Falling Skies: "Drawing Straws" (Season 4, Episode 10)



Use the Light in Your Mind, Luke. The Light in Your Mind will be with you always, Luke…   um, I mean Lexi.

Yeah, it’s that blatant. Lexi’s a Jedi now. She’s mastered The Light in Her Mind, which allows her to tap into the atomic structure behind all forces. No word on the midichlorian count yet. But at least she does get to kill her tall, skinny Yoda. 

Intermittently both entertaining and dumb, this episode is a mixed bag. We open with the aforementioned Lexi having a nightmare where Ben is being mutilated into some kind of Skitter thing. Then we cut to our stalwarts of the 2nd Mass. They're trying to figure out how to fly their Espheni Beamer. It’s a nice enough alien-looking set inside the Beamer, except now it’s time to get dumb again.

Matt Mason, Tom’s youngest son, is suddenly a rebellious teen in this episode. He’s a real jerk, complaining about something in every scene he gets. He’s pissed that Tom won’t let him touch random stuff all over the Beamer, so he sneaks back into it when everyone else is taking a break. He starts randomly touching stuff until he discovers an entire secret steering console. Does a little pitch and yaw, too.

Sure he does.

Espheni Gandalf is giving another lesson to Lexi. She feels all the atoms in the world in order to throw a big tree, or burn it, or blow it up. Or something. It was a bad special effect. Espheni Gandalf says she is singularly gifted, the Bringer of Piece with The Light in Her Mind, who also happens to be buying The Load of S**t. Lexi asks how strong she can become and is told that depends on how disciplined she is.

You must complete your training, Luke… um, er, Lexi.     

Cochise the Volm picks up some broadcast in Spanish. The resident Spanish speaker in the crowd translates it as a warning. The ghettos are being emptied and the Espheni have a new weapon to capture human fugitives. Anyone listening should hide, not fight back. Because this is the end (cue scary music). And let’s have a nice round of applause for our unknown Spanish narrator. Muchas gracias.

That news report leads to silly arguments about whether the 2nd Mass should still go to the moon, or whether they should go hide in a cave somewhere. As always, Tom wins the crowd over to the side of hope (a thing with feathers). They will destroy the Espheni power source on the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because the moon is cool and caves suck, and because we’ve got a two-hour finale next week and we’re darn sure not spending it in some freaking cave! So basically, this season is ending in a carbon copy of last season. We’re going to go destroy some magic Espheni thing, with the moon replacing Boston as the locale. That’s a step in the right direction for a science fiction show, though, right?

Now  it’s time for a gratuitous complication. Some tentacles spew in the Beamer, leading Cochise to conclude the Beamer has a built in defense mechanism that activates if it detects a Volm presence. So the guy everyone was counting on to fly this sucker to the moon can’t make the trip. Fortunately, Cochise does have a backup suggestion. He thinks if they can just get the Beamer up into the atmosphere that automated Espheni signals will then take over and direct it to the moon.

Sure they will.

So who will fly the thing now? With the fate of humanity at stake, that seems like a question to be decided by training and skill sets relative to the critical mission requirements, don’t you think? Nope. The 2nd Mass decides to have a lottery. They’ll draw names and whoever chance selects is going to be flying a Beamer up into the atmosphere, hope an Espheni GPS takes over, and then maneuver it in combat to blow up a lot of stuff. And if that lottery happens to pick a hooker and a drunk, so be it.

I’m flashing back to Battlestar Galactica now. Maybe humanity doesn’t actually deserve to survive.

For once, Tom can’t sway the crowd. That’s because he’s gobsmacked by the sheer idiocy of this idea. All he can really say is “are you people out of your ****ing minds?” Sorry, the village has spoken. We’re going to put names in a hat and draw them out, and that's that. They don’t have a handy hat, though, so they settle on some kind of cracked rock thing from the debris.

Of course Matt wants in on the draw. Tom explains to him that, at 13, he’s not even old enough to drive, let alone fly an alien spaceship to the moon. Matt has a fit because he’s rebellious in this episode. And to be fair, we really don’t know the Espheni policy on Learner’s Permits.

Espheni Gandalf has another one of those virtual conference calls with another Espheni Overlord on the lava-filled planet from Hell. They discuss Lexi and her growing powers. In quick order, they note what a pile of BS the whole “Bringer of Peace,” thing is, cop to their actual nefarious purposes (lots of death and destruction), and finish with the other Overlord ordering Lexi's death. She’s just too dangerous: “We bombed these people back to the Stone Age, so it maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to create some all powerful Star Child they could possibly turn against us if she ever realizes how obviously evil we are.” Naturally, Lexi is eavesdropping. Good thing, too. How else could The Light in Her Mind have ever clued her into the fact that the guys blowing up everything and killing everyone are interested in death and destruction?

I think we’ve discovered a third side to The Force. It’s the dumb side.

Tom gets to draw names from the rock thing. He palms his own name and pulls it out to make sure he goes on the mission. The other name chosen is Ben. Which leads too… Ben has spikes. Maggie has spikes. Those two crazy kids just can’t control their raging spikes. Hal sees Maggie and Ben kiss again. That’s getting real old real fast.

Lexi kills Espehni Gandalf. I'm pretty sure she just blew him up at the atomic level. Blowed him up real good, as they say.  

Time to launch the Beamer. Naturally that’s when a squadron of Espheni Beamers show up to kick butt. But lo and behold, they all blow up one by one, and who should show up back at the 2nd Mass but Lexi, the prodigal Star Child herself. She’s good again just in the nick of time. How convenient.

It's also fortunate that no one really liked Lourdes anyway.

Can we go to the moon now?