Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Falling Skies, Season 4, Episode 7: Saturday Night Massacre

Anne is still bonding with her evil collaborator alien child in her evil cocoon which is so dangerous that the Volm have fled the area and if there were any sense in this world everyone would be dead 10 times over for continuing to make ridiculous decisions like this over and over and over again.

Alas, this is Falling Skies so there is no sense in this world at all. Or coherency. Or even consistent canon.

Yes, this show is beginning to annoy me. Ah well, let the hot mess continue

The cocoon opens, alas, I thought we were going to get at least a few episodes without Lexi’s tortured logic. Lexi emerges with different coloured eyes

Really, you went through an entire cocoon scare for the sake of a new set of contacts? Most dramatic aliens, ever!

She emerges all angry because humans can’t let go of their hatred (because she is still ignoring the whole alien invasion thing and because this is Falling Skies absolutely no-one even tries to challenge her). She’s going to find a family that’s not so filled with violence

Someone kill her. Please. Espheni, human, volm, I don’t even care – I’d even applaud Pope at this point if I didn’t have to listen to one more of her ridiculous arguments.

She decides to leave talking about how terribad and violent the humans are, followed by Lourdes the eternal sycophant. She decides to take Lourdes with her – by draining her. When Pope decides to try and shoot her, she freezes everyone. Lourdes falls, dead, bleeding from the eyes and Lexi calls her free

So, we’re going full on woo-woo here? Because this has kind of left sci-fi aliens and gone full out psychics and magic. And can we finally accept that Lexi is evil and everyone was right about her needing to die in the cocoon?

Lots of sadness over Lourdes death and everyone remembering they’re supposed to care about her (but no-one skinning the Masons for letting the monster escape). Finally, Hal manages to get in a decent “I told you so” (seriously, to even begin to redeem this hot mess of a show, I’m going to a need a lot of this) He storms off and Anne tries to say he’s wrong (damn it Anne!) but Tom at least acknowledges that he rather epicly failed in his promise to deal with Lexi if she came out dangerous. Anne keeps depending Lexi while Tom at least seems faintly open to considering the fact her daughter is the enemy. She wants to save Lexi – and Tom to help her with it (how many more people die while they figure that out?)

They consult Kadar who can’t even make a guess what happened because a) he doesn’t have a clue and b) Anne won’t hear anything other than “my sweet precious daughter is the font of all goodness and purity despite her evil super powers she is using for evil in evil ways because evil.”

Anthony reports that there’s an Overlord and army heading in – the one that Tom burned who now has an obsession with burning things (remember when overlords were distant commanders rather than doing everything up close and personal? Ah Falling Skies so brave not to be weighed down by silly things like context and cannon and the show’s history!) Cochise also shows up to say there’s an army on the way; thankfully up-close-and-personal-Overlord wants to handle this personally so isn’t using beamers just to bomb them (which is the convoluted reason for the writers saying “I don’t wanna”. Be fair, they don’t normally need a convoluted reason on this show).

This lack of air support for REASONS also means that Team Good Guy can take out a bridge and force the huge deadly army to approach from just one direction. They set up one big kill zone for the ambush with lots of traps and preparations.

Sarah wants to leave with Pope, not having much faith in Tom and his evil daughter who is evil. But Pope is now fully signed up to Team Mason because REASONS (I think because if he sticks with Tom he gets to share the plot armour that protects them from the most ridiculous of ideas – the down side is that near Tom the most ridiculous of ideas is going to happen anyway)

Maggie and Ben have a moment – and then Ben decides he’s going after his evil sister. Since he’s his dad’s son he decides only to talk to his little brother Matt about it and no-one else. Like every little brother in the world ever, he tells his dad anyway. Anyway everyone is sure Ben will find his sister and Love and Goodness will win through

Whether he does that before or after she melts his brain is another matter

He catches up with her and she carries on with her “humans are evil, Espheni are wonderful lovers of peace and joy” and then a beamer lands and Ben is possessed by his spikes.

Hal and Maggie discuss Lexi, Maggie trying to soften her being evil and Hal pointing out it doesn’t really matter why Lexi did what she did or if she’s being coerced and how they’ve let love and sentimentality to completely cloud their judgement. Hal is also getting all guilt laden because of the whole time he was bugged which was what led to Karen getting Lexi in the first place

So a good lesson about how they can’t let sentiment blinker them to who the real enemy is is lost next to angst and soppiness.

Botha and Deni have a moment over music, just before the enemy arrive in huge numbers with the Overlord out front. Because a commander leading from the easily sniped position is a great idea.

Lexi’s cultists decide to just kneel and wait because the Espheni totally won’t hurt peaceful people. Oh look, more people who have completely and utterly forgot the whole alien invasion. They’re slaughtered. Darwin approves. Botha wants to help them, Denis is much more sensible about this.

Let the dramatic fighting begin with thermite (and if Tector really shot a hole right through that Skitter he would have killed Pope. Alas, he didn’t). Unfortunately there’s a gas explosion that takes out some of the defenders. Lots of dead and wounded but loads of dead skitters. We have a nice moment with Pope comforting Sarah who may be tough but she isn’t battle hardened and used to the mass death yet – and another moment reminding us how fast Deni heals. Maggie is missing and Tom picks now to apologise to Hal. Really? This is his moment?

Pope pouts and stomps as he does. Since their forces were decimated by the gas main explosion (mental note: Don’t build fortifications on exposed gas mains) plan B is to hide in the fallout shelter (there’s one nearby) and pretend they all died in the explosion.

Kadar is injured… and dies. But not before everyone spends a huge amount of time being all sad and determined to save Lexi  They also have time to have Tector teach Tom how to use a long range rifle so he can stay behind and snipe at the overlord because he has a big dramatic rant.

In the shelter it’s clear Maggie is still missing

The sniper (who I actually think is Tector in a mask) tries to snipe the Overlord and misses – the Overlord (finally) calls in a beamer which is shot down by Cochise. A skitter runs to the ruin to unmask the sniper – yup, it’s Tector – who then uses a suicide bomb

Really? Tector just threw his life away to kill a skitter because Tom was being stompy?

Big dramatic pan over the dead – Lourdes, Tector, Kadar, Maggie (unconscious or dead in the ruins) and Tom’s glasses… Tom is trapped under ground, buried but alive.

Lexi is a wizard now. Apparently from human/Espheni mixing which is not present in either – because if the Espheni could pull off Lexi magic they would have by now

Or REASONS have struck again, this being Falling Skies.

For about half of the cast, saving humanity and driving off the Espheni has taken a back seat to saving evil Lexi.

At least she is very clearly evil Lexi now and I don’t have to tolerate more defence of her.

Tector’s death was… ridiculous. I don’t think Maggie’s dead but Tector certainly is. I think this was supposed to shock me with all the loss – but it failed to. Partly because Tector and Lourdes’s deaths were both preventable with common sense (and I think Maggie is still alive), most the rest of the dead were nameless and Lourdes had spent the last few episodes being so annoying her death didn’t phase me (same with the massacred peace and love guys). And Kadar, any attempt to make his death meaningful went when they spent his dying moments talking about Lexi.

Should I be happy to see Tom finally seeing some of the consequences of his terrible decisions at last? Not really - Lourdes died (as much her fault as anyone elses) and he got some pretty minor criticism from Hal. That was basically it. His consequences were fairly non-existent. And I'm sure by the end of the season he will be properly vindicated and shown to have been Right All Along.