Checking in on 'Under the Dome' at the end of its first season

Under the Dome was renewed for a second season nearly at the start of this first one, which meant two things: 1) that we'd next summer be treated to a likely improved version of the show, with a shift of focus from boring characters to less boring characters but 2) we'd first have to slog through another 10 or so episodes that stood little to no chance of improvement. And now we're here, at the crossroads between points one and two. What's the deal? Is anything better than it was three months ago?

Hahahaha not really. Barbie & Co. are still the same nonsense-spewing characters they were in June at the same time the Dome mythology has gotten only marginally more interesting. Dean Norris' Big Jim (who it's now upsetting to see alive on television given…recent events) may be the only actor/character to not seem fully committed to the show and its multitude of pink stars. It's not a bad show, like say Revolution, but it's far from the must-see program we all want it to be.

Last night's season finale almost exclusively focused on the mini-dome and what it might mean to the residents of Chester's Mill. In short: a whole lot! In long: after watching the "monarch" emerge from its cocoon, the teen dome gang was weirded out to see the same butterfly leave marks on the mini-dome…marks that were recreated on the big dome, eventually blotting the whole thing out and bringing darkness to the town. So these kids are not full of shit with all their magic dome talk. It's very real, and very much a problem should they not be able to bring back the daylight.

(I mean they did, but we'll get back to that.)

Big Jim, meanwhile, lost his town scapegoat Barbie and subsequently found his fellow citizens turning to church when they thought the world was coming to an end. But in the latter, maybe an opportunity to more effectively control Chester's Mill? Big Jim used fire and brimstone talk to convince everyone a town stocks would be a good idea.

(We'll get back to it.)

Later, trying to get the blackened mini-dome to…un-blacken, the teen Domers joined hands and managed to explode the thing outright. Underneath was the egg that had been there all along. Only this time, it was pulsating with the kind of white light you tend to avoid. Julia didn't, however, and in the process it became clear to everyone that SHE was the monarch. Or something. Who knows!

Barbie was re-captured by Big Jim (with the help of Junior) and very nearly executed before the sky turned pink. Julia had dropped the dome egg into the lake, resulting in those streaky pink stars shooting up toward the ceiling of the dome. A sign from above? Below? No time to answer because the coalescing "stars" came together in some sort of explosion, wiping out the blackness and leaving the dome…opaque. 

That's where we end the season --  Barbie about to be hanged but probably not, and the dome turned from clear to black to opaque white. Can they get a cleaning crew in for the beginning of season two next summer? Only God, or Stephen King (or anyone who's read the book) knows….

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