Season Four is here and it’s starting with a bang – literally. Our heroes are outnumbered and the alien war machine is pressing hard. Join me as I recap the latest of the Mason and sons adventures, ‘Ghost in the Machine.’ Lock and load 2nd Mass, spoilers and Espheni are incoming.
We open with the Masons and what looks like a caravan of what’s left of the 2nd Mass. Naturally they are traveling single file, to hide their numbers. Tom is waxing nostalgic about football and Walter Payton, Matt is breaking my heart by asking who Walter Payton is. (His name was Sweetness and he liked to dance. Runnin’ the ball was like makin’ romance.) Hal and Maggie are still not in a good place after the whole Karen thing. Weaver and daughter are arm in arm and apparently are in a pretty good place. In fact, the entire convoy is. They have been on the road for 22 days and are finally home. Charleston can be seen in the distance and all is right with the world. Well, it would be but alien hybrid killjoy daughter Lexi ruins the optimism by cryptically stating, “We don’t all have to die here.” That’s when all hell breaks loose. The Espheni dive bomb the convoy and deploy a Tholian Web, effectively cutting off the 2nd Massachusetts from the safety of Charleston. A couple Mechs later and the shaky- cam bloodshed begins. The Masons get divided (cause that’s what ‘Falling Skies’ does) and the action dials up. Tom is kicking ass with a pretty sweet alien rifle, until he’s not. Separated and trapped, we hit the choppy ‘Falling Skies’ logo with a sense of urgency and a whole lot of adrenaline.
We pick up four months Later and Tom Mason is doing what Tom Mason does, he’s being all history proffesorish by carving The Gettysburg Address into his prison walls. I love this man. And so does a hippy looking Weaver as he is thrown into a room on the other side of the wall from Tom. It’s good to be alive. Oh, and there’s a new alien menace in town and everyone is scared.
We cut to a desolate survivor wasteland where humans are fighting over scraps of food and we are introduced to a flying Skitter, who quickly scoops up some guy and flies him up to a mother ship. We see Hal is still alive, so is Tector and they are on the ground busily avoiding Skitters and trying to short out the fence. I’d like to take a moment here to talk about the visual effects in ‘Falling Skies’. I have been impressed from day one. For a television series, one on basic cable at that, the visuals have always been stunning. The design, look, and execution of the Skitters are by far the best thing on television.
Anne is leading a group of survivors and running them pretty hard. She is all anger and business. We learn the Volm packed up their mother ship and left and humanity is on its own for the time being. A fact that doesn’t sit well with most. A plan is hatched to strike a truck carrying ammunition.
A groggy Ben wakes up in an old Certa and we see a very happy Maggie who runs to embrace him. So far all our favorites are alive. Even better, Maggie has some unbelievable news for Ben. They are in China Town, and the war hasn’t hit them there. Lourdes, still alive and looking fine, gives Ben a little tour. The contrast of the burnt out skyscrapers in the distance and the lush, untouched gardens of their sanctuary are striking. Not as striking as Lexi, who has had another growth spurt and decided blondes really do have more fun. She’s preaching unity, but coming off kinda threatening. There’s an undertone to her words that feels culty. Ben has a flash and some dizziness… I’m pretty sure that’s his Spider-sense tingling. He shrugs off some hippies and walks away.
Back in the fenced off prison city, we get a food drop from the benevolent alien overlords and find that Pope is alive and well… and still trying to horde everything. It’s also good to see him and Hal still not getting along. The Mason feud continues. Speaking of Masons, Tom covers his face, grabs a blowtorch, and rides into the food fight while doing an uncanny Ghost Rider impression. Everyone, even Pope, seems to fear the masked man. Well, everyone who is not a Skitter. The little bastards crawl out of the woodwork and the Ghost Rider takes them on a merry chase through the devastated streets, all to the cheers of the masses. Tom has created a symbol. He is the hero they deserve.
After a word from our sponsors we see Tom back in his cell going over a map of the city. His little rides have apparently been more than just morale boosters. He’s mapping enemy movements, trying to find where they are coming from. Dan Weaver is having bad dreams and losing his mind. The two try and figure out why they are still alive. Why are the Espheni keeping humans, dangerous ones at that, alive? Nuisance or resource?
Cut to a creepy indoctrination center where bright eyed kids are being shown the harmony and joy the Espheni want to bring to the humans. Matt is there, getting brainwashed with the rest of them. Time to sing for your supper. The earth is a gift.The New Coalition must protect it with our Espheni brothers. Joined together we will build a beautiful world. Yeah right.
Hal and Tector find Pope lying around in his bathrobe watching ‘Gilligan’s Island’ reruns. They want his generator to short out the fence but Pope is not in a giving mood. Hal tries to take it and is treated to a beat down for his efforts.
Anne and company are readying their fertilizer bombs. They plan to blow the bridge and get the ammo from the supply truck. Of course the radio frequency is jammed and Anne has to improvise. One explosion later and the group finds not ammunition, but children in the back of the truck.
Weaver wants to fight. He’s cracking up and desperate. Luckily Tom talks him out of making a really bad decision.
Anne’s desperation to find her daughter grows on the road as a plan is hatched.
It’s reunion time. Cochise is back and he and Tom have a tearful reunion. Not. Tom’s angry. It’s been 4 months and the Volm are still nowhere to be found. Cochise reminds him that Earth is not their only battlefield. The Espheni found where the Volm were hiding their families and they had to retreat to defend them. There are only a handful of Volm units left on Earth. We learn that the Espheni are constructing a new power source that would make the liberation of humanity impossible. We also learn that the camps are world-wide. What they are for, nobody knows, but it cannot be good.
Hal and Tector meet Dingaan Botha, a professional escape artist with a sense of humor. He lets them know that he has broken out of several of these ghettos before and plans to do it again.
Speaking of escape artists, Tom gets back to his cell in time for Weaver to notice. Tom is not too keen on letting Weaver in on the plan.
Meanwhile, back in Chinatown Ben wants his guns and a showering Maggie is showing off some sweet tats. She puts some clothes on and regales Ben with the story of the Miracle Mech. Just after they settled here a Mech found them. Everyone wanted to fight or run but Lexi said to just wait. And sure enough, a bolt of lightning struck the Mech down. (I’d also like to think someone made a bat out of one of its limbs and called it Wonder Boy.) It’s a shrine now. A shrine to Lexi, to peace?
Back at Hitler Youth Camp Matt is getting ready to lead a little rebellion of his own.
Lexi is playing music with the moonlight and getting into Anne’s head.
Tom assures Weaver he is going to get his family together, the 2nd Mass.
The episode ends with a call out for the head of the vigilante. The legend of the Ghost might just cause humanity’s extinction.