“Brazil,” the finale for Falling Skies season three, felt more like a penultimate episode than a season finale. I kept waiting for a larger explosion, a more shocking twist, or a game-changing character death. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t an enjoyable episode, or that there weren’t explosions, twists, and game-changing character events (there were at least two), but coming from Falling Skies, a show that consistently tugs my heartstrings and stirs my pride in humanity, it fell a little flat.
“Brazil” didn’t measure up to my ideal season finale. I do think it has left us in an interesting place story-wise for season four.
While Pope and Col. Weaver traveled by train to Chicago to divert Espheni attention from Boston so that the Mason boys could blow up the grid, there was a lot of underlying tension between the characters. Hal and Maggie have hit a rough patch discussing life after the invasion. Hal wants a nice home and a yard, a neighborhood life, while Maggie is content fighting and doesn’t know of anything else she’s good at. There’s also his promise to help Lourdes and Tom’s promise to get back at Karen for killing Anne and Lexi.
Add to that the fact that Col. Weaver is hiding a heart condition that his daughter discovers partway through the episode, the Volm surprising and alarming everyone with their insistence that the people relocate to Brazil while the Volm battle the Espheni (which Pope thinks proves his distrust of them), and Pope still vacillating between being a good guy and a guy out for himself, and we’ve got trouble on our hands.
“Brazil” starts out with a victory, a successful diversion that destroys the grid and saves the planet. The Volm drive the Espheni out of Boston and the 2nd Mass have a late night celebration, complete with toasts: “To the fishheads! May they freeze their asses off at the North Pole!” from Pope; “To Victory, may it be swift, may it be complete, and may it be forever,” from Col. Weaver; and Tom’s toast, after apologizing for too many speeches, a simple thank you for the people he has come to call family, and the hope they share that this war is nearing its end.
I love this part of Falling Skies, showing the strength of humanity when people band together against a common enemy. Humanity, as the Volm note, is resilient, tenacious, and willing to die for their freedom. When the Volm announce the people are being relocated further south to Brazil so that they are out of the way as the Volm defeat the Espheni, Tom is quick to correct them: “If you don’t want to stand shoulder to shoulder with us as allies, that’s your privilege, but this is our home, and we will fight for it as we see fit.”
“Brazil” once again shows that humans are not to be trifled with, even if it’s by other humans, and especially if it’s aliens. They decide to move before the aliens can relocate them, and, when that doesn’t work, Tom goes to bat for his people and convinces the Volm to let them go their own way with a speech about freedom. The Volm are worried that the 2nd Mass won’t survive, but at this point, they know that the humans would rather fight than “die in captivity,” as Cochise states.
So, what “Brazil” boils down to is that the Volm are learning that humans are different from every other species they’ve dealt with. “Brazil” also finds humanity, once again, on the move. First stop: Charleston. Hopefully we’ll be able to move past Charleston early next season.
In a twist I saw coming, Anne and Lexi return, seemingly alive and well. Karen brings a white flag and offers Tom a conversation when he’s ready. She believes he has found the Volm untrustworthy and attempts to open up a dialogue. Unfortunately, Tom has had enough of Karen and shoots her. While she’s apologizing to Hal, Maggie shoots her again. This drives the wedge between Hal and Maggie even further.
Anne doesn’t remember anything, but something’s different about Lexi. She appears to be about six years old. And when she sees Lourdes, she manages to make the eyeworms wiggle into her hands and then proceeds to squish them, showing Tom, who looks fascinated and horrified at this new development.
What does next season look like? I predict the 2nd Mass will encounter some trouble in Charleston before settling somewhere else (unless they continue to travel through the season), Lexi will prove useful, and Pope may just end up playing the hero more often than not. Maggie seems pretty bloodthirsty after suggesting Lourdes be shot and ensuring that Karen dies, so that could be potentially problematic. I’m sure we’ll hear more of Tom’s professor speeches, and the Volm will realize they need human help in ridding the planet of the Espheni. But what if Karen’s right and they can’t trust the Volm? Is the ultimate lesson that we humans can only trust each other?
What do you think is next for the 2nd Mass?