Falling Skies: Badlands

Tom: "In the last two years, I've been kidnapped, tortured, shot, implanted with an eye worm, last week I was almost torn apart by a harnessed kid and contaminated by a nuclear reactor. I think we can count on something happening, don't you?"

From Tom choosing a new VP and speechifying (again) on the two-year anniversary of the invasion to Crazy Lee's swan song, this was definitely an improvement over last week. Although parts of it were (un)intentionally hilarious.

Crazy Lee has been a fun secondary character, but not really a well formed one. She's had some good lines, and I liked her in a vague sort of way, but not enough to be all that upset about her death. Although a rebar through the noggin is one hell of a nasty way to go. It did illustrate (again) that war is random and occasionally pointless. That sides are messy, and hard to define. Those people that fired on Pope's crew were technically good guys (maybe), so in a way Crazy Lee died for nothing. Bummer.

The thing that bothers me about that is, why would this other human military kill humans? Even if they suspected collusion with the enemy, wouldn't they report a sizable human presence back to their president? Isn't the human race kind of endangered by this point? I'm having trouble buying the captive soldier's (Lt. Fisher) story. Sure, I bet that the President is alive, but is he fit to lead in this situation? Tom has proven himself again and again, there is a reason he's in charge. Will Charleston just bow down before the old world's leader?

Which brings up a truth that was addressed by Perelta and General Bressler but was dismissed by Tom, that he is far too active. I get that Tom is very much a war time leader, ready to charge in with the troops, but I don't think he's quite figured how he needs to lead. He's still following Weaver's example. They are both very 'hands on', which is a vulnerability that could easily be exploited, especially with a traitor in their midst. It's a wonder that the Espheni haven't killed them both since they have had ample opportunity to level the 2nd Mass's leadership multiple times because Tom and Weaver constantly went into the action. With Tom acting like a cowboy, he needs a solid VP to take over for when he dies (which in real life would be very likely, but probably not here since he's the lead). I'm not sure Peralta is the right choice though. I keep thinking she's the spy.

Moving on. So we got even more creepy baby Alexis. She's definitely playing mind games with Anne. Is she evil? What is she? Was she smiling when the Espheni attacked at the end of the episode? It's a shame that at times Anne's reactions came off as almost comic relief.  I'm not sure if that was intentional, but I laughed out loud at least once. This entire plot line bothers me, and I don't want Tom and Anne's baby to be evil, but it kind of looks like it is, otherwise it would be showing off to everyone or at least to Tom.

Speaking of mind games, Hal is all messed up. Karen has him so turned around he honestly thinks he's the mole. Whether he is or he isn't, Maggie is right. If he turns himself in, there would be serious and devastating consequences. Not to mention that Tom's reputation would be diminished as well.


We're done with the seven month reminders, but now we have the 2 year anniversary of the invasion. At least this landmark is one that people would be talking about.

Matt is suddenly a good kid again, and working as a gofer for Pope and his team.

Jeanie hung her mother's glasses on the tree, nice continuity.

Good speech by Tom, but they deliver one in every episode.

The 'real' POTUS's name is Benjamin Hathaway. That feels a bit too on the nose. This show has always been rife with Revolutionary war imagery, naming the President Benjamin is almost too much.

Pope's nickname for Volm is Bubbleheads.

I'm getting serious V: The Final Battle vibes. The alien baby, the collaboration with aliens, the centralized underground bunker... I don't know if it is on purpose, but at least it's better than the reboot of V from a few years ago.

Jeanie is front and center for her Liberty Tree, which was actually kind of cool. I wonder if someone will go over all those names done in marker and engrave them, so they last for posterity.


Lee: "Take me someplace, okay?"
Pope: "Sure. Where do you wanna go?"
Lee: "Disneyland."

Anthony: "Why won't they come? What are they waiting for?"
Lyle: "Godot."

As I said at the beginning of the review, this was an improvement over the last couple, and I'll give this one a break because this show usually takes a couple of episodes to set things up properly.

3 out of 4 Bullet proof tire jackets.

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

1 comment:

Jess Lynde said...

I didn't really feel like this was an improvement. Just more of the same. Another "laundry folding" episode for me. I liked the tone and the look of the very beginning, but then most of the storylines moved into "Oh, this again" territory. I guess that's where this show is settling for me right now. Entertaining enough to keep following, but not good enough to keep me completely engaged for a full episode.

I wasn't terribly upset about Crazy Lee's death either, at least not from a "I'm going to miss that character" perspective. (I never even knew her name. I always thought of her as Kat, because of BSG.) I did get rather choked up by her death scene though, because I was feeling Pope's pain. Colin Cunningham really made her final moments work. Nicely underplayed. And kudos to the music folks for going low key for a change. They have a tendency to oversell the drama, killing many potential moments.

I agree that it was probably the wrong choice to pick the likely mole as the VP. :)