Season 1 of Under the Dome has ended and my impressions from its first 13 episodes are that of surprise. I couldn’t believe how the show tanked so miserably after the pilot episode. Then, shocked at how slowly but surely it became stronger and far more entertaining until finally giving some great episodes near the end of Season 1. Then, surprised at the final episode, and how it didn’t leave me anticipating next summer as I’d hoped. But mostly I was surprised how much fun Under the Dome was. It didn’t take itself too seriously and always played to its strengths – great cliffhangers, good versus evil, and mysterious elements of the supernatural.
“Curtains” fell on Under the Dome’s 1st Season, and I’m not just writing about this season’s end. The fierce momentum built up, especially in the last few episodes, was squandered last Sunday night. Not that it was a horrible episode. It was quite good, but there was a significant let down at the end of “Curtains.” That fevered anticipation has waned as we look toward next summer and Season 2. Perhaps it’s inevitable, the conclusion to a season is just not as good as the lead up as was evident with this season’s The Newsroom.
“Curtains” started interesting enough with Norrie, Joe, and Angie’s mini-dome needing a new home. Sheriff Linda does her best impression of being a tough cop, but when she touches the mini-dome she goes nighty-night. In fact, the entire big-dome goes dark. With the help of Junior, the mini-dome is taken to a secret location far away from the clutches of Big Jim. There, they four teens can release the monarch butterfly inside and bring some light back to those living under the dome.
In doing so, a new revelation is found. It’s not Barbie at all who was the monarch to be crowned. It’s his significant other. Julia is given the task of keeping the egg, the supposed life force of the dome, safe in her possession. Unfortunately, Big Jim knows this and will hang Barbie should she not give it up. Her mission is to protect the egg, and in doing so she must have faith that she can make the right decision to both restore the light and save Barbie.
While you’d think this would cause great tension in “Curtains,” it didn’t. The ending was quite anti-climactic. Sure, we do get a glimpse of the pink stars falling, but there was not as much intrigue. Of course Barbie won’t be hung, so that cliffhanger doesn’t need to be fretted over. There is very little lingering. True to Stephen King form, some of the dome’s secrets are revealed with aliens having had a hand in the dome. But in a twist, the dome is used to protect those who are under it. If they are being protected, what is going to happen to the rest of the world? This is an interesting question but not one big enough to be sweating over during the off season.
I have to say, I’m glad Under the Dome will be back next summer. It will be an interesting first episode as the master of horror, Stephen King himself, will be penning that script. His domed tale was a definite surprise this summer; hopefully it will continue with that impression in 2014.