Nothing has been dumbed down or simplified; in a first season episode (in
other words, the first episode of any given season), you get a lot of
sampling. If the show is obscure, or there's too much prior knowledge
required to get into it...they go away fast. So there was a bit more
straightforward exposition in this episode in order to avoid scaring off new
And I stated, some time ago, that this was a lighter episode because it's
sandwiched between two very intense episodes, "Chrysalis" and "Revelations,"
and I think you need some relief there.
And as Walker noted, there are times when the dome is on standby, as
noted in "Midnight." The systems every 36 hours or so go through a period of
self-repair and maintainance for an hour or two; if anything comes out of the
gate or into local space, someone's there within seconds.