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Falling Skies, Season 4, Episode 9 | Ghost In The Machine

 

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So previously…SHIT WENT DOWN! There were many explosions and so much for Boston and humanity for the win. Except actually, it was the Volm for the win and they kind of want to put the humans in plush versions of concentration camps but instead of kicking back in VolmVille and having an interstellar brewski the humans want to keep fighting. Which is sort of ridiculous but very ‘MERICA! The 2nd Mass is heading to Charleston to form a human resistance movement because, you know, we haven’t broken enough of the country yet. Cochise and his dad look on and it’s like watching a toddler try to pour juice: you are so proud, but you know they are going to fail and make a mess. Also, the Breaking Dawn baby…aka Alexis…aka Lexi…aka human/alien hybrid…is still weird and creepy and may have superpowers.

We open on our scraggly band o’ survivors climbing an endless hill. Tom is giving the world’s least motivating football analogy to WeeMatt, whose voice still hasn’t changed and whose hair has returned to its former unfortunate fauxhawk state. Ben (still my favorite Mason) comes by and swings him on his shoulder, trying to sing “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother…” and failing adorably. Anne is back (yaaaay…slow clap…) and she expositions to Tom that they have been traveling for 22 and a half days. Almost 23 days with RoboDoc. I think I would have preferred VolmVille.

Alexis and Lourdes run by. I guess they bonded when Lexi removed Lourdes’ iBugs. Hal and Not-Karen…I mean, Maggie…are trudging along. Apparently Maggie still isn’t speaking to Hal because he was nice to his dying ex after his dad and his girlfriend plugged her full of lead. Hey, Maggie? Elsa called. She wants you to let it go.

Awww! Here come my faves! (Well, at least now that Dai is dead. Mmmmm…Dai… RIP, you handsome, handsome bastard.) Tector, Jeeeeeeeaaaannnnne Weaver and her curmudgeonly old dad Dan are teasing Pope, who is driving a car from “Barney Miller” at about 2 miles an hour. Tector asks if they can now blow off steam and Dan says “Blow at will!” and of course Anthony, who is (naturally) bringing up the rear, grins in Pope’s direction and says “I heard that!” Oh, Anthony. Still with the crush on the bad boy?

The endless hill apparently…ends, and the 2nd Mass greets the sight of Charleston as home sweet home. Tom tries to bond with creepy Lexi, asking her what she thinks, and she ups the awkward even higher by going more robot than her mom and saying, “We don’t all have to die here.” Wait. Huh? Oh. Guess what, peeps? The Espheni are back in town and they. Are. PISSED.

And then there is a battle and I must say: it is fairly badass. Espheni ships are everywhere. Mechs come and shoot the crap out of everyone and blowtorch people, killing them good. Huge…missile columns? I guess?…drop from the sky and pen the 2nd Mass in with cool ass looking Tron lasers that disintegrate the people who touch them. And Tom, looking as Noah Wyle hot as ever, tries to fight back and get alien Lexi saved at the same time, which goes about as well as you’d expect (hint: it does not go well at all.) Ben eventually grabs Lexi and runs, and WeeMatt gets stuck outside the fence, and people are shooting and burning and I can’t tell who’s trapped and who isn’t but I can tell you that WeeMatt is an ugly crier. Also? Anne? When Lexi is in danger? HAS ACTUAL FEELINGS! Like, she screams and cries like a real mom! Wow. The RoboDoc software upgrade could totally pass the Turing test.

FYI? We are only five minutes into Season Four, and the 2nd Mass is already in the shitter. Bet you wish you’d gone to Brazil, don’tcha, Tom?

FOUR MONTHS LATER

Tom is a little crazy. He is in solitary confinement, carving historical speeches into his cell. (It should be noted that the walls of said cell are apparently made of chalk. I’ve seen bread that is more difficult to cut. I digress. Sorry.) Tom hears Weaver delightfully screaming something about “having your skitter balls on a skewer” and they reconnect via shouting. Weaver has hair reminiscent of Bob in Twin Peaks. Shudder. Not a good look. Anyway, they apparently haven’t seen each other (or the Volm) since the big dustup. After muttering all insane-like about his heart health, Weaver makes Tom promise that he won’t let “those things” get him. And what are those things, you may ask? I don’t know. But they sound like giant bugs and I don’t like it. At all.

It looks like the rest of the humans are living in streets that make the sets from The Walking Dead look like paradise. Two people get into a fight over some food and guess what? “Those things”? THEY ARE GIANT SKITTER BUGS. They buzz and they fly and they have what looks like stingers and now I am itchy and totally grossed out. NOT COOL, show! Not cool.

Tector and Hal are working together to try to blow the laser fence out so they can escape to pastures that have got to be greener than these. They are both wearing their sassy pants, and I love it. Of course, since this is Tom’s plan and there are no epic(ly boring) speeches made beforehand, it fails. The Espheni are apparently more advanced than we are in engineering and electronics. NO WAY! I still cannot tell at this point who is on which side of the fence. All I know is it is dark outside. Again.

Anne has apparently gone GI Jane, and she is yelling at Anthony about grenades or something. She has apparently unified a team and doesn’t sleep and has a battle plan and blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I still can’t get into RoboDoc as a character, no matter how many alien hybrid Masons she bears. But Moon Bloodgood is still gorgeous, so there’s that. Oh, and look! Speaking of gorgeous, it’s Ben’s former crush, Denny! I like her. Maybe she can lead the rebellion while Anne reboots.

Ben Mason, wherever he is, is living in the relative lap of luxury. On a bed. With a mattress. And pillows and sheets. Wow! He also has an IV and has finally woken up. Wait. Was he in a coma for four months? Really? I guess so, ‘cause Maggie is stunned to see him. Apparently Lourdes can cure frontal lobe comas now. And to think, just a few months ago she looked like the girl from the Exorcist. Anyway, Maggie tells Ben his family is not there, and he screams for Lexi. Apparently, Maggie wants him to rest before he can see her, and he’s “not gonna believe it.” Uh oh. The Breaking Dawn baby gets even weirder? What, is she some sort of glowing gel now or something?

After about no minutes of resting, Maggie takes Ben outside and tells him he is in “Chinatown.” It is clean. Like, Stepford clean. Everyone is happy and cheerful and there are colors other than blue and black. Ben is stunned. Especially when he sees Lourdes, who is a total babe again. Even creepier? Maggie is smiling. I’ll let you digest that for a minute. Maggie. Smiling. Weird.

Lourdes tells Ben that they are living in a refuge, free from war, devoted to peace. Ben is skeptical, but there’s Lourdes, clearly wearing no bra in a cute maxidress so he’s paying attention. Lourdes goes on to say that war is everywhere else—humanity has been wiped clean in all other areas—but the Espheni do not attack here. Everyone in Chinatown looks a little stoned. Total hippie vibe. Ben sees a little dark haired girl and runs to her, calling Lexi’s name, but guess what? She’s not Lexi. Apparently the tall gorgeous blond woman that gives him a slight shame boner is.

Lexi is now a pagoda dwelling goddess, wearing the same tri-circle necklace that Lourdes has, and I’m sure all of this will work out just fine. The necklace means “unity for all three of us.” Lourdes tells Lexi that “everyone is ready for you” and I wonder if they are all gonna Jim Jones up the joint and drink the poisoned Kool-Aid. Ben is still understandably confused. Poor Ben. This is what you get for being the least irritating Mason.

Back in black. No color for us anymore. In Mosquitter Central (do you see what I did there?) Tom is counting, holding a mirror, and then there is a food drop and I don’t have any idea what’s going on. Tom puts up his hood and covers his handsome face and now I wish I was watching Arrow. Pope, of course, is commandeering the food drop like a tyrant. Until Tom, wearing goggles, riding a motorcycle and wielding a blowtorch, shows up like a superhero and makes Pope give the food to the people. No, I’m not kidding. It’s a little sad. He’s got an alter-ego that Marvel wouldn’t even bother to write a comic about. (DC probably would, though.) Tom gets regular spider-skitters to chase him on his bike. He pops a wheelie and suddenly I am in a post-apocalyptic Grease 2 and Tom’s a coooooool rider. A coo-coo-coo-cool rider.

Back in his cell, Tom’s scratching the national anthem into the wall. WTF, mate? Why are you totally Clark Kenting when there is Hell Angel type badassery to be had? He pulls down a mirror and oh… he’s making a map? It looks like? So is the other rambling graffiti all to throw the skitters off the trail? Like in Shawshank Redemption? I am so confused. Dan starts yell-rambling. He does not appear to be doing well. Why? Because apparently one of the Mosquitters flew off with Jeeeaaannnne and now he is feeling like the worst dad in the world. Chin up, Dan. There aren’t many dads left in the world, so that’s not the insult it could be. Dan is trying to remove the screws from his bunk, and his fingers are bleeding and ouch. As he does, he and Tom wonder: why are the skitters keeping them alive and lucid? Can’t be for anything good.

Things only get weirder from here. Apparently WeeMatt is now in some sort of Boy and Girl Scout troop from hell, being brainwashed via propaganda into believing that the humans and Espheni are working together to make a brighter, more peaceful world. They all have 3s on their uniforms, too. It is unsettling. At least WeeMatt’s new crewcut has removed the unfortunate fauxhawk. Gotta find a bright side where we can. A cute girl who shrieks “LIES!!!!” gets the Invasion of the Body Snatchers treatment. All the scouts blow the whistle on her. Literally. The Aryan Nation “team leader” demands that WeeMatt, whom he wants to help corral the squad, get the girl in line. In exchange for Matt’s agreement, he is allowed to go to eat something out of a pot. Let’s hope it’s not Volm cooking. (Ba-dum. pshhhh!) Later, Matt will tell rebel girl to come to his room. I think they’re gonna hook up. Rebellion-wise, I mean. Pervs!

Back in Post-Apocalypto, Tec expositions that all the kids are gone. Then he and Hal go to visit Pope who, as usual, has set himself up sweet. He’s got a TV and everything! Tec and Hal want to borrow his generator. Pope, predictably, tells them no. When Hal asks whose side he’s on, Pope, natch, replies “Mine.” Hal and Pope get in a knock down, drag out and Pope kind of kicks his ass. “You are your daddy’s son,” Tec says. Is that supposed to be a compliment? Because all Hal has in common with Tom is that they are both swoon-worthy in the looks department.

Anne, Anthony, Denny and a bunch of other randoms still want to blow up a bridge or something to stop a truck with ammo in it or whatever. She tries to be a badass and throw a Molotov cocktail into the truck but it looks sort of lame. Anthony breaks into the back of the truck and shows Anne it’s a good thing her explosive wasn’t so explosivey because the truck isn’t full of ammo so much as small children. Oops.

Dan finally has a screw loose, so to speak, and he makes a shank out of his bedpost. Good for you, Weaver! Where exactly do you lethally stab a skitter, though? Tom talks him out of doing it, saying he will never find Jeannie if he’s dead. Whew! I though Dan was gonna bite it! Then who would the show have to play the Archie Bunker type with the heart of gold?

Blah blah. Truck of little kids. No harnesses on them. Where are they going? Where is Lexi? RoboDoc stomps off. Blah blah pretty Denny. Anthony misses Pope. Blah.

Tom sneaks outside to the Tron fence and hey! Cochise and his Barry White voice are on the other side! I missed you, you melty-faced SOB! Tom’s all pissed that the Volm abandoned them (Ahem…you left the Volm, Mason. They offered to help you. Just sayin’.) Cochise tells him that the Volm had to go to where their mates and broodlings were hidden to protect them from the Espheni. Sadly, they were too late. Poor alien larva. Now you’ll never grow up and sing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.” Cochise tells Tom that not many Volm are left on earth, and the Espheni are trying to construct a new power source to eliminate them and keep them from saving humanity. Power source? Wait a minute. WHERE IS DR. KADAR? If you killed him, show, I’m gonna be pissed. Tom insists that Cochise find Ben, WeeMatt, RoboDoc and AlienBaby. Because, of course, it is all about the Masons. Screw everybody else. Cochise tells Tom that he will try, but that the “ghetto camps” exist worldwide and humans look to be on the verge of extinction. Tom appreciates Cochise’s help, and walks off, saying, “Thanks, Chief.” Cochise replies, his voice chipper, “Keep the faith, Chief!” and points at Tom with as much of a grin as his candle face can muster. Tom double takes him, and you can practically hear the losing Price is Right horns in the background.

Oh, look! Hal and Tec made a new friend! His name is Dingaan Botha and he is from Johannesburg and he is kind of unimpressed with them, electrically speaking. He does, however, like the way Hal can take a punch from Pope. Dingaan is a master escape artist, he says. He will help them find the way out.

Tom breaks back into solitary and I am thoroughly confused as to why he is going all Dark Knight and then going back to being beginning of the third movie Bruce Wayne. Thankfully, Weaver is confused too, so Tom explains. Tom is working on an escape plan (hence the hidden map) and he wants the skitters to think he is harmless. If only they knew of Tom’s ability to bore people to death.

Ben walks in on Maggie in the shower (not as sexy as it sounds, sadly) and tells her he wants his guns back, and that he doesn’t believe that she, like Lourdes and Lexi, is all kumbaya. Maggie tells Ben that she is still a fighter, but now there is no fight. She even shows him a mech that not only didn’t kill everyone, it was struck by lightning and stopped. The Prophet Lexi foretold this, and now Maggie thinks she is the key to ending war. Sure she is. After all, with a dad like Edward Cullen…I mean Tom Mason…Lexi’s got to have all the answers, right?

We cut to WeeMatt, in the dark, vowing vengeance against the Hitler youth movement. He should cut his hair more often. It is way easier to take him seriously when he doesn’t look like the white member of 1980’s Menudo. Also, cute rebel girl is all kinds of crushing on him. To be fair, Mason boys are pretty seductive when they talk human uprisings and skitter destruction.

Last but not least? Weirdo Lexi in her prophecy pagoda. She can make music out of light and then absorb it into her skin, all while staring as blankly as her mom does. Lexi looks off into the night, and, somewhere, RoboDoc wakes up sort of screaming. Anthony asks if she is dreaming, and Anne tells him a memory of her captivity on the Espheni ship. Karen, apparently, “touched her…inside” (again, not as sexy as it sounds.) Anne must find Lexi. And Lexi’s papa? Still making plans. He’s gonna save the 2nd Mass. Finally? Oh, God. Someone spray paints an image of Tom’s alter ego, complete with goggles, with the word “Ghost” underneath it, and I fear the comic I joked about is coming to pass. But someone else is taking it seriously: a skitter on an Espheni ship, who demands “Bring me the vigilante immediately or we exterminate every last one of them.” (Vigilante? God. I was also kidding about the Arrow reference. Maybe I am more of a prophet than Lexi is.) Who will bring the vigilante to his doom? None other than…Cochise! Or maybe his dad! I can’t tell, because, at the risk of sounding speciest, those Volm all look alike to me.

We’re just getting started, folks. Hang onto your hat. I have a feeling it’s gonna get freakier than a Rick James concert. See you next week, for Episode Two, “The Eye.”

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About Barbara Doyle (227 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

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