UNDER THE DOME Recap: “Thicker Than Water”

     August 12, 2013


Under the Dome has the maddening ability to set up something good and then ruin it in execution.  The fight over water rights could have been an opportunity for this stupid town (and look, they really are) to wake up and actually consider the fact that they need to organize.  The groceries and marts have been looted, but so far no one seems to find it pertinent that they look to agriculture as an answer, save for Big Jim.  Also, he and Ollie talk a lot about the future crops to start the episode, but from my limited understanding of biology, most things don’t grow overnight.  Aren’t the townspeople the least bit concerned about how to feed themselves in the meantime?  Hit the jump for more on why “it’s the bitch’s own fault she’s dead.”

under-the-dome-thicker-than-water-mike-vogelOne of the worst conversations in “Thicker Than Water,” and a great example of what’s wrong with the denizens of Chester’s Mill, was the line Angie had about the diner needing food, that it would be good for it to open again.  Fine, the diner is a rallying point for the town.  Occasionally, people like to get coffee there (which apparently remains un-looted).  But is the diner high on the list for foodstuffs?  And what are people paying with, is it a bartering system, or does money still have some kind of nostalgic value?

“Thicker Than Water” did a good job with building more of the mythology of the show: there was the hologram of Joe, Angie’s new involvement with dome creepiness, “the monarch will be crowned,” and a possible connection with both birth and death as well as death and mini-dome.  But for every step forward the show took regarding the dome, it took two leaps back regarding everything else.

The show’s real downfall, which I harp on about every week, is the simple lack of awareness or care among the community about their situation.  Who are these nameless numbskulls who just follow Ollie and Big Jim around without thoughts of their own?  It leads to the big shoot out, killing five more people under the dome (but who cares since there’s not enough food to go around anyway), but it all turned out to be for naught.  Barbie rigged up an explosive device and used his apparent surveying skills and working knowledge of chemistry and physics to undo hundreds of years of water snatching.  As for the Ollie problem?  As if Barbie’s fix hadn’t already solved the problem, Junior put a bullet in Ollie just to be sure.  In Chester’s Mill, most problems can be solved with guns and explosives, it seems.

under the dome thicker than water britt robertsonWhere to begin with this? The show is killing people off, but to what purpose?  The only warranted death might have been Alice’s, just to show that there are real consequences to being trapped.  Otherwise, we really wouldn’t have a clue.  Other people die, and no one cares.  And the poor character development leaves us with scenes like Junior and Big Jim talking about Junior’s mother’s suicide without any feeling from viewers, because who cares about either of these characters?

The worst thing about Under the Dome is its squandered potential.  Each week there are moments that show how the series could be better than it is, and then the opposite happens.  Norrie and Angie smashing the snow globes was a great, cathartic moment for each of them.  Julia seeing “other” Joe was a neat clue about the glowing egg and its powers.  But everything else … what’s the point?

Episode Rating: C-

Musings and Miscellanea:

— Breaking Bad fans, isn’t it weirder than ever to see Dean Norris on this show now that the other one is back?

— The lemmings of Chester’s Mill all own guns and seem to all happen to have paramilitary training, even the hippy radio guy Phil (by the way, are they still picking up outside broadcasts?).

— I found it hilarious in all the wrong ways that Big Jim disowning Junior for five minutes left Junior just looking bored.  That kid is a terrible actor.

under the dome thicker than water dean norris— “Norrie is my girl-space-friend.” – Joe

— When Julia said, “I couldn’t imagine losing a spouse like that,” I hope she meant specifically and not generally, because as hot as Barbie is, I can’t believe she would have just forgotten already about her entire marriage.

— I do like Julia, though, and it was cute when she said “today I witnessed things that tempted the limits of my comprehension.”

— I had a feeling Junior might be a double agent, but I also couldn’t believe he would be smart enough or capable enough to pull it off.  Ultimately, he wanted to win back his father’s favor.  You can decide for yourselves if their “moment” had an impact on his decision or not, or was just a bonus moment of bonding between them.

— The baby / death conspiracy doesn’t seem to have much merit, since people are dying all of the time but only one baby has so far been born.

— Norrie fashion note: are shirts on top of dresses a thing?

— I rejoiced at Big Jim finally thinking to invoke eminent domain, but he should have done that weeks ago