This episode is back to the same old Mason family drama, and I would probably have been pretty annoyed about this return to its roots except for Pope making a meta-commentary about how stupid it is. When he questions the stupidity (where he announces to his Beserkers “I don’t think we need any more front seats to the Mason family drama”), he is dismissed from the scene.

So what happens? Hal finds out about Anne, goes crazy and has to be talked down from going to get his kid (putting the lives of Charleston second to his family… Classic Tom Mason). Hal, or really the thing controlling Hal, flips that Tom decides to wait 24 hours before going out and decides to take him hostage. Why the timeline is so dire, I have no idea. But why shoot Mason out of the sky and try to kill him if you needed him for a hostage situation later on down the line? Ah well.

It’s really just the old Mason family drama again, and the rest of the world melts away.

That’s why, as sick as it is, I enjoy every moment when Pope takes odds on Hal and Tom’s survival. Then, on whether or not Hal gets tried for his “crimes” or walks free.

Pope takes odds on whether or not Hal will get charges of espionage or murder.

But then again, pointing out ridiculousness only goes so far unless you stop being ridiculous. I’ll accept alien baby hybrids and surviving plane crashes… but when you tell me that Hal lives despite being implanted with deadly technology meant for Skitters (who at least have two different biologies than humans) in order to get rid of the Esphensi bug that was controlling him, and  walks free  despite taking the President hostage and killing the VP in this fear-ridden climate, I feel like I’m really being disrespected as an audience member.

Hal, when he realizes what’s happening to him, tries to take his own life.

Though I know this will be an unpopular opinion when I say it, I would have been okay with Hal dying in service of a plot. His character feels done at this point. His feelings of inferiority have been played out, as well as his conflicting loyalties. We know where he stands on both of them, so I feel finished with him. Plus, killing an actual main character would do the show some good, instead of their usual fare of characters who are barely there until they die.

This is not to say I wish Drew Roy out of a job. Drew Roy, as Hal, has been amazing — this season in particular. This is also not to say that the other actors aren’t holding their own this season, but they weren’t given quite the same range to work with. It’s time to focus on that.

So where were we? Hal took his Dad hostage when he found out he wouldn’t go seek Anne right away, then he gets captured and the alien bug is taken out of him. Ah, here we are. Mason questionably resigns as President to go after Anne and Alexis.

President Peralta takes the oath.

I say questionably because there is two sides to this. If he’s going to be influenced by his family when he’s supposed to be looking after everyone in Charleston (the classic Tom Mason character flaw), it’s probably a good thing he hand in his resignation. However, Mason was popular, and this is a critical time for the people. Having their president suddenly quit has got to cause some chaos. Like, enough chaos that the lines won’t be defended as well because the commander-in-chief is suddenly gone and the third-in-line is now in power. Seems like a perfect hole for the Ephensi to exploit… actually. But it seems fairly obvious that they are trying to set up the VP, Marina Peralta, to be a major antagonist within the government of Charleston, as she’s already shown a marked distrust for the Volm allies, so…

Yeah… Mason, maybe resigning wasn’t that great of an idea.

Until now, with this season of Falling Skies, I’ve been able to sit down and enjoy an episode without needing distractions. This one, and the one before, I found myself opening up my computer and having to close Tumblr four or five times so I could concentrate on the episode. That’s how bored I kept getting. Don’t get me wrong, there were things I liked well enough, but it just wasn’t enough. But really, I was just bothered by this one persistent question in the back of my mind: If you’re going to change the format of season three so drastically from its predecessors, what good is it to return to the old halfway through the season?