There was a lot to like about "Till Death Do Us Part"—even the wackadoodle cracktastic moon-mission storyline that was just ridiculous enough to work.
However, there was also a lot to not like, including pretty much everything related to the Ben-Maggie-Hal triangle of awful and the utterly predictable scenes with Matt's little friend from Alien Hitler Youth Camp and the LOL SURPRISE WEAPONS CACHE! that the Volm just forgot to mention for half the season. There's good ridiculous and there's bad ridiculous, and there several moments during "Till Death Do Us Part" when the balance was decidedly off.
Still: WYLIE IN SPAAAACE.
Also in the good column? Pope and Sarah's spat was a display of domestic drama that fit well within this season's efforts to showcase life in the 2nd Mass beyond all the cowboys-and-aliens stuff. Dealing with an addiction in the middle of an alien invasion is probably a total suckfest... but it's also the sort of suckfest that countless people are faced with in the real world, so it adds a colorful detail to the increasingly complex universe of Falling Skies. Sarah and Pope's relationship has been elevated to the same status as the series' other big romances, which hopefully means we're going to see more of them as a couple. Pope was already pretty interesting, and while we were already aware of the secret caring-and-sharing side of his personality, Sarah gives him someone to actively care and share for on a daily basis, which offers a nice respite from endless disaster-forcing-Pope-to-be-nice scenarios.
The everyday mundane of the 2nd Mass makes for good storytelling even within less-than-stellar storylines. Ben-Maggie-Hal is terrible for a variety of reasons; Love triangles blow, and Ben is like a minor—if Earth still had laws against that sort of thing, I think Maggie would have some splainin' to do. The fact that Maggie wasn't reciprocating Ben's feelings until her spike transplant just adds another level of creepy rapeyness. However, Maggie's sudden fish-out-of-water status makes for some prime drama fodder, and there's nothing wrong with bestowing a few superpowers on her, either. The transplanted spikes raise some promising potential for life after the Espheni invasion (because, duh, the humans are totally going to win in the end) and the numerous applications for all the shiny alien tech that's going to be laying around are an unavoidable reality of how the world works now. As Falling Skies prepares to enter its fifth and final season, these are the considerations that have to be made. The end is nigh, and there's no going back.
Meanwhile, Tom and Annie's battlefield wedding was appropriately understated within the context of its surroundings, and the suddenness of it illustrates the constant threat of total annihilation that the surviving humans are dealing with. Watching Mommy and Daddy bicker about Lexie's potential for evil wouldn't've remained tolerable for much longer. Both parties made good points—and you really have no idea how thankful I am that Falling Skies' scribes wrote Tom as conflicted but pragmatic about the situation instead of just plopping him down the "Masons are never evil" bandwagon.
Lexie had the potential to drive a very serious wedge between Tom and Annie, as we saw last season and at various points throughout this season as more and more people concluded that Annie was losing her shit; those growing sentiments culminated in the open animosity that was on display for the first half of "Till Death do us Part." Their wedding—which came at the end of an episode that saw both of them struggling to cope in the wake of "losing" a child—was one of the more modest, but no less important, victories our heroes have earned as of late.
On a show that routinely explores what makes up the thing we call humanity, Tom and Annie's marriage is a prime example of the compassion, cooperation, and love that can survive even in the face of overwhelming hardship and uneasy personal conflict. Their nuptials offered a very simple, very human moment in the middle of the alien onslaught. Life can't be the same as it was pre-Espheni, but these small bursts of normalcy ensure that our humans are still doing what they can to salvage the lives they've lost.
Putting aside all the ridiculous and cringeworthy Ben/Hal/Maggie stuff, "Till Death Do Us Part" ended on a high note with a strong finish that established what the newest phase of the fight against the Espheni will be. You guys, we're going to the freaking moon.
– LOL @ Matt saying "Don't make me regret this" because you knew—we all knew—that he would immediately "regret this."
– "Why do you think they built a power source on the moon?" Gee, I don't know Hal, maybe because you guys have a habit of sabotaging their weapons of mass destruction when they're on Earth?
– I freaking love Cochise.
– After mastering the cold, creepy camp counselor gig all season long, the end of Team Leader really sold us on how, at the end of the day, he was really just a terrified teenager. Bravo, Dakota Daulby.
What did you think of "Till Death Do Us Part?" How do you feel about all this moon madness?
AIRED ON 8/31/2014
Season 4 : Episode 12