It’s season finale time on CBS’ Under The Dome and in true show fashion, the “meh” factor is high, up to and including the groan inducing cliffhanger.
Let’s bitch it out…
Each week we break down the good, the bad and the meh of this week’s Under The Dome. Here’s our list for ‘Curtains’:
- The end: 13 episodes has proven more than enough for this series. Though, if I’m being fair, it was a more enjoyable 13 episodes than the 20 episodes of Revolution from earlier this year. Yes, that’s my barometer
- Mini-Dome/Egg: A) The events surrounding the mini-Dome (It shrieks! It hatches butterflies! It goes black! It goes white! It shatters!) are amusing, if only because they’re so convoluted. It’s a bit of a Russian Doll and a part of me sincerely hopes that inside the egg is a key to a hatch with a series of numbers, or a polaroid of a man covered in tattoos. Don’t get me wrong, all of the mythology elements on this show are silly and more than a bit dumb, but they’re still the most interesting part of the show
- Nothing special: Guess the kids – Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz), Joe (Colin Ford) and Angie (Britt Robertson) – aren’t really anything special now that the mini-Dome is gone and the monarch has been crowned. Better luck next season, kids – good luck getting an interesting storyline!
- Alice’s (Samantha Mathis) return: Who doesn’t love it when dead characters come back to play? Plus Alice isn’t really Alice: she’s an exposition-spewing, third-person-speaking visual representation of the Dome (or the entity behind the Dome). That automatically makes her more interesting than the boring doctor who died because she didn’t have insulin
- The cliffhanger: Oh man. How incredibly awful is the supposed “cliffhanger?” When we look back on this episode a few months from now, is anyone going to be chomping at the bit to know whether Barbie (Mike Vogel) will live or die? (Answer: no, we won’t and no, he won’t). And the Dome going glaringly white? I could take it or leave it – it’s not exactly watercooler worthy (unlike this for instance). Do I want to know what it means? Sure. But it won’t keep me talking/guessing/surfing for answers for the next eight months
- The gallows: How unearned is this development? The minute the sky goes black, the townspeople flock to church and Big Jim (Dean Norris) wins them over by suggesting (once again) that Chester’s Mill will survive if people pull together. And the way they’re coming together is to build a gallows? Maybe if things were more desperate, or Big Jim was less obviously creepy and more charismatic, this might be believable. Instead it’s just laughable
- Big Jim/Junior (Alexander Koch): I honestly can’t say who is the more annoying character. Big Jim seems like he could be such an awesome villain, particularly if the writers and Dean Norris knew how to develop the character as a dangerous menace, not just the caricature they’ve explored this season. And then there’s Junior, who has flip-flopped on his father (and crazytown) more times than I have fingers and toes. Junior has been kept deliberately shallow for some reason: the writers refuse to let him actually suffer from a mental illness, but they clearly can’t have him be a normal, rational person or he would have gone stabby on dear ol’ dad a long time ago. The trouble is that we’re stuck with these two as groan-worthy villains instead of either a) developing them or b) dispatching them. Consider this for a moment: how much better this finale would have been if one of them had been killed?
- Dodee’s (Jolene Purdy) inclusion on the ‘previously on’ montage: I love how Dodee’s murder is there solely so that we judge Big Jim when he lies to Junior that everyone he killed he did to protect the town…but that’s never addressed and Big Jim is never called out. So will no one ever find out the truth about her death?
- Oh wait…her death is also in there so we can continue to judge Phil (Nicholas Strong) for being such a moron. When someone asks you to build a gallows, that’s pretty much the moment the bell should go off in your head, followed by the urge to get a gun, hole up in a cabin on the outskirts of town and shoot anything that comes to the door. Naturally Phil builds the gallows instead
- Linda (Natalie Martinez): Can someone please make me a GIF where Linda touches the mini-Dome and gets zapped like a bug so I can watch it on an endless loop? Because she seriously needs some neural rewiring after all the stupid moves she’s pulled this season
- Carolyn’s (Aisha Hinds) disappearing act: I complained about Carolyn’s return last week. This week feels like an extension of the same issue. She’s basically here to try to reason with stupid Linda about the mini-Dome, and then as soon as trouble starts, Carolyn literally disappears for the remainder of the episode. Where did she go when everyone left? Better yet, why wouldn’t she go with them?!
- Crowning the monarch: Last week I wrote “The payoff on this stupid hatching chrysalis better be HUGE”. Lo and behold…it isn’t. It’s just Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) and she doesn’t get any magical powers, nor does she now speak in a possessed voice. Hell, she even gives the damn egg to Norrie to ask the Dome questions. In fact the only thing Julia does do is drop the stupid thing in the lake. Apparently being the monarch just means carrying that rock around. Did it even heal her, at least?
Dome info for the week:
- This week’s Dome factoids:
- What happens to the exterior of the mini-Dome corresponds to the greater Dome
- The monarch is
Angie BarbieJulia! Whew – that was exhausting
- The Egg is the real power source and must be protected if light is to be “earned”
- Junior’s mom and Big Jim’s mom predicted most of this, though we pretty much already knew that
- Number of deaths/injuries: 0 – a few scuffles, but considering this is the finale, shockingly nobody bit it (even though we all hoped 90% of them would)
- This week’s drinking game: It’s the last time this summer, so let’s go with the doozy. Drink every time someone says “Dome” or “Egg”
- Barbie (when Joe suggests the butterfly is how the Dome selects a leader): “By using insects?” We know, Barbie, we’re right there with you
- Linda (surveying the constellation imprints): “Looks like they were using this barn as some kind of art project” Sheriff Linda, everyone – the woman is a genius
- Barbie (when Big Jim inquires if Barbie thinks he’s a criminal): “Worse: a politician” Um…burn?
What’s your take on finale: were you happy with the (non)reveals? Were you annoyed by the cliffhanger? Are you pleased with the choice of Julia as the monarch? Are you frustrated that Junior has reverted back to stupidity? Were you hoping the Big Jim stabby vision would come true? And what will happen when the show returns next summer? Hit the comments with your thoughts below
Under The Dome has now finished airing its first season. It will return in summer 2014 on CBS. Sadly I will not, so I guess this is ‘Curtains’ for me (nyuk nyuk nyuk)