TV Corner

Let’s Talk About… Under The Dome

Hello, and welcome to Tuesday TV. Today I’m going to be talking about the show Under the Dome, based off the Stephen King novel.

Under the Dome is a TV series based off the novel, with the same name, by Stephen King. Starting in 2013 the show took viewers to the town of Chester’s Mill where an unexplained, and unexpected dome appears over it. The town has to try and figure out how to survive, and how to knock it down.

Over the three seasons that the show aired, the characters had to go through heat waves, almost starving to death, angry people looting and causing fires, and other destructions, along with other supernatural factors such as pink stars falling, and an egg that hosts the fuel for the dome.

The show also expanded on where the novel left off. Even though the dome does come down in the novel, it comes down a lot faster than the TV show. Originally the novel was supposed to be made into a mini series, but then it turned into a full-fledged show. It would have been better as a mini series because the show had to stretch out the dome coming down, because what do you do with a show that calls “Under the Dome”, with no dome?

Let’s back it up to season one, where it all began. We meet our main characters:

Dean Norris PictureJames ‘Big Jim’ Rennie, played by Dean Norris, a car dealership owner who has a really big ego, and thinks his son isn’t man enough. He later on makes himself chief. Over the course of the show, it’s a love hate relationship for Jim because of his actions.

 

 

 

Alexander Koch PictureJames ‘Junior’ Rennie, played by Alexander Koch,  is Big Jim’s son. He’s awful and ruthless; he works with the police, but for the wrong reasons. Over the course of the show you hate him more and more. He tries to do good, but it never works out for him so he resorts to violence, especially towards his father.

 

 

Rachelle Lefevre Picture

Julia Shumway, played by Rachelle Lefevre, is a news reporter at the newspaper in town. She’s fairly new to town, and her husband has died. Over the course of the show, she becomes a leader for people to look up to.

 

 

 

Mike Vogel PictureDale Barbra, ‘Barbie’, played by Mike Vogel,  is just passing through the town after being in the military for years. He also becomes a leader for people to look up to alongside Julia.

 

 

 

 

Joe McAlister, played by Colin Ford, who is trapped under the dome with his sister, Angie, while their parents are on the other side. He is also one of the smartest kids under the dome, which comes to be very useful.

 

 

 

Mackenzie Lintz Picture

Norrie Calvert-Hill, played by Mackenzie Lintz,  is just passing through the town with her moms on her way to boot camp when the dome hits.

 

 

 

 

After the dome is down, a lot of catastrophe hits. Houses burn, there’s looting, and riots, people start to die, an outbreak of meningitis hits. It’s a mess. Joe and Norrie start to have really random seizures, which relate to the dome. It isn’t long before Angie starts to have the seizures too. Angie tries to get away from Junior because they used to date, and Junior doesn’t want them to break up, so he locks her in a bomb shelter, real smooth.

Dodee, a secondary character, and one that doesn’t make it past the first season, is a character who works at the local radio station. She uses her skills to pick up a military frequency. That helps with Barbie, when he finds out that the military plan to destroy the dome with a missile, because that’s a good idea.

Joe and Norrie, who find comfort in one another, start to date. While together they find a mini dome that holds a mysterious egg. This egg could be the end to all their problems, or the start of completely new ones.

The only episode of Under the Dome I ever cried for was episode seven “Imperfect Circles” when Norrie loses one of her moms, so sad. She ends up loosing the other in season three, but that death wasn’t as sad.

Joe shows Julia the mini dome, who then tries to show it to Barbie, but it disappears.

We then find out what the meaning behind the seizures is, and it has to do with the mini dome. When all of them put their hand on the dome, it lights up, but they’re missing one hand. Angie finds out it’s Junior and together the mini dome comes alive.

It isn’t long before Junior abandons them, and this causes the weather to turn bad.

A character named Maxine, who shows up for a few episodes, shoots Julia. She used to be Barbie’s boss, and a former business partner of Big Jim’s. Maxine causes a lot of problems between the three of them, especially when she finds out her mother is dead, Big Jim’s doing. She threatens to kill both Big Jim and Barbie, but Big Jim takes care of her, by shooting her dead. Then he blames Barbie for killing both Maxine and her mother and shooting Julia. This causes the town to go against Barbie.

Even though Julia finds out that Barbie was involved in her husband’s murder, she still finds it in her heart to forgive him, and love him.

The mini dome needs protecting to it has to be moved. So Joe moves it to his friend Ben’s house.

The season ends with the town hating Barbie, and the dome turning black with mysterious monarch butterflies appearing.

The first season is really the best season of the whole series. It stays pretty true to the novel, and it gives the viewers who have read the novel some surprises.

Season two’s shift is towards survival because supplies are running low. The season opens with Barbie being tried for the murders, and his fate lies in Big Jim’s hands, which is not good.

A mysterious girl appears out of nowhere that needs medical attention. We find out her name is Melanie Cross, played by Grace Victoria Cox, but she can’t remember anything about herself. All she knows is she is connected to the dome. Joe and Norrie help her to find out more at the dome wall.

Angie is murdered, and it’s later found out that Sam was behind it (he thought she was one of the people that had to die to bring down the dome).

A new character Rebecca Pine, played by Karla Crome, is introduced for the season, as she doesn’t make it past season two. (Jim kills her). She helps in survival, and growing crops, as she’s a science teacher. The town is going through a big caterpillar infestation that can harm their crops.

On top of the infestation, a rainstorm turns into acid rain, causing panic and chaos. Conditions only get worse and the town is divided.

It’s Big Jim and Rebecca against Julia and Barbie. Rebecca thinks they should resort to population control, which is essentially killing people whom of no use. This leads to Julia taking over Chester’s Mill.

Sam Verdreaux, who is played by Eddie Cahill, is a new character on the show as well. It’s a little interesting where these new characters keep popping up for a small town living under a dome. But he’s Big Jim’s brother-in-law, Pauline’s brother. Pauline is also a new character this season too. Big Jim’s wife was thought to be dead in the first season, but makes her debut appearance in season two before she actually dies.

Sam’s story ties in with Melanie’s story because it has to do with the mini dome, dating back to the late 80s. Sam, Melanie, Pauline, and another character named Lyle all went to high school together. One night in the forest where a meteorite had fallen, they found a glowing egg. Melanie felt the need to protect it, so she ran off with it. Lyle thought it was dangerous so he pushed Melanie, which caused to hit her head and die. They are the original four hands before Joe, Angie, Norrie and Junior.

Sam is known as the town drunk because of his grief for what happened that night. He was an EMT, but lost his job due to his drunkenness. He steps onto the show by witnessing Julia pulling Melanie’s body out of the water, the water where she was dumped when she died, and he helps to save her. We later learn that Melanie and Sam where once in love, but she hasn’t aged a day.

Sam ends up going with Barbie to explore these new tunnels under Chester’s Mill, maybe it will provide a way out.

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And it does, sort of. There’s a cliff inside the tunnels that will take you outside the dome. Barbie sets out to look for Sam and finds himself in familiar territory.

More destruction happens when a dust storm blows through the town, this is probably in connection with the cave in Barbie and Sam experience while under in the tunnels.

Barbie tries to get his father to help him reach Julia, who is still under the dome, but it looks like his father knows more about the dome, then Barbie does: enter Aktaion.

Aktaion Energy is a company run by Barbie’s father, Don Barbara. The government hired them to find out what’s powering the dome before the military does. By sending out wifi signals inside the dome, they could find out more. Hunter May, who becomes a main character, is the one in charge of all the hacking, and computer signals.

While inside the Dome Big Jim makes himself sheriff of Chester’s Mill.

Barbie is then taken and interrogated by the military about the dome, when all he wants to do is tell Julia not to jump because the military are just using her. All they want is the egg. Meanwhile, Julia thinks Barbie is dead because she hasn’t heard from him. But Big Jim knows better, and knows Barbie is still alive, and he knows that the military want the egg. Once Julia finds out Barbie is alive, she doesn’t know if she wants to trade the egg for Barbie.

This somewhat leads us to Pauline, Big Jim’s wife. A little back story: she saw visions (like the pink stars) and Jim thought she wasn’t okay and that she should go into a mental institute to get help. She begged him not to so she faked her death with the help of her old boyfriend Lyle and the reverend. That’s when she moved to Zenith to start her new life. And that’s where the other side of the dome is at, and where Sam and Barbie are.

Sam went to find Pauline and Lyle to examine one of her paintings, one with a red door on it. Pauline believes it to be a way back into the dome. She wants Sam and Lyle to go, look for the red door to save Junior. When they can’t she brings them to Hunter, which leads them to Barbie, and that’s where they find the red door at Barbie’s house. (Sidenote: Junior knows she’s alive because she visited him in his dreams, and sent him a video (when the dome had wifi for all of five minutes) Big Jim knows nothing of this, imagine his surprise).

Because Big Jim doesn’t know he makes a deal with the military officers who are outside the dome, saying he’ll give them the egg, for his and Junior’s freedom, which is accepted. So he throws the egg over the cliff, big mistake! But then Big Jim finds his wife (she went through the red door too) and he learns the truth.

As if more destruction couldn’t happen, the temperature takes a very low dip, and the town of Chester’s Mill becomes a freezer.

As soon as temperatures rise again, the dome starts to contract and the residents are in fear of being crushed. Because the egg’s whereabouts are unknown, Melanie’s health deteriorates, until she pretty much meets her death. Her life depends on the egg, since she did come back from being dead for 25 years.

The earth pretty much opens up and swallows Melanie once she dies, this causes an earthquake that disturbs everything. Pauline is knocked down and this causes brain injury that can’t be saved while under the dome. So she asks Rebecca if she would help her go quietly. But when Big Jim sees Rebecca with the morphine he turns on her, smashing her skull with a hammer. Oh Jim, I didn’t like Rebecca, but still.

Norrie, Joe, and Hunter find the tunnels laced with purple glowing deposits, which will later be the place for the cocoons.

The season ends with everyone thinking they’re going to make it out, but well all they get are some more monarch butterflies and Melanie telling them they’re going home.

Now season three takes a really weird turn. The last season really stretched out the plot line, and you could tell by watching it that, the writers were really grasping at straws trying to make another season. Introducing cocoons that held everyone who was still alive in the third season to keep the dome alive, and give the characters an alter-reality to live off of. They think they were outside the dome for a year, but in reality they were stuck in these cocoons. That’s how the season started, and it just made no sense.

From there the kingship was born, with Christine Price, played by Marg Helgenberger, as their leader, a new character who is working for Aktaion. Another new character, Eva Sinclair, played by Kylie Bunbury, comes into the mix too. They are first seen when they are “outside the dome” and then they enter the dome through the cocoons. Now Christine is obviously the alpha, but she trains Eva to become the new alpha, once she’s gone. Christine pushes Eva to Barbie, because in the altered reality, Julia is dead, and Barbie is with Eva. And so this is crucial that the two get back together under the dome because they need to have a baby together so their baby can be the new queen (of the dome). Yeah, it’s some really weird crap.

The Kingship has brainwashed everyone in the town to helping nourish and protect the dome, but only a few weren’t tricked into the brainwash of it all. Our main characters stayed in tack, trying to break through to the rest of the town. So Julia, Big Jim, Joe, Norrie, and Hunter are not under the influence of the Kingship. Barbie is under it, and Julia spends a lot of the season trying to wake him up so to speak. Even when he treats her so badly, and almost tries to kill her, she still tries so hard, and it finally works.

 

 

 

 

Aktaion is trying to come up with a cure for ones affected, and they try to use it on Junior, and it works for a little bit. It works so much that Big Jim unties him, and Junior attacks, proving that the cure doesn’t work for long.

The dome is dying, which isn’t news. The citizens are running out of oxygen. Though I don’t know how it only got to this point now, I feel like if a dome came down, it would take less than 3 weeks for oxygen to start running out. It also feels like a lot more time has passed than 3 weeks, just because the show has been on for 3 years.

That leads to this happening: The Kingship sacrificing itself.

 

 

 

 

They need to break down the dome in order to survive. So Christine has people dig for amethysts because those can help take down the dome. They find three, but once Barbie is awake, he destroys two of them, so they are left with one, and one will not help destroy the dome.

Joe is one of the smartest people in the town and Christine has him trying to create some sort of device that will work with the amethyst to break it down. He has to think quickly, but it still takes a while before he comes up with a device. But it isn’t revealed until everything is set up and they’re all in place that one of them needs to be sacrificed. Dawn (we’ll get to) tells Norrie that it needs to be her, and Norrie freaks out, so Joe sacrifices himself where he just disappears, but the dome comes down.

So Dawn, is Barbie and Eva’s love child. Barbie is super worried about his baby, but it’s not really a baby. Eva uses women to help feed the child, so she’s literally pregnant for three days.

Once the baby is born Eva dyes because Christine kills her with a pillow. Now that the queen is born, Eva isn’t needed anymore. Christine attaches Dawn to the weird cocoon to help speed the process of her growth. Dawn literally becomes an adult in one episode and she’s a superhuman. She doesn’t care for her people; she wants them to destroy the dome so she can rule them outside of it.

The way the series ended, it looked like they were going to come back, the writers didn’t see the show being cancelled. What was really sad was Big Jim had to kill his son Junior because he will never be the same again. That was hard for Jim, and I’m glad they made it hard for him because killing people is so easy to Jim.

 

 

 

 

The second half of the episode takes place either 6 months to a year after the dome came down, Barbie and Julia get engaged, or well they are about to, and they get interrupted by Big Jim and brought to his office because Dawn is on the loose again. She has kids, who knows if they’re hers or not, but they have found a glowing egg.

Norrie has joined the army, and she knows where Joe is kept. She goes to him, unknowingly and tells him she’ll find a way to get him out.

Now viewers will never know what will happen with that egg, which if I had to guess, another dome would go up and the cycle would start again. What I’m really sad that I don’t get to see is what will happen with Norrie and Joe. Like where is Joe, other than captured by the military, we’ll never know.

But you can tell why the show was cancelled; when it first started the show had a 13 million rating, compared to a 6.25 million for season three-season premier.

Oh well, the show had its run, it was good at times, and kinda horrible at others, I still really liked the show.

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