This episode of Falling Skies most definitely did not do it for me.
Whereas last Sunday's "Compass" delved into the relationship between the show's most interesting characters, Tom Mason and John Pope, "Young Bloods" focused on ancillary individuals, trying way too hard to make us care about them through contrived storylines and forced emotional moments.
I'm a big fan of Will Patton and his Captain Dan Weaver. And I'm all for softening the character a bit, although I'd argue the show has already accomplished this feat via last year's return to his former apartment in Boston, last week's farewell to Jimmy and just Weaver's overall reaction to being in charge of the Second Mass.
We didn't need yet another blatant attempt here to depict Weaver as more than just a gruff leader. The reunion with his daughter felt shoved down our throat and anything but natural to the ongoing storyline.
Sure, it makes sense to slow down the action sometimes. Every scene in every episode can't be based around Skitter attacks or Mach ambushes. The characters at the heart of the story will always serve as more of a pull than the bullets they fire.
But this was just too much and, more importantly, too random. It was too transparent on the part of the writers, as if we were inside their offices and could hear their debate: Hmmm... how can we tug at the heartstrings of viewers? Let's reunite Weaver with his daughter! And then pull them apart again! No one will see it coming!
At least we're familiar with Weaver, though, and are aware of his plight. The same certainly can't be said for Lourdes. I'm sorry, but the scenes between her and Jamil were simply laughable. The show can't make me care about a character we scarcely know - and, in Jamil, a character we don't know at all - simply because she learns her family is dead and then cries a lot. That's just lazy writing.
Really, is anyone out there on Team Jourdes? See, they don't even have a fun couple nickname!
Overall, a clunker of an episode. That's allowed, especially following three terrific hours to kick off Falling Skies Season 2. I can at least end this review on a positive note: the special effects team is on fire.
First, the bug operation on Tom's eye. Now, the up-close look at how the harnesses are formed. Very cool, very grotesque shots. They'll be staying with me for awhile. I just hope to forget about everything else from this overwrought hour of television.
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