Now THAT’S more like it!
For many, the first two episodes of Falling Skies Season 4 just wasn’t what we were expecting, or to a degree, wanted. It was too different, and characters old and new were given questionable storylines and motives that result in really clunky scenes. Thankfully third episode was the charm, as “Exodus” gave us exciting action, great character moments, and for the first time, hope, that things are going to get better. Both for the 2nd Mass and the season in general.
The majority of the episode was focused on Tom, Weaver, Hal, and the rest of the ghetto as they tried to execute their plan to escape and stick it to the Espheni in charge. I’m 50/50 on the “fast-forward, X Hours Earlier” entrance, cause it’s very cliché, and you “knew” that things were going to work out. Thankfully, the episode didn’t stick to the usual tropes outside of that, and gave some very heartstopping moments that made you wonder if they indeed would make it out alive.
I think the reason this episode did so well was because it did focus on Tom and the ghetto team. This storyline really felt like Falling Skies at its best. Using ingenuity, creativity, and will to defeat the Espheni. Heck, we even got a Tom Mason history listen paralleling their plan to Geronimo. I was moved, and enlightened! The character Tom Mason is one of the few that hasn’t changed much since the beginning of the series. And for the most part, that’s for the best. He’s strong, determined, wants to save his family, and knows that sometimes you have to do big things to get results. You could tell though that not everyone had his faith in the plan. That’s what sold it in my opinion. After all, what fun is it if everyone is on board with everything?
I’m going to cut away from the escape to tackle the other stories, I’d like to save the best bit for last.
The other three storylines were short, and mostly sweet. And again, this was for the best, as they’re still the weakest of the bunch this season. Save for Anne and the 2nd Mass. Her story actually led to major revelations that’ll no doubt continue as the episodes pile on. As we saw Lexi truly “became” a hybrid. Imagery is a powerful thing when done right, and that scene on the ship was terrifying.
Matt’s tale at the reeducation facility had some twists, and led to an interesting conclusion. Cochise has arrived! And thank goodness. I was iffy on this story at first, after all, what could Matt do on his own and with five other kids? Then all of a sudden it’s just him and the girl, and now he’s on his own. Where is this all headed? The addition of Cochise and a hopeful rescue mission does add intrigue to the mix. But what will happen is still up in the air.
And then there’s the Ben/Lexi storyline…eh. Still my least favorite, and still the most irritating. Mainly again because of bad acting and writing. The opening scene with Ben and Maggie (who still has her guns, yay!) was great, as fans no doubt rejoiced at the prospect of seeing Maggie go back to her 2nd Mass roots. But it was derailed quickly by Lexi who now has…super-strength. Yep, oh and she has telepathy or something as she could tell that Maggie had her guns.
This is getting out of hand in my opinion. Especially with so few revelations as to HOW she can actually do these things, and what the end game is. Is she building a civilization that truly is about peace? Or, is she breeding cattle until the Espheni make them the livestock of their new army? We may find out next week. Anne showing up with the 2nd Mass again brought hope of a better storyline, time will tell I suppose.
Ok, onto the escape mission!
Easily the best part of the episode, even with seeing a certain part twice! The plan seemed foolproof, and then things started falling apart one by one. Stragglers alerting the Skitters, a broken hand leading to a lineup change, a bomb getting dropped, it was all fantastically paced, and led to the drama continuing to build up until the end. Twists and turns abounded until finally the fence came down. They were free…but were all of them free?
The ending of “Exodus” was most curious, as Weaver clearly saw a Skitter (or something close to it) but didn’t say anything to Tom. Was he seeing things? Is he indoctrinated somehow? I don’t know, but we’ll be keeping our eye on him, that’s for sure!
In the end, “Exodus” was a return to what made Falling Skies a great show in its first three seasons. There were still ups and downs, and a few clichés along the way. But the escape was masterful, and the convergence of the other storylines leads me to believe that the best may truly be yet to come.
Oh, and Tom Mason: Flamethrower Warrior? Epic!