In the immortal words of Charles Dickens: “It is a far, far better Dome that I do than I have ever Domed; it is a far, far better Dome that I go to than I have ever Domed.” Truer words? Never Domed. Last night saw the finale of the first season of Under the Dome, the most popular new series of the summer among both human beings and Domes pretending to be human beings. A good season finale can rescue a bad season. Whatever happened last night was not a good season finale. A summer of incoherent plotting ended incoherently. There was, however, some minor clarity about the mystery of the Dome — it’s almost certainly created by aliens, unless it’s created by people from the future and/or cyborg angels. The episode ended on a cliffhanger that made no sense whatsoever. But hey, it’ll be back for another season in 2014 — plenty of time to work out the kinks. Meantime, let’s run down the most important things that happened on the Under the Dome season finale:

The Monarch Butterfly hatched from the chrysalis. It was flying around the inside of the Mini-Dome. Every time it hit the side, a terrible blackness would spread. In turn, blackness spread across the Big Dome. “Maybe it’s some kind of warning!” said the kids. Sheriff Linda, unimpressed, touched the Mini-Dome and got blown across the room. Sheriff Linda is really just not a very good cop, let’s be honest.

The Mini-Dome disintegrated. When the four kids put their hands on it, it glowed pink and then suddenly just broke apart into a million little pieces. This is sad news, since the Mini-Dome was one of my favorite characters. (Cards on the table: I was totally ‘shipping the Mini-Dome and Barbie.) The butterfly was dead, but then Norrie touched it and it was still alive. Then happy music played and it flew around Barbie.

We know who the Monarch is. Because the butterfly flew around Barbie, Joe decided that Barbie must be the Monarch. But then an earthquake started, and it only stopped when Julia picked up the Egg. “She’s your Monarch,” said Barbie. The notion of a higher power choosing the community’s leader would probably be more meaningful if we had any sense of the Chester’s Mill community beyond the six main characters, or if the whole town didn’t seem to basically be running along just fine with propane reserves. Anyhow, Julia is the Monarch.

Big Jim was the last character on the show to hear the phrase ‘The pink stars are falling in lines.'” This struck a chord with him, since it was a mantra repeated by his artist wife. He showed Linda a painting of pink stars falling over a black egg. Linda decided that this meant Big Jim’s family was special. Big Jim decided this meant him and Junior were God’s Chosen Ones, basically. I want to give the show credit here and say that it’s setting up an interesting dichotomy for season two. Both factions in town believe that they have been “chosen,” which is cool. Of course, neither of them have any clue who chose them, or what they’ve been chosen for.

A zombie projection of Alice appeared to everyone and explained everything in the most oblique way possible. Specifically, she/it said: “Forgive us. We’re still learning to speak with you. We’ve taken on a familiar appearance to help bridge the divide.” She confirmed that she represented the being/beings who sent the Dome to Chester’s Mill. She also explained, “The Dome wasn’t sent to punish you. It was sent to protect you.” The being insisted that protecting the Egg was important.

Julia threw the Egg into the water, and that solved everything. Pink stars ascended away from the water to the top of the Dome. It was a great visual (props to Jack Bender, the guy who shot most of the great Lost episodes, for his work in this episode.) Then the pink stars caused the Dome to shine bright like a diamond. Big Jim ruined the moment by yelling at Junior to hang Barbie from the gallows, but Junior hesitated. The last shot of the season was from outside the Dome; it had turned completely white.

Basically, all of us could mean absolutely anything, but here’s my big Under the Dome theory: The Dome was actually sent back in time by a race of post-human creatures who live in an era after a thermonuclear apocalypse has destroyed the world. These creatures are attempting to keep the human race alive without radically altering the timeline; to that end, they have cut the citizens of Chester’s Mill off from the outside world so that they can survive the coming apocalypse. (Essentially, they’re rescuing a microcosm of Earth’s population, with the hope that the microcosm can repopulate post-apocalyptic Earth.) The Egg is not a container; it’s the doorway through which they can send energy signals back in time.

In fact, maybe these post-human creatures — for argument’s sake, let’s say that they are a cognitive bacterial collective who exist in four dimensions — inadvertently caused great calamities throughout history due to accidental tampering (killing the dinosaurs, the Tunguska Event, Spock yelling “Khaaaaan!” in Star Trek Into Darkness) and the Dome is their attempt to begin to repair the damage by rescuing a community of humans and teaching them how to be better people.

So, in the world of Under the Dome, God is a virus from the future. [Drops mic.]

Fellow Dome enthusiasts, what did you think about the final Dome of 2013? Given all the talk about Revelations in tonight’s episode, could it be that this was a stealth crossover with Sleepy Hollow? And how would you change the show in season 2? Dean Norris can do no wrong, but the prospect of Julia Shumway as the “Monarch” has me feeling antsy. Can’t they bring Maxine back to life and make next season all about gambling and prostitution and fight clubs? It’d be just like Boardwalk Empire, but with a Dome.

Episode Recaps

Under the Dome
Chester’s Mill residents suddenly find themselves cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious, impenetrable barrier, which surrounds the town in this Stephen King adaptation.
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