Film and TV

Falling Skies: "So Much for Talking."

Last night's epsiode, "Badlands," offered the surviving humans (and us) a bit of a respite after the bang-zoom-pow of the two-part season premiere. That's not to say the highly anticipated alien offensive didn't materialize (it did, eventually) or that another minor character didn't die (say good night, Gracie), but most of our time was devoted to Anne dealing with her increasingly creepy baby and the erection (heh) of something called the "Liberty Tree."

But aside from that there was no new info on the mole, and the only thing we established about baby Alexis is that she appears to be taking publicity advice from Michigan J. Frog.

We really have to do something about Matt's (Maxim Knight) haircut. The first act of the show is a rapidly paced segment depicting him reupplying various members of Pope's Berserkers and all I can do is stare at his 'fro.

Maybe he's turned to follicular abuse to distract him from his apparent fetish for watching girls pee. Pope (Colin Cunningham) needles him for trying to catch a glimpse of Grace dropping trou, but is interrupted by an sudden sniper attack, felling Grace and pinning down the Berserkers and elements of the 2nd Mass. Grace has other problems, for while her flak jacket stopped the bullet, the force of the shot knocked her down, sending a piece of rebar through her skull. Gee, and she was such a well-developed character.

Hal (Drew Roy) is walking again. This makes Tom (Noah Wyle) happy, but he soon has to duck out of his son's "miraculous" recovery for a briefing from Marina (Gloria Reuben). If only Tom had access to the Internet, he'd know everyone on the planet think she's the mole. Then again, Hal wants to use his newfound mobility to confess to being he alien plant (he has a probe in his brain! He's been making sweet dream love with an Overlord!). Maggie (Sarah Carter) wants to stand by her man, but advises him not to admit to anything. Probably a wise move.

Anne (MOON BLOODGOOD) is either hallucinating or baby Alexis is ready for her National Merit Scholarship. Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) tries to commiserate but this is like *totally* freaky, and she tells Tom that Anne might be suffering from postpartum depression. Tom trues to be supportive, so Anne tells him she doesn't think Alexis is human. Don't fill out those applications to Boston University just yet, Tom. Lourdes tries to comfort Anne, which seems to work until Anne learns Tom sent her to keep watch. To be fair, nobody but Anne has seen Alexis do anything untoward.

Turns out the snipers are humans. They capture one, who goes by the name of Catherine Fisher (Luvia Petersen). General Bressler (Matt Frewer) favors the hard line interrogation, but Tom shows his academic sensitivities and learns she was sent by the "real" President, Benjamin Hathaway, which totally sounds like an alien cover name.

Tom finishes his rounds by visiting Grace and giving his deathbed benediction. Pope isn't impressed, and blames Tom for the Berserkers' ragged ass state. Tom agrees while Weaver (Will Patton) bristles. As the show's two most prominent longhairs, I feel it's only a matter of time before Weaver and Pope get it on. The regular romantic subplots (Tom-Anne, Hal-Maggie-Karen) are getting kind of stale.

SPEECH TIME. Tom does the whole "start reading prepared comments then veer off into Real Talk" thing and the dedication of the Liberty Tree, or whatever, goes nice until that impending invasion everyone's been bunged up about for the last two weeks finally begins, sending everyone into the expected panic. Everyone, that is, except for baby Alexis, who regards the attacking spacecraft with something like ... anticipation.

Next week: Alexis has alien DNA? So that means Anne was banging one of the Espheni, right?

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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