Falling Skies fourth Season has finally come to an end. After a Season that seemed up and down at best, the finale was actually pretty good and nicely tied up a couple of plot points that had been bugging us all season. With old annoying characters becoming more likeable and new friends/threats to be found, this was certainly a roller coaster. So here is a closer look at the episode as well as a few quick observations and what/who Tom’s new “beautiful” alien might be?
Lexi’s Acceptance & Redemption Through Sacrifice:
Let’s face it, Lexi was really far gone this season. Her insistence in the Espheni was so unbelievable; and yet it made sense – as much as we hate to admit it. Ben was unconscious for a while and during that time Lexi was still just a child with powers she didn’t understand. It would have been all too easy for an Espheni to feed her lies and lure her with the idea of being a savior. It was all she knew and The Monk Espheni was very gifted with manipulating words – even more than the usual Espheni mind games.
So when Lexi returned to anger and cold shoulders, it was actually pretty believable. It was never going to be a ‘you saved us from an attack, yay welcome back!’ scenario. Lexi was going to be met with a lot of hard times; but despite these difficulties to trust, she was the best bet to destroy the Espheni power source. Her dream scenario with Tom was actually brilliantly done; and I honestly loved non-blonde Lexi. She finally seemed to fit in with the Mason; and actually looked like Tom and Anne’s daughter.
Though let’s face it, she redeemed herself through her actions and words; but it was her sacrifice that truly redeemed Lexi. Again, this all makes sense and is the way it had to be after everything she did this season; but I can’t help but be sad that Lexi is gone just as we started to like her. Although is she really gone? We saw the girl air bend and control gravity and other elements. There’s a chance she survived that crash. Did she have an escape pod or did she make another cocoon? Whatever happened, I guess we’ll find out next Season.
So after it being teased all season, we finally got a clear look at what Human Skitterization is like. When we last saw it, it looked like the Espheni had made it airborn; but that is actually just a fog that condenses into a thick cement-like liquid to trap and restrain its victims while altered harness slugs crawl out of the Skitter-core, latch onto a victim and pump a black sludge liquid into them to accelerate the skitterizing process.
We didn’t get to see any human skitters this episode; but we still have that screen grab from when Ben was in the Skitter Factory. Though we did see that the new Skitterizing process has evolved past Weaver’s daughter example and erases all humanity; basically reducing the victim to mindless beast. I guess those photos of Hal with fangs was just a joke since he didn’t get skitterized. In fact, once again EVERY main character – or remotely main character – survived the attack. First the Chinatown gas explosion and now skitterization. It’s a little too coincidental and makes it seem as though Falling Skies just loves cutting off more and more ‘extras’.
Random/Funny Observation #1: Espheni Subordinates:
Sure most of humanity has been whipped out or skitterized already; but why … WHY do the Espheni Overlords always pick their human puppets out of the pool of Tom’s son’s former girlfriends. In Season 1, the Overlords chose Karen – Hal’s former girlfriend – to speak to Tom and then continued to groom her into being an evil alien leader. Now in Season 4, the Overlord Scorch just so happened to pick Mira – Matt’s one time kiss – to intercept and approach Tom. What happened to Scorch’s original human puppet?
Further more, what the heck happened to Mira after Scorch was killed? Did she just evaporate? Or take an escape pod? If she took an escape pod could Lexi have as well? Seriously why wasn’t that explained or mentioned at all?
Sharp Shooting Sarah & Pope
This Season there was a lot of back and forth on just what Sarah and Pope represented. Were they the perfect compliments to each other that could make them both happy; or were their perfect sync the explanation for why it would end so badly. Well the Season Finale gave us that answer when Sarah returned right at the exact moment to save Pope from getting Skitterized. Also, the exchange was just glorious. Not only did Sarah appear as last second hero – like Pope usually does –; but she was also able to dish out the snark just as much as Pope usually does.
Now I don’t know when Sarah became such an amazing sharpshooter; but I’ll overlook it because it was an awesome scene. Also, Pope and Dingaan became close really fast; but the situation really led to that. They were all in the same trouble and Dingaan saved Pope first, so when Pope bit that alien tendril he was paying Dingaan back. This scene was also awesome because it finally followed through in Pope’s character development this season. He’s tired of the war and doesn’t want to be alone. So Pope stepping up, saving Dingaan and then being rescued by/reunited with Sarah was a great closing moment to his character’s story this Season.
Spikes Work Together to Save Hal:
The whole Ben, Maggie, Hal love triangle this Season was a bit much. Sometimes there is nothing worse than throwing in a love triangle that has no purpose other than ‘just drama’ – I’m looking at you Lost Girl. Though I can honestly say that the way the Season Finale of Falling Skies totally made those awkward/infuriating moments worth it. When we saw Maggie help Ben up before Hal, there was a moment when it looked like Hal was going to get it. Thankfully, Maggie and Ben worked together to save Hal. Though this scene actually has a bit more depth than just that.
Did the spikes want to be reunited? Yes; but as we learned earlier this season, the spikes magnify whatever the hosts are feeling. In that moment, there was one overwhelming desire that both Ben and Maggie shared – saving Hal. It was because of this shared goal that they were able to use the spikes fully to save Hal from the impending skitterization. Perhaps that’s the trick to not being controlled by the spikes, have a shared goal that’ll override the spike’s desire to be reunited.
Random/Funny Observation #2: Phantom Menace Much?
Do you remember that scene at the end of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace where all the droids deactivated when the ‘mother ship’ was destroyed? Or how about in The Avengers when all the Chitari died after their ship was destroyed? Well a similar thing happened when the Espheni power source deactivated. Though it wasn’t just the beamers that deactivated; but also the fog and skitterizing harnesses it seems. You would think the Espheni would have built in back up plans or something. It’s kind of sad when my iPhone holds a better charge than the entire Espheni War Machine.
The Volm Return:
One thing that never really made sense this season was how the Volm never returned in full force. Aside from Cochise, Shaq and a few other Volms no one else seemed to arrive. After such a grand and powerful entrance in Season 3, it seemed as though they had given up hope on Earth by just sending a few Volm troops. Well it turns out that was indeed the case. After going to protect their younglings – as we learned at the start of the season – the greater Volm forces decided that Earth had progressed too far backwards and was a lost cause.
Thankfully with the Espheni power source destroyed and the Volm back in full force, it looks like next Season we’ll see the Espheni pushed to the brink of defeat. Though there’s still that matter of ‘the coming darkness’.
“You’re Beautiful” – New Alien?:
Just like Season 2’s ending, Season 4 left off with Tom meeting a new alien. Though unlike last time, nothing good will come from this meeting. At first I thought the new alien might be Lexi in a different more alien form; but if you listen to the set up it’s clearly not Lexi. Besides the corny ‘close encounters’ background music, the alien addresses Tom with ‘We come in peace’, meaning this is the first of an entirely new species. So what kind of species is this?
We get a very brief glimpse at the aliens reflection; and despite Tom’s proclamation, there is nothing “beautiful” about this new alien. With a cone-like head, pinsir like hands, four legs and spikey appendages, this alien is much more insect like than the warmer, more humanoid Volm. Even the Espheni seem less physically menacing that this creature. Considering all this – and the season long reference to a “coming darkness” – this is probably the alien that the Espheni were so worried about. This is the alien that spurred the Espheni War machine in the first place; but what’s so threatening about it compared to the Espheni.
Now this is where real theorizing comes into play. Look at the room Tom is in. There are items from Tom’s home and speeches that only he would remember readily. This means that the alien must have some way of accessing Tom’s memories. Add in the fact that Tom – a now married man – is completely enamored by this freaky alien; and there is a pretty strong chance that this alien can control the emotions of others.
It might be a stretch; but this could also explain the Espheni War Machine as well. The Espheni Overlords are actually the Espheni themselves and everything else in their possession is unmanned tech and brainwashed mutant soldiers. Perhaps the desire to remove free will isn’t to just oppress; but to actually create an army of soldiers who couldn’t be effected by this new aliens powers to control emotions and minds. Again, this is just my personal theory; but it would explain why the highly advanced Espheni are so deathly afraid of another alien species.
“You’re Beautiful” – Something Familiar?:
Showrunner David Eick spoke at length about this final scene and says that this ‘being’ – he refused to call it creature – is something familiar and is perhaps a mutation of something/someone we’ve already met. What that means I honestly have no idea. As I just said, the ‘being’ says “WE come in peace”. Also, there’s still the missing story element of ‘a coming darkness”. So which is it? We’ll have to wait for next Season I guess before we know if this is a good story point or another contradiction like Lexi’s parenthood earlier this season.
If it is ‘something familiar’ and not ‘a new species’ as Eick notes; then I’m guessing it’s Tom’s first wife perhaps? Although how that situation will be handled is beyond me since they never really went into what happened to Tom’s first wife. If I learn anything new, I’ll be sure to update you accordingly, so stay tuned!
Falling Skies will return next Summer for its Fifth and finale season. This might not have been the best season; but it certainly wasn’t the worst show I’ve seen this year. So I’ll stick around and see where this show ends – again, unlike Lost Girl. Another thing that I really enjoy/respect is that the people behind Falling Skies are actually reaching out to their fans and want feedback on what the season was like, what they liked and what they didn’t like.
So here’s your chance to effect next Season of Falling Skies. Take a moment to fill out the Official Survey; and sound off in the comments below to let me know what you thought. Take care everyone and see you next Summer. Until then, keep your eyes on the sky! – or check out the other shows I examine lol