Examined: Falling Skies – “Drawing Straws”


We did it folks. We survived this Season of Falling Skies and now we all we have left is the two hour finale, which this episode actually built up to PERFECTLY. From a shocking cliffhanger moment (which we did kind of see coming) to new horrors being foreshadowed (which we again kind of see coming) next week’s finale looks exciting.

Episode Theme: Why Now?

One quick thing to note is that this episode had an overwhelming sense of bad timing. From bad repetition to things happening MUCH later than they should have, this episode just left a lot to be desired in the realm of rationale. Aside from this, everything was fine. But again, why all this now? A lot of the first half of this season was very slow and ‘campy’, so why all of this must be rushed in the second to last episode I honestly don’t understand. Again, better episode overall; but the timing of things stunk.

Lexi’s Redemption:

There’s no doubt about it. Despite being called ‘drawing straws’, this episodes main point was Lexi’s redemption. After overhearing The Monk’s and Scorch’s shadow plain conversation, Lexi learned that her role in the Espheni War was as weapon not savior. Her dream about Ben and seeing the consequences of her powers on the forest first started her suspicious nature; but I can help but wonder: WHY NOW?!?!

 Lexi has been hearing about the Espheni evils for most of the season and now she’s decided to believe them. Sure she overheard their conversation; but this isn’t the first time she’s witnessed them in conversation. Now sure, this time she ‘overheard’ a second of their conversation before she purposefully began eavesdropping on the shadow plain; but again why now. The last time we saw this conversation Lexi was right next to The Monk. So why didn’t she hear herself being referred to an obedient pawn then?

Lexi Eavsdropping 

Regardless of how quickly Lexi changed her stance after episode upon episode of blind ‘fortune cookie mumbojumbo’, the end scene was a perfect lead up to her rejoining the 2nd Mass. Actually calling Tom ‘father’ was a nice touch and it’s also apparent that her powers grow exponentially – considering destroying one thing makes her pass out; but a fleet of beamers makes her hardly break a sweat. The preview for next episode looked like Lexi will lead Tom into a trap set by Scorch; but I bet it’s a double trap. Then again, maybe Scorch gets his hands on whatever it is The Monk said he could control Lexi with. Either way, Lexi is now apparently good – and 10 minutes is all it took.

Glory-Hog Tom?:

 When we first saw Matt climb back into the beamer, it seemed like Matt really wanted to cement his as ‘that kid who causes more problems than he fixes’. Though in a shocking twist of fate he actually helped. Now on one hand, he could have just spoken up; but instead he had to climb in and test his suspicions in secret. Rather than act like a part of a team – that consists of two tech specialists – , he just had to go off and do it on his own. I wonder where he get’s that from?

 Pope Wants to step up

Whereas Tom might call this teenage rebellion, as the episode progresses we realize that Matt actually seems to just take after his father. We’ve always just assumed Tom Mason to be the guy to get things done; but after that amazing moment with Pope and Weaver, that idea is called into question. Why are the leaders always the ones to go on the most dangerous missions? In the end they just keep getting more and more glory rather than bring in any new leaders. This might as well be The Mason Army rather than The 2nd Mass. 

Tom eventually concedes to the vote; but fixes the final draw so that he is chosen. Anne points out that if anyone found out then he would have destroyed any trust that he’d earned over the years. Though come to think of it, why didn’t anyone check. They knew Tom didn’t want the vote so why wasn’t the drawing at random. They just blindly accepted that the ‘odds were in his favor’ and let it be.

*sings* When there's something strange; and it don't look good. Who you gonna call? TEAM MASON!

*sings* When there’s something strange; and it don’t look good. Who you gonna call? TEAM MASON!

In the end, Tom’s a great character and always has a great plan in mind. That being said, it’s not fair that the show actually writes every mission to end in ‘Tom saves the day’. Think about it. The main mission for the finale revolves are the three central characters (Tom, Ben and Lexi) in one place. Above all they have to survive, so you can only imagine the horrors that are going to happen back on Earth. All in all, I wish Pope could’ve joined in on the space mission. It would have been a great book-end moment and further flushed out his character’s transformation into someone who is tired of all the fighting and wants to sacrifice himself for others than continue to ‘live’ for himself.

Worst Goodbye Ever:

Speaking of things that happen again and again – and have awful timing, we saw this episode that Hal REALLY had a problem with Ben and Maggie’s kiss. I mean who wouldn’t? But Hal seemed to go way over the top and not even listen to the fact that ‘there is an alien creature bonded to them’. Finally, Tom convinces Hal to forgive his brother and make amends, which he does. The problem is he walks in RIGHT as Ben and Maggie are kissing again. REALLY?

It’s seriously like the episode strived to have awful timings. Anyway, in the end Hal forgave his brother – which like the Lexi situation – seemed to have happened way too fast. For a moment, I felt like Hal was going to do something really rash.

 Worst goodbye ever

Again, if we look past the “WHY NOW” aspects of this episode, it again wasn’t half bad. It set us up for next week’s two hour finale and framed everything in the sense of ‘one last mission’. What the new ‘Espheni human-gathering weapon’ is, we’ll find out soon. I still think it’ll be a dirty bomb; but then again we haven’t seen those ‘Crawler’ aliens in a long time. Whatever it is, there’s only one more week to go.

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