The Season Finale of Under the Dome, Recapped by the Dome

Illustration for article titled The Season Finale of emUnder the Dome/em, Recapped by the Dome

Hi, everybody! It's me, the Dome. I hope you enjoyed the first season of my show. I felt like I was able to wrap myself around a lot of important themes, including fascism and propane and stuff. The season finale aired the other day, and I thought I should share my thoughts about it. Spoilers ahead!


I was pretty busy in this final episode. First I made a butterfly hatch inside a tiny dome, and then I turned totally pitch black so there was a total eclipse of me. And then I crowned a Monarch! That was pretty awesome. Also, I had a lot of quality time with Junior. And finally, I sent a lesbian to drop some hints about my true purpose. And then I got super super bright, like crystal-skull bright.

It was a good week to be a mysterious spooky dome.

Let's take these things one by one. First off, the butterfly thing. So there's a miniature version of me, with the power to turn a barn into a pink sparkle rave with lots of stars and twinkles and things. And in the middle of that mini-me, there's an egg, which is all sparkly and is a power source. And a coccoon, with a monarch butterfly inside. Because I'm looking for the Monarch, who's a super-important leader person, and mysterious impenetrable domes really like wordplay.


Anyway, the monarch butterfly hatches, but it's trapped inside the mini-dome because that's where it hatched. And every time it bumps against the mini-me, trying to flutter its way to freedom, the poor little guy makes a black splotch against the dome — and I start getting these black splotches, too. Until I'm totally blacked out. Which is basically a different kind of rave, I guess.

And meanwhile, Junior is pressing his hands against me and closing his eyes and making kissy pouty faces at me. He wants to know why I told him and the other kids to stab his father, Big Jim. Possible reasons: 1) I'm allergic to propane. 2) I don't want people to die (which is why I sent all that rain a while back) and Big Jim is killing lots of people. 3) I trapped all these people because I was hoping they would establish a socialist utopia, not a fascist dictatorship. Meanwhile, Big Jim is mad because Barbie didn't take the fall for all of Big Jim's crimes, in spite of Big Jim's incredibly inept blackmail attempt.

Anyway, I don't explain anything to Junior, because being opaque is one of the main pleasures in a Dome's existence. (That, and hanging out with Pauly Shore.)

Illustration for article titled The Season Finale of emUnder the Dome/em, Recapped by the Dome

Then Sheriff Linda tries to touch the mini-me, and gets shocked into unconsciousness. This allows the wonder kids to move the dome, the egg and the butterfly to a new hidden location, from Ben the skater's house to the abandoned cement factory.There, they use the walkie-talkies to let Angie know how to find them, without tipping off Big Jim and Linda.

So meanwhile, Julia Shumway wakes up from her coma, after being shot several episodes ago, and she's pretty much instantly healed from her life-threatening gunshot wound. Within about 15 minutes, she's doing can-can dancing. This is probably my doing, actually — I decided to boost Julia's healing factor, because that's one of my powers. It's probably something to do with acoustics, right?


In any case, Julia and Angie rescue Barbie, and they all go to the cement factory, where Junior tries to put Barbie under arrest. But while they're debating whether Barbie or Maxine shot Julia, the mini-dome gets red handprints on it, which is its passive-aggressive way of saying that it wants to be touched. When all four Wonder Kids touch the mini-dome, it glows and then shatters, revealing the egg and the butterfly.

At first the butterfly appears to be dead, but when one of the Wonder Kids touches it, it comes back to life, and then it lands on Barbie. Does this mean he's the Monarch? Nah, I'm just fucking with you guys. Actually, it's Julia — as is revealed when the egg gets all glowy, and she picks it up. And the butterfly lands on her, after all.


Shut up, this all makes sense. It's so logical, the script even has Barbie point out how logical it is that I pick a new leader "using insects." It's the best system of government we have, and at least there are no butterfly ballots. Just butterflies.

Several episodes back, I sent a psychic projection to tell Julia "The Monarch will be crowned." Why couldn't it have just said "You will be crowned"? Again, opaqueness, pleasure.

Illustration for article titled The Season Finale of emUnder the Dome/em, Recapped by the Dome

Meanwhile, a ton of people are at a church, because my eclipse makes them think it's the End Times. "It's all happening, just like Revelations said it would" — even though shouldn't there be horsemen and the antichrist and the Mark of the Beast and people being forced to be bi? So Big Jim decides to tell people that he's their new reverend, or something, because he's already the new mayor and the police captain and everything else.


And Big Jim more or less says that I've gotten dark because of all the "evil and lawlessness" that's happened since I first appeared — and that once righteousness is restored, there will be a "new dawn." As if I'm judging everybody's morality and changing my coloration in response — which is ridiculous, right? Actually, Big Jim is totally right. I am judging everybody in the town, as my lesbian messenger explains later in the episode. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.

Illustration for article titled The Season Finale of emUnder the Dome/em, Recapped by the Dome

In any case, Big Jim convinces everybody that the way to make God happy again — and thus make me all see-thru again — is to lynch people. The irony is — are you sitting down? — that Big Jim enlists the aid of Phil, pretty much the only African American in the town except for that woman at church who's scared of getting cold, to help build the lynching station. Phil thinks this is a great idea.


So meanwhile, the Wonder Kids, plus Barbie and Julia, are back to debating who's evil: Barbie or Big Jim. And whether Big Jim or the newly crowned Monarch is the proper custodian of my magic egg. This is a serious debate, because that magic egg is important and powerful, and you never know if it'll produce more governmental butterflies at any moment. Seriously. In any case, the other Wonder Kids and Julia get away with the magic egg, but Junior takes Barbie back into custody.

Until now, Big Jim has been almost the only character left on this show who doesn't believe in fate or destiny or magic eggs and butterflies — but now, he finds out about the "pink stars are falling" thing and connects the dot with the painting his dead wife made years ago, and he finally realizes that his family is important, and his wife knew about me long ago. "I don't know why I didn't see it," Big Jim says, as if he should have known at the time that his wife was painting impressionistic paintings of pink stars as a warning that I was going to be coming. "It was destiny," Big Jim says to Junior later. "We've been chosen."


And now, every single character on this show believes in some kind of magical superfate narrative about me, in which I'm not just a scary artifact but actually a messenger of fate or holy judgement.

Which I totally am, okay.

Illustration for article titled The Season Finale of emUnder the Dome/em, Recapped by the Dome

So meanwhile, the Wonder Kids minus Junior debate whether to destroy my magic egg, in the hopes that I'll disappear. But maybe that'll just cause another earthquake — so instead they more or less pray to me, and ask me to tell them what to do. And I hear their prayers, sending the dead mom (who's actually one of my creators in disguise or something) to talk to them.

And she says that I wasn't sent to punish everybody, but to protect everybody. From what? "You'll see, in time." You know what would be funny? Is if the rest of the world is totally wiped out and reduced to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but Chester's Mill remains intact inside me.


And then my messenger basically repeats what Big Jim was saying about me in church: "If you want the darkness to abate, you must earn the light." By protecting the magic egg. Because I am a jealous dome. You shall have no other domes but me.

Anyway, it turns out if they fail to protect the magic egg, then it's the end for everybody — probably because people will try to destroy the magic egg, which will wipe everything out or something. Anyway, I am a kind and loving dome, and this is actually an easy task. Just drop the egg in a lake, and you're good. (I'm more or less all powerful, but I can't hide a magic egg myself. I have to go through an elaborate butterfly-based leadership selection program, to find someone who can drop it in a large body of water. Because.)

Illustration for article titled The Season Finale of emUnder the Dome/em, Recapped by the Dome

Big Jim wins over Junior by admitting he's killed plenty of people, but they all had it coming to them. And just as he's getting ready to hang Barbie from the gallows, Julia drops my magic egg in the lake — and I am pleased. I glow with pleasure, in fact. Treat my magic egg right, and I will shine upon you with my favor. Pink stars go flying upwards and erase the dark blots from my surface, leaving a magnificent white glow.


Of course, Big Jim takes this as a sign that "the Good Lord has looked upon our work here today with favor." But how can he be silly enough to believe that the lynching is pleasing to omnipotent forces — when it's clearly the egg-hiding instead?

Bottom line: I am more of an Easter Bunny than a bloodthirsty Old Testament god. You please me more by hiding eggs in my name than by spilling blood for me. And despite my wonderful smoothness, the only kind of stories I like are shaggy-dog tales.


Got it? Great. See you next summer, when there'll be even more pink stars, purple eggs, and probably yellow moons and green clovers, too.

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Dome, I watched Lost. I knew Lost. Lost was a friend of mine. Dome, you're no Lost.

Magic kids?

Manipulative megalomaniacs?

Miracle healing?

Getting messages from the dead?

An object of power running the whole place?

A physical manifestation of the mysterious power at the center of the story?

A bearded man of action with a mysterious past and complicated lady relationships?

And a military background?

A profiteer and grifter who blackmails people?

The new head of security?

A law man who dies at pretty much the beginning of everything?

Female protagonists who the menfolk obsess over?

A maniac who keeps someone in a make-shift underground prison?

And that's just off the top of my head. I get it, Dome — a lot of us dug Lost. You even have one of its writers penning your show. But there's isn't much need for a carbon copy of a mimeograph of a photostat of Lost — you just make us more aware of what once was, and for a lot of us, that wasn't the happiest of endings. Do you really want to drag all that up and just do it again, but badly?

And Dome, while you're at it, do something about Expository Joe. If you're so seemingly all powerful, why can't Joe read actual dialog instead of the outline for the script? Like another reviewer noted, Joe has pretty much become a plot device for the visually impaired:

  • "But that's a monarch butterfly; we think it's gotta be important so we have to get it out of there before it hurts itself, or worse!"
  • "When the butterfly hits the dome, it makes some kind of spot!"
  • "Trust me — Angie would never forget about the time we hid in the cement factory."

I can't go on. I'll go on.

  • [mini-dome crumbles] "It opened up!" (Yeah Joe, we're watching too)
  • [about Norrie's dead mom] "I think it's whoever sent the dome to Chester's Mill!"
  • [for those who were half-paying attention] "Are those gallows going up next to the town hall?"

Is this some sort of weird tic that comes from writing for comics, where more exposition is necessary for still images? Because the only reasons I can come up for that sort of dialog are A.) It's a direct transliteration of a story-board, or B.) The writers realize much of the audience is only half-paying attention at this point, and expository dialog like that keeps us in the loop while we're doing something else during Under the Dome, or C.) It's an attempt to make the dorkiest Greek chorus ever.

(And those pink stars? They were going upwards, which is pretty much the opposite of falling. )