I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed? Answer: yes, with a filler episode like this one. This episode felt more like the first season episodes, especially the 6th and 7th episode of Season 1, where the Aliens attacked the school. It makes some sense; with a mediocre episode like this one, the last three of the season make more of an impact. There were some hints about the aliens’ other “plans”, but that’s about all the plot development we got from this episode.
I was expecting Matt and Karen to get way further away from the hospital, especially with the head start they had and their harness!superpowers, but apparently not? It’s probably (definitely) my Karen bias showing, but I still thought that Karen wasn’t totally in the pro-Alien zone when she was talking with Ben at the very beginning, but once she got close enough to the Fishhead, she was sucked back in. The 2nd Mass. manages to basically stumble into capturing a Fishhead, apparently the same one who chatted with Tom on the alien ship. They all call it The Commander, but how would they know? I wish we could find out it’s actually just a middle management Fishhead.
Tom wanted to take the captured Fishhead to Charleston, because he thinks they’ll love it there. Aren’t the aliens telepathic? Which means that other alien forces could just follow the 2nd Mass to Charleston, close enough to know where to go, but far enough not to be detected by the 2nd Mass. Then they could get to Charleston and shut things down there. It’s meaningless anyway, since they don’t end up taking Fishy, but it was a dumb idea anyway.
That’s what got me about this whole episode: people once again being dumb and/or annoying.
I’ll try not to be a downer. There were a couple of bright spots, like Anne and her make-shift flamethrower, which was AWESOME. Jessy Schram (Karen) and Connor Jessup (Ben) were both great, again. Matt was not entirely useless either. Tom decided he believes in the Skitter Rebellion. Pope was back to give a couple of good quotes (see: post title). The aliens aren’t all about genocide or world domination. They, like the Cylons, apparently have a plan. Curiouser and curiouser. I wish Tom would have shut up and let the Fishhead actually talk instead of yelling at him and cutting him off.
The directing as well, was amazing. (Note: this was was the sole episode of the season directed by a female director, Holly Dale). I wish the script could have been as good as the directing. All the scenes with Karen standing in the middle of the road, with the snow and the backlighting were great.
But the bad out-weighed the good on this one:
- The Jamil thing was weird. It felt like there was scene missing of him at least running through the basement and then hearing the tapping of the bugs, and then Anne/Lourdes/Matt finding him all buggy. Should have lost the walk/shooting down of the 2nd Mass fighter in the snow in favor of some clarity.
- I don’t even want to talk about the spider things (they kind of reminded me of the spider things in the Lost in Space movie). I have bug related PTSD from being attacked in Costa Rica; I just can’t. That was worse than Jackson and The Snake Thing on Teen Wolf a few weeks ago.
- Hal and Maggie. I just… He keeps talking about how his brain is so messed up about Karen and she changes her mind about him every other episode. Over it.
- It seems like this is the third time (this season) where a member of the 2nd Mass. has point-blank shot at an alien/alien adjacent. Seems like these guys are losing a bit of the moral high-ground. That’s always the most integral part of a post-apocalyptic story. What makes us human? Maybe they should look into that?
- Fucking Lourdes. Just when I thought she couldn’t get any worse. You know, Karen – Before!Karen – had that same sort of cynicism, but she actually managed to at least find some dark humor (remember her bitch to Lourdes about ” if you’re going to waste your time praying, can you pray for us to get a rocket launcher or something). I miss old Karen.
- Ben’s leaving! Sad! Hopefully he’s not leaving, leaving. I don’t want him out of the next episode. Of course he threw in an American Revolution reference for good measure. How could Tom possibly argue against that!
There were some good quotes, however:
- Karen’s creepy monotone made these awesome: ”Things can only get worse.” “Trusting you is problematic.” and ”Consider it a warning, Captain. You’re out of time.”
- “It’s so much bigger than that. How can I make you understand? You see, every living thing, every grain of sand on a beach, every star in the sky is linked by an intricate web of causality. If you can comprehend that web in its entirety, down to the movements of the smallest subatomic particles then you can predict the course of events. And alter them.”
“Wow. That’s the most ridiculous load of crap I’ve ever heard.”
- “There are always unexpected variables that require adjustments.”
- “Talking won’t change a damn thing. It doesn’t matter if you have a good attitude or a bad one, or you’re an honest person or immoral. No matter what you do, or who you are, sooner or later something terrible will happen to you.” Yep, welcome to life Lourdes. Life’s a bitch and then you die.
- “I was a world-class screamer in my day.”
Finally, a fun fact for you: the title of this episode is “Molon Labe“, which is an Ancient Greek phrase meaning “come and take them”. In history, this was the phrase said to have been spoken by King Leonidas of Sparta to Xerxes of Persia when asked to lay down their arms and surrender at the Battle of Thermoplye (aka what the movie 300 was “based” on). It also has an American Revolution connection (of course, it’s this show, how could there not be).
Speaking of episode titles, the next one is called “Death March”, so that should be a barrel and a half of laughs. Good thing we have an extra week to prepare.