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Falling Skies raises our hopes, and dashes them, again and again

Illustration for article titled emFalling Skies/em raises our hopes, and dashes them, again and again

Okay, seriously. This was a frustrating episode of Falling Skies. There were a few good moments — just like last week — but also, a lot of stuff that occasioned a serious amount of head-slapping. This show is going to give us a concussion from all the head-slapping.


Spoilers ahead...

There were really two things that were somewhat irksome about "Molon Labe":

Illustration for article titled emFalling Skies/em raises our hopes, and dashes them, again and again

1) Killing Jamil, who's pretty much the only really competent, level-headed person in the Second Mass. Jamil had grown on us as a character, purely because he seldom seemed whiny and he could always get stuff done. He was resourceful, and smart, and highly atypical of the Second Mass in his ability to stick to a plan. Plus it's hard to ignore the alacrity with which this show tends to dispose of all its African American characters — although the show waves Anthony in our faces at the end of the episode, just as a little reminder that there's still one left. (Did anybody else expect Anthony to be randomly killed by a falling tree or something, right after he started saying, "It's going to be great! There's going to be fish and booze and stuff!"?) Oh, and Jamil's death also brings out the nihilistic "we are born to suffering and then extinguished without reason" side of Lourdes — which turns out to be even more annoying than her "let's hold hands and talk about Jesus" side.

Illustration for article titled emFalling Skies/em raises our hopes, and dashes them, again and again

2) The whole "the aliens have a plan but we're not going to tell it to you" thing. Okay, so fair enough that the Overlord chooses not to explain the aliens' objective to Tom Mason — although why are they having yet another conversation where they toss rhetoric back and forth, if it's not actually going to include concrete stuff? (Especially since the Overlord is supposedly trying to convince Tom that the aliens are sorta benign, really.) But then later in the episode, there's a bit where Ben is leaving to strike out on his own, and Ben says, "When the Overlord was getting inside my head, I could get inside its head too. And I know what they're really about, and why we really have to stop them." And I was waiting for Tom to say, "Go on." Instead, Tom decides it's way more important to talk about kindergarten. (Cue Tom Baker voice: "TOM MASON IS AN IMBECILE!") And then Ben leaves, without ever passing along the crucial intelligence he gained from eavesdropping on the alien's thoughts.

On the plus side: I like the notion that there are other resistance groups, with their own de-harnessed kids.


Also, even Weaver has to accept at this point that the Skitter Rebellion is real, since as Tom says, no other explanation of the past couple episodes makes a lick of sense. (Of course, the Second Mass still hasn't made any concrete moves to make use of this knowledge — instead of letting Ben wander off on his own, they should be pressing Ben into service as a liaison with the Rebellion, to set up a proper alliance.)

Most of all, the bit where Karen is lecturing Hal about how the aliens can see every subatomic particle and predict how every little detail will turn out, when we know her Overlord master has been shot, is pretty priceless. That's a fine, lovely scene. And Tom absolutely did the right thing shooting the Overlord — his value as a hostage apparently wasn't keeping the aliens from attacking, but he's obviously of great importance to the aliens. Whether the Second Mass escaped that hospital or not, one of their main objectives had to be keeping the Overlord out of the aliens' hands.


In one of the episode's many subplots, Hal kinda-sorta admits he can't stop thinking about Karen — and the moment he finally admits he might still have a thing for his harnessed ex-girlfriend, Maggie starts making out with him. I guess they're really going full tilt with the "Maggie has low self-esteem" angle.

All in all, this was an episode that didn't change much, except for finally peeling Ben away from the Second Mass and confirming that the Skitter Uprising is for real. Oh, and killing off Jamil and that other guy. Sigh. Poor Jamil. He deserved better.


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Dr Emilio Lizardo

I pointed out last season that a disproportionately high percentage of black men die on this show. It's almost a parody at this point.

They really handle the overlord poorly. There seem to be very few of them on earth. They are probably extremely valuable assets, yet the Second Mass makes very little effort to leverage that. Unless you want to how them as an incompetent band of irregulars (which they are, but I think the show wants to portray them as one thing more) you need to do one thing with that asset.

The conversation without revealing anything reminds me of the worst parts of Terra Nova.. It is lazy writing.

Overall, I like this show some but I think it could be a lot better.