Under the Dome Review: The Monarch is Crowned

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What an utter disappointment! The season finale of Under the Dome was just so anti-climatic.

I wish I was allowed to write the string of expletives that demonstrate how I really feel about "Curtains." At the end of the episode, I rewound the live broadcast to make sure that I didn't miss something. That was the end? Really?!?

Norrie & Joe

After last Monday's excellent "Exigent Circumstances," I expected a mind-blowing reveal about the mini-dome, the monarch to be crowned, and an enticing cliffhanger that would bring me back next season. The show failed in two of the three.

After some cat and mouse maneuvering between the protectors of the mini-dome and Big Jim's contingent, the truth was revealed about the butterfly, the egg, and the mini-dome. When the mini-dome disintegrated, there was a moment when I thought the Dome would come down too. That would have made a second season a bit difficult though and the darkened Dome didn't descend.

Instead, the butterfly was released and the protector of the egg was revealed. Julia was a good choice to be the monarch. She's a loving and generous person. She's proved that she's dependable and can keep her head in tough situations. That ended up being pivotal when she was given a difficult choice to make between saving the egg, which also meant the town, or Barbie.

Julia's role throughout the episode was a highlight. She risked her life to protect Barbie and get him out of his cell, but when the difficult choice had to be made she went with the greater good. She was willing to sacrifice her loved one in order to save the town on the word of a mysterious alien force.

The truth behind the Dome's origin and the way it was revealed was anti-climatic. An alien force is protecting the town from some unidentified outside threat. The lack of any specifics was frustrating. Do the writers even know what this "threat" is at this point? It better be really bad, because the only threat to the town I see is the one inside the town in Big Jim Rennie. What could be worse than him?

Why doesn't anyone see through Big Jim's facade? Junior's constant yo-yo action between belonging and trusting the four hands and his father is troublesome. There's not much that makes sense about anything that Junior does. Perhaps that's on purpose, but it's annoying to follow. He has no conviction and continually makes the wrong choices with no good reason.

Then, there's Linda. She's turned from a capable law enforcement officer and investigator into an incompetent follower of Big Jim Rennie. Her inability to listen to the teens and Caroline about the mini-Dome was frustrating. They had been with it for long enough that she should have questioned them and followed their lead. Instead, she again blindly followed what Big Jim wanted.

I lost what little respect I had left for her when she didn't voice any complaint or question Big Jim's authority to execute Barbie without a trial. Barbie was accused, pled not guilty, and hours later he's being killed? Where's the justice in that? How is the Dome protecting the town when Big Jim is killing off a person or more a day?

Perhaps, Julia's decision to protect the egg will shift the power structure in Chester's Mill. I'm not counting on it, but it's possible. The pink streaks that came up out of the water were beautiful. Will that moment and the memory of Junior's mother bring out the good in him? Will he decide to stop Barbie's execution? Or, will someone else step up to save the innocent man?

If Under the Dome wanted to be bold by killing off Barbie, they should have done it in the finale. Instead, the cliffhanger felt false without purpose. Most likely, he'll be saved. And, if he's killed in the season 2 premiere, there's too many threads of the story that would have been for nothing. 

Overall, the finale was a disappointing conclusion, especially after the thrilling penultimate episode. I'm not sure whether I'll be back for season 2, will you?

What did you think of the finale? Are you satisfied with the origin of the Dome? Were you stunned by the cliffhanger? Or more by the sudden appearance of a commercial break and final credit?


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 2.2 / 5.0 (255 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


The words, "WHAT THE F%#$!?" Immediately left my mouth when this show ended. I struggled through the first episodes, it finally was picking up and they just leave on a major cliffhanger with nothing, NOTHING, resolved. Julias the monarch? Why was the butterfly hovering & circling over Barbie etc.


Angry, frustrated, disappointed, annoyed and disgusted...need I say more? What a let down! My poor husband couldn't stop me from yelling at the TV. As another poster wrote...a hot mess for sure, and I won't waste time watching the next season. Stephen King should be ashamed for approving this season finale, let alone the escalating bummer scripts. No more Stephen King for me. Hasta la vista, Baby.


Ditto, ditto, and ditto. The ending put my whole family in a bad mood. We will not be back for more punishment. We thought it was a 1-time only mini-series so chose to put in the time watching every episode, even the really lame ones. We didn't realize they were planning on bringing it back for a 2nd season. We won't be sorry to miss it.


I started watching this show in June, thinking it would be a "this summer only" show -- sort of a very long Stephen King miniseries. I remember, years ago, suffering through 4 hours of The Langoliers and thinking that miniseries was 2 hours too long. Under The Dome has become sillier and made less sense every week. Like you, I have lost respect for Linda because she blindly follows Big Jim and doesn't seem to have a clue about due process, etc. I remember 2 years ago being slightly skeptical about Falling Skies but my skepticism was short-lived and I've watched all 3 seasons. But I don't know that I'll bother with season 2 of UTD.


Wow! I can't believe I wasted so much time on this serires. What a hot mess. At least I'm smart enough not to waste another minute on this pile of monarch dung.


13 weeks. And no ending. Damn them. I'll never watch this seies again, if for some reason they do have another season.


What a waste of an “ok� show. Are the writers THAT incapable of writing a new story line that they couldn’t end this one. If they wanted a 2nd season they should have ended the first story line and teased you with a little of the next one. NOT LEAVE THE FIRST 13 WEEKS HANGING! What a stupid decision. Won’t be back!


Somewhere along the line, these writers forgot that the characters are supposed to act in a way that humans actually do. The blind following of used car salesman Jim Rennie and the willingness of the townsfolk to allow juvenile delinquents to terrorize the town in police uniforms is simply not believable. And no police supervisor could be as gullible as the head cop was in these last few episodes. And allowing Barbie to remain handcuffed for the entire final episode? Nobody thought to remove his handcuffs? Give me a break. I won't waste a minute watching a second season of this turkey.


I absolutely agree. The ending is super stupid. I was wondering why it went on commercial the last 1 minute and i was still hoping that they will show a bit of it but it ended just like that. There could have been a little bit of justice for those people big jim killed. I agree, cliff hangers should work their way so people can still look forward for the next season but this one, it top it all on my list of stupid season finale!


This show should not have lasted past this summer. It was doing good in the ratings so CBS decided to do season two. This is not a strong enough story to last past this summer. Remember the old days when they use to do mini series that came on every night for a week. This is what they should have done with this show. Besides they keep killing everyone off who is going to be left for season 2?

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Under the Dome Season 1 Episode 13 Quotes

Barbie: Okay. Is someone going to tell me what the hell is going on?
Joe: I knew it. You're the monarch.

Tell me. Why do you want me to kill my father?