Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Falling Skies, Season 3, Episode 9: Journey to Xilbalba

Weaver tells Marina that Project Orange – deploying the Volm weapon – happens the next day at dawn. And he’s not telling Marina their target. She again questions whether the Volm can be trusted but Weaver very sensibly points out they don’t really have another option with the Espheni defence grid already up and the Volm weapon is the only chance they have to win the war

And Tom Mason returns to much welcome from the people, including Pope, Anthony and Weaver as well as his sons. He tells them about Anne and Lexi. He tells them to bury their pain and channel it into anger directed at the Skitters and at Karen. Ben tries to question that, that Tom used to tell him they needed more than hatred to win the war – but hate is all Tom has left.

To Weaver and Tom wants them to change their planned target for Project Orange – if they take out the Boston tower they will get Karen as well. Weaver disagrees there are far more guards at Karen’s tower – getting Karen isn’t the objective. But General Porter, having tried and failed to take down the Boston tower once, wants another shot at it and Karen would remove the tactical head of the Espheni on the Eastern Seaboard. But it’s more defended, though Tom says most of the Mechs aren’t working after they destroyed the power plant. Porter needs to think it through.

They also discuss whether Tom has a bug in him (so can they trust his intelligence about the inactive mechs?). Tom assures them he’s fine – yeah, that’s totally reassuring. Tom demands they follow him around and put a bullet in his head if they have any suspicions –but he needs to be in the attack and he needs to go to Boston for Anne and Lexi. He gets more agitated until Porter tells him to leave and get some rest. As Tom leaves Weaver and Porter have a problem – if they trust Tom’s intelligence they massively increase their victory by taking out Karen – but if Tom’s compromised the whole battle will fail.

Tom sees Cochise and they discuss grief and loss and war. Tom goes to see Pope who assures Tom that if Tom does have a bug and it acts up, Pope will be happy to put him down – which Tom is happy about because Weaver would hesitate (didn’t we just establish they have a cure for bugs?) Then there’s an explosion – damn these interruptions. Alas, it doesn’t kill Pope.

Looking out they see that the entire Volm complex has been destroyed. They find Cochise, injured, and take him to the clinic, yelling for Lourdes to help. She tries to distract them and leave but Tom demands she help – it can’t wait. Lourdes looks at him but knows nothing about Volm physiology. Cochise and Tom have a big talk about guilt and loss and keeping hope alive and the human spirit (it all amounts to “no Tom, don’t become driven by hate) before cochise reveals that if he’s left alone he’ll regenerate anyway. Lourdes gives Cochise an evil, narrow-eyed spy look but has an appointment to keep – to plant a great big bomb. Weaver sees her in the area but just asks her go to the clinic to help any new casualties

Marina complains again about being left out of the loop and asks what Tom’s doing – he doesn’t want his job back but Marina says she’d be tempted to give it to him. Maggie and Hal reconnect again – and a Lourde’s big bomb goes off. Chaos! The underground is separated from the surface! Tom helps Marina who has a concussion and an unconscious Lourdes through corridors of dead to the clinic and Hal has to resuscitate Maggie (it’s special woman-hunting debris). On the surface, Ben uses his super hearing to try and find people trapped under the rubble and Pope gives Weaver a pep talk about Jeanne being ok (she is).

In the clinic, Tom drops off Lourdes and Marina and meets with Gen. Porter who is checking which entrances are clear – Tom and Anthony hurry to check on some other exits while Lourdes is left next to a regenerating Cochise.

Anthony and Tom find a blocked exist and Tom starts to try and clear it with his hands before Anthony tells him he’s being ridiculous and not thinking clearly. They do find Dr. Kadar.

Meanwhile Maggie and Hal have an argument, he being snippy and sharp and Maggie trying to stop him using their air on inefficient effort. Maggie also criticises his choice of leaving her behind – he said because he didn’t think he was coming back and she counters that it should have been her choice to make; if she wanted to risk her life then so be it, it’s not down to him to choose that.

Hal keeps digging and Maggie becomes positively morbid and Hal succumbs to guilt – because he could have planted these bombs ages ago when he was still all wormied. Maggie comforts him. Looking for them in the tunnels, Ben listens while Matt gets as morbid as Maggie. Maggie does continue to bang on pipes, the echo heard by Ben – he shouts to them through the pipe and realising he pipe leads to more air they open it, getting more oxygen.

Back at the clinic, Dr. Kadar’s genius means he comes up with a plan to blast their way out (that should surprise the people digging from above) and Tom comforts Lourdes about all the dead as she tries to get up to help the injured. And she decides to give the most awful condolences ever to Tom for Anne and Lexi and adds that it’s sad that Anne died where they started, in Boston. Twist that knife, Lourdes.

At the blast point, Dr. Kadar notices a problem with the bomb set up and Anthony says “we’re right back where we started” and Tom has an epiphany. He quickly goes and gets Lourdes to help (interrupting her stabbing Cochise). She runs through the halls to find Anthony on the floor, as she touches him he turns over and points a gun at her. Tom wants to see her med pack – because it’s just like the one she sent with Tom to meet the President, when the Espheni found them. He wants to know why she wasn’t in the infirmary when the bomb went off. And he wants to know how Lourdes knew that Anne died in Boston – Tom hadn’t shared that information. And why was Lourdes in Cochise’s room, she said she couldn’t treat a Volm. Tom gets all wild eyed and Lourdes pulls an alien weapon – which they take off her and knock her out.

They tie her to a gurney, everyone’s all “zomg I can’t believe it’s her!” (eye worms people! You have no way of realising someone is a spy!) and she wakes up and accuses tom of blaming Karen for everything when he’s at fault. Gen Porter tells him not to listen – seriously, gag her. We all know how this goes, the captured enemy says cruel things to the hero so he can be all dark and angsty

In response to Lourdes’s taunting, Tom takes her gun and shoots the explosives in the blocked tunnel. The one Kadar said they’d have to move because it could bring the ceiling down on them. Luckily, it didn’t – but it really should have done. I hate that Kadar used intelligence and calculation to pick the safe place and recognise where would be safe and consider implications and Tom just barges along because he’s ANGRY and SAD but it all works out because he’s the protagonist and everything he touches has to work. This wasn’t brave or active or sensible or good in any way.

They get out and tell everyone they have the Mole. Hal is worried that no-one will forgive Lourdes for killing everyone when they don’t forgive him and he didn’t even do anything. Again we have the “how could it be her!?” why do these people not know how the implants work? Thankfully Maggie reminds Hal that the enemy has mind controlling implants, remember?

Tom meets up with Cochise who is mourning his people, dying in a strange land. Tom says they didn’t die in vain but Cochise say they did – the weapon survived but Cochise isn’t an engineer, he can’t work it. Tom’s confident that Dr. Kadar is quite capable of understanding advanced technology from an alien race.

I’m quite confident he can as well – but only because Falling Skies doesn’t even remotely care if their world makes a lick of sense.

Thank you Weaver for finally pointing out the obvious! Whether the Volm can be trusted or not they still represent the only hope that humanity has of survival. Unless the Volm agenda is “destroy the human race” they’re a better option than the Espheni. If the Volm agenda IS “destroy the human race” then humanity is no worse off in trusting them.

And thank you Weaver for being the only military commander who is still thinking in tactical terms. Mission creep for vengeance purposes isn’t a great idea

Thank you Maggie for calling out Hal for his endless “we need to protect you” bullshit and for being the only one sensible enough to remember what the implants mean.

Lourdes has been revealed as the mole – storylines are coming together. But it is rather exposing a lot of the other storylines as pretty pointless. Like Hal’s worm (under who’s influence he did very little) or Pope’s little rebellion, or Marina taking over as President.