This episode is full of “finally!” moments for me, even as I found myself bored from time to time. As such, it’s going to get a very mixed review.
The episode essentially follows Mason and his family trying to find Anne and Lexi, but failing as their meeting with the rebel skitters is ambushed and then they are robbed by a family of hicks out in hills… where the tables turn about three or four times before Mason and Co. can finally high tail it out of there. When they finally escape, they notice the Esphensi going straight for their would be captors. Half return to warn the hick family, which turns out to be a bad decision as Tom Mason gets captured.
Cochise comes back with President Hathaway, though that doesn’t really matter because the man is assassinated by everyone’s favorite arbitrary plot-changer, Lourdes.
President Peralta discovers, along with Weaver, that the Volm weapon that is being built can seriously endanger every organism in the world as it will allow the Volm to come in and attack, but it will also irradiate the Earth. She also discovers that Tom Mason knew this the whole time.
Other than that, there is some drama about Pope’s bar being shut down in order to put more housing in for Charleston’s burgeoning population.
All in all, standard ‘Falling Skies’ fair, with a heavy dose of Mason family drama.
So, let’s get to the “Finally!” moments for me.
The one thing that has consistently bothered me about Pope’s character from his introduction in the first season is that he was a complicit rapist and they tried to turn him into some sort of comic relief. He knew what was happening to Maggie when he and his convicts were holed up back in Boston, and decided not to do anything about it. That is not a character I feel comfortably identifying with, nor do I want to laugh along with. The “Finally!” of this episode was when Maggie called him on it, and we see that Pope regrets his actions even if he won’t apologize for it. Finally, he loses some of the legitimacy the show seems so happy to foist on him, and that’s all I could ask for (well, truthfully, all I could ask for is that they had done this twenty episodes ago, but beggars and horses and all that…).
The second “Finally!” comes from Tom Mason, when at the end of the episode, he accepts that he shouldn’t be constantly putting his family first. Like Pope’s flaw that was never addressed, I felt that Tom has never been confronted with his: which is to say, Tom Mason puts the lives of the five people in his family above the thousands that he’s sworn to protect. At the end of this episode, though it leads ironically to his capture, he decides that he would be no better than the hicks that robbed them if he put his family first, so he goes back to warn the other family that the Esphensi are coming for them.
So, there was a lot of progress being made — which one would hope seeing as there are only three episodes left– and some references to past episodes which should lead to character development, but the episode still came off as banal. Mason’s family is always in danger, so it’s not exciting. Pope is always getting let of jail, so I hardly care. Every President that isn’t Mason has been murdered, so I have a fairly good idea of what’s going to happen to Peralta. So really, I have very few things I can be excited and worried about in future episodes, aside from the fact that the commercial teaser for the next episode strongly indicates that Tom Mason is the real mole.
Anyway, for doing a few things right, and doing others things mediocrely, this episode gets a