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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"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/31/2014

Season 4 : Episode 12

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