'Falling Skies' Season 2, Episode 8 Recap - 'Death March'
What. A. Yawner.
This episode was a prime example of everything that's been wrong with this second season of "Falling Skies." It was a perfect storm of characters we don't care about getting screen time, manufactured obstacles that impede the progress of our heroes, and general mucking about with feelings when there are much larger things to worry about.
Murphy's Law struck in a couple of places: Hal, Maggie and Pope got a busted radiator hose (of course) and the rest of the caravan was attacked by the sibling of a harnessed girl that they picked up, because apparently nobody has learned their lesson yet about picking up harnessed kids.
All of this was to keep up from the payoff at the end of the episode, which was Charleston. Only there was no payoff... at least, not quite yet. When the 2nd Mass rolled up, we saw nothing but ruined buildings. And herein lies yet another problem with "Falling Skies": boy, are these characters a bunch of dummies sometimes. Hey, they're rebuilding civilzation here during an alien attack. Did it occur to you that they might be in an underground bunker?
As it turns out, they are. And next episode, we'll get to see Charleston, as Weaver's old buddy Porter came out and greeted him with a zip-loc full of strawberries. Yes, really.
When we weren't facepalming over the dumb moves on the part of our heroes, we were yawning through the backstories of more characters that we don't really know or care about. Only one character had a backstory of interest tonight, and that was Maggie, who it turns out was a junkie who had a baby in prison. Yeah, her story escalated pretty quickly. The result of that was that now Hal doesn't like her anymore, or is at least being a bitch about things while he "thinks about it."
That worked because we know Maggie. What didn't work was the story of Tector. Who's Tector, you ask? Yeah, exactly. He's the guy who was hanging out with Boone, the kinda dumb dude who got killed last week. So now Tector is feeling guilty, and it turns out he's ex-military, and he and Weaver bond. Whatever.
Even worse than that was the harnessed girl that the caravan picked up when they ran her over. Her name is Jenny, and Matt bonds with her almost immediately, which makes it kinda hard for him when her "brother" shows up and attacks the caravan to get her back. Far too much time is spent on Jenny, whom we've never seen before and will probably (hopefully) never see again. Why bother?
Then again, any random character is better than having to deal with any more Lourdes, who is still the worst ever. Here's her gem for the evening:
Dr. Glass: (indicating patient) "Keep him hydrated"
Lourdes: "I can't." (walks away)
She's still upset about Jemile, and her reaction is to be a bitch to everyone in general and also not do her job, but still hang around the medical bus anyway. Why couldn't we have kept Jemile and lost Lourdes?
Here's how you fix this episode: take out all of that crap with Jenny, and shorten the time spent with Tector/Weaver and Hal/Maggie. Get the 2nd Mass to Charleston much earlier, and then have them deal with the very real despair of thinking that it was lost for a good long while. That's real drama. That's people dealing with life and death, and the emotions that come with it. A busted radiator hose is not real drama. That's a manufactured plot device that allows you to delay any real plot progress for character development with characters that we don't even know the names of.
Here's hoping things get back on track now that everyone's in Charleston. Hey, Locke from "Lost" is on the next episode, so at least there's that.