Falling Skies: “Reunion” (S5, E9 review)

"Well tie me down and feed me to a rabidly-hungry Skitter!" Rage Tom is gobsmacked by the Dornia's en0rmously huge why-the-hell-didn't-they-reveal-it-sooner spaceship (image via TV.com (c) TNT)
“Well tie me down and feed me to a rabidly-hungry Skitter!” Rage Tom is gobsmacked by the Dornia’s enormously huge why-the-hell-didn’t-they-reveal-it-sooner spaceship (image via TV.com (c) TNT)

 

*SPOILERS AHEAD AND ALL THE DORNIA GEEWHIZ-NESS YOU COULD WANT *

 

So first things first – the 2nd Mass. is still in Virginia at the rather charmingly-named 14th Stalag Virginia (OK that’s not it’s real name but even with Faux Captain Marshall gone, I think we can all agree that’s the name that’s going to stick.)

That’s right folks, even with the Espheni up to goodness knows what in Washington DC, apparently so says Ben’s (Connor Jessup) hard won intelligence – plunge hand into goopy glowing orange Espheni comms hub, eavesdrop on Overlords, jump into an ice bath to cool down, rinse and repeat – at the foot of the statue of Abraham Lincoln, the 2nd Mass. ended up stuck in the ‘burbs of of Virginia.

True they packed stuff, talked to the militias – it’s worth noting that the all new unbuggable communications system Rage Tom (Noah Wylie) and the gang use was designed by Dingaan (Treva Etienne) and not the Volm aka The Most Inept Aliens in the Galaxy EVER – and got ready to do stuff and leave for DC but they didn’t actually make it out the front gate.

To be fair this was largely not their fault.

For starters, the infuriatingly fey, vague, and kinda ruthlessly revenge-obsessed Dornia, who in a rather Espheni-like way noted they decide how they’ll relate to any new race based on their “usefulness” – how very fascistly utilitarian of beings who look rather like the ants from Pixar’s A Bug Life – decided that this was the moment to show Rage Tom via a fake Matt and fake dead wife (yep they’re not making much progress on the sensitivity scale) that they have a Really Big Spaceship.

Like REALLY BIG.

So big that Rage Tom, who by now has seen lots of incredulity-straining stuff was left gawping like a child in the T-Rax enclosure at Jurassic World.

Admittedly watching the giant donut-shaped spaceship lift out from the water was pretty damn impressive, but it begged the question – why not do the big reveal 8 episodes ago or so?

And why only now tell Rage Tom that the Dornia, of which there is exactly one left, had developed a kickass lethal toxin that would wipe the Espheni from existence?

Was it fresh from R&D? Undergoing an approvals process? How much of an approvals process can you have with only of you? And who buys the presents for Secret Santa at Christmas time? (That last point could be considered extraneous but it’s worth considering nonetheless.)

 

"And behold our Very Large Spaceship! Ta-dah!" It's doubtful the Dornia ever get remotely this excited - planet-wide genocide will do that to a species I guess - but this was clearly the intent (image via Idiotbox (c) TNT)
“And behold our Very Large Spaceship! Ta-dah!” It’s doubtful the Dornia ever get remotely this excited – planet-wide genocide will do that to a species I guess – but this was clearly the intent (image via Idiotbox (c) TNT)

 

One small teeny-weensy point that the Dornia left out, and who can blame them for being a tad forgetful what with all their dreamy hippie obfuscation to keep in play, is that this Espheni-obliterating toxin, which let’s face it would not have passed the Captain Picard test for non-interference in another race’s fate even remotely, also had the inbuilt ability to kill pretty much everything.

Yep everything living, breathing on planet Earth, revealing that the Dornia might be a tad unhinged as a result of being driven to the point of extinction by the Espheni.

Yup, just a tad.

Fortunately Anne, who showed quite the level head in “Reunion”, also refusing to believe that Fake Lexi (Scarlett Byrne) was a Real Lexi came back from the lunar dead – thankfully so did everyone else bar Rage Tom who almost lost his life to his “Wait and see if she’s an evil Espheni killing machine” approach – tested the pulsating tube of poisonous biological gunk and found out just how lethal it could be.

A tweak here and a tweak there, with the help of whiskey biochemist Marty (Todd Weeks), and voila, a toxin that would only kill the Espheni and no one else!

The lucky test subject? Fake Lexi herself who failed to ultimately convince anyone she was the real deal, despite all the doe-eyed, lash-batting “poor me, poor little old me” that she could manage.

So Espheni bio clone unmasked, Dornia toxin rendered non-lethal to humans and closure for all!

A fairly successful day all around you’d think.

 

Fake Lexi is brought back to the base by Matt who apparently has paid NO ATTENTION AT ALL to the past few seasons (image via Self Rescuing Princesses (c) TNT)
Fake Lexi is brought back to the base by Matt who apparently has paid NO ATTENTION AT ALL to the past few seasons (image via Self Rescuing Princesses (c) TNT)

 

That was until Pope came romping in, pretending to be the remnants of a militia that had fallen upon hard being-attacked-by-Skitters times.

But really this turned out to be quite the non-event with Pope, after one last batch of sneering and “I hate Tom Mason!” venting – frankly it’s a tired old schtick that won’t really get anyone anywhere if the Espheni, who apparently have their Queen in town (the one the Volm didn’t mention; yep, that Queen) – dispatched with a big explosion and a few rounds of gunfire from Rage Tom and Weaver (Will Patton).

It underlined, in an episode that did its best to drum up some narrative momentum and suggest that Big Things Are Nigh, the futility of prolonging the Pope storyline.

If the intent was always to wrap it up in such desultory fashion, then why not be done with it episodes ago? And why also keep the whole Hal/Maggie/Ben love triangle percolating along via Maggie (Sarah Carter)bleating to Matt (Maxim Knight) who frankly couldn’t have cared less, and spoke for every last one of is watching when he told Maggie so.

They were totally unnecessary blips in what was otherwise a fairly good, if not excellent episode.

Naturally we got our fair share of family moments, but by and large, the writers finally got with the program and gave us some sense that Momentum is Building.

Quite whether it will build enough to make “Reborn” any sort of decent finale is a matter of pure conjecture for now but the signs are that the 2nd Mass. and humanity at large, may be on the brink of wiping out the Espheni.

That’s assuming, incoming hornets swarm notwithstanding, they can get out the gate of the complex …

*This is it folks! The series finale! (Try to look hopeful and excited.) “Reborn” comes, naturally enough, with a big loud portentous promo. let’s hope it delivers …

 

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