Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Falling Skies, Season 5, Episode 6: Respite

Tom wakes up to find he is being tended by a strange woman who is surprisingly well dressed for a dystopia, in a room that looks like the aliens never invaded, with kids playing outside and an older man, similarly well dressed with a gun

The gun is because Tom decided to respond with violence and a knife to medical care. The old man, William, has treated his injuries and, because of that, Tom now can’t go anywhere until he’s healed. He declares his home a safe place where there is no war and no fighting. Which sounds ominous given the dystopia, aliens and all.

It’s all very creepily twee complete with saying grace and no food shortages at all. Faced with the normality of it all, Tom collapses into tears (I can get this is a major emotional moment seeing everything he has lost, but personally I think it would be more appropriate to yell “alien collaborator’s/clones/pod people!”)

Apparently Willie just stocked a whole lot and has a decent farm and has just kept his head down and the whole war has just passed them by. The kids don’t even know the war is happening because YAY DENIAL! That includes the 15 year old. Tom declares it not to be his business right before passive aggressively judging the hell out of them. He calls out Alicia for basically raising her kids to be so sheltered that when the war eventually reaches them they’ll have no chance. Of course she angrily declares that she doesn’t need advice on how to let everyone else do the fighting while she lives in denial land and raises kids to be complete victims because she can’t face reality, of course she does

Which then leads to Tom going snooping (despite hardly being able to walk) and catching the 15 year old Kyle drinking and smoking *gasp* (what they stockpiled booze as well? And cigarettes?) Kyle realises something off is happening

Later Alicia is happy to recruit Tom to teach her kids now-completely-irrelevant history but then Kyle goes missing trying to find out the truth. Tom finds him by the ruin of a mech and, of course, tells hi, all.

Did anyone, for one second, think Tom wasn’t going to tell this kid the truth?

Kyle demands to be a soldier and returns home to pout and tantrum and Alicia, of course, asking Tom’s advice. She agrees to let him take Kyle back to the 2nd Mass to fight. And she kisses him.

Over to Hal who is still with Isabella and they share stories of their history teacher dads and her dad being a diplomat and how, in war they have to do naughty bad things. And they kiss – so this is how the love triangle will be resolved – a random love interest dropped in! Hey it took Hal, what, 3 days to move on from Maggie?

Anyway they arrive at the sanctuary (SERIOUSLY? Two Masons just stumbled upon this damn place!) They decide to go back to the war. About damn time. But they decide to leave Kyle behind for reasons I don’t even slightly care about but chose to interpret as “we don’t need dead weight.”

Weaver is still leading the rest of the troops/people/whatever to DC, stopping on the way. Anne tells Maggie and Ben what has happened with Hal, Pope and Tom and they naturally want to run to the rescue but Anne, alone among them all, keeps her eyes on the goal. Whatever they face in DC, she needs the spikey ones. Also Tom is defending by epic amounts of plot armour so why should she worry?

Maggie also wants rid of her spikes because love triangle even though it may kill her. Anne would rather not perform surgery when on the way to a secret mission and when basically camping but Maggies takes this as “you just want me for my spikes”. Please strangle everyone on this show. At least when Anne says “oh hell no” Maggie walks it back and instead makes a plea for her own independence rather than have spikes control her.

When Anne refuses again Maggie snaps art Ben and Cochise volunteers to poke around in the body of a species he knows little about! After all, Anne did it to him! He performs the operation and it all goes wrong and Anne has to come and finish it up with tweezers (Cochise couldn’t have done that). Maggie is now de-spiked.

Weaver also has a personal servant in the guy they rescued last week, Marty, who is now hanging around like a bad smell or another pointless side plot. He does find some glowy Espheni-stuff. It’s a communication hub thingy – presumably something that connects the glowing rocks.

When Weaver touches it he can almost listen in to the Overlord communication but he gets a migraine for it.

Maggie does seem to make a recovery – and is able to walk. But Anne is not amused by amateur surgery hour. Ben is also not happy she didn’t tell him - he views it as him giving part of himself to her which she just threw away. And he’s super sad because he loves her

The Masons return to the 2nd Mass with much hugging between Maggie and Hal (Isabella looking on and being super awkward)

Can we PLEASE focus on the alien invasion. PLEASE for all that is sensible, please! But no we have the silly sanctuary and Maggie and her spikes and Marty and Hal and Isabella WHYYYYYYYYYYY?! The war can someone please focus on the war?! Humanity dying! Can someone care!

Even worse it completely makes Pope right. He complained that Tom let Sarah die because he was focused on the war but that would never happen if it were a Mason in danger – and this proves it. After all this “we’ve got to act quickly!” we have spent THREE EPISODES on Mason drama with the war hardly being touched on.

I know Tom’s sanctuary is supposed to bring up all the contrasts and debates of how to live and maybe, just maybe, it would have worked in season 1. But after 5 seasons of aliens, air strikes, feral skitters and who knows what else I cannot cannot cannot believe this place is this damn untouched (supplies? Really?) and Tom stumbles on it.  Any debate about this is also past the point of ridiculous – it would be impossible to maintain this delusion (how do you tell 21st century kids that ALL infrastructure is down, all communication but it’s totally fine?!), impossible for them to be unscathed and the sheer ridiculousness of it makes Alicia crying out for a normal life not only seem selfish and whiny, but even comical.

Also, the last time we saw a sanctuary like this it was because of Lexi, the evil alien daughter. Yet not once, not for one millisecond, does Tom worry about this mysterious safe place.

I would actually like to see a development of Ben and his spikes – viewing them as part of himself and something he gave up as an almost sacrifice to Maggie. Except this may only be seen through the lens of love interest