The word I would use for this episode is “horrific”. That’s not a description of the episode’s quality; rather, the events depicted in the episode, the logical progression of everything up to this point, are nothing short of horrific. As expected, Szura has anticipated quite a bit, and that means that Russell and Underlay are seriously behind the curve. Despite some minor victories, Szura’s plan is working out, at least in terms of what he had predicted.
That part is bad enough. I had a feeling that the humans were going to be herded into shelters by the hybrids, but it was a lot more subtle than that. Underlay basically gave them all they needed to look like official responders to the new and “unexpected” hurricane disaster, and that gave them tremendously easy access. That’s a nice touch, because it lets them cut to the even darker side of the story.
Even if I saw the whole “mass conversion” coming, the circumstances were fairly brutal. Again, the only word that comes to mind is horrific. After all, some of the humans were rejected already based on health issues, and it’s clear that they will not be allowed to remain. In essence, the humans are being slaughtered en masse. I didn’t expect the series to show even this much, so I’m very impressed.
Adding to the horror aspects would be the “maternity ward”. This demonstrates the strength of the storytelling this season. Nearly everything that happened to Christina has foreshadowed later revelations, and now her pregnancy comes into play. I can’t see any way for the women to survive, since as Mariel says (confirming a few things I said previously), Christina wasn’t likely to survive labor. Szura recognizes that the survival of his people is in jeopardy as a result, even if the “litters” mean that the loss of mothers will be more than mitigated by the subsequent population explosion.
Dave’s part of the plot was a nice touch, because it’s easy to dismiss a threat to large groups. Until the very end, the threat was generalized. Dave’s plight kept the actual invasion on the personal level. It also demonstrated that some of the hybrids could be convinced that co-existence with humans is possible.
I can’t see how Underlay and Russell can stop what’s coming, but perhaps Szura made a serious mistake by allowing Russell to help Mariel with the “maternity room”. Even if they can’t stop all the humans from being killed, they could bring the conversions to a standstill by threatening to destroy the newborns. It’s a harsh solution, and I’m not sure that Russell and Mariel would be willing to kill, but this is essentially a war now. And in times of war, horrific decisions sometimes have to be made. Would Szura be willing to lose the next generation of hybrids just to win this battle?
This episode shows just how far the series has come since what many perceived as a slow start. I feel that the slow start was exactly what the writers needed. It makes the impact of Szura’s endgame far more potent. I can’t believe where this story has gone, and I’m very hopeful that there will be another season to see where they can take it next.