This episode takes the cake in the “most cliché” category. Everything that happened – absolutely everything – was so predictable and stereotype, it’s amazing in some way. Or it was “Bring your Harry Potter Fanfiction to Work Day” the day they were filming this.
First, we have Dingaan, Tom, Cochise – and as usual, for no reason Matt trying to find out how the beamer works. To fly it to the moon, in case you forgot. Then the Espheni technology magically pulls out a defense mechanism but only against Volm. For that reason, Cochise can only go on this mission if they can manually fly the beamer… or something, I have no idea. They are basing their plan on “just getting to the atmosphere and then the beamer should pick up on the homing signal from the moon base and auto-pilot engages” to the very end of the episode, and Cochise doesn’t set a foot in the beamer again.
As soon as Matt is alone in the beamer, he starts pushing blinking buttons like any 13 years old boy would. Yeah. That’s what Weaver says. “You know we all would have done the same.” If you grew up among idiots, possible. But I know maybe one teenager who would seriously be that dumb. Seems more like an exception than a rule.
Anyway, Matt’s uncanny luck finds exactly what Cochise and Dingaan couldn’t figure out earlier, and they also pick up a transmission in Spanish. Anthony now speaks Spanish, luckily, and can translate that this an automated message from other humans, recommending to run and hide as the Espheni now improved their methods to capture humans. This only confirms Tom in his belief that flying the beamer to the moon is the most reasonable thing to do.
And then, the shitstorm hits. The entire 2nd Mass (are they still called 2nd Mass?) wants to go instead! Everyone volunteers for a suicide mission. Supermature Matt then suggests to put all names in what looks like a giant mossy seashell and have a draw. Note that this is after Dingaan, apparently the one to know most about Espheni technology, speaks out about having flight experience. As a pilot. It should be a no brainer to pick the volunteer who has at least some solid qualifications, but of course the names go into the seashell anyway, including Ben, Matt and presumably every other teenager around.
Meanwhile, Lexi practises her “gravity powers” with her Espheni father. It is a bit like watching an apathetic Kermit teach Miss Piggy telekinesis. I can’t take Lexi or the Espheni serious as characters, and in their next scene, they drive the point home as to why that is… The Espheni enters the “shadow plane” (yes, really), the telepathic (?) volcano landscape where Espheni apparently talk to each other. While he lays out the masterplan of how Lexi is totally unaware of being a superweapon, Lexi listens and if you don’t see what happens next coming from lightyears away, you lived under a rock for at least 50 years. Yes, Lexi kills the Espheni with her “gravity powers”.
Back in… wherever the Mason Dynasty currently resides… Weaver catches Pope fumbling around on the giant seashell at night. It doesn’t take a genius to expect that the resident anti hero and professional Tom Mason opposer is trying to manipulate the draw in some way, and after the horrific derailment of his character this season, it is also a safe bet to assume he tries to put himself up for the mission. After a drawn out mud fight with Weaver, Pope admits not only that he took Tom’s name out, but also Weaver’s “because these people need you and no-one needs me”. If other characters pick up mud wrestling just to stand a chance at getting a brief moment of suicidal glory from the Masons, you know things are bad. Anyway, after Weaver refers to the possibility that Sara(h?) might come back, Pope rests his case. Because that obviously makes sense in the world the writers live in.
Now the big surprise. Tom (who else if not the man most eager to go on the mission himself?) draws two names. It’s Ben and himself, and then he admits to Ann he fixed the draw so he could go. Ann attests that he is a good father (but apparently only to Ben), after not wanting Tom or any of his sons to go from the beginning.
Long, drawn out scene of Mason Hug [tm] between Tom and Matt.
Maggie, after having told Hal some bullshit story about “the spikes are attracted to Ben’s spikes”, decides it is a great idea to say goodbye to Ben alone. Naturally, they start making out again. Naturally, Hal, who stopped by to forgive Ben, walks in again. A few minutes later, he forgives Ben anyway.
Just when Tom and Ben are about to board the ship, Dingaan holds them back and starts yelling “something is heading this way”. For a brief moment, I thought this was great writing – Dingaan, obviously the more qualified man for the mission, was luring Tom and Ben away, to then quickly board the beamer himself, possibly taking Hal along. But no such thing happened, there was really “something” and it was making beamers crash. The lamest surprise to date: Lexi was coming back to her real father Tom.
Painful. Just… painful.