EvilHal comes out to play in a major way, Tom makes some critical choices, Pope pisses Ben off, and there's a new leader for the new United States....
Well, so long EvilHal, it was nice knowing ya (ok, so it wasn't), but now yer gone thanks to the Rebel Skitters. But before being destroyed, EvilHal took Tom hostage and created a nice little standoff which was only resolved when Maggie, Ben, and Matt got into the building undetected (and against orders) and, with Tom, managed to disarm Hal. That was fairly impressive. I was also impressed that Tom had enough presence of mind to figure out that if he could keep Hal conflicted, he would fight EvilHal for possession of his body. I also think that Hal was affecting EvilHal even when Tom wasn't provoking conflict. I suspect that Hal (or his influence) was a part of the reason why EvilHal did not just shoot Weaver out of hand. I also suspect that EvilHal knew that if he shot Weaver he would never get away, so there is that.
Removing the bug was pretty nasty. Whatever it was that the Rebel Skitters came up with, they said that it was meant for Skitter biology, so there was a chance that Hal would die, particularly if the bug was already gone. So glad that Tom chose to take the risk, because Hal would have wanted him to do so. If Hal had a choice between his life and protecting the people of Charleston, he would choose the people without hesitation.
So glad that Ben is growing up and able to contribute to decisions. I think that without his input, Tom may very well have chosen to ignore Weaver and go after Anne without giving the Rebel Skitters time to figure out what was going on. But having one of his sons argue for the delay (particularly Ben who communicates with the Rebel Skitters) seemed to be the turning point in that conversation. I was also so happy when Ben decked Pope, who was completely out of line with his comments (more on that in a bit). I would so dearly love to see Ben just turned loose on Pope because I suspect that in a one-on-one confrontation, Ben would wipe the floor with him.
While I can understand why Pope jumped to the conclusion about Hal being the mole, it was a leap without much foundation. All Maggie said is that Hal was *dreaming* of meeting Karen, not that he actually was. Methinks that Pope's dislike of the Masons was drastically affecting his conclusion. And then the rest of his comments were completely out of line and false. Let's start with the comments about Ben. As I noted a few weeks ago, having Ben and Deni keep the spikes is an incredibly good strategic move because it gives the humans a method of direct communication with the Rebel Skitters and because it gives them soldiers who have enhanced physical attributes. And Ben knew that people would turn on him if he kept the spikes, but he chose to do so anyway. As for the comment that if it were anyone but Hal they would have been instantly shot, it is also false. Tom has always preferred trying to settle things with words if possible. Weaver is a little quicker to pull the trigger, but even he has come around to the idea that it is better to talk.
I was a little confused by Pope's actions in the bar. He is not above insulting the Masons (as demonstrated several times in this episode), but he also seems willing to watch out for and protect them if necessary. So I have to wonder if his insulting of the Masons is him showing his real feelings or if it is more reflexive. There is also the possibility that the truth lies in between.
The other thing I have to say about Pope's comments is that he hasn't seemed to notice that all of these bad things seem to happen to the Masons. The question he should be asking is "Why?" The answer (as I have mentioned before) seems to be that Karen and the Espheni are deliberately targeting the Masons. While Ben was just another kid being harnessed, taking Tom and putting the bugs in both Tom and Hal has Karen's influence written all over them. Tom is a good, charismatic leader and by planting doubts about him and his family, Karen is managing to cause dissension among the humans and drive a wedge between them and the Rebel Skitters.
Tom has resigned the presidency and has gone off with his sons to find Anne and Alexis. I will say that I am not entirely sure that leaving Marina in charge was the right thing. While it is not horrible that she wants to know what the Volm technology does, breaking into Tom's desk to get the information seems to be a bad way to go about it. Marina is also very practical, which while not a bad thing, could be a problem. For example, I get why she wanted Tector to be ready to shoot Hal if necessary, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. While she is not as bad as Pope, she comes off as a little oily to me. I know a lot of people are speculating that she is the mole, and maybe that it all it is, but something about her just seems off.
Next week, the President of the United States appears in Charleston...