TV Recap: Falling Skies, ‘Till Death Do Us Part’

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Plot: Something weird is happening on the Moon. Desperate to find answers, Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) heads to a Volm supply cache with Cochise (Doug Jones), Matt (Maxim Knight), Dan Weaver (Will Patton), and Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood). Meanwhile, Ben (Connor Jessup) helps Maggie (Sarah Carter) with her new abilities and the 2nd Mass tries to dig up a ship.

A lot of ground has been covered throughout this season. When we started off, all of our main characters were completely spread out with their own little subplots. Now we’ve either resolved most of their respective situations, or they’ve evolved into something else. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that this Moon discovery supersedes whatever main objectives our characters had before. Lexi (Scarlett Byrne) wasn’t even in last night’s episode and a ton of this season is focused on her. Really, there’s only one major loose end that the show hasn’t attempted to fully weave into this Season 4 tapestry of “stuff”: The Espheni youth school Matt was in. In a smart move, “Till Death Do Us Part” came in to fix this, while also focusing heavily on each major relationship.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger
Photo Credit: James Dittiger

Let’s get this out of the way right now. The Moon revelation was pretty awesome. The Espheni are using moonlight to power their entire force? Talk about an unexpected twist! How did it take so long for someone to notice? Who cares, I love it and the fact that our characters are going to space.

Now, the main story of Tom going to a supply cache was both exciting and entirely predictable. What made it work really well was the intense battle between Tom’s group and the school crew led by Kent (Dakota Daulby). It’s been a while since we’ve had a legitimate firefight between two human factions and it was nice shift from the usually one-sided Espheni battles. On a show like this, the human skirmishes always get a greater weight. Clearly both Tom and Kent want the same thing, which is peace for the human race. Tom however believes this can come through killing the Espheni while Kent thinks they need to become subservient. It’s this difference that brings them together in a hail of bullets. The Espheni are the real enemies though, and fights like this only benefit them, so it is a tragic waste watching humans kill each other when there is a greater threat right next to them.

Unfortunately this story was unreasonably predictable. Seriously, from the moment we see the group contains Matt, you know it’ll go to shit. Why is Matt there anyway? Tom and Weaver essentially say it’s because the kid is bored, which is code for the writers not thinking of a good excuse to bring a 13 year old on a super important mission except “it’s plot related”. And of course Matt ends up being the crack in the armor. When the group randomly bumps into Mira (Desiree Ross), Matt’s friend from school, everyone sees the glaring red flags. Tom has the foresight to tie the girl up because, obviously, it’s a freaking trap. Matt’s an inexperienced child though with hearts in his eyes, so he unties Meera and she calls in Kent’s forces. The result of this is the entire Volm cache getting destroyed. Really, the only thing that makes this predictability somewhat forgivable is Kent and his army getting killed. Any story involving the school ended once Matt was busted out. At least now we won’t have to worry about this until probably next season when maybe, just maybe, the other kids will be rescued.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger
Photo Credit: James Dittiger

Unfortunately Matt’s expected screw up wasn’t the only thing we saw coming. Ben and Maggie kissing was something we all knew would happen eventually. Literally from the moment Maggie started flirting with Ben, within about five minutes of him waking from his coma in the beginning, we knew a kiss was in the future. Now here it finally is, and it was expectantly terrible. This relationship between Maggie and Ben is completely forced and has absolutely zero chemistry. There were no inklings of Ben liking Maggie before this, so clearly it was all randomly crafted for this season. It would be somewhat better if the spikes were what caused the connection in the first place. Since Maggie has no idea what’s going on, Ben is obviously her best choice for training (Or Deni played by Megan Danso but the show tends to forget about the other spiked girl Ben had feelings for), so there’s solidarity. But Maggie’s spike transfusion was obviously done by Ben because he already liked her, which belittles this awesome change. And of course Hal (Drew Roy) sees them kissing.

It sucks that this love triangle is overshadowing Maggie becoming a super powered bad ass. Seriously, if you thought she was fun before, watch her dual wield pistols with inhuman precision and jump off tall buildings. Maggie getting spikes was probably the best thing to happen to her character in a long time. Is it weird that she is apparently totally fine with the change? Absolutely it is. Why is she so okay with Hal going behind her back to experiment on her? It would’ve been nice to actually see her upset to have the DNA of her worst enemies within her, but I guess the show was too busy making her do front flips and shoot little robots.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger
Photo Credit: James Dittiger

Randomly dispersed throughout this hour was a really bizarre conflict between Pope (Colin Cunningham) and Sara (Mira Sorvino). It was basically a new level of ass for a character that the writers both want to be a hero and an antagonist. Why exactly does Pope flip out when Sara takes some pills for an injured wrist? It’s explained that he dealt with addicts before but literally nothing about Sara made her seem like an addict prior to her injury. It was the equivalent of an awkward jump cut in editing that makes the viewer scratch their hand. All confusion felt by Sara was felt by the viewer in equal measure. Of course, now that she’s gone Pope will run after her and apologize, which will likely happen next week.

As is customary for this show, “Till Death Do Us Part” ended on a really high note. First off, we saw Tom and Anne finally get married. Seeing as they’ve been the main couple since the start, I’m shocked that this hasn’t already happened, but I’m glad it did. Whatever legitimate happiness these characters can find in this awful world is definitely welcome. Secondly, Matt’s fuck ups thankfully didn’t ruin everyone’s plans. It turns out that Mira’s Espheni whistle can also be used to control the buried beamer Tom needs to reach the moon. How convenient! Honestly, I’m really excited that this show is going to space, and the revelation that the Espheni were using moonlight as a power source was a delightful twist. I cannot wait to see some space combat.

Rating: 7/10

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Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television 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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s how they should have handled the Hal, Maggie, Ben triangle:
    1. None of this early season crush bullshit
    2. Maggie would have been legitimately mad at Hal. This would have been the point where she breaks up with him and begins to loathe herself for being mutated.
    3. Ben pulls her out of the funk and over the course of a FEW episodes they get drawn to one another by synching up via Bluespikes
    4. It’s more of a magnetic attraction which causes them to hook up, not because Ben has a crush and it leaks through.
    Also, THANK YOU for pointing out how they completely dropped the Ben/Deni potential relationship. I really could see them working out.

  2. Seriously, so can I. I feel bad for Deni. She’s literally as important and useful as Ben, but she’s not a Mason so she’s ignored.

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