Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Falling Skies 5.10: "Reborn"

“We began the last leg of this journey with me admonishing you to find your inner warrior, as I felt I’d found mine. For some of you, that may have been just the boost you needed. Yet to others I know it didn’t sit very well. And I understand that. This has been a punishing journey. Not just because of those we have lost but because of those parts of ourselves we’ve had to sacrifice along the way. Our innocence and our hope. Maybe even part of our souls. But if you ask me, it’s been worth it. You are why I fight.”
- Tom

This is the final showdown, folks. We have arrived at the series finale and I probably have a slightly different take than other people since I binge-watched seasons 1-4 earlier this year in preparation for this final run. I didn’t have the long waits between seasons. That doesn’t mean I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed myself though! Anyway, let’s get into the meat of this episode.

The episode begins with a recording of “America the Beautiful” playing while hand-drawn pictures of the war flash by. And then we hear Matt narrate that the final battle didn’t go as planned. We see the 2nd Mass being set upon by hornets (as last week’s episode ended) and we lose Marty in the ensuing fight. But, we gain a couple newbies in some bikers led by Lepidus from Lost (okay so that’s not his name but whatever). Before they can head out (they’ve already wasted another day because Weaver didn’t want to risk going out in the dark and get hit by another attack), Tom gets some bad news from the front. The Espheni have built a wall using Skitterized humans. So they will need another way to get at the Lincoln Memorial. One of the soldiers points out he grew up in DC and knows the underground tunnels politicians used to get across the National Mall to avoid the crazies. So Tom, Weaver and the usual gang are going to head that way while the rest of the 2nd Mass presumably joins the rest of the Mason Militias in trying to break through the wall.

As Matt said the final fight didn’t go as planned and neither does this attempt at reaching the Queen. First they happen upon a group of Espheni eggs and according to Cochise, newly hatched Espheni are far more violent than when they have matured. The fact that we’ve seen how violent they can be all grown up, the thought of rabid baby Espheni is rather terrifying. Along the way they find more and more eggs and one of the guys led by Lepidus makes the stupid decision to touch one to see what it looks like. He gets torn open for his trouble and then Lt. Wolf launches a grenade and gets himself blown up. Of course, along the way we have little moments with our core cast. After finding the first set of eggs, Anne breaks down because she’s pregnant again. I’m assuming the Espheni didn’t do anything to her this time so it’s a plain old human fetus (hooray!). And amid the chaos of the grenade launch, Hal proposes to Maggie and she accepts. Too bad for Ben since we know he still had feelings for her. And I guess sad for Isabella, too.

It looks like Tom will have to go the distance alone when he gets separated from the group by the debris from the grenade. He manages to slip by some more eggs and finally finds his way to the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. He gets a pretty good view of the fighting going on beyond but then he’s got a job to do. He pulls out the Dornia weapon and seeks out the Queen. She is massive and looks kind of like a combination of a bee, a Skitter and an Overlord. She shows Tom why the Espheni hate humans so much. 1500 years ago, she sent her favorite daughter to lead the occupation but humanity (primitive as they were) defeated her and ate her flesh to strengthen themselves. Tom points out that it doesn’t matter if the Queen kills him because humanity won’t surrender. He finally manages to use the device and kills the Queen (and then all the rest of the Espheni all over the world). It’s a bit of a sad victory though. As the rest of the main 2nd Mass gang is moving through the tunnels, Anne falls behind. She had some shrapnel end up in her stomach (because of course she did) and she ends up dying. Ben races off to find Tom when it’s all over and we see Tom flash to the Dornia saving him. He thinks they might be able to help, too. The Dornia at least show up and take Anne’s body and as Tom stands there waiting for something to happen, Pope appears. I seriously thought he was dead from the explosion last week. It doesn’t matter much because dies from his injuries after sparring a bit with Tom. Okay, so Pope is doing most of the talking but at least he realized that Tom (potentially) losing Anne wasn’t as satisfying as he thought.

We end on a very positive note. Thousands upon thousands of people have gathered at the National Mall where Tom is giving a speech. It sounds like they have been asking him to be President but he’s declined twice. He is done being that kind of leader I think. Besides, he’s got his three boys and a baby on the way to worry about. But everyone is in high spirits as they gather for the celebration of beating the Espheni. I honestly am glad that none of the Masons died (or rather that it didn’t stick). This was their story and they managed to all come through it relatively unscathed.

I thought that this was a pretty solid finale episode. It left things a little open-ended but in a way that says “the future is bright and things are looking up”. It has been one hell of a ride with the 2nd Mass and the Masons and I’m glad to have taken the journey with them. It’s always so nice when the writers know that the end is coming because it gives us closure. I commend the writers on giving us a good ending to this story.

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