Falling Skies "Exodus" Review: Independence Day
Whoooo 'MERICA! USA-USA-USA-USA! A throwback history lesson with Tom and a not-entirely-decisive-but-still-pretty-awesome victory for the humans made "Exodus" an exciting and engaging addition to the series and an appropriate episode to air during the holiday weekend. Even those apparent moments of defeat for key characters—Annie passing out, Matt taking the hit for his ladyfriend at Espheni Youth Camp, and Hal losing a few good people during their escape—were colored with touches of optimism that made the losses easier to swallow.
Despite being headed for probable torture and reprogramming, Matt was found by Cochise, who is, theoretically, plotting some sort of rescue. Annie decided to subsist on air and tunnel-vision determination instead of food, so she took a nap for most of the episode, but woke up and wandered into her missing daughter's creepy commune... which is probably going to backfire for her eventually, but for now, yay for a mother-daughter reunion! And finally, Hal actually got to do something this week! No longer the brash, daredevil hero of earlier seasons, Hal is now a seasoned veteran of the war with the Espheni. He's lost some of the energy and optimism of the old days and tends to feel any loss, regardless of size, as an insurmountable failure on his part (not that watching any of his charges get killed is a minor loss, but we tend to not pay too much attention to the "red shirts" padding the ranks of the 2nd Mass, you know?). Tom pointing out that most of Hal's people surviving the exodus from their prison in the face of terrible odds was still something to be proud of despite the losses was a touching return to the fledgling optimism that has always run beneath the surface of Falling Skies' often dreary situations.
But "Exodus" was certainly not all rainbows and sunshine. Given the depressing blows dealt to the 2nd Mass in just the first couple episodes of Season 4, I wasn't entirely convinced that Tom and the gang would pull off their escape, but in the spirit of revolution, even with all the snags and glitches, their mission went (mostly) as planned. We even got to see Pope in a janky Iron Man suit doing one of those randomly altruistic things that allows Tom to justify keeping him around for a little while longer.
That status-quo shake-up of "Exodus" will have a lasting impact on the rest of Falling Skies' fourth season, especially with Annie's arrival in Lexie's camp. Ben and Maggie's snooping has already upset the balance and, Lexie claims, thrust everyone who's under her care into danger once again. Whether or not Lexie is on to something or just playing everyone remains to be seen, but regardless, Annie's newfound presence in Lexie's life is going to change the landscape and certainly the dynamic between Lexie and her family. At the end of the day, despite his technical "older brother" status, Ben has never been seen as an authority figure in Lexie's life in the same way that her mother is, at least in theory. At the same time, Lexie is seen as an authority herself in the commune and, as we've seen, it's usually (keyword: usually) not Lexie you have to worry about when questioning her authority, it's her fanbase—except for that whole breaking-Maggie's-wrist thing this week, but that's new, and random, and WTF LEXIE?
While we're on the subject of WTF LEXIE, what do you think is going on with everyone's favorite human/alien hybrid? I still really want to give her the benefit of the doubt (and also, I'm kind of sick of never being able to trust anyone on this show) that she's sincere, and I'll even waive the bone-smashing as mind-control or something because, frankly, Lexie looked just as startled as everyone else at what happened with Maggie. But then again, Falling Skies has a bit of a precedent set when it comes to evil females.
Whatever, I'm still so excited for this season that it's stupid.
– Lol, they built an Iron Man suit.
– Does anybody else kind of chuckle at Ben's "BUT SHE'S STILL MY SISTER" routine? I mean, dude, she's less than a year old and you barely know each other and chances are that she's a monster who's been sent to destroy you all. You have literally zero reason to trust her but kudos for being into the whole unconditional love thing.
– MATT. I love Matt's storyline so far and his evolution as a character. I love that he's cunning and capable in his own right and no longer Tom Mason's child-damsel.
What'd you think of "Exodus"?
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