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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Falling Skies Season 4 Episode 10: “Drawing Straws”

August 25th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

Falling Skies has a tradition of doing serious setup before the final episodes. With this season being 12 episodes long, it wasn’t so much a guess rather than tradition that “Drawing Straws” was going to be setup. Not that all of it was bad mind you, there was some great character moments, and a game changer several episodes in the making. Unfortunately, there were still some cringe worthy moments that brought it down.

With the beamer ready to fly to the moon, all that was left was to…well find a way to fly it to the moon. And just like everything in life, having a simple way to do it is impossible.

What started out as a surefire Cochise/Tom mission soon became a “who’s going to fly the ship?” situation. Which turned into a “let’s draw straws to see who pilots the ship” situation. Oh yeah, they went there.

You can be of one of two minds on this. You can say it’s stupid that everyone is willing to risk their lives for the mission when it’s clear that certain members of the 2nd Mass should fly it. This was Tom’s position. On the other hand, I saw it as a sign of great courage and strength to be willing to die on this mission. Some may say “they don’t know how to fly it!”, but let’s be honest, who really did outside of the Volm and the Espheni? If it wasn’t for Matt they wouldn’t know where the controls were in the first place!

In the recent episodes, Tom has been shown to be the leader that is willing to keep the straight face on, to keep faith and push forward. Here though, the others don’t want him to be the one flying the ship. Whether it be for selfish reasons or unselfish ones. This really struck me as it shows that though Tom is willing to go and possibly die, the others don’t want him to go and possibly die. He’s their leader, and more than that, as Anne said, “Aren’t we all a family now?”

The Tom/Anne interactions are always great, and now that they’re married, they’re even more important. It’s only been a day since their marriage, and it’s already being threatened. Anne was clearly desperate to try and keep Tom safe, even supporting the drawing straws method to do so.

Let’s be honest shall we? We all knew at least one member of the Mason clan was going on that ship. But with Cochise unable to do it, who would be the co-pilot?

Easily one of the most interesting scenes was when Weaver caught Pope messing with the “hat”. And by “hat” I mean Skitter skull. After an epic chewing out, and equally epic fight that Weaver TOTALLY had won, Pope confessed that he took Tom and Weavers name out. He wanted to go on the mission, and knew that the others needed them to stay.

Pope has been an erratic character to say the least, and yet, his scene here was very moving. You could see the sadness in his eyes as he said that he wanted this to be the end of the line for him. With FemPope gone, he “had nothing left to live for”.

Sadly for Pope, and possibly a shocker depending on well your senses are, Ben got selected to be in the mission. And his co-pilot? Tom. How’s that possible? He rigged the vote, like you didn’t see that coming. That was a problem for me. Between Anne, Weaver, and Pope, you think one of them would’ve thought that Tom would rig the vote. Anne did, but she didn’t stop him in time, which set everything in motion to where we knew it would end. Tom’s on the mission.

The other main storylines focused on the Mason children, and sadly, only one had significant growth this week. And it’s not the one you may be thinking.

The Hal/Ben/Maggie love triangle continued, and continued to be frustrating. The scene with Ben and Maggie after Ben was selected to go on the mission was so predictable it was sad.  You knew that they would kiss again and that Hal would walk in…and both things happened! Fortunately, Hal was the bigger man and eventually forgave Ben. But I’ll be honest in saying that I really hope this is the end of it.

Matt was equally frustrating, going all “teen rebel” on Tom and doing some pretty stupid things. Sure, he figured out the control panels, but did he have to do it so annoyingly? Also, him wanting to go on the mission, did he really think that would fly? I’m sure he’s recovering from the fallout from last episode, but this is just sad to be honest.

Ironically, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, Lexi had the best storyline among the Mason kids. Yeah, I said it. Her “Jedi training” was fun, the Espheni was even dressed like Obi-Wan, talked like him to. It was terrifying to see how much power Lexi had. It was even more terrifying when she used them against her “Espheni Father” after learning their true plot. I still like the character of Lexi, but if she turns things around in the last two episodes? I may forgive it.

With everything settled, it appeared we were truly about to go to the moon….but, it wasn’t that simple. Things escalated when beamers started flying to their positions…only to be blown up in midair. Give you one guess who did that? Yep. Lexi.

In the end, “Drawing Straws” was a great setup episode that delivered an interesting twist in the end. There was a lot of good character moments, but some others just didn’t hold up. Two episodes remain this season. Hopefully they’ll soar, and not crash.

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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!

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