Falling Skies Season 3 Review “The Pickett Line”

Falling Skies Season 3 Episode 7 The Pickett Line (5)

Now this was more like it. After a few lackluster episodes, in the latest “Falling Skies” the show got back to basics by playing to one of its earliest strengths: the importance of family. In the cleverly-titled “The Pickett Line,” we saw a family that had followed a similar path to the Masons, only with slightly different results. By sticking together and lying low, the Picketts had managed to evade the aliens and, unlike the Masons, maintain their home in the process.

Not that their approach was without consequence- in fact, another thing they had in common with the Masons was that the woman of the house had also been killed; only in their case, it was actually a human culprit, not an alien one. Still, by having each other backs, the Picketts had managed to remain relatively intact, including a father, two sons, a daughter and an uncle. Not too shabby, under the circumstances.

Unfortunately, they also decided to rob the wrong family, as the Masons know a thing or two about surviving under duress. Not ones to let bygones be bygones, and knowing they’d never make it to the next town to continue their search for Anne and Alexis, they had no choice but to hunt down the thieves, with the uncle getting shot in the process.

I really liked the way the power kept shifting throughout the episode, with no one willing to give an inch, resulting in several stand-offs of the Mexican variety. At the same time, no one was quite willing to go for broke and let the chips fall where they might, either, so I suppose everyone should count themselves lucky, although not everyone got a happy ending, what with the Picketts seemingly kidnapped by the aliens at the end, along with Tom himself, who decided to go back to help them out after spotting the aliens moving in their direction.

Speaking of power struggles, that was also something with Pope and the Colonel, who had a standoff of their own to contend with. That was pretty impressive how Pope managed to get everyone behind him to intentionally slow down work until he got some solid information about what was going on. The Colonel in turn arrested Pope for- imagine that- civil disobedience, as well as refusal to evacuate to make way for the swelling population. For a hot minute there, I thought a riot might break out, but I guess the Colonel still commands enough respect for Pope’s goons to back down.

Finally, a matter I was just complaining about was addressed in that we finally got some info on the aliens and what they were up to, at least in terms of Cochise’s weapon and what it was for- that is, if you believe his rationale for it. It would seem that the extra power that the Doc brought to Peralta’s attention was in order to stop a force-field type shield around the earth being built that could result in radiation killing every human on the planet- but not the aliens or their harnessed slaves, of course.

The reason Cochise was insisting on hurrying along the weapon ASAP, or so he claims anyway, was that if they could get to the enemy before the shield even went up they wouldn’t have to worry about that at all. But the longer it took, the bigger chance they would complete it, and there was no guarantee that the weapon would work once that shield was up. Better to get to them before it was up, in other words.

Insofar as it goes, I actually liked this explanation. It makes sense, and it explains why they kept it secret- so as to not alarm the general public. Also, the fact that Cochise saved the President would seem to prove that he is indeed on our side, so I feel like he’s a bit more trustworthy that he seemed while he was keeping all these secrets.

Alas, we also found out that the mole was alive and well, and, of all people, Dr. Lourdes, which I must say, I did not see coming. On the one hand, I did think that there was someone other than Hal that was working against Charleston, but on the other, she was about the last one I would have expected it to be. After all, she actively participated in removing Hal’s bug in the first place. But that said, she also killed the freaking President! I have a feeling people aren’t going to be so forgiving of that, alien possession or not.

But in retrospect, her actions make sense, as everything she did basically was to throw suspicion off herself. Clearly, no one else suspects her, so mission accomplished. However, that’s going to be a tough loss when they do figure it out, what with her being a doctor and all. Plus, I kind of liked the girl. Oh well, maybe there’s still hope for her yet. After all, they got the bug out of Hal, so we know it’s do-able now.

Other stuff worth a mention: Matt killed the uncle, so he’s likely going to feel some repercussions for that in the future; and Pope thinks Peralta is the mole, which could be trouble on down the line as well. That confrontation between Pope and Maggie was pretty hardcore- I’d almost forgotten he let his men have their way with Maggie in the first season, which is undeniably awful. He had a valid point about her sitting on the info about Hal, but still…that’s pretty f’d up. He’s certainly come a long way in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time- can’t say I blame Maggie for holding a grudge there.

I thought this was a really good episode and definitely a step back in the right direction. We got a reminder of what this show was originally supposed to be about: the power of sticking by your family, whatever that definition may be, post-alien apocalypse. We finally got some information on the aliens and what they’re up to, and we got some info that will surely up the suspense in the weeks to come, as we know something the rest of the Charleston crew doesn’t: the identity of the mole. Pretty good stuff all around, with a lot of tense moments in which it seemed anything could happen until it actually did, when Tom got into a standoff even he couldn’t handle with the aliens.

For the first time in a while, I’m actually unsure of where this is all going, and that’s a good thing, especially as they revealed just enough to make things that much more interesting. Only three episodes to go! How will it all play out? Make your wacky “Falling Skies” predictions below!