Follow by Email

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Review of Falling Skies 3.07- The Pickett Line

The Volm's plan is revealed and it's a doozy, the mole is revealed, Pope is stirring up more trouble, and the Masons run into a spot of trouble....

The Volm's plan is problematic at best.  Cochise revealed that the weapon will, in fact, take down the shield that the Espheni are putting up.  The weapon needs to be used ASAP because the shield will put out a radiation that will kill all native life on Earth.  The Espheni and their slaves will not be affected by the radiation thanks to some genetic tinkering.  While this plan is nice (if time sensitive), there is a caveat.  It is possible that the weapon will cause the shield to run on overdrive and wipe out all life on Earth even quicker.  According to Cochise, Tom knew this and approved the plan anyway.  So, we have a couple of questions.  First, did Tom really know about the possible downside?  I would suspect so.  In war there is always an element of risk and this risk, while substantial, is not a sure thing.  The question comes down whether or not the risk is worth it and I would think that it is.  Basically the choices are either a guaranteed wiping out of all native life on Earth or a chance of it.  Cochise did not quote the chance of the shield going into overdrive, but I think that it is probably less than (or at most around) 50%.  Even if the risk its higher, I still think the risk is worth it.  Tom is realistic enough to have gone through all of this himself and come up to the same conclusion.  Second, was Tom right to not tell anyone else about the risk?  Again, I answer in the affirmative.  The alliance with the Volm is tenuous enough without revealing the risk.  If the risk of the weapon had been revealed, there would have been an unreasoning panic and everything could have fallen apart.

Lourdes is Karen's mole.  That was quite a surprise for me.  I never really even had her as a possible suspect until someone mentioned her earlier today and even then I didn't seriously consider her as a suspect until I saw her face when she was alone with the President.  At that point there was something about the look in her eyes and her general bearing that hinted that something was not quite right.  I was wondering if she had put something into his IV bag, but that would have been entirely too obvious and would have pointed directly at her.  So when she went into the room below and pulled out the gun, I was definitely surprised.  But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.  Lourdes is close enough to the leaders of Charleston to be a good spy, but is not exactly on anyone's radar.  Also, given that she was taking care of Anne and Alexis, she could have done something to tinker with Alexis' DNA.  Assuming this is Karen's plan, it is brilliant because Lourdes could also have messed with Hal's recovery.  I must admit to a certain grudging respect for Karen at this point.  Not that I like her, but she is a good planner and knows what buttons to press.  My one question is when exactly did Lourdes become the mole?  Did Hal put things into her at Karen's behest or did Lourdes being the mole predate Hal's falling under Karen's influence?

Speaking of pressing buttons, Marina is pressing some of her own.  She is moving things around to accommodate refugees, including Pope's bar.  Pope retaliated by persuading people to stop working with the Volm and on other things.  So, now we get the eternal question of the rights of people in a wartime situation.  Was Pope doing the right thing?  While I can understand why some might say yes, I am most definitively coming down on the side of no.  In another situation, I might be inclined to say that such civil disobedience is understandable, but given the situation that the humans find themselves in, this sort of activity is a horribly bad idea.  Also, the fact that Pope is leading it also makes me less than inclined to think it is a good thing.  The man loves to rebel and stir up trouble.

All that being said, he does have something of a point.  In a democracy, what Marina did would not be a good thing.  The problem is that the New United States is not really a democracy.  Sure, it has the veneer of a democracy, but it is more of a benevolent dictatorship.  Sure, there is a civilian at the helm, but the civilian leader is acting mostly as a Commander-in-Chief and not so much as a chief executive of a democracy.  There has always been a delicate line between military and civilian power in wartime.  What rights can be sacrificed in the name of achieving a victory, particularly in a situation where a loss would mean the end of humanity?  This was a problem that Tom and Weaver faced early in season 1 when Weaver was less inclined to be helpful to the civilians.

The Masons ran into a "there but for the Grace of God go I" scenario today.  While on their way to rescue Anne and Alexis, the Masons run into a family who have been on their own since the invasion.  This places Tom and the boys in an interesting conundrum.  All of their equipment and horses are stolen, so they end up going to get it back.  In the process, Hal fails to subdue the person he was sent after and as a result Matt shoots him.  The interesting question is if this is what the Masons would have become if they had not fallen in with the 2nd Mass.  While it is definitely possible, I would say it is unlikely given Tom's personality and temperament.  Tom is moral enough to have been very careful about what he and his sons would do.  That being said, desperation does change how people would act, so it is possible that Tom could have been sufficiently different from the Tom we know to make him do what the Picketts were doing if it meant survival.

I am not sure I agree with Tom's decision not to go back to Charleston.  While I can understand it because of his desire to protect Alexis, Hal, and Ben from other people, I am not sure it is a good choice.  I don't know if he intends to stick by the decision or not, so we'll just have to wait and see.  And Tom is in quite the pickle at the end.  He has a uberMech on one side and three Skitters on the other.  Wonder how he plans to get out of this one....

Until next week!