This Falling Skies review contains spoilers.
I’m flabbergasted. Just the idea that Falling Skies would introduce a paranoid military base this late in the game and have it play into the next episode as well is mind blowing. The storyline would have been perfectly at home in the third season, but with three episodes left, I’m just stunned at the incredible waste of time. It’s almost as though the finale is all that matters, and the rest is just filler until we get there.
Right now, the hope for a spectacular ending is all that’s keeping me going.
It’s not as if we didn’t already have enough human conflict with Pope going rogue, but that plot has been inexplicably sidelined. Instead, the fortuitous discovery of an entire military base complete with weaponry and materiel becomes the focus. Obviously, the influx of battle expertise, manpower, and equipment could be a great boon to the war effort, and the idea of the 14th Virginia joining the fight alongside the 2nd Mass has great appeal. Alas, it’s not to be, as the base’s leader, an old flame of Weaver’s, turns out to be paranoid and defense-oriented, which explains why they haven’t been heard from before this.
Ironically, the captain is under Espheni influence herself as she accuses the Masons of being human collaborators. That’s a nice touch, but my frustration for the heroes’ imprisonment bleeds over somewhat into my impatience with the show, making it difficult to enjoy the drama. It’s almost like Tom Mason himself is arguing that there’s no time for this, and it echoes my feelings for the series at large. I appreciated that the episode ended with an Overlord at least, reminding everyone what the 2nd Mass is really fighting against.
Other excellent moments included a wicked takedown from Maggie for a truly despicable soldier who tortured Ben (another excruciating but well done scene). I also enjoyed Weaver sending Matt on a mission to get reinforcements, and the youngest Mason bringing back a memorable phrase from last season: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over!” Anne getting back into her doctor duties was fun, too, especially since she had to use maggots to help with an infected wound. Unfortunately, these enjoyable moments were isolated and brief, making me wish for more.
Similarly brief was the far more interesting happenings at the whiskey plant, where Dingaan and Cochise worked out a way to hijack the Espheni communication device. This machinery will clearly be vital in intercepting enemy messages, and I liked the comparison to the Enigma operation in World War II. I’m not sure what strategy discussions they will end up listening in on, but I like the idea of having such an advantage. This type of narrative element is what Falling Skies needs to keep the story moving forward to it’s hopefully victorious conclusion in a few weeks.
But the kangaroo court took more than its fair share of the episode. The obvious arguments against the Masons – the eyeworms, the spikes, the mysterious return of Tom after his moon mission – are just that: obvious. What is the purpose of bringing these things up other than to delay the mission in a supposedly dramatic fashion? To give Hal’s two girlfriends a moment to size each other up? To allow Tom to make another impassioned speech? It’s all so unnecessary.
I get that a show like Falling Skies is all about drama and conflict, and an obstacle like the one this episode presented would have been perfectly fine if it weren’t the final season. But assuming the 2nd Mass will somehow overcome the court martial death sentence, the only conclusion anyone can make is that victory against the Espheni has been delayed, and unfortunately, so is my gratification. That can either mean my hunger is about to be satiated by an amazing ending or my stomach is just going to keep grumbling all the way to the end.
Feed me, Falling Skies!