Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Falling Skies, Season 5, Episode 7: Everyone Has Their Reasons

Everybody has their reasons. And in the case of the writers of Falling Skies I believe the reason is “class A drugs.”

So Tom & friends have found a working military base. No, really. Actually, working, occupied military base. Weaver’s excuse for why it hasn’t been decimated is that it’s surrounded by three walls so is strategic. How this would have worked against the invulnerable mechs of season 1, the completely dominating air power of the last 5 seasons or the hordes of feral skitter – some of which can fly – let alone the swarms of piranha flies that can strip a human to bone in seconds… well, it’ Falling skies and this show has sworn to never ever make sense.

Of course, Tom, Weaver and Hal decide to go forward without advance notice, backup or even letting anyone know what they’ve found – they go forth confident in their plot armour. They’re ambushed and everyone points guns at each other until Katie Marshall appears – an old contact of weaver’s. She welcomes them to the 14th Virginia.

So the 2nd Mass gets a nice welcome into the base that was successfully protected by WALLS. (Ok maybe the first lot of inhabitants were wiped out but still leaving these guys alone for a year makes no sense. And don’t tell me they’re hiding – they literally have a building sized, improbably clean America flag). And technically Colonel Weaver outranks everyone so is in charge.

They tell Marshall that Tom shut down the power, in case she didn’t realise she’s supposed to worship at this feet and Marshall shows off how they’ve improved the base (flags – flags are very important it seems) and the intel they’ve managed to gain. Weaver also tells them about the Volm – which Marshall is not a big fan of because of their whole re-locate to Brazil idea which was back when the Volm were actually a major fighting force and not just handwaved away. They tell Marshall their plan which they’ve implemented through the militias and show off the shiny Volm tech and the plan to reach DC

Random domesticity – and Hal decides to get all kind of possessive over Isabella, not-so-subtly playing the MAH WOMAN game with a soldier who was flirting with her. And Maggie looks on. Oh look, the love dodecahedron continues. My interest does not grow. Maggie and Hal have relationship talks. Do not need. Tom talks politics and history with Matt like they’re going to rebuild very soon

And Weaver and Mashall catch up with a strong hint of them having been an item once. Well more than a hint. And an actual good depiction of her being haunted by a bad experience.

There’s some underlying tension about Ben’s spikes. Which becomes more than underlying when they try to hold him at gun point ad he goes super spikey on them before being tased and captured so he can be questioned about being a spy. He then tries to rip the spikes out of Ben’s back. Which results in said spike attacking him

Hal learns that they have radio – but they’re not communicating with any of the Mason Militias in case they’ve been “compromised” by the Espheni because Marshall is super duper paranoid about human collaborators with an extra suggestion that she’s become all icy and cruel.

Anne is a doctor, something they’ve been lacking.

Marshall confronts Tom in giving her men orders – she’s not in favour of his whole march on DC plan. Tom is outraged that she doesn’t respect his vast military skill and prowess. Weaver tries to calm it down and Tom implies he’s biased because of his past with Marshall.

Tom is far more enraged when he realises Ben has been imprisoned and is being questioned as a spy. Tom handles this with the same level of intelligence he always does – and gets himself imprisoned as well. They then imprison Hal and several others for funsies.

Weaver confronts Marshall and in a moment of utter hilarity, she points to all the very stupid things Tom has done over the years as proof of why he’s untrustworthy.  

Weaver decides to send Matt for help.

Anne is also imprisoned while Tom and Hal have a terrible escape attempt. Maggie saves Anne and she and Isabella beat one particularly loathsome soldier to the floor. This also brings the one bright spot in the swamp that is this episode – Maggie and Isabella deciding that whatever stuff there is with them and Hal, they need to rely on each other.

So now we have a court marshal for Tom and Hal and Ben. Including the admission that they tortured Ben. Marshall judges them laying down all their many improbable achievements. She keeps poking those big hollow plot points and Tom decides to challenge her – how very dare she presume to challenge the great Tom Mason. She decides they’re all guilty and they will be executed

Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Meanwhile Digaan and Cochise are poking at the conveniently found Esphenic communicator. Despite supposedly being very intelligent, neither of them seem to be very sensible. Their master plan for moving this tech is “pick it up and hope it doesn’t kill us.” I’m almost offended it works.

Hey the whole world could have been saved if they’d just had walls. Because walls and trip wires would have totally stopped the aliens. Amazing how the whole world was devastated given how effective these measures are

It’s never been quite explained (ha, this show explaining anything) why humans tend to point guns and getting all agitated when they see other humans. It’s not like we’ve seen a lot of human vs human combat. Where do these collaborators suddenly come from? And why would there even be any? What would they gain and, really, what would the Espheni need them for? This is part of the nonsense that wasn’t explained last season. It feels like another convoluted pulled-out-of-nowhere idea to make this plot limp onwards. The whole idea of a paranoid commander wouldn’t make sense without this randomly appearing collaborator menace.

Do I laugh or do I just quietly despair that Marshall points to all the stupid things Tom as done which do, indeed, make him kind of odd and am expected to think “oh you silly paranoid lady, not respecting the righteous rule of the Mason-who-is-your-saviour” rather than “damn you have a point” or even “Tom should be dead several times over. Curse your plot armour”.

Hey, remember when this show was about fighting aliens?