Monday, July 27, 2015

Falling Skies 5.05: "Non-Essential Personnel"

“I think you stuck your neck out for those people because you care.”
- Hal

Well we have officially reached the midway point in our final journey with Tom and the 2nd Mass. So of course we start off the episode with a group of people we don’t even know being attacked by some skitters in a small town. A little knot of people get out of the building and make a run for it but they are quickly surrounded by skitters. But not to fear, John Pope and his gang are here to save the day. And then promptly weed out the people they see as weak and hightail it to a bowling alley to set up shop. This reminds me of when we first met Pope and his crew. They were lunatics back then and now that Tom has kicked them out of the 2nd Mass, Pope is taking up his insane ways again. Speaking of Tom, Pope has him running all over creation (communicated by radio) looking for Hal. After Tom invokes Sarah’s name, he at least learns that Hal is still alive. He may not be for much longer because just to rub it in, Pope cuts up Hal’s arm pretty bad and makes Tom listen to it over the radio. Bastard! Tom, naturally swears to kill Pope. Is it bad that I’m hoping Tom is successful?

Tom isn’t all that Pope has to deal with though. One of the women he claimed was too weak to fight, Isabella, says she’s a nurse and then puts on this tough act for him about sticking up for the others because they would owe her and you only do things for other people in this world because you expect to get something in return. Hal calls her on her bullshit when she’s patching him up (and reveals she’s not a nurse). Nice props to Matt though for being better at stitching up wounds! Unfortunately, just when Hal is trying to sway Isabella to his side, Pope comes back and gets even crazier. He wants Hal to admit his father has gotten so many people killed and he’s trying to set himself up as the new world leader but Hal refuses. Hal goes so far as to tell Pope to just shoot him. I can’t see that happening just yet though. Tom has made it to town and is on his way to find Pope to keep his promise.

Elsewhere, the 2ned Mass is making its way to Washington DC (although I swear they were heading for Fayetteville last week) when they get ambushed and boxed in. Whoever is shooting at them wants a vehicle and half their guns and ammo. Weaver refuses and then decides by himself that he’s going to go in and diffuse the situation. He gets shot in the arm when he heads in but he’s still alive. His plan to take out the (lone) gunman once they are inside fails and he gets his arm hurt a bit more. I also don’t buy that this guy has a wife and two kids in need of protection. He just seems too nutty for that.

Well, it turns out I was wrong out about our gunman. He does have a family, or he did anyway. They were killed by skitters. Lucky for him, Weaver is calm and methodical about feeling him out, giving Anne and the rest of the 2nd Mass a chance to make it look like they’re giving in to his demands and then doubling back and mounting a rescue effort. Weaver realizes that this guy (whose name is Marty) is who he could have been without the 2nd Mass to support him after all the loss he suffered. So, once Weaver is all patched up, he and Anne decide to take Marty along with them to give him the support they’ve given each other.

Things aren’t looking particularly awesome for Hal and company, though. I was right in that Pope doesn’t shoot Hal right then but that’s mostly because one of the hornets has attacked and drawn fire (and Pope’s attention). Isabella is sent back in to patch up Hal after Pope’s latest beating and he convinces her that she should let him go. This becomes especially convenient after she explains she’s grabbing guns and hauling butt out of there, leaving Pope behind.

Night falls and Tom is about to mount his own rescue of Hal (not knowing his son’s plant to escape with Isabella) when the Dornia appears to him and begs him not to go. They are building a weapon that could take out the Espheni for good but they need Tom (and only him) to deliver the weapon so if he dies now, they’re horribly screwed. Tom doesn’t care and so he goes off all half-cocked to find Hal. He gets past Anthony and some other guards but ends up running into Pope before he can get inside. They exchange shots and both land some doozies. I’m not entirely sure how Pope is even still breathing considering Tom was using a shot gun (at least) and it looked like his first shot was center mass to the abdomen on Pope. Before Pope can get off any more shots, Hal and Isabella escape (hooray) and Tom gets carried off by the hornet (boo). And as Isabella and Hal search for Tom the next morning, we find Pope (still alive though in really bad shape) demanding to know where Tom has gone.

I’m not sure I like that they are making this all about Tom as the Savior. I liked it better when it was more about the family of the 2nd Mass and them working together to survive. I get that Tom has become the leader through all of this and maybe it’s because I like Noah Wylie so much that I don’t want to see Tom die at the very end. But I’ve heard that a Mason isn’t going to last through the season and I just worry that Tom is going to end up dying at the end to save the world and defeat the Espheni. I guess we’ll see in the next 5 episodes.

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