Falling Skies: "Hatchlings" (Season 5, Episode 3)

Flabbergasted

I'm kind of miffed tonight. Falling Skies managed to craft a plot arc that has potential, only to dispense with it as an afterthought in order to stumble around with yet another incompetent Espheni overlord. Oh, well. At least they're promising to leave the current dramatically strip-mined locale behind by the end. I never thought I'd say this, but hooray for Fayetteville!

North Carolina, that is. Sorry Arkansas.  

The arc with potential was finally doing something with that whole human-Skitter hybrid thing. We actually got to see one of those creatures close-up tonight, with the camera in focus for once, and it was a decent effect. Got some decent angst as well between him and his still human sister. That could have gone somewhere. Alas, I guess they don't have the budget for more than a minute of decent special effects.

The hackneyed arc was demonstrating one more time how Espheni Overlords are conceited and stupid. That really is no way to go through life, with apologies to Animal House.

Let's see... Tom is continuing to have hallucinations. Lacking power, the Espheni have resorted to breeding an endless stream of Skitters and Skitter hornets to overwhelm the humans. Just think how useful doing that might have been back when they still had power. Like I said, the Espheni are stupid.

The Volm are coordinating all the militias on Earth to finish off the Espheni. They let Tom give some kind of Independence Day speech over the Volm Internet, too. Afterwards, the Volm explain how they can see everything the Espheni are doing except for a couple of grey blobs o a map and a big grey blob around Washington D. C. I guess that's the Federal bureaucracy. It proved invulnerable even to space invaders.

That South African guy's makeshift drone poisons an entire valley of Skitters. Wow, that was easy.

Tom has Ben make a really crummy drawing of the figure he's seeing in his hallucinations, then asks Cochise to ID it. I didn't catch the name of the alien race. Turns out it's supposedly an extinct race, the one from which the Espheni originally created Skitters. So this is where Brian the hybrid and his sister, whom we met last week, could become interesting. Maggie makes a big deal out of letting her spikes glow long enough for the tortured mutant to tell his sister that he loves her. Anyone else think tying this into Tom's hallucinations might be a good idea? Maybe have a real alien character open a door our heroes can't see.

Nah. Brian escapes with his sister and runs into, you guessed it, an Espheni overlord who takes control of him. Hal and Maggie are chasing after them. The Overlord takes control of Maggie as well. Fortunately Tom sneaks up from behind and stabs the Overlord multiple times with a simple knife. And why is that class?

Because Espehni Overlords are uniformly stupid and incompetent. Correct.

Still under mind control, Brian the hybrid mortally wounds his sister by accident, then shoots himself in the head. C'est la vie. Hal and Maggie drag the hapless Overlord back to the 2nd Mass on an old tarp they found somewhere. Dignity, thy name is not Espheni.

It probably would have been easier to just roll him.

Hundreds of Skitters race down a country road. Pope and Sara, that girl played by Mira Sorvino walk alongside the road in blatantly inadequate tree cover. The Skitters don't notice them. The whole point of this interlude is for Sara to get caught in some alien fast contact cement that came from a burned out artichoke. Yes, that literally is what happened. Pope races for home base to bring back a flamethrower. Since he's apparently going to use it on the stuff she's caught in, I fail to see how that's a viable solution for saving Sara.

Ben and Maggie team up their spikes to read the mind of the hapless Espheni Overlord while he's beaten with a crowbar. Honestly, the Espheni are pretty much just punch lines at this point. They need to be put out of their misery. Anyway, Ben and Maggie discover the location of the Skitter breeding factory, and Tom and company are off to destroy it until...

Pope shows up demanding the one working truck in order to bring a flamethrower to save Sara by burning her up. Tom says that there's not a second to lose in destroying the Skitter breeding factory; Sara must take second place. He drives off leaving Pope to run back several miles with a flamethrower. This is a bad call because...

The Skitter breeding factory is totally lame. It's a couple of vats of goo in what looks like the remains of a feed store. A couple machine gun bursts and three easily placed bombs finish that off before you even notice anything happen. Meanwhile, Pope arrives to find Sara being eaten alive by alien insects. He fires the flamethrower at her, which kills the bugs but not her, which is not how flamethrowers work. There is no sharpshooting with them.

I guess Pope's final moment with Sara is touching. Or as touching as your final moments can be with someone trapped in alien goo who you just tried to burn up and who has a menacing artichoke looming over their shoulder. Somehow Tom knew where to drive to in the middle of the wilderness so that he could arrive just as Sara expires. So long Mira Sorvino.

The captive Espehni overlord dies, too. He gets shot, although I imagine he was about to die of embarrassment anyway. Pope looks pissed at the 2nd Mass campfire.

On to D.C. is the word for the day. By way of Fayetteville for some reason.

Okay. Hooray for Fayetteville. Hopefully it has a more interesting class of rubble.  

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