Under the Dome Episode 8 Thicker Than Water continues story-lines from last week, with the conflict between Ollie and Big Jim escalating, with Ollie’s well being the source of the problem. The smaller dome found by Norrie and Joe has some new “tricks” to show, and we learn that a “Monarch will be crowned”. Curious to know what that means? So are we! Let’s get into this week’s episode recap of Thicker Than Water. We both provide commentary on the episode as well!
The Beginning: Angie’s Return Home; Norrie’s Mourning Begins
This week’s Under the Dome episode begins in Big Jim’s house. He wakes up, hearing a noise. He grabs his gun and begins searching the house. He finds Junior coming inside, and Junior asks him to put down the gun. Big Jim refuses, and tells him to get out. Big Jim then tells Junior he knows about the Dundee murder Junior did. He then tells Junior that, “You are just like your mother was at the end”, indicating his mother must have been a little off. Before leaving, Junior threatens that Jim better not talk about his mother that way again.
Barbie is digging a grave. Alice’s grave. It looks like she will not be saved by the dome, as I thought might happen. Julia comes to visit with him, and tells him that he is, “good at that”, referring to the grave digging. Carolyn and Norrie are still with Alice’s corpse, and had not left the body yet. Julia comments on how there was a birth and death basically the same time, in the same house.
Angie is finally back home, and is looking for food, commenting to Joe that he must be too busy with Norrie to go shopping for food. Joe says that there is basically nowhere to get food since the shops have been looted. Angie says that he should have stolen, but Joe says that he doesn’t want to. Joe asks where Angie was for so long, Angie plays it off though as, “being a screw up”. To change the subject, she suggests going to the diner to get some food. Norrie comes down the stairs as they are leaving, and Joe asks how she is. Norrie is rather cold, and snaps at Joe.
Angie and Joe arrive at the diner, and Julia is there too, drinking some coffee that Angie had made. Big Jim pays the diner a visit, and Angie confronts Big Jim about Junior approaching her again. Big Jim promises it won’t happen again, and to make it up to Angie, he is going to help her reopen the diner by getting some more food. Big Jim then seems to think that the dome is there to stay for a while, indicating that the only food they will get in the future will be “out of the ground”.
Joe has been sitting at a table, drawing with some crayons. He is drawing the smaller dome he and Norrie found last week. Julia sits down with him, asking what it is. He crumples the paper saying, “it’s nothing”. We then see the actual small dome with leaves swirling around it, and the black egg lighting up pink.
Escalation: Ollie and Big Jim’s Water War
It is time for another visit to Ollie for Big Jim. Big Jim seems to want to be diplomatic. Ollie asks what Jim has to offer, to which he says, “propane”. Ollie basically indicates he can do without. He then tells Big Jim his plan–to let Chester’s Mill starve until the people oust Big Jim.
Back at the police station, Barbie and Linda are discussing Barbie continuing his work as a “freelance” deputy, when they hear noises from the armory. We see Junior holding a shotgun. Linda demands that he doesn’t use a gun after the Dundee incident, and puts him on “probation”. Big Jim shows up, asking for Linda and Barbie’s help. Big Jim has a plan, which he discusses with Barbie and Linda “imminent domain”, seizing private property in emergency situations. Barbie seems skeptical of the plan, but Big Jim tells Linda to get Junior and another deputy and to prepare to head to Ollie’s farm.
Big Jim, Linda and Barbie head to Ollie’s farm, and it appears empty. Big Jim tells a deputy to secure the well, but Ollie and a few trucks pull up with several men aiming rifles at Big Jim and company. Ollie refuses to acknowledge Big Jim’s authority, and threatens anyone who does stand with Big Jim. To prove his point, he has a man shoot a deputy in the knee. Guns are drawn on both sides. Ollie demands that they leave. Junior however, decides to switch sides, siding with Ollie, and taking Big Jim’s pistol. Big Jim, Linda and Barbie leave, carrying the wounded deputy.
Back in town, Big Jim is refusing to give up on taking the well. He says he is going to round up volunteers. He plans to head back to Ollie’s in an hour. Barbie has come up with a different solution, which is to blow up Ollie’s well, to divert it to another well outside of his property. Barbie says he needs explosives, which can be found on Ollie’s farm.
At the diner, Big Jim is explaining the plan for taking the well. Linda and Barbie come to ask Big Jim to help them blow the well up. Big Jim demands making Ollie an example, to which Barbie then moves out on his own, while Linda attempts to delay the posse.
Back at Ollie’s farm, Junior and Ollie discuss Junior’s mother. Ollie then tells Junior that his mother’s death was not an accident, it was a suicide. Jim then asks Ollie to not kill Big Jim–that he wants to do it himself.
Meanwhile, Barbie has sneaked onto the farm, and begins the explosives manufacturing, using supplies he has found in a shed. Night has fallen, and Big Jim and his volunteers have shown up. Linda tries to delay them, but doesn’t succeed, and a gun battle between the two sides breaks out. Phil is wounded in the battle. Barbie finishes the explosives, and makes his way to the well to blow it up. He is attacked by one of Ollie’s men, but is able to dispatch him, and blow the well.
Big Jim’s soldiers leave, Big Jim demands that the soldiers stay, but they ignore him. Junior then surprises Jim, and knocks him out. Junior takes Jim to Ollie, and accuses him of blowing the well. Ollie’s men then leave, as their loyalty lies with the water supply, and not with Ollie.
The Smaller Dome: Revisited
Julia, Angie and Joe have come back home. Norrie is on the couch still very upset. Carolyn is still sitting with Alice’s corpse. Norrie then blames Joe for Alice’s death because they found the smaller dome with the egg inside and touched it. She says that she and Carolyn will be leaving when Alice is buried, and demands to be alone again.
Joe heads outside, looking at Alice’s grave. Julia approaches her, asking how he is. Joe tells her that Norrie blames her for Alice’s death. Julia lets Joe in on a “secret”: women say a lot of things they don’t mean. Joe then talks about how connected he feels to Norrie, and inadvertently tells Julia about the egg. Julia then demands to know about this “egg”, and demands that Joe take her to it.
Julia and Joe head into the forest, and Joe talks about the reason for the dome, and how it has brought him and Norrie together as well as Julia and Barbie. They approach the smaller dome, and the egg is now fully pink. Julia touches the dome, and sees Joe–another Joe, saying “The Monarch will be crowned” creepily. They leave the dome, with Julia visibly shaken. She tells Joe what she saw, but is freaking out herself. Joe then reveals that he saw Alice at the dome, and that she didn’t say anything. Joe then becomes concerned that he may have something happen to him next.
Back inside Joe and Angie’s house, Norrie is laying in Angie’s bed. Angie walks in, and they begin to talk about how Norrie ended up in Chester’s Mill. In the scene, we see Norrie handling a snow globe of Angie’s, and see a wall of them on shelves in her house. She was supposed to go to a girl’s camp named Second Horizons, to which Angie is very familiar with. Norrie then blames her mother for killing herself, since they would still be in Los Angeles if Norrie wasn’t forced to go to the girl’s camp. Angie then explains how she felt Chester’s Mill felt like a prison, and how she wants to go to every place she had in the snow globes on the wall.
Norrie and Angie then decide to go and have some fun with the snow globes, tossing them at the wall of the dome, breaking them. That is, until Norrie gets to the “Los Angeles” snow globe, which causes her to break down and cry, since that is home. She then blames herself for her mother’s death. Angie tries to comfort her, telling her it isn’t her fault.
Big Jim and Junior: The Truth Comes Out
At this point in the show, character paths begin to cross more. As Linda is driving Phil to the hospital, Joe and Julia are returning from the woods. Linda nearly hits Joe, as Joe walks by in a sort of daze. Linda scolds Joe for not being more careful. Julia asks how Phil is, Linda says he is fine, but tells them to stay out of the road.
Back at Ollie’s house, Junior is interrogating Big Jim about his mother’s death. Big Jim eventually tells the truth, that she aimed a car at a tree and rammed the car into it. Big Jim says he paid off the witness to the scene, and made it look like an accident. Duke helped with the cover up as well. Junior breaks down, and asks why Jim lied to him. Jim says he doesn’t want Junior to know that his mother choose to leave him. Ollie begins to see that Junior may not kill Jim, and takes aim. Junior shoots Ollie, killing him. Junior then tells Jim he believes his story, and returns Jim’s pistol to him.
The Wrap Up: Barbie and Jim Square Off; “The Monarch Will Be Crowned”?
Big Jim has returned to his office, pouring himself a drink, when of all people, Barbie comes in to talk. Barbie then sternly accuses Big Jim of getting people killed. He also accuses him of wanting to keep the well for himself. Big Jim tries to say that he solved the problem, and warns Barbie that he doesn’t want him as an enemy. Barbie warns Jim that , “there are two sides to that coin”.
Joe and Julia return back to Joe’s house, and Norrie is sitting at her mother’s still empty grave. Julia tells him to go talk to her. Norrie apologizes to Joe for being mean. Norrie says she is ready to bury Alice, and that they all waited for Joe.
Back at the police station, Linda runs into Junior, who is laying down in a holding cell. Junior tells Linda that Ollie is dead, because he was going to kill his father. Linda asks about him joining Ollie’s side, but Junior plays it off as a planned “Trojan horse thing”. Linda asks about him going home, and Junior says, “I don’t have a home”.
Back at Julia’s house, she is reading a magazine, and Barbie comes in sitting on the bed. Julia asks Barbie what he thinks of when she says, “The Monarch will be crowned”. Barbie seems confused, asking, “What are you talking about?” Julia responds with, “I wish I knew”. Immediately after this scene, the episode moves to Angie’s shoulder, which has a butterfly tattoo on it. She is watching Norrie and Joe talk beside Alice’s grave. The camera pans around to Angie’s face, with her still staring at Joe and Norrie. The camera immediately goes back to Julia, who repeats thoughtfully, “The Monarch will be crowned”
Josh’s thoughts on Episode 8: Thicker than Water
I thought this episode was pretty good. Big Jim is certainly becoming more out of control, and more people are starting to notice, notably Barbie and Sheriff Linda. It will be interesting to see their dynamic as more problems arise. I was disappointed to see Ollie die so quickly, as Big Jim and Ollie made a good adversarial relationship.
As for Junior. Was he really wanting to kill his father? Did he have a change of heart at the last second or was it really a “Trojan horse thing”? If I were to choose, I would say that the revelation that his mother committed suicide and Jim being able to manipulate Junior with that information is what saved Big Jim’s life. I don’t think that Junior had thought so far ahead to turn traitor on Ollie.
Sheriff Linda seems to trust Barbie more so than Big Jim it seems. It was a bit of a gamble that blowing the well would work out ok, as Big Jim did have a point–if the explosion went wrong nobody could have water. Clearly Big Jim had ulterior motives in mind, but the point was valid. So is the water problem really solved now? Where is the water going to be welled from? Who is going to control the flow? Hopefully this is addressed, and isn’t left open.
So what is this “Monarch” to be “Crowned”? Based on the ending scene, it looks like Angie may be the Monarch in question. Does crowned mean head of Chester’s Mill? Does this foreshadow that Big Jim’s reign will be ending? Clearly it has to do with Angie based on the ending, but how remains to be seen.
Violet’s thoughts on Episode 8: Thicker than Water
I actually thought this episode was pretty good, as it had some interesting conflicts arise, and we get some enlightening background on some of the characters.
First off, there’s Barbie, digging a grave, which Julia ironically compliments him on, not knowing that he recently dug a grave for her own husband. It was also interesting to find out what happened to Junior’s mother, and that Junior must have inherited her psychological problems. It almost makes me feel sorry for Big Jim, that he had a crazy wife who committed suicide, and now it looks like his son is heading in the same direction. I also almost agreed with Big Jim’s point that if Barbie blew the well, that might mean no water for anyone. Granted, he probably just wanted to be the one in control and make an example of Ollie, but at the same time, it was a good point, and we have seen that Big Jim most often really does care about what happens to the town. Sometimes it makes it hard for me to look at Big Jim as the bad guy when we see what has has had to go through, and that he sincerely wants to take care of the town. Especially with Ollie being the easy to hate villain the past couple episodes, it has really downplayed Big Jim as the bad guy. However, this feeling could also stem from the fact that I’m used to seeing Dean Norris play the good guy in Breaking Bad, which has coincidentally just returned…
I also like that we got a little background on Angie’s troubled past, and learned that she had been caught stealing, which is why she became a Candy Striper, as community service. I did think it was a little odd and confusing in the first episode when she was working as a Candy Striper one minute, and at the diner the next. Definitely wondering what “The Monarch will be crowned” means though, and what it has to do with Angie. Monarch butterflies have been a prevalent, albeit subtle, theme throughout the past few episodes of the show, with the large swarm of them landing on the outside of the Dome on Visitors Day, and since then you’ll randomly see one flying around. What is the deal with the mini dome though? Why is the egg lighting up pink? Will it actually give in to Norrie’s demands at the end of last episode that it not take her mother? After all, we have not actually seen Alice’s body be buried yet, it’s just been upstairs behind closed doors with Carolyn. Just how supernatural will this show go? I suppose that remains to be seen, and hopefully we find out the meaning behind “The Monarch will be crowned” soon!