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Monday, 28 July 2014

Falling Skies S4E6: Third Door Down.

So, apparently, Espheni Gandalf is being called 'the Sage' now by the humans in show.

Espheni Gandalf it is.

Falling Skies
S4E6: Door Number Three.

This episode opens on candles and heavy breathing, so presumably it's Alexis doing some medita – WAIT A SECOND.




Hal bursts in with a gaping chest wound, and Ben wakes up. It was all a dream. I demand you stop having these dreams, Ben. I'm glad this matter is settled. Anyway, Maggie tells him that – stop touching his leg, Maggie, dream-you has already proven that neither of you can be trusted to go within six feet of each other – Espheni Gandalf has escaped, and they head out to look for him.

Lourdes visits Alexis to inform her of this fact, and Alexis laments that Maggie's strange, brainwashed characterisation in the first episode didn't carry over into the rest of the series. Lourdes claims that she hasn't changed, which – to be honest, Lourdes, I question that assertion. Alexis says that her father is coming, with emphasis on father, and Lourdes immediately assumes Tom.

Lourdes. My sweetling. You're a devout Christian. How often, when Jesus refers to his 'father' does he mean Joseph? Because that is the analogy being drawn here. Alexis is Espheni Jesus.

Sticky Espheni Jesus, apparently, as her skin seems to be skitterising.

After the credits, we get the reunion between – well, a lot of people. Hal and company arrive first, and are saved from two people with guns by Tom, Matt and Dan, and then Ben comes hurrying over, followed by Anne.

The Masons aren't the only ones getting surprised today, as Lourdes brings Alexis some tea only to find out that she's been encased in a pulsating, glowing cocoon. My reaction here would be horror: Lourdes' seems to be one of curiosity and religious fervour.

She's quick to share with a pair of happy Mason parents just how different her definition of 'something amazing' is from the norm. I mean, don't get me wrong, a mammalian being forming a glowing cocoon around themselves does amaze, but not in the sparkly positive way Lourdes seems to think.

Ah, yes, sensitive Lourdes apparently missed that this might upset
the lass' parents.

Anne wants to cut Alexis out immediately, whereas Tom is much more cautious, pointing out that such a thing could be deadly to her. Lourdes, meanwhile, just seems completely confused that they aren't ecstatic: How is she not brainwashed, again?

Hal and Maggie reunite, and Hal – seems to imply that they were broken up in the first episode. You – you weren't, Hal. I saw that episode. You two were a little off with each other, but still together and in love. Ben is apparently rather displeased by their kiss-ish-getting-back-together-I-refuse-to-accept-that-they-were-ever-broken-up shenanigans, and says that Tom wants to see them.

At the cocoon, Kadar compares it to a caterpillar and a butterfly, saying that they're essentially two different creatures, with the butterfly DNA remaining inactive and then slowly activating, urging the caterpillar to create a chrysalis within which the butterfly replaces the caterpillar. Which isn't, I believe, how caterpillars actually become butterflies: It has more to do with extremely rapid mitosis, causing the pupal wing disks to expand rapidly to burst out through the flesh and become wings, before hardening.

Shaq the Volm seems to know something, but even with urging refuses to reveal anything more illuminating than 'it is an Espheni creation'.

Tom says he saw Anne in something similar in the Espheni tower, and Anne says she's been experiencing memories, and Kadar immediately jumps in with 'Oh, hey, I know how to do repressed memory therapy.'

… Okay. Deep breaths. Kadar. My sweetling. What is your field of expertise? A moment ago you were talking about Lepidoptery. Previously, you have talked about Quantum Physics. Last episode, you were taking blood samples and temperature. Now, you are talking about hypnotherapy and psychiatry. Ryouma bloody Sengoku, master of Xenobotany, Xenobiology, Quantum Physics, Archaeology and Engineering, does not have as many fields of study as you.

Omnidisciplinary scientists have to stop.

Just - just stop.

The following memory repression sequence is – bizarre on a medical level, as Kadar accidentally prompts her remember the death of her first son and then going 'Nope, nope, that's good.'

After Anne continues with the treatment, and Tom, Hal and Dan have a heart-to-heart, Hal discovers Maggie rallying the people against Alexis, saying that she's a threat, and that the sanctuary isn't really a sanctuary. Which, you know, is all probably true. Hal isn't angry, though, he wants to know more, and Maggie reveals that Alexis has been meeting with Espheni Gandalf. There's a lot of shock, and Pope calls for Alexis to be killed, only for Tom to appear in full Quiet Tomrage Mode.

Tom shuts down the meeting, in spite of an extra annoying Pope's protests, saying that until they know more, nobody is going to touch Alexis. Tom is also vexed at Hal, and bars him from going anywhere near Lexi.

Ben, meanwhile, tries to talk down Maggie, which apparently includes awkwardly putting the moves on her, and – god, just stop, Ben. Seriously. She's your brother's girlfriend, and you appear to have gotten caught up in a very contrived love triangle plot. Maggie doesn't buy what he's selling anyway.

Anne's repressed memory therapy reveals a memory of Karen saying that Maggie was 'just like her' – that is, some kind of Espheni-human cross, 'only better', and that she'd soon serve Karen's purpose. Anne wakes up and has a minor breakdown over not being able to save Alexis, only to realise that Kadar isn't talking back, and also that she's not inside her own body.

(Why does Anne view her memories in the third person?)

Tom finally asks Lourdes why she's acting like a brainwashed cult leader, and Lourdes says it's about fear, that when Tom discovered that she was the mole, she was consumed by fear. Unless 'fear' is now a euphemism for 'mind controlling worms', I'm not sure that's technically true, Lourdes. Anyway, she gives a crazy cult speech to Tom, who seems unconvinced, but admits he'll need her help to keep people from hurting Alexis.

Hal talks to Dingaan, who doesn't have any advice, but Shaq the Volm does: Espheni hatchlings, he says, are extremely violent upon their first hatching, and that they can sense danger. He says that the Volm eliminate any Espheni cocoons they can find, and Hal and (regrettably) Pope take this as a reason to kill Alexis.

Aw, I would ship them if I didn't already ship Hal/Maggie.

Alexis seems to sense this, as her cocoon starts radiating heat and steam. Lourdes and her fellow believers form a line to keep the murder-mob out, although Hal eventually manages to get through, along with Maggie and Pope, telling Dingaan and Tector to keep more murdery of the murder-mob away.

Both sides have a stand-off, explaining their sides, with Maggie taking Tom's side. Tom eventually convinces them to stand on, telling Pope and Tector to evacuate the area, while the Masons plus Dan and Maggie stay behind to deal with whatever happens when Alexis comes out.

(As this is afoot, Anne continues her out of body experience, and Kadar's attempts to wake her up don't seem to help. She's joined, however, by Alexis, who shows her a memory of herself as a child, choosing Anne over Karen. She explains that she'll always put her family first, and that Anne doesn't need to save her, because she's going to save everyone else. Then, she wakes Anne up, who runs, presumably heading cocoonwards.)

Aw, what an adorable deathchild.

Anne arrives at the cocoon and assures them that Alexis won't hurt them, before placing her hand on the cocoon. Within, Alexis responds, and her eyes, now green, open. 


So, that's the sixth episode. Not quite as dramatic as I think we were all expecting, but with Alexis now emerging from her cocoon it's definitely a turning point in the show, bringing with it a lot of new problems, especially since Chinatown may not be safe anymore, what with people bringing weapons into it.

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