Falling Skies "Exodus" Review: Independence Day

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jul 07, 2014

Falling Skies S04E03:  "Exodus"


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. 



NOTES 

– 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"?


  • Comments (52)
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  • miroozy 2 days ago

    I was a big fan of "Falling Skies" til I watched the first 3 episodes of the 4th season, what was that ?
    1-Lexi turned from brown American Indian into some fair Ukrainian chick ? and with massive super powers, like she turned into a super monk or something ? drawing on air ? are you kidding me ? and what's wrong with Lourdes ? I wanna shoot her badly !
    2- A Nazi brainwash school ? really ? what happened to the eye worms ?
    3-Ghetto's ? why not shoot'em up all and end the war !
    4-Anne is the new leader ? was the writer drunk or what ?
    the show is turning from a sci-fi thriller into a fantasy, I wouldn't be surprised if we found unicorns and dragons in the next episodes !!

  • ParanoidAndroid Jul 13, 2014

    And I gave up on this show. That's amazing, from a pretty enticing 3 seasons to 4 episodes into the new season and boom. It went out of the window. Who is the drunk monkey who decided to write this story line, out of nowhere?

  • DenverJordaan Jul 09, 2014

    Proudly South African!

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 08, 2014

    Hey Maryann, this is probably my favorite review from you so far. I liked it so much I give you a heart.

    I pretty much agree with everything you say. After two not so good episode of Falling Skies this season, I am glad we had a good one.

    I liked the optimism here, the small victories and the reunion.

    This breakout mission keep me on edge. I nearly thought they would not make it out. The MVP for this episode have to be Pope. This is one episode I liked Pope the best considering he is usually a jerk.

    Now I am excited for the first time this season for the next one.

  • kanniballl Jul 08, 2014


    I don't think the Espheni are "nice guys" but we have to remember... they are aliens. And with aliens come completely different thought processes and completely different ideas about morality... assuming they have morality at all. Ends justify the means might just be an axiom to them.

    That maybe just wiping out most of a planet and taking its resources and X% of its inhabitants as conscripts is easier than dealing with newbies.

    Maybe they tried the diplomatic approach and found it lacking.

    • There's a big monster coming. No, we're not making it up.
    • It's really bad and will destroy your world and everyone else's. No you can't talk to it.
    • We know what we're doing and we need to work together, no your idea of putting an exhaust port there is stupid.
    • What the hell is a line item veto?!?! No we will not pay for your "bridge to nowhere" so you approve this.
    • Screw it... all your base belong to us!
    As mentioned by Cochise, most planets fall pretty quickly to the Espheni. So on the average planet, instead of wasting 5 years trying to convince some primitive culture to be allies they said "Eff this" and just wiped out 75% of the planet in 1 year and took the other 25% as soldiers and moved on.

  • kanniballl Jul 08, 2014

    Again, I'm not saying they're good... or that they're even telling the truth.

    But if they are telling the truth, in their culture maybe what they're doing is kosher.

  • erickson55345 Jul 08, 2014

    Are you familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? You could probably assume that allsentient beings share the lowest levels (survival, shelter, etc), but from there could vary wildly and in unfathomable ways to others outside the same societal background.

    That would be a cool Sci-Fi premise - interplanetary diplomacy starts with a brief recap of each side's H.o.N. and you can cut to the chase right away to know if you're going to be at peace, war or avoidance with the other side...

  • cooj Jul 08, 2014

    Wow, where to begin...

    Last week, I thought the Espheni letting TM see the schematics of the zeppelin power grid and the location of the skitter horde was some sort of set-up; now I see I'm supposed to believe the Espheni really ARE that stupid.
    Coda is not the worst Led Zepp album; The Song Remains the Same is.
    How is Lourdes still alive?
    I can't decide if Lexie is supposed to be Children of the Damned, Daenerys Targaryen, or Aurora/Storm.
    Why TF doesn't someone say, out loud, to the overlords or to Rolfe at the Hitler Youth camp, "If you wanted allegiance with us to fight our 'common enemy', why did you kill all of us?!?" It's an obvious question that, surely, SOMEone would offer.
    Once again, as I predicted two weeks ago, Pope was made an outsider in order to give him a chance to prove he's not. It's getting old.
    Since the beginning of the series, the weakest part has been TM's insufferable quasi-inspirational speeches. Could we PLEASE have an episode without one? Noah Wyles' self-indulgence is making this show increasingly hard to watch.
    Ben's unconditional devotion to his 1-year-old half-sister, who is a freaky alien hybrid allied with the aliens who killed his mother and have repeatedly tried to kill his father and full brothers, is just weird.
    Where can I find MOB sunglasses?

  • woz22 Jul 08, 2014

    Ho Hum another day at camp stupid if it wasn't for the cast and the set up I would give up , are we lead to believe that alien big heads couldn't just shot tom mason or released the Mechs instead of the Skeeters. Who by the way kills OAP's at alarmly rate also agree on the comment below lourdes has to go and never argue with a half breed alien or u get a chinese burn LOL .

    So what happens now that big alien lost their camp now how about they capture humans and put harness on them or kill them. The hitler camp has the parents evening already which was nice why doesn't the mason kid do a runner ? This show needs to kill main characters otherwise it will go the same way as revolution playing it safe. I will now watch Under the Dome which at least is more dramatic and thrilling then this LOL by the way viewers recommended to be intoxicated to get through this !

  • crenshawdk Jul 08, 2014

    Lourdes has to go!

  • katerinananai Jul 08, 2014

    I think that lexi is just confused ... the espheni spend more time with her than her mother ,and so they get to her more easily...she's gonna have a battle with her feelings trying to choose one side or another and i hope at the end she is going 2 do the right thing...and probably die??

  • KevinG87 Jul 08, 2014

    this season is so ridiculous, I'm very close to just giving up on the show. it's gotten progressively worse storywise

  • aeverhart139 Jul 08, 2014

    I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who sees how weird it is. It seems so off... like even the dialog doesn't even feel like them. I don't find myself as emotional invested and that sucks. it's not slowing down to pause and allow us to absorb, that has always been done so well. Special moments, of warmth and patriotism is missing. Yea the mom and daughter was the only one, but even that needed to linger more. Edited that wrong. Tom's inspirational moments, you can't just throw history facts at him and poof it's golden, it's not written to the heigth it once was. I'm sad.

  • woz22 Jul 08, 2014

    patriotism , inspirational this is one of GWBushes speeches ?

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