Under the Dome Finale: Should Have Been ‘Curtains’ for this Show

underthedome Separator

by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)



Spoilers.

After a wildly uneven run, Under the Dome had its first season finale last night. And thank goodness, because maybe some time off will give writers an opportunity to regroup. This was a show that was marketed as a spectacle, a Stephen King adaptation that was sure to impress. That was the case at first, but it soon fell off the wagon. Characters were not advanced to a point where the audience really cared about them and seemed to only be used to move the plot episode by episode, i.e., their behavior was that of what was needed for them for that week’s particular show. It became mediocre by season’s end, and maybe because of its second season renewal halfway through the first, the crew thought they could be lazy with the storytelling from then on out. But the show will need a complete overhaul – a kick in the pants, if you will – to guarantee viewers will tune in next summer.

In the finale, Big Jim gathers the townspeople at church, preaches to them about the dome being a sign of judgment day and how they must have faith and then instructs them to build a gallows (the structure people are hanged from, if you didn’t know) in the square. That gallows was erected awfully fast for people building one in the dark, dontcha think? This act would have had more impact if Big Jim hadn’t done something terrible every. single. week.

Junior sides with his dad in the end, as could have been predicted, though his characterization all along has been endlessly frustrating. He flip-flopped sides so many times, there’s no doubt he’ll change his mind again (and again) next season as well.

The kids scramble to the mini-dome, hoping it will give them some answers, but instead it explodes. All that it leaves behind is an egg and a lethargic monarch butterfly. It seemingly chooses Barbie, who had been sprung from jail, as the new Monarch, but when the egg triggers an earthquake, it’s Julia’s touch that makes it stop. One can only guess that makes her The Monarch, the full meaning of which is still unclear.

Junior pulls a gun on Julia and tries to steal the egg, but is stopped when Barbie fights him, all while handcuffed. Julia and Norrie escape, and then ask the egg what to do. Their answer comes from a vision of Alice – though it’s not really Alice and is actually more alien than anything – which tells them the dome was not sent to punish them but to protect them. Ummm, OK.

Julia’s “monarchy” is tested when Big Jim tells her to give him the egg or Barbie will be executed. She decides to do nothing, and just as Barbie is about to be hanged, Julia throws the egg into the lake and pink stars start shooting into the sky. Big Jim then yells at Junior to go through with the Barbie’s killing, but Junior hesitates. Chester’s Mill is then blinded by light and the dome, seen from the outside, goes white.

So yeah, that’s the end of season one. Will we find out more about Jim’s dead wife’s connection to the dome? Is it really aliens that are involved in the dome’s appearance? Hopefully all will be explained more, though it seems unlikely, if the show’s previous track record is any indication. If it’s less-than-stellar cliffhanger ending is a harbinger of what’s to come next season, don’t expect viewers to hang on to such an up-and-down show much longer.

What did you think of season one of Under the Dome?


    4 Comments

  1. KatharineSeptember 17th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I thought this show had great potential. I was glad that they changed some of the characters and the plot of the story from the original book, as that would have been really boring. Even though there was a lot of running around, I felt the main characters had enough mystery and depth for me to keep tuning in every monday night.

    After watching the finale, I felt the ending a little anticlimactic. I hoped there would be more character development. Over all the show would have been better if the show runners knew they were only getting 13 episodes from the beginning. It seems like they originally planned to tie up all loose ends and then they heard they were getting a second season they didn’t have enough episodes left to create a big enough cliffhanger.

    It’s tough to be able to explore mythology and the characters at the same time. I hope season two will be better. I want it to focus not on “why did the aliens send the dome?” but “why did they choose these people in Chester’s Mill?”

  2. Tim BakerSeptember 17th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I agree with what this article pretty much states. The show started really good. I mean, how can you beat the visuals of cows being sliced in half! How cool was the MOAB scene. That is really when things went down hill. The story just started to become shallow, and the actors seemed to be really un-inspired. I was thinking this would fil my lost sized whole in my heart… But it will not.

  3. JenSeptember 17th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    To be honest – the whole lock out with TWC really hurt this show as well. I fell behind weeks of being able to view the show, and when I came back – watching it felt like the writers strike for Heroes back a number of years ago. Disconnected and not all the story lines were coming together. It’s also really sad when there isn’t a true person to root for – this sheriff is annoying as hell, and now to the point she could be a casualty and we wouldn’t even care. The pathetic angle of Junior needs to be resolved or we’ll lose interest, either redeem him or don’t, the wishy washy writing makes me think they don’t know what to do with the storyline for him. Other than that – your right – the dome turning opaque, they should have just left it black for that matter, not much of cliff hanger since there really is no other attractive male lead so Mike Vogel will be hanging around as long as the show does. Get with it or don’t is what I say to these writers. Season 2 needs to knock socks off fast or the viewers won’t wait around for Episode 2.2

  4. AndrewSeptember 20th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    This write-up is spot on. I have problems with the writing of the police women in particular. She so quickly abandons her early and developing suspicion of Big Jim as to become unbelievable as a character or trained police officer.

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