Movies & TV Reviews

Falling Skies #4-03 Recap: Breaking Free

(Full Spoilers Below)

The more I watch of Falling Skies’ fourth season, the more I realize just how crazy it has become. While Exodus demonstrated a far better balance of the show’s four separate story arcs, it also continued to leave us with more questions than answers, and left me wanting for something more. Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had with the show’s new direction, I just hope the story starts to feel more coherent sooner rather than later.

Exodus started off with an exciting chase sequence, following Tom as he was pursued by an entire swarm of Skitters. It was a brief, but fun, opening that ended in Tom once again using his now signature flamethrower to glorious effect. But then it went the cliche route and flashed back in time 60 hours, and I audibly groaned when the show cut off from Tom’s flamethrower fun and threw us back into the planning phase of his prison breakout. That’s not to say seeing Tom and his cohorts put their escape plan together is boring, it’s just starting to get old. Thankfully, there was finally some payoff here, as Tom’s plan was kicked into action about halfway through the episode. It wasn’t quite the spectacle I was hoping for, but it was nice to see Pope step up and finally do something heroic and volunteer to be the one to attempt to blow the gate up. The only downside of the climax was that the final shot of that building exploding really didn’t look that great in terms of its special effects; but hey, at least they’re finally able to move on to new territory now.

Matt was the one who got the shortest end of the stick this week though, and while it was a little creepy how that young girl in his class turned her own parents over to the Espheni with hardly a second thought, the only real eventful thing that transpired was Matt covering for his friend when their ‘teacher’ discovered she had stolen a tool in order to escape. While we weren’t really given any idea how Matt would be punished, I am intrigued to see how it will change things for Matt.

FallingSkies_S04E03-Main

Ann’s story, on the other hand, finally did something progressive and gave us a glimpse into the time she spent as a prisoner of the Espheni while still pregnant with Lexi. It was nice to see something with Ann that wasn’t just senseless wandering through the woods with exposition being the only thing to really keep us interested, but we were still only offered more questions than answers, a trend that is starting to get a little irritating. While we may not know exactly what the aliens did to Lexi, I think it’s safe to say that the leader of the Espheni had his own DNA pumped into Ann’s still pregnant stomach, which probably explains why she’s being heralded as the link between the two species right now. Really creepy stuff.

Once again though, Ben seems to be the one with the most interesting story, and while Tom once again got most of the attention, seeing Ben attempt to both understand and put an end to Lexi’s plans for peace with the Espheni is probably the most compelling plot Falling Skies is telling at this point. And this week was a real highlight, as Ann finally discovered the colony and was reunited with Ben and Lexi. As you can imagine, this was quite the shock for her, considering her daughter has aged at least ten years since she last saw her a couple months ago. We sadly didn’t get to see what happened next, but I am actually excited to see how they all react to being back together again in the next episode.

Falling Skies is slowly but surely making progress with each new episode, but I still think it needs to do more. I’m still enjoying the show for the sheer entertainment value of it all, but I really want to see it go back to its more streamlined approach to storytelling, as it seems the show just isn’t capable of handling so many different story lines at the same time. Things do seem to be coming together, and Exodus ended with enough subtle cliffhangers that I am genuinely interested to see where it will go next.

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