The audience of Falling Skies is used to harebrained schemes by now, and this week’s episode, “Till Death Do Us Part,” gives the surviving members of the 2nd Mass something to do: clear the rubble burying the Espheni beamer so they can use the superior technology to their advantage.
It’s just crazy enough to work! And in a season filled with disappointingly flat storytelling, I’ll take a little crazy if it entertains.
I enjoyed Cochise’s self-admonishment about not spotting the power source on the moon, because I was definitely wondering the same thing: why wasn’t this discovered before? I have to agree somewhat with Anne’s skepticism, too; if by some chance they make it to the moon, what are they planning to breathe once they get up there? Never mind all the misgivings they expressed about actually piloting the thing.
Also in the category of why wasn’t this mentioned before: the Volm cache of super-tech. I know the explanation mentioned Skitter patrols and mechs in the way, but is anyone else feeling like the Volm are holding out on the humans out of narrative convenience? Can’t make it TOO easy after all! Likewise the unbelievable bad luck of running into Mira, who literally blew the whistle on them before they could get the special explosives. Was anyone surprised in the least that Mira was playing for the other side? Yet, when you think about it, there really wasn’t time for her brainwashing to take hold. Only in Falling Skies.
Let’s talk about what was awesome about this episode: MAGGIE WITH SPIKES! Her adjustment period and training with Ben reminds us of the dilemma Ben and Deni went through at the start of season three when they were offered the chance to have their spikes removed. Clearly no one would – Maggie with superpowers is amazing! She’s like Annie Oakley and Bella from Breaking Dawn rolled into one. The heightened emotions – including love – provide a new twist along with the bond that the donated spikes share with their donor. Who can blame Ben for coveting his brother’s girlfriend? And thank you, Hal, for not brooding like most characters in your position would do. A nice punch in the face and a possessive warning is just the immediate reaction we needed.
The other relationship that has remained believable through its ups and downs has been that of Tom and Anne. Their argument over the choices they both have made with regard to the future of the 2nd Mass and the tabling of the Lexi issue was skillfully managed. I’m not sure it was completely necessary, though, and to be honest, the wedding seemed in poor taste so soon after the Saturday Night Massacre. I mean weren’t they pretty much married for all intents and purposes anyway?
Speaking of relationships, the Sarah and Pope debacle must end. The new character is annoying in the extreme, and she basically let Pope dig himself into a deep hole through her delay in telling him the truth about what was in the Vicodin bottle. Pope is an ass; we know that. Letting him call you a liar and an addict without correcting him just so you can throw it in his face later is childish, especially given the overwrought reaction to a minor injury. Please tell me Sarah leaving camp to live on some nearby farm is a permanent change. But no, you know they’ll give us a tearful, apologetic reunion towards the end of the season that no one will care about.
So is it off to space next week? The beamer rising from the rubble was a nice ending, especially given their use of the Hitler youth whistle, lending a silver lining to their all-too-coincidental encounter with the brainwashed team leaders. Destroying another power source seems a bit repetitive from last season’s conclusion, but I’ll take any victory I can get, as I’m sure will the 2nd Mass. Makes me wonder how they’ll squeeze out another season to wrap things up.