Monday night delivered the final episode of Under the Dome Season One and rather than be the revealing finale I’ve been patiently twiddling my thumbs for, it was everything I feared it would be: dull, samey and contrived. After the mildly exciting penultimate episode, which finally managed to grasp the art of pacing, it was all looking so promising. Surely they had to give us some answers in this closing episode? That question seems almost laughable after watching the finale. Of course they wouldn’t give us any answers – that might actually please viewers.
In Curtains the town of Chester’s Mill completely lost the plot. Barbie continued his game of cat and mouse, escaping from jail only to be dragged back by a smug looking Big Jim. Meanwhile the monarch butterfly finally materialised only to find itself trapped in the mini-dome, bouncing against the transparent surface and covering it with inky splodges that eventually turned the whole thing black. Feeling abandoned and probably irritated by Junior rolling his head against it whining “Why do you want me to kill my father?”, major dome also turned black, sending the town into darkness. I’d have been quite happy for it to finish there. Done. Finito. Fin. The dome went black, the end. They would have saved us another forty-five minutes of domey torture.
So with the town engulfed in darkness, everyone flocked to the church. Naturally. Quoting the book of the Lord, the people looked to trusty Big Jim for answers. How would they grow their crops without sunlight? How would they stay warm when everything dies and the propane runs out? Big Jim did what Big Jim does best, you guessed it, preached to the good people and the world suddenly didn’t seem so bad. So the people were reassured, with their faith in God restored, though this only made what happened next even more ludicrous.
Somewhere along the line Big Jim managed to persuade the town to introduce their own method of capital punishment in the form of a homemade gallows. How very medieval of him. What’s surprising was not Big Jim’s execution idea – he’s been playing judge, jury and executioner for a long time now – but the entire town acting like it was completely normal. In what world do we just start building barbaric hanging contraptions? It was all very strange but these unrealistic situations have been rife from the beginning and the sedate attitude of the townsfolk only further dampened my mood.
With Big Jim plotting Barbie’s demise, the townsfolk having lost their tongues and Junior having a hysterical fit at every turn, the relief should have come in the form of Angie, Joe, Norrie and Julia – who had all grouped together to protect the egg. It didn’t. After managing to release the egg from the mini-dome, along with the newly born butterfly, the monarch was finally crowned. Sort of. If you consider a butterfly flapping around your head confirmation of monarch status. I could have cried when the butterfly finally settled on Julia. “WHY HER?” I complained to the television screen with all the vehemence of a stroppy child. Talk about picking one of the blandest characters to become the leader figure. I was tempted to turn it off there and then but I would have missed the weird getting even weirder.
A hologram of Norrie’s mum Alice appeared again, citing the royal ‘we’ (presumably aliens?) and talking about protecting the egg and saving the people. It was all too boring to remember by heart. In short, the dome is there to save the town and the egg must be protected against evil, aka Big Jim. So what did new leader Julia do? She dropped the precious cargo in the lake, which turned mood-egg pink and sent thousands of glowing stars up into the sky. Barbie’s head was in the noose, Big Jim was shouting at Junior to pull the trap door lever on Barbie, and the other teenagers were staring at their pink stars with gaping mouths, until finally the town was blinded by light as the dome turned from gloomy black to pure white. Confused? Join the club.
Sometimes I wonder if the creators of Under the Dome are trying to give me a nervous breakdown. It’s one thing keeping your viewers guessing but it’s another to pose endless questions without ever giving any answers. There’s only so much pointless and predictable narrative I can take. Let’s not even get into the wooden acting, naff dialogue and unrealistic reactions I’ve spent the last few months moaning about. I can’t be alone in feeling weary and disappointed now that the season has come to an end…
Well gang, it’s been a bumpy ride, most of it thoroughly uneventful and yet I’ll probably be compelled to tune into the next season just to find out what this twaddle is really all about. Guess the joke’s on me.