Falling Skies

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Falling Skies Review: Divided But Not Conquered

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The relative peace after the Volm attack didn't last long, did it?

The 2nd Mass decided to head back to Charleston on their own instead of going to the Volm's safe haven in Brazil. While that signified their quest for freedom in a world that was filled with violence, it may not have been the best for their happiness or well-being.

On Falling Skies Season 4 Episode 1, the Espheni attacked and dropped electronic fences on the 2nd Mass separating the group and breaking up the Mason family.

What's in the Sky?
Tom, Anne, Ben and Lexi look at something approaching in the sky.

At first, I was annoyed by the contrived creation of the electronic fences. Once again, the characters were separated from each other to fend for themselves and those around them, while searching for their loved ones. The existence of the fences as a weapon seemed to come out of nowhere and only served the purpose of separating our heroes from one another.

Unlike previous separations, this time there appears to be a specific purpose at play for what the Espheni did and that eased my irritation a lot. The groups each are facing very different realities and aspects of this changed war. It's a sharp contrast to the previous seasons of Falling Skies, which makes it all the more intriguing.

At the same time, I hope what's going on starts to become clear. The Espheni's actions have altered to an extreme point that doesn't really make sense at all. Unless of course, it's not really them controlling the situation, but that's an entirely different question.

Tom and Dan were taken and held in confinement instead of killed. Tom believes that the Espheni need them for some reason that he doesn't understand yet. He found a way out of his room and started surveillance on the enemy. While out on his motorcycle runs, he helped stop Pope from stealing food among other activities.

I love the idea of Tom being a vigilante and known as "Ghost." It fits well within his personality and never quit attitude. He's brilliant at skirting around the edges of town, making connections and using his intuition to solve great mysteries. He's really become a man that he studied in his history books.

In contrast, there's the peaceful town where Maggie, Lourdes, Ben and Lexi have been living and the re-education camp where Matt was taken. Both come across as internment camps of differing sorts, though one is more obvious than the other. The school is serving one purpose, which is to brainwash the kids into assimilating into the new world order according to the Espheni (presumably).

The residents of Chinatown were easily won over by Lexi and her promise of a peaceful life without fighting. Even Maggie was convinced that it was a good place to live after the Mech was put down by lightning. After being unconscious from his injuries, Ben woke up to this new world, but wasn't willing to accept it. 

While Ben's situation of being harnessed and then self-exiled helped establish his independence, his younger brother was always under their father's wing. Matt's really come into his own over the last few years, so it's no surprise to see him leading a rebellion within the re-education camp. He learned the history from his father, has been fighting since he was a child and has grown up to be leader. 

This new blond mature Lexi is beautiful and calming, yet at the same time utterly frightening. Maggie and Lourdes have seen her mature from a child and that could explain why they are accepting of Lexi preaching peace, while Ben questions it. It's almost like the Cult of Lexi.

I have no clue what's going on or why these various segments of the population have been created, but it's all been part of a design. The big question is who is the master of it? Is it the Espheni as they have been lead to believe? Could it be the Volm, even though Cochise didn't let on to that in his meeting with Tom? Or is it maybe some type of multi-universe collaboration? The Earth's governments working with the Espheni and/or Volm?

I'm not sure, but I am more excited about the prospects of Falling Skies season 4 now than I was at the end of last season.  The final reveal that the Volm want the "Ghost" creates doubt about everything we'd been led to believe about the current situation with the humans, Espheni and Volm.

Odds and Ends

  • Anne's turned into a strong and formidable leader. She's driven by finding her family and daughter, but that doesn't take anything away from her leadership and strength.
  • "Unity" - What are the three components?
  • Who were the kids in the truck? What was going to happen with them?
  • Why aren't the Espheni harnessing kids anymore? 
  • Lexi can communicate with Anne, but what's the message?
  • Pope won't ever change will he? Gilligan's Island as a nice touch of humor in an otherwise intense and dark episode.
  • Family! Falling Skies has been and will always be about family. Tom and Dan will bring their 2nd Mass family back together again.

Who's behind the new world order?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I thought it was a great first episode and I am looking forward to the rest of the season. It would seem that they are going to finally break the mold of the first three seasons where everyone just travels around fighting occasional battles and rescuing one another. It appears that hey are going to explore some deeper science fiction concepts going forward and that is a good thing.

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My only confident answer is that they are no longer harnessing kids because it seems to be a really risky gamble, the humans are highly against it so they will fight it, and then the humans discovered a way to separate the harnessed kids and that creates situations like Ben who is probably more dangerous to most of the alien races as a sort of hybrid. That is likely why they both put him with Lexie (a hybrid of her own and, well, I don't trust her and I don't think she wants to be a sleeper agent herself but she might be) and put him in a coma for the past four months. I have this idea as soon as he woke up, the rebel skitters out there might be trying to find him (and that is his shake up of the illusion), and the Espheni or Volm or whoever is keeping watch over these four places has likely been ignoring this place but will now pay attention to it when Ben starts to make trouble. Oh, but there are a handful of characters that are new or that we previously knew that I don't trust. First and foremost, Dan, there is something off about him. Then the guy who introduced himself to Hal and that other guy at the end of the episode, he looked really suspicious when the guy told Hal he was just like his dad. There are two people with Anne that I am suspicious of, Lourdes (but that might not count, I haven't ever trusted her), and, well, Matt needs to be careful, I suspect he actually has more people on his side but they have to know who he is.

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