“Under the Dome” recap (1.8): Knife Fight in a Phonebooth

Hey y’all. This week’s episode didn’t have any Carolyn or (sob) Alice, so the recap is going to be brief. Cool? Cool.

Now that Angie is back home with her brother, Junior figures his dad will welcome him back like a faithful old dog. Instead, Big Jim greets him like he’s Old Yeller, and threatens to shoot him. He also says that Junior’s mom was crazy and so is Junior, because Big Jim has a blind spot the size of his bald spot when it comes to his family.

The next morning, Angie takes it upon herself to reopen Rose’s diner. This show is super proud of its butterfly metaphor, and so far it applies best to Angie, who emerged from that bunker a strong, shrewd woman.  She uses her leverage with Big Jim to have him score some food to keep the diner stocked.

dome8.1I so hope she is the monarch.

Of course, the only person with food or water is Old Farmer Toothless, who is about as likely to help Big Jim as he is to invest in Invisalign. For as long as Jim is in power, Toothless resolves to keep the well all to himself. And the more Big Jim and Toothless try to puff themselves up and act like big, powerful men, the more they come off as petulant children. Jim tries to call imminent domain on the well and Toothless retaliates by shooting one of the deputies in the kneecap. Junior is impressed by this show of force against a father he always thought was invincible, and joins Team Toothless. He even emasculates his father by stripping him of his pistol, in some phallic imagery almost too obvious to be believed.

So Carolyn spends this whole episode upstairs, keeping vigil by Alice’s body. But Norrie comes down, dealing with her hurt like a wounded animal, lashing out at anyone who gets close. Of course, the first person who tries to comfort her is Joe, but she pushes him away, saying that they probably killed Alice by touching the mini-Dome together. And the casting of Joe and Norrie as is so perfect, not just because they look like plausible siblings, but because they both have sad faces that just break your heart.

dome8.2Oh, puppy.

Anyway, when Julia tries to console Joe, he blurts out the truth about finding the black egg, and they go off to look at it. This time, though, the egg is crowded with pink stars, which I think may represent conflict or high emotion within the Dome. Julia touches the mini-Dome and has a vision of Joe, riddling about how “the monarch will be crowned,” whatever that means.

While they’re investigating, Angie takes Norrie under her wing. It turns out they have a lot in common, including a history of juvenile delinquency. To blow off some steam, they smash Angie’s snow globe collection against the Dome, which is pretty baller. It’s enough to make Norrie open up about who she really blames for Alice’s death: herself. She cries and Angie holds her and anytime two female characters comfort and support each other on television it’s a fucking miracle, so I am just eating it up with a spoon.

dome8.3

Predictably, Big Jim’s solution to the water crisis is to invade Toothless’ farm with a gang. But Sherriff Linda and Barbie have both seen West Side Story and know that this will only end in meaningless death. Their brilliant plan is to explode Toothless’ well, in hopes of diverting the water to a location where everyone can access it. And much as I appreciate their motives, and concur that neither Big Jim nor Toothless deserve a monopoly on power, THIS IS A STUPID IDEA.

dome8.4IN THIS TOWN WE ESSPLODE PROPANE, NOT WATER.

OVER AT–excuse me, I’m still upset about the water thing–over at Toothless’ farm, the croaky-voiced yokel tells Junior the truth about his mother’s death:  it was a hushed-up suicide. Junior reacts to this news as he reacts to most news: with blind, vengeful rage. He vows to kill his father, and Toothless rewards him with a really big penis-gun to do the deed.

While Jim, Sherriff Julia, and the rest of the posse gear up to attack the farm, Barbie sneaks into Toothless’ shed to assemble his bomb, all the while singing the MacGyver theme song and making up his own lyrics.

dome8.5“Good idea, good idea/I’m so fuckin sure this is a good idea.”

He finishes the bomb a little late. By the time he blows up the well, two townies and three farmers have died. With nothing left to fight over, the rest of the mob scatters, Junior knocks Big Jim cold and drags him inside. Naturally, Jim talks Junior out of killing him, by saying that he was trying to protect him by keeping the truth about his mother’s death a secret. Since his father’s love is all he ever really wanted, this is more than enough to motivate him to save his dad and shoot Toothless dead. To show all is forgiven, he even returns Jim’s penis-gun, so it’s nice to see this father-son relationship is totally healthy again.

dome8.6High-five for never bothering to learn his name!

When he returns to town, Big Jim tries to comfort himself with the thought that while he may have lost control of the town’s water supply, he still owns 100% of its whiskey. Barbie comes in to gloat, since his bomb planned work, which: once I successfully built a rope swing with a bow and arrow. Just because something happens to work, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a stupid idea. He also says that he’s pretty much over Big Jim’s megalomania, so we can look forward to more pissing contests in our future.

So, this episode was light on lady drama, but frankly I was relieved not to cry anymore. What do you think? Are you glad you’ve stuck with Under the Dome this long?

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