So we have made it to the finale of this season. While these last two episodes were not exactly a part 1 and 2-style pairing, both did feature plenty of time following characters in space, while the stuff on the ground managed to keeps things lively as well, without going back to the Ben-Hal-Maggie love triangle. Some of it was a little predictable and other elements were a little too drawn out, but I was also finally able to appreciate Scarlett Byrne’s acting work as Lexi, as that storyline came to a close and the season left us hanging with a pretty killer final shot.
We have two episodes to cover, but the first, “Space Oddity”, is honestly pretty simple, as it only features two things I want to address. The first is Weaver. All season long, Will Patton has been doing some solid supporting work. He has been toned down a lot and even while being involved in a lot of the action, he seems more like an Obi-Wan-like character than anything at this point. The first season was a lot more focused on him being the gruff commander, but that has steadily eased into where his persona is now. That is quite purposeful, given the development of his character, though it is noticeable. In this episode, he is the voice of reason; the one who wants to believe in what Lexi is telling Anne and Tom, as she possesses knowledge and abilities that are so obviously useful to the human cause in all of this.
There is more Weaver in the next episode as well, but given that this is his last interaction with Tom for the season, it is easy to see how the two have shifted in power roles. Tom is now questioning ideas and acting a bit stubborn, while Weaver is asking for some reasoning and consideration. This is slightly interrupted by Pope, who attempts to shoot Lexi, despite Weaver’s conversation with him to hopefully calm him down. All of this is to say that I was a bit surprised that Patton ended up not dying after the second episode. He had managed to speak to everyone, he has no real arc left, given the death of his daughter earlier this season, and characters are often set up to die in ways similar to how Weaver has functioned in the past few weeks. Still, the more Will Patton the better.
Moving on, we finally head out to space, as Tom and Lexi (replacing Ben) take off in the ship and head for the moon. Let’s get right to it: I was honestly worried that we would not actually see the moon, given the twist in the middle of this episode. Lexi cocoons Tom and the next scene is Tom waking up back on earth. While I quickly realized what was going on, there were a couple minutes there where I was feeling suddenly cheated out of weeks of buildup. Fortunately it was just a weird dream sequence.
Looking back on it, having a lengthy dream sequence to reflect on what a major character has been up to in a season is not uncommon for television, especially for the penultimate episode of the season. I wish this whole sequence was not so long, but it at least gave me time to finally warm up to Scarlett Byrne as Lexi. Gone is the false prophet persona that made me uneasy in a way that I was chalking up to the acting, as this show finally gave me a reason to care for this girl. Having Lexi acknowledging that she was wrong and making the other characters not so easily forgive her for those choices easily makes Lexi a sympathetic character, and Byrne did a fine job conveying her emotional state.
Watching Tom deal with a false reality where all his dreams have come true, only to realize it was a ruse designed by Lexi to hopefully have him come to terms with her was neat, but still long. Given the ensemble cast and the stakes of the mission, it felt less like something all that necessary to see for a prolonged period of time and more like a lack of ideas to flesh out these last two episodes further, but at least it was all action in the next episode. That in mind, there were some clever touches to keep this sequence visually engaging.
Getting into “Shoot the Moon”, while the structure of this episode led to some predictable moments, it was a fast-paced finale that held up a level of intensity, given the decision to really go all B-horror movie on the earth-based story. There is a lot of convenience in the earth stuff, especially, but it was a creepy story, given the use of fog and aliens. Meanwhile, Tom and Lexi continued to head for the moon, only to make certain sacrifices and deal with an old foe.
I guess, tonally, this episode was a strange step in a different direction, given what just took place in “Space Oddity”. Gone is the self-reflection and in its place, we have Dingaan suddenly encountering some sort of horror scenario, where humans are being turned into skitters on the fly. Why have we gone from giant factories to fog machines that unleash little slug aliens that do the job much quicker? I don’t know, but it was a scary thought that led to many characters being put into peril pretty easily.
It was a bit surprising that we saw no casualties. Given how this season’s “Saturday Night Massacre” episode was the darkest of the season and maybe the series, I can understand the resistance to be too ruthless in this finale, which had a lot of cheesy elements to go with the scare factor, but I was still a bit surprised that all of our cast members made it out. That said, it was fun to see Pope and Dingaan together, along with Hal, Ben, and Maggie dealing with something other than a love story. Then you have flamethrower Anne, kicking ass and taking names, which was very silly, but also quite fun.
At the same time, we still have all the space activity. Tom and Lexi were knocked off their course and brought to the Espheni overlord ship, where a faceoff with the burned overlord could finally take place. I mean, the second this took place, I knew Tom would be using the poison needle Hal gave Tom, before leaving earth, to take this big thing down, but it was still fun seeing this showdown happen. Lexi trying to confuse the overlord was a bit of a stretch, but it was a fine fight of sorts, which had Tom taking a real beating, making me wonder how beat up he was this season. Hats off to Noah Wyle, again, for not only being consistently solid in the dramatic department, but making himself seem so beaten down by all the fighting that has taken place this season.
Setting a crash course for the moon was something I had been predicting in the back of my mind for a while. I thought it was going to be a really dramatic way to take out Ben for a bit, but then realized quite quickly that Lexi was always going to close her character arc in some fashion closer to a sacrifice, and what better way than taking out the moon base. Good thing it worked. All the skitter fog/slug stuff stopped, other reports came in, people celebrated, and even the Volm had a little time to shine by helping out Tom. This may actually be the happiest ending possible, despite the main character now being stuck out in space somewhere.
And that is where we leave it. There is lots of optimism that Tom will be found, which we, the audience, know needs to happen anyway, but the closing shot was incredibly intriguing. Tom finds himself in some sort of limbo, only to see some creature that he describes as beautiful. I assume this is the even greater threat that the Espheni were talking about in previous episodes, but Tom’s reaction to it was pretty fantastic. Was he seeing an illusion? I have no idea, but I am excited to find out next year for the final season.
Other Thoughts From The Desk Of Tom Mason:
- Weaver appealing to Tom by referencing World War II history was perfect.
- Weaver also had some Yoda advice for Lexi – “No tryin’ kid. Get it done.”
- “How can I ask you to forgive me, when I can’t even forgive myself” – Lexi was finally not irritating and Byrne did just as good of a job as a brunette.
- Also, goodbye Lexi, I will remember you and your mucus hands well.
- As far as this fog stuff goes, Pope and Dingaan were made to be real idiots, for the sake of them getting caught up in it.
- Speaking of Pope though, while I was enjoying Mira Sorvino as Sara, her arrival made me realize I really did not notice she had apparently dramatically left Pope in previous episodes. Making a big deal about her return fell pretty flat for me, but there was some fun comedy to come out of her rescuing the boys.
- I wanted to like the Matt and Weaver stuff more, because the bonding was nice, but given how a knife could have easily been used to lower the risk on Weaver’s life, I was rolling my eyes a lot.
- Reminder: Watch The Mist.
- “I just found your kryptonite” – Anne in badass mode.
- “Oh my god, you’re so beautiful.”
- Thanks to everyone who stuck with me this season and continued to follow my thoughts on it. I had fun and look forward to covering the fifth and final season next year!