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Falling Skies S04E05 "Mind Wars"

Well, I mean, I think we all saw that coming. Annie's Espheni hostage with a weird affection for her hybrid daughter was revealed to be one of Lexie's daddies in the least mind-blowing revelation ever. After the general awesome that was last week's "Evolve or Die," this week's "Mind Wars" was a little bit of a letdown in places, but certainly not when it came to examining the longterm effects of life under the Espheni occupation. Matt struggled to be a good soldier while maintaining his humanity and whatever remains of his innocence. His philosophy lessons with Tom and Weaver contrasted sharply with Annie's more rigid view of "the enemy." Despite her daughter's pleas and even the 2nd Mass's past experiences with rebel skitters, unharnessed children, and the Volm, Annie is currently incapable of accepting that the Espheni that's tied up in her torture chamber could possibly be a good—or at least slightly-less-bad—guy. And while you can't really blame her, if it turns out that Lexie and her "father" are telling the truth about his intentions, Annie's unwillingness to accept any Espheni as possible allies could prove to be a costly error for humanity's leadership. 

Of course, the dude's totally (probably) lying his face off. Harmless allies don't essentially take people hostage, refuse to cooperate, and then escape with the help of their creepy science experiment of a daughter who may or may not be the target of endless manipulation from pretty much everyone. 

I'm just saying. 

On Friday, TNT announced that while Falling Skies will return for a fifth season, that season will be the series' last, which will force it to focus as the expiration date becomes a little more concrete and shines a different light on every episode that remains. "Mind Wars" was a very retrospective episode in terms of Tom and his sons. Time is a flighty thing on almost any television series, but we know that the humans have been resisting the Espheni occupation for years at this point. Food, fuel, and other supplies that have always been scarce are starting to disappear entirely. With the Espheni offering food, shelter, and a "future" in exchange for willing collaboration from the humans, what constitutes an enemy these days is complicated. It's true that we've seen humans fighting other humans in the past, but we've never seen humans fighting other humans for the aliens. This certainly complicates Annie's worldview—we've seen mind-controlled humans working for the Espheni, and we've seen manipulated and brainwashed humans doing the Espheni's dirty work, but we've only rarely (if at all) seen human beings rationalizing the situation and deciding that partnering with the alien overlords might actually be the better idea. 


Tom's comments to and about Matt add further credence to the idea that time is running out for the 2nd Mass. Matt was eight when the Espheni invaded, a child in every sense of the word. He's grown tremendously in recent seasons, especially this season, but he's still, for all intents and purposes, a child. While I was 90 percent sure that, despite the implications of "Mind Wars'" promo, Matt Mason was totally not going to waste another human, there was that lingering 10 percent that thought, maybe. There isn't a single prominent character on Falling Skies who hasn't lost someone or something precious, and in a world where there's seldom any time to properly mourn or cope, those losses add up and they mutate. In Annie's case, or that of Tom's bumbling captors or (almost) Matt, people have found themselves driven to do some pretty ugly things, and it seems that after several seasons of fighting the good fight and always being on the run, Falling Skies is prepared to explore that. The situation on Earth is getting increasingly desperate, for both the humans and the Espheni, and desperation drives some serious drama. 

Matt's innocence gets to survive another week, but Lexie's has been called further into question following her assist in Daddy Overlord's escape. For all of her talk about family and trust and her pleas for Annie to not make her choose between her human familyand her Espheni family, Lexie seems to choose the Espheni side a lot. She referred to the Espheni as "also" being her father, which I guess means she is actually Tom's kid, but has she ever asked about Tom, even once, in all this time? Or Matt? Or Hal? Her concern for the human cousins seems to only extend as far as keeping them in line with what the Espheni want. She may say she doesn't want to choose, but in actuality, she chooses between them quite a bit, and she's pretty consistent. 

After a pair of surprisingly optimistic episodes, "Mind Wars" favored the glass-half-empty philosophy regarding life in the trenches. Matt may not've had to shed any blood, but his experience in freeing his father was hardly a positive one. You can't win them all, right?  



NOTES

– Maggie and Ben aren't inching toward being a thing, are they? Isn't that a little skeevy?

– What did you think of "Mind Wars?"

 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/31/2014

Season 4 : Episode 12

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