Hold the (Pickett) Line

Go on. Tell me that isn't a dead poodle on Matt Mason's head.

Go on. Tell me that isn’t a dead poodle on Matt Mason’s head.

Contributing Author Beth returns again to give us her multifaceted take on Sunday’s episode.

First a few thoughts of my own:

I have to say from a few flaws I actually really enjoyed this episode myself. Ben no longer felt like a season 3 background character. Like last week there was an absence of the she-devil Denny, though she is ominously mentioned in a scene that made me fear the next words out of Ben’s mouth would be “But I really like her dad, she could be my Maggie.” Matt kicked ass and took no names. Anthony got some scenes which is always awesome. Turns out Lourdes is the mole, something she is far more qualified for than running any kind of clinic, maybe her character will be less dreadful going forward, hey she may even be killed!

I enjoyed Pope riling up the peace loving workers and peasants of Charleston, then again I am always a sucker for a good proletarian revolution. Looks like the New United States decided to keep the worst of our laws, government seizure and eminent domain, alive and well. Seriously, the charter for the NUS (which is a terrible looking acronym btw) didn’t include anything about not losing property without due process of law? We need houses so screw you and the economy Pope?

OK enough from me. On to Beth:

The first thing I did when I walked into the office Monday morning was give my Falling Skies buddy a rude finger gesture. He thought Hal was the mole. Ha ha and neener neener! Unfortunately, there were some Monday morning fires to put out and I never got around to doing the I Told You So dance, but oh well.

I tend to come off as majorly multiple personality disorder when it comes to my Falling Skies articles, going from drool-on-myself adoration to foaming at the mouth over the few but extremely blatant flaws I think the show has. I know this, and I’m conscious of it even as I’m writing. This review is no different, so I hope you’ll at least grant me the virtue of consistency. And awayyyy we go…

This was an entertaining enough episode with the usual excellent performances, but it felt like filler. If Falling Skies is a meatloaf, “The Pickett Line” was the bread crumbs you mix in just to make the meatloaf look bigger. This is okay now and again when you have a full season to work with, but at 10 episodes per year there is no room for bread crumbs. Although I liked the episode, it just seemed to me to say, “Okay, so we revealed Lourdes as The Mole…now what? 45 minutes of Pope singing show tunes seems like a bad idea, so how about a pointless subplot of the Masons vs. some backwoods clan? Kind of like Deliverance meets Alien?” Honestly, I could hear banjoes every time this family was onscreen.

This episode brought up the pet peeve that inevitably jabs at me when I watch a post-apocalyptic show: bleeding heart morals in a time when they will cost you your life. Tom should never have allowed the Picketts to live. First they robbed his family and left them to die, so obviously the Picketts had no problem with the concept of “me and mine first”, then one of them tried to kill Hal, then the father broke his word and was set to kill Tom and his sons (again) until Ben fought back with Harness Fu. The whole thing was beyond ridiculous, and Matt was the only one who reacted appropriately. Not only did they barely escape, but Tom left his boys and abandoned the search for Dr. Chewtoy and the spawn to rescue people who had tried to kill him just minutes before. I’m not sure what the intent of this subplot was, but it didn’t work for me. The end result was Tom about to be recaptured by Karen’s minions, which may actually be the purpose of the whole thing, but there are better and more realistic ways than turning Tom into a bleeding heart. After all, this was the man who without hesitation shot the guy in “Sanctuary” who threatened Hal and beat Pope to a bloody pulp for insulting Ben. How did he get from doing anything to protect his sons to throwing them over for a group of murderous strangers?

I love the Mason family and seeing them together without She Who Shall Not Be Named dragging around them like the ugly cousin at prom, but I have to say that Charleston was the enjoyable plot this week. Dear God, did I just type that??? Please don’t kick me out of the club, but yes, I liked the goings-on in the settlement. Not only did Lourdes finally do something interesting, but Weaver is starting to get suspicious of Marina. I’ve registered my firm prediction that she will be the downfall of Charleston (please make it explode in a huge fireball of doom, pleeeease?), and I can see Weaver thinking along those lines, as well. Of course, he’s starting to think she might be The Mole, but I think it may end up being either a liaison with Karen or just sheer arrogance and incompetence that leads her to betray the city. We’ll have to wait another couple of weeks to see.

The really great scene this week was Weaver swallowing his pride and approaching Pope as an ally. These two will never be friends, but they do seem to have a grudging respect for each other and Weaver knows that when it comes to killing aliens he has a solid partisan in Pope. I’m eager to see them throw a monkey wrench into Peralta’s plans in the next few episodes.

Brief Pope/Maggie scene because…because…I guess they wanted to remind us that Maggie is still there?

Overall, “The Pickett Line” was a decent episode, more for the Charleston plot than the Mason plot. I’m assuming that this was a filler episode that was meant to set up the next three episodes and maybe it will make more sense when viewed in context.

One lingering question that maybe some of you can help me out with: I’m still confused as to why Maggie was left behind in Charleston. Hal’s explanation to Ben made no sense. She’s one of the best fighters and you’d think she wouldn’t allow a separation from Hal after what had just happened with the Eye Booger. It doesn’t make any sense practically, but from a writing and plot POV do think she’s going to figure into what happens to Charleston? I can’t imagine they’d leave her there if they didn’t have plans for her. Will Maggie help foil Peralta or is she meant to die in the destruction of Charleston?

Not long to go until the finale. I’m a little less than enthusiastic about the return of Dr. What’s-Her-Face and the child of the corn, but I still have some small hope that they’ll be dead by the end. What I am looking forward to is finding out what the weapon does, what Cochise’s motives really are, and getting the 2nd Mass back on the road. 

 BethTX is  a Contributing Author here on the Falling Skies Blog, just as sarcastic as me (not an easy accomplishment), and did not mention Ben enough in this article.


~ by The Falling Skies Blog on July 16, 2013.

11 Responses to “Hold the (Pickett) Line”

  1. I also have to wonder whether Molegirl will kill again. With The Prez out of the way, Marina and Dr. Kadar would be the next logical targets since they have suspicions about the weapon.

  2. First, I want to say how interesting and thoughtful these blog posts are – I just found this site tonight and have spent … ummm, way too much time here. I’m a 54 year old mother, and have never been as obsessed with a TV show as I am with this one (and with Pope… yummy, and Colin Cunningham OMG). It looks like I’m not alone in this obsession — not that i’ve ever really looked, but it’s amazing to me how many fan-run sites there are for this show! (As an aside, I think I made a good decision not to get too involved with Game of Thrones — don’t think I’d ever see real life again!).

    I agree completely with the characterization of Dr. LowKey Glass. With the exception of killing the captive skitter,I’m not sure what she’s contributed to the series. And the alien baby seems to be a major concession — and reading the many comments on the many many sites about her — a major disappointment — to those who need more aliens in a show that basically, is not really about the aliens.

    Second, and this is a minor kvetch, as interesting as this site is, the type is SO SMALL that it’s giving me a headache. Guess I’ll have to figure out how to make my screen image larger than it already is.

    In the review of Search and Recover, you were talking about Tom and Pope’s backstories — I’ve had a “Pope lifeline” in my head — mostly absent and abusive father, distant, uninterested mother, felt like he was smarter than everyone around him, went to college, Billy the reprobate brother pulled him into the seamy side, got him arrested for the first time, got girlfriend pregnant and married her, killed the guy, got out, owned a bar/restaurant… He definitely has a moral code, but doesn’t care to make it obvious to the world around him, which has disappointed him too often. Let them know who you are and they’ll use it against you. Honestly, I feel like Pope’s the only one who’s backstory might be more than the usual suburbanite. And that keeps him as the joker in the deck – you don’t know where he’s come from, so you don’t know where he’ll go.

    I apologize for the length of this response — I haven’t had anyone I think would tolerate discussing this obsession with me, so it’s nice to find like-minded internet souls! Keep it coming — I’ll keep trying to read it.

  3. Welcome, Erin! Always great to have a vocal member of the group, so never worry about the length of your comments around here.

    I agree that Pope has been the most interesting character this season. Ben is still my favorite, but I think they pulled back on him after last season was largely focused on him adjusting to his hybrid status.

  4. I enjoy these blogs! Ben is my favorite character as well! I do want to express, however – that I rather like Denny. I like that Ben was given a ‘female de-harnessed’ comrade this season. I feel like that sort of character can balance Ben out and only make him a better person & fighter, (if that is even possible); especially in light of his hurtful encounter with the manipulative Karen last season. Besides, Denny is pretty, and tough, and understanding. I hope to see more of her! And them!

    • Oh, and I wanted to point out that in Connor Jessup’s interview @ Comic Con w/ TV Fanatic, he notes that Denny helped to stabilize Ben this season! I don’t mean to annoy you, but you should really check that interview out. Also, I’m NOT deluded into thinking that the Ben/Denny relationship was a relevant theme this season, nor do I want them to ride off into the sunset together in the finale. I just enjoy and adore their friendship. Lol. I’m done though, really!

      • Hi, Leia! Thanks for commenting. Opposing opinions always welcome!

        My own objection to Denny is that she’s wayyy too Mary Sue: the boy’s name, the harnessed tough chick thing, the exotic looks. She just seems like something straight from fanfiction rather than a realistic character. So far, though, thankfully there’s no fanfiction romance, just friendship. It would be refreshing for the writers to keep it that way. Here’s hoping!

  5. I see what you mean, but I keep in mind that we’ve only seen her for about three mere minutes out of those first five episodes. She may seem like an archetype now, but hopefully she’ll be given more depth with more screen time.

    • I just realized that Denny was only in four episodes. That’s irrelevant, I know, but I just like to be precise and particular. With regards to Falling Skies and their story lines and characters, I try to stay optimistic that the writers won’t let me down!

  6. The worry for me is with the super focus on Hal and Maggie and tom and Anne as romantic couples is the writers won’t be able to stop themselves from creating a new couple with Ben and Denny.

  7. Okay, so I was doing some research and found an article that made me think of you. Well, I thought of this blog (I’m not obsessive, I swear!).
    Anyways, I fully realize that Denny has a masculine name, (or nickname); thereby desperately perpetuating the ‘tough girl’ image. But putting all associated clichés aside, I don’t think she can be fairly labeled a ‘Mary Sue’. I know I may seem crazy, but I’m only fighting so hard over this because a ‘Mary Sue’ is an overall disliked and annoying character. And I like Denny.

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