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SilverStormm

S04.E08: A Thing With Feathers

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Episode Synopsis:

The 2nd Mass picks up the pieces after a devastating alien attack leaves Maggie fighting for her life…and Hal fighting for Maggie. Meanwhile, Tom and Dingaan are cut off from the rest of the group, buried under tons of rubble, where they must rely on an Enemy Ship to rescue them.

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Budget Khaleesi finally looked good in this episode...but not good enough to offset the crazy she was spouting.  (Hmm.  Pretty blonde, red dress, "evolution of the species"...I saw what you did there, show.  BSG, you are not.)

 

On the bright side we at least we got to see Anne being a doctor again (and being talked down from her obsessive gotta-find-my-daughter zeal by Tom for a hot minute), Tom being just a little PTSD-y while fisting an alien orifice--but not nearly as much as Dingaan (Treva Etienne was so the MVP of this episode), Sarah finally kissing the scoundrel/nerf herder...and Ben giving some of his spikes to cure Maggie, which probably marks the beginning of that triangle of doom.

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Just a tip Denny, if Anne stands anywhere near you with a sharp instrument, RUN LIKE HELL. Because she's definitely going to stab you with it.

 

For an earlier episode there was discussion here about the need for one of the Masons to die. I'm fully on board with that now. That family is effectively invulnerable even in a very dangerous world. So there is no possibility of drama with a "life and death" plot involving them. Tom's trapped? No, he's not. Tom's infected? No, he's not. Ben might die from the transplant? No, he won't. . . It gets very boring when any of them is in "jeopardy".

 

I will be seriously pissed if the show tries to redeem Lexi, 'cause turning people into skitters is full blown evil. But who am I kidding, she's a Mason.

Edited by xaxat
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On the bright side we at least we got to see Anne being a doctor again

Yeah, it was refreshing seeing Doctor Anne again.  Whenever she goes into doctor mode, she is suddenly much calmer and somewhat more rational.  I did have problems that she would just take Hal's word that Maggie consistent to the treatment, but at this point in the game, I have to take what I can get.

 

Where the hell did Lexi get that red dress?  Did she have it with her all this time or do the Espheni just have a closet full of dresses, just for her?  Actually, I would find it hilarious if that Espheni have an entire fashion team just for her, including a high-strung fashion designer, make-up crew, and publicist.  Got to make sure Lexi looks good, when spouting your propaganda!  So, yeah, Lexi is completely down with them for now, although that final shot of her when Ben left, did make it look like she was having second thoughts.  I hope they don't redeem her though.  That would just be cheap.

 

So, Maggie survived, but was paralyzed, but now is walking again, thanks to being partially harnessed.  Wish I could care more, but since I'm guessing it's going to help pave the way to a Maggie/Hal/Ben love triangle (He did it for her!), I'm am so not looking forward to it.

 

Knew Tom was going to be saved, but I guess it was cool getting back-story on Dingaan.  I just hope this means he's not going to be getting killed off soon.

 

I heard Tector and Lourdes' names being mentioned at the campfire toast, but did anyone give a toast to the dearly departed, Dr. Kadar?  

 

Did Pope and Sarah get it on right beside the body the just buried?

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I am afraid to find out the answer to that one. 

 

I will be seriously pissed if the show tries to redeem Lexi, 'cause turning people into skitters is full blown evil. But who am I kidding, she's a Mason.

 

I could buy it if there's some part of her mind/heart that's been locked away within her, and it starts waking up and confusing her. But watching people screaming in a horrible, dark, dirty-looking pit and calling it "evolution that will bring people peace," does not bode well. At least Ben figured it out and was able to persuade Anne that it was a forlorn hope. 

 

This hour would have been much more interesting if Tom had been the one to lose hope and give up, and Dingaan had been the one to inspire him into hoping again. You know, for a change. Dingaan could still have had his breakdown over the sound of the grenade reminding him of his son's heart monitor, and then could have mentioned that being buried brings him right back there. 

 

I totally agree that Ben and Maggie's interest in each other can only intensify now that they share Ben's spikes. 

 

Dear Show, 

I am really, really, really tired of the characters on this show being injected, infected, spiked, and otherwise invaded by one creature after another. Find another dramatic device for a while, please. 

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Ben's spikes are supposed to provide valid information as in Lexi's gone, but Espheni don't let prisoners go. 

 

Trading spikes like chewing gum? Not a good use of symbols of permanent alienation from today's way of life. 

 

Ben should have reported Lexi's announcement that the delivery system for the new skitterization process was ready. That means humanity is doomed, sooner rather than later. Putting Maggie before that was a staggering huge acknowledgement of special snowflakeness. And now she's getting superpowers too! Maggie is getting to be as dreary as Pope.

 

Dingaan's backstory was very well done The execution on this kind of thing is what makes Falling Skies better than the usual as far as I'm concerned. Tom screwing himself over messing with the tech not once, but twice kind of funny in a sadistic way.

 

The light on the moon must cover an enormous area but none of it should have a damn thing to do with a crashed and blown up ship. We want to suspend disbelief, help us by not being so weird and randomly coincidental. 

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Who was on this crashed ship?  Was it a drone, or was it the ship that the burned Overlord arrived in?    It had room for several 'people'.

 

Shouldn't Ben's spikes have all wanted to be together?  They came from 1 'thing' when they attached to Ben.  A better scenario would have been Ben's spikes pulling themselves from him and moving over to Maggie.   Then we could have seen Ben adjusting back to being normal. Does Maggie having some of the spikes weaken Ben?

If 3 can heal paralysis, why have 10?

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That family is effectively invulnerable even in a very dangerous world.

 

 

Not only that, but the Mason's are beacons of goodness:

 

- Tom saves Dingaan, then as a bonus talks him through his (out of the blue) fear of small spaces and I guess a death wish out of guilt (though for a guy with a death wish, he sure survived a lot escaping from all those prisons), THEN saves them both after Dingaan pulls the pin on the alien bonb (really, a pin? On a bomb meant to be a projectile?).

- Ben  puts himself in jeopardy to save Maggie with a spike transplant.

- Matt herocially looks for his dad in one spot, even after everyone else has wandered off, and refuses to stop or eat while doing it.

 

I don't count Lexi as a Mason. She's as much Espeni in terms of DNA and environment. Though I have little doubt that the goodness of Mason DNA will eventually triumph somehow.

 

This hour would have been much more interesting if Tom had been the one to lose hope and give up, and Dingaan had been the one to inspire him into hoping again.

 

 

This, a thousand times over. Tom is so unendingly boring and almost comically gung ho.

 

The only interesting Mason is Hal, who lied about what Maggie wanted, and who seems unable to pick a side (the shining beacon of Masonness, or the what-makes-more-sense side). And now Ben and Maggie look to share more than a quick roll in the hay, so here's to Hal providing a reasonable counterpoint to Tom's blandness.

 

When they found Tom's scarf in the rubble I almost cried laughing. It was like a scene from Hogan's Heroes, after the tunnels collapse and they find Carter's Native American headdress (don't ask).

 

A Mason does need to die, to give Tom a dose of reality. They won't kill off any of them, most likely, but let's play "what if." They won't kill the youngest human one (Matt). They should kill Lexi, but at this point they have invested so much in her they can't unless she becomes the plot device that saves humanity. That just leaves Hal and Ben. If the make Hal the logical Tom-alternative, who some people want to follow, that leaves Ben.

 

P.S. Pope now being the type to dig graves for the dead? Really?

Edited by Ottis
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This hour would have been much more interesting if Tom had been the one to lose hope and give up, and Dingaan had been the one to inspire him into hoping again. You know, for a change. Dingaan could still have had his breakdown over the sound of the grenade reminding him of his son's heart monitor, and then could have mentioned that being buried brings him right back there. 

s

I realize that any character trapped in the hole with Tom would have to be written as panicky and despairing so Saint Tom Mason could look brave, resourceful, and inspiring by contrast. But they really didn't go for subtlety, did they? And the fact that it was one of the few remaining non-white characters was especially aggravating. It did turn into a nice little emmy clip for Treva Etienne, but it was a long, distasteful trip to get there.

Edited by Latverian Diplomat
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I must not understand much of what I see. I didn't think Tom "I lie to myself" Mason inspired Dingaan to hope so much as determination to fake it till you make it. Matt's hope of recovering his dad seemed to me to be the real example of a Mason being noble and the script delivers. But to me it seemed it was Hal's hope for saving Maggie that was turned into soap opera. And worse, it had nothing to do with war, alien or otherwise, ignoring everything about the premises and setting for cheap histrionics that aren't much interesting. Petty conflicts don't trump the end of humanity.

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Dear Show,

I am really, really, really tired of the characters on this show being injected, infected, spiked, and otherwise invaded by one creature after another. Find another dramatic device for a while, please.

 

This. Also, I don't like it when said creatures/devices act differently depending on the plot of the moment. Do the spikes control you or don't they? Are they an abominable alien rape of your body or a new therapy for paralysis and wi-fi all in one?

 

Is the selfish love of the Mason brothers for Maggie so great that letting her die -- her spoken desire -- is worse than infecting her with alien stuff that will eventually turn her into a reptilian whatsis? Or will it? We don't really know, because the writers introduce dire threats only to obviate them when a Mason is threatened. It's okay for Weaver's daughter to turn into a production of the Creature Shop, but Ben and Tom are still doing fine, thank you very much.

 

I'd also like to see better use of Cochise dramatically and plot-wise. It seems that he just shows up out of nowhere whenever there's a question about Espheni tech that needs answering. Then he disappears until the next time they need a little surgical consultation or weapons analysis.

Edited by BungalowSummer
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So last week as you recall, Lexi told Ben to follow her, whereby an alien craft (with somewhat questionable shock absorbers) landed, indicating Lexie and Ben were about to take a little trip, no? This week, Ben and Lexie are in a warehouse somewhere (?) and Lexie lets Ben go and he just walks back to Chinatown. WTF? Where did the ship take them, down the block? Are they that lazy? Or, was the ship waiting outside to take Ben back to Chinatown?

 

And what's with the weird parasite thing that got into Tom's arm? What is the freaking point of having weird little parasitic alien thingies on your space ship? What practical purpose do they serve, aside from infecting invading humans? Or - do the Espheni have a pest control problem? 

 

I'm definitely getting the impression the show keeps throwing weird shit into the story just because they think it looks cool, even if it doesn't make any sense. That's what I got out of Lexi's cocoon as well. What did it even do to her aside from alter her contacts? Oh, maybe she has better control of her "powers" now (!) but was a cocoon really necessary for that? 

 

 

I heard Tector and Lourdes' names being mentioned at the campfire toast,

 

Yes and it annoyed me to no end that just as Pope was saluting the memory of Tector they cut away to boring Anne and Tom, like Tector was some minor red shirt who'd only been in a few episodes. I didn't even get to hear Pope say what Tector would have said.

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P.S. Pope now being the type to dig graves for the dead? Really?

 

Yes, that struck me as a false note, too. 

 

I'd also like to see better use of Cochise dramatically and plot-wise. It seems that he just shows up out of nowhere whenever there's a question about Espheni tech that needs answering. Then he disappears until the next time they need a little surgical consultation or weapons analysis.

 

That's an interesting idea. I would like it if they turned him into an actual character instead of using him as a technical manual. He's in a tricky position, trying to help the Mason army while being loyal to his own people in their fight. 

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Eh Gads, why oh why can't this show just die? Between how god awful this show is, and the dumbbells occupying the Big Brother house, Sunday nights are painful.

 

The only good thing left is it's so over the top, it's easy to snark on. I make my Mom watch this with my son and I, and we make snarky comments, back and fourth, over the computer (and away from my son's ears.)

 

I'm sorry, but their is no hope for 'humanity' as long as Tom Mason, and the Masonites, are leading it...

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This. Also, I don't like it when said creatures/devices act differently depending on the plot of the moment. Do the spikes control you or don't they? Are they an abominable alien rape of your body or a new therapy for paralysis and wi-fi all in one?

 

Is the selfish love of the Mason brothers for Maggie so great that letting her die -- her spoken desire -- is worse than infecting her with alien stuff that will eventually turn her into a reptilian whatsis? Or will it? We don't really know, because the writers introduce dire threats only to obviate them when a Mason is threatened. It's okay for Weaver's daughter to turn into a production of the Creature Shop, but Ben and Tom are still doing fine, thank you very much.

 

I'd also like to see better use of Cochise dramatically and plot-wise. It seems that he just shows up out of nowhere whenever there's a question about Espheni tech that needs answering. Then he disappears until the next time they need a little surgical consultation or weapons analysis.

I suspect that Maggie joining Spike Club is going to result in her being more than just a teenage dream for Ben.  Would be interesting if he was able to "make" her fall in love with him, or otherwise control her using their little ad hoc network.

 

I guess Cochise and the rest of the Volm are in a rather delicate situation.  It always seemed like a dick move to show up, tell the humans how they're screwed by superior Espheni tech, then head for the hills.  They're not exactly UN observers, since they are fighting an intergalactic war and Earth is just one of the battlefields.  But since Daddy Cochise didn't seem all to keen on helping out the Masons... I mean humans... I guess they should be grateful for whatever help the Volm do provide.

 

I'm a little disappointed that the title of the episode didn't pan out the way I'd hoped.  I thought for sure "A Thing With Feathers" would turn out to be some alien turkeys who are the nemesis that scares the crap out of the Espheni.  In the season finale, the turkeys would suffer the full wrath of the 2nd Mass, and many Thanksgiving jokes would be made.

 

I guess I'll just have to settle for the satisfaction of knowing that Hershey's chocolate will survive the alien apocalypse.

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I know that I'm in the minority, but I like this show- yes- I do see and get what everyone is saying about the shortcomings, but I guess that I just don't mind as much. I like the Mason's and I love Weaver - I do agree that Anna is jumping on my last nerve! As a mother I can understand her need to "save her baby" even from herself- especially after losing her son - but damn girl how evil does Khalise light have to be to really see her. I have a feeling that Anna is going to try and save Lexi by herself since even Tom doesn't want to go rushing in- after all he has 3 spares. I just know that Tom and boys are going to have to rescue her from Lexi and that to me will be tiring.

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You're not alone in the minority. I knew very early that they weren't going to have a strong end game for humanity's victory, but for me some of the character work is very good. Having children exist is actually pretty far ahead of most scifi, including BattleStar Galactica. But some of this seems to be anger about what's heroic. Maybe somebody more like Pope, badass and mean and selfish (except when the plot demands otherwise,) might be cooler but for me it would be even less believable. It was the Washingtons and Knoxes and Greenes (and Lafayettes) who won the American Revolution, not the Conways or the Gates or the Lees (Charles, not Henry!) Much less the Arnolds. 

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If the show had balls, Maggie would have refused the spikes and let herself die. 

 

I did have problems that she would just take Hal's word that Maggie consistent to the treatment, but at this point in the game, I have to take what I can get.

 

Pretty loose ethics there Ann. Where were they when you flat out murdered a skitter while it was connected to another human? Now she's all "I'm not doing ANYTHING without INFORMED CONSENT." And then just accepts secondhand consent via Hal.

 

I totally agree that Ben and Maggie's interest in each other can only intensify now that they share Ben's spikes.

 

Because why not a love triangle? It's about a millimeter above alien hybrid power force grown baby on the trope scale. 

 

Tom screwing himself over messing with the tech not once, but twice kind of funny in a sadistic way.

 

I could buy the first time. They were near a hatch. It clearly was receiving power. There was a portal right there. It's a fair risk that it might open the hatch. Then they walk into the ship proper and start touching everything? Come on. And set off the self-destruct/RPG thing.

 

There's filler and then there's drivel. They wasted a disproportionate amount of resources on Saving Maggie. She's one person and really hasn't been that important or essential to anything since Charleston. Good thing Cochise carries a portable spike removal device around. In the field. 

 

I still don't get what the Esph want. Lexi said, "it's evolution and peace." For who? They came here and started mucking about. No one blew up one of their ships by accident or something. The so-called "something greater out there?" Whatever. 

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Well I missed this episode.  Except I guess i didn't miss anything reading these posts.  Glad you all filled me in here so I avoided some of this stuff mentioned that would have annoyed me no end.

 

I'm a little disappointed that the title of the episode didn't pan out the way I'd hoped.  I thought for sure "A Thing With Feathers" would turn out to be some alien turkeys who are the nemesis that scares the crap out of the Espheni.  In the season finale, the turkeys would suffer the full wrath of the 2nd Mass, and many Thanksgiving jokes would be made.

 

When I saw that title I thought I accidentally clicked on the Longmire last episode thread instead.  So what were the feathers in this episode?  Was one stuck inside a skull perchance in a series crossover shout-out?  Though I like the idea of alien turkeys better myself.  And why not.   It would both be more creative and make more logical sense then half the stuff on this show.

 

So this fast grown half-Mason chick is wearing a red dress now?  Didn't someone say one of the BSG dudes took over as showrunner.  Hmmm ... we got Hera Agathon meets Six now?  I knew Six and you are not her, missy.  She was cool, actually interesting and sometimes funny especially with Baltar.

 

I add my vote for kulling the herd of Masons running around loose and annoying me no end.

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Of course, Ben, as a Mason, can easily come and go from an Espheni location.  He had to first find Lexi so that she could conveniently tell him about the Espheni plans and then he had to return to the 2nd Mass just in time so that he could conveniently contribute his spikes and later participate in the love triangle with Hal and Maggie.

 

The Espheni ship sounds like it may be a partially living ship (shades of Battlestar Galactica and Farscape).  The highlight of the buried-under-rubble scene was the terrific acting by the guy who portrayed Dingaan.  I'm sure no one seriously believed that Tom was ever in danger of dying.  I think part of my problem with Tom is Noah Wyle's acting.  All of the characters I've ever seen him play on TV (from ER to the Librarian movies to Falling Skies) have that same kinda obnoxious know-it-all characteristic.

 

I remember first watching Falling Skies in season 1 and having such hopes for the show and for the Tom Mason character - a history professor who would use lessons from past wars to fight the alien invasion.  Now it just seems such a hot mess.

 

Regarding the episode title, I believe it may be referencing a poem by Emily Dickinson:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171619

 

So maybe the theme of this episode was Hope.  But I could be wrong.

Edited by tv echo
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I must not understand much of what I see. I didn't think Tom "I lie to myself" Mason inspired Dingaan to hope so much as determination to fake it till you make it. 

No, you understood it just fine.  That's what I saw too.  Tom flat out admitted that he loses hope all the time, and he gets himself (his sons and the 2nd Mass) through by lying to himself all the time.  I think Weaver does the same too.

 

I thought the episode was good.  It really showed a large portion of the remaining characters and gave time to each character in turn.  We got the Hal/Maggie relationship, and I totally get why Hal would ignore Maggie's claims and want to save her.  Maggie forgave him in the end, but not before punching him.  I loved Anne's little jab about "I guess they're back to normal."  (something like that).  

 

I liked the Ben/Lexi conversation, and how Ben finally sees his sister for what she is.  I think the show needed to show the Mason family trying to believe in Lexi before giving up on her.  It would have been very out of character for Tom, Ben, Matt, etc. to just turn their back on Lexi from the get go.  Ben had faith that he could talk his sister down, but after seeing into her mind, and seeing that she has fully embraced her Espheni side, he abandoned her and told his father the same.  I get why Anne wants to still believe in Lexi, since she didn't actually see what Ben saw at that processing plant, but I was glad that Tom isn't drinking the kool-aid.  He acknowledged that Lexi had turned her back on her people, and that he and Anne owed it to the people who had not turned their back on humanity.  

 

Pope and Sarah were okay.  I like Pope, but I'm not really embracing Sarah.  She just seems like a side-kick character for Pope.  Then again, i do like the fact that Pope has someone to bounce he feelings off of beyond his biker friends (who I think are all dead now). Lastly, it was good to get some backstory on Dingaan, which helps flesh out his character more.  

 

I know some commented on getting tired of seeing characters getting injected, morphed, or infected, but from what Eick was saying about the Espheni race, in general, the Espheni are completely obsessed with genetics and biotechnology.  Everything about them is about those two elements.  Their ships are bio technology, and their soldiers are genetically altered species from various worlds.  So in that regard, it makes sense that there is a constant interaction and cross mutilation of the various species.  I mean that's essentially what Lexi was showing Ben.  It's how Anne is able to manipulate the medical equipment to take care of Maggie.  It's how Tom was able to trip the hatch door to the beamer.  It's all about genetics and biology.

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It's amazing how much worse the show can get with each episode.  Rapidly growing child wasn't enough so they made hybrid baby which wasn't enough so they made mightey whitey hybrid which wasn't enough so they did cocoon which wasn't enough so now they have Khaleesi Lite watching over her dragons, er, I mean dragonflies.  Now they've delved into love triangles which isn't enough so they make it a cougar delight triangle which isn't enough so they make it a sibling cougar love triangle.  Of course, since the Masons never have to suffer this sibling love triangle will turn out just fine.  I'm hoping this deeply horrible season of tv ends with one of them going off to become a lumberjack.  At least then the writers will reveal it was all a prank and the joke's on us for not getting it to begin with.  

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It's amazing how much worse the show can get with each episode.  Rapidly growing child wasn't enough so they made hybrid baby which wasn't enough so they made mightey whitey hybrid which wasn't enough so they did cocoon which wasn't enough so now they have Khaleesi Lite watching over her dragons, er, I mean dragonflies.  Now they've delved into love triangles which isn't enough so they make it a cougar delight triangle which isn't enough so they make it a sibling cougar love triangle.  Of course, since the Masons never have to suffer this sibling love triangle will turn out just fine.  I'm hoping this deeply horrible season of tv ends with one of them going off to become a lumberjack.  At least then the writers will reveal it was all a prank and the joke's on us for not getting it to begin with.  

 

Yeah.  Soon the new phrase won't be "jumping the shark" but "watching Masons" or something like that.

 

Also since I haven't been much into this season or last on a regular basis, someone please tell me where they are suppose to be.  Chinatown looked a little like Boston's version so are they finally away from Charleston now?  Not that I ever bought they were in Charleston because the geography surrounding the city didn't look anything remotely like South Carolina. 

 

I assume they probably film in Canada like a lot of shows these days but they couldn't even be bothered to put in some fake palmettos and film on some flatter land?  When were mountains a stone's throw outside of Charleston?  Or are these aliens busy terraforming like on that other sci-fi show I quit watching where there were mountains outside of St Louis.

Edited by green

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The setting has been very confusing. Because in prior seasons, the location has been very clear and where they were going, also clear. This season started out I think outside of Charleston, but they were wandering aimlessly and then once the fences came down and they did the time jump there's been no location mentioned. At all. This has to be deliberate by TPTB, but I don't know why. 

 

I actually don't care if the scenery isn't exact for a show. There was a clear plan to go from Boston to Charleston, and that's fine. I don't see why all of a sudden location doesn't matter. 

 

Are there Chinatowns in the South? I would have liked to see them all holed up in a Waffle House. 

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They were just outside of Charleston when the fences magically appeared, and they were splintered off.    They seemed to be in 3 groups then - 1 inside the fence, and two outside.  Lexi, Lourdes, Maggie, Ben (in a coma, no less) ended up in 'Chinatown'.

 

Anne, Anthony, and a few 'others', ended up searching for Lexi. The skitter than Anne tortured had thoughts of the "West', which is where they went. 

 

Lourdes was broadcasting coordinates on some frequency, that was a day away from where the 'in-fenced' group was holed up after they escaped the fence.  i don't recall the coordinates. 

 

So, 'Chinatown' is somewhere West of Charleston, a day's walk away at least.    Given the way they can cover ground in these shows, could be anywhere East of the Mississippi.

Edited by mythoughtis

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That is good reasoning. But the main point is that previously, the show frequently stated their location, and this season, this is glaringly absent.

Edited by ganesh
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The only good reason I can think of is that tourist boards declined paying for advertising this season.  I haven't really paid any attention to product placement, but it could be that a lot of the products worked best in a chinatown environment.  

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I could buy it if there's some part of her mind/heart that's been locked away within her, and it starts waking up and confusing her. But watching people screaming in a horrible, dark, dirty-looking pit and calling it "evolution that will bring people peace," does not bode well.

I wil only buy redemption for Lexi, if she dies right after. But this is the only possible way the showrunners can do it: Write it so that everything that made her human, was suppressed while she was in the cocoon, and it has to claw its way out. (But she still needs to die right after - she's too powerful and too much of a Deus ex Machina to survive this season. And too dull.)

 

The only interesting Mason is Hal, who lied about what Maggie wanted, and who seems unable to pick a side (the shining beacon of Masonness, or the what-makes-more-sense side). And now Ben and Maggie look to share more than a quick roll in the hay, so here's to Hal providing a reasonable counterpoint to Tom's blandness.

[...]

A Mason does need to die, to give Tom a dose of reality. They won't kill off any of them, most likely, but let's play "what if." They won't kill the youngest human one (Matt). They should kill Lexi, but at this point they have invested so much in her they can't unless she becomes the plot device that saves humanity. That just leaves Hal and Ben. If the make Hal the logical Tom-alternative, who some people want to follow, that leaves Ben.

If they kill Ben, I'd propably stop watching. I know it's such a cliché to say, but he really has become my favourite character. And there's so much more of his story to tell - that is, if the showrunners hasn't forgotten that the spikes are more than "new therapy for paralysis and wi-fi all in one" (tm BungalowSummer) I agree that Hal is the most interesting he has been these past four seasons, but I'd rather they reformed Pope a bit, and turned him into the Tom-alternative. 

 

But to me it seemed it was Hal's hope for saving Maggie that was turned into soap opera. And worse, it had nothing to do with war, alien or otherwise, ignoring everything about the premises and setting for cheap histrionics that aren't much interesting. Petty conflicts don't trump the end of humanity.

The conflict of saving Maggie and turning her alien, or letting her die a human as she wished didn't seem soap opera-like to me. It can be argued that the triangle is, but I don't think we were supposed to view Hal's actions as petty. As with the entire show, we are supposed to view the larger conflict through the lense of the Mason family and their problems, and this episode was about hope even when there's no hope left. True, I am not fond of the way they are going about it wrt the love triangle, but I remain hopeful (heh) that something good will come out of it.

 

I didn't like this epsiode as much as the previous. Too many things that didn't make sense. Or: How did Ben really escape? Why didn't we see it? It was simply too easy, which annoys me, because it makes the showrunners look like they ran out of steam before the end. (Maybe the joke's on me for looking for geographic consistency/character consistency in this show, but I have to. Otherwise I'll have to give op on the show altogether.)

Edited by feverfew
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Or: How did Ben really escape? Why didn't we see it? It was simply too easy, which annoys me, because it makes the showrunners look like they ran out of steam before the end. (Maybe the joke's on me for looking for geographic consistency/character consistency in this show, but I have to. Otherwise I'll have to give op on the show altogether.)

Ben was released, which directly contradicts what he said he saw in Lexi's mind. This point is essential to what develops with Lexi but is ignored even more than his discovery that humanity is doomed to the new skitterization process whose "delivery" has been perfected. We didn't see it because the salvation of Maggie was more important. It had to be Ben's spikes that saved Maggie. If it weren't that Ben gave up hope for Lexi, it could fit in with the hope theme, but sorry, Maggie getting spike specialness was more important than exploring the theme. I haven't thought much of the superannuated hybrid baby with powers but I really don't think that tired old idea has been executed as lamely as the Ben/Maggie/Hal triangle. 

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The triangle, by definition, is lame. Writers must know this, right? Because it's so ubiquitous on tv I can't believe so many people are that stupid. "zomg, what if the one likes the other but the another one too and she can't choose!!!! I can't believe I just thought of that!1!!111!" 

 

It's got to be more like, "who can we pair up? Oh, Ben and Maggie have been in Chinatown a lot so then if we go Hal/Maggie/Ben we got the brother v brother angle too. That's easy to write."

 

If I ever have a show, there's going to be a bible. And the first line of that bible is going to be: No triangles. I'm not saying I'm connected just because my last name ends in a vowel, but I'd better not even see the hint of a triangle. Sometimes people have accidents, and it's unfortunate. 

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Ganesh, I'll watch your show if you promise no triangles AND no hybrid babies.

 

I actually watched part of this episode and it was nice to see Anne doctoring again.  Even so I think her character has been ruined for me by this season.  I'm going to call it The Mason Phenomenon.  Anyone who latches onto the Masons for any length of time seems to devolve into suckage or death.  Maybe the Masons are to Falling Skies what Sookie is to True Blood.

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Lexi can die and they will have killed a "Mason," sort of. I think she (Lexi) has made it pretty clear that Tom is Tom and NOT her father. I was under the assumption that Anne was impregnated by a fish head anyway, from those flashbacks we saw earlier.

Anne can die too as an "honorary Mason." I don't think she and Tom ever got married, did they?

I know the show is ABOUT the Masons, but it would make more sense to kill one of them to accentuate the hopelessness that I think we're all supposed to feel this season.

Is it true next season is supposed to be the last? Why do all of Spielberg's television series suck so badly?

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Did anyone else happen to catch, when Maggie and Ben were convulsing up and down, a very clear shot of Maggie's breast? I never thought the actresses really went bare breasted for the shirtless shots, but clearly this time she did!

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