Looks like Ben and Maggie will take the Cringe Couple Award home. The death of Sarah was both welcome and telegraphed from miles away, and I wouldn’t even complain if it hadn’t been so cringey and unneccessary. But first things first. The valley full of skitters and the skitter-like hornets didn’t pose a problem at all. Dingaan luckily invented a flying insect poison dispenser over night and a small group of fighters was able to clean out the valley within minutes. Things briefly got interesting when the population was not only back but had doubled in numbers the next day. The only conclusion was that an Overlord was nearby and genetically engineered skitters and had them gather in this valley. So far, so good. The past has shown that this shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes, or a half in-show day to solve. Pope and Sarah went to follow the “stream of skitters” to find the source and it was physically painful to listen to the “let’s have pretty babies after the apocalypse” talk. Seriously…? Well, meanwhile, the girl and the skitterized brother that the Cringe Army had brought back from the Land of the Miracle last episode escaped and naturally, Maggie had to go after them due to a guilt trip. Wherever Maggie goes, Hal goes and wherever they go together, stupidity ensues. Not far away in a forest, they spot the elusive Overlord who saw no need at all to meet the skitter boy and his sister in a somewhat more protected location. It’s not like the Espheni are in a vulnurable position at the moment, and damn, if only there was a gathering ground for skitters and hornets in the area to provide a better defense for a single Overlord… But I guess the attempt to personally talk Skitter Boy into killing his sister for whatever reason was too important, so that’s what the Overlord tries. He also takes control of Maggie to underline the urgency of his deed, but luckily, Hal and his rifle are nearby. Any bets if Hal would think to use his rifle to take out the Overlord from a save distance? Well, nope, he runs toward him and stabs him in the back. Why? Because they need him alive, to tell the 2nd Mass where the skitters are made. And because Hal only learned to shoot a rifle yesterday, it was impossible to fire a non-lethal shot. Skitter Boy then obtains a gun and shoots his sister and then himself. Well done. Hal and Maggie return to camp with the captured Overlord.
Meanwhile, Sarah got stuck in the conveniently placed “Espheni goo” some might remember from last season. It’s like superglue! Oh my god! Fire would easily remove the goo, but Pope still hasn’t learned to make fire with all the damn wood and leaves in the forest, so he has to go back to camp to get a flamethrower. If you can count two and two together, you know from the “let’s have a picture book future” talk earlier that Sarah won’t see another morning. In the camp, Ben and Maggie have combined their spikes to get the location of the skitter factory from the Overlord. The rest of the 2nd Mass takes the only available vehicle to go destroy said factory, and Tom promises to save Sarah on the way back. Pope freaks out, takes the flamethrower and runs back into the forest. Whatever. If you had learned to make a damn fire, or picked up a lighter, you wouldn’t have this problem.
The 2nd Mass arrives at the skitter factory, which is an actual factory building full of giant barrels. Fully grown skitters and hornets emerge from those, like from an assembly line. I don’t know how far you can stretch “it’s alien tech”, but that’s not how I imagine genetic engineering. Three bombs quickly put an end to it, and now the crazy plot twist: Anthony froze up. No, this had no impact on anything. Yet. After the successful mission, Tom tries to keep his promise and save Sarah. But alas, Pope arrived there a bit earlier, flamethrowered a bunch of alien insects away and Sarah had no legs. Including the cliche “I can’t feel my legs” line. She ded nao. And Pope is pissed at Tom. Really? I mean, the entire Cringe Conga with Sarah was meant to turn Pope into… an antagonist for Tom? Isn’t that… y’know, exactly as what he started? The character was fine for 2.5 seasons, and some decent writing would have covered up the weak episodes in season 3. Now it’s a train wreck like all the others, with no hope for redemption.
Speaking of train wrecks. It appears I somehow put my money on the right horse from the start: Anthony. The last man standing. The only character left who has not turned into a parody or otherwise been made awful to watch. It took him extraordinary survival skills – with black guys dying left and right, no last name, often without notable screentime or lines for episodes – to make it this far. But there he is, alive and kicking, and with a believable plot of his own: Anthony now has PTSD, according to Ann. Therefore, he killed the Overlord, after witnessing him pick up some rocks and making them glow – which might as well be a real thing; Overlords have been doing just this to open telepathic communication with others of their kind in season 4. With the exception of Lexi, no-one has witnessed this though, and Anthony certainly seems a bit nuts to the 2nd Mass now. Which is why Weaver relieved him of duty. Comically, he only took his rifle, not the bullet belt Anthony wears since his first appearance. Noteworthy, at least to me, is the fact that a different accessory has changed owners: Anthony now also wears Pope’s skitter claw necklace. And I finally have hope to get Sheriff Anthony and Desperado Pope to team up against Mason and Weaver.