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Sunday, August 2, 2015

My Review of Falling Skies 5.06- Respite

It might not be saying much, but this week's episode was better than last week's disastrous waste of time episode.  It was nice to see that the writers managed to (sort of) rescue last week's episode with what happened this week.  Then, of course, there was the whole Maggie storyline, but more on that in a bit.

About the only important thing that happened last week was the Tom going after Hal and the resulting storyline. That continued this week with Tom being cared for by a family that has been fortunate enough to sit out the war and with Hal and Isabelle looking for him.  I think Tom did need the reminder of what the war has been about and what he is looking to do.  I also think he made the right decision by encouraging the son to stay behind.  Was the mom right to hide everything from her kids?  Honestly, I get it.  She lost her husband and her mom in a short period of time and didn't want to lose her kids too.  I think there was also a certain amount of denial going on about what was truly happening.  I am sincerely curious about how that area has been completely overlooked by the Espheni.  Just luck is seriously pushing credibility.  I'm glad they didn't repeat the Season 1 storyline about the group working with the Espheni, but that explanation was completely unsatisfactory.

My biggest problem with last week's episode was the fact that so much time was spent on the  guy who lost his family.  Had that been a side story or if it had some big payoff this week, it might have been marginally acceptable.  Yes, the guy did discover the Espheni communications device, but literally anyone else could have been substituted in there with no interruption to the logic of the storyline, so it doesn't count as a big payoff.  Honestly, most of this weeks storyline with the 2nd Mass could have happened last week and nothing would have been lost.  That is a surefire way to know that time was just wasted.

Now, about Maggie.  Did she make the right decision?  While I can see perfectly legitimate arguments for both positions, I have to say that she didn't.  While I understand her point about wanting to control herself, there is a larger point to consider.  By removing the spikes, she not only took away one of the more powerful weapons (albeit with some massive flaws) in the humans arsenal, but she also risked killing herself, therefore depriving the 2nd Mass of her skills as a soldier.  I know that her and Ben's susceptibility to Espheni control due to the spikes is potentially a big issue, it is more than made up for in their usefulness as scouts and warriors.

Anne was very clear that she would remove the spikes, she just wanted to delay the procedure.  That was not an unreasonable request.  Ben's response, on the other hand, was somewhat childish.  Like Hal, Ben is upset that Maggie isn't falling in line with his wishes and desires.  Like Maggie, he was being more emotional than rational.  That being said, there is the issue that Maggie was raped by Pope and his men and that she is obviously reacting (in part) because of that.  It really does make sense and it does make the whole issue rather thorny.  Do you force her to keep the spikes in the name of the greater good or do you remove them (as she wants) and harm that good but allow her personal freedoms?  Normally, I would come down squarely on the side of letting her control herself, but in wartime, rules sometimes need to be bent in the name of the greater good and I think this is one of those cases.

Until next week!