TV Review: Falling Skies, ‘Door Number Three’

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Plot: Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) has arrived at Lexi’s (Scarlett Byrne) camp. His appearance sets off a string of reunions that make our protagonists practically jump with joy. Unfortunately for them, Lexi is now evolving because of her Espheni DNA. It doesn’t take long for their newfound happiness to be completely replaced with fear and panic.

All roads lead to Lexi apparently. After about half a season, the broken remnants of the 2nd Mass are back together. Tom, Matt (Maxim Knight), and Weaver (Will Patton) find Hal (Drew Roy) outside the camp. Ben (Connor Jessup) and Anne (Moon Bloodgood) rush outside once they hear commotion. Maggie (Sarah Carter) finds Hal later and greets him with a big kiss. For the first time in quite a while, there’s actually a reason for happiness. It was a delightful little oasis in this world filled with absolute crap, sort of like Lexi’s camp. Yet seeing as this is a post-apocalyptic land run by aliens, any sense of happiness is bound to be short lived. It really isn’t long before shit hit the fan and there is a full blown riot out for Lexi’s blood. With so much personal stake on the line for the Masons, “Door Number Three” was an incredibly emotional hour that is easily a contender for the best episode all season.

Photo Credit: James Ditiger
Photo Credit: James Dittiger

The greatest strength by far was how much the Lexi conflict danced in the grey area between right and wrong. Lexi was easily a force to be reckoned with before, but her sudden appearance in a cocoon naturally has everyone concerned. The instant reaction for some is to cut Lexi out to save her, but Tom, always the voice of reason, stops anyone from coming close. That’s his daughter in the cocoon and he refuses to do anything that might put her in danger. Yet it’s entirely possible that his staunch positioning as a father blinds him to the real threat, something Pope (Colin Cunningham) and Hal are quick to put out. It’s easy to side with Tom since he’s our main hero, but the riot lead by Pope and Hal is completely justifiable too. Just like how Tom’s lack of knowledge convinces him to keep his daughter safe to learn more, Pope and Hal consider her mysterious change as a threat to survival. It was also one of those rare moments where Pope was a pragmatic asshole which was a nice change from his usual “just being an asshole” attitude.

Anne’s self-discovery throughout all of this panic was a great addition too. Since she was present when Karen (Jessy Schram) experimented on Lexi, Anne might have the knowledge necessary to save her daughter. To get it out, Dr. Kadar (Robert Sean Leonard) engages her in some repressed memory therapy. What we got from this was less information about Lexi and more about what Anne has gone through outside of Tom’s army. Not only was the therapy a convenient way to weave in some flashbacks, it showed us what happened to Anne’s son. Sammy’s death was mentioned previously on the show before Anne became pregnant again, but we never saw it occur until last night. It was a painful reminder of Anne’s past that gave us a perfect explanation for her actions. She failed to protect her son from an Espheni ambush, and now her daughter is an alien/human hybrid. This all makes Anne one of the most universally tragic characters on the program which makes her even more engrossing than she was before.

Photo Credit: James Ditiger
Photo Credit: James Dittiger

Hal’s evolution to be more like his father was thrust into the spotlight too. While Tom is breaking down because his young daughter is now both an adult and mutating, Hal continues leading their small army. Evidently he has moved on from being a substitute for his father and is now guiding his people in earnest. So while Tom is taking a stand as Lexi’s father, a wholly biased viewpoint that could backfire, Hal advocates taking action to keep their other family, the 2nd Mass, safe from harm. He’s armed with some knowledge provided by the Volm on exactly how dangerous those cocoon’s are, but he ultimately fails to convey that clearly, showing how much Hal still has to learn. It was a rare moment of contention for the Mason family and it was nice seeing Hal and Tom play two sides of the same coin.

Peppered in throughout this is a new love triangle between Maggie, Ben, and Hal which is total shit. I haven’t seen a single person enjoy this development and I can’t imagine anyone ever will. As if the show knows this already, “Door Number Three” opened up with Ben and Maggie making out, only for it to be a dream. It was like the show was giving us a nightmarish scenario only for it to say, “Just kidding!” That relief is destroyed though once Maggie and Hal reunite. Their impromptu kiss is punctuated by Ben staring longingly in the background. Yeah, it is THAT clichéd. To make matters worse, Maggie is the one who has been flirting with Ben this entire time. Her running back to Hal is essentially a way for the writers to make her one of the worst characters on this show. That absolutely sucks too because Maggie has been cool since day one. Now she’s a character who prefers to lead one Mason son on while returning to another Mason son once he comes back. Awesome!

Photo Credit: James Ditiger
Photo Credit: James Dittiger

Lastly, I’ve noticed some people mention this online, but now Hal has directly pointed it out: something is happening with the Moon. Clearly all of those shots staring at it were no accident. Could there be some new threat on the lunar surface?

While the ending was a bit anticlimactic, it set the stage for what looks to be an extremely exciting conflict next week. Lexi will (hopefully) reach her next stage of evolution while the Overlord hunting Tom will brutally attack the camp. If next week’s episode is as exciting as the preview suggests, we could be in for one crazy ride. Even if it’s not though, “Door Number Three” was truly great and could possibly be the emotional high point of this season. Also, let the theories fly on the whole Moon situation. My money is on the Espheni building some sort of super weapon.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television editor and every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.

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