Weeee! Political plotting!
So Charleston is pretty much what I expected, a dictatorship run by John Locke. Arthur Manchester, I mean. But first things first:
Line count Dai: 1 (one)
And even worse, Anthony is absent alltogether. This episode – which I thought was quite awesome, all things considered – was a great chance to show where characters stand, even if it’s only by actions rather than words. Even Crazy Lee, who had no lines or scenes of relevance until now, got to show her loyalties. And I sure hope they extend her role a bit, now that the Berzerkers are officially down to her, Pope and Lyle.
Anyway. The 2nd Mass settles in and encounters the first unpleasant details. Weaver, while re-united with his daughter, learns that the military has to take orders from the self-proclaimed “Majority Leader” of the civilians and that there are no plans to continue the fight. Once more, Locke finds himself in a weird place far from normal civilization and really likes the prospect of keeping it that way. Weaver, however, doesn’t find it too appealing and supports his daughter, who isn’t comfortable with the Charleston government/dictator refusing to send scouts out for the other kids, including her boyfriend, that she got seperated from on the way.
In regards to that attitude – kudos to Pope, who never even bothered to talk things through with anyone from Charleston and went straight for the heavy guns, realizing before anyone else that Charleston was more about “pretending the world is fine” and less about “shooting aliens”. It took his former brother-in-arms Tector the 2nd Up (archievement “full name”) and most of the episode to realize he sided with the wrong guys. (Fun fact: In Stargate Atlantis, Ladon Radim also turned against the military leader of the Genii and became an ally to Atlantis. Talk about weirdly specific type casting.)
After Pope spent the last few episodes suspiciously agreeable, he finally returns to his loose cannon ways – not only by trying to steal guns, which seems to be his favorite hobby besides shooting aliens, but also by not doing what people, specifically Arthur Manchester, expect him to do: turn on Tom. “If anyone brings him down, it’s gonna be me” certainly opens a door for becoming a Batman villain in the future; with the right radiation-related accident, it’s basically set in stone.
Tom “on/off gullible” Mason, on the other hand, seems intrigued by his former mentor’s plan to elect a government (“just a formality”) and become the founding father of a new democracy. While he picks up some weird vibes, it takes a de-harnessed boy to show up with a message for him to make him act on it. However, the one to pull off things with style are the generals, who swiftly turn this conflict of interests into a coup and arrest Arthur Manchester instead of “the entire 2nd Mass”.
And now, the dreaded sub arc I danced around and avoided to mention so far: Hal and Maggie are back to square one. While Hal claims something about “everything changed”, nothing really changed. Maggie is back in “I’m not the right person, nice try though” mode. That is all I have to say about it.
I personally also found it a bit weird that Anne went ballistic on the Charleston doctor for pointing out that she is a pedeatrician. Because, y’know, Miss Glass, you are a pedeatrician. Sure, you also sorta filled in as a combat medic, how you put it, but it doesn’t change the fact that a heart surgeon likely has considerably more experience at being, well, a surgeon. Also, Lourdes obviously lost all her rage and fatalism over night, as she’s back to being the eager pre-med school girl, looking forward to learn more about medicine. Hey, girl, there’s a trenchcoat made from overlord skin waiting for you!
All in all, we now have a military dictatorship in Charleston. Besides declaring martial law, this works in favor of the 2nd Mass as they can continue with their plan to meet Red Eye outside the city and talk about “new developments” in the skitter rebellion. And damn, the preview for the season finale looks promising!