With Big Jim in custody, Julia ascends and takes her place as the monarch of Chester's Mill. Not surprisingly, the transition of power doesn't go smoothly. I'm not sure what the town is complaining about, a butterfly flew in her general direction; if that's not proof enough that she's fit to lead, I don't know what is. I kid, but oddly enough, that plot point is never brought up.
Julia's troubles aren't helped by the fact that everyone in the town is a complete idiot. People take Jim's side, saying that Julia set him up (he was caught red handed!!!), while others rightly call him out on his actions. It leads to the usual divisive conflict we've seen on this show a dozen times over already.
What I don't get is, people are willing to give Jim every benefit of the doubt, but Julia comes up with a rational solution and everyone jumps down her throat. She attempts to implement a voluntary food offering so that they can keep a reserve on hand and she is immediately accused of forcing people to give up food as a power grab.
The resistance hits a point where the building where the food was stored gets blown up as a retaliatory measure. The culprit is obvious as Phil (who follows Rebecca's path of making a nonsensical heel turn this episode) makes no attempts to hide it. After the explosion, he walks up with a smug smile on his face and rubs it in her face while she just stares at him.
Speaking of villains who suck at covering their tracks, there's Sam, who we learn killed Angie in an attempt to bring down the dome. It ties into some prophecy about how if the 4 hands fall, so too will the dome. As far as motivations go, that one is actually passable, but he only manages to get away with it because Junior is an unobservant dunce who never pays attention to anything.
I suspect that Melanie's return ties into this prophecy, that the dome brought her back to replace Angie and keep the number at 4. Of course, several of the old hands are still alive. Maybe it has to be teenagers; I'm not sure why that would be the case, but it's a theory.
While we're on the topic of Melanie, her conflict with Norrie escalates. I don't know what happened to Norrie over the season break, but any charm and sympathy she may have had went right out the window. Now all she does is scowl. At least both Joe and Mel call her out on it. Joe's last second attempt at making up with her came out of nowhere and the fact that she's gone really is no skin off his back. Granted, there wasn't much in the way of romantic chemistry between Joe and Mel, but at least now he can spend his time with the new girl who is a lot nicer and (not that it should matter but) prettier to boot.
I'm not sure about the reveal that the diner owner was married to a crazy survivalist who had a vast food supply. There are crazy survivalists, and I can even understand her keeping quiet about it for fear of looters, but I still feel like it could have been handled better. As it is, it's just another instance of the writers putting themselves in a corner and making something up on the fly to get themselves out.
This show needs an infusion of some kind. So far this season has been more frustrating than anything else. I don't want to harp on every episode, but they have to give me something to work with. Right now all I have are stupid characters who I either don't care about or don't like. Still, hope remains eternal. We're about halfway done with the season, but maybe, just maybe, the writers can pull themselves out of this rut and get the show back on track.