Falling Skies "Be Silent and Come Out" Review: HAL 9000
Still fresh from his plane crash/Homeward Bound routine, Tom freaked out about his missing baby mamma and tried to get a search party together to accompany him on one of his misguided adventures. Marina shot it down and wanted to argue about the giant Volm space cannon some more, but luckily, Evil Hal got bored with being nice, snapped, and took his daddy hostage, thus sparing us from the epic time-suck that circle of an argument would've become because Tom is right. Of course Tom is right. He's Tom Effing Mason and the Masons are basically Falling Skies' messiahs.
That mindset is exactly what's made Pope so delightful this season. In three seasons, John Pope has grown from our token antagonist—the one who will contradict our hero at every turn simply because he's selfish/cowardly/shallow/etc.—to a crabby and cynical voice of reason on a show that wants to be a gritty apocalyptic drama. (But not too gritty; because, like, shouldn't gas and bullets be getting harder to find as we move further and further away from the fall of civilization? Those things just never seem to be an issue anymore.)
Despite the fact that so much of what Pope says and does is born from his crunchy "me first" persona, Falling Skies has done an exemplary job of making New Charleston's resident roughneck a deliciously complicated character. He'll proclaim his IDGAF philosophy, only to immediately turn around and prove just how much he does care about the people around him and the idea of a cause greater than himself. He's taken a shine to Matt, and sure, in the beginning, part of that relationship was based on Pope's desire to annoy Tom by being Matt's shiny new favorite person, but as we saw in Tom's interaction with Hal in "Be Silent and Come Out," Tom hasn't always given his sons the support they need—and that's been the case since before the Espheni invaded. Pope takes his mentorship of Matt seriously, and while he isn't a flawless father figure himself, he's managed to fill in where Tom has failed.
In "Be Silent and Come Out," Pope's cynicism took on a more meta angle: His complaints about the special treatment the Masons routinely receive were valid, even if his delivery was on the crass side with the LOL DEAD POOL <3. His confrontation with Weaver while Tom did his hostage routine voiced a lot of things I myself have considered while watching Falling Skies: The attitude that the Masons couldn't possibly be compromised is prevalent, even though Tom, Ben, and now Hal have all been subjected to alien mind-meddling in the past. Tom's tunnel vision concerning the Volm is alarming considering how, in the past, he was portrayed as a rather thoughtful character who routinely questioned authority figures and outsiders alike. Tom's change in personality could be the result of constantly running and fighting a seemingly superior enemy for so long, but it could also just be a corner that Falling Skies has written itself into.
For every ailment the humans are stricken with, the rebel Skitters and the Volm have shown up in the nick of time with a handy-dandy Fix-It Felix to make everything better. Oh, sure, the glowy egg thing might kill Hal instead of cure him because of the massive physical differences between humans and Skitters—but probably not, because it's Hal. He's special. All of the Masons are special. Ben is the poster child for Skitter/Human cooperation. Tom is the always-wise, always-right, moral compass and mastermind of the new United States. Maggie covered for Hal's bizzare and painfully obvious behavior. Weaver was adamant that no one should try to kill or incapacitate Hal to save Tom, but like Pope said, if it had been anyone else in Charleston who was wreaking havoc and having gross rapey sex with Karen in the woods, they'd have been wasted by now. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
After the magical Skitter egg cleansed Hal of the mind-control glitter gunk, he claimed not to remember anything. Even even though I'm not at all convinced that he killed Manchester, it will be interesting to see whether Pope's suspicion about Hal's possible involvement being hand-waved despite what currently looks like some damning evidence—is true. In fact, seeing as Hal was on the Mason Family Search Party that set out to find Annie and Creepy Alexis and no one said boo about it, I'm guessing the hand-waving is exactly what happened.
The thing is, though, like I said, I don't think Hal actually killed Manchester. So the hand-waving is annoying, but not a deal-breaker, and as a bonus, the Masons actually had to face some freaking consequences when Tom had to resign his presidency in order to go on his little rescue scavenger hunt. This left Marina in charge, which could be awesome if she's the mole like I think she is.
Please let her be the real mole. Please, please, please.
I mean, she was really eager to get Hal's head blown off this week—all the better to cover up the evidence, right? Plus she's been a total nebshit about the Volm weapon since pretty much forever. We're all curious, but she's been downright sneaky. Also, there's no way Hal could have killed Manchester because he was waiting for his alien stepsister to grace us with her (unwelcome) presence. Also also, whoever killed Manchester had a meeting with him; why would Hal have a meeting with him? It would make more sense for someone in Marina's position to meet with him and maintain democrazy inaction.
Yep, it's totally Marina. And now she's in charge. Sweet.
No alien baby and the end of brainwashed Hal? BEST EPISODE OF THE SEASON. Well, not really. Not even close, but those are two very big positives for me so I call it a win. What did you think?
– Kudos to Drew Roy for his alternately hilarious and terrifying take on Batshit Crazy Hal. It was unsettling. I mean that as a compliment.
– Do we like Matt's weird little curly faux-hawk? I think I do, but I'm kind of amused by all of the clean-shaven, well-coiffed survivors walking around in their rubble-strewn, alien-occupied wasteland.
– So... a few weeks ago, the "real" president from pre-invasion was confirmed to be alive and in power. Why does no one care where he is these days? Why are Tom and Marina still calling themselves the President(s) of the New United States? Shouldn't they have downgraded themselves to governors or something? Are we not allying with Hathaway? I mean, he has Tom's pet Volm, maybe they should respect his authoritahhh for like ten seconds?
– Do you think Marina's the one true mole?
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