‘Falling Skies’ Season 3, Episode 4 Review – The Man In The Mirror

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Noah Wyle and Will Patton in Fallin Skies At All Costs Falling Skies Season 3, Episode 4 Review – The Man In The Mirror

After the somewhat inert nature of last week’s episode, Falling Skies hits the ground running by picking things up in the middle of the Espheni invasion that capped off Charleston’s commemoration of the Liberty Tree.

Beginning an episode with a firefight seems to have a positive effect on the rest of the episode, regardless where things actually go from there. As far as season 3 is concerned, there have been a multitude of subplots that feel rather disconnected from the central storyline right now, and by getting several character together, fighting the same foe, the transition into those subplots begins to feel a little more organic – even if it’s just a bi-product of the show creating drama through visual appeal of conflict, rather than characters speaking to one another about concepts like love, death and faith in humanity.

Falling Skies is one of those programs that operate better when its characters and the episode’s central storyline are occupied by a task or a conflict placing everyone in a specific moment. And, so far, engaging aliens in combat seems to have worked out pretty well for the series. The attack at the beginning of ‘At All Costs’ is rather brief, however, but it does allow the characters an opportunity to interact with one another without having to first explain why. Most importantly, it gives Lt. Fisher a front row seat to the Vohm and why Tom Mason is so eager to have aligned Charleston’s resistance with them.

Noah Wyle in Falling Skies At All Costs Falling Skies Season 3, Episode 4 Review – The Man In The Mirror

Once Earth’s new buddies dutifully dispatch a few Espheni beamers and the troops on the ground bat clean up with a small force of mechs, Fisher is convinced that Tom and his army are worthy of an apology and a direct line of contact with President Hathaway. This leads to a hasty decision by Tom to not only meet with Hathaway on his grounds, but also to bring along Cochise, as a means by which he intends to sell the President on the notion of a group of aliens who are supposedly dedicated to eradicating the Espheni and then leaving the Earth alone. Naturally, those around Tom feel the decision may not be the best he’s had since being elected, but as far as Tom is concerned, if spreading the message of hope and the belief that the war can be won with the help of the Vohm will unite the various pockets of the resistance, then the trip in Pope’s rickety old plane is worth the risk.

This idea of a drastic, but seemingly necessary choice permeates the episode, and about half of the time the choices made by the characters seems to venture into the realm of head-scratching disbelief. On one hand, a plausible argument can be made for Ben not wanting to have his spikes removed, or for Tom to venture far from Charleston, taking along a mysterious, but seemingly trustworthy ally that will undoubtedly set off all sorts of alarms with the brass wherever he lands. On the other hand, however, there doesn’t seem to be much of a convincing argument for why Anne would clobber Dr. Kadar with a giant wrench after he deduced the child with the anomalous alien DNA was her and Tom’s newborn daughter Alexis.

So far this season, Alexis’ creepy talking baby antics and Anne’s uncertainty of her own sanity have been the odd man out in terms of the season’s overall story, as the subplot has pretty much isolated Anne, forcing her to act as a woman tormented by the thought something’s not right with her child that only she can see, or having her become an object of pity for those around her – i.e., Lourdes, who winds up unconscious after drinking a spiked glass of wine for her troubles.

Noah Wyle Sarah Carter and Drew Roy in Falling Skies At All Costs Falling Skies Season 3, Episode 4 Review – The Man In The Mirror

Naturally, Anne’s foolhardy attempt to escape with Alexis is cut short once she runs into a harnessed child, a skitter and Hal – who has undergone a personality shift after a lengthy conversation with himself in his bedroom mirror. This development certainly perks his character up somewhat, since at the end of season 2 it seemed like Hal’s “bugging” might have been the major thrust for the story in season 3, but it hasn’t really manifested into a serious threat until now. Exposing Hal to Anne does help to bring the two subplots together in what could be a meaningful way (more evil Jessy Schram wouldn’t be a bad thing), as it will hopefully put an early end to the disconnected sensation of Anne’s arc.

‘At All Costs’ ends on a cliffhanger, which sees the plane carrying Tom, Pope and Gen. Bressler being shot down after an Espheni attack separates them from President Hathaway and, more importantly, Cochise. As long as everyone survives the crash, that means the next episode should be chock full of colorful arguments between Pope and Tom that will, in all likelihood end in the sort of fisticuffs we’ve seen between the two before. It may not be a new take on their relationship, but watching the two duke it out does make a nice substitute for an all-out mech assault in a pinch.


Falling Skies continues next Sunday with ‘Search and Recover’ @10pm on TNT. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Am I the only one who thinks the med kit Anne gave Tom right before he flew off has some type of tracker in it?

    In the previews for the next ep I think I see him carrying it with him so there might be some significance to it.

    I think should spend less time on the alien baby arc in the beginning episodes, have that be more of a mid-season storyline but I guess we’ll see where it’s going.

    • The med kit was used to foreshadow what was going to happen at the end–the alien attack, someone’s gonna get hurt and need the med kit, most likely Tom or the real president.

  2. that was one of my favorite episodes yet on the show, it had a good mix of everything. I personally enjoy Ann’s arc they needed to do something with Moon’s pregnancy at least this way it makes since, she’s protecting her baby. speaking of which WTF is up with that kid, its like if Chucky, Jason, the twins from Village of the Damn and the Shinning, and Linda Blair had a love child with the aliens. I liked seeing Drew Roy expand a little bit he did a good job with the schizo scene. I have a couple of problems though while i see the reasoning behind introducing the real president it seems a little counter productive to do so when its all but certain something will happen so Tom remains president. I’m not sure what to make of the Volm, i will happily follow the storyline to it’s conclusion but a part of me thinks it might of been better to keep them out of the show and keep it strictly humans verse invading aliens.

  3. Wow this episode was horrid! So that guy is the mole huh? Who would’ve thought?! It’s not like he’s been infected by some kind of alien tech and it’s not like he’s been having secret meetings with the head of the alien advance.

    I really don’t understand what was Anne’s motive throughout this episode. Why did she just kill the engineer guy? She could’ve of just asked him to wait a couple days for Tom to come back before revealing her true identity to the rest of Charleston. Where was she going to take Alexis? Seriously where? Why was she in such a big hurry to leave? From what we know, no one ever goes down to the engineer guy. She could’ve just waited until her assistant doctor (forgot her name) left instead of drugging her, it’s not like they live in the same room. Plotholes anyone?

    The writers of this show really dropped the ball on this episode. They brought nothing new to this episode, absolutely nothing. We already new Tom’s eldest son was the mole from like episode 2, and we new that Alexis wasn’t totally human.

    And how come Anne hasn’t made the connection between Alexis’s alien DNA to Tom’s capture by the Esphany in season one finally? It seams like they did something to him up there. It was evident throughout season 2?

    Yeah this episode sucked.

  4. This show has been pretty bad and with this episode it went completely off the tracks! The girlfriend of a guy who she knows is being manipulated by the leader of the aliens says nothing, the scientist/wife of the leader suddenly decides to hit a guy over the head with a wrench and run off into the ruins? Worst of all the two kids sitting up on the roof talk about the colored stars? I assume this show has no science adviser because you cannot see the colors of stars, they are to far away! It would be great if the writers would stop using illogical random plot points to direct the storyline! This may be science fiction by you have to maintain the internal logic of the show!

    • @Jerry:

      “Worst of all the two kids sitting up on the roof talk about the colored stars?”

      The internet says you can see the color in stars with a strong enough telescope or depending on the lighting/star you are looking at.

      Maybe that was the point, to show that the spikes give them enhanced vision too (which is why she was asking if she would need glasses again if she had them removed).

  5. is this the Right Review title says Man in the mirror but you are reviewing at all costs which has not aired yet, im reading next weeks review

    • Hello I was surprised by your virulent comment at the stupidity of this shows and puzzled as to why you’ve been watching it for the last 2 seasons, there must have been something you liked at some point. Personally the attraction for me continues to be the family dynamics between the dad and his 3 sons, it’s a little less intense right now but I’ve found it to be the beating heart of the show. There aren’t two many shows which explore these types of relationships in a fairly positive and straightforward way. With what I’m assuming is a limited budget in terms of special effects the show is doing a fairly good job at portraying the aliens. For super special effects and big big budget you need a show like Game of Thrones, money on that one doesn’t seem to be an object.

      • To me it’s simple. It’s a sci fi show, I watch it to support the genre. Sci fi hasn’t really been popular in mainstream TV in the past several years. If watching crap shows could potentially lead to something better I’m willing to suffer, but not just for any show though (I refuse to watch Revolution or Defiance).

        • Defiance is okay, some episodes are misses but it has some interesting elements.

          I wonder why ScreenRant doesn’t review Defiance, Warehouse 13 or Continuum.

          • I’ve only seen the first 3 episodes of Defiance, so I don’t know I it’s changed but I just hate how it tries, and fail to copy Firefly and Terra Nova, more so Firefly.

            Warehouse 13 is…ehh? It’s kind of campy from what I’ve seen, the first 2 seasons.
            I want them to review Continuum, but season 2, wasn’t nearly as intriguing as season 1. IDK why, it just felt way to…easy, everything. The mystery that got so many people to watch Continuum wasn’t really felt in season 2, it was there, but it wasn’t touched. IDK how to explain it…

            • For Defiance, you just have to stick with it even through the bad eps.

              I like the campiness of Warehouse 13, I hope Allison Scagliotti lands somewhere else when it’s over… nerd-vana! I didn’t use to like campy sci-fi like Eureka but started watching it after watching a crossover with WH13… and then they cancelled it… boo.

              Continuum Season 2 is okay, it’s not done so I’ll hold my judgement until then.

  6. I was a bit disappointed that the firefight in the beginning did not use the Vohm weapons until after someone died.

    Also, I was a bit surprised that Tom would go to meet the president so underarmed and then essentially just hand Cochise over to them. Seemed like this military history genius wasn’t thinking this through.

  7. OK, this episode was acceptable until the end. Come on, do you really think the people guarding the President would have put him in a vintage cargo plane and expect him to escape from futuristic mind-controlled fighter drones?
    They would have been better off staying on the ground and taking cover.
    In fact, they would have had such a backup plan with the President’s life at stake.