Film and TV

Falling Skies: "Man, This Deal's Getting Worse And Worse."

While I've appreciated the increased emphasis on action in this season of Falling Skies, it's really starting to feel like producers/writers are forcing the characters to make progressively worse decisions in order to propel us towards some as-yet undetermined outcome.

Tom's decision to being Cochise to meet the President may have panned out, but it was a risky thing to do. Likewise, Ben and Deni electing to keep their "spikes" can't possibly end well. But they can be forgiven; they're just kids and their parents (Tom, anyway, I don't know if Deni's folks are around) can't seem to be bothered to give their input.

But Anne's actions take the cake. Plagued with the goofiest subplot thus far this season, she really kicked the ludicrous up a notch last night. "At All Costs" was a decent episode, but by the end I could swear I saw the Fonz strapping on some water skis.

Picking up where we left off last week, the Espheni attack commences. The captured Lieutenant Fisher is puzzled/intrigued/(aroused?) by the presence of Cochise and the use of Volm technology to repel the Espheni offensive (Esphensive?). So much so, in fact, she puts Tom (Noah Wyle) in touch with the real El Presidente. Hathaway wants to meet with Tom, and neither Weaver (Will Patton) nor Anne (MOON BLOODGOOD) is happy about it. But they each have different reasons.

Meanwhile, Maggie (Sarah Carter) wisely keeps Hal (Drew Roy) from spilling the Karen/probe beans to Tom. Dad's an open-minded sort, but even the "President" might have trouble keeping the likes of Bressler and Pope from fragging a compromised Hal.

Here I thought they had Anne on Andrea Yates watch with Alexis, but there she is giving DNA swabs unobserved. And maybe she's in the right, given the creepy ass look her baby gives the camera. Hey, judge not lest ye have also given birth to a loathsome affront to gods and men.

Ben (Connor Jessup) and Deni (Megan Danso) contemplate undergoing the Volm procedure to extract their remaining alien spikes. It can certainly be argued, in their case, that evil technology can actually generate positive results. In the end, they decide not having to wear glasses and being able to leap from tall buildings is worth the risk of lethal infection or dying before adulthood. Oh you teens and your complete lack of foresight.

Pope (Colin Cunningham) expresses hesitation at letting Tom, Weaver, and Cochise take his plane to meet the President. I realize Pope's function on the show is "the fly in the ointment/monkey in the wrench/pain in the ass," but seriously, they might need to Silkwood the guy's brake lines.

There's a bit of tension when Tom and company land, possibly because he insisted on bringing a frigging alien with him. Hathaway's men weren't aware of Cochise coming along, especially his military commander, General Donovan. Nice to see Michael Hogan getting post-Battlestar Galactica work, even if Donovan is basically BSG'S Colonel Tigh without the self-loathing. I'm afraid Stephen Collins' presence is going to give me unpleasant 7th Heaven flashbacks, however.

Cochise gives Hathaway a justification for his race's hatred of the Espheni (boiling down to never having seen his destroyed home planet). It's an eloquent speech, but is he full of shit?

The newly ambulatory Hal is having issues with his evil mirror-talking twin who ends up taking over for a while (after Hal *punches the mirror*. This happens so much in movies and TV shows I almost want to try it myself) and convinces Maggie not to tell anyone about his Karen dreams. Yes. "Dreams."

Anne slips Alexis' DNA in with the samples of the de-harnessed kids she gives to Kadar (Robert Sean Leonard) for analysis. The good news is, those kids are completely free of alien control. The bad news? Alexis is getting more alien by the day. Anne takes the news ... poorly. Seriously, I don't get any of what follows: she bashes the good doctor's brains in and removes the sample? And then doses Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) and hightails it with Alexis? This is the same kid we were led to believe she might actually harm last week, and now she's come to this? I TRUSTED YOU, MOON BLOODGOOD.

Anyway, our last shot of Anne is her and the baby surrounded by Evil Hal, some creepy razorback kid, and a Skitter. Smooth moves, Moon.

Meanwhile, Tom and company are wrapping up their visit to Hathaway by making the wise decision of taking to the air when they hear of enemy ships incoming. Bressler flies admirably, but the alien beamer ship brings them down. Who will survive? How will they make it back to Charleston? Was I hallucinating, or did Cochise get blowed the fuck up in the other plane?

Best Line(s):Ben: "Do you think that's how dad got girls in college? Intsead of playing guitar, he'd just tell weird historical anticdotes?" Matt: "I think that's how dad *didn't* get girls in college."

Next week: Tom and Pope are on the road to Charleston. Can they overcome their differences and find a way to work together? Was Anne just dreaming? Or did we really see one of the dumbest character development moments in history?

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar