Under the Dome: “Thicker Than Water”

We all know what is thicker than water. And much of it is spilled in this week’s episode of Under the Dome.

Under the Dome - Episode 1.08 - Thicker Than Water - Promotional Photos (10)_595Big Jim continues his quest to regain control of Chester’s Mill, with only one bad toothed farmer in his way.  Ollie controls the water and thus the irrigation when growing crops. Ollie’s plan: to keep a strangle hold on the food and water until the townsfolk usurp Big Jim from his political office. The feud between the two drags many of the townsfolk into an action packed gun fight. Adding a twist, Junior decides to disobey his father, joining with the enemy. A lie Big Jim told Junior a long time ago is unearthed by Ollie, pitting father versus son. Fathers and sons must be the theme of the week as I touched on that topic in my The Newsroom review a few days ago. “Thicker Than Water” took father and son relations to a more overt and serious level though. I guess that tends to happen when you point a shotgun at your dad’s head.

Of note, Alexander Koch, who plays Junior, has grabbed my attention. His compelling portrayal of a quality psycho is done with much care. It would have been easy to have Junior over-the-top. But more often than not, it is what lies behind his eyes that give us glimpses into Junior’s dark and twisted mind.

“Thicker Than Water” also reveals more from the new supernatural power in Chester’s Mill. After some prodding, Joe takes Julia to see the egg (which looks like a giant Easter Cream Egg – unwrapped of course). It has not only changed color since last episode, with its pretty pink lights glittering, but it is also speaking apparently to whoever touches its invisible casing. As Julia places her hands on the mini-dome, she sees an image of Joe who tells her, “The monarch will be crowned.” This sci-fi element is just enough to remind us of the supernatural state of things under the dome, for now at least. Human relations have taken top priority in the writing thus far. I hope the dome and this egg will get more screen time in weeks to come.

under-the-dome-thicker-than-waterSpeaking of human relations, poor Joe. He has discovered the other side of liking a teenaged girl. Norrie is grieving her mother’s death and taking her anger directly out on him. True to form, he remains in a constant perplexed state. It is charming and quite real. Joe offers the male population some good advice: be close by but don’t talk as much.

“Thicker Than Water” was a solid episode of Under the Dome. There is now enough intrigue and cliffhanger’s before commercial breaks to keep me invested in the series. The egg and the mention of the monarch are interesting plot pieces. They have sparked a curiosity, dangled there with the hope of a payoff. My wish is that the supernatural elements under the dome don’t linger. Surprisingly, Angie’s release from the bomb shelter was quicker than expected preventing it from becoming stale. Let’s hope the same holds true for the egg and dome. However, holding this week’s episode back was its predictability. Of course Barbie was going to play hero and find another way to secure the town’s safety. The climax was even more transparent, proving that a timeless statement, blood is thicker than water, holds true even under the dome.

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