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Welcome back, Berserkers! It’s time for some discussion about Falling Skies season 5 episode 8 entitled “Stalag 14th Virginia”. This episode originally aired on August 16, 2015. I remember reading this episode title several weeks ago and groaning because of the word stalag. It’s a German term from the World Wars, used to describe a prisoner of war internment camp. To me, it sounded like stagnant… Like, literally. This episode would put a halt on the advancement to Washington D.C.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t wrong. I was wrong, however, about not believing I’d enjoy the episode. Putting aside the placement of this episode within the final season, I enjoyed the drama very much. All of the characters were in their finest form, Tom is letting go of his rage and embracing the hero within, and now the 2nd Massachusetts has more soldiers to fight with them.
I decided to express my fondness for this episode through a series of pictures! Let’s start off with The Firing Squad. I mention in the podcast that I do not like “flashforwards”, particularly when they’re not used on a regular basis (see that I am purposefully making an exception for LOST). This episode’s introduction is a perfect case-in-point because it merely shows what we were all expecting. I feel like this methodology is pretty standard, though. The episode is cut in such a way that it shows the buildup to the climactic event, rather than the climactic event. Yet, when the flashfoward ended, the camera staring down the barrel of a rifle and the screen fading to black with seven hours earlier appearing on the screen, we hear a gunshot. Which I find, frankly, blatantly misleading.
What actually happened was much, much better. We could not have the scene depicted in this first picture, without Weaver’s careful planning and keen reactionary tactics. The gunshot is what would have happened had Weaver been unable to win over critical members of the 14th Virginia. And because he won them over, we had a fantastic scene from Anne, Hal, and Ben Mason alongside Lt. Wolf. Their reactions at Kagel’s command to FIRE was absolutely fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the drama and buildup. I could have done without the flashforward.
Let’s talk about girls. Or not talk about them, whatever. I don’t ever articulate this sort of thing well, but I try again and again. It’s not that I’m a fan of literally talking about relationships, I just like to see the authenticity in conversations. Hal takes a moment, while he and Ben are locked up together, to clear the air. They’re brothers, they’re blood, and right now they’re both on death row. Instead of dwelling on the hurt and distrust over the past several months, Hal takes a moment to be real and essentially tells Ben that they’re brothers, the past is the past, and whatever happens they’ll work it out. Because at this point in time, that’s what matters. It just so happens they’ve been butting heads over a girl.
Both Ben and Hal have choices to make in the final episodes, about themselves and about their relationships. What I liked about the discussions of relationships in this episode was the natural human inclination to believe that we will endure beyond any present malady. Hal and Ben discuss their girls in such a way that makes it seem as though they are not on death row, and for them to have hope, this is exactly the attitude they need to have. They need to trust that life will go on, that some day, this might be the most important conversation they have in the course of a single day. That’s what I enjoy watching play out.
Kagel never saw it coming. Neither did Isabella, likely. From the girl with the manifesto comes the kill shot, one that likely saved Tom’s life! Whether Maggie rubbed off on her, or Isabella finally took off her rose-colored glasses and got a sharp look at reality, I don’t know. But it’s like I always say… You have to kill him when you have the chance.
And finally… Matt to the rescue! I loved Hal’s shout: “Little bro!” Hilarious. Then Matt’s cool nod from atop this structure. As Darrell says in the podcast, Matt is really coming into his own. He’s demonstrating, and honing, leadership qualities that neither Hal or Ben have shown much proclivity for and that is going to be really cool to see as we move into what will hopefully be an Espheni-free earth!
Falling Skies will be auctioning off all sorts of wonderful goodies! This auction will be taking place on Saturday August 29 and Sunday August 30. Some of these goodies include the following (click to enlarge):
You can start bidding NOW on your favorite items! Collectors can place proxy bids until the Hollywood Extravaganza Auction goes live at 11am PT on Saturday, August 29, 2015. Please use the following links to learn more:
i Collector dot com
Live Auctioneers dot com
Invaluable dot com
Season 5 Episode 9: “Reunion”
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