This episode is all about Hal, and with a fourth season of the series recently ordered by TNT, I guess you can squander entire episodes on one character’s storyline while not really moving forward anything else.
Tom goes from naught to 60 upon learning that a) Alexis and Anne have been kidnapped and b) Alexis is an alien baby. He goes all, “I’m gonna get them!” And since this seems to fit right into Evil Hal’s plan, Hal goes, “yeah!” But then Col. Weaver talks Tom into waiting 24 hours. Which doesn’t reaaallly suit Evil Hal at all. So, the brilliant alien bug/Karen game plan is to kidnap Tom and force him to give th info on the Volm superstructure being built by offering to trade Alexis and Anne.
This leads basically to a mostly 30 minute standoff with Hal and, well, everyone, holding Tom hostage. There are many moments of Tom trying to talk Evil Hal down, Col. Weaver trying to talk Evil Hal down, Maggie, trying to talk Evil Hal down. Everyone basically gets their turn, though of course Pope, being Pope, is disgusted by the Mason family and instead stalks off to his bar and takes bets on their surviving the situation.
Hey. He may be an ass, but at least he’s an entertaining ass with a sick sense of humor. Which, ultimately, you gotta love. Of course, when Col. Weaver learns of this, he gets all mad, blah, blah, blah and basically shuts down an entire bar’s fun just by walking in, glowering, drinking two whiskeys, and walking out.
That’s a man with balls who knows how to use ‘em.
Anyways, Tom has a semi touching moment with Evil Hal where he talks about his inadequacies as a father—though why this makes Evil Hal cry, I have no idea. If the alien bug has taken over his brain, it makes no sense that anything Tom says would have any emotional resonance—especially if the bug is being ridden by Karen. Nonetheless, Tom almost gets through—but then he doesn’t. The whole debacle more or less ends when everyone in the Mason family plus Maggie sneaks into the building, jumps on Hal, who accidentally shoots off his gun near his head, which knocks him out.
Of course he survives, is that even a question? Head wounds always look worse than they actually are, folks. Naturally there seems to be no way to get the device out until the rebel Skitters tell them they have the technology (course they do). Naturally as well, this technology will either kill the bug, or kill Hal.
This leads to what should be a touching moment between Tom and his VP Marina Peralta by the memorial tree talking about love, death, yadda yadda yadda we all know what’s going to happen. Just hurry up and decide to give your kid the cure, would ya Tom?
He does, and there’s much writhing and screaming and Evil Hal being mean and trying to get people (mostly Maggie) to untie him. Then he screams a bunch and they insert the alien tech into him. It gets the bug out and it stops Hals heart. The doctors jab him with epinephrine right into the heart with one of THE biggest needles I have ever seen. It’s reassuring I suppose, that in the middle of an apocalypse, both whiskey and large hypodermic needles still abound. I don’t know why these two things seem to always survive, and not, say, salt and pepper shakers. They just do.
I have to say, for the episode being what it was, it wasn’t terrible. Granted, it was a given Hal was going to get the alien out, but I did NOT see Tom resigning coming. Marina seems to just come out of nowhere to become President of the New U.S. pretty damn fast. For a character to have such acceleration means that the actor playing has a fantastic agent—or that character is about to have a major plot twist and soon. Of course, nothing moves forward except the evil alien gets taken out of Hal—but it’s still not clear if he was the spy. There are indications it might be Marina, so now she’s President so that either means she isn’t and is just an awesome chick or she is and humanity’s going down the tubes pretty quickly now. I personally would favor the awesome chick storyline because I’m sorry, but the best sci-fi, heck, the best TV or movie President I have ever seen was President Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica. I would love to see more females kicking serious alien ass in leadership roles in Hollywood. It’s just plain awesome to see someone sip tea and dress down a five star general at the same time.