Falling Skies: A Thing With Feathers Review

Despite the lack of battle action, Falling Skies turned in a satisfying episode. Here's our review...

In the aftermath of last week’s battle, the 2nd Mass is in recovery mode, but this week’s episode of Falling Skies still had plenty to offer. The title, “A Thing With Feathers,” is an homage to the Emily Dickinson poem “Hope is the thing with feathers,” and obviously the theme of hope figures largely in this time of loss for the group. Specifically, or so it seems, hope comes in the form of how the enemy’s technology can help them.

Lexi would have her brother, Ben, believe that the Espheni bring hope by way of the supposedly peaceful solution of genetically altering humans and enslaving them. Does she really believe her argument is persuasive? I’m hoping Ben has successfully planted a seed of doubt in Lexi’s brainwashed mind, but I’m no longer convinced Lexi can be saved. I hope I am proven wrong.

Hope also drives young Matt Mason to find his missing father, whom everyone assumes was killed along with scores of others, in the wreckage of Chinatown. Thankfully, Weaver understands Matt’s need to believe, and he supports him even when they’re digging in the wrong pile of rubble. The audience knows, of course, that there’s reason to hope: Tom IS actually alive, trying to get back to the surface.

Tom’s part of the story was definitely the most compelling. What did the Espheni beamer ship, buried under fallen debris, do to his arm? I found myself wondering if the wiggling creature Dingaan pulled out from under Tom’s skin was essential for someone to pilot the vehicle. However, it probably was simply an excuse for Dingaan to pull the pin on the Espheni grenade that saved them.

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In any case, Dingaan was probably the one having the most trouble keeping hope, and, like many viewers I’m sure, I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic. Of course, once the story came out about his son’s death and the guilt he felt over his inattentiveness,  it all came into focus. I especially liked the sudden revelation of the reason for Dingaan’s discomfort surrounding the incessant beeping sound and their underground circumstances. Very powerful and quite moving.

Perhaps the most interesting development, however, was with Maggie, who was paralyzed in the explosion last week and was not given much hope of surviving. Maggie herself had given up hope and asked Hal to let her go peacefully. Thank goodness he ignored her wishes and had Anne perform a spike transplant! This maneuver does beg the question why they’ve never tried the procedure before, but it provides a perfect excuse to set up a rivalry for Maggie’s affections between Hal and Ben.

Pope and Sarah’s relationship was slightly more relatable this week as well. It was nice to see Sarah realize that looking out for number one wasn’t “any kind of life,” because of course, that’s what Pope has come to realize in his own journey. But Sarah’s dialogue (or perhaps Sorvino’s delivery) continues to be stiff, and she elicits very little sympathy. I want to know why I should care about her other than as a softening element for Pope!

Nevertheless, this was a satisfying episode despite the lack of battle action – or perhaps because of it. The theme of hope was strong, and the writing and character development had real depth. Ending with the green light on the moon and the activation of the buried beamer was a nice transitional touch as well. I’m definitely wondering where this will lead in the coming weeks.

What did you think? Comment below!

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4.5 out of 5