Falling Skies – Season 3 Episode 9 “Journey to Xibalba” Review

Rating:  4.9

Season Three has been full of some pretty decent storytelling.  “Journey to Xibalba,” though, was mostly a typical methodical rescue episode.   Everyone that they tried to rescue survived, so they blew an opportunity to be bold and shake up the cast.

The set design of the Volm’s ‘lair’ was beautiful, but the bodies of Cochise and his comrade laying separately appeared dangerously close to something you might see in Plan 9 From Outer Space.  The CGI of the organic ‘growing bomb,’ however, and as usual, was pretty nice for basic cable.

This week had lots of heavy quotes:

  •  “What is the alternative?  Not to love so we never have to grieve?”
  •  “The Human spirit is the most powerful weapon.”
  •  “How I live or die is my choice.”

The writers are doing all the can to inject “we know drama” into this TNT flagship.   Sometimes it just needs to play out, and overreaching dialogue can have adverse effects.  The old screenwriting adage, “Show us, don’t tell us” comes to mind.

Seychelle Gabriel is great and I hope she stays on rather than guesting on Revenge or elsewhere.  Though the discovery that she was the mole by Tom was a bit anticlimactic, especially since that was the only real development in the episode.

How many humans died in the explosion?  It was not made very clear, due either to just poor dialogue or because the creative team intentionally did not want to commit to a specific number of survivors.  Last weeks episode was a fun diversion; this week’s was a trip to disaster movie territory, at the B-movie level.

Looking at the remainder of the season, we’ve got a pretty overused setup; the human engineer has to figure out this weapon, since all of the Volm except for Cochise are dead.  I’m sure there will be a couple of twists, however I worry that the twists may steer us too deeply into sci-fi land, or introduce us, just to get us interested in season 4, to one too many ‘out of this world’ concepts.   Now with this week’s bland episode out of the way, let’s hope we can finish strong.

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