After a very interesting episode last week, things definitely cooled down on Falling Skies, and not necessarily for the better. A lot of things felt topsy turvy this week on “Mind Wars”, and it really leaves me wondering where things go from here.
To recap last episode, Tom, Weaver, and Cochise saved Matt from the education plant, Hal was left in charge and had to move everyone in order to save them from an impending Espheni ambush. Meanwhile in the “safe haven” Anne was reunited with Lexi, and the Overlord was taken prisoner against Lexi’s wishes.
You’d think this would be enough to give the episode a lot of tension as things both come together and fall apart. Instead though, it felt more like a side-step. Though some things were revealed to an extent, it just didn’t live up to what previous episodes did. This was a true filler episode.
The beginning was great, as we saw Matt shy away from killing, which made me thing the reeducation actually got to him. Then there was the tense moments in the former safehouse when the Skitters and Overlord almost caught Matt and Tom. This is what I expected from the whole episode…sadly…didn’t turn out that way. Instead, we were treated to a weird encounter with two other “survivors” Nick and Coop. You knew things would go south the moment we met them, even Tom and Weaver knew that. But what followed was a weird case of “mind games” (or should I say wars?) that didn’t really pan out.
I’ll admit, the idea of humans selling out others to survive has rarely been touched on in Falling Skies. But for me, it just didn’t sell. Nick and Coop’s relationship, or lack thereof, was unbelievable and easily manipulated by Tom.
And then there was Matt, who went from anti-kill to “I wanna take the shot”. 180’s like this rarely work, and it totally didn’t here. Especially after Weaver’s talk about his CO in the past. I did however like the speech about how 1/8 of an inch off could kill Tom. That’s just fact, and it showed how Matt needed to rethink his options.
To be honest, this storyline felt like a waste, we learned nothing new, and this time could’ve been used to show Matt’s possible state after being in the center, or show urgency to get to Hal. Or!!!!…possibly trying to stay one step ahead of a vengeful Espheni. Whatever the case, it just didn’t work out.
One more thing, why didn’t Cochise think that his team may have left with Hal? Wouldn’t that have been likely? Just sayin…
Speaking of Hal, he had a really cool set of scenes in the episode. The path to the “safe haven” wasn’t easy to find with a bunch of mechs running around. Thankfully, a “highly irregular” idea from Shaq (still the best name ever) led to a surprisingly fun mech takedown sequence. Their path now set, all roads appear to leave to “safe haven”.
Which of course leads to Lexi and Anne. The only part of the episode to receive plot development. Anne’s in stone cold mode, and wants answers. Sadly, the Espheni aren’t in the mood to talk. A tense argument (and a force choke hold…) lead to Lexi becoming very sick.
Ever hear the expression “never challenge a mother grizzly when her cubs are in danger”? Well, Anne showed why this exists. However, it was very interesting to see the Espheni use Ben as a tether to both give answers and possibly share the pain. Though this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the connection hurt both parties, it is the first to show physical pain on the harnessed host. It’ll be interesting to see how that part of the story develops.
The ending was very flat. Lexi’s manipulation of Lordes lead to the escape of the Overlord, and her statement that the overlord was her “father too” wasn’t exactly a surprise. After all, if the human DNA came from Anne (and possibly Tom), the Espheni DNA had to come from him, as we saw in the flashback scene with the umbilical cord connecting him to her.
In the end, “Mind Wars” wasn’t as trippy as the title might’ve suggested. With all roads leading to where Anne and Lexi are though, things hopefully will pick up. Filler episodes are sometimes needed, but with us now halfway through the season? This may not have been the best way to go.