Examined: Falling Skies “Door Number Three”

Congratulations! Your Lexi has evolved into Metapod!

Congratulations! Your Lexi has evolved into Metapod!

This week’s episode of Falling Skies gave us a ridiculously fast set up to an episode that ultimately went nowhere slowly. In the first five minutes we not only saw three different groups converge, but also Lexi build herself a nice little cocoon in the blink of an eye. The remaining 45 minutes was spent sitting around and debating what this meant while many characters were either left out, reverted to old habits or shown acting completely opposite of who they have been the past 3 seasons.

There was no additional closure or explanation on the continuity errors that arose a few episodes ago concerning Lexi’s “parenthood”; and quite frankly I don’t think we will. So for the sake of sanity, we’ll move on – but not forget – those problems because there are more pressing issues with this episode. Have you ever heard someone talk without ‘saying anything’? Well that’s the best way I can sum up the feel of this episode. A lot of things were going on; but nothing happened. You’ll see what I mean, so let’s get started.

Speedy Set Up:

The opening of an episode will always set the tone for an episode; though this episodes speedy set up was the exactly opposite of everything else that happened this time around. From Hal’s group and Tom’s groups converging on the sanctuary all at the same time – which is hard to believe since Hal’s group had at least a two day head start – to Lexi spinning herself into a web and bone cocoon in a matter of hours, everything seemed extremely rushed.

Well that was easy

Well that was easy

I could also inquire why none of Anne’s men – all prior members of the Second Mass – didn’t recognize their comrades; or why they all had guns on them when they were told to be disarmed. Though both questions are beside the point because this scene makes us think we hit fast forward or something. Not only do Hal and Tom reunite; but Ben and Anne just happen to show up at the same time as well. Everything just seemed rushed and hard to believe – and in a show about alien invasion and hybrids, that is saying something. Though the ‘unbelievable-ness of situations and cast members is just getting started.

Doctor Of What?

When our heroes find Lexi in a strange Chrysalis, they decide that they have to figure out what is happening to her before they interfere with anything. Tom remembers that he saw Anne in a similar cocoon and hopes he can remember how she got out. This of course leads Dr Kadarr to attempt a psychological retrograde way of accessing Anne’s repressed memories. Wait … what?

I’m not arguing with his methods – because there’s a strong chance his methods are completely made up and not founded in scientific thought – but rather a much simpler question. WHAT is Doctor Kadar a doctor of?

Dr Kadar

When we first met him in Season 3, he was supposed to help them diffuse a nuclear device. Later we saw him taking blood samples from Lexi, which okay he could have basic knowledge of biology. So how does he now have a Doctorate in Psychology too? Again, as with the set up everything about this scene just seemed WAY too circumstantial and thrown together in haste. Once again, no sense was made.

A Fool’s Errand:

Almost as bad as Kadar’s ever changing Doctorate was Anne’s mission to see if she could remember anything from her time on the alien ship. Again, this whole flash back was to the late Season 3 captivity and didn’t clear up or address any of the continuity issues originally brought in a few episodes ago. Though again, there are more pressing things at hand for this episode.

For starters, sending Anne to reclaim her memories just because she might have gotten out of a cocoon once before has a huge blind spot. It assumes that Anne got out on her own accord and wasn’t released. This also has awful timing considering there is a pretty big angry mob about to kill Lexi. Through the flashbacks Anne learns nothing as it turns out she didn’t get out of the cocoon on her own – saw that coming – though she does get a mental visit from Lexi who says to just leave her be. This once again is a waste of time considering Tom already decided that a while ago.

Lexi finally seems a kinda trustworthy. Still creepy though

Lexi finally seems a kinda trustworthy. Still creepy though

What Anne’s visit with Lexi does show is that Lexi does in fact choose her mom over Karen. This is a little more reassuring but you have to wonder if she chooses humans in general over the Espheni or just her mother. When Lexi said “My father’s returning” earlier in the episode it’s unclear whether she meant Tom or ‘The Monk’ Espheni. Once again, we have an obscure situation that doesn’t really answer any questions or has much value.

Team Stop Lexi:

If Lexi truly is ‘evolving’ into a more Espheni form; then there might be serious cause for concern. It was bad enough when we didn’t know where Lexi’s allegiance lied; but there’s no telling if the being that’ll emerge from the cocoon will in fact be Lexi anymore. This is more or less the stance of those who opt for killing Lexi while in her chrysalis state.

Stop Lexi

The whole dualism of this season has been pretty well done as even audience members find themselves having to pick sides. The downside though is that most of the added character moments just seem very out of place. From Maggie immediately breaking Mason family trust and spilling the beans on Lexi’s state to Hal throwing Season 2 stuff in Tom’s face, everything seemed a little forced and out of character.

The only part of this exchange that seemed beeliveable was Pope’s usual ‘take the world as it is’ frame of mind. Although even there I question where new character Sarah is. Lexi hasn’t been the trustworthy character this season – nor even a decent character. With her powers growing, yet understanding severely lacking, the ‘Stop Lexi’ team does seem justified – especially when you consider the Volm’s experience.

The Volm Opinion:

Shak-Chic later reveals to Hal that the cocoon Lexi is in is similar to the cocoon young Espheni are born in. At this stage of development they are at their most dangerous and uncontrollable; yet any attempts at killing them is met with horrific consequences. Shak-Chic recounts how the Volm once came across three hatchlings and killed one, which resulted in the other two going nuclear and whipping out an entire group. The Volm clearly see this as a tremendous threat that is better to be avoided; so why so mysterious about it.

So she'll go super nova eh Shak-Chic? SOMETHING I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!

So she’ll go super nova eh Shak-Chic? SOMETHING I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!

Despite being present when Lexi’s situation was first brought up, the Volm didn’t reveal their knowledge about the situation until much later in the episode. WHY? The ability of these hatchlings to go super nova is certainly intel that should be shared and not “oh you didn’t ask”. The other part that didn’t make sense was the story itself and how it applies to the current situation.

In the Volm account, there were three hatchlings: one was killed which resulted in the other two retaliating. Here there is only one who could be killed without consequences. Yet the Volm still choose to flee because they see there being ‘no way out’. In the same breath, all of the humans decide to attack it full force to kill it. Did the Volm hear their own story? The reactions of these two groups are so decidedly different it’s hard to believe they heard the same information.

Team See What Happens:

On the other side of the coin is the ever optimistic/trustworthy Tom Mason. Although hearing Tom speak about the Lexi situation actually makes us think he might be right. Tom has always been the most rationale of the crew; but to see him make such a tough call is even a little much for us to swallow – including the rest of the 2nd Mass. Though despite the direness of this situation, Tom has convinced me to be Team ‘See What Happens’ purely because how true to character and ‘real’ that side acts.

When Anne wanted to rip Lexi out of that cocoon, Tom immediately relates it to the time when Ben was harnessed and realized it would have killed him. Tom has never give up on his kids and even though he doesn’t know much about Lexi, he won’t give up on her either. Hopefully Lexi does see Tom as her real father because then he’d seriously get the short end of the stick. Anne didn’t truly believe in Lexi until she had that repressed memory surface. Tom on the other hand believes in Lexi regardless. As always, he gets the parent of the year award.

Don't tell me Weaver got alien poisoning . . . Again

Don’t tell me Weaver got alien poisoning . . . Again

Though it wasn’t just Tom who was believable on this side. Weaver has chosen side Lexi even though he just burned his hand – which I hope doesn’t turn into another Weaver is poisoned by aliens storyline. Weaver sums it up perfectly when he says he would destroy Lexi for fear of what could happen; but the father in him makes him strongly believe that she deserves a chance. After what he just went through with Jeanne becoming a monster, Weaver has the most experience in this area and it was great to see him display it.

THAT Was The Ben-Maggie Reveal?

Before this season started, we all saw a Season trailer that showed Ben and Maggie hooking up. This immediately seemed like an awful thing. I mean seriously, Ben already made out with Karen that one time. Is he going to make out with all of Hal’s ex’s now? Anyway, as the season progressed we saw Ben and Maggie become closer and felt it was only a matter of time until that ‘awkward moment’ arose. This episode gave us that exact awkward moment – down to Hal walking in on them – except it was all a dream.

Aww, they're back together

Aww, they’re back together

Now this might just be me; but Ben has really grown a lot in the past few seasons; but seeing him dream about his brothers girlfriend like that really made him seem childish. In the end it just seemed out of place and isn’t really brought up anywhere beyond that. Yes, there is a moment when it ‘could’ have repercussions later in the episode when Maggie asks Ben what does he want from him; but Ben’s assessment that he wants Maggie to go back to the version of her that believes in hope is very apt considering how unbelievably fast she transferred to team Anti-Mason.

Look At The Moon:

One of the few interesting moments of this episode was when Hal pointed out the Moon to Dingaan. This isn’t the first time Hal has pointed to the moon, but this time we actually get to see something strange going on. In a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment, you can see a green light in front of the moon. Is it a beamer? The Death Star? Or something else.

That's no moon, that's a spac…. oh no wait, it's still a moon

That’s no moon, that’s a spac…. oh no wait, it’s still a moon

My theory is that the light wasn’t passing the moon; but coming from the Moon itself. This could in fact be the new Espheni power source Cochise and the Volm have been searching for all season. If the power source was on the moon it’d make a lot more sense since the Volm haven’t found anything. By having the power source on the Moon it’d make it more protected – compared to the last – and also wouldn’t kill all life on the Earth’s surface, which is good considering the Espheni are so keen on converting people now.

What will happen

All and all there were some good moments in this episode that showed interesting plot points to come as well as powerful character growth. The downside though is that these promising moments were either fast forwarded through or lost in a sea of ‘campy’ behavior. The bright side of all of this is that next episode should see a lot of these plot lines start to explode. Will we get tons of revelations yet? Probably not. Though after the hot and cold/fast and slow nature of this episode, I think we could got for a little less discussion and a little more action.

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