This week's 'Dome' floats the idea that, with resources ever dwindling, some Chester's Mill residents might end up better serving the community by, you know, not being alive anymore.
This bright idea comes from Science Teacher Rebecca, who has pretty well attached herself to the hip of Big Jim. Or his right hand. She's certainly been in his ear a whole lot these last couple episodes. ... Look, whatever body part of Big Jim she's attached herself to, the point is that Rebecca's woman-of-science routine is registering with Big Jim. This week, after a burning red rain arrives, sending most scrambling for shelter and driving a previously unseen Dwight Yoakam into acts of extreme religious devotion and paranoia, Rebecca seems more determined than ever to be a rational thinker.
We've seen this kind of post-apocalyptic Man of Science/Man of Faith stuff before. Most famously, Lost addressed this conflict in those very terms. This episode, "Force Majeure," sets up two women in these atavistic roles: Rebecca, cold and rational and science-y; and Julia, who believes that the Dome, ever-guiding and benevolent, has a plan for us all. Being that this is ultimately a Stephen King story, you shouldn't be surprised when the thumb immediately gets pressed on the scales towards the faith-based side. Julia's "the Dome provides" beliefs may seem foolish, sure, but she's not the one advocating forced euthanasia of the town's weakest residents.
And, sure, Rebecca is galvanized by her experience being tied up and tortured by religious maniac Lyle, but the fact remains that it is Rebecca's cruel analytical brain is what comes up with an idea to deal with ever-more-scarce resources by, to use her metaphor, sending the elderly and infirmed up into a tree, shaking it, and see who falls out. Three-quarters of the Chester's Mill population could survive on rations, she says, if they just ... you know, got rid of the other twenty-five percent.