Pope: "I think I'm gonna be sick."
This review covers Part 1 of the two-part season premiere.
So its seven months later and an entire seasons worth of stuff has happened off screen. Why?
Okay, so I get not wanting to handle the politics of Tom becoming the President. I can grasp the reasoning behind wanting to push Anne's pregnancy out of the way. I can totally see that the whole process of integrating into Charleston might be not the most exciting thing in the world. And yet it feels like a big misstep to skip all that development.
Sure, all those things might not have made up the most compelling action season in the world, but there is a lot of story simply missing from the narrative now. Who are the Volm? How did Karen become the leader of the Espheni? Why is Anne the only one the Volm trust to use their medical technology? Sure we'll find out all that stuff going forward, but have they sacrificed a season of content for convenience?
Okay, moving on. I have to say this episode was just one eye-rolling cliché too many. From Hal dreaming about wandering in the woods with Karen, and Maggie finding muddy boots buried in the closet, which is supposedly impossible because Hal is now a paraplegic. To the totally telegraphed, "Hey I narrowed down the list of spies to twelve before I'm conveniently murdered horribly" line delivered by the underutilized Terry O'Quinn. I could keep going, listing at least another half dozen predictable plot devices and tropes, but that would be a bit dull.
So I'll continue with the stuff I did like. They brought back everyone, and I mean everyone (at least those who haven't died). It was nice to see they haven't forgotten any of the characters they've introduced, even if the episode felt a little cluttered because of it. I liked the fake-out skitter ambush at the beginning with the Rebel Skitters and Tom coming to the rescue. It was a nice parallel to last season's premiere where the 2nd Mass had to run to survive. It was a statement to the audience that the game has changed. Of course, this show has never really used subtle messages and themes.
I also liked Tom being the President. It puts him in charge, both of the civilian side of things and to a large extent the military side of things. It's a good writing move, he's the logical choice. Except, wasn't he still unsure of his own hold on reality because of what happened to him while in captivity? One little Espheni bug seems to have completely screwed over Hal. What did they do to Tom, and how has that affected his new daughter?
I get it, it's been seven months, do they have to repeat it a dozen times?
Matt's looking older, and has a horrible new haircut.
Diego, I had totally forgotten about him. I think he might be stretching the whole 'teenage' rule for harnessed kids.
New Volm tech is pretty nasty, and the Mega Mechs are pretty cool.
What in the frilly heck is that machine the Volm are building in secret?
Alexis Denise Glass-Mason, two unfortunate words... creepy baby.
I loved the saloon and the poker game being played for chocolate. Speaking of chocolate, there was a cute Hershey's Kiss commercial that was a direct tie into the series. The chocolate being used in that game was also Kisses. So a bit of product placement, but that's the kind of product placement that works.
I liked that the Rebel Skitters had war paint. Not only did it differentiate them from the other Skitters, it was a nice nod to Red-eye.
The hero Volm that interacts with the group is named Cochise, who was a famous Chief of the Chiricahua Apache in the 1800's.
Lourdes is a full doctor now, that's a nice touch. Although seven months is a bit quick to jump from medical student to full doctor. I guess in wartime you can't be picky.
Hal and Maggie are living together in an empty shop with a crappy couch and exposed drywall. Tom and Anne are living together as well, but their room has paint and really nice furniture. It's nice to be president.
The Volm have troop ships on their way. That doesn't seem like a good thing, even if Charleston needs their help. More aliens coming to Earth just sounds like a massively bad idea.
Ben: "No, no, no you can't compare comic books and Manga."
Deni: "Says who?"
Pope: "C'mon Cap, the fat lady just sung, let's celebrate."
Weaver: "It's Colonel now, Pope, and besides it ain't over..." (Giant mech pops out of the ground)
Pope: "It's over."
Not a great episode, but not a horrible one, either. Kind of average, with a lot of set up, and a creepy baby. Seriously, did they have to plumb that well?
2 1/2 out of 4 Mega mechs.
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.