Falling Skies: Stalag 14th Virginia

This week’s iteration of Falling Skies was much like last week’s: a great standalone episode, yet, one which still in many respects lagged the overall plot of the season…until the end of it. The 14th Virginia is probably the true conflicted protagonist of the episode. Will it help in the war effort or continue to sit by and be useless? Its members are very much conflicted in the answer to this question.

Stalag 14th Virginia Falling Skies OBD
This is how it starts.

The episode begins with a firing squad leading four members out to be shot, and then quickly flashes back to earlier the night before. Captain Katie Marshall leaves the base alone, and Colonel Dan Weaver sneaks into the back of her vehicle. Lo and behold, and to the surprise of no one, the good captain has been meeting with the overlord seen at the end of “Everybody Has Their Reasons.” Well, Dan wasn’t going to have any of that. He waits for the good captain to leave and then goes Rambo on our Espheni friend, soloing him via strangulation. I found it somewhat unlikely that a human would be able to do this to a far stronger Espheni by himself, even if he got the drop on the sucker, but, I’ll go with it. Let’s just say our Espheni friend was executed by plotkai.

Dan goes back to the base and brings a sympathetic Lieutenant Demarcus Wolf back with him to the wilderness to show the result of his work and mention that the captain is a collaborator. Dan and Demarcus bring the corpse back (though Dan does not reveal himself publicly until after Demarcus returns) and show it to the base. The captain immediately orders the disposal of the body and for business to return as usual. Dan and Demarcus meet with sympathetic figures in secret and organize a conspiracy for a coup.

Meanwhile, Tom is doing some organizing of his own. He is slowly catching the ear of his jailer, Lieutenant Shelton, who is also conflicted about what the 14th Virginia is doing. Eventually, Shelton decides to help the Masons escape, but not before Anne also joins them in the brig after revealing to the doofus she healed last week that her daughter Lexi was half Espheni, which, in the eyes of this paranoid camp, amounts to treason.

The escape does not go quite as planned. Only Tom makes it out alive. Hal, Ben, and Anne are caught. Lieutenant Wolf is outed as another traitor, and Shelton, after bravely speaking up for many members of the 14th Virginia who did not believe in what they were doing and desired instead to fight the Espheni enemy, attempts to relieve Captain Marshall from duty, only to be shot by Asshole from last week. The coup appears to be a failure. Tom however, escapes.

Falling Skies 14th Stalag Virginia OBD
Asshole is about to get his.

The firing squad proceeds the next day as planned. Yet, when Asshole orders the squad to fire at Demarcus, Anne, Hal, and Ben, they do not, aaaaaand, just in time, Tom returns with the cavalry – the rest of the 2nd Mass. Asshole is killed by Maggie, who, along with Isabella, has managed to evade detection. The grace of the coup is delivered by Dan, who stabs the captain. She bleeds out black blood, revealing that she is not even fully human, but rather an Eshpeni experiment of some kind.

With the 14th Virginia now officially on board with the 2nd Mass, Dingaan and Cochise bring the Espheni communications device inside. Ben’s spikes light up, and he volunteers to try and infiltrate the Espheni communications, over the objections of those around him. Ben stays there for a while, and he sees that the Espheni are engaging in some kind of a ritual. There is, in fact, a higher power that they are servants to. Tom immediately asks Cochise if there was something he hadn’t told them. Cochise replies that “he didn’t think it was possible.”

What is this higher power? Well, apparently, according to the preview for next week’s episode, it is some kind of queen.

There is even a picture of her ugly mug:

Espheni Queen OBD Falling Skies
What kind of powers does this thing have?

Meanwhile, the one that outed Anne as a “traitor” escapes…to Pope’s camp. Pope seems to have taken up the role of some kind of Mad Max style warlord. He looks the part by drinking liberally while seated atop a petty throne. To add to the image, he is watching two men in a modern gladiatorial contest. Pope does the honor of killing the defeated himself. Yes, he has truly flipped his shit, and he looks the part with his scar given to him by Tom Mason. When he learns that Tom is still alive, he wants to move out.

So, who will be the more fearsome adversary, the Espheni queen or Pope?

I give “Stalag 14th Virginia” a…

7/10 – Positive

The intrigue at the end and the overall quality of the episode saved it from a lower rating. Hopefully it winds up that the storyline is much advanced as a result.

I still think that “Stalag 14th Virginia” was also a great satire against the increasing militarization of life in America, and its dangers.