The Weekly Skitter Report: The Pickett Line
Greeting Evil Geeks and welcome to another edition of The Weekly Skitter Report! We finally got resolution last week on one of the season’s longest running wild cards: Hal’s eye worm. With Hal being caught and the alien probe being removed, everyone thought the Espheni spy had finally been taken care of. Of course that would be too easy though and this week showed us that the double agent is still in operation. Last week, the Masons set out on their own in search of answers on what happened to Anne and Alexis, so we get to see how far they get in that quest this week. Also, another one of the big question marks in season 3 got answered in this episode: what exactly the hell happened to Cochise, the Volm ambassador last seen being herded into President Hathaway’s plane as the Espheni were about to attack? He doesn’t call, he doesn’t write, and when he finally does show up, he has a buddy in tow. Jeez Cochise, act like a dick to your hosts much?
When we first encounter the Mason Family after they’ve set off from Charleston, we find that trouble doesn’t waste any time in chasing them down, as they are robbed by a much craftier family. A family crafty enough to be hording an impressive post invasion supply of balaclavas anyway. Maybe they’re hoping the Espheni are big fans of Pussy Riot? The bandits relive Tom and the boys of their horses, weapons and supplies, then head on their merry way, back to their home. The Masons, being the family of fighters that they are, decide to follow the thieves back to their farm and re-steal all the stuff that got stolen from them. In the ensuing fracas, Matt, the youngest Mason, ends up shooting one of the bandits, even though they didn’t kill the Mason’s when they had the opportunity. Tom gives Matt a look that every kid dreads seeing their parents shoot them, no matter how old they are; a look not of anger, but of something deeper and way worse: disappointment. I can’t help but think that Tom’s feeling guilty at this point, that Matt shooting the robber was his fault because he was too busy being President and THAT’S exactly why he left the office. It’s almost as if he failed his son because he was too busy looking out for everyone else. However, it would seem that they’re not big on character development over at the writer’s room for the show, because that’s the last we see of that particular story thread. The rest of the Mason’s time on the farm is spent having the tables turned on them, then re-turning the tables on the folks who turned the tables on them after the Masons initially turned the… oh you know what, screw it, they just end up taking turns holding each other’s families at gunpoint. Later on after the Masons leave the family, they see an army of Mechs and Skitters making their way towards the farm. Upon seeing the cadre of invaders, Tom does what any parent of three boys traversing an alien infested, post apocalyptic wasteland would do: sends them off alone to the next stop on their search for the missing members of their family, while he goes back to warn the woodchucks who robbed them. Tom gets rewarded for this act of kindness by being captured (presumably, because we know they can’t kill the star of the show… unless you’re Sean Bean), by the Espheni. Way to go Tom. Sure the less noble option would have been to leave the other family to fend for themselves, but know Tom’s in chains and the boys are off on their own headed to an Espheni stronghold.
Back in Chuck Town, things are getting farther and farther away from OK. One sort of good piece of news that later becomes horrible news is that Cochise is back! He stumbles up to the gates of Charleston, carrying with him the limp body of the injured President Hathaway. The two were also unable to escape being shot down by the Espheni and Cochise has barely managed to get himself and Hathaway back to the city; collapsing as soon as he hands off Hathaway to someone else. Once Cochise is back on his feet (the Volm are genetically engineered to be more durable, which I’m sure isn’t something that will come back to haunt the humans later on), Peralta asks him about the weapon the Volm are building. She tells him that they know the weapon is built to channel more energy than the humans were led to believe and after showing Peralta and Hathaway the weapon, Cochise tells them more about the secret project’s true intent. Cochise tells them that the weapon is meant to destroy the defense shield that the Espheni are planning to put up around Earth. It will poke a hole in the shield, allowing Volm ships to get through, then the machine will pump energy back into the defense shield, hopefully overloading it and destroying it. Cochise also mentions that once the shield goes up it will slowly kill everything on the planet, except for the Espheni and their harnessed slaves, slowly and painfully through radiation. Cochise tells Peralta and Weaver that Tom knew this but thought it was best to keep it quiet, in order to prevent people from panicking.
Tensions between the working class and the ruling class of Charleston are pushed to the brink, when newly inaugurated President Peralta decides to commandeer Pope’s bar in order to turn it into more housing. The population of the city is increasing and new living spaces are needed to house the new people, so Peralta sends troops into the area of the bar to start relocating people. Pope decides to take a stand against Peralta, arguing that people need a place like his bar in order to blow off steam. Weaver tells Pope that the bar isn’t being shut down, but instead relocated to a different part of town, but Pope still isn’t having it and vows not to take the incursion lightly. The denizens of the bar are the laborers and blue-collar workers of the city, so Pope organizes a labor slowdown in the city, meaning that many vital tasks are building up or are going completely undone. Pope is eventually arrested for being a public nuisance, proving that even after an alien invasion, you still won’t be able to escape the nanny state being forced upon us by the government. Next thing you know, they’ll be banning the sales of Big Gulps at the ruins of the 7-11 in Charleston. Pope’s stay in the big house isn’t a long one though, as Weaver frees him, telling Pope that he needs his help. After being excluded from vital pieces of information regarding the Volm weapon, Weaver no longer trusts that the Volm have humanity’s best interests at heart. Pope and the Berserkers will be Weaver’s own secret weapon in case things with the Volm go south. Yeah, they have frickin’ lasers and giant cannons, you have a scumbag and a bunch or drunks. I think the Volm have got this one in the bag.
Spoilery surpirse!!! Guess who’s really an Espheni spy? It’s Lourdes!!! I didn’t see that one coming and the whole thing kind of seems out of left field, but whatever. Lourdes must be some kind of youth hostel for Espheni eye worms, because she is swarming with them. We see the bugs slowly undulating beneath her skin when she believes she is alone, so she’s either infected with probes or possibly has the worst silverfish infestation ever recorded by man. Lourdes reveals herself to be the person who killed Arthur Manchester, when she (SPOILER!!!!) uses the same huge honkin’ laser pistol to murder President Hathaway while he’s in the hospital recovering from the Espheni attack. OOOooooooohhhhh…what are the chances that his men will TOTALLY understand that this was just an accident and that the people of Charleston promise to never let another President get murdered ever, ever, again? Sooooo that might be a huge mess for Peralta to deal with some point soon.
Even though there were some big reveals this episode, I still can’t help feel that this was all just place setting for the end of the season. This season as a whole seems to be moving by at a glacial pace, with not much happening up until now. Before when the 2nd Mass was on the road, the story seemed to be more suspenseful, but these days it seems were spending way to much time on story lines that shouldn’t take so long. Did we really need to wait like 3 or 4 episodes to find out what happened to Cochise and Hathaway only to have Hathaway die almost instantly after being killed? Even my reaction to the big reveal of Lourdes being the traitor was pretty much just “Meh…what’s next?” There was no way you could have guessed she was the culprit. There was no foreshadowing, no clues, nothing. I don’t ever even remember her being in a position to get infected with head bugs, but that’s the story the writers are rolling with. I’m hoping the last three episodes of the season are going to blow us away, but we’ll have to wait and see if that will be the case. This season is big on the long plot lines, but it seems they’re coming up short on the payoff. In any event, check back here shortly after the airing for a brand new Weekly Skitter Report!
Wanna keep your eyes on the Skies? Read On…
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners
Posted on July 16, 2013, in Geekology, Reviews, The Weekly Skitter Report, TV, Zombie Round-Up and tagged Espheni, Falling Skies, Noah Wylie, Skitter, TNT, Tom Mason, Volm, Will Patton. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.