There are several major headlines and I can’t decide which to use as this review’s sub title.
“Dai breaks 3 lines barrier, pays with life”, “Hal finally shows potential of becoming a useful character”, “Oh great, Anne is pregnant and Tom is the father” or “Dimensional rift opens, Drakh cross into universe” are all options I considered.
But first things first. As many expected, myself among those, Ben returned with an army of rebel skitters and a lot of information about the overlords, including an attack plan with the potential to throw half the continent’s alien military structure into chaos. Despite the shamelessly obvious attempts of the Charleston military to sabotage this plan, the 2nd Mass goes through with it.
In the foreplay phase, there is one peculiar development: Gunnery Sgt. Murphy, USMC, simply returns to being Tector and reporting to Pope instead of Weaver. Because I do have hope for this show, I attest the writers a pretty clever twist here. Tector was put in the spotlight for the two previous episodes, putting him at risk of joining the “fairly major character deaths”. But instead, he takes back his old place after getting an upgrade – along with Crazy Lee in S02E09, making the Berzerkers are more interesting device with a combined 2.5 personalities for 4 characters (and that’s truly not a bad ratio, all things considered). Later, the Red God claims a life though by reducing Dai’s future lines to zero. Now, one may say “I saw it coming” because a billed main character that is so ridicolously underused is always a candidate for sudden semi-dramatic deaths in season finales. It was also painfully obvious, starting in early season 1, that the writers didn’t have the faintest idea what to do with Dai, going so far to leave his backstory more in the dark than that of a one episode character. But on the other hand, Dai was so damn underused, people often forgot he even existed and hence many forgot to put him on the red shirt list, in favor of discussing characters they want dead. So in a strange way, it came as a surprise.
Now, the big attack against the omnidestructive overlord weapon in the making. It didn’t go quite as the 2nd Mass had planned, which may be related to the fact that they apparently underrated the noise an explosion makes. Making a seemingly solid rock wall go boom, yet continuing to whisper to each other, suggests such a miscalculation. Half the team getting captured and tortured by Trance!Karen was likely not part of the plan. However, the outcome was a two-edged sword. Or, three-edged, actually, but I try to not stress the Babylon 5 references here. Instead, let’s speak of a good, a bad and an ugly consequence of this encounter.
The Good: It’s in the aftermath, so more on Hal later.
The Bad: Dai’s kinda surprising exit.
The Ugly: Oh god, why? Anne is pregnant, Tom is the father, and they look forward to their offspring; their symbol of hope, yadda yadda, I suddenly don’t feel so good.
Instant jump to the aftermath of Hal. He returns to Charleston on a stretcher and Anne can’t figure out why he’s unconcious. As soon as Hal is alone in a leftover corridor from the last Hostel set, he awakes to calmly witness in the mirror how the tiny eye crawler we’ve last seen transitioning from Tom Mason’s eye to Red Eye’s eye crawls from his own eye into his ear. Since Red Eye is Dead Eye as of the attack, I dare to guess that a part of him (his memory? his soul?) is now in Hal and that is a damn good thing to start his evolution from “pretty boy with gun” into an interesting character.
And then, the Drakh came.
We have last seen the Drakh in the short lived Babylon 5 spin off series “Crusade”, and previously in Babylon 5 self as the abandoned servants of the Shadows. And now, the Drakh fell from the sky in Falling Skies in escape pod-like thingies to the amazement and confusion of everyone.
Are they the enemies of the overlords? Are they the masters that harnessed the overlords who then harnessed the skitters? Are they just some guys who heard an explosion and decided to go down to the planet and see what’s up with that? Do they have a Keeper for Arthur Manchester? Are they the equally bad Vorlons to the overlords’ Shadows? Questions, questions, way too many Babylon 5 comparisons (and hey, there are worse shows to be compared to) and no answers for the next 10 months.
Filming for season 3 starts on Wednesday, my birthday, which I take as a good omen. (As in, Anne will miscarry between seasons and any future pregnancy plot ideas will be abandoned forever, possibly locked in a block of cement and thrown into the deepest ocean, along with any writer who comes up with new ones.)