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S05.E08: Stalag 14th Virginia 2015.08.16

Weaver discovers the shocking truth about an old friend; Maggie and Isabella work together

 

 

Stalag 14?  Great. Now I have the theme for Hogan's Heros running through my head.  (An obscure tv comedy that you'd only know about if you were around for nick at night or the 70s).

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Stalag 14?  Great. Now I have the theme for Hogan's Heros running through my head.  (An obscure tv comedy that you'd only know about if you were around for nick at night or the 70s).

What? It's not obscure at all!

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I think the title is a reference to the William Holden classic Stalag 17. Definitely not a comedy. Its plot revolves around finding out who is the collaborator in a Nazi POW camp. I guess that's a hint from the writers.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogan%27s_Heroes

 

 

There were prisoners of war in Stalag 13- they stayed there by choice so as to help the Allies win the war.  The commander of the camp was truly inept so it was easy to get things by him.  It truly was a comedy.

 

Also, the famous Schultz:  

 

 

But yes, I think the title actually refers to Stalag 17.  Nonetheless, my mind immediately went to Hogan's Heros.

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In this episode Jan from The Office finally breaks down from the stress of dating Michael Scott and channels Dwight Schrute while overseeing the most ridiculous court martial ever.

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They've taken a break from the dreary Popery to actually advance the story line. There's dramatic irony here: The nutty woman is herself influenced by alien tech. Double dramatic irony: There really are serious problems with Tom's return and plan. The actual story line about how they win is complicated by the fact they never troubled to figure out why space war? Either they're too powerful to need anything or they can't mount an invasion. Now that they've stalled with one feeble expedient after another, the balloon payment's coming due. I think it's going to be ugly. 

 

One aspect, the apparent desire to wish the story away, as in slaughtering all the skitters, who have suddenly turned totally into animals, so that "we" can have our planet back the way it was, is foolish wish fulfilment I think. It didn't occur to anybody that their version of going back to normal means killing all the Bens.

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They've taken a break from the dreary Popery to actually advance the story line. There's dramatic irony here: The nutty woman is herself influenced by alien tech. Double dramatic irony: There really are serious problems with Tom's return and plan. The actual story line about how they win is complicated by the fact they never troubled to figure out why space war? Either they're too powerful to need anything or they can't mount an invasion. Now that they've stalled with one feeble expedient after another, the balloon payment's coming due. I think it's going to be ugly.

One aspect, the apparent desire to wish the story away, as in slaughtering all the skitters, who have suddenly turned totally into animals, so that "we" can have our planet back the way it was, is foolish wish fulfilment I think. It didn't occur to anybody that their version of going back to normal means killing all the Bens.

 

Personally, I always did enjoy seeing how Pope, in the past, put Tom in his place (although, no one ever listens to him) by calling him out on his shit, but this whole story about Pope "breaking bad" is just ridiculous (and I do think that they are going to address this either in this episode or in the next episode, but I find this all to be pointless). Another ridiculous story is this one about the 14th Virginia and Weaver's old flame being a possible Overlord puppet and/or collaborator is also ridiculous.

 

Especially at this stage in the show's development. They are literally only 3 episodes out of 10 left (counting this one) and they have decided to squander episodes to show us, thus far: a) Pope and Anthony both snap at the same time, leaving the 2nd Mass and Pope wants Tom dead and kidnapped Hal b) Tom spends an entire episode  finding Hal, c) then Tom spends another episode on a miraculous farm that hasn't been touched by this global war that destroyed all human civilization and the children on this farm don't know that a freaking alien invasion is happening around them and now d) the 2nd Mass just randomly finds the 14th Virginia who are coincidentally lead by Weaver's old flame and that the 14th are evil because.... I really don't know. We are shown that they are not above torture/rape so, they are evil and thus they don't like Tom.... 

 

Finally, we have this episode, which by the looks of it is going to be about how the 2nd Mass and  how Tom, Hall, Ben, Weaver, and Anne  will all survive  this ordeal and somehow end the 14th for good. Which is kind of sad, since that there is an actual alien war going around them, but the writers want to waste time on this plot and other ridiculous storylines. 

 

Edit:

 

On another note, Wikipedia has Noah Wyle listed as director of this episode.

Edited by TVSpectator.
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Whelp, no surprise there.  I figured the leader lady was working for the Espheni this entire time, but at least a couple of the soldiers did seem to be just bad dudes (like Sergeant Rapist and the dude that tricked Anne).  Also no surprise: in the end, nothing matter because everyone is still alive, outside one poor sap who stood up for the Masons and got capped for it.  But Tom escapes after a botched attempt to get everyone, apparently rounds up Dingan, Matt, Cochise, and the rest, and the swoop in to save the day.  They did get an asset from the soldiers who were tired of their leader's shit refusing to shoot, and Anne speechifying during her final words. Hey, I still think her speeches are better then Tom's: they may be long-winded too, but at least she seems to have legit emotion, while Tom's always feels like he a bored professor, who truly believes it's his duty to teach the peons how to count or whatever.

 

Well, great.  This Hal/Maggie/Isabella love triangle might even be more annoying then Hal/Ben/Maggie.  Come on, Hal.  It's obvious that Maggie is the one you are gaga over for some damn reason, so just go ahead and tell Isabella it's over, and save yourself a bunch of trouble.  And maybe she can find someone else.  Assuming it isn't Ben, but knowing this show, they'd do it.  I'd almost prefer she hook up with Cochise...

 

At least there is some movement in the final battle, with Ben finding out that the Overlords are awakening some being that is apparently big enough to freak Cochise out.

 

But just when things look good, we return to fucking Pope.  He's apparently just hanging out and putting on fight clubs (Seriously, Pope?  Tom may be a prick, but he's at least doing useful stuff, while you're just being a lame shit.  Suckass leader...), only for that dude that tricked Anne, to come stumbling in, and tell him Tom's alive.  So, great.  This means they're probably going to start some shit.  Lame.  And I still think Anthony being on board with all this is bullshit.  Even if he was still pissed about Weaver benching him, Anthony from the past would find fightclubs to be a waste of time.  But clearly he's just a pod person now or, more likely, writers just don't give a shit about him. 

Edited by thuganomics85.
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Also no surprise: in the end, nothing matter because everyone is still alive, outside one poor sap who stood up for the Masons and got capped for it.  But Tom escapes after a botched attempt to get everyone, apparently rounds up Dingan, Matt, Cochise, and the rest, and the swoop in to save the day... 

But just when things look good, we return to fucking Pope.  

Perhaps the high survival rate is absolutely key to the plot providing heavy military support for the march on D.C.?

 

Obsessive Tom hate is misleading. Pretty much everything was down to Weaver, not Tom. The climax was the squad not shooting and that was all Weaver. I thought the show was a little heavy handed in having a character announce this but apparently not. I don't think not being interested in Weaver makes the episode filler. 

 

But I do heartily agree on Pope, the embodiment of obsessive Mason-hate. 

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Good lord, the producers are tying to make Pope a GoT character that met Fight Club.

 

Not because I'm that invested, but I wonder which girl will Hal end up with?

 

Actually, for Falling Skies it wasn't that bad an episode.

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I'm starting to get the feeling that whoever's in charge of this season came up with an idea for just two episodes: the last two. And everything up until now has been filler. Maybe they figured out the last two episodes were going to be so expensive to film they had to just fill up the rest of the season with pointless storyline they could shoot on the cheap. I mean here we are, only two episodes left, and we still have the Pope loose thread to tie up and end the whole war.

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I would have expected the final push to DC to have started a few episodes ago, instead of al tlhis Stalag 14 crap. Yes, now they have more men, and some army equipment, but that could have been accomplished in half of one episode instead of two. And the LAST thing I needed to see what f-ing Pope. Can he just die already> Who gives one shit about him? Anyone?

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Everybody not named Mason, Weaver or Maggie should just call it a day and head for the beach instead of DC. The only role they will play in the last two episodes is that of a potential redshirt.

 

I thought the efforts of Dingan and Cochise might be critical to the final battle, but no. They were just caddies. 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Way to keep your people alive Pope. Jerk.

 

Tom just gave the speech before the speech before THE SPEECH.

 

 

Come on, Hal.  It's obvious that Maggie is the one you are gaga over for some damn reason,

It's the shiny jeans.

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Here are my thoughts on this episode:

 

The Good:

 

-Well, I thought seeing Weaver actually do something this episode was amazing. He actually was able to organize  a coup from the Cpt. all from behind the scenes, killed an Overlord with his bare hands and his belt, killed the Cpt.,and was able to rescue Tom's family plus Lt. Wolf all in a matter of a few hours. Now, if that was all they would show on this show, IMO, would be awesome to see, instead, of getting to see/listen to Tom's long-winded speeches; we could've been watching how amazing Weaver is (and I am still upset that they killed off Jeanne). 

 

-The idea of having an Esh double (or a doppelganger) is an interesting idea; although, too bad that they introduced the idea so late into the show. IMO, if it was introduced earlier it would've allowed the writers to actually explore this concept (maybe the Esh made doubles/doppelgangers of all the people that died on this show). I also wonder if this is going to be the only time we see something like that, but I do wonder about the man that Anne healed, is he another double/doppelganger? 

 

The so-so:

 

- It was  a bit fun to see that Tom's ability to make a long winded speech failed in this episode; well he was only able to convince only one soldier but still it seemed that his words actually made the situation worse. 

 

The Bad:

 

-Tom lives.

 

-Having the man that Weaver recuse saying, "are they trying to kill the Masons" I found to be eye rolling. I mean come on, just please stop with the Mason loving. We get it, you love Tom and he is your Geeky Stu/Marty Stu trope character and anything that comes from Tom is good, wholesome, and pure. 

 

-Yeah, Pope and Anthony in this episode were hard to see. I really believe that both were character assassinated in this season. Yeah, I can see Pope leaving the 2nd Mass for good but I can't believe that they are still doing this whole, "breaking bad" plot line and now having Pope presides over death matches. Also, poor Anthony is reduced to a henchman #1/Sidekick because of something totally stupid. Normally, I do like Pope but this is just too freaking much, even for me.

 

-Overall, I thought that this episode was predictable in the sense that it wasn't a surprised to see the Cpt talking to the Overlord and that the Masons wouldn't die. It was obvious from the first part that the Cpt was working, was being controlled, etc.. by the Esh. The only real surprise in this episode was the revelation that the Cpt. was actually a double/Esh clone and seeing Weaver's coup. 

 

Stuff I am confused:

 

-Okay, so the last we saw Pope and Anthony and their group, was sometime back in NC or Georgia? So, how did that man, from the military base hospital was able to run to Pope/Anthony and tell them that Tom Mason was alive (and how on earth did he know that Pope would know who is Tom Mason)? Did this man ran all the way to Georgia and/or NC wearing nothing but a hospital gown and no shoes or did Pope and his group just were randomly (and coincidently) was just in the same area as the 2nd Mass and the 14 Virginia without knowing it?

Edited by TVSpectator.
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Who were those people that stormed the Virginia base?

 

Technically I suppose they were members of the 2nd Mass, but they weren't characters that we know. After getting rid of Pope, Denny, Anthony and Sara the team is down to the Masons, Weaver, Maggie Isabel, Dingan and Cochise. Everybody else is just an extra now.

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Why is it that shows in their final season just wander all over the map for most of the season, and don't get anywhere until the last episode or two?  We've seen the collaborator plot several times now.  They needed this season to bring the story to a close not just wander around with Fight Club.

 

I love how Cochise has information that he holds close to his vest until he is directly asked about it.  Is he afraid he will alter the course of history if he offers any info?

 

Why did they bring Isabella into this season - why not offer an existing 2nd mass member that we haven't seen - it's obvious there is several warm bodies somewhere. 

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Who were those people that stormed the Virginia base?

 

Technically I suppose they were members of the 2nd Mass, but they weren't characters that we know. After getting rid of Pope, Denny, Anthony and Sara the team is down to the Masons, Weaver, Maggie Isabel, Dingan and Cochise. Everybody else is just an extra now.

 

They were supposed to be the rest of the 2nd Mass that Matt was sent for at the end of the last episode. 

 

 Personally,  I think that Tom and Weaver (and probably just Anne) should've engaged the 14th Virginia first before allowing the rest of their scouting  party to walk right onto the base. Instead they totally just walked onto the base because they assumed that these guys were the good guys because they were human, even though the 2nd Mass has been encountering human Esh collaborators since Season 1. As with what others have been saying, the rest of the 2nd Mass are just a faceless bunch of people, with no names, because they are redshirt fodder. 

 

They brought Isabella into the 2nd Mass  because they decided to create another love triangle with Hal. IMO, it's annoying but by the end of the this series Hal is probably going to end up with his own harem after the Esh is defeated. 

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Tom just gave the speech before the speech before THE SPEECH.

 

Really. He's firing up his Speechifying. Ann had A Speech too, but history won't remember that. Though they should. She was a pediatrician-cum-battle medic performing surgery on aliens. That's got to be like 9 purple hearts.

 

This entire plot was a waste of time for the final season. The DC plot should be a 4 parter at least. It's the end of the show. Anyone watching by now wants to see how it ends. You can serialize it.

 

I was impressed with Weaver though. He should have been really the one in charge, with Tom kind of not. Show, you can't tell me "Tom is a hero". If you have to say it, then you're doing it wrong. 

 

I figured Tom was going to come barreling in at the last minute, but it was nice that it was really Weaver that got those guys on the firing squad not to shoot.

 

I liked Fight Club when it was Zombie Fight Club on The Walking Dead.

 

I'm not really bothered by the tropes on the show, but they are *so* tropey. If you're going to trope, do something original, put a twist on it. I don't mind the focus on the family pov. But it's just bland.

 

I mean, really, "Hey, the captain is always touching her wound and then going to bed all the time and it hasn't looked like it's healed in a month. How did she get it again? That seems kind of odd to me."

"Hey, Tom, let's not push our luck and prance right into this military base. We've been burned before. I mean, I'll go with you, maybe let's take Hal, but we shouldn't disclose Cochise or our materiel until we know it's ok."

 

That's the entire episode. 

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Did anyone notice/see the new Alien "God" of the Overlords?

When Ben is pulled away from the Espheni comunication device, he gets some flashes.

One of the flashes is THIS:

 

http://imageshack.com/a/img538/5829/y3gCoZ.jpg

 

 

Looks like an alien version of a Georgia O'Keefe painting...or whatever it was that most of her paintings tend to resemble.  ;)

 

I wish someone on that base would have noticed that their commander had a fairly continuously bleeding wound on her neck.  You'd think an aide would see that and suggest that a medic (or the visiting doctor) take a look at it.  I know the would was our clue that she wasn't who she seemed to be, but that bugged me.

Edited by terrymct.
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Everybody not named Mason, Weaver or Maggie should just call it a day and head for the beach instead of DC. The only role they will play in the last two episodes is that of a potential redshirt.

I'm not sure even Weaver will make it to the end. For some reason, I picture him getting mortally wounded in battle and, with his dying breath, telling Tom to "earn this".

 

As for Maggie, I think the love triangle will end with either Maggie or Isabella dying while saving Hal's life.

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I wish someone on that base would have noticed that their commander had a fairly continuously bleeding wound on her neck.  You'd think an aide would see that and suggest that a medic (or the visiting doctor) take a look at it.  I know the would was our clue that she wasn't who she seemed to be, but that bugged me.

 

I'm not sure I get who she really was. Was she the real Captain, who had been tampered with by the Esh? Or was she a doppelganger manufactured from scratch? Why was the cut on her neck bleeding real blood, while she bled something black when Weaver stabbed her?

 

I've always found this show entertaining, even when it wasn't so good (so a lot of the time), but it's just got tedious, to the point where I feel sorry for the actors. I'm not hate-watching, I want to see how it ends but they seriously screwed that last season.

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I've decided this show is written for 10-year-olds. But first ...

 

I was impressed with Weaver though. He should have been really the one in charge, with Tom kind of not. Show, you can't tell me "Tom is a hero". If you have to say it, then you're doing it wrong.

 

 

Agree, been saying that for two seasons. Weaver is all the things they tried to make Tom, who is a square peg in a round hole. Tom Mason should have been the advisor with a deep knowledge of history that propelled them to victory over an alien foe who didn't know about human tactics. Weaver should have been the tough, courageous leader who was smart enough to know when to turn to Tom for his knowledge. Instead, they reversed it, and the show suffered greatly. Tom Mason is a laughable action hero (he said once again).

 

OK, so Maggie and Isabella escape. What is their plan? To sneak back into the camp and take on 6+ trained soldiers in a stupid attempt to free the gang. Hmmm. Maybe you should go back and tell the Volm. No, wait - only Tom is smart enough to figure that out! BTW, was this the first time that Tom Mason DIDN'T put saving his family above the needs of the rest of the group? I think it was. And I was convinced that, during the looooooooong period where Tom watched the capture of his family, he was going to turn around and come back to try to rescue them instead of get help. I guess that's character growth, finally.

 

Weaver, whose prowess with hand-to-hand was already mentioned, elects to stab the possessed colonel to death? Vs. a takedown? Seems kind of dramatic.

 

Speaking of, those Overlords have become giant wussies. Weaver stranged him with his belt?! Well damn, why haven't the 2nd Mass created a squad of belt-armed ninjas?

 

At the end, one of the VA soldiers praises Weaver, telling him he "ran the whole operation like a puppeteer." What operation was that? If he means the entire takedown of the possessed colonel, I suppose that worked out OK, though one good guy (the guy with the two kids) was killed, and at any time a true believer could have shot our bound heroes or Cochise (bringing him out during that highly charged moment seemed ill-advised). If that was all part of a plan, there was a lot of risk.

 

Yet another episode that didn't move us anywhere on the final battle. That's three in a row.

 

BTW, whatever happened with Cochise's father dying during that ill-advised surgery? Did I miss that? Cochise seems to be the same.

Edited by Ottis.
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I'm not sure I get who she really was. Was she the real Captain, who had been tampered with by the Esh? Or was she a doppelganger manufactured from scratch? Why was the cut on her neck bleeding real blood, while she bled something black when Weaver stabbed her?

 

That all befuddled me, too.   I THINK she was supposed to be a creation that was somehow endowed with the Captain's memories.  The references to her past with Weaver were odd, as well.  He was her commanding officer but they had some kind of an affair when at least one of them was married?   Oh, that's a bit of a no-no a couple of different ways.   I also didn't buy the semi-controlled attraction between them in this episode.  It seemed out of place, inappropriate.

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 And the LAST thing I needed to see what f-ing Pope. Can he just die already> Who gives one shit about him? Anyone?

I've watched Falling Skies from the beginning, before the premise problems with space war started eating away, before "a Mason is entangled in alien tech/machinations which they survive and then turn into an advance against the enemy" plot was used over and over and over. The thing is, there were lots and lots of people who loved Pope on the internet. (I've hated the character from day one, despite residual affection for Major Davis.) Near as I can tell, producers do take into account the internets reaction. Which is why I've come to think giving the fans what they want is a perilous proposition indeed. They loved Pope, they've got him. It's gotten to the point I sometimes feel like I'm posting in hopes whatever intern is reviewing the fans for the producers can get a different view. BBS forums have a tendency to groupthink, surely a little variety of opinion is more than trolling. 

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I've also been watching from the beginning but the show really jumped the shark last year. I think it started two years ago but last year was really the straw that broke the camels back. Flying to the moon? Really? I was actually relieved when they announced this was the final season but wouldn't have been at all disappointed to see it end last year. Well, I would becau there was no ending, but I don't think I'd have missed it.

As others have already said, there are only two episodes left until the finale, and we haven't advanced plot at all. Am i supposed to believe that somehow in the next two shows, the good guys are miraculously going to defeat the esh and save the world?

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I'm not sure how anyone's love of Pope would lead the writers to write him as such a loathsome character sjohnson. He is drawn as unredeemable to the core. Of course this is at root because he is anti Mason, the devil, where in this show Mason is god.

I agree with the post above that this show is written for 10 year olds. Possibly also written BY ten year olds. This is an example;

. Stuff I am confused:

-Okay, so the last we saw Pope and Anthony and their group, was sometime back in NC or Georgia? So, how did that man, from the military base hospital was able to run to Pope/Anthony and tell them that Tom Mason was alive (and how on earth did he know that Pope would know who is Tom Mason)? Did this man ran all the way to Georgia and/or NC wearing nothing but a hospital gown and no shoes or did Pope and his group just were randomly (and coincidently) was just in the same area as the 2nd Mass and the 14 Virginia without knowing it?

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Near as I can tell, producers do take into account the internets reaction. Which is why I've come to think giving the fans what they want is a perilous proposition indeed. They loved Pope, they've got him.

 

 

Then they did a terrible job of reading the boards. Because Pope's value was as a foil to Mason *with a reasonable, alternative perspective.* Pope called Mason out on some of his ridiculous, Mason is God actions. And instead of using Pope as basically the voice of the boards, they made Pope into a cartoon.

 

So yeah, they don't get it. Or they are saying FU to many people who watch the show.

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I knew the Captain was not real from the very start.  How could people miss that bandage on her neck and not question what was going on with her?  I actually thought that when she was stabbed that some creepy crawlies would come out of the wound.  I was surprised it was only black blood.  

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I think we all knew the captain was off. The problem is it was so glaringly obvious that it made the plot ridiculous.

I think a Weaver knifed her instead of the takedown because of the point to the other guy who told Tom, "it's not the dogs fault they got rabies, but you still have to put them down." I think the big scene with the dead Overlord was what pushed him to conclude she was irredeemable.

The more I think about it the more I'm buying in. With Weaver in charge he could rely on Toms knowledge of history to confuse the Esh with all these crazy battle strategies. That would have been cool.

I'm not hate watching either, but the show wasted so much potential.

Plus we are totally all waiting for The Speech. On the Mall.

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The more I think about it the more I'm buying in. With Weaver in charge he could rely on Toms knowledge of history to confuse the Esh with all these crazy battle strategies. That would have been cool.

 

 

That is how the show started, if I remember correctly. Before it all went horribly wrong. As i have posted before, Noah Wylie plays a role on The Librarians where he is the brains behind solutions, and it fits him much better than Tom Mason's contrived hero role does.

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I'm not sure how anyone's love of Pope would lead the writers to write him as such a loathsome character sjohnson. He is drawn as unredeemable to the core. Of course this is at root because he is anti Mason, the devil, where in this show Mason is god.

I agree with the post above that this show is written for 10 year olds. Possibly also written BY ten year olds. This is an example;

. Stuff I am confused:

-Okay, so the last we saw Pope and Anthony and their group, was sometime back in NC or Georgia? So, how did that man, from the military base hospital was able to run to Pope/Anthony and tell them that Tom Mason was alive (and how on earth did he know that Pope would know who is Tom Mason)? Did this man ran all the way to Georgia and/or NC wearing nothing but a hospital gown and no shoes or did Pope and his group just were randomly (and coincidently) was just in the same area as the 2nd Mass and the 14 Virginia without knowing it?

 

 

Edit: yeah I get it. 

Then they did a terrible job of reading the boards. Because Pope's value was as a foil to Mason *with a reasonable, alternative perspective.* Pope called Mason out on some of his ridiculous, Mason is God actions. And instead of using Pope as basically the voice of the boards, they made Pope into a cartoon.

So yeah, they don't get it. Or they are saying FU to many people who watch the show.

 

 

The way I understand it is that turning Pope bad is a giant FU to us because he disagrees with Mason and another  FU to anyone who liked Anthony before this season. Now, I guess a decent writer would drop hints that maybe this isn't our Pope nor our Anthony, maybe they are more Esh clones that were made off screen, but I would assumed that there would be hints being dropped  that they are but I have not noticed any. Instead, we are just seeing more and more character assassination of these two characters

Edited by TVSpectator.
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I don't think they are clones. Anthony clearly had ptsd and then snapped, unrealistically imo, when he was sidelined for literally freezing up in battle and potentially costing lives.

 

Pope should have been more useful as he actually was at one point. That would at least justify him being a jerk sometimes and give some credibility to his criticisms of Tom. But then they just had him be a jerk and not do anything, yet no one just kicked him out. Somehow Sara became his OTP because of beans. Then she did, which was totally *his fault* because he took a 'short cut'. Now they have him Apocalypse Now in the span of like a week.

 

I think, as it was said, I wouldn't bet against it because it's kind of been done before, that TPTBs had the idea for the last 2 and just filled the season in to get the characters where they wanted them.

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And I was convinced that, during the looooooooong period where Tom watched the capture of his family, he was going to turn around and come back to try to rescue them instead of get help. I guess that's character growth, finally.

 

 

I think even Tom has realized by now that, no matter how dire the situation may be, no harm will ever befall a Mason. It has become so obvious.

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Back when Pope was allegedly the reasonable alternative to the Masons, he presided over gang rapes, not fight club. He wasn't the thoughtful critic of strategy, he was the berserker. He was the dude who was having a good war. People liked that. This supposedly new departure of Pope, the imaginary FU from the writers, is nothing more than the original character. But this is supposed to be the endgame, where it's hard to pretend his murderous escapades had real significance to the ostensible war against space invaders, so he's not having the scripts falsely framing him as the reasonable alternative. They haven't any more time to waste. Appalling as it is to think, it may be Pope is being dragged back in, to hell with the plot, to provide some phony redemption by his last berserker assault. For my part, if they insist on having him around, he should play Gollum. 

 

I'm pretty sure Anthony was written as going off the rails with Pope because Treva Etienne's character is the one the plot needs for the march to victory, but they apparently like Mpho Koaho, so they wrote this instead of a noble death. That way he stays on the payroll. 

 

Unless you redefine "harm" as solely meaning killed (permanently, this being SF,) and also somehow decide Lexi wasn't a Mason, all the Masons have suffered. At this point, Ben qualifies as Espheni tech. Tom's ruthlessness shtick implies Ben will be capped after he's no longer useful. It think it's not the repetitiveness of Mason invulnerability that's been eating away at the show, it's the repetitiveness of Mason suffering. Using the information and tech so painfully gleaned as weapons in the war is logical enough, and even plausible in any individual case. Tom being tortured by an Espheni, but surviving because his defiance prompted Redeye to take a chance is possibly the best use of this ploy in the series? But over and over? But I have to see this as the Masons being cursed, not blessed.

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Back when Pope was allegedly the reasonable alternative to the Masons, he presided over gang rapes, not fight club. He wasn't the thoughtful critic of strategy, he was the berserker. He was the dude who was having a good war. People liked that. This supposedly new departure of Pope, the imaginary FU from the writers, is nothing more than the original character.

 

 

That was Classic Pope. New Pope was the Pope who evolved beyond that after joining the 2nd Mass, and had become a reasonable foil for Tom. New Pope wasn't raping people in the 2nd Mass, or holding fight clubs. He had found a home of sorts and was contributing as a member of it - that character development was a story unto itself. But beyond that, the most useful way Pope contributed was as the rougher, more bloody, more aggressive member of the Tom Mason-Weaver-Pope trio. It was that very past of Pope you cite that created his value. He could say and suggest and do things that Mason and Weaver couldn't. And that was an intriguing threesome, much like Kirk-Spock-McCoy.

 

The show blew all that up, by making Tom into the action hero, and Weaver into ... I don't know, the conscience? Those roles should have stayed reversed. They reverted Pope into a cartoon. He isn't even Classic pope. He is Pre-Classic pope now. They trashed the one part of the show who would call Tom Mason openly on his bullshit - which, BTW, represented some of the best character interaction seen on Falling Skies. And for what? Now we have a Pope whose only role is to show how his perspective was bad and Tom Mason's is good. I guess the writers aren't comfortable with complexity. And that is one reason FS is a shell of itself.

 

Unless you redefine "harm" as solely meaning killed (permanently, this being SF,) and also somehow decide Lexi wasn't a Mason, all the Masons have suffered.

 

 

I strongly disagree. They lost their mom/wife, but almost everyone lost that and more. Agree that Lexi doesn't count. Hal hasn't been impacted. Ben, like many kids we have seen, had some spikes implanted that actually gave him super powers AND the ability to spy on the Espheni AND he survived being separated from that link. In other words, this made him MORE useful, ultimately. Isn't there a third, younger brother? I forget. And Tom Mason has gotten to play god. All of them have had the freedom to leave the group behind whenever another Mason is in danger, or to go support a Mason - and Tom is supposed to be a leader - and then be welcomed back as heros. Women love Tom (at least two women love Hal!), and men want to be him. So no, the Mason's have had a pretty good war IMO.

 

I couldn't help but laugh at the ending of this ep, when Pope chuckled evily to learn Mason was alive. It was just such a caricature. Maybe Pope will redeem himself at the end in a classic double fake out. But there are better ways to get there than what we are seeing.

Edited by Ottis.
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I'm not sure how anyone's love of Pope would lead the writers to write him as such a loathsome character sjohnson. He is drawn as unredeemable to the core. Of course this is at root because he is anti Mason, the devil, where in this show Mason is god.

 

Pope has never been a bad seed just because he's anti-Mason. He was a bad guy before he ever met Tom Mason. Even after being brought into the 2nd Mass he's always put himself first so this bull crap about Tom putting his family first is hypocrisy. Pope spent the bulk of a previous season hoarding food and supplies from the rest of the 2nd Mass for his own personal use and profit. He didn't care about anyone in the 2nd Mass. He was never presented as a "reasonable" alternative to the Masons. He's always been the class clown. I'm sure there are audience members cheering when he says nasty things about the Masons because some of the dialogue the Masons are given is in fact insufferable. That doesn't mean Pope has ever been the voice of reason, it just reinforces the fact that he's ornery and anti-establishment and a rebel, etc. etc.

 

The about-face comes from the fact that we were, apparently, supposed to think he turned a new leaf after getting himself a nice little girlfriend like he'd suddenly gone soft and became an upstanding member of society and now has a reason to gripe. That's crap. He's just gone back to being the same, self-serving asshole he was for the first three and a half seasons. Blaming someone else for all his problems is not a new character trait for this guy.

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I don't think they are clones. Anthony clearly had ptsd and then snapped, unrealistically imo, when he was sidelined for literally freezing up in battle and potentially costing lives.

Pope should have been more useful as he actually was at one point. That would at least justify him being a jerk sometimes and give some credibility to his criticisms of Tom. But then they just had him be a jerk and not do anything, yet no one just kicked him out. Somehow Sara became his OTP because of beans. Then she did, which was totally *his fault* because he took a 'short cut'. Now they have him Apocalypse Now in the span of like a week.

I think, as it was said, I wouldn't bet against it because it's kind of been done before, that TPTBs had the idea for the last 2 and just filled the season in to get the characters where they wanted them.

At this point, it would be nice to find out that this isn't our Pope or Anthony because then it wouldn't make this episode and the episode before this one, so less pointless and also save us from watching these two characters being assassinated. With that twist we can see the writers trying to connect a theme (and yes, I do fell like I am grabbing at straws here, just to rationalized all of this season, but try to hear me out) for this episode of who can you trust, etc...

As with the Pope discussion,I would leave it up to the discussion in the Pope thread:

http://forums.previously.tv/topic/6405-john-pope-tart-with-a-heart/#entry82023

Unless you redefine "harm" as solely meaning killed (permanently, this being SF,) and also somehow decide Lexi wasn't a Mason, all the Masons have suffered. At this point, Ben qualifies as Espheni tech. Tom's ruthlessness shtick implies Ben will be capped after he's no longer useful. It think it's not the repetitiveness of Mason invulnerability that's been eating away at the show, it's the repetitiveness of Mason suffering. Using the information and tech so painfully gleaned as weapons in the war is logical enough, and even plausible in any individual case. Tom being tortured by an Espheni, but surviving because his defiance prompted Redeye to take a chance is possibly the best use of this ploy in the series? But over and over? But I have to see this as the Masons being cursed, not blessed.

YMMV, but I find the Masons to be literally the luckiest family on Earth minus, of course, that farm family a few episodes back. Anne's children are dead (if you included Lexi), Weaver's children are dead and he just killed an Esh doppelganger of someone he was once close to in the past, all of Lourdes' family died in the invasion and then she died (which is a death only Anne seems to be showing any grief over), Pope's children are presumed to be dead-

hell, we even got to see a Man who lost his wife and two children and totally cracked because of it (he had all three bodies layed out on beds, in body bags), etc...

Everyone has lost someone special in this war except for the Masons (if you take away Lexi and for the most part the writers want to forget her and so has her father and her brothers). Plus, Tom was able to do this/be this over the course of the show:

-lead an alien rebellion for the last 3 three years,

-became the freaking president in Charleston,

-was once kept alive by Pope (during that episode) when their plane crashed

-A flying skitter rescued him from being shot by Pope (really an amazing coincidence)

- Half-assed found a magical farm that the war never touched and was able to recouped without a hitch.

- Everyone except Pope and anyone evil dislikes Tom Mason

-Survived not one but at least three encounters with the Esh, while inside their spaceship.

-Flew to the freaking moon.

-Is able to convince people to join his side by only making speeches.

-All three sons are alive.

-One son has alien spikes, but those spikes gave his son superhuman strength and the ability to read an Overlord's mind.

-The other son's main worry is which girl to hook up with.

-The third son just floats in the background without

-Other militias are now calling themselves, "Masons' Militias' if Coochies is telling the truth to Tom.

-Tom is so special that he gets visits from a long dead alien species that takes the form of his wife and gives him visions of the future.

-Became a masked vigilante, in the name of all that is good, in an Esh ghetto

IMO, the list can go on.

Edited by TVSpectator.
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The physical survival of most of the Masons is because they embody the American spirit, which is unkillable. The fundamental problem is that spirit doesn't really mean anything when up against technology of a civilization that can travel between the stars. So when we see this miraculous survival on screen some can't willingly suspend disbelief, it seems forced. If you read it as forced in favor of a character instead of a representation of America, it can seem like unrestrained conquering hero fantasy. This is particularly offensive to those whose picture of heroism involves notions about ruthlessness, repudiation of everyday concepts of morality, detachment from restraints like family and so on. 

 

Even so, there is a puzzling gap in perceptions as reported and what's on screen. For example, Matt is a child soldier who has killed (non-human) people before he's gotten laid. The American spirit may be unkillable but it's certainly taken a beating. When Tom finds the magic farm, he chose a different course for another man's child than he could choose for his own...which is an admission that he "failed" Matt, I think. 

 

For another example, everyone's lost lovers, but Hal Mason doesn't just have his killed, she sleeps with the enemy, so to speak, in the most taunting way possible. And maybe it's just me, but trading in Karen for Maggie isn't obviously trading up. It's so obviously not, I should have thought that's why Isabella is a temptation. 

 

And most of all, the prospects of Ben's "superpowers" leaving him any more place in post-war society than the skitters look pretty dim. (The convenient disappearance of skitters with free minds so that humans can rule the Earth alone again is still the biggest dramatic cheat they've done this last season, in my opinion.) I don't think Ben's found a human woman who wouldn't be afraid of alien cooties from the spikes? 

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He did (Denny) but they killed her off.

 

(I thought they were a cute couple and she was definitely a better match for him than Maggie.)

Edited by xaxat.
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He did (Denny) but they killed her off.

 

(I thought they were a cute couple and she was definitely a better match for him than Maggie.)

Denny was another alien cyborg. I assumed they killed Denny off lest the pair breed babies born with nanotech, or maybe even their own spikes.

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If you read it as forced in favor of a character instead of a representation of America, it can seem like unrestrained conquering hero fantasy. This is particularly offensive to those whose picture of heroism involves notions about ruthlessness, repudiation of everyday concepts of morality, detachment from restraints like family and so on

 

 

If one reads the show as a representation of America, and that representation can ONLY be all that is good and moral, and anything different is separated as clearly evil and not America ... well, that is why I believe, as posted earlier, the show is written for 10 year olds. People are more complex than that.

 

Mason is Captain America without the bona fides. Pope is the Red Skull, for no real reason other than to make Mason look good. No one else is as smart as Mason. I mean, in this ep, the two women escape and choose to turn around and come back to take on 6+ trained soldiers. Not smart, right? But Mason, he is the only other person to escape (the others are with him fail) and he goes to warn the Volm and get help. Only Tom Mason would think of that, I guess. The irony is, that was the one time he walked away from saving his family in this series, which makes me even more sure it was done specifically to position Mason, and Mason alone, as the hero. He even arrived with a speech.

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There's only two more episodes left?  What the hell is going on in this show?  Maybe Tom is going to wake up and it will all be a dream?

 

That least scene with Pope is one of the dumbest things I've seen on this show and that's saying something.  Egads.

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But not The Speech. Not yet.

 

It will probably be a long speech but a speech that will end all speeches! That said, I hope that they will show it and not do an Enterprised and just cut away at the last second. 

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Mason is Captain America without the bona fides. Pope is the Red Skull, for no real reason other than to make Mason look good. No one else is as smart as Mason. I mean, in this ep, the two women escape and choose to turn around and come back to take on 6+ trained soldiers. Not smart, right? But Mason, he is the only other person to escape (the others are with him fail) and he goes to warn the Volm and get help. Only Tom Mason would think of that, I guess. The irony is, that was the one time he walked away from saving his family in this series, which makes me even more sure it was done specifically to position Mason, and Mason alone, as the hero. He even arrived with a speech.

That's not what happened in the episode. It was Weaver who saved the day. If your criticism hinges on something that didn't happen, it makes some of us think you've not discovered what's really bothering you. 

 

"If one reads the show as a representation of America, and that representation can ONLY be all that is good and moral, and anything different is separated as clearly evil and not America ... well, that is why I believe, as posted earlier, the show is written for 10 year olds. People are more complex than that."  Unfortunately, coupled with the total misrepresentation of the last episode you offered as an example, really sounds more like resentment that Pope isn't the hero. 

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Weaver was clearly the hero of the last episode. The whole fact that they had the firing squad not shoot well before Tom showed up in the truck and have Weaver be the one to kill the captain underscored this. Except for showing the fight Club at the end, I don't see what Pope had anything to do with this.

It's frustrating because the show works so much better like this. Weaver is a far far better military leader than Tom. No need to Speech.

The show is ripe for mocking but what's there is what's there. TPTBs aren't clever enough for symbolism and nuance.

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