Under the Dome Season Finale Review: Well, What Did You Expect?

By Tim Surette

Sep 17, 2013

Under the Dome S01E13: "Curtains"

Now THAT was how you end a season of television that has been so consistently confusing and stupid yet managed to be a ratings hit. You spend the entire hour making no sense and end the season finale with a big middle finger to the audience. Congratulations are in order to Brian K. Vaughan and Scott Gold, the writers of "Curtains," one of the most glorious episodes of horrible television that was ever created. And for people like me who watched Under the Dome and dared it to sink to depths of absurdity we never thought possible, it was incredible and shocking. You win, Dome. You did the unthinkable. You out-domed yourself.

At no point did "Curtains" make sense nor did it care to. It was an hour that created its own dimension where sanity was vaporized and replaced by misdirected teens,. "Curtains" was an incredible feat of idiotic proportions and I loved every terrible minute of it. Let's try and make sense of what happened!

For once, after 12 episodes of defying medical science by functioning without a working brain, Officer Linda actually said something that made some sense. It all started at the very beginning of the episode when the kids were gathered around the mini-dome spouting their craziness about domes and monarchs that they believed based on absolutely nothing. It was the usual dull regurgitation. The kids thought the egg was the power source of the dome. The kids thought the dome was talking to them. The kids thought there was a monarch that needed some crownin'. And Linda said, God bless her, "What is that supposed to mean?" It's a question we all asked ourselves over the course of Season 1 as we watched these mentally challenged children make illogical leaps and accept where they landed as fact. It's also a question that would never be answered anytime during this episode. "I know how it all sounds, but I believe them," Carolyn actually said. Carolyn, shut your damn mouth, you're only encouraging them.

The mini-dome chrysalis hatched and out popped a beautiful Monarch butterfly, the official state bird of Chester's Mill. And it fluttered around. And fluttered. And every time it brushed against the mini-dome's surface, the mini-dome went a little black. And as the mini-dome went black, the regular-sized dome went black, too. There was no explanation for this unless you just dropped acid or were religious, but who cares? This show does not. Why did I even take notes while watching this episode. Every other line just says "Joe is terrible."

Things were really dark in Chester's Mill because the dome went all black, and Officer Linda decided to arrest the mini-dome and take it into police custody or something because these kids seemed so interested in it. When the kids said they needed to touch the mini-dome, Officer Linda barked that since it was police property now, she would do the touching. She actually said, "No! I told you this is police property now. If anyone's gonna touch it's going to be me." But the dome had other ideas and zapped Officer Linda across the room and knocked her out cold. It was great! THEORY: The mini-dome is one of those novelty joke hand buzzers, but for giants. 

Then Junior showed up and the kids decided they had to touch the dome because whenever they don't know what to do, they figure it's time to touch the dome. But without their fourth Domesketeer Angie they were only three keys for four locks, and Angie was still hanging out with Julia. Ugh Angie, always ruining everything. Until Angie rejoined the group, they had to hide the mini-dome from Big Jim because he's a bad guy and he might take it to touch for himself in bad-guy ways and not in cool Keepers of the Dome ways.

Angie, meanwhile, was following Julia to help rescue Barbie who was thrown in jail... again. And because there are only two working cops in town and one was Junior and the other was half-conscious from a mini-dome zap, Angie and Julia just walked into jail and let a handcuffed Barbie out but only after Julia licked Barbie's mouth through the prison bars because these two lovebirds have an insatiable sexual appetite that worries about unsafe hygiene can't deter. It was a totally thrilling rescue! 

Barbie got in a fight with some non-cops, one of them being DJ Phil, and it was like your nephew playing Street Fighter II for the first time and only pressing the medium-kick button. But what a flying leg arsenal he had! Check out these dope moves:





That'll teach you clowns to bring guns to a leg fight!

Soon Angie, Julia, and Barbie met the kids at the secret meeting spot and then the mini-dome started freaking out and begging the kids to touch it, and the kids obliged. First it went red!

Then it went white and gave us a really good luck at these kids' hands!

Then it totally broke apart. Guess they don't make mini-domes like they used to.

But it left behind the egg and that poor butterfly that got covered by all that dome dirt. Everyone was really sad because the butterfly was dead but I bet not one of them was even half as sad over the genocides in Rwanda. Kids these days! Anyway, upset about the dead butterfly, they decided to do what they always do when they're stuck. They touched it. And lo and behold, it came to life! Norrie was really happy.

Then the butterfly flew around and there was some really nice gentle new-age music playing that my aunt would have loved and everyone got to practice staring at an object that would be CG'd in later.



The butterfly flew around Barbie a bunch, so of course Joe said that he was the monarch because obviously the butterfly knows what's up. Just to catch you up on what is going on at this point in Under the Dome, four kids touched a mini-dome, the mini-dome broke leaving behind an egg and a dead butterfly, the dead butterfly came to life, then it flew around Barbie because he was the chosen one for something that we still knew nothing about. Okay, got that? Now erase that from your brain, because that was wrong and only the beginning of one of the most surreal stretches of television you will ever see a grown man waste his night semi-photorecapping. As it turned out, the egg started glowing white and wobbled like a Mexican Jumping bean on speed for horses, causing an earthquake!

Everyone wanted to run away but Julia had a better idea: touch it. So she picked it up and then the egg relaxed, the earthquake stopped, and then the butterfly started flying around HER! Julia was the real monarch, which made total sense because she has orangiest hair of the bunch and Monarch Butterflies are orange. It was so obvious this whole time and I'm an idiot! But seriously butterfly, why were you flying around Barbie before? And why is Joe so convinced that just because a butterfly flutters around near someone they are all of a sudden a divine entity? Does this butterfly not have free will? There are many philosophical ramifications to discuss here, but let's stick with the orange-hair theory because Rachelle Lefevre is pretty. Plus it allows me to go off on this weird tangent:







Sorry about that!

Anyway, Junior's meds must have run out because he expressed some doubts about the "monarch will be crowned" prophecy that the kids all definitively agreed must be an actual thing. Excuse me Junior, but did you not just witness that butterfly fly around and fulfill its destiny of anointing a new lord and savior? How do you explain that? A butterfly flew around people. You can not deny that, Junior. You can't. But Junior still, with facts and truths staring him right in the face, insisted that the egg be handed over to his dad. Junior had another one of his episodes and waved his gun at Julia, but Julia outsmarted him by throwing the egg at Angie, who took the forward pass and ran it out of the place for a touchdown! That's nine points if you had Angie on your Under the Dome fantasy team. Barbie, still handcuffed, rhino-rammed Junior to take him out of the play and the kids ran away. This is the second time Barbie sacrificed himself for Julia in the last few days. I'd say that man deserves a little private audience with the monarch, if you know what I'm sayin'. 

Stay with me guys, we're almost halfway done here. Elsewhere, Big Jim was giving a sermon at the church because the whole town decided now, with all the blackness in the afternoon from the black dome, was a good time to say what up to the G-O-D. Big Jim told everyone not to worry because they would kill someone to appease the dome god, basically. And those suckers bought it! Big Jim even convinced DJ Phil to gather up all the town's carpenters and build a gallows in the town square so they could hang Barbie. And they built it REALLY fast, like in 25 minutes, complete with one of those lever things that activates a trap door. It was a marvel of engineering, really.

Okay, glad we got that out of the way, because here's where it gets nutty. The kids minus Junior and plus Julia ran the egg to the middle of the forest to figure out what to do with it, so Norrie started asking the egg what to do. Then the ghost of Alice came out from nowhere and dropped some huge hints about what this show was finally about. She told them that "we" are still learning to speak with the people of Chester's Mill and that they've taken familiar forms to help "bridge the divide." She also said that the dome was there to protect them not trap them, and that if they wanted all the black gunk off of the big dome they'd have to earn it by protecting the egg. Now it all made sense! Norrie, Julia, Joe, and Angie were all enrolled in some extraterrestrial high-school egg baby project and if they cracked the egg they'd get an F! Time to get a shoe box and some cotton balls.

Except instead, Julia threw the egg in the ocean. Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself here. Big Jim called Julia and told her that either she hand over the egg or Barbie would be hung. Julia wasted a perfect opportunity to say she already knew Barbie was hung (hee hee) and instead said no deal, buster. THEN she went on a boat and threw the egg in the ocean with absolutely no explanation. She just dropped it into the ocean, probably off the coast of Bird Island. Ha ha, Bird Island. For no reason. The most important object in the whole series, the thing that people almost died over, she just dropped it into the ocean. With no possible idea of why she should. It made negative sense. But you know what? Logic can suck it because it turned out to be the right move. 

But before we get to what happened I have to show you this clock. See, Big Jim and Junior were waiting for Julia's answer, and there was a deadline for her decision. Something o'clock, I don't remember. But Under the Dome wanted to show us that we were close to that time and delivered this gem of a shot:

What time is that exactly? 4:00? 5:00? 4:30? 4ish? What is up with that hour hand? The guy who set up the clock had ONE JOB. And it wasn't that hard of a job: Make an actual time on a clock that could exist in the real world. And he failed. Your dirty secret is out, prop guy. You don't know how to tell time. CBS probably paid a million dollars to get this episode made, by the way.

Back to the poaching egg! The egg blew up under water and shot these awesome pink things toward the sky where they collided and made an awesome bright fireworks display of light. This made suffering through the previous 12 hours and 55 minutes totally worth it.

Everyone seemed remarkably cool about it, though. A little too cool, if you ask me. Even the bloodthirsty mob assembled to watch Barbie's little neck snap were like, "Whatevers. Boooring." Barbie didn't even flinch. And Big Jim just kept on yelling at Junior to pull the lever and hang Barbie. Hello!? There was a spectacular screensaver consuming the sky and no one even pointed at it or Instagrammed it! I could only think where Ben and his weed-addled brain were because he would have LOVED THIS. Oh man, Ben and I would have taken Julia's boat out and just blazed and stared up at the sky while listening to some chillwave or something. 

The pink laser show would end soon though when all the dots collided together at a point and exploded in a spectacular blinding light that should have melted the eyeballs of anyone who witnessed it. But instead, we got this last sequence of shots that we'll have to hang on to for the next nine months until this stinker comes back:





* * * * *   Z  O  O  M       O  U  T   * * * * *

We can all argue the value of a satisfying finale that gives some sort of semblance of closure and this was the opposite of that but then we'd be giving Under the Dome way too much credit for being an actual TV show. No, what happened was Barbie ended up with his neck in a noose on some hastily made gallows, Julia threw the egg in the water for absolutely no reason, the sky turned pink and the pink stars were falling upwards in lines, there was a giant firework show in the sky, and the dome turned into an egg. Or it turned into the top of a ping-pong ball or Ben hot-boxed the dome or maybe it's Kermit the Frog's eye when he has a case of some dry skin on his face? Tilt your head to the side, you'll see it.

For those of you who were invested in the show and those of you who stuck around just to see what brought the dome down, I apologize on behalf of the universe. "Curtains" was an inexcusable ripoff of a finale. But I have to be honest. If you didn't like this finale, then you were probably watching Under the Dome in the wrong way because this was better than I could have imagined.



ADDEN-DOMES

– Seriously, what is up with Joe's hand? It looks like he is a construction worker with terrible hand-eye coordination.

– Barbie: "I think we know who you are." Big Jim: "A criminal?" Barbie: "Worse, a politician." Ooooooh someone call the burn ward and make a reservation for Big Jim because Barbie just toasted him with that. 

– Aliens? Apparitions from the future? Dome people? Who are the bringers of the dome? Is it okay if I don't care?

– It's been fun y'all! See you next summer unless I can get out of it!



  • Comments (518)
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  • dhuria07 2 days ago

    I haven't read a review that good in ages.
    Now I'll have to read all your posts!

  • zainabozza Jun 09, 2014

    Tim I LOVE YOU!!!! lol and Junior with that orange hair lmao

  • bobbhobbs May 31, 2014

    "Under the Dome" is really "Over the Top"!

  • grizzwold46 May 20, 2014

    Thanks to shows like this so that reviews like this can be written.

  • AJ8472 Dec 11, 2013

    I love your reviews Tim !, this show is nuts!

  • ptbeninato Dec 08, 2013

    For some reason Amazon Prime was hawking this series to watch free, and having read UTD the novel--the first Stephen King book I've read in a while that I actually enjoyed--I decided to run a marathon since the weather was crap. If I hadn't read the book, I might have enjoyed the series more. I found it watchable, but nowhere NEAR the novel. Then again, this was on network TV, and historically network TV doesn't handle Stephen King too well. King himself is writing the first episode of the new season, hopefully that will veer the show back a little closer to the novel's plot and have this show not be "Smallville Under Glass."

  • afox2332 Nov 23, 2013

    I am okay with the show, but YOU are hilarious! Glad I found you.

  • Denius1704 Nov 10, 2013

    It's the writing that is giving this show the WTF look.

    It's like two people with no background in writing decided one day it would be awesome to write a TV show. And then it got filmed. The dialogue is absurd, the conclusions characters come about certain things are too outworldly (and yet somehow right), there is absolutely no explanation about certain things (if they actually put some kind of backstory about wtf the monarch is supposed to be then every time they said "He is the monarch" it wouldn't have sounded so totally out of place)... There are too many things that were just done in very poor taste and totally not on par with what the standard for a show should be.

    It's Lost's fault actually. Since Lost every third series after it has tried to emulate the mystery element with absolutely no success.

    If they change the screenwriters the show actually has a chance to be good.

    P.S. And lol about Tim's bashing, i think only on Revolution he has come close to this amount of "hate" :)

  • BarbieloveJulia Oct 23, 2013

    I love the show but nothing makes sense. Why can't Angie use her play card and threaten Big Jim and expose his sick son, why why why? Its usually the question with this show. I hope Stephen King with his sick, twisted mind does not kill any more characters off, I know that's his goal. Season 2, i wait patiently, but in the mean while, I am watching Beauty and the beast. on CTW or Pixo.

  • Arkhonist Oct 22, 2013

    Frankly, the ONLY thing I don't understand in the show is why Julia doesn't use the radio to tell Linda that Barbie is innocent.

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