Falling Skies 3.3 Episode Recap and Review: Badlands

Hello there, Falling Skies fans! It’s my turn to get the party started! As Tamara mentioned last week, she and I begged and pleaded for the chance to share the review of one of our favorite shows on Earth. And we were thrilled when FanBolt gave us the opportunity, while our other shows, Revolution and Castle, are on hiatus. Tamara gave you a rundown on the season premiere, and now it’s my turn. So! Let’s begin, shall we?

We begin this episode of Falling Skies with the youngest Mason, Matt, running to various perimeter outposts manned by the Second Mass, delivering batteries first to Lyle and Anthony, and then to Ben and Denny. He proceeds to a section guarded by Tector, Pope, and Crazy Lee. As he hands over coffee and cinnamon buns, Pope jokes that Matt had the makings of a good thief. Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by a sniper.

Back in Charleston, Tom and Maggie observe Hal’s continued progress toward walking. Marina arrives, and she and Tom head outside, discussing the potential candidates for the Vice Presidency after Manchester’s death. They stop briefly to talk to Jeanne, who is working with others to create a piece of artwork, a metal framing of a tree, that Tom names the Liberty Tree. Today is the second anniversary of the arrival of the aliens, and Jeanne promises that the Liberty Tree will be ready for Tom’s speech that night.

As Tector and Pope chat with Matt, Crazy Lee starts to leave their outpost to use the bathroom. Pope reminds her to take her “snow tires” – a vest made out of old tires. As she darts across the street, she is tracked by the sniper. Matt tries sneaking a glance at Craze, and Pope calls him out, joking that Craze is old enough to be Matt’s grandmother. Crazy Lee, hearing Pope’s words, jokingly replies that she’s likely the most exciting thing that Matt has ever seen. When Matt sheepishly admits to Tector and Pope that Craze has a point, the two men share a laugh, but before they can continue to razz Matt, a shot rings out. Pope tells Matt to stay down, and then he races over to Crazy Lee while Tector exchanges fire with the sniper. He finds her lying on the ground, at first appearance unhurt, her vest having caught the sniper shot. Pope urges Crazy Lee to get up, but she simply stares toward the sky, telling Pope that she can’t see. Pope strokes Craze’s hair back, and discovers that, when she fell back from the sniper shot, she landed on some rebar. The metal had gone through the back of her skull. Realizing the injury is serious, Pope manages to run back over to Tector and Matt, and he tells the boy to go find a hacksaw.

Tom hears about the gunfire on the perimeter from Weaver and Bressler. Despite Bressler’s protests that they have no idea who – or what – is causing the attack and that Tom should remain inside, Tom decides to go investigate. He and Weaver first go to the downed helicopter where Ben and Denny are holed up. The two deharnessed teens are holding their own against roughly six gun men. They help keep the snipers busy as Tom and Weaver move on. Tom manages to hit one of the shooters, who falls out of an overhead window. They are shocked to discover that the shooters are human, and apparently military.

Ben and Denny run over to where Tom and Weaver crouch over the shooter, and Ben and suggests that they try and talk to the snipers; that they need to convince them that they are on the same side. Weaver disagrees, pointing out that the snipers should have approached them instead of attacking them if that was the case. Tom responds that they can’t afford to be fighting against humans with the threat of another Espheni invasion on the horizon.

Matt somehow finds a hacksaw, and returns with it to where Pope awaits with Crazy Lee. Pope instructs Matt to hold Crazy Lee’s head still, and as he moves her hair out of the way, he notices that the rebar hadn’t just penetrated the back of her head…it actually went through her entire skull and emerged from her right temple. Pope’s face slowly freezes into a look of agony as he recognizes that Crazy Lee cannot survive such an injury.

Within the lab in Charleston, oblivious to what is going on outside, Anne swabs Alexis’s right heel. As she prepares to prick the baby’s foot with a lancing device, we hear our strange little baby utter the word, “Don’t,” before pulling her foot away. She and Anne stare at each other for a moment, and then Anne grabs Alexis’s foot again and uses the lancet. Blood wells up on her daughter’s heel, and she presses Alexis’s foot to a glass slide, smearing the blood there. Any normal baby would have cried over such an action, but Alexis doesn’t utter a peep, barely fussing as Anne sticks a band-aid on her foot and lifts her out of her bouncy chair. After placing Alexis in a nearby crib, Anne turns back to the slide and places it under a microscope. As she leans over the eyepiece, Alexis suddenly stands up in the crib behind her, and whispers, “Mommy.” Anne turns around, and when she sees her 3-week-old infant standing upright in the crib, smiling at her, she gasps and flinches backward, knocking the microscope off the table. She then curls up on the ground, convinced that she’s going crazy.

Of course, this is the moment that Lourdes shows up. She helps Anne to her feet, expressing concern, and Anne breaks down and tells her what just happened. By then baby Lexi is acting like any other 3-week-old infant and Lourdes meets Anne’s words with skepticism. When she asks Anne why she was taking Alexis’s blood – because out of all that Anne said, that was obviously the strangest part – Anne explodes, telling Lourdes that Alexis’s behavior was not normal. Lourdes quickly agrees, assuring Anne that she only wanted to help.

In the Northern Sector, Tom and Weaver confer with Tector over where the sniper is shooting from. Ben and Denny arrive, and Ben tells them that the Western Sector was reporting two Humvees moving out, apparently leaving behind the gunmen. Tom tries calling out to the sniper, urging them to stop shooting so that they could talk. In response, the sniper fires again. Having anticipated this, Weaver aims a heavy artillery weapon at the window where the sniper is hiding, and blows a hole through the building. The best way to end that argument! The sniper manages to survive the blast, and they capture her.

As Matt cradles Crazy Lee’s head, Pope uses the hacksaw on the rebar. Crazy Lee starts to tell them about a dog she had as a little girl named Annabel. At first, Crazy Lee smiles and laughs as she talks about the tricks that Annabel knew, but then she adds that Annabel’s back legs started to fail, and that one day the dog stopped eating. As her voice breaks, Crazy Lee reaches over and grabs Pope’s arm, stopping his sawing. She again talks of Annabel, saying that it was at that point that they knew that the dog’s time had come. Matt is at first puzzled by her words, but when he realizes what she is saying, he refuses to believe it, telling Crazy Lee that he won’t let her die in a hole. As Crazy Lee starts to cry softly, Matt orders Pope to keep sawing. Pope seems to know that their actions are futile, but he also strokes Crazy Lee’s hair, comforting her, before complying with Matt’s wishes.

Tom returns to Charleston, where he is approached by Lourdes. She tells him about Anne’s little breakdown earlier, attributing it all to postpartum depression or even psychosis. Lourdes assures Tom that Alexis is normal; obviously, it has to be in Anne’s head. Because every tired, over-worked mother sometimes thinks their child is progressing at an alarming rate.

Meanwhile, Maggie walks in on Hal as he is packing, apparently about to leave without telling her. She throws him against the wall in a rage (go, Maggie!) and Hal tells her about his dirty little secret – well, most of it. Karen had implanted him with something, controlling a part of him, forcing him “to go see her” at night (nice way to keep it clean, Hal). Hal is convinced that he is the mole, and that means he needs to leave. At first, Maggie lets her temper take over, storming out of the room in a huff; she doesn’t get far when she does an about-face and returns, telling Hal that he isn’t the mole, she isn’t giving up on him, and that somehow, they will undo what Karen has done to him.

Back in the lab, Tom walks in on Anne looking through the microscope. He apologizes for not being there to help her take care of Alexis, and admits that Lourdes had talked to him. When Anne realizes what he is implying, she bluntly tells him that he has no idea what he’s talking about. Tom asks her to tell him, saying that he’ll keep an open mind. However, from the expression on his face after Anne responds, being told that his daughter isn’t human is apparently too much to ask him to believe.

Pope and Matt have managed to bring Crazy Lee back to the Charleston infirmary. As Matt sits at her bedside, watching her stare blindly up at the ceiling, Pope listens as Lourdes explains the extent of her injury. The rebar is the only thing keeping her alive; it sliced across the middle cerebral artery in her brain and went through the occipital lobe, which caused the blindness. Pope, now knowing there really is no hope, and that leaving the rebar in Crazy Lee’s head is only delaying the inevitable, abruptly turns away from Lourdes. He walks away in anguish.

As Tom changes Alexis’s diaper, he asks her if she’s really doing what Anne claims. He’s obviously not expecting a response, and Alexis simply coos and babbles and acts like a normal baby. Anne watches this, clearly frustrated, telling Tom that she is not crazy. This is a far cry from her earlier thoughts, but it seems that telling Lourdes, and finding out that Lourdes told Tom, has calmed Anne down and made her sure of herself. Unfortunately, it has also made her realize that they do not believe her.

Ben arrives, telling Tom that the sniper has woken up. He and Tom head down to where the sniper is being held. As they enter the cage, Bressler is questioning her, but the woman stares straight ahead, merely responding with her name, rank, and serial number – she is Katherine Fisher, a First Lieutenant. Weaver hints to Tom that they will be unable to question her without some form of torture, but Tom believes she will open up when he tells her what he thinks caused the attack on Charleston. He believes that she was with a group of humans that had been watching them for a few days, and after observing them working with Skitters and deharnessed kids, and possibly the Volm, assumed that the humans in Charleston were in collaboration with the aliens. He goes on to explain about the Rebel Skitters, and how they and the Volm were helping Charleston to defeat the Espheni.

Fisher’s response is one that we heard often throughout the second season, one that the Second Mass and then the Charleston inhabitants had thrown out when arguing the possibility of a rebel faction: that the only good alien is a dead alien. She then turns to Weaver, asking him who Tom is, obviously believing that he is spouting nonsense. When Weaver responds that Tom is the President of the new United States, Fisher chuckles – and everyone is stunned when she states that she works for the President – the real President, Benjamin Hathaway – and he was the one that had sent her and her squad to investigate Charleston.

Tom, Weaver, Bressler, and Marina leave Fisher and head to Tom’s office. Bressler and Marina consider that Fisher is lying about Hathaway, while Weaver is convinced that the rest of her team is heading back to where Hathaway is hiding, and that he will likely continue attacking them, believing them to be collaborating with the enemy. Tom thinks that they need to send a group out in search of Hathaway so that they can tell him what is really going on in Charleston. Bressler protests this move, stating that with the imminent Espheni attack, they don’t have anyone that can be sent to search for a man that might not exist. However, when Tom points out that they face a greater risk of fighting the war on two fronts, against the Espheni and other humans if those humans believe Charleston is an enemy compound, he reluctantly agrees – but then goes on to state that they need to do whatever is needed to get Fisher to tell them where Hathaway is located. Tom can only hang his head in troubled assent.

After Tom leaves with Ben, Anne sits on her bed, staring at Alexis. She is distracted by a knock at the door, and opens it to find Lourdes with some food and a small bottle of wine. As Anne lets her in, she apologizes to Lourdes for her outburst earlier. Lourdes offers to spend the night, and at first, Anne agrees; but then she thinks it over, and asks Lourdes if Tom sent her. When Lourdes doesn’t deny it, Anne angrily realizes that Tom doesn’t trust her alone with Alexis. She orders Lourdes to leave, but Lourdes refuses, stating that Tom asked her to stay until he returned.
Outside of Crazy Lee’s room, the rest of the Berserkers are gathered. Tom approaches, and goes into the room where Matt still sits. Tom praises Matt for his efforts in bringing Crazy Lee back, and then comforts him. He goes over to Crazy Lee, who appears to be sleeping, and he thanks her for all of her efforts with the Resistance. After kissing her forehead, Tom starts to leave, but is stopped by Pope. Pope coldly informs Tom that he is to blame for Crazy Lee’s imminent death; that the Berserkers were operating on no rest, no explanations, either helping the Volm on the top-secret project or on the frontlines keeping a lookout for the Espheni. Tom silently listens to Pope’s accusations, and then quietly agrees with him before walking away.

Pope returns to Crazy Lee’s room, and she wakes up a little while later. She asks after Matt, and Pope tells her that he was taking a break, and it was just the two of them. He chokes back tears as Craze starts talking about how she’d like him to take her to Disneyland. He grips her hand, telling Craze that he once got into a fistfight with Goofy and was banned for life. They share a laugh, and then Crazy Lee quietly says Pope’s name one more time before dying. Her hand slowly falls to her side, and Pope grasps it, and then pulls what looks to be a St. Christopher necklace from her relaxed fingers. Holding it, he starts to cry, stroking Crazy Lee’s hair. When he leaves the room, Matt is sitting outside, and Pope hangs the necklace around Matt’s neck before walking away.

Hal is now determined to go to his father and turn himself in as the mole. As he leaves their room, Maggie follows, still arguing that Hal has no real proof that he’s the one, as he has no memory of killing people. However, with the current mood in Charleston, people won’t wait to hear proof, and not even Tom will be able to protect Hal from them. She urges Hal to wait to say anything to anyone until he’s sure, to which Hal responds that he IS sure, and he keeps walking.

As 8 pm draws near, Tom walks with Marina toward the gathering of people. He tells her that he’s decided to appoint her Vice President of the new United States. He steps up to a microphone, and starts to read a speech from a piece of paper; he only reads a few sentences before stopping, and tucking the paper away. Talking directly to the people of Charleston, he tells them that in the last 2 years, nothing much has really changed. Humans were still fighting, still losing loved ones, still living under fear, and still searching for hope. He mentions Crazy Lee’s death, stating that her sacrifice was a reminder that every single day, and every single life, matters.

Gesturing to the Liberty Tree, Tom articulates the meaning of the tree; that its leaves would be inscribed with the names of loved ones who have fought and fallen, and those that have died and deserve their remembrance. They will live on, forever, on the limbs of the Liberty Tree, starting with Lee Tedeschi. As he continues, we see Pope in the background, sitting in a lawn chair. He raises a beer bottle to the empty seat next to him in a silent salute of his own.

A young girl starts singing, as Tom walks over to a table where individual metal leaves are lying. He writes down Crazy Lee’s name, and then hangs the leaf on the sculpture. Other voices rise in song, as more and more people step up and begin to add their own leaves in remembrance. Matt takes Crazy Lee’s necklace from around his neck, and starts to hang it also; he then hesitates, and slowly places it back around his neck.

Hal is nearby, and he kisses Maggie briefly, and then heads toward his father, clearly intending to announce then and there that he is the mole. He has barely moved when an explosion suddenly goes off in the distance, and the singing cuts off as people scream in alarm. Alien aircraft suddenly appear in the distance. As Weaver shouts orders to the soldiers, Tom holds Anne, who cradles Alexis. The sky lights up as alien aircraft race across the sky; Tom and Anne stare upwards in shock, and in her arms, baby Alexis also tracks the flight of the aliens, smiling slightly.

So, everyone! What did you think about our third episode of Falling Skies this season? What do you think about Hal’s decision that he’s the mole? What about how Lourdes and Tom responded to Anne’s claims about our creepy alien-baby Lexi? And then there’s Crazy Lee…I must say, I had a hard time with this recap. So much went on, so many things happened. All of the emotional undertones in this episode were hard to capture! I have long been a fan of Crazy Lee, and watching her death brought tears to my eyes. And I am absolutely thrilled with the new depth we are seeing in Pope, both as a leader and a defender of the Berserkers. The way he stood up to Tom in this episode gave me chills – you could practically feel the grief and suppressed rage as he lays Crazy Lee’s death at Tom’s feet. Those scenes really overshadowed everything else that happened in this episode, in my opinion. Do you agree? Voice your comments about this episode below!


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