This is arguably the Platonic example of an Under The Dome episode; Big Jim is the best thing about it, Norrie is vaguely annoying, and the rest of the episode is OK, but not great. On the other hand, Ollie finally gets what’s coming to him, so that’s a bonus.
The episode is strong mostly because for once, the majority of it is focused on Big Jim and his actions instead of some weak A-plot introduced in the opening moments of the episode, a shtick this episode ditches and isn’t remotely missed. Ollie the farmer has decided he wants to rule the town and will starve Big Jim out, because obviously some redneck with a grudge over a land dispute that was settled fifteen years ago will be an able administrator and is the guy you want with an iron grip on the town. But he controls the only water source in town, and food is running out in Chester’s Mill.
If there’s a key flaw to this episode, it’s that Ollie is such a jackass it’s a little surprising his fellow farmers don’t just kill him and take his well. Seriously, once they know the precise motive behind being put up against the police, one would imagine most of Chester’s Mill, dickbags though they may be, are at least practical. Jim raises a small army in this episode; one assumes he’s more well-liked than Ollie.
Meanwhile, Julia points out how dumb the birth scene was last episode and finds the egg; Norrie zips through every single stage of grief in about a day; and Junior learns his mom was mentally unstable, big surprise there. Junior is also back in Dad’s good graces, thanks to blowing away Ollie, and we learn that Angie is probably going to finally be important to the plot.
Overall, it’s not a bad episode, for this show, helped considerably by the fact that most of the crappy parts of the cast are limited to a few cutaways. And it’s nice to see the butterfly motif the show made such hash out of having an amusing payoff. Still, it looks like we’re back to Big Jim in the b-plot next episode, which is a shame; hopefully it doesn’t derail this show’s narrative momentum.
A few notes:
- The snowglobe-smashing scene is pretty dumb even by this show’s standards.
- A terrible disease is spreading in the town: Expository Dialogue. Probably the worst is when Joe actually tells us the egg is pink. While said egg is in frame. And glowing.
- Phil gets shot for no good reason, which is too bad since he seems to be the only one with any musical taste.
- I’d love to know why, precisely, Angie has a poster of what appears to be Patty Hearst on her wall.
Weigh in with any thoughts in the comments.