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Under the Dome - Episode 1.08 - Thicker Than Water - Review

After the rocky start the show experienced in it's first few episodes, the last four episodes have been pretty solid. Each building on the previous episode, while also telling a relatively self contained story. "Thicker Than Water" is another episode in that trend, taking the revelation and death from last week, and expanding upon that.  

This week the war for resources continued as it now was food that lead to conflict. Anticipating the fact that the dome might not go anywhere soon, crops needed to be grown so that Chester's Mill won't run out of food anytime soon. So Big Jim (played by Dean Norris) went to Ollie (played by Leon Rippy) to secure the food he was growing and water to grow crops elsewhere in town. Of course Big Jim and Ollie couldn't come to terms, especially after Big Jim took  back the propane last week. So an armed conflict seemed inevitable, even if Barbie (played by Mike Vogel) did his best to steer clear of that.

Junior's (played by Alexander Koch) changing sides felt as predictable as anything after his father kicked him out and changed sides again when Ollie was losing in the end. The moment he and Big Jim shared when Junior had the gun pointed at his father rang hollow as there is no connection as a viewer to Junior's character. Also didn't the title of the episode give away the conclusion of that story line? I was happy to see Ollie go, but I feel it just postponed the showdown with Junior for another week. What is it that the writers see in this character that most of us don't? 

I liked how Barbie took a bigger stand against Big Jim, by wanted to blow up the well to limit casualties. After the dust of the shootout and explosion settled, Barbie figured out exactly why Big Jim didn't want him to blow up the well. Big Jim wanted it for himself to control. Their meeting at the end of the episode made it seem like these two are on a collision course. And how far gone is Big Jim? Being able to rationalize every life taken in his pursuit for power and control?

It was good to see sheriff Linda (played by Natalie Martinez) take away Juniors gun at the beginning of the episode, it's these little details that can make a good show great. She also seems more suspicious about Junior, like at the end of the episode when Junior claimed to be a Trojan horse in Ollie's camp. 

The other big thing happening was Joe (played by Colin Ford) taking Julia (played by Rachelle Lefevre) to the miniature dome and the black egg that resides within it. When they arrived I half expected it to be gone, but luckily it was still there. Only it was more a combination of pink and black now. Julia touched the dome and a vision of Joe appeared next to Joe saying ''The monarch will be crowned''. Showing the monarch butterfly tattoo on Angie's (player by Britt Robertson) shoulder again this episode, after appearing in an earlier episode, might have been a bit too much for my taste. It took all the mystery out of the question who 'the monarch' could be. Though what this 'crowning' entails remains to be seen.

There also was the breakup and getting back together of the 'relationship' between Joe and a grieving Norrie (played by Mackenzie Lintz). It was nice to see Angie and Norrie connect, the part where they threw snow globes at the dome was especially heartfelt as Norrie broke down and was comforted by Angie. 

I also loved the moment when Julia jokingly says "How was your day, honey?" as Barbie walks into the bedroom. But by no means was it a perfect episode, the same issues still plague the show with moments that are disconnected. Because we can't latch onto some of the characters (like how I barely cared when Phil (played by Nicholas Strong) got shot) or characters saying some cringe-worthy lines. Or blatant lies like Joe who says he has been looking for Angie all week. 

Despite all that, the shows better moments outnumber the bad moments and, in combination with the ratings, it's status as a summer hit has been well earned. 

7/10

Pascal Buijnsters Pascal's a Dutchman and has been a longtime commentator on SpoilerTV and started out as a writer for SpoilerTV last year. He is quite a TV addict and writes for a local, Dutch, newspaper. Next to that he's into soccer for his local team, a gamer and a fanatical swimmer. He writes previews and reviews for SpoilerTV for a variety of shows.

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