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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Falling Skies, Season 04 Episode 08: A Thing With Feathers

August 11th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

After last weeks brutal “Saturday Night Massacre”, it was clear that this week would be about regrouping and finding out where they now stood. “A Thing With Feathers” delivered not just a tense filled episode, but a true building of what’s to come as the season winds down.

There were two main storylines this week. One featured Tom and Dingaan buried under huge mounds of rubble. It was curious that Dingaan was there at all, even when he explained himself it was still a head scratcher, yet given what happened later it’s somewhat obvious why he was there. Story.

Their whole conflict was trying to get out of the rubble via the Espheni ship that Cochise shot down at the end of last weeks episode. What was to follow was both gripping, sad, and somewhat life-affirming. Dingaan repeatedly broke down and warned that they wouldn’t get out of there. And even if they did, everyone else was likely dead.

This was the most interesting part of the episode for me save for the end. As Tom leveled with Dingaan and revealed that he lies to himself almost every hour of every day to help himself, his family, and everyone else get through the day. To me, this was an important speech for Tom’s character. He’s always been the symbol of strength and hope, and people have responded to that. What was to happen if he stopped being that symbol? He spells it out and it’s both honest and compelling.

Another interesting aspect was Dingaans’ backstory. We learn that his family was not lost during the invasion, but prior to it. His son was killed in an accident due to Dingaan’s “negligence”. And his wife drowned her sorrows in whiskey until she died. Necessary? Not so much, and to be honest I couldn’t understand the whole story. But it was a touching moment as Tom once again gave hope to him.

Meanwhile, Maggie was found by Hal, but the catch was that she was paralyzed from the neck down. It then became priority number one to save her. The answer came in the form of Deni and Ben’s spikes. If they heal them, why can’t they heal Maggie?

Well, after some surgery, tools courtesy of Cochise, Maggie was fully healed. And she showed her gratitude to both Ben and Hal. Now yes, this will no doubt lead to the love triangle forming back up again, let’s hope it doesn’t play out predictably.

There were two sidestories that also played out. Ben and Lexi had another “moment” together, as she tried to convince him of what was happening. “Evolution” is what she referred to it as. Ben finally woke up and all but spelled out to her that this won’t end well for any of them.

Pope and FemPope finally got together after some bonding. Pope actually had some touching moments in this episode. FemPope? Not so much. Her character is just too obvious, and it really hurts to watch at points. Especially when the “connected” next to a body they literally just buried.

The ending is something we’ll be speculating about for a week. As both Hal and Tom saw a blink on the moon, and the ship that Tom escaped lit up under the moonlight. What’s going on up there?

Ok, I want to make a special note of some of the weird things I saw in the episode. First of all, there is no way that Anne would take Hal’s word on whether Maggie wanted to be “spiked”. Especially after the nonchalant way he said she wanted to do it.

Second. They just let Ben go? After one last plea from Lexi to stay, Ben straight up leaves wherever they are…and they let him! Then, seemingly hours later, he’s back at camp. That’s just too simple for me. I mean, last week they showed him and her getting in a ship. So…they flew a few miles at best? I don’t think so…

Oh, and Matt totally decked Pope. You go kid!

In the end, “A Thing With Feathers” showed the 2nd Mass recover from the massacre both physically and mentally. While some things were suspect, they can be forgiven slightly as they helped further the plot more-or-less. With only a few episodes left, it’ll be interesting to see how things end. And where they lead to the final season.


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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!