Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Falling Skies, Season 5, Episode 5: Non-Essential Personnel

We have some humans desperately sheltering in a barricaded building with injured to look after, surrounded by Skitters and no supplies. A woman, Isabella, thinks the need to leave since it’s not a great situation. When she and some of the people make a run for it they are almost caught by Skitters – and are saved by Pope and Anthony.

They recruit the survivors into his little gang, Anthony pointing out people he considers liabilities who can’t fight- they’re driven out. One of them, Isabella, points out she’s a nurse, useful – but she doesn’t get to bring the other “liabilities” with her.

Later she tries to convince Pope that she just did it to try and get them indebted to her – presenting herself as ruthless and selfish and knowing people only did what they could to get something back. Pope also tells her about his happy kidnapping.

He’s good at multi-tasking because while doing this he’s also taunting Tom and making him play hide and seek for Hal (kind of proving his point that Tom is willing to completely drop the mission for the sake of his family, but not anyone else’s). Pope continues to convince us he’s completely lost any grasp of humanity or decency. Anyway he cut Hal so nurse Isabella treats him and Hal tries to convince her not to join the dark side

Tom runs into the guys who were kicked out of Pope’s camp who update him on Pope and his numbers. He also knows Isabella isn’t a nurse. An increasingly more berserk Pope beats up Hal and almost kills him trying to get him to admit that Tom has caused many people to die. Of course he doesn’t.

They also get attacked by a super-skitter that wounds one of them – so Pope kills the injured guy. Yet he still has followers who agree with this. But Isabella isn’t a fool, she’s raided Pope’s supplies and is ready to run. Now Hal has to convince her to take him with her and risk her life for a man she’s just met. Of course she does.

Tom has some more alien ex-wife hallucinations. Honestly it’s a choice between Pope or Tom, humanity doesn’t deserve to be saved. Because if Tom dies the WHOLE WORLD IS DOOOOMED because without him the Espheni will win and destroy them all

Humanity needs Tom to survive? Yes definitely doesn’t deserve to live.

Tom goes in (because pleas to save the world don’t compare with his son) and he and Pope end up shooting at each other. We have a firefight with bonus flying Skitter. Tom, Hal and Isabella escape – but Pope is not dead so this damn plot line will creep forward a little longer.

Meanwhile Weaver is leading the rest of the men on to somewhere (DC and the cloaking I think) when they’re randomly ambushed by people demanding a cut of their supplies. Weaver decides to pretend to surrender then pretend that Anne is his wife before negotiating with the random guy and wasting a whole lot more time than I actually care to spend. He ends up taking Weaver hostage.

Weaver manages to free himself and is joined by Ben and Maggie (who have a spikes moment). Weaver talks about his experience of grief – because the man has lost his family – and gives him a stirring recruitment speech about his group being a new family.

They take him with them because he needs help – a very not-subtle contrast with Pope who kicks out people who are liabilities.

Y’know, Pope being ruthless and cruel and not caring about people? I can see that. I can see most of his gang of fellows like that as well. But only with Anthony’s entire personality being completely wiped would Anthony be part of it. One of the teeniest tiniest elements of development that has ever gone into Anthony has been that he cares. Now this I going to be erased because of narrative convenience? Why, in the name of all that is remotely sensible, would Anthony sign up for this bullshit?

And you know what? I’d be mega pissed if I were Pope. No time to save Sarah but cat and mouse for Hal? Sure. But Weaver can delay them for two days because some guy they’ve never met is grieving?

This is the final season of Falling Skies I would quite like that to be spent trying to address the aliens and achieving something. Instead we have Pope – who should have died seasons ago, giving everyone migraines, Tom abandoning his mission to play hide and seek with Pope (which, again, really was Pope’s point all along) and Weaver repeating the same old negotiating with desperate survivors plot line. Again. How are these people even out here still after the killing and the internment camps and schools and supply shortages and who knows what else?

Why does the super Espheni weapon need TOM specifically? Whyyyyy?!