Falling Skies Season 3: Episode 3, Badlands

Plot twists galore! More creepy babies! And, of course, the looming threat of the Volm. Season 3 of Falling Skies rolls on with an uneven, but entertaining episode!

Not much happened in this episode of Falling Skies except Crazy Lee bit the dust. And yes, it took the entire episode. Granted, perhaps the death of a regularly featured character like Crazy Lee should be considered with more emotion. The problem is (and this ties into a problem with the series overall) that the character was so close to a caricature, it was difficult to connect. Good fighter, tough talker, tattooed up, right hand of Pope (the perpetual tough guy). Whenever she spoke, whatever she did, it was not a surprise. It seemed…scripted. Which it is, but there are ways to be more natural about the under-development of a stock character.Nonetheless, there were some lovely points to “Badlands.” The opening sequence that featured Matt going from group to group along the front line delivery batteries was a nice way to interweave storylines and dialogue. Why that boy isn’t in school and instead is put in harm’s way acting as a runner remains beyond me. Must be nice being the President’s son. Comes with all sorts of perks, like unnecessarily risking a child’s life. Right.What seems to be a tense, boring, hurry-up-and-wait situation quickly becomes a tense, not-so-boring being shot at situation. Who’s doing the shooting? Not aliens this time, but humans. One of them, a blond chick named Katherine Fisher is taken alive. Lee, however, is shot at, falls, and get’s a piece of rebar stuck through her brain. It’s fatal, but in a lingering way, so everyone gets plenty of time to say goodbye.Meanwhile, the interrogation with Katherine Fisher goes nowhere until Noah Wyle strides in, gives her some water, and does his magic. Then it comes out she’s a rep of the “real” President, Andrew Hathaway. Ooookay…unnecessary plot twists in an already plot-twist-full season. Seriously, and it’s only the third episode in.Speaking of extraneous storytelling, baby Alexis continues to get creepy. Anne tries to take a sample of her blood to see if her baby is normal. During said test, the baby pulls her foot back, says, “Don’t,” and then proceeds to stand up and say “Mom.” While she didn’t dance around and make things fly, 3-week old babies should not be able to do such things.Hal and Maggie continue to have relationship problems. Hal finally tells her that Karen’s been controlling him and he thinks he’s the mole and oh yeah, he’s leaving. She says he’s not and that whatever he’s done it wasn’t him, it was Karen. How much would you bet she’d be much less understanding if she found out they had sexy times on the forest floor? Hal spends the rest of the episode trying to leave and/or turn himself in. Maggie spends the rest of the episode trying to convince him not to do either. Nothing in that storyline gets resolved.In other episode news, Tom also has to figure out what to say at a Liberty Tree ceremony (a metal tree sculpture for the memorial of the fallen), pick a Vice President, and, oh yeah, figure out what the heck the Volm are building. He chooses his right hand aide as his VP and then scraps the speech she gives him for a heartfelt one about loss, trudging on, and remembering people’s lives. He remembers Lee in particular, who dies at the end of the episode. Pope, of course, gets mad and yells at Tom about it saying it’s his fault. Tom agrees. Pope goes, “well….” And then can’t really say anything or even hit Tom to relieve his feelings. Maybe Pope is finally getting it that being the President is NOT EASY. I mean, I know you and Tom have never gotten along, but you can give your frenemy a break once in a while. Right?Then, at the end of the tree ceremony, naturally Charleston gets attacked by planes. In the midst of this chaos, creepy baby Alexis looks up and tracks the flying weapons. And she…smiles…Oh, creepy babies. Such a trite way to throw in suspense, but I suppose in a show about the world teetering on collapse because of aliens, it was bound to pop up! Den of Geek Rating: Three out of Five starsLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!


3 out of 5