Under the Dome Watch: Episode 8 - Thicker Than Water

Power plays are all the rage under the dome these days, aren't they? Whoever has the resources has the power. Ollie Dinsmore figured that out fast, but some people are a bit too transparent for their own good, making fast decisions and hoping no one's noticing. I'm mainly referring to Big Jim Rennie, who tries to pass himself off as a man of the people, but doesn't seem to be fooling anyone that matters.

Spoilers from Under the Dome (opens in new tab)'s "Thicker than Water" ahead!

Before we get into tonight's crisis, let's talk about Junior Rennie. Can someone please stop giving him a gun already? First it was Linda, who made the mistake of deputizing him after One display of good character from Junior earned him a badge and a weapon. Then he kills a guy he should have detained and Linda puts him on probation. Now, I get that she's short-staffed, and ok, the Dundee brothers weren't great guys, but shouldn't Junior's actions have demonstrated to Linda that he can't be trusted with a gun or that level of authority? Has Linda even tried to find some deputies to back her up? In Linda's defense, she did take away Junior's gun tonight, but probation seems like a mild sentence for what he did. That guy's execution should've been Junior's last official act as a local lawman.

Linda took the gun away. Ollie Dinsmore gave it back. Or he gave him Jim Rennie's gun. That brings us to the crisis of the week. Food supplies are running low, and they can't grow food without water, so Big Jim Rennie, Junior, Linda, Barbie and another deputy headed out to Dinsmore's farm to enforce eminent domain on the area, which would give them control of Dinsmore's well. Unfortunately for them, even if Junior had been armed they would've been out-manned by Ollie's guys. The deputy whose name I don't remember got shot in the kneecap in their attempt to take hold of the well, and that sent the rest of them heading for the hills. Well, all except for Junior, who decided to join Ollie's team, which meant getting to disarm his father. A nice little bit of revenge for Big Jim disowning him earlier.

While Jim concocted a plan to bring more guys out to Dinsmore's farm, Barbie and Linda came up with a better plan. Apparently, Dinsmore's well was syphoning water from other wells in the area. Destroying his well would divert water back to those other wells and give the town's water supply back to the people. I have no idea if that's really how wells and underground waterways actually work, so I'll believe it's as simple as blowing the well to pieces.

Barbie went about his plan, but wasn't able to stop Rennie from going about his, so the well blew while Rennie's small army was fighting Dinsmore's. And the second the well was out of the picture, Dinsmore's guys scattered like… people who scatter when they realize they have no reason to fight anymore. Apparently, the only reason they were people were fighting on Dinsmore's side was because he had the well. And let's face it, under these conditions, it's not a bad idea to side with the guy who has the water.

Dinsmore's play with the well was an attempt to dethrone Rennie. He thought if he had the well, it wouldn't be long before people pushed for him to be leader and Rennie would be without any power. Maybe that would've worked if there weren't enough people quick to act against this plan. What's more interesting is that Barbie later called Rennie out for making a play for the well, costing the lives of five people in the process. Barbie realized Big Jim wasn't in it for the town. He was after the well for the same reason Dinsmore was keeping such a tight grip on it. But blowing the well up fixed that issue as there's now water available to the public through the other wells, which I assume were up and running the second Dinsmore's well blew. But does it really fix the food problem? What if destroying the well messes up Dinsmore's whole irrigation system and his crops die. Then there's no food anyway. Maybe they didn't think this through, especially considering Dinsmore and his wealth of farmer's knowledge is now out of the picture.

During Junior's brief involvement with Dinsmore, he learned that his mother didn't die in a car accident. She committed suicide by crashing her car into a true. Dinsmore told Junior part of the story and Jim filled in the blanks when Junior had him at gunpoint. And when it came time to pull the trigger, Junior pulled it on Dinsmore, who was about to make a move. Was he going to kill Rennie? Maybe. Either way, Junior's body count just went up. Ollie Dinsmore's dead. Granted, he wasn't the nicest guy, but still. That's one more dead person in Chester's Mill, and one less farmer around to grow things.

Junior may have opted not to kill his father, but they're still on the outs, as Junior settled into a jail cell, announcing to Linda that has no home. He also claims he joined Dinsmore's team in an attempt to Trojan-horse them and take them down from within. Seems like a weak lie to me, but I guess it doesn't matter. In the end, Linda still shouldn't trust Junior.

In other news, Norrie is grieving over her mother's death and taking it out on Joe. She told him she thought it was their fault her mother died and that she didn't want to see him anymore. That left the two teens split up for the episode. Joe went off with Julia to show her the egg, while Norrie bonded with Angie, who changed her outfit! She's got a new shirt and either a clean pair of skinny jeans or the same ones she had on earlier. Either way, she's looking freshened up, which is cause to celebrate.

Angie cheered Norrie up by chucking snow-globes at the dome. While Angie presumably-temporarily released herself of the dream of escaping Chester's Mill, Norrie seemed to release some sadness by breaking stuff. And then she broke down and cried over her mother's death. It seemed like that needed to happen. She went through the stages, including anger at her mother for having taken her out of Los Angeles and across the country where they're now trapped. And then she succumbed to the guilt, blaming herself once again, maybe because she and Joe touched the dome, or because she was the reason they were in Chester's Mill to begin with. After which she hugged and apologized to Joe. So I'm thinking Norrie's still not ok, but maybe she'll at least have Joe at her side to get through the worst of it.

Joe's adventure with Julia led to the discovery that the mini-dome egg is now sparkling with pink stars. I'd say they're falling in lines, but they're floating upwards. Unless it's some weird reflection situation. When Julia touched the dome, she saw another Joe, dressed exactly like the one standing near her, who announced that "The monarch will be crowned."

I'll admit, it took me a few minutes to make the connection between monarch and butterflies. But I didn't connect it with Angie's tattoo. My thought was of the butterflies that flocked to the dome a few episodes back. That may have been when we first saw Angie's tattoo. If I remember correctly, there was a cut from the butterflies outside the dome to Angie's tattoo when she was still in the bunker. The thought vaguely crossed my mind at the time that there was a connection, but then I dismissed it as being nothing more than a clever cut away. It can't be a coincidence that they did it again tonight, especially as we heard the words repeated and the camera seemed to hold on Angie. Monarch butterflies are pretty common in North America from what I know. But is Angie the referenced monarch in some sort of figurative sense? Does the dome have something to do with her?

Once again, I'm curious to see if the dome's existence is to bring certain people together. Maybe it fell down at the exact moment that certain people - Norrie, Joe, Angie, Barbie, etc- all happened to be in the same vicinity at the same time. That's just a theory I'm working on. In the meantime, it seems pretty obvious that monarch is a reference to butterfly. And Angie has a butterfly tattoo.

We'll end this with a random observation. Julia said "I can't imagine losing a spouse like that" to Barbie when he was digging Alice's grave. Just a little reminder that she has yet to learn that she's a widow. That lie's still hanging out there, and it was difficult not to think about it as Barbie climbed into bed next to Julia. They're getting quite cozy, those two. How long before she finds out?

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.