The dome may not be showing any signs of cracking, but the same can not be said about the state of Chester's Mill. After a missile failed to penetrate the dome, people are starting to fully grasp the severity of the situation. This dome isn't going anywhere anytime soon and there's only so much food, water and energy to go around. There's even less insulin, which posed a pretty major problem for Alice. That was just a crisis waiting to happen, and during "The Endless Thirst," it did.
Every week there's been a new crisis under the dome, some more familiar to those of us who've read the books than others. Tonight's crises involved the mentioned insulin situation for Alice, which led to the water shortage and less directly, the supermarket run.
We'll start with Alice, since she accidentally triggered the water situation. She's out of insulin, which led to her being feverish and disoriented enough to wander in front of a truck that just so happened to be driving through town. Were there appliances that needed to be delivered? Whatever. In his attempt to avoid hitting Alice, the truck driver hit the town water tower, causing an instant water shortage. We'll get to that problem in a minute. While Carolyn and Alice were at the hospital, Norrie and Joe set out to find more insulin, using stolen medical information as their guide. There are nearly two dozen diabetics in Chester's Mill, so it stood to reason that there might be some insulin out there, though it's just as reasonable to consider that all of it was spoken for.
Norrie and Joe got a shotgun pulled on them by one diabetic who'd already used up all of his insulin. And at another house, they found more than a few doses, which belonged to a child barely old enough to inject himself. As desperate as Norrie was to save her mother, she couldn't steal medicine from a kid. Well, not all of his medicine. She took one bottle and left the rest just as the kid's mother came home and ordered them to leave. So Alice is ok for now, but what happens when she's due for her next dose?
While this was going on, the town of Chester's Mill turned to chaos as people began to panic over dwindling supplies. Fresh off celebrating not being blown to bits by the missile that demolished the area outside the dome but left Chester's Mill untouched, the residents' concerns about the water supply turned to concerns about food, which led to a run on the grocery store. Linda, Barbie and Junior attempted to restore order, but it was a lost cause. Or almost lost.
Rose was killed by two looters who came into her diner to raid her freezer. One of them beat her to death with a bat, which was pretty horrific, though not entirely out of place when we consider the dark nature of the source material, particularly as it relates to the town riot. Rose's death is relevant not only because it creates more fugitives for the local law to track down, but also because she was the only person Angie told about Junior Rennie kidnapping her, and Big Jim's involvement. Is it weird to admit that I had a strong feeling the moment Rose said she believed Angie that she was either lying or going to die soon? Maybe it was because of the way Rose didn't seem to want to believe Jim would have locked her up again, or the fact that it was just Rose and Angie in the room at the time. Something about it seemed off, I guess. As though this situation wasn't over for Angie, one way or the other.
Angie was tonight's big cliffhanger, as she sat with Big Jim Rennie, contemplating the deal he was offering her. If she keeps silent about Junior's mental instability and his locking her in the bunker, Jim will see that she gets anything she wants or needs. He's essentially offering her the opportunity to blackmail him. Angie's response was to say she'll think about it, which just seemed crazy, all things considered. As ridiculous as hitting Junior over the head with a snow globe, in fact. I like Angie, but she doesn't seem to know how to assess her immediate situation. At the start of the episode, Junior seemed to be softening up toward the whole situation. She might have been able to ease her way out of the room and away from Junior without resorting to violence. But we'll give her a pass for panic on that one. But what exactly did she think her options were when Big Jim offered her that deal at the end of the episode? Did she think if she said no he was just going to let her go? "Yeah, ok, you think about it," Big Jim would say. "Go on home, have a bath and get back to us on your decision, or else head to the sheriff's department and report Junior and me. Either/or." Not likely. But we didn't get to see what Jim's response would be because Junior showed up and stared them both down until the credits rolled.
As for the water shortage, though the lake water was polluted by methane, and Ollie Dinsmore was less than wiling to cooperate with Big Jim Rennie to let the town use his well, the dome fixed that issue by letting it rain. Or condensation kicked in just in the nick of time. Either way, the rain showed up just as Linda was about to shoot one of the looters and the town got busy bucketing water. Another crisis averted for now. Not sure what will happen about the food shortage, but that may be addressed next week, along with the death of Rose. I suspect most people involved in the looting will feel some guilt over that loss, considering how well liked she seemed to be. I'd like to see how Big Jim deals with it if and when they catch the guys who were responsible.
What else did we learn from the episode? Thanks to Dodie's radio gadgetry, she and Julia were able to figure out that there was some kind of signal coming from inside the dome, which they accidentally tracked to Joe and Norrie, revealing that these two have some kind of connection to the dome. After re-activating the radio signals by touching the dome together, the two kids showed Julia and Dodie the video of their seizure. Later, in private, the two women agreed not to say a word to anyone about this discovery. Given the chaos that ensued at the supermarket, who knows what people would do if they thought Joe and Norrie had something to do with the dome?
We also learned that Ollie Dinsmore had some kind of fence dispute fifteen years ago that put him at odds with Big JIm Rennie.
Finally, Julia and Barbie kissed! That seemed inevitable. They're both too pretty not to spark, and now that Julia thinks Peter left her, she probably feels like she's off the hook with her marriage. And now that she and Barbie have finally kissed, it seems like it's only a matter of time before she learns he had a hand in Peter's death. Speaking of which, we saw a bit more of Barbie's temper tonight when he was chasing down and attacking a looter who hit him with a can of soda, and later when he was fighting one of the guys that attacked Rose and Angie. Is it me, or does Barbie seem a little unstable? During both incidents, it seemed like he lost his mind for a moment, which isn't good. Is that the dome? Or does he have some anger issues he needs to work on? Either way, at the very least, he appears to know he shouldn't be wearing a badge, which is more than can be said about Junior Rennie.
By the Book
The supermarket riot is most surely inspired by one of the darker scenes in Stephen King's book, though things played out a little bit differently. Rose dying at the hands of looters was a definite shift. As was Angie's involvement in that scenario, but that's always going to be the case as long as Angie's around.
Joe and Norrie's connection to the dome seems like a bit of a twist. The seizures exist in the book but I don't remember that really going anywhere beyond prophesying the pink stars and the general time frame for when things were going to come to a head. I'm wondering if maybe in the TV series, the dome exists to bring Norrie and Joe together. What if the dome's purpose is to force these two kids together to fulfill some bigger purpose? That would be an interesting twists, wouldn't it?
And that about covers it. We have cause to celebrate today, not only because it rained inside the dome, but because CBS has officially renewed the series for a second season. And Stephen King's going to write the Season 2 premiere episode, which is even more reason to celebrate the renewal. The series is burning through story pretty quickly already, so it's exciting to know the author will be actively involved in whatever new content is generated for the story going forward.