Under the Dome: “Curtains”


Grade: D

Airdate: 9/16/13

There are many different types of cliffhangers that can be used in television shows and there are certain times when one should be used and another should not. For instance, leaving a character literally hanging off a cliff is one to use between two commercial breaks. Having someone be shot and struggle for breathe is one to be used between two episodes. Having a character confess to a crime they didn’t commit to save a another character is one to be used between two seasons.

Having Barbie’s (Mike Vogel) fate resting on if Chester’s MIll’s biggest whack-job Junior (Alexander Koch) is or is not going to pull a lever to hang him, would be a cliffhanger to be used between two commercial breaks. But, sadly that is how Under the Dome decided to end season one. For a show that used the summer slump to gain popularity too quickly and then crack under the pressure, that is not a good way to keep fans interested until next summer.

Of course, that was just how the episode ended. Everything was pretty normal for the show; bad dialogue, slow pace, spastic lunacy and a few interesting bits of information.

The butterfly hatches as Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz) and Joe (Colin Ford) say things like, “Guys, it’s hatching.” Kids, just shut up and let Carolyn (Aisha Hinds) deliver all the exposition to Linda (Natalie Martinez). You aren’t allowed to talk either, Linda. Neither are you, Julia (Rachelle Levefre). Just let Angie (Britt Robertson) do the talking. That talking, of course, is Julia saying she must find Barbie and Angie annoyingly agreeing.

The butterfly probably overhead the dialogue, so it started smashing itself against the mini-dome and causing black spots all other that dome and the big dome. The spots then take over and both domes are totally black. Linda continues to be the world’s worst police officer — behind Junior — by declaring the mini-dome as police property. Norrie and Joe just let her touch it so she gets knocked out. They have to then convince crazy-for-this-episode Junior to hide the mini-dome with them. The drive off to Chester’s Mill’s most popular place to do shady shit: the cement factory.

Across town, Angie is breaking into the police station and breaking Barbie out of jail with Julia. Barbie beats the crap out of two guys, while still being handcuffed. They get a message from the rest of the Pink Stars gang and join them at the cement factory. They all touch the mini-dome it glows white then explodes. The butterfly then flies to Barbie because the show has been telling us that he is the monarch. But, then the egg freaks out until Julia picks it up and the butterfly flies to her because she is the monarch? What? That isn’t even a good plot twist. It just makes no sense.

Junior then decides to go nuts for a bit, turn on everyone, and tackle Barbie as the rest flee with the egg. Out in the woods, Norrie asks the egg what to do and Alice (Samantha Mathis) appears behind them. She gives us one of the few interesting pieces of information saying she isn’t Alice. “They” are still getting used to communicating and put the dome their to protect them. The egg must be kept save or Chester’s Mill is doomed. So they are aliens? Butterfly people? Good television writers? Whatever, not enough to get me back next year.

Big Jim (Dean Norris) has about this third stand-off with Barbie this episode and then sends a message over the radio telling the Egg Gang that they have one hour to give up the egg or Big Jim is going to hang Barbie on the cliche scaffolding, gallows that was just built outside town hall.

Julia decides, as the monarch, it is her decision and she sends the kids away. She goes to the lake and drops the egg inside right was Big Jim and Junior are about to hang Barbie. Big Jim took a moment out of this episode to see his wife’s wonderful artwork and also think the Rennies are chosen to protect the town. The egg lights up the lake and sends lines of pink stars up to the dome. It then starts glowing white, just as the mini-dome did before it busted. Junior is about to pull the lever to hang Barbie and Big Jim is yelling at him to. And the episode just ends.

And so has summer television. I could not be happier. Goodbye, Under the Dome. I will most likely not see you again. I’m going to go watch Bones now.


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