Examined: Falling Skies – “Till Death Do Us Part”

"Are you my mommies?"

“Are you my mommies?”

With the Season finale quickly approaching, Falling Skies has noticeably picked up. There were actually some great moments in writing in this past episode titled “Till Death Do Us Part“. Is the show suddenly good enough to compete with Walking Dead and other programs again? No; but I’m going to look at the bright side for the rest of this season and enjoy the fact that it’s finally trying to tie up some loose ends. So let’s dig a little deeper into this week’s episode and see what they got right and what still has to be worked on.

Life With Spikes:

As Maggie learns to adjust to life with spikes, she starts to understand just what Ben’s had to go through these past few seasons. In fact, the process of acceptance is almost exactly the same. No matter how much Maggie has contributed to the group, people still look at her differently now because she has a few spikes. This parallel isn’t just by accident; but was clearly done on purpose to show that no matter who the subject is, people still fear what they can’t explain. These notions kind of confirm what Lexi has been saying all season – though spikes is much more acceptable than full human skitterization.

Though on her own, think of what these few spikes mean for Maggie. While Ben was a sickly boy, Maggie was a seasoned fighter before she ever got her spikes. This would make Maggie easily the strongest character right now. We already saw how crazy her aim has gotten. They might as well just give her a bow and arrow and start calling her Hawkeye – Marvel joke.

Maggie Spikes

Don’t worry Maggie. Pope and Sarah’s fighting is annoying me as well

Though despite the perks spikes offer, it is still important to remember what they really are: ‘an alien life form’ – or part of one. It’s still not exactly clear how the remnants of an alien life form still hold enough consciousness to control people once severed; but the fact of the matter is the little spikes do have a mind of their own and –as we learned in this episode – act as a whole. Those spikes might be separated between Ben and Maggie; but they are going to want to become whole again. This could explain why Maggie’s pain ended when she was with Ben. Hal might have ‘forbidden’ Ben from seeing Maggie; but there’s a strong the spikes won’t listen to that threat and will drive Maggie and Ben crazy until they’re together again.

Mason Brother Drama (Again):

Hey, remember that time Ben made out with blond girl with spikes who used to date his brother? No, I don’t mean Season 2. That’s right, this is the second time Ben has made out with on of Hal’s girlfriends (ex or not). The first was of course Karen in Season 2 when she was feigning freedom; and the new case is here with Ben and Maggie. If you watched ‘The Enemy Within’ mini webisodes, then you’ll get a special laugh out of this when you remember Ben and Hall claiming they had very different ‘types’. I hate to break it to you boys; but it seems like you two have one VERY similar type.

Deja Vu?

Deja Vu?

Honestly, I don’t know where they’re planning on going with this. The spikes are going to forever try to draw Maggie and Ben closer together until their united again. They could be removed again I suppose; but there’s no telling what that could do. Right now it seems like Hal is going to get the short end of the stick, which is slightly fitting since he was the one to push for all of this (spikes & having Ben train her). Also, if Hal does get skitterized in the finale – like we’ve been seeing rumored photos of – then it looks like there’s very little happy ending involved for Team Hal/Maggie.

Where are you going with this?

Speaking of not knowing where they’re going with things, let’s look at Pope and Sarah. First it seemed like they’d be a great foil for each other. Then Sarah just disappeared. Then they seemed like perfect mirrors for each other considering they both went from loners to groupers. This episode however put them at odds with each other on whether or not Sarah had meant what she said. Whereas Pope might have jumped the gun; Sarah’s stories don’t really check out either.

Annoying and uneventful to be sure; but can we really do something about the lighting? It seems like everything happens at night lately.

Annoying and uneventful to be sure; but can we really do something about the lighting? It seems like everything happens at night lately.

The fact that she went right for painkillers after the bruise was one thing. Then she lied about killing skitters right alongside Pope in the battle, which as we learned last episode wasn’t true since she hadn’t killed one until she bashed its head in. The final ‘huh’ was when at the end it was revealed that the ‘brands’ on the medicine wasn’t right and it was just aspirin in the bottle. Besides that being horribly coincidental, that’s also an awful idea. If you’re going to put medication in a different bottle, you should change the labels to reflect that – or make a note on the bottle. All in all, these two have gone back and forth so much, that any chemistry we started to see between them is gone. If I had to pick I side, I’ll obviously pick Pope since he comes across as much more honest and sane than Sarah – and THAT is saying something.

Everything Happens For a Reason:

Early on in the episode, Tom and Anne had yet another discussion about what to do about Lexi. Anne as always saying go after her and Tom reminding her that their first priority is those who have stuck with them. He can still hope that Lexi will be good and return; but he can only afford to have hope right now and not rely blindly on faith. He must trust that “everything happens for a reason” and move forward regardless. It was a great speech that reminds us that Tom is always the calm rational person – when he’s not saying ‘Let’s Go to the Moon!” – ; but was there a deeper purpose to this speech.

Seriously Matt, how could this be anything other than a trap *facepalm*

Seriously Matt, how could this be anything other than a trap *facepalm*

Bumping into Mira and the other Camp Espheni people might have seemed totally random – and I’ll get to that in a second – but it wasn’t a waste of time in the end. In fact, all season we have been wondering what the purpose of Camp Espheni was. Yes, we knew it was where Matt was being held; but there had to be more to the story. When Matt was rescued we knew Mira would return brainwashed after how much she droned on about how she’s “not as strong as” Matt or ”might start believing them any day now”. Additionally, if she wasn’t going to crack before, you can only imagine how much worse things got after Mat left especially when they realized Mira led them in the wrong direction. Though in the end, WHAT was the point of all of this? Why did we have to sit through all of this?

The answer is of course that it would all lead to helping the Second Mass get to the Moon to destroy the new Espheni power grid. A little long winded? Yes; but at least now we know the purpose of it. The Moon story arch is much more compelling than anything else we’ve seen this season so if everything is leading to that now, then there is our reason. It’s not a great one; but at least it’s a reason.

REALLY?!?!? More Coincidences & Dumb Choices:

If there is one thing you can count on this season – or in general – it’s amazing coincidences and dumb choices. Don’t believe me? Well let’s take a look back at the past episode alone. For starters, an Espheni Beamer just happens to crash perfectly intact – for the first time – right before they decide to go to the moon. A bomb detonates inside that Beamer and it’s is hardly damaged. Either that was one weak bomb or the Beamers are stronger on the inside than they are on the outside. Then we find out that the Espheni Camp whistle can be used in controlling the Beamer. The coincidence keep growing.

Uh oh, looks like Cochise is skilled in the ways of the Sith

Uh oh, looks like Cochise is skilled in the ways of the Sith

Let’s not foret how the Volm always just happen to have an amazing fix all weapon/ machine that they only tell the 2nd Mass about after being directly asked about it. Also, if the Volm had a “deep space radio” in their stash, why not use it immediately to call for Volm backup? Also why was Mira lingering around the Volm stash; and how did her people know to bring gas masks? Speaking of, how come the gas masks were in DIRE need at some spots but superfluous at other. The area is full of random pockets, meaning you never know where a Chlorine pocket is until you’re in it.

Though the winner of this category had to be Matt who despite hearing Mira basically confess her plan, still thought she wouldn’t be a trap. The ‘untie me’ scene was so stereotypical that it was actually laughable – even down to when Mira said ‘the ropes hurting me’ while giving Matt puppy dog eyes. Though the worst had the be when Matt saw Mira had the whistle; and didn’t do anything! Tackle her! Take it out of her hand! Do something!!!!! Much like how a few episodes back, Matt bounced back and forth between killer and ‘couldn’t hurt a fly’, Matt has once again returned to the ineffective child who causes more problems than he fixes. What ‘REASONS’ there were for all this, only time will tell . . . hopefully.

Give Me More!

When Tom finally confronted the Team Leader Kent, he asked why he’d betray his own people. Kent obviously began by saying some more Espheni BS; but afterwards he revealed that he turned in his own mother. . . . and? Go on! That would have been an amazing moment to get inside Kent’s head and learn something. The moment was so brief and unwritten that there is no way to know what Kent was going for. Was this revelation meant to say “I turned in my own mother, I’d gladly turn in anyone else’? Or was this Kent revealing that he tricked into turning in his own mother and that he had to believe the Espheni lies to live with the choice he made. Again, this could have been an incredibly powerful moment, but no thought was given into flushing it out.

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like this isn't exactly the time for a Wedding?

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like this isn’t exactly the time for a Wedding?

Is this season great? No, but I’m looking at the positives and it’s nice that the show is finally tying up some loose ends. Next episode will be the last episode before the two hour season finale and from the preview it looks like Lexi starts to suspect something wrong with the Espheni (especially the Monk). Perhaps that whole continuity issue of Monk being Lexi’s dad will be unwritten as an ‘implanted memory’ or something. We can hope can’t we; and right now I’m hoping for a finale that at least breaks even.

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