Under the Dome Season 1, Episode 8 “Thicker Than Water” Review

Rating: 4.1

Remember how last week’s episode of Under the Dome had my emotions in a knot? Well, this week’s trainwreck of an episode, “Thicker Than Water”, had me cringing through intermittent bouts of laughter. I know that technically this series is supposed to be a drama, but it has become the unintentionally hilarious highlight of my week.

Ollie and Big Jim are still locked in their pointless battle for control over supplies. This power struggle comes to a climax for the two scowling, bitter older men. It gets to the point where Ollie sets up his own camp of would-be soldiers to guard the resources from the rest of the town (Big Jim to be exact.) Of course, this doesn’t fly with the desperate citizens of Chester’s Mill. The rest of the town decides to fight back…with poor “military” strategies and a hell of a lot of firearms.

It’s up to Barbie to come up with a brilliant plan! In typical Under the Dome fashion, he goes straight for the explosives. Why is this everyone’s NUMBER ONE solution to every problem? What ever happened to good ol’ fashioned communication and compromise? No, screw that. Let’s just blow up the town’s only source of water instead.

The whole Ollie/Junior tag team storyline had me reaching in vain for the remote to change the channel. We learn that Junior is resentful over his mother’s death and his father’s involvement. And the fact that, because he likes to kidnap girls as a hobby, he got kicked out of the house. Solution? Let’s kill daddy! If everyone could stop supplying the town psychopath with ammunition, this entire useless subplot could be eliminated and Chester’s Mill could rest much easier.

We also had Joe and Julia working together to solve the mystery of the mini-dome. This week, Julia hallucinates a second Joe who cryptically says, “The monarch will be crowned.” We are lead to believe that the mysterious butterflies are somehow linked to this strange message. Also, are Joe’s drawings causing Hell’s Easter Egg to glow and activate?

The development of Junior and Big Jim’s relationship was all over the map. First, Junior hates his father. This leads to Junior trying to kill his father. Ollie acting as the little devil on Junior’s shoulder prompts Junior to learn the truth about his mother’s death from Big Jim. When it’s revealed that his mother left and died due to her “instability”, suddenly father and son are all tears and cuddles. That whole thing was resolved faster than a 90s family sitcom. Consistency is the key if you’re trying to stress a major conflict between two stubborn characters.

I really wanted to see an actual funeral for Alice, giving Norrie and Carolyn time to bond and console one another through their grief. Instead, we got an extremely bitter and pissed off Norrie and zero Carolyn. The fact that Alice and Carolyn’s relationship was highlighted in the last episode and not even given the time of day this week is ridiculous. Showing Alice’s grieving widow would have given the audience so much emotional connection, but the episode just skimmed right over it.

I did like snowglobe-smashing scene between Norrie and Angie. In a show that’s so plot heavy, the moments where we get to see an intimate character study are so refreshing. It was also the one time that Angie wasn’t completely useless. Four for you, Angie. You go Angie!

To summarize, this show is going downhill fast. The subplots are getting unbelievably ridiculous, the characterizations are sketchy at best, and the writing is comical in its attempt to be dramatic. My advice? Escape from Under the Dome while you still can.

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