Previously on Falling Skies, ‘Everybody Has Their Reasons’
Starring : Noah Wyle, Will Patton, Moon Bloodgood, Colin Cunningham, Drew Roy, Sarah Carter, Connor Jessup, Maxim Knight, Doug Jones, Treva Etienne, Mpho Koalo
Pardon my French, but fucking finally. The final season was off to a running start, then stumbled hard as it strangely sought to shake things up and turn Pope into a full-blown villain. However all seems right again as “Stalag 14th Virginia” was THE Falling Skies all of us who’ve held on all season loved from the very beginning.
As seen in “Everybody Has Their Reasons” Captain Katie Marshall (Melora Hardin) is as paranoid as she is inflexible, believing any human who was and is in contact with aliens is under their possible influence and must be executed. From the start Weaver was stuck between a rock and a hard place hoping to sway his former subordinate’s ass-backwards way of doing things, while not thrown in the brig with the rest of his compatriots. Thankfully he lost his goo goo eyes for the demented commander and finally figured out her endgame while reconnoitering.
Proving that Marshall isn’t in her right mind would be a difficult task for Weaver, as the Captain had a number of supporters who seemed not to care about fighting so much as staying put and assuming their scrap of power within the 14th Virginia. Sgt. Kagel (Matt Bellefleur), he of the infamous torturing, raping, murdering faction of the 14th, was a person who served his purpose quite well as an antagonist who seemed to always have the upper hand over the 2nd Mass. No matter how many of us wanted Kagel dead for what he nearly did to Maggie AND Isabella, it almost appeared he would get away with it all and get out of “Stalag” unscathed.
Another member of the 14th – Lt. Sheldon (Bob Frazer) – went the other way and began to realize how twisted and reticent his soldiers had become. No one wanted to acknowledge how different the Captain became since the skirmish some time ago but they spoke in secret. No one wanted to be a buried in shallow grave behind HQ for being falsely accused as a collaborator. Despite his hard-nosed attitude towards the 2nd Mass in “Everybody Has Their Reasons”, Sheldon realized so much more could be done to ensure humanity’s survival. Unfortunately, his bravery earned him a bullet in the back. The cruelty and heartlessness of Sheldon’s death (despite him being a minor character) was effective to the point that one had to wonder how many were going to make it out alive this week.
What was especially exciting while viewing “Stalag” was the uncertainty of things working out for the 2nd Mass. Many of them were now detained, the leadership was scheduled for execution, what few outspoken soldiers within the ranks of the 14th have been steadily dealt with… the only chance to right things was solely in the hands of Weaver, as Lt. Wolf mentioned, played the role of puppetmaster well. For a time, no one looked to be safe. Ben was still recovering from Kagel’s torture, Maggie and Isabella were being hunted down and the rest of the 2nd Mass were hinted to be executed without trial by Marshall. It was that level of tension that’s been sorely lacking for most of the final season, and hopefully will be maintained in the last two episodes.
Possibly the most moving scene is when Weaver does the unthinkable and takes down Captain Marshall in order to save Tom. Believing he just killed the love of his life, Weaver is at least partly relieved and surprised to learn Marshall isn’t Marshall at all but another Espheni experiment meant to replicate key personnel and infiltrate pockets of human resistance. This alien replicant did its job a little too well; its programming was so impeccably written, it didn’t anticipate the love she’d feel for Weaver as the real Marshall had for years. It was truly a heartfelt scene, one that seldom occurs in Falling Skies with such depth and sentiment. All credit to Will Patton and Melora Hardin for creating an earnest resolution to a tense 3rd act.
With the air cleared and the main baddies now dispatched, the 2nd Mass and 14th Virginia can now focus their efforts in taking the fight to Washington DC, right? RIGHT??? Please say yes. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Cochise and Dingaan arrive at the stalag with the Espheni communication device in tow. No one wants to touch the damn thing as it gives whoever touches it the mother of all migraines. Ben’s remaining spikes activate when he enters the room and literally dives in to get a clear view of what the Espheni are up to. Before being pulled away, Ben was able to see dozens of Overlords worshipping something massive, and this information puts Cochise in a tizzy. It seems there’s still more that the Volm haven’t told humans about their mutual nemesis.
“Stalag” ends with a brief look at the barbarous camp Pope leads. If John or Anthony wasn’t present, one would believe they accidentally sat on the remote and changed the channel, it’s that much of a departure from the two characters we grew to love. Torches and sweaty fist fights? What is this, WOODBURY MEETS THE THUNDERDOME? Pope and his crew of degenerates would have rolled in their own muck and self-loathing for who knows how long if a deserter from the 14th wasn’t caught by Anthony.
Here we go again.
The final fight against the Espheni begins (we hope) next week with “Reunion”!
Be sure to watch Falling Skies Sunday at 10pm on TNT!