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Under The Dome Season 1, Episode 8 Review

Under The Dome Season 1, Episode 8 Review

under-the-dome-thicker-than-water‘Thicker Than Water’

Whilst still licking the wounds inflicted by Alice’s death last week, Monday night’s episode of Under the Dome said goodbye to another key character. This time it was slimy Ollie Dinsmore and what a satisfying sayonara it was. With the townsfolk squabbling over Ollie’s well and Big Jim’s Chester’s Mill reign in jeopardy, it was left up to the Barbie and Junior to sort the situation out, though not together of course – somehow I don’t see these two ever being BFFs. In their own slightly dysfunctional ways, Barbie and Junior save the day by doing what they both do best – disobeying orders.

Up until now, Big Jim has been portrayed as the big bad, but Ollie Dinsmore’s introduction as someone who’s just as despicable and dishonourable shifts our number one enemy focus. Instead we’re rooting for Big Jim’s quest, which sees him attempt to commandeer the well from Dinsmore in the name of ‘the town’. Hasn’t Big Jim realised that he’s not fooling anyone with that rubbish yet? Despite looking like he’s never had a bath or seen the inside of a schoolroom, Ollie Dinsmore isn’t as dim as he appears. Knowing that his well is the key to the town, he finds himself with enough allies at his side to ruffle Big Jim’s feathers and not even Sheriff Linda can help.

Having failed at attempting to seize the well, Big Jim is further dismayed when Junior switches sides. It’s like Christmas come early for Ollie, who revels in scoring one up on Big Jim yet again, and he welcomes Junior into his camp with open arms. Junior’s betrayal doesn’t come as a surprise, bearing in mind that Big Jim had, only a few hours earlier, pointed a gun at him, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. Phew. This ‘betrayal’ is Junior’s Trojan horse, a way for him to bring Ollie down from the inside, which he does in swift fashion with Ollie’s own gun.

After a less than exciting gunfight, where numerous townsfolk lose their lives, Barbie takes matters into his own hands by blowing up the well so that the water can flow back into the reservoir (or something else really clever and convenient). As ever the problem is quickly resolved and, as ever, Barbie is to thank. Believing that the people who were killed in the gunfight died as a result of Big Jim’s ego, Barbie gets all sanctimonious with a holier-than-thou speech, which would have been admirable if Barbie wasn’t a murderer too. Has he forgotten he’s shacked up with the wife of the man he killed?

Whilst the action isn’t quite as thrilling as you want it to be, we find out that Junior’s mum’s death in a car crash was not an accident but in fact suicide – something Big Jim had covered up with the help of dearly departed Duke. It’s here that Big Jim breaks down, sobbing his heart out as he tells Junior he lied because he didn’t want his son to know the horrible truth. For a minute you feel sorry for this pitiful father/son duo, messed up by a woman who chose to kill herself rather than stay with them. This is the first real chance we get to see how broken and tormented Junior and Big Jim are, but also the lengths they’ll go to in order to protect each other. Dean Morris is tremendous in this scene and really manages to tug at the old heartstrings.

Meanwhile on the other side of town, in what seems like a completely different series, the monopoly game continues. Norrie blames Joe for Alice’s death and tells him to stay away from her – a bit rich considering she’s a guest in Joe’s house. Poor, sweet Joe looks like a rebuffed puppy but he respects her wishes, leaving his own house to give her space.

With Angie’s return last week, it’s nice to see her and Joe reunited as brother and sister, giving the series a lightness against the backdrop of death and guns blazing. Joe reluctantly spills the beans about the mini dome and its egg to Julia, our wondrous ‘reporter’ who gets Joe to take her to the mini dome. When she touches it she sees a similar vision to the one Joe and Norrie saw last week, but instead of Alice appearing in front of her, she sees another Joe who utters the words ‘The Monarch will be crowned’.

As Julia repeats the phrase to a baffled Barbie, and Joe and Norrie repair their friendship at the end, the camera spins round a smiling Angie…who happens to have a very pretty Monarch butterfly tattoo on her shoulder. It’s here that we start to connect the dots and it’s a nifty little trick that sets up the narrative for next week. Is Angie the Monarch? Whatever that means…

★★★

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