Falling Skies Season 4 Episode 8
The twisted things we do for love.
What They Say:
A Thing With Feathers – An alien attack leaves Maggie fighting for her life; Tom and Dingaan must rely on an enemy ship to rescue them.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With its focus on action the last time around, Falling Skies worked better than it has in awhile and that made for some pretty fun scenes overall. It doesn’t really change the feel or nature of the series, but man it left me wanting more of that and about zero when it comes to Lexi and her stuff. Of course, the show also threw a few of the characters to the wind as Ben and Lexi end up in the Espheni ship whie Tom is trapped underground. The dead litter the streets from the attack that was put into play and while there are losses, there’s still a bit of a sense of victory with what they did considering how bad things looked. Everyone getting out of the shelter after what went down has them hitting the streets looking for the survivors and that means a lot of searching and digging to try and find them. While we know that Tom is alive, there’s a limit to how long he’ll last in this situation. Oh the tension.
The Lexi part of the show is one that takes a kind of expected turn now that she and Ben are on the alien ship and while he’s hopeful in trying to get her to realize her humanity and return with him, she’s totally gone over to the other side now, reminding me a lot of Karen in a way. She’s got a different kind of soothing intensity about her now, almost a fanaticism, which makes her even more unappealing as she intends to show Ben the future. And it’s a kind of grisly, warped and dirty science fiction future as we see how the Skitters are basically farming some remaining humans into forced evolution for the Espheni so they can be a part of their larger war and plans. While Lexi sees it as a final peaceful solution, and isn’t deterred by Ben’s emotional side, he’s still intent on making her see the reality of it because family is family. And Lexi has been so separated from her family that she can’t understand things in the same way, even with all that Matt has been through.
The recovery side with the survivors has them bringing in the few they find and we get some standard stuff here which lets Anne actually be a doctor again and Weaver taking control of the situation by handing out assignments and keeping people moving and doing with what needs being done. While Pope is in the mode of writing off Tom, as one would expect, Matt’s definitely not giving up and even gets a good slug at Pope before he and Weaver go off digging. Since Weaver is like a second dad to Matt, it makes a lot of sense that they’d work together to find him. Tom, for his part, is naturally doing his best to survive, especially since he came across Dingaan and he’s intent on getting both of them out there, no matter how wounded Dingaan is and how hard it is for him to breathe.
What the two run into while down under there is kind of amusing as it goes on because they realize that one of the things that’s on top of them is Espheni equipment. There’s an initial kind of panic, but Tom’s curiosity gets the better of him and he starts poking and prodding, which in turn leads to an access hatch opening. Getting inside of an ESpheni structure definitely shows some interesting things, but naturally Tom takes things too far as he pokes and prods more and has a thin snake like thing attack him and get into his arm, knocking him unconscious. Tom has a habit of poking the wrong things so this isn’t a surprise. Dingaan’s attempts at getting it out is pretty grisly but it fits in with the kinds of disturbing things that the Espheni use to achieve their goals.
The show also follows another subplot, the main emotional point of the episode, as when the survivors find Maggie after the attack, she was injured pretty badly and is apparently paralyzed. She has a way of potentially being healed with Denny providing a bit of fluid from her spikes that will do its alien magic. But Maggie wants none of that for obvious reasons, though that doesn’t stop Hal from lying about her response in order to save the woman he loves. Considering the things people do to survive and the pacts they make, Hal pretty much crosses the line in a big way here, but it’s what you do when you’re in love and looking to hold onto what little you have after the world ends. Not that it goes well and things just get worse for Maggie, which when Ben finds out about it after getting away from Lexi, well, his puppy love has him willing to put some of his spikes directly in her in order to save her. That sounds kinkier than it should. With a little help from Cochise, its not as horribly removed from Ben as it could be, but you really have to question what they’re all doing by putting one in Maggie with the way it will change her and the way she really refused plainly to become that. A twisted love to be sure.
Episodes like this remind me that the show would probably be more interesting if it had a canned laugh track associated with it. This episode works through some of the main story points going on with Lexi explaining the Espheni plan, or at least part of it. That has its own weirdness to be sure and I still can’t figure out what the real point of it is. Pope and Sara connect more this time around, Hal and Ben show that they’ll completely go against the wishes of someone they love in order to save her by making her what she hates and we get an extended underground story with Tom and Dingaan that has its weird moments and an extended emotional piece from Dingaan that humanizes him – and probably means he’ll be killed off soon. There’s not much in the way of real progress here, and too much time stuck in one place considering the battle of the previous episode. But mostly it just makes a number of characters unlikable when it was mostly just Lexi that filled that role.