Under the Dome Season 1 Finale Recap: Pink Stars Trek Into Darkness

Under the Dome Finale RecapWarning: The following recap contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of CBS’ Under the Dome.

Each time I went to get this recap out of me, I started shaking my head, because that closing image failed to whelm. Frankly, I found the idea of the black dome to be far “scarier” (all things being relative with this chills-free Stephen King adaptation), because at least that would have left us with obvious questions.

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I’m also agog at how “plotty” so many of the characters came to be, their behaviors dictated simply by what that week’s episode needed from them. How are we to assign any weight to Junior allying with his father toward the end when things between these two have been a season-long yo-yo? That said, if I were a betting man, I’d have placed all my money on Junior siding with his dad, so why is that a “moment”?

And then there is Linda, who at the very start of the season had the trappings of a root-for character, tragically separated from her love and the witness to her mentor’s grisly death. Yet in the final, pivotal weeks, she was little more than Big Jim’s lackey. And not a smart one, at that.

Also, think about Barbie’s past couple of weeks. How many times was he in and out of lock-up? In the finale alone, he was set free strictly to be dangled as a false “monarch” in one scene, and then promptly recaptured. He didn’t even have time to get out of his handcuffs.

Curtains

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So, recap….

The kids introduce Linda to Dome Jr., and she insists on seizing the egg as “police property” — as all supernatural entities, you know, are. Before she can, the monarch butterfly emerges from its cocoon and repeatedly clanks against the dome, leaving dark splotches — which are mirrored above Chester’s Mill on Daddy Dome. Linda goes to touch Dome Jr., despite every smarter person’s advice, and gets zapped across the room for her effort.

Knowing that Big Jim is closing in, the kids abscond with Dome Jr., transmitting a clue about the destination to Angie, who is busy helping injured Julia spring Barbie from the clink. (“Something wanted me back on my feet,” she tells him, before he manages to subdue a jailer or two with his hands cuffed behind his back.) Everyone meets up to lay hands on Dome Jr., causing it to disintegrate and leave behind only the soil inside, the black egg and a listless monarch. The butterfly rises to life, flits around the room and seemingly flags Barbie as the new monarch. But when the egg starts triggering a quake, it is Julia‘s touch that soothes it. Ergo ipso facto she is the monarch.

Elsewhere, Big Jim finds the townsfolk gathering at church, having decided that the blacked-out dome is a sign of judgement day, waving their bibles and quoting “Revelations” like they are Sleepy Hollow characters. Big Jim calms the crowd with a few words about “faith,” and then sets out to build a gallows in the square — and it gets erected pretty quickly for a bunch of people working in the dark and presumably building one for the first time. (Forgetting for a moment all of the special measurements required for a hanging, as The Killing Season 3 taught us.)

Back at the egg, Junior pulls a gun on Julia, wanting to turn the object over to his dad, but she lobs it to one of the kids, while Barbie grapples, handcuffed, with Junior. Big Jim meanwhile shows Linda a painting his wife made before she died, of a black egg with pink stars — and says that she used to utter, mantra-like, “The pink stars are falling in lines.” But he doesn’t really do anything with that epiphany. It just fills time.

Having escaped Junior and run into the woods, Julia invites CurtainsNorrie to ask the egg what they should do — and the egg answers in the form of the lass’ dead mother. Except it is not Alice. “Forgive us, we’re still learning to speak with you, using a familiar appearance to bridge the divide,” the entity says. Confirming that she represents those who furnished the Dome, she explains, “The dome wasn’t sent to punish you. It was sent to protect you.” (From what? someone smartly asks. You’ll see, says Not Norrie’s Mom.) But to erase the blackness, “You must earn the light, by protecting the egg,” she/it says.

Julia’s reign as monarch is tested when Big Jim transmits an ultimatum: Gimme the egg or Barbie pays. After Julia decides the only course of action is to do nothing, Big Jim leads Barbie to the shiny new gallows. But just as Junior is rarin’ to send Barbie for a plunge, Julia (who has rushed out to a boat) lobs the egg into the lake, and almost immediately rays of pink stars shoot straight up into the sky toward the blackened dome. As Big Jim tries to spin this light show as a sign of “good favor” validating the imminent execution, Chester’s Mill is blinded with light, as the Dome, seen from outside, seemingly goes an opaque white.

So… yeah. That’s your set-up for Season 2!

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171 Comments
  1. gg says:

    UNDER THE DOME HAD THE WORST FINALE OF TV SHOW HISTORY! I hate CBS, and shocked Spielberg would allow such an ending. Why should we tune in again next season to be strung along for ridiculous action and crappy dialogue? “You’re worse than a criminal, you’re a Politician”. OMG! Sounds like film students wrote the dialogue! Then to have no clear ending, and no answers to the most important questions we’ve been waiting all season to find out? Ridiculous! TOTAL CRAP!

  2. Let’s try to get a less hateful recapper for next season!

  3. Meredith says:

    There are definitely some plot holes and inconsistency w/ character development but I’m sticking around for season 2. I was really hoping that Jr. would eventually man up and get rid of his dad or that somehow one of those pink stars would shoot right through Big Jim and end him. I have to find out what finally does him in and whether Barbie will be back on my screen next year. Plus it’s a summer show, there’s not much else out there to occupy my DVR during this season :/

  4. Lisa says:

    Why do all the reviews say the dome went completely white at the end (to viewers from the outside)? I rewatched the last few seconds several times and the dome looks normal, transparent to me.

  5. Yuka says:

    WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS THE CREATORS PROMISED? EXTREMLY DISAPPOINTING.

  6. grey says:

    This post is so far down I know it probably won’t be read by many but I just have to say, Man, am I glad I gave up on this “television event” several weeks ago. LOL. I’ve been checking in here from time to time for the recaps (their less painful and far more enjoyable than watching the actual show) and if this is how it ended I definitely won’t waste my time trying to reconnect with it when it returns next summer.

    • Brad Lee says:

      What “Under the Dumb” represents is 10+ hours I will never get back. Why did I stick with it?
      It was like a bad accident…..I could not look away! Now I am sorry I stayed with it for so long.
      Nobody has mentioned all the “red herrings” in this show. What was the preacher and Big Jim’s
      relationship all about? Why didn’t somebody think to communicate with people outside the
      dome with written signs? What’s up with the massive propane supply that Big Jim apparently
      has? And most astounding of all…why do these normal-looking townspeople believe every word
      Big Jim utters? It’s like he hypnotizes them whenever he talks because they always follow his lead. And finally….this whole dome thing revolves around a monarch butterfly’s continued existence. I think the steer cut in half during the first episode would have made a better “savior
      symbol”. Thank you for letting me vent.

  7. Pattikakes says:

    I absolutely love this show! Don’t care about the nay-sayers, only thing that bugged me was that very last scene! ARRRGGHHH!!! Anyhoo… I was really hoping that that zap to the brain Linda got from the baby dome would knock some sense into her….. But alas…. Still a moron. I will continue to wait impatiently for season 2.

  8. AM radio is more interesting than all tv shows except pbs

  9. Jeff says:

    I am purposely not watching this show again in the hopes that enough dissatisfied people like myself will also tune out. Once the show has reached it’s conclusion (sooner rather than later) I might watch it on Netflix.

  10. Rick katze says:

    The show start off interesting. A few nice twists but about half way thru the show, I assume that there was a writer’s strike which has been kept a secret. How else to explain the swift decay of the showto a level of inconsistency to continue the storie and to hell with what happened in previous episodes.

    I just love cliffhanger endings for “limited series.” They should have been honest and at least explained some of the events about the show. But, no, the hack writers came to the boring and stupid decision to hang the good guy and cut the show at that point to instill interest in the new season next year.

    Well, they lost me. I won’t waste any more time watching this stinker when it comes back next year.

    I would suggest to CBS that the second season contain just one episode where the story line is resolved.

  11. I think the phrase “you’re a stupid B*!#*” came out of my mouth a few times when Linda became a Big Jim Groupie…c’mon gimme a break, she changed that quickly? I’m hoping the plot gets better next year and moves a bit quicker or they’ve lost me.

  12. Singing_gal says:

    “I know you be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”…Maybe you would have had more success if you’d watched this in Europe, Matt! :) don’t know if you were referring to what I think you were, but regardless, I chuckled.

  13. Jim says:

    Awful, as soon as I heard there was a season 2 I knew this was coming. Nothing to do with the book anymore, as that all took place in a week, and no actual ending. Success breeds crap, long and short of it, as once it ‘hit’ and was renewed I knew they had to edit the hell out of the real end of season 1 to make way for continuation. That, or another dome would be dropping again for season 2.

    Meanwhile to the author here well written, very funny, sarcastic in all the right places.

    • Jim says:

      …Oh, but this IS Stephen King after all. The very same guy who got mad at Stanley Kubrick for turning his book into a masterpiece, since Stanley rewrote much of it, if you can imagine that!

  14. This was supposed to be a 13 part mini series like Harper’s Island but since the rating was so good that they decided to milk some more out of the show. It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and see which one will stick.
    I was really disappointed with the ending but knowing that there would be a second season so I was not surprised that they would end the show like that. I’ll give this show 2 more seasons on the air and it’s probably going bye bye.
    The next season’s rating might not be as good as this one. Too many annoying characters, Big Jim and His son, especially his son should have been killed off after the kidnapping of Julia. One thing they did right though, They killed off the painfully annoying
    Maxine Fast.

  15. SKwhatrudoing says:

    I have read several SK books and although the story line is different, this series is following my reaction to the book very well. The book also started out interesting, a great plot line great characters and a few twists along the way…and ended with a “thud”. Like Annie Wilkes in “Misery” I felt cheated by the ending. Stephen King is actually one of the executive producers of this and obviously is involved in the writing. He just hasn’t been the same since he was hit by a car….c’mon “The Cell”, “Blockade Billy” and “Under the Dome” are not as well written as his earlier works.

  16. marie says:

    Disappointment is an understatement, I was sure that the show was cut short by a special broadcast! But, no that was it, someone really goofed, up what a mess. If you think you will have a waiting audience in the spring “WRONG” I do not know one person who will watch who watched this year. Very poor, most people stuck out to the end hoping to get a big answer to it all and see Big Jim get his “WRONG” we got nothing. Very sad a summer wasted!! How about giving a ONE episode finale and end it right!

  17. Reminded me a little of The Event a few years back,,,,, that was more belivable than this,,
    and what ever happened to due process ??? No trial for Barbie ???

  18. zern says:

    Loved it! Can’t wait until next year.

  19. Kathleen says:

    I really follow the the Dome every monday and really enjoy the story. I was already waiting foe the end and had to look at the computer to see that last week was a final until next summer. I can thinks of a 100 stories to go for season 2. the while grows in the lake and becomes a saucer when it pop to the surface and aliens come out to take the dome which is their sample to take to their planet and do experiments on the dome citizens or the glass domes becomes is clear and the citizens see thru the dome that everyone is gone from earth and the towns people are chosen to teach the new aliens how to live on our plants but the main character is going to rescue everyone on earth by working as a team (Town people) to get rid of the aliens and to trick them. Or the dead people that died in season ! are alive and have been injected with a serum make from butterflies that changes them and put them in a coocon to serve the king of the butterfly. The red head is queen and have his prince or princees by the king of the butterflies. Her husband who died was a messenger and was to married the red head.and bring her back to the king of the butterflies.

  20. bsc249 says:

    This show now ranks right up there as one the worst pieces of drivel I’ve wasted my time on. I’m Really disappointed with SK for allowing this travesty to occur. Painfully weak characters, a plot a 10 year could predict, a supporting cast of absolute morons… The only saving grace is that now that this season is over, I thankfully have no desire to ever watch another episode. What a terrible end to a really subpar series I really had high hopes for.

  21. Windy says:

    I thought the whole show was terrible. I hurried to read the book before the series came out, and the entire series was so bogus. I understand they had permission from SK to rewrite some of the story, and he even contributed, but…… It was SO different. The only thing that remained the same was the fact there was in fact a dome, and the names of the characters were true to the book.
    I mean, Rusty, one of the main characters in the book isn’t even under the dome!! Junior is bordering on goody-goody, although I’m positive his actions could have never stayed true to the book. Big Jim is not as evil and hated (by me) as he was in the book. What about Andrea Grinnell? What about The (real) Chef?
    The glue that kept me stuck to the book just wasn’t here. Things are unclear in the series. The stupid “pink stars falling in lines” play a way huger role here than they ever did. I watched all episodes of this season, but I will not be returning.
    I could type endlessly on all the things I disliked.
    The only change that I thought I might like with the TV series was how Linda seemed like she was going to play a powerful female role, unlike the book. However,she just ended up getting stupider and stupider….

    Instead of saying a series “jumped the shark” couldn’t we say it “went under the dome”?!

    • Windy says:

      also……what was up with Maxine??? there was never a character like her in the novel. also, it was pointless for that story line to even start….why would you want to be queen of a world with limited resources? it gets you nowhere. she must have wandered in from another series…

  22. John Davies says:

    What an idiot! Posting a spoiler in the title of the article which is displayed on google!
    #Slow clap

  23. cris says:

    I liked the series can’t wait for junior to come to his senses and rejoin the group so they can kill evil big Jim. And I hope he gets exposed for all the evil he did before it happens . Then the group can kill junior off for all his waffling back and forth . Linda needs to grow a back bone and some common sense . They need to explain how and y juniors mom knew about the dome . I plan to watch next season on netflix when it comes out .

  24. Amy says:

    The majority of you sound like you wouldn’t be happy unless there was something to moan about anyway! Regardless of whether this was ment to be a miniseries or not it just so happens to be one of my favourite programmes I love it and can’t wait for series 2!

  25. Ruby says:

    Has any of you read the book from Steven King??? I was so disappointed with this miniserie as it it so far away from the story in the book, its unbelievable! Starting from the plot to the characters and their role in the story. Stretching it for another season does not make any sense..The only characters who are truthful to the real story plot is Big Jim, and maybe Barbie to a certain extent. What an insult to Steven King.

  26. I just finished the entire series thinking it was a MINI series and that the Finale meant what the dictionary terms it as FINAL or ENDING. I was so WRONG! I agree this should have been a mini series and this is where capitol and money take over faster then Big Jim in office. The networks sold us out just like Daddy death. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and making fun of the stupidity of the characters was part of the ritual. Sheriff Linda’s blank stare could be nothing more then zombism. Jr’s flip flopping is more like a split personality (I’m my Dad, No I’m my mom) And the entire time I knew full well we would never find out exactly what the dome was or where it came from because That’s Kings signature. I think Matt Web’s recap is PERFECT with it’s sarcasm, as this is what I was feeling through the entire show. But the laughs on me as even with knowing King never explains his phenomenons, I did hope the town would wrap itself up and finish itself off before leaving us all staring at the screen with a Sheriff Linda Blank Stare.

  27. Ronald says:

    Bummer, what a crappy endings. They just finished the mini serie ( thats how they announced it her).
    Ill read the book and create the pictures in my head instead of watching next year.
    It will save me some time.

  28. edsbib says:

    I liked the show it keeps thing going, IT sure is better than these reality phony shows like wasting your life watching real house wives and the stupid keeping up with all of the mindless shows on TV Now ED

  29. Rachel says:

    Guess I’m the only one that’s satisfied with the show.

    Maybe I’m the crazy one for liking it for what it is instead of crying because I want it to be something that its not.

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