Falling Skies Season 3 Review “Journey to Xibalba”

Falling Skies Season 3 Episode 9 Journey to Xibalba (6)

Just when you thought it was safe to go to war…the war comes to you! On the latest “Falling Skies,” Charleston was readying themselves for a pre-emptive strike at the Esphemi when the nefarious aliens struck at them first, decimating the Volm population almost entirely, and very nearly taking down the human population to boot- all from within.

Of course, they had more than a little help from their mole, which was revealed last week to be none other than Doctor Lourdes, a fact which was also finally revealed to everyone else in the oddly-titled “Journey to Xibalba.” (I looked the cryptic Xibalba up and it is the Mayan underworld that was said to be accessible via a cave. The word translates as, aptly-enough, “place of fear.”)

Perhaps needless to say, the attack was a devastating blow to the city, as it not only annihilated much of what they’d built together, but potentially harmed the mysterious weapon that the Volm had been working on to defeat the Espehemi. At the very least, it seems likely that it killed the engineers who were supposed to be in charge of using it, and one of the only survivors, Cochise, doesn’t know how to operate it, which is obviously a problem.

That means it will likely be up to the wily Dr. Kadar to fix/figure out how to deploy the weapon next week. If he doesn’t, then not only Charleston but the entire human race is in trouble, especially what with the defense grid already up and running. Needless to say, it isn’t going to be easy, and the matter isn’t helped by the fact that a lot of people were lost in the attack and that it’s likely much of the firepower was buried in the rubble.

Beyond that, Tom is back, and with the key bit of information that may prove to be the crucial thing they need to take down the Esphemi: he knows where Karen and the tower in which the grid is powered are located. The question on everyone’s mind, though, is: is Tom entirely himself? After all, it isn’t the first time he’s been captured, and he could have easily been compromised at any point by Karen while she held him captive and he wouldn’t even know it. As such, he employs Pope to make sure to keep an eye on him, just in case action needs to be taken, since he knows no one else is likely to.

So, do they attack Boston, where Karen allegedly is? Is Tom even trustworthy? Who’s to say that Karen isn’t smart enough to relocate, as she knows good and well Tom knows where she is? Granted, the tower wouldn’t be an easy thing to just up and move, but it’s not completely out of the question, especially now that they’ve dealt such a harsh blow to Charleston, which could absolutely buy them the time to do just that. Really, the only choice the humans have is to attack now, when the Esphemi least suspect it.

Some nice moments scattered throughout the episode, including the heart-to-heart between Tom and Cochise (I really liked his line: “The human spirit remains the most powerful weapon on this planet.”), the emotional would-be final moments between Hal & Maggie (who were eventually saved), and, of course, the realization that Lourdes was the mole and her subsequent capture. That one scene in particular when she went off on everyone after her cover was blown was pretty chilling, and more reminiscent of actress Seychelle Gabriel’s work on “Revenge.” At the same time, if she is debugged, Lourdes is going to face even more of an uphill battle to regain the people’s trust than Hal, which is sad.

That was about it, but it was a pretty exciting episode, and made for a promising lead-in to the big finale next week. After a few episodes of ephemeral business that was only tangentially related to the main action, and in which we didn’t get a lot of information moving forward- save the identity of the mole, of course- it was nice to get some real forward momentum in the action.

It was also unexpected that the Esphemi should deal such a harsh blow to our forces just before we were set to do the same to them. I mean, we all knew that Lourdes was a mole and that she would likely do something shady again, but I don’t know that I thought it would be this hardcore. Besides, she already took out many of the Volm early on in the episode, and it seemed like her initial bomb was simply meant to get her in the room with Cochise so she could finish the job of killing him off, not to trap a good portion of everyone underground, nearly burying them alive.

Though the season has had its ups and downs, this episode bodes well for the finale, so I’m going to keep my optimism up and hope for the best. I think that it should be pretty exciting, least of all with the battlefield so leveled in the Esphemi’s favor. It will be interesting to see how they handle the Tom business- will he go rogue and try and foil the humans’ attack? Or will something else unexpected happen? The show has been renewed, so we already know it’s not going to be the end of things, but it should be a pretty exciting battle nonetheless. I expect the tower to come down at the very least, or else we wouldn’t have a show, given that the grid would kill everyone!

What are your predictions for “Falling Skies” next week? Any ideas as to how they will end things? What will be the big twist at the end? (You just know there will be one.) Do you expect any causalities among the main characters? Will Dr. Kadar save the day? Will they get the Volm weapon up and running? Is it even a weapon? Sound off on these things and more below in the comments section and until next week…keep watching the (falling) skies!