As usual: This post contains spoilers about episode 8 of Under the Dome (titled “Thicker than Water”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.
Wow. Okay. This show has managed to raise the bar on WTF. Granted, it hasn’t hit Sharknado levels (yet), but…wow.
The episode opens with Junior going home, even though Big Jim kicked him out. (I don’t even know why Junior would do this. Clearly he’s got daddy issues. Though I’d probably be batshit crazy too if I had Big Jim for a dad.) So Big Jim apparently knows that Junior killed that Dundee brother, who is apparently actually dead now, and is unhappy about it. (But…why? It’s not like Big Jim’s all innocent. Remember Reverend Lester? And that propane guard from last week?)
Anyway, Big Jim’s all, “You’re not my son!” and then something about Junior’s mother, which makes Junior go, “You DID NOT JUST INSULT MY MOTHER” and Big Jim’s like, “Oh yes I did.” The only thing missing was the finger snap. (Kidding. This dialogue didn’t actually happen. Though it might’ve made the episode more entertaining if it had.) Also, what’s up with the mother? Big Jim uses her as an insult a lot.
And then we go to Barbie digging a grave (presumably for Alice). By himself. With a shovel. And he does it PERFECTLY. Because OF COURSE he does.
Inside the house (I assume this grave is at Joe and Angie’s house because that’s where Alice died), Angie’s searching the kitchen for food and asks Joe why he hasn’t gone grocery shopping. Joe’s reply is, “But looting! And no food!” and Angie’s all, “Ugh, fine, we’ll go to the diner” because I guess the diner still has food in its pantry. Before they go, Joe tries to comfort Norrie, but then the ominous music started playing so I couldn’t figure out if Norrie was grieving or plotting murderous revenge. Or both.
On the subject of food, Big Jim goes to Ollie’s farm and proposes a partnership: they work together to provide food and water — Ollie grows the crops and controls the well, while Big Jim provides the propane to run shit. Ollie’s all, “NO I WANT TO RULE THIS TOWN I WILL OUST YOU IN A COUP JUST WAIT AND SEE” and Big Jim’s like, “Oh you think so, do you? I DON’T THINK SO.” Meanwhile, I want to throat punch both of them because oh my god WTF is wrong with these two?
So Big Jim, because he’s Big Jim, hatches a plan to confiscate Ollie’s farm under some random bylaw to a) get revenge for being humiliated, and b) get control of the well. As backup, he’s bringing the police and whatever “volunteers” he can draft into his crazy ass armed raid plan.
So Big Jim, the police (all three of them, including Junior, who’s on probation for killing that one Dundee brother), and the random townspeople who now get to use guns go off to Ollie’s farm. Ollie shows up with his farmer henchmen, who are more competent as bad guys and criminals than Big Jim’s henchmen ever were, so props to Ollie for that. Ollie refuses to turn over his farm and refuses to acknowledge the town bylaw. Then he threatens to withhold all food and water from the town because threatening! And then there’s a standoff and shooting and shit.
Then Junior switches sides and allies with Ollie. Because what the fuck?
But enough about the boys in the sandbox for a moment. Let’s visit Norrie and Joe! If you’ll remember, Norrie’s mom Alice died last week. Norrie seems to be going through the stages of grief, though she seems to have skipped the denial stage and has just gone straight to anger. At this point she blames Joe for Alice’s death, because Alice had the heart attack right when they touched the little dome. And OF COURSE it’s Joe’s fault that they touched the little dome because it was his idea to go look for the dome’s power source with his weird “the dome is an atom” thing.
Joe, because he seems to lack the ability to empathize with anyone, goes to the diner with Angie and draws a picture of the little dome with the dome-egg. Which Julia sees. And then Joe tells her about it. (OMG JOE WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.) So Joe and Julia go off to see the little dome and its pet egg, which is now glowing pink. (Does this mean that it’s communicating with whatever entity put it there? Ooo…aliens! Maybe?) Julia then touches the little dome (because of course she does) and sees another Joe saying, “The monarch will be crowned.”
Because THAT makes sense. (Later, we see Angie with a monarch butterfly tattoo. Which…ugh. Seriously.)
Then Julia tells Joe what she saw, and Joe’s reply is, “You saw me? But we saw Alice when we touched the dome and then she died! DOES THAT MEAN I’M GOING TO DIE OMG WAAHH.”
And then we see Norrie and Angie throwing snowglobes (that I think Junior gave Angie) at the dome because it’s cathartic or something. Um, okay.
All right. So, back to the boys who can’t play well in the sandbox.
After Ollie pretty much humiliates Big Jim in front of a bunch of people for not falling on his knees to worship/turn over the farm like Big Jim wanted, Big Jim’s all pissy because I don’t know, maybe he feels emasculated or something.
So OF COURSE Big Jim wants to go back for more standoff and shooting. He’s all, “We go back and TAKE THE WELL!!” And Linda, because she’s all idealistic and shit, replies with, “But DIPLOMACY!” And Barbie, because he’s the Marty Stu of the series, comes up with an alternate solution and says, “We should blow up Ollie’s well and divert the water to ALL THOSE OTHER DRIED OUT ARTESIAN WELLS! Then Ollie can’t control the water!” And Big Jim replies with, “Mrah *chest-thumping* I RULE THIS TOWN AND WE WILL DO THIS MY WAY *chest-thumping* MRAH!”
Meanwhile, on Ollie’s farm, Junior and Ollie are bonding in this weird revenge-against-Big-Jim moment. Then Ollie tells Junior that his mom didn’t actually die in a car accident; she died in a car accident of her own making (ie she committed suicide). Junior’s all, “No she wouldn’t do that YOU’RE LYING.” Ollie’s like, “I would NEVER. But your dad totally would.” And Junior’s all, “RAWR I WILL KILL HIM!!!”
And I’m like, “Jesus Christ, seriously?”
So yeah, the raid is on for that night. People start gathering at the edge of the farm with Big Jim, but Barbie sneaks onto Ollie’s farm to blow up the well. Because what. I don’t even. So Big Jim does his “Mrah! *chest-thumping*” bit and tells people where to go with their guns and all that.
Linda then says they should wait. And Big Jim realizes that Barbie isn’t with the group and he’s all, “Did Barbie go to blow up the well? MRAH MY PLAN MRAH!!!” With chest-thumping. And guns.
And then Barbie actually does blow up the well (after fighting one of Ollie’s farmer-henchmen dudes in hand to hand combat, of course). Predictably, Big Jim is all, “MRAH MY PLAN IS RUINED DAMN YOU BARBIE MRAH *chest-thumping*.”
People run away, blah blah blah, and then Junior appears out of nowhere and hits Big Jim in the face with the butt of his gun. Big Jim is taken to Ollie, who’s posturing and trying to be threatening and all that. Then his henchmen leave and he goes after them with his gun. Which conveniently leaves Big Jim and Junior alone for a few minutes — just long enough for Junior to ask why Big Jim lied about his mother all those years ago. While being his normal psychotic self, of course.
So Big Jim explains that Junior’s mother was “already unstable” and ran out after they had a fight. She got in the car and drove into a tree going like 80mph or something. And then Big Jim and Police Chief Duke covered it up. (Aside, if she was already unstable, wouldn’t you GET HER HELP? You know, BEFORE she drove herself INTO A TREE? Honestly these people.)
Junior: But WHHHYYYYY????
Big Jim: I didn’t want you to know she chose to leave us WAAAHHH.
Ollie (who has come back from chasing his henchmen, apparently): HE LIES!
So Junior shoots Ollie.
Because THAT makes sense.
Anyway, with Ollie now dead, Big Jim’s back to being the big man on campus and he’s his old smug self again. Barbie confronts him and is all, “People DIED because of you. You should’ve LISTENED TO ME. Blowing up the well wouldn’t have killed anyone! And IT WORKED! You didn’t want to blow it up because you wanted the well so you could CONTROL THE TOWN!! Mrah *chest-thumping* mrah!”
Big Jim, now that he’s comfy and secure in his position of power, is all threatening and “You do NOT want me as an enemy.” And Barbie’s like, “Ditto, dude.” (Remember, Barbie is an ex-military bookie’s enforcer. Big Jim is…I don’t even know.)
And then Junior’s back at the station and tells Linda he was a Trojan horse and destroyed Ollie from THE INSIDE.
Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.