Falling Skies: At All Costs

What a schizophrenic episode. There were two plots that stood out and worked, and two that felt very forced. If you've read my other reviews for this season, you'll probably guess which ones I didn't care for.

Anne has lost me. I've liked her throughout the series, and have even defended her a couple of times. I have no idea what the writers are thinking with doing the baby plot like this, or in what direction they are taking it. I'm just totally turned off by the whole thing. Her actions made sense in a very basic primal way, a mother defending her child no matter what, and maybe the alien stuff affected her reasoning as well. I'm just not sure I buy it at all. Why is the baby evil? Couldn't they have done a cool baby plot instead of a miserable slog through soapy emotions and stupid betrayals?


Which brings me to Hal. Sooooo cliche. The mirror scene was a copy of a copy of a copy. It was derivative and only moderately well done. I think the actor did okay with it, and the transition between Hal and Evil Hal was also okay. However, this 'flip a switch' and you have an evil character makes me cringe. Is he really the spy after all? How utterly predictable. I guess it wouldn't really make sense for it to be another human. I'm just really disappointed in how they are slowly destroying the Mason clan.

Which brings me to Ben and Deni. Their whole plot for the episode felt a little pointless, since we knew Ben was going to keep the spikes. I wish they had played up Ben's indecision a bit more. It felt almost as if the character never was really considering getting rid of the spikes, and was just going through the motions. I did like the interchange between the two characters a lot though, and that interaction saved those scenes for me. Ben and Deni make a cute couple too. I wonder if they are going there, or are they just setting up Deni to be a poignant death later on in the season?

Tom, Pope, Bressler, and Cochise go to Washington... ahem... to meet the President. Hathaway (Stephen Collins) seems too good to be true, and the casting for both him and his General (Michael Hogan) was spot on. Actually most of the casting on this show is spot on. I guess since the Espheni attacked their planes at the end, it's possible Hathaway is dead, so maybe he was on the level. Somehow though, I doubt they would kill off those actors without really utilizing them... oh wait, they killed off Terry O'Quinn, I may be giving the producers too much credit.


I should also probably mention how awesome Doug Jones (Cochise) is. In one scene he managed to win me over. That's both impressive acting and writing, but really good CGI work as well. He looked real, he looked alive. That's hard to do.

Big battle at the beginning, continued from last episode and Charleston won hands down using Volm anti-aircraft weapons.

I hated that Anne knocked out the crazy scientist Doctor Kadar, although it's cool that she used him to confirm that the newly de-harnessed kids are actually fully de-harnessed, and Lexi's DNA is intertwined with alien.

Weaver mentioned Finchberg, which was a nice call back to the beginning of season 2.

I liked that Cochise didn't like flying in a dual-propeller driven airplane, nice touch.

The Volm home world is called Katorius.

We finally learned how Anne's first child Tommy died. He got a piece of shrapnel through the temple and bled out. It does kind of make Anne's freak out make a bit more sense. I also liked that she isn't going 'I must kill my alien baby', she wants to protect her (which doesn't make me like the character development, though).

The president pointedly referring to Tom as Professor felt a little patronizing.

Heartwarming moment of the week: Tom and Anne on the short wave radio.

So in the end this was a very eh episode for me. I liked some of it, and didn't like the rest of it, and we had a cliff-hanger that will serve only to kill Matt Frewer (damn it).

2 out of 4 Propeller planes dodging alien fighter aircraft.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.


Anonymous said...

The Anne stuff at least is easily explained. The actress, with her real-life pregnancy, was at the time just told by her doctor that she should no longer fly and, suddenly, that was it for her participation in this season.
Instead of killing her off, her character can now chill off screen. (They also said they rushed to write and film some additional scenes with her that they could then insert into some later episodes.)

If you stop to think about it, quite a lot of things don't add up or make a lot of sense. I still, for the first time this season, actually kind of enjoyed watching this episode.
All through the previous episodes I was just bored out of my mind, wondering if I even had the willpower to see it through.
This time, while still not all that excited or glued to the screen, I wasn't bored either.

Jess Lynde said...

So it looks like I spoke too soon on the "maternity leave abduction" front, huh? Erg.

"Sigh." Yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at with this show right now, too, J.D.