Falling Skies: "Brazil" (Season 3, Episode 10)


Pacing has been a problem with Season 3, and the finale was no different. Some of it was watchable, but the net result was an odd negation of the whole season.

Basically, they were clearing this season’s storyline out to make way for a new creative team, and it showed. We could have actually started Season 3 with this episode. The Volm could have landed and done exactly what they did in Episode 10 without nine intervening episodes of folderol about “the Volm weapon.” We were just marking time the whole season.

The geographic insanity I feared last week indeed plays out in the opening minutes. Keep in mind that we were in Charleston. But we open with Pope and Weaver on a train heading into… Chicago. They’ve got Lourdes the mole onboard as a supposed decoy. Meanwhile, the Volm weapon is on a barge in… Boston Harbor.

That’s right. The mighty space-faring Espheni couldn’t keep a trainload of soldiers starting out in Charleston from reaching Chicago. They couldn’t stop a barge with a giant weapon visible on deck from navigating its way to Boston from Charleston. They can track Lourdes the mole’s eye-worms all the way out in Chicago from Boston. But a freaking barge sailing a week or more to reach a harbor where it’s simply impossible not to see it? Nope, that’s a tough one for spaceships, scout ships and advanced technology.

And isn’t Chicago a little far to serve as a decoy for a mission in Boston? Are the Espheni actually stretched that thin?

To push a point, are there even any Espheni left? Maybe they just skipped town when no one was looking and left their remaining forces in the hands of seventeen-year-old Karen as some kind of practical joke. Espheni night at The Improv.

Anyway, that big battle for the survival of humanity we’ve been promised all year? It lasts all of about three minutes. And all we see are two Espheni fighters shot down. Then the Espheni Boston tower falls, their defense grid is down, and a Volm spaceship lands. That latter bit is probably the best visual all season—it looks like a giant burning snowflake. Then we get a not-so-nice visual. The 2nd Mass does its best Ewok Village imitation, partying down with bongo drums and trash can fires. At least Anakin’s ghost is nowhere in sight.

Oh, and Cochise sent a Volm shuttlecraft to rescue Weaver and Pope in Chicago and bring them back to Boston. The Espheni couldn’t stop that, either. Based on what we’ve seen so far, the Volm should kick their loser asses off Earth in about seventeen minutes.

Seriously. We were conquered by total losers. No wonder the Volm don’t want us around.

That was a spoiler, right? Cuz’ I hadn’t mentioned that yet. The Volm want to pack up all the humans and send them to Brazil for safekeeping. Tom and Weaver are pissed. Nonetheless, the Volm Commander says “Sorry, Brazil it is.” After all, we’ll only get in the way since we were conquered by total losers. Tom spews about the 2nd Mass’ resume, but the Volm Commander doesn’t seem impressed with our victory over the seventeen-year-old girl. He’d been hovering out in space wondering what took us so long.

Lots of talking ensues. There are two scenes that work. The first is Hal going to check on Lourdes the Mole. It starts out ridiculous. She’s snarling and woofing like she’s auditioning for The Exorcist 7. But once she calms down, it’s actually touching. Hal the doofus has his best moment all season when he tells her she made sure he was okay plenty of times; now it’s his turn to make her okay. The other good scene is Tom arguing human history with the Volm commander. As silly as that might sound, it’s decently written. The Volm Commander even seems a little sympathetic. We may be losers, but we’re spirited losers.

Naturally, the Volm Commander decides to let the 2nd Mass do whatever it wants as long as we stay out of his way. Cochise returns all of the unit’s weapons. He even gives Tom a Volm weapon as a parting gift. He’s a swell guy, that Cochise.

That leaves only two more storylines to close out. Fortunately, they dovetail. Specifically, Karen shows up with a white flag and offers to help the humans against the Volm. She even says she has a gift to show her sincerity. We all know it’s Anne and Alexis, since nobody believed it was their bodies in that ludicrous tortilla. Tom doesn’t wait to find out, though. He just shoots her. Her one Mech and three Skitters are useless, pretty much the Espheni life story after they conquered the entire planet in an afternoon.

So Karen is dead. That’s one truly absurd plotline down, although I’ll miss the jokes. Then, of course, Anne and Alexis show up. But, inquiring minds want to know? What was the point of kidnapping them in the first place? And why did Karen pretend they were dead in that tortilla thing, since that cost her any leverage from holding them in the first place? And why, if the alien-human hybrid child (which has never been explained) was important enough to kidnap, would you just give them back to the people you already made think they were dead? I could make a sexist comment about logic and seventeen-year-old girls, but instead I’ll just chalk it up to bad writing. I think the average seventeen-year-old girl would have given a better accounting of herself than Karen.

Is anyone shocked that Lexy now looks 4-5 years old? Or that she magically cures Lourdes’ eye work infection? Without even applying a topical ointment. That’s what a generic star child will do for you.

Overall, disjointed and poorly thought out, with a few decent moments. That’s been the tale of Season 3, and the finale is true to its lineage.

Will Conservative Like This?

I don’t know. It’s relentlessly mediocre, but I suppose we can always hold out hope for the new creative team in Season 4.