I kinda forgot to review the last episode, so I better hurry before the next. I was way too tired to review right after watching, but one thing got stuck in my mind that day: People drop like flies. Maybe even in the right order, Captain Weaver, Karen, Pope, Maggie and Hal either pass out/get knocked out or are found in this state. Most of them wake up during the episode, but not all.
But let me address something else first. The opening scene. The felt eternity that Tom and Anne spend pretending to be in a nicer world and talk about the smell of fresh coffee. I never minded their romance and found it to be a common courtesy in a drama show, but that was a real stretch. Seriously, you lovebirds, you should have other things on your minds right now. Tom should be a good daddy and worry about his son growing glowing spikes out of his back, which obviously causes not him a bit of distress, but the entire 2nd Mass. And if not him, at least Anne should worry about the weird ass alien infection on Weaver’s leg. I mean, it’s not like he’s the commanding officer and the only one who hasn’t completely lost focus of what’s important at the moment. (Ohwait, I wasn’t as sarcastic as I wanted to be, because the last stand of sanity, Pope and Anthony, returned. But more about that later on this program.)
So Tom is late for class and alas, the inevitable happens: The weird ass infection takes out Weaver, an event that has the delightful effect of giving some minor characters – namely Lourdes and Jamil – something to do. During this medical mess, the next K.O. victim is brought back to the hospital the 2nd Mass resides in: Hal and Maggie found Karen, unharnessed and buried under leaves along with a bunch of unharnessed (but dead) kids. How convienent.
That’s also Ben’s first thought and he announces to not trust Karen. In a nutshell, no-one cares and she’s brought inside anyway. At this point, Maggie finally gets her First Up. She throws off the shell of “Hal’s Love Interest” and shows some real character of her own. By standing up to Hal and calling him out on his blindless regarding the coincidence that he happens to dig out his ex, unharnessed, only a short way from the hospital. It results in both her and Hal getting K.O.’d.
Meanwhile, the scouts Tom sent to find fuel to power the Deus Ex Machina that is supposed to heal Weaver return, and instead of fuel, they first bring dynamite. As in, “explosive content for the character mix currently present in the hospital”, because there are two unharnessed kids with spikes in their backs, and the scouts found Pope and Anthony. Here, I need to point out something that I was thinking for the last weeks: This show is simply not enough about Pope and Anthony and dynamite and stunt horses, western cities and hats with playing cards in the hat bands. Some more cacti in the scenery also wouldn’t hur… ohwait, we’re in the real show, not in my spaghetti western AU, right? Well, we should be, because in that AU, Hal would likely have been shot by a jealous ex-girlfriend-cowgirl instead of wasting valuable screen time with his various love interests.
What was I saying? Oh, yeah, I was saying basically no-one cared too much that Pope and Anthony came back; Pope is unconcious, but at least Anthony finally gets more lines.
Ben, on the other hand, was busy and overrated himself. Being the only available person with superpowers, he decided it’s best to guard Karen – alone. Not such a smart idea, as it turns out she can easily win his trust and convince him to leave the 2nd Mass with him. There are many speculations – if Ben is playing her, if she is playing him, who is under whose control – and you can read a lot about that over at fallingskiesblog. By “leaving the 2nd Mass”, I mean that Karen throws Maggie around like a ragdoll after Maggie confronted her with a shitload of justified mistrust (giving her + 250 XP and 5 charisma) and leaving her behind, badly injured as the credits roll. And a moment later, Ben choking his brother to sleep when Hal tries to stop the razorback kids from running into the forest.
A miracle healing later, Weaver is with us again and Lourdes and Jamil gained + 100 XP and 15 healing/engineering, respectively. Pope also wakes up and it turns out he’s at least Batman or a member of the A-Team, as he walked away from a mech explosion and being interrogated by superpower!Karen with nothing more than a mild concussion and a few scratches. Which only proves my point that this show should be a lot more about him and Anthony throwing explosives at alien motherships and stuff. He also brings confirmation that Karen is evil and Ben of major interest to her, and that the alien overlords are well aware of the current location of the 2nd Mass.
I forgive the “characters go K.O. and wake up in order” dynamic of this episode, pretend the first 5 minutes and the smell of coffee don’t exist and consider this a very solid episode that answered the central question “why the hell do the aliens not notice/attack the hospital?”, had Maggie grow a pair and drop Hal and paved the way to learning more about Karen’s (and the overlords’ motives). What I do not forgive and forget is the notable lack of dynamite and stunt horses.