over the course of the episode, she blamed oe, she blamed her , and then she blamed herself as she moped around the house and made herself feel right at . She kicked oe out of his own living room and laid around Angie’s room like it was her own. What a rude guest! And where was Carolyn this week? According to Angie, she just plopped down in the room next to Alice’s corpse, waiting to bury it. That left Norrie to process her ‘s death all by herself, and of course she was going to lash out against everyone. Looks like Carolyn is already saying, “Not my kid, not my problem.” There’s a point for conservative s.
Fortunately, Angie can be a pretty cool chick when she isn’t locked in an underground bunker. Angie ed for Norrie and the two connected over a slightly corny but also slightly charming scene in which they threw Angie’s snowglobes-from-around-the-world collection at the dome in an overload of metaphors. Angie won’t be going to those places anymore, Norrie’s of Los Angeles is but a shattered and mry, and snowglobes = domes. Hey, this show has done a lot worse, and for once Angie smiled! (By the way, nice arms on both of those girls! Let’s get that Chester’s Mill Women’s Baseball League sted up now!)
Okay enough about relationships! Let’s get to the dome! While Norrie was mad at oe, oe decided to put some moves on ulia (not ly, but he had to have been thinking about it because he’s hornier than a buck), and he had an in because he’s the worst secret-keeper in the world. oe’s diarrhea mouth accidentally slipped the s about the egg to ulia for no goddamn rea, and then both of them went out into the woods to look at it and poke it. ulia put her hands on the egg and saw a oe-ghost saying, “The monarch will be crowned.” And it was only after ulia touched the dome that oe t ulia how, the last time he’d touched the dome, someone died. Nice timing, oe! Despite his awesome math skills, sometimes I think oe might have been kicked in the head a few times when he was a baby. If he and Norrie have a kid, it should be able to tie its own shoes by the time it’s 37 years .
Anyway, for the episode’s grand finale, people pondered what “The monarch will be crowned” meant and the camera swooped around to show that Angie had a Monarch Butterfly on her shoulder. I guess Angie is going to be the of all dome aliens or something? Or Chester’s Mill Water Festival Princess? Or Miss Dome 2013? I’m not sure. And from what I understand, this marks a g depure from what happened in the book, where Angie’s character takes a much different path.
“Thicker Than Water” may have been one of Under the Dome’s better episodes, but it wasn’t as fun or exciting as last week’s “Im Circles” and that worries me. I might sound , but the better the show gets, the less enjoyable it will be. For me, at least. The show has too far to go to actually be any good, and there’s no way it’ll ever get there, but if it plays its ds right it can be an entertaining guilty pleasure with goofy stories to make fun of, a central mystery that keeps us coming back each week, and ridiculous power struggles for a town that’s a total mess. The needle has moved all over the place in the series’ eight episodes but I think the we can hope for is mindless fun that we can laugh at. That’s what I want from the show. More episodes like “Thicker Than Water,” which was decent but not that interesting, and we’ll be dangerously close to just another forgettable summer series.
– One problem with the show getting better is that it doesn’t provide as much fodder for .GIFs and captions. I’m seriously disappointed.
– Why didn’t everyone just bow down or perform a rain before the Dome God to get another sprinkle? Have we already lost faith in the dome as a supreme being that’s worthy of worship? Where is my dome cult!?!? I would have sted a dome cult so fast, I already had purple robes picked out and everything.
– unior said it was his plan all along to be a Trojan Horse and destroy Farmer Ollie’s from the inside. Now, on the surface, that sounds ly dumb and obviously it isn’t true. But isn’t that exactly what an idiot like unior would say? I would have also accepted, “I meant to do that.” That might be the show’s character-defining ent to date.
– Big im’s g idea to keep Angie safe from unior was to kick the kid out of the house, where im couldn’t keep an eye on him? If I were a hormone-powered lunatic and I had an obsession with some and I got kicked out of the house, guess what I’d do? Yep, be that ‘s worst nightmare.
– oe, just admit that Norrie is your girl. You wanted to dome-bone her, that’s true .
– Why would oe be drawing the mini-dome and the egg? Seriously. That’s like me drawing a picture of the dead I buried in the des—NEVER MIND!
– It’s ly great that Angie wants to honor Rose by reopening the diner, but what is she going to sell? Homemade conversation?
– Farmer Ollie: “They’re gonna drum you out faster than a knife fight in a phone booth.” YES! More of these fake-sounding-but-true rural colloquialisms please!
– Now that Phil’s hurt, is Dodee in charge of the radio station? She’s probably getting the town all depressed by playing Sarah MacLachlan or something boring instead of spinning mind-melting psych jamz.
– One g problem with this episode: No Ben! Another g problem: No Dodee! And now we’ll never have Reverend Ar or Farmer Ollie back! Thankfully, unior ries enough weight, and he isn’t going anywhere. But bring back BEN, PLEASE!
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