Tweetable Takeaway: Overall a solid episode, but we need a more distinctive march into the home stretch story-wise. Tweet
Airtime: Sundays 10 PM, TNT
By: Paul Gulyas, Contributor
The 2nd Mass has met up with the 14th Virginia. Usually when you’re battling an alien race intent on wiping out the remaining crumbs of humanity around the globe, you’re happy to see a group of trained military, completely stocked with food and weapons. However, it may spell doom for one or more of the Masons in the series’ final stretch of episodes.
We first meet Captain Marshall (Melora Hardin) who we learn has some sort of history with Captain Weaver. She served under him in Iraq but there was a spark of romance back then, and there may still be yet. Marshall takes he and the rest of the 2nd Mass into the camp, which immediately proves to not be what a camp of trained soldiers could mean for Tom’s cause. The 14th Virginia are a suspicious lot, skeptical that the 2nd Mass has worked with the Volm at all, and worried that Tom has in the past been infected with eye worms.
To top it off, Ben Mason has his darned spikes still in his back, which are foreign and frightening to many in the 14th Virginia. It all leads to one rogue bully who incapacitated Ben and flips him over, pulling the spikes out of his back (just as we saw Cochise do with Maggie last week). We know that this is a dangerous procedure, and in fact it results in a comatose Ben, leaving him with a questionable fate.
When Tom asks about this, the 14th Virginia inform him that Ben has been “taken in for questioning.” Ultimately, during a lightning fast trial, it is concluded by the 14th Virginia judges that Tom, Ben, and Hal Mason have been found guilty of working with the Espheni enemy and are thusly sentenced to death. However we’re lead to believe that Weaver’s old flame Marshall has been compromised (the Espheni are behind all this after all)–which sets up quite the conflict between ex-lovers.
As interesting of a turn and compelling of a final set piece this is for its last stretch of episodes, the story seemed rushed and out of nowhere. We’ve known this whole season that the 2nd Mass needs to get to D.C for this final showdown with the Espheni. Are we really not going to get there until the finale? The season and this particular story would have been better served to intro the 14th Virginia earlier and let this betrayal and corruption simmer before rushing a cliffhanger of our beloved Masons being sentenced to die. We know they’re getting out of this alive. There are still three episodes left.
Furthermore, although I’m a fan of Melora Hardin from her stint as Jan on The Office, I am just not buying her as an army captain in post-apocalypse America. She’s a fine actress, but this mis-casting took me out of the story at times it was so distracting. She just doesn’t command that military captain presence, and it makes it less interesting anticipating the big conflict between her and Weaver in the coming weeks.
Overall, the episode was solid, but we need a more distinctive march into the home stretch story-wise. As is I’m still unsure what’s awaiting them in Washington D.C. This could prove to be good, but could also make things seem out of left-field and forced. And I’m just waiting for Pope to show up at the most inopportune time to either destroy Tom Mason, or to sacrifice himself in saving him. I’m calling it now! Reference this post for proof.
Paul co-created and writes for SHOWoff, a game that lets players predict what happens next on their favorite TV shows, earn points for what they get right, and see where they stack up against friends and the world (free in the iOS App store). Check out the SHOWoff app at playSHOWoff.com