Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Falling Skies: Season 3, Episode 3: Bad Lands

Matt runs from outpost to outpost in the ruined city replacing the batteries in their massively huge radios; Dani and Ben are playing the geekiest word games known to mankind to keep themselves amused. Pope’s berserkers want to know why they need to be on watch with the Volm’s security field but Pope agrees with Tom on this one – no matter how good your security is, extra look out can never hurt, especially with the Espheni attack expected. And for Pope and his gang, Matt has some tasty treats he’s stolen as well as the batteries.

A sniper watches their position – one that seems to have human hands in a human glove.

Tom watches Hal make some great progress with being able to walk again, though Maggie and Hal are both troubled by it, before going to talk to Marina. He’s worried that most of the information about how everything works and the whole war is held in the hands of the military, there’s only about 4 civilians who have the same level of knowledge – and they need someone who can stand up to the military (especially General Bressler who isn’t the brightest bulb). They walk past Jeaniene who is making a metal tree to represent – life, liberty, that no damn green stuff grows around there – pick one. Now Tom needs a speech to celebrate the creation of really ugly metal things

Back out in the ruins, Crazy Lee steps out to take care of business – and the sniper opens up. Tector covers Pope going to check on her. The bullets didn’t go through her vest – but she can’t see. She’s fallen back and a spike in the ground has stabbed her head; she can’t feel it. Pope runs back to Matt and tells him they need a hacksaw.

In the war room, Tom is told of the situation and he and Weaver insist on going out to see what’s happening when they learn it’s the 2nd Massachusetts under fire. Tom and Weaver head out and get a brief recap of the situation from Ben: several hidden opponents. After exchanging lots of fire back and forth, Tom manages to shoot someone. They go to his body and find – a human being.

Ben votes for talking to them and Tom agrees though Weaver thinks that if they wanted to talk they would have, y’know, talked rather than opened fire. Tom points out with the Espheni planning to invade, they really don’t need this.

Matt brings a chainsaw to Pope and they realise the rebar in Crazy Lee’s head goes all the way through – in the back, out her temple.

Away from the action, Anne is still all kinds of creeped out by her baby, Alexis – including her apparently being able to predict the prick of a blood test needle – saying “don’t”. Then to really up the creepy – she stands up in her crib. Not bad for a few day old baby. Anne, understandably, freaks out a little.

Lourdes comes in and finds Anne freaking out – and is concerned since it’s the second time a freaking Anne has tried to convince her she’s fine. Anne tells Lourdes what happened and how abnormal it is. Lourdes assures the distressed Anne that she believes her (in a tone of voice that begs the question).

Out on the battlefield, Tom tries to talk to the attacking humans, who keeps firing. So Weaver shoots a bazooka at them. Next time, talk. Amazingly the shooter – a woman - survives Weaver’s “diplomacy” and can be taken for questioning.

Back with Crazy Lee, Pope saws through the rebar (actually it really looks like he’s cutting his own hand off) while Matt tries to distract her. But the story she tells about her dog ends up having the moral “it was her time” which she tries to pass on to Pope. He stops sawing – and Matt tells him to keep sawing, he’s not letting Lee die in that hole.

Lourdes takes her concerns to Tom – telling Tom that she thinks Anne may be post-partum or even succumbing to a psychosis; that what Anne claims is impossible and that she already did all the tests on Alexis – she’s fine

Next drama – Hal is packing to leave and Maggie catches him at it. She demands to know why and he admits to seeing Karen, that she’s planted something inside him and controlling him. Maggie thinks it’s easily fixed, let’s make with the cutting – but Hal sees himself as the president’s son with ridiculously high security clearance and he could be the mole.

All possibly true (except him being the mole) but none of that means he shouldn’t just go and try and have the wormy thing cut out.

Maggie starts to storm off but then returns – every relationship she has had ended like this, something happened she didn’t like and she bailed, she won’t let it happen again. To be fair, I’m PRETTY sure the “something happened” in past relationships wasn’t “my boyfriend was infected by an alien lifeform that is causing him to betray humanity and hump his ex.” Pretty sure.

Time for an awkward conversation – Tom goes to see Anne being nice as nice can be and very apologetic for neglecting her and, by the way, Lourdes thinks you’re… having problems. Tom promises to keep an open mind and Anne tells him their daughter isn’t human. Not that open!

Cut to Tom changing Alexi’s nappy and dressing her for bed, she acts like a normal baby. Anne assures him she’s not crazy but Tom sees her as a perfect, beautiful baby. He asks Anne not to let the aliens take her baby away from her. She repeats that she really isn’t crazy.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Lourdes talks to Pope about the rebar in Lee’s skull – as well as the damage to her sight it’s also ruptured an artery and the only thing keeping Lee alive is that it’s blocking the hole. They’re not going to be able to remove it

And the sniper regains conscious and is very uncooperative. Bressler has been unable to make her talk (no surprises given that he’s pretty much unable to do anything) beyond name (Catherine Fisher), rank and serial number, so Tom sits and talks with her. He guesses that she has been watching them and saw the Rebel Skitters, the spiked kids and the Volm and assumed they were collaborators – he explains the situation. Catherine doesn’t agree with that – the only good alien is a dead one nor does she respect Tom’s supposed rank. She says she works for the real president – Benjamin Hathaway

Who was the actual president before this mess. And that could mean that her squad is running back to said president to report them as collaborators. Weaver and Tom want to send someone to set the record straight. Bressler believes it’s all fiction and they can just ignore it.

Really? Does Bressler just LOVE being wrong that much?

Of course it doesn’t change that they don’t know where the president is and Bressler says the sniper won’t talk unless they take the gloves off. Or she’d be an ideal person to send with a messenger to physically take them to the president.

Leaving that drama alone, it’s time for Lourdes to talk to Anne, who welcomes her kindly and they have a drink. Thank gods, I was waiting for Anne to pull the “how very dare you!” line but she didn’t. That’s some redemption. Anne says that looking at Alexis now, she looks perfect. Lourdes believes that for 2 years all any of them has done is run and that now they’ve had chance to catch their breath and stop running, it’s catching up with them. Anne cries and Lourdes offers to stay with her all night. But then Anne realises that Tom may have sent her – that Tom doesn’t trust her with her own baby and she demands Lourdes leave. Gah and it was going so well.

Away from that drama, Weaver talks to Jeanine, his daughter, about her ugly tinfoil tree and she doubts the point of it – if the Espheni are going to kill them all isn’t it really pointless to be making metal topiary? (yes). But Weaver reassures her that while they’re alive they have to keep on living and doing what they do. He did not add that it’s a shame what she does is so damn ugly.

On to the hospital with Tom seeing Matt who hasn’t left Lee’s bedside, he gives him some words of encouragement and how sometimes all you can do is be there for someone. He tells Lee she could be a real pain in the arse, but she fought like a banshee – and kisses her forehead. As he leaves, Pope (who isn’t dead) has a rant – his berserkers are working on projects or on the front line with neither rest nor explanation. Tom just tells him he’s right and leaves.

Lee and Pope then have the chance to make their own goodbyes in a very good, touching scene before she dies, giving him her necklace. He puts it on Matt.

Back to Hal and Maggie and Hal’s talking about turning himself in and Maggie’s trying to talk him out of it, given the whole fact the mole murdered the vice president

Tom is having his schedule organised by Marina and she discusses who he will choose for Vice President now Arthur’s dead – and he says her. She splutters that she’s not ready but he kind of brushes it off with a “you’ll be fine”; he could have spared her a little more reassurance than that.

Time for Tom to give his speech around the ugly metal tree. After starting a boilerplate one that Marina had prepared for him he tucks it away and speaks without a speech. He gives a much more powerful speech, not one with false hope but one about the fallen and the lost and a tribute to Lee. They will inscribe the names of all the fallen loved ones on the leaves of the tree. While the choir sings they hang up leaves for the people they’ve lost and keepsakes - some of which they have kept since season 1.

During the ceremony, Hal begins to walk towards Tom – when they’re interrupted by an explosion. The Espheni attack. People scatter to where they need to be and in the dungeon Catherine yells to be let out so she can fight. In Anne’s arms, creepy baby Alexis looks up and smiles.


Ok, what is going on with Creepy Alien Baby, because I think I have a limited tolerance for the whole “Anne is delusional” storyline where she is gaslighted by her own infant.

On the one hand I like that Tom is taking the time to see his dying soldiers, on the other – when he paid his last respects to Lars he didn’t kiss him. And it’s not like he and Lee had a gentler relationship. Her goodbye with Pope was impressive though, extremely well done. It would be the scene of the night if not for them hanging the leaves on the tree. Those 2 scenes alone boosted the rating for this episode.

I’m interested to see how this whole president thing works out. But I wish we’d learned more about the Volm this episode.

And I am getting tired of Bressler having all the common sense of the furniture he sits on. It's getting old

I’m feeling a little… glutted. This season is only 10 episodes long and, because of the double episode last week, we’re already 3 episodes in. We only have 7 to resolve things and in that time we have the volm and their plans, the mole, the demon baby, Hal’s issues and now this president and more human forces? That’s a lot and the show already feels like it leaps a lot.

My money’s on Marina being the Mole, btw.

(And they called the episode Badlands? It was begging to be called "one voice")