This review contains spoilers.
The characters on Falling Skies pretty much always assume the best of people. Pope won his way out of purgatory by being helpful to the group in spite of what happened with Maggie. Tom has won his way back into the good graces of the group multiple times after being abducted and experimented on and who knows what else. Ben, Anne, even Lexi have all had a moment in the sun after making it past some unpleasant situation or another. Even when it’s burned them, as it did with Lexi, they’ve been insistent and consistent about looking for the best in people, second chances, all that stuff that’s going to get them killed at some point. You’ve got kids turning on parents thanks to reeducation camps, eye worms, and now Espheni-style pod people, and yet the Second Mass continues to trust pretty much everyone after a little warming-up period.
The militias are gathering in numbers and marching on Washington, waiting for the Second Mass to lead the final assault on Washington and wipe out the alien menace. Of course, it wouldn’t be Falling Skies without some kind of complication, and not only do Tom Mason’s chickens come home to roost, another familiar face from Tom’s past makes an appearance. That’s right, Lexi Mason is back, and it’s up to the gang to decide whether she’s trustworthy or another one of those weird Melora Hardin-type replicants from the last episode. Her story matches up with Tom’s, but it’s pretty convenient that two people get the alien recovery treatment, isn’t it?
It’s strange to see the Falling Skies leadership showing suspicions as far as Lexi is concerned. In Marc Dube’s episode, Maggie’s response makes sense, as does Weaver’s. Maggie got fooled by Lexi before, and Weaver has just recently suffered the replicant treatment, so those two should be reticent to believe Lexi’s story, but it’s odd that Anne turns against her daughter from the very beginning. Tom’s tactic makes a little more sense for that character, but Anne says time and again she’s been burned before and isn’t going to get burned again, and before they can worry too much about their alien daughter, Pope and his gang show up to shoot the place up in what is the most disappointing moment of a disappointing season.
This is the last season for Falling Skies, so you’d expect a body count, explosions, and taking the war to the actual aliens. Instead we’ve gotten a lot of pouting, a couple of flirtations involving teenagers, and the final death throes of a hated love triangle. When the show does something interesting, like having Pope split off from Team Mason and start his own little group of warriors again, they ruin it by rushing through the resolution in a single episode. Last episode Pope finds out Tom is still alive. This episode, Pope is (apparently) blown up/crushed by falling debris courtesy of a couple of fuel barrels exploding in the back of a pickup truck. Assuming this isn’t some sort of trick—and I don’t see how it can be, unless Pope hid inside the building and is now trapped inside thanks to the rubble—it’s really a disappointing finish for a great character. Pope was the Daryl Dixon of Falling Skies, and while he turned bad, he deserved a better send-off than this (or at least something more satisfying like being killed by Tom for his crimes rather than killed by accident).
There’s other stuff happening, with every Mason taking turns talking to Lexi, but that ends up going to a better place after Lexi attacks Tom and they test out a new deus ex machina weapon given to Tom by his new alien overlords (Brad Turner gives us a brief glimpse at the alien as Tom stands with her beside the lake where the alien ship has been hiding, which was nice). It’s fitting that Marty, the new character, also happens to be a biochemist thanks to his work as a taster at a brewery, huh?
The return of Lexi wasn’t necessary, and it slows down the episode, which probably should’ve been focused on Pope coming back with an armed gang to attach the Second Mass. If the sins of the father are visited upon the sons, then Tom Mason’s sins should have come back to trouble his children in Pope form. That would have been a much more satisfying episode than the one we got, and the fact that Pope apparently goes out like a moron is even worse. The character, and Colin Cunningham, deserved much better than that. From the looks of things at the end of this episode, they’re also going to rush through an alien hornet attack before Tom gets to be the hero again.
US Correspondent Ron Hogan is not surprised to see Falling Skies rush through the Pope plot like the script was on fire, it’s just disappointing. The show has fallen off significantly since last season, and that’s saying something. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.
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