Falling Skies: Collateral Damage

Tom: "Dan, stay frosty."
Weaver: "Like a winter in Buffalo."

This review covers Part 2 of the two-part season premiere.

We go from lots of clichés and set up, to even more clichés and set up. This time we get more about the relationships and the stakes of the war. Plus even more creepy baby... yay?

I'll start off by saying something good about the series as a whole. The harnessed kids thing was a really effective way of creating a reason to be reluctant to just unload on the enemy. That level of ambiguity was prevalent throughout season one and two. Now with the radiation poisoned mutant harnessed kids, that level of sympathy is significantly diminished, from we need to save the kids, to let's put these pitiable creatures out of their misery. Sure, that frees up Maggie to go all commando on them while protecting Tom and the Doctor, but I think something was lost there. Is the series tossing aside some of its more serious shades of grey for a more black and white action theme?

At least the attack on the reactor was complicated and logical, to an extent. Tom thinking ahead and doing a bait and switch on the spy was a really good move. It made up for some of the more predictable elements in the rest of the episode. I liked the agoraphobic scientist Doctor Roger Kadar (Robert Sean Leonard), who provided a nice excuse to explore the bowels of the city, a place we are likely to see later in the season, possibly as a hiding place from an Espheni attack. He was also interesting in another respect -- at the moment he is solely in charge of maintaining the city power grid (which sounds totally unbelievable to me). So was taking the Doc on the mission the right choice? Especially since he's the only one able to keep the power going in Charleston? I do have to say, though, destroying the power plant did have an impact.

So there is mounting tension between Hal and Maggie, partially out of jealousy on Hal's part, and partially out of confusion and fear on Maggie's part. I so wanted Hal to tell her, but I wonder if he can. The good news is it looks like Hal is fighting Karen's influence, after all. That is, if Karen's not lying about the paralysis being a result of him resisting the bug she put in his brain. I wonder how long he'll be able to fight it? At least he probably isn't the spy. My guess would be Tom's assistant Marina Perlata, played by Gloria Reuben.

I didn't really care about the sub-plot involving Maggie's old friend that liked to flirt with her. Still that's crappy way to go. Did we know that harnessed kid bites can kill? Also, maybe Maggie should be the jealous one, since we got confirmation that Hal really was in the woods with Karen. Have they been sleeping together for months... yuck. Well, okay, Karen is rather pretty, but she's like the big bad. That's all kinds of messed up. Poor Maggie.

Bits:

It looked like four died during the attack on the reactor.

I like Ben's new friend/partner Deni (Megan Danso). They played well off each other, and she could provide a nice love interest for him down the line.

Tector's back, for two whole scenes.

Again with the seven month thing. I get telling us once or twice about the time jump. Perhaps once in the first few minutes of the first episode to establish, and a second time during that speech Tom gave in the first episode. I just can't see it coming up this often in regular conversation.

So creepy baby Alexis got even creepier. Saying 'Mama' at a week old, running around and laughing, smiling. I have no idea if I hate this plot or if I'm intrigued. Also, this could be a V the Series parallel. At least there wasn't a snake baby.

Matt, you managed to not do the annoying kid thing all last season, and two episodes in and you spoil it. Maybe it was a last hurrah before adulthood. Also, because of your total numskullness, we had the first inappropriately heartwarming moment (where Matt asks if he can call Anne 'Mom').

Cliche of the week: Tripping and losing your glasses. I hate that one.

So Cochise says the Espheni are mounting a major offensive against Charleston. I wonder how long it'll be before that attack happens. My guess, end of the season.

The Volm are interesting, even if I hate the look they gave them. There is a nice level of ambiguity there. Are they good, are they bad? I guess we'll find out.

Another average, not so spectacular episode. I hope this isn't a trend.

Quotes:

Dr. Kadar: "By 'safely', I assume you mean you do not want to rain radioactive waste over the state leaving it uninhabitable for the next twenty-four thousand one hundred years?"
Tom: "That's right. We'd like to avoid that, if possible."

2 1/2 out of 4 Mutant harnessed kids used as cannon fodder.

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

2 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

I agree completely on your pick for #1 Mole Suspect. I immediately thought it was her.

And I'm still digging the creepy baby. I think Anne's somewhat understated reaction to it all is hilarious. You'd think she'd tell someone, no? Either the kid is potentially dangerous, or Anne's going crazy and could become dangerous to her child. She may want to seek out some help.

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, I had the same reaction to creepy baby. You'd think Anne would at least say, hey, honey, I know you're busy and everything, blowing up nuclear power plants and running the resistance and all, but our daughter is just a *leetle* bit strange! :)

Decent two parter. Cliches, as you said, J.D., but not boring.