Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Falling Skies" - "Grace"

Spoilers for this week's "Falling Skies" after the jump:

Thus far, "Falling Skies" has been doing an extremely admirable job of both developing its characters and slowly expanding its mythology. This week's episode continued that trend. But it was also without question a much messier and more inconsistent installment than any of the first three.

Nowhere can this be seen more than in the sequences involving the captured skitter and Ricky. The alien using the boy as a way to speak was highly predictable, but far worse than that was how convoluted and confusing the entire build-up to that moment was. It certainly appears as though the aliens can control the kids even when the harness has been cut off, because why else would Ricky have put the harness back on? But if that's the case, why do they need the harnesses in the first place? The only possible explanation is that the alien wasn't controlling him, and that he put the harness on because of the effects the drugs have had on him. Like I said... confusing, and not very interesting.

I found the revelation about the static far more intriguing, even if I'm not sure what it means. And even if the dynamic between Harris and Ann is one we've seen in many shows before, their back-and-forth sparring about how to deal with the alien was quite effective.

The other main story (in which most of the other characters set out to find some motorcycles) fared a lot better, delivering some solid emotional moments between Hal and Tom (as the former tried to cope with Karen's capture) as well as an interesting moral dilemma for our heroes: namely, should they shoot the harnessed kids that are attacking them? They didn't, of course: this show isn't quite ready to go to places as dark as, say, "Battlestar Galactica". But it was still an interesting conundrum, and one that may well come up again.

Unfortunately, the conclusion was kind of awful. For starters, I really dislike Lourdes. I don't know exactly why, but the character's brief appearances always annoy me. And I'm okay with the show's overall optimism (it's actually a nice change of pace from the usual gloom and doom of these types of series), but the group prayer scene just rang false to me. I highly doubt all of these characters believe in God, and I just don't see them joining her in thanks given everything that's happened. It didn't quite ruin the episode, but it definitely hurt the overall quality considerably.

Other Thoughts

- I really like the way they've developed Weaver so far. His initial "I'm in charge, don't question me" persona was rather boring, but he's turned into a pretty compelling supporting character.

- Goodbye, Pope, at least for now. I didn't much care for the way his escape played out: it was pretty hard to believe that the group would let their guard down that much.

- What did Margaret mean about "a third way" to get the drugs? Another reason to hate that final sequence: it cut off what she was about to say. I'm assuming we'll find out next week.

- So, is Ricky dead? It sure looked that way, but the show didn't tell us for sure. I almost always hate those kinds of cliffhangers, and this one was no exception.

Grade: B

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