Falling Skies "The Eye" Review: Through the Eyes of a Child

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jun 30, 2014

Falling Skies S04E02: "The Eye"


With everyone's friendly neighborhood vigilante Tom a.k.a. Ghost terrorizing the Espheni guards of the Charleston ghetto, the overlords decided to empty their prisons of Earth's worst criminals in order to track down the mysterious troublemaker because even when humanity is united against a common intergalactic enemy, its worst enemy is usually still humanity. Way to rip one out of The Dark Knight's book, Falling Skies

Then again, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that. 

Regardless, Tom and Weaver are out and about in the ghetto proper now. Lexie is still a cult leader, Matt is still the bad boy of the Espheni Youth—though the Team Leader seems to have raised an eyebrow—and Annie is still a scary momma bear with a gun. 

Last week's "Ghost in the Machine" was a strong start to Falling Skies' fourth season, placing the show's players on the board and kicking off the newest incarnation of the game. "The Eye" expanded on that front, filling in the blanks of the four months that elapsed between the ambush at Charleston and the current state of the 2nd Mass, particularly where Lexie is concerned. 

Now that she's an active part of the story, what once seemed so obvious—that she's an evil alien monster baby—isn't actually the case at all. Based on what Annie's hostage revealed before she stabbed it in the throat, the Espheni believe that Lexie, "the hybrid," is the new key to their planetary takeover. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean Lexie herself is a willing participant in their plan. Despite looking like a twenty-something, Lexie is still, essentially, a child (and a motherless one, no less). 


Dr. Kadar told Ben that at one time, Lexie trusted him and turned to him during the chaos of her random growth spurts... but that was before her allegiance was swayed by Lourdes, who is either overprotective to the point of fanaticism or totes evil and manipulative. Lexie's lack of real-world experience makes her susceptible to outside influences. She wants peace and she clearly loves her family—well, she at least loves Ben—but she's just as clueless about who and what she is as anyone else. It seems that, even to the Espheni, her role in the conflict between the Espheni and the humans is a big question mark. 

Lexie's end-of-the-episode meeting with an Espheni overlord was shocking, but we don't yet know her intentions—or if she's even aware that she's interacting with them. Maybe she's experiencing something similar to Hal's sleepwalking situation? It's probably tied up in her DNA, hence Lourdes being all batty about keeping Kadar away from her. What I find interesting, however—and this will probably ruin the Espheni's day later on—is that so much attention is being paid to Lexie's alien DNA that everyone seems to have forgetten that she's still part human, and the humans haven't exactly been the most cooperative bunch during this invasion and enslavement. Even the Espheni's terrible harnesses were ultimately overcome with a little ingenuity (and Volm interference, but whatever, the humans got there eventually).

The idea of an alien-baby messiah ditching her prophesied role and saving the humans or something adds a sort of magical layer to Falling Skies' mythology that I'm not entirely sure fits, but it also hasn't enraged me yet, so I'll run with it. Lexie is certainly a game-changer and less of a cop-out that the friendly Volm sweeping in to save the day. Four seasons in, I won't say that Falling Skies is an old show, but it's certainly an established show, and after years of battling and never decisively winning, the story was in need of a fresh perspective. That perspective now lies in the details of Lexie's existence as an Espheni/human hybrid and her relationship with the Espheni themselves.


After four seasons, we still know relatively little about the Espheni, even after some handy exposition from the Volm. However, at this point in Falling Skies' run, it's clear that they're not just a mass of mindless killing machines, and that there are individuals among their seemingly endless ranks. We've encountered rebel skitters, and we've encountered mercenary humans. Beneath the surface of the simple human vs. alien conflict is a complex environment born out of warring ideologies and motivations on both sides of the battle line. 

It appears that Falling Skies is finally ready to take a detailed look at its surroundings, which is great for us, the audience, as well as for the show. A human victory was never going to be as simple as kicking the Espheni out and going back to business as usual. The world—the universe—has been changed. There is no going back. When the humans and their allies inevitably eventually defeat the Espheni once and for all, they will still be a part of this larger sentient universe where the potential for another conflict is always on the horizon. I don't think there's a show out there that hasn't benefited from expanding its universe—and its audience's understanding of that universe—particularly in the science-fiction genre, where the possibilities are truly limitless.



NOTES

– So Annie's a little tense.

– I really prefer Child Soldier Matt to Boy Hostage Matt.

–What are your Lexie theories?

–How much longer does Kadar get to live?


What'd you think of "The Eye"?


  • Comments (44)
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  • ParanoidAndroid Jul 02, 2014

    Are you okay, Annie?

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 01, 2014

    Like many others here, I too would like to know who is the new big bad? No mention of that by the reviewer.

    This is one of my favorite show for the past three seasons even with its writing problems. This seasons started off weak. The focus now seems to be on Lexi and I hope Lexi turn out to be a good story. The actress playing her is quite weak too.

  • RobMoore2 Jul 01, 2014

    can they make a tv series where humans are the overlords and we go around taking over worlds and watch the struggles and triumphs of the alien races we try to conquer,
    we all know the human spirit will win over all else, but what about if it things are on the other foot and we arnt they pesky people who refuse to give up, hmmmm might be onto a new tv show,

  • OutrSpaceBonobo Jul 03, 2014

    BSG played a bit with that theme in the ever changing conflict btwn the humans and the Cyclon. Just who were the oppressors and who were the oppressed switched back and forth a bit.

  • LOST-TWD-PP-GOT Jul 03, 2014

    They did, it's called Stargate SG1.

  • compfx Jul 08, 2014

    Actually, no. The Stargate series were about parasitic creatures who took over human hosts and used them to take over other humans. The parasitic creatures were essentially the overlords.

    In the sci fi realm, you actually have to look to the movies to see this scenario of humans taking over another culture played out. It was the premise behind the 2009 movie Avatar.


  • LOST-TWD-PP-GOT Jul 08, 2014

    It was a joke.
    But by the end of the series, Earth was a major player. And they had hunted down the Goa'uld. Though they didn't exactly oppress any alien cultures. But there were humans on other planets, that oppressed the Uni.

    In Star Trek, they had a alternate universe (Mirror, Mirror), they played out through 3 series. The humans began as the oppressors, then after the empire fell, they became the oppressed.

    Farscape is a real good example though. The peacekeepers (humans) oppressed many alien cultures. In Battlestar Galactica, humans created the Cylons as a slave labor force. Of course eventually, the Cylons rebelled.

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 01, 2014

    I doubt any human viewers would want to watch this type of show. Perhaps the aliens will like it :-)

  • hockeyrick Jul 01, 2014

    As silly as this show is, it is better than Vampires!

  • aktarian Jul 01, 2014

    Are Ishveni really afraid of these other big bad guys? Shouldn't Volm know about them? Is Fishead just BSing Tom to get him to get with the program? As others said, if they wanted to enlist humans in their war why open with such massive attack that kills majority of people, enslave most of those who remained, mine planet for resources and then ask humans if they would care to join you.

    Ishveni Youth: ugh. OK, harnesses didn't work because reasons. What made Ishveni think these camps will? At least with harness they had control over children, here children could be BSing them from get go. Either Ishveni are just using hit-and-miss technique or some collaborator proposed this for reasons of their own.

  • DougLangley2890 Jun 30, 2014

    Who is making the Espheni afraid of another alien group outside of the Volm?

  • ravynjensen Jun 30, 2014

    Ok, I take back what I said last week .. I totally got the Lourdes evil vibe in this episode.

  • MandySCG Jun 30, 2014

    Crap, I've got family visiting from out of town, so I missed the 1st episode and most of the 2nd and I don't know if I'll have time to get caught up. The little bit I saw last night was really confusing, especially Lordes and Lexie.

  • LadyJaye13 Jun 30, 2014

    All along I've said Lexie creeps me out. She still does. Even more now. Does anyone else have trouble believing the supposed South African dude? Something about him isn't right. I don't think I like this show anymore I'm just sort of watching to see what happens next. Oh and Maggie and just-awake-Mason? (I can't keep them straight) were totally about to kiss. That's gonna sting Hal.

  • Ninjaandy Jun 30, 2014

    I very much hate what they're doing with Lourdes. She's no longer in the grip of the Espheni, so why is she acting like a Lady Jim Jones? Is it just because she was established in earlier seasons as "religious", and this is what the writers think religious people do?

    If that's the case then as a person of faith, I wish them a hearty "f--- you" and bid them good day. I won't stick around for a view which is a) blindingly ignorant, b) purposely insulting, or c) very poorly explained/dismissed as unimportant.

    You better show us that Lourdes has still got some eye worms in her, Falling Skies. Otherwise we're out of here.

  • OutrSpaceBonobo Jul 03, 2014

    I detested the Lordes character from day one, season one. At least when she was worm infected she didn't walk around with eye-rolling religious observations that came out of nowhere and had no connection to the plot. I thought she was always the worst stereotype of religious people. Like a post-apocalypse version of a Mormon missionary knocking on doors. :)

  • Ninjaandy Jul 03, 2014

    Totally true. She was never a good character, but at least I thought they were going to maybe use her to grapple with something other than "bad aliens are bad" as a driving plot point.

    When it became clear they didn't have anything written on her character sheet other than "IS CRISTIN JEBUS FREAK", I was grateful that they stopped having her around very much.

    But now here she is, displaying the writers' ignorance (or bias) ten times over. Whatever. They can't even keep their own ideas straight; I suppose I shouldn't expect them to give due diligence to anyone else's.

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