Big Jim (Dean Norris) and Barbie (Mike Vogel) butt heads over plans to gain control of Ollie’s water well and the mini dome gave Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) a cryptic message in Under the Dome’s latest episode, “Thicker Than Water.”

Big Jim’s grasp on the town of Chester’s Mill is quickly loosening as Ollie (Leon Rippy) and his militia army continue to make their intentions crystal clear: they will use any resources on Ollie’s land as they see fit, and barter and trade only for what they deem worthy. In other words, Ollie wants to be the dictator under the dome. Why? To dethrone Big Jim, his arch nemesis.

In addition to Ollie, Big Jim also makes an enemy out of his son, Junior (Alexander Koch), when he throws him out of the house and lectures him about shooting one of the men who tried to rape Angie (Britt Robertson). He says that it is not up to Junior to enact justice, and when Junior maintains that he was just protecting Angie, Big Jim flippantly says that Junior’s mother was just like this when she passed away. Uh oh. Junior flips out and heads straight for the police station. Linda (Natalie Martinez) and Barbie catch him getting a riffle and ammunition, but Linda takes the gun away from him. He’s on probation after killing that Dundee boy, and that means no firearms (finally, someone realized Junior should never be allowed to hold a gun… ever.)

Outgunned and, certainly, outnumbered, Big Jim does the only thing he can do to get Ollie’s land: he goes to the sheriff. He tells Linda that they are going to pay Ollie a visit and claim his land as public domain as stipulated in the town bylaws. The town is quickly running out of food, so Linda goes along with Big Jim’s plan. She gathers Barbie, another young deputy and dear old deputy Junior and the awkward foursome try to stake their claim on Ollie’s land. Not at all surprisingly, Ollie instructs one of his goons to shoot one of the deputies in the kneecap (OUCH) and sends the rest of the team on their way. Junior, however, doesn’t go. He pledges his allegiance to Ollie and stays behind. As if Junior weren’t riled up enough, Ollie informs him that his mother did not die in a car accident, like Big Jim had told him, but that she had committed suicide.

Junior asks Ollie not to kill his father – he wants to be the one to pull the trigger.

Meanwhile, Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz) is having a rough time grieving the death of her mother, and she pushes Joe (Colin Ford) away. She tells him it’s his fault that her mother died – her heart attack hit the second they touched the mini dome (Joe’s idea). Joe leaves her alone, reluctantly, and then is forced to lead Julia to the mini dome. Once there, Joe is shocked to see that the little egg inside the mini dome is now covered in ‘pink stars’ (aka: ‘the pink stars are falling,’ the message Joe and Norrie relayed during their seizures).

When Julia touched the dome, she saw a vision of Joe, who told her, ‘The monarch will be crowned.’ Neither her nor Joe understood the message, but Joe realized that the last time the mini dome caused a vision, the person who appeared in the vision (Alice) died. Is he next? Julia, proving herself to be completely unaware, brushed off Joe’s concern and the pair headed back through the woods to Joe’s house.

Norrie was waiting for them outside, and ran into Joe’s arms as soon as she saw him. She had spent the afternoon smashing snow globes with fellow bad-girl, Angie, and had broken down in tears. She blames herself for her mother’s death, not Joe. Joe forgives her easily, and all is right with the world of young love.

Over at the police station, Big Jim and Barbie argued about their next step. Should they arm a mob of volunteers and storm Ollie’s land (Big Jim’s idea), or should they try to blow up Ollie’s well to divert water to the other wells within the town of Chester’s Mill (Barbie). Big Jim shut Barbie down. He said that blowing up the well could end up contaminating the only clean water supply the town has, and he can’t take that risk. Barbie and Linda, united in their belief that Big Jim’s plan would just lead to lives lost and a war that could spiral out of control and infect the entire town, decide to go behind Big Jim’s back.

Barbie, armed with his knowledge from the army, infiltrates Ollie’s compound and manages to blow up the well. Unfortunately, Big Jim arrives with his armed militia, and, in the end, five lives are lost. After the well was blown (successfully diverting the water to the other wells), Ollie’s once loyal men have no incentive to stay and they abandon him, leaving only Junior on his side. With Ollie’s help, Junior captures his father, and interrogates him on his mother’s death.

In a rare moment of honesty, Big Jim breaks down in tears telling Junior that he didn’t want him to know that his mother left him by choice, a reality Big Jim has been dealing with for years. Junior aims his gun at his father, but lowers it during Big Jim’s confession. Seeing this, Ollie prepares to shoot Big Jim himself, and Junior kills Ollie right there in his own living room.

Junior looks at his father; he believes him, and the two part ways. In the end, Junior knows the truth about his mother, but not all is forgiven, and Junior returns to the police station to sleep in a cell.

The final shot was of Angie’s shoulder, on which she has a tattoo of a monarch butterfly… Is she the ‘monarch’ to be ‘crowned’?

More clues are sure to come in next week’s new episode of Under the Dome, “The Fourth Hand,” airing Monday on CBS at 10 p.m.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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