Death March: Matt Mason’s Reactive Attachment Disorder

*WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for the current episode “Death March”, it is written for those who have seen the episode* 

About a month ago, I made a promise (on Twitter, so it was a scared vow…) that I would never be a mouthpiece. No matter how much I love a show, I will always point out the flaws. And I am forced to do that for this episode.

So, after 2 long, long weeks, we finally meet again, Falling Skies. I predicted a Ben-less episode would be cold and empty. Unlike everything else in this episode, I was not disappointed in that prediction.

Thanks for saving the Hal and Maggie byplay for the second scene, that was considerate of you. Oh and the third scene was an awkward interaction between Anne and Tom. That was awesome.

Once again, Anthony is the quick voice of reason. Listen, as a Ben fan, I understand that not every Previously-Harnessed-North-American is a dangerous alien agent. Some of them (Ben) are awesome superheroes. That being said, I am going to say the same thing about Suspicious Scaly Lizard Girl that I said about Karen: She is a freaking trap, and kill her with fire. Seriously, look at her. LOOK AT HER. She has scales, they have no idea how damaged her harness is, if it has the ability to heal itself, or even if it is actually disabled. Anybody else want to know how she landed right there, right then? Oh good, I’m not only the one. 

Tom brings up a good point I have never considered before. What will happen to all the Harnessed after they kick the aliens off the planet? I think that will be the real test of how serious the Skitter Rebellion is about being better than the Overlords. Will they throw off their yoke, give up their harnessed kids, and return to their planet? Or will they hang on to their slave army and prove to be just dangerous to humanity as their previous masters?

New and improved Fatalistic Lourdes takes a bite out of Anne. Then, ten minutes later, she apologizes and it seems like timid Lourdes is back. 

Let’s move on to Matt Mason, liability extraordinaire. First of all, it took all of an hour for him to bond so completely with SSLG that he was reading her his diary (he can call it a journal all he wants, it’s a diary), tell her the others will come around like he did. Matt Mason clearly has reactive attachment disorder. It takes half a day for him to agree to being used as skitter bait by Tector and Boone, he goes off with Diego to the harness factory, he tries to stop SSLG from “escaping”. Pre-invasion they would have got him a dog and a couple sessions of talk therapy and he would have been fine. Sadly, post-invasion his inherent need for the approval of EVERYBODY BUT HIS FATHER is nothing but a liability to the lives of everyone around him.

It was pretty obvious Hal, Pope, and Maggie were picked up by the main resistance body. Fear not, they showed up to lead the 2nd Mass to Charles-trap, where Arthur Manchester will kidnap the civilians for slave labor, the women for breeding programs, and trade their kids to the aliens in exchange for not being neutron bombed into subatomic particles. 

Okay. Positive things. Ryan Robbins is an awesome actor, I have been a fan of his since Sanctuary (he was also in an episode of one of my favorite shows, Jeremiah). His portrayal of Tector is spot on! The back and forth between him and Weaver were awesome scenes. Even though when Tector is driving a multi-ton truck is probably not the best time to try to break him down emotionally. 

Alright. That’s it for now. I realize this was one of my most scatter brained reviews. Most likely tomorrow I will have thoughts on the Maggie’s secret angle, etc.

Keep the Resistance Strong!

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~ by The Falling Skies Blog on August 5, 2012.

7 Responses to “Death March: Matt Mason’s Reactive Attachment Disorder”

  1. I think this is one of the few I have read from you that I have to agree to disagree. I thought this episode was needed and although sadly Benless, great. I thought Matt’s character was very well executed, I mean he is 9 years old and has no friends it makes sense that he latched on to Jenny. Maxim Knight was amazing tonight. Yes it wasn’t as action packed as the rest of the season has been but I thought it was a needed episode.

  2. To be fair, I am also upset that I may miss next week’s “Price of Greatness”, so I was hoping this would be a better episode…

  3. I’m totally with you about Matt. It’s getting ridicolous, and that was the one true weakness of the episode: devoting so much time to show his rapid bonding with Scaly Jenny, just to have her disappear in the end. Matt making his will and Tom telling Anne about it, THAT did a whole lot more for Matt’s character. Other than that… Sorry, man, but I was quite pleased with the episode: http://circusofscars.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/falling-skies-s02e08/

  4. I agree with most of this. It was exactly what I expected it to be: a filler episode whose purpose was to show them getting from Virginia to Charlestrap. Still a very watchable episode, but then I haven’t seen a bad FS ep yet.

    I won’t belabor my hatred of Tom/Anne except to say that these were the most plastic and awkward scenes so far and that’s saying a lot.

    Pope, of course, was great. The guy drills for the nerve more often than my dentist and actually hits it with more accuracy. That said, Maggie’s “shocking” secrets were run of the mill boring. Drugs and running with the wrong crowd. Yawwwwn. Been there, done that myself and I turned out okay. Kinda. I don’t see why Hal was put off. I get that the Mason boys were probably pretty sheltered, but did Tom raise them Amish?

    I didn’t see the purpose of Scaly Jenny at first, but I wonder if they’re setting the stage for something down the road. They did a great job using it for Matt angst and gave Maxim Knight a chance to shine. Yes, I like Matt quite a bit. Surprising, since I hate children with a white hot passion, but there it is. His worrying that Ben, his one friend as well as his brother, will choose the Skitter Thug Life over his family just melted me. Maybe it’s just that Maxim Knight is a great little actor and just so darn adorable. Sorry. I think I just found my second X chromosome.

    I wondered about the future of harnessed kids during the first seaosn when that fat guy attacked Ben in the school cafeteria (loving Hal’s threats that backed him down!). I have an article about that planned, but gotta get through this week of taking my co-worker’s accounts first!

    Good to see Porter again. I like that guy! I don’t want to believe that he’s part of the Charlestrap conspiracy, but I have a hard time thinking he knows nothign about it. Maybe he needed to get Tom and Weaver there to organize a resistance?

    • Agree about Maggie’s secret. It didn’t surprise me at all. I more or less assumed she did some shady things like, whatever, stealing cars or shoplifting, and it was no big deal to anyone. I sure can’t blame Pope for making it sound way darker than it really was, because in the minds of the writers, it probably felt like that, so they gave Pope the according lines to build it up. But when Maggie told Hal, it felt more like an undecided fan fiction writer making up a “dark past” on the go.

      “Okay, so she was a criminal… wait, can’t have her TOO evil, so it’s just minor things like stealing stuff, no-one got hurt… oh wait, Hal isn’t shocked, umm… okay, so she also did drugs… wait, that makes her sound too far gone… she was in jail and got over the addiction there, oh damn, now she sounds like a die hard ex-con, so yeah, she also had a baby and had to give it up…”

      I believe that the previous paragraph accuraretly describes the thought process of the writers when coming up with Maggie’s “dark secret”.

      I also believe that this scene added to Hal’s “what my age again” issue. A 17 years old teenager who actively pursued a girl for weeks, if not months, will not “have to think about this”. He shrugs, acts cool and says “but that’s not who you are NOW”. And IF he has a problem with it after all, he won’t admit that to her or himself. Instead he tries to overplay it and, depending on how devestating said dark past is, he breaks down much later, still unwilling to admit he can’t deal with it. That’s what teenagers do if they feel they need to act strong AND are in love. Hal’s reaction goes against everything he established in his “grown up too fast, protector role” episodes prior to this.

  5. […] see the start of the debate read MY Death March: Matt Mason’s Reactive Attachment Disorder and Kidcarnival’s Falling Skies […]

  6. […] takes a look at a character we don’t often discuss (except for that diatribe I did in the “Death March” review…), Matt […]

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