Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Falling Skies, Season 4, Episode 11: Space Oddity

Lexi has arrived and naturally Tom wants to talk to her and Weaver backs him despite Pope, very reasonably (argh I hate agreeing with him), pointing out that the question  of whether or not Lexi is a threat has already been very very very convincingly settled!

Lexi tells her parents that yes she’s sorry and trusting the genocidal aliens and their mutant factories was actually a bad idea. Tom at least doesn’t accept her with open arms and points out the attack she was part of, Lourdes and all the nastiness.

While they talk, Pope argues with Weaver about killing Lexi. While Tom says how he cannot trust Lexi, not again – Pope fires a rifle at her. Lexi woo-woo means she just catches the bullet. Still, even though Tom agrees they have no reason to fear Lexi, he does say they have reason to hate her – and there’s no place for her there.

Of course, Anne speaks up in favour of Lexi and accepting her, quite willing to risk an Espheni plot – she wants time to try and promises to keep her away from the others. Tom adds she needs to keep Lexi away from him too. Tom does dispatch Weaver to play bodyguard

Tom goes to lecture Pope – but Pope is shaking and half crying, he can’t face more death – he’s haunted and very much in PTSD from the devastation of the attack. Tom still declares “my family, my problem”. Um, when your family kills people and sides with the Espheni genocide aliens then, no, no no not “your problem.”

The Mason sons also have doubts about their sister the evil genocide fan, but Tom does not hear the words of others, he is Tom and he doesn’t not have to listen to such petty concerns of lesser people.

Tom is still going ahead with the mission to the moon. Cochise begs Tom to wait until he has contacted his father and have him provide Volm support (though he reveals that he and his dad are at odds over whether Earth is a lost cause) but since this is a plan that would leave Tom not being a Big Damn Hero there’s no way that’ll fly.

When Anne gets Lexi alone she at least shows she’s not entirely on the “yay Lexi camp” and is still very very very suspicious of her daughter. Lexi has to do a lot of work to regain their trust. She shows off her super powers which doesn’t really fill Anne with faith; but Lexi is sure her super powers can help them get the Beamer to the moon to destroy the Espheni power core. But Anne refuses – Lexi can’t be trusted and can’t stay with them. Lexi cries and Weaver decides he needs to intervene and call Tom and Anne into a meeting

Weaver convinces Anne that Lexi’s super powers could actually be super useful. Tom finally relents after much nagging and every named character lines up to tell Lexi how awful she is. Hal also slips Tom some super dangerous Volm poison just in case (hey, I hope the ship with the anti-volm features doesn’t notice that!)

They get on the ship and fly off, Lexi can use the ship and we get a few “I don’t trust you” and “oh you do the same thing with your hair your mother does” just in case we haven’t quite grasped Tom’s conflict. And there’s a drama-  see the crashed ship is actually damaged (unsurprisingly) and there’s a leak – which won’t necessarily kill them but will make life support work twice as hard and drain the power too fast. To survive and not use up so much power they can’t get fly back to Earth, Lexi has to cocoon them so they can turn off life support.

This means Tom has to let her cocoon him – and let the horrible gunk enter his lungs. Hey it’s no weirder than any other plan he’s had. Of course he’s not aware of anything when cocooned. He wakes to Anne and Hal opening his cocoon declaring everything done; Lexi succeeded, the mission was complete, they’re back on Earth and the power went down just in time to foil an Espheni attack.

And if Falling Skies thinks I’m buying this…

They go to Lexi and she’s changed – no ethereal robes, she’s wearing denim. And her white blonde hair is black. He Espheni DNA has been magically purged (yes, the radiation from the power core managed to leave her without any kind of damage except to Espheni DNA because REASONS). Everything’s all hopeful and wonderful. Really wonderful. As in completely unbelievably wonderful.

Hilariously, Tom begins to suspect the truth because people dared to do awesome things without consulting his awesomeness first! This cannot be victory if his narcissism isn’t bowed to! Obviously-fake-Anne calls his doubts PTSD and talks about Kadar. Oops, hallucination has forgotten Kadar is dead. Or, rather, Lexi doesn’t realise he’s dead.

Tom wanders around a dreamscape now with an accusing Weaver talking about him giving up on family – unlike what Weaver did. Dream!Weaver demands he accept Lexi for who she is and a whole lot of people gathering round to judge Tom for being so MEAN to his evil genocide supporting daughter. (Nice touch with bringing up mind control after we just had a scene with Lexi accepting that she wasn’t controlled). Eventually it all evolves into Lexi being sad that she will never be forgiven and accepted by her family.

So Tom and Lexi have a great big redemption dream  and how Tom is wrong that he couldn’t forgive her and they’ve all made mistakes and this dream proves how guilty she is so he should forgive her – blargle argle.

Sorry, I am not buying a redemption arc .

Anyway, they wake up on the moon for lots of father/daughter bonding. And Lexi looking shifty because it looks like they don’t have the power to get home.

I hate this redemption arc – I hate that it isn’t even an arc, it’s a freaking hop. It’s not long enou
gh to be an arc. It’s certainly not long enough after she happily presided over a camp where Espheni mutated humans which she considered a solution to the war.

Nor that a character is redeemed because Tom has decided to forgive them. Or even that it’s that easy to just get over it for that matter. And you can shred and burn the whole idea that because someone feels guilty they deserve to be forgiven – or because someone fears they won’t be forgiven then suddenly we have a duty to forgive. No no no, a thousand damn times no; the guilty party feeling bad is not an automatic trigger for redemption.

And can we throw out this ridiculous “mistake” mantra. And not just for Lexi – Tom as well. Tom hasn’t made many mistakes on this show – he has done wilfully ridiculous things and Lexi’s no better. I’m not buying the “mistake” cop out for people doing obviously foolish or outright evil things that were obviously so at the time. That’s not a “mistake” at best it’s inexcusable recklessness.

I’m also severely tired of Tom’s endless “what I say goes, everyone listen to me, I’m te important one, all about me” which still hasn’t been addressed.