Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Falling Skies, Season 5, Episode 8: Stalag 14th Virginia

Execution time – actually no it’s another stupid “let’s start the episode half way through then flash back” nonsense, so let’s ignore that and flip back 7 hours.

Weaver tries to appeal to Marshall which obviously goes nowhere – she’s convinced they will be happy dappy allies forever more. I don’t think that’s going to happen. She also wants him to point fingers at any other collaborators.

That night she goes driving by herself off into the woods and Weaver follows her. In the woods she speaks to someone she calls “sir.” Who is willing to bet it’s an Overlord? Whatever she’s talking to we don’t get to see for convoluted attempts to develop tension and drama.

The rest of the Second Mass who have come to fort Virginia aren’t especially happy with the sainted Masons being locked up. Marshall ends up locking them all up. Even her own Lieutenant Wolf finds her blatantly ridiculous position to be, well, blatantly ridiculous. Of course she won’t listen to him – but Weaver is there to scoop him up.

And take him to where Marshall was meeting with an Overlord. I am shocked. Truly I am shocked by this revelation. This is my shocked face. Behold the shock.
The soldiers continue torturing Ben and Tom decides to debate the prison guard who snaps because it’s so terribad hard for him to torture and kill people – and his own best friend was killed in one of Marshall’s purges. Since he’s a torturer I’m not even slightly sympathetic with him following orders, or comparing people to rabid animals. Hal and Ben talk Maggie and Isabella which apparently gives Tom hope listening in to his teenagers talking about women. Personally I think the conversation is vaguely skeevy and Tom listening in rather more so. Tom then using it as a way to talk family with evil torturer guy just finishes it off.

He manages to make a lot of progress with Evil Torturer guy revealing more people in the 14th are less than comfortable with Marshall’s paranoid obsession with spies and traitors. Of course none of them could speak up without the inspiration of the Blessed Mason.

Anne is still doctoring people while under guard but her patients are rapidly losing patience (yes I did that. I have to find something to amuse myself watching this) with the over the top stormtrooper routine (honestly, like a doctor has to pull a sharp object to kill you). Anne also learns her husband is due to be executed and doesn’t take it well. But her patient is willing to listen to her as she tells him how amazing St Tom is – though it all goes wrong when she describes her half-Espheni daughter.

Isabella and Maggie are still sneaking around with Isabella having some very insightful comments on militaristic societies teaching men they can take whatever they want that Maggie finds highly amusing and I find both interesting and rather out of place. They run into Weaver who tells them to stop their chaotic rescue attempt – he wants them to leave instead and get reinforcements. He also plans a peaceful resolution (aww but that would mean torturer and rapist won’t get shot in the head).

Lt. Wolf arrives with the Overlord Weaver killed and shows it off to the soldiers. Marshall is not thrilled to see the dead Overlord – and she’s really bad at hiding her reaction. She insists that they just burn it and go on as normal and her men are bemused – why wouldn’t they check to see if there were more aliens about? Why assume the Overlord was alone without a retinue? She doesn’t impress anyone and more of the troops realise something is off and join Weaver’s little rebellion. Weaver shows off Tom’s recorded speeches because Blessed Tom will lead them to the Promised Land. He now has new loyal followers to the cause.

Marshall tries to use Anne as further evidence as collaborators – and shows Weaver a whole field of bodies of people she’s killed as “collaborators”. Anne is thrown in prison as well – which further annoys Lt. Torturer because he learns she’s also going to be summarily executed. He agrees to help – and Lt Wolf joins.

Marshall demands to see Weaver trying to confront him but he turns it back on her – but their awkward sexual tension is interrupted by alarms over the mistake. Tom & co are looking to escape though Tom has to be convinced not to sabotage it by going back and getting the rest – when Marshall’s tries arrive to shoot at them; one of them shooting Lt. Wolfe. Tom manages to escape but he’s the only one.

Naturally Marshall makes a big speech about the Espheni compromising people and how terribad all the spies and traitors are. Lt. Torturer speaks up and is threatened with death by Marshall – but he demands she relinquish her command to Weaver. Marshall is shot and killed by one of Marshall’s minions. The rest of the team swallow this. I actually kind of wonder why Weaver doesn’t get to do this himself

The next day it’s execution time – oh show, don’t you try and build my hopes up like this. Time for some stirring last words from Anne (what why don’t the rest get last words? I guess I’m spared more Mason worship)

The firing squad lines up – and refuses to fire. I knew this show was just teasing me, curse you show. The rest of the 2nd Mass also arrives lead by Tom, Lt Rapist gets shot by Maggie. Before fighting breaks out, Tom pulls out a speech to demand unity and a mutual crusade to DC which, of course, everyone totally supports. Except Marshall who pulls a gun but Weaver shoots her. Whether there were any supporters of her is moot because she bleeds black and Lt Wolf reveals she was playing nice nice with an Overlord

Turns out she’s some kind of fancy alien biological creation, an experiment with the real Marshall’s memories (so she can have a pretty goodbye scene with Weaver) which would have been REALLY FREAKING USEFUL to the Espheni in the last 5 seasons.

Everyone’s all happy again which means we have Maggie and Isabella and Hal all being love triangly. Weaver being all sad panda and Lt. Wolf still hanging around. I’m actually kind of amazed Wolf isn’t dead, to be honest – but we’ve only got a couple of episodes left so don’t expect development

Oh and back to the aliens (hey remember them?) the communicator Cochise and Digaan have boxed up and carrying around – and Ben’s spikes react. Despite everyone being quite willing to try and juggle the damn thing before, Tom and Anne think this’ll be far too dangerous for the one person with actual alien tech and experience of being in Espheni heads to do it.

He does it anyway, without a migraine – and sees a gazillion overlords all kneeling before something – but they drag him out before he sees more. They turn to Cochise to explain exactly what is higher than an Overlord in the Espheni culture (quick Cochise, time for another belated revelation of this oh-so-shaky canon)

 Alas we now have to go to Pope who has fathered a whole gang of evil violent arseholes fighting to the death for fun. Really? One of Marshalls’s soldier goes to him

Whyyyy? Whyyyyyy more Pope? Really?! LET THIS STORYLINE DIE!? And where do they keep FINDING all these people? Pope has an army, Marshall has an army. We can't seem to go five miles without finding another pocket of survivors. There's the magical hidden farm that managed to avoid the ENTIRE WAR! There are now a gazillion militias everywhere - what happened to the utter destruction of the last few seasons?

I think they should just stop shilly-shallying and give Tom a Halo and wings and have done with it. And lo the Archangel Masonai did save the people of Earth with his epic plot armour and his ideas that only worked because of some serious writer divine intervention! 

Honestly, Marshall has clearly been highly dubious for a hella long time, with soldiers describing her killing their best friends because traitors are everywhere – but it takes Team Mason showing up to bring them into the light? Even torturer guy and rapist guy (I’m not learning their names, let them forever be labelled as what they are). It doesn’t even take a long time – it takes a day

I’d actually have been happier if it were Weaver – and not just Weaver playing he Prophet of Tom the Messiah – but Colonel Weaver coming in, invoking the chain of command (since respect for Marshall’s rank is about the only way we can justify all the soldiers buying her bullshit) rather than this immense worship of Tom

Should I even bother to point out the shenanigans of this episode? That the Espheni have suddenly developed this nifty human dopplegangers which would have been really useful in the previous episodes but, at this point, seems pretty pointless? Really, with the recent addition of internment camps and complete dominance (until the power went down) why would the Espheni have NEEDED to infiltrate the human forces? And what, exactly, was gained by infiltration the 14th Virginia anyway? And why was that Overlord happily chilling on his own without one single skitter as bodyguard?

I find it comic that this is now, what, the second or third time when a major world building point is just remembered by Cochise who didn't feel the need to mention it before. I think the season will end with "oh, did I not mention that water kills Espheni?"