Contributor: Henry T.
Written by James Wong
Directed by Michael Waxman
The point in which I began to completely break down the flaws of this episode was when President Martinez dictated the direction of the plot out loud. This comes early in the episode, when he actually tells someone that he’s going to stop being reactive and be proactive. This is prompted by a slightly amusing opening dream sequence where President Martinez shows more emotion than he has so far in the entire series and everyone in the room yelling at him. He’s been played (they’ve all been played) by Thomas and much of the episode is just moving from point A to point B to get to a final showdown between the President and Thomas. I don’t place much stock in either character so it’s up in the air as to who I’m cheering for at this point.
For a purportedly worldwide conspiracy involving aliens and the like, there are a lot of people who keep secrets here. Conversations have this stilted quality because for some unknown reason, everyone has to keep information to themselves. Leila asks some perfectly reasonable questions about the conspiracy to her father and now her father’s friends and all that has come back to her are vagaries and platitudes like “I love you” or “I’m doing this to protect you.” It’s no wonder Sean left her to strike out on his own. At this rate, she’ll never get answers from anyone in her life. But then Sean’s staying away from Leila doesn’t last too long because his sister (who has never been mentioned before) throws him back into that fire.
Sophia keeps and has kept a lot of things from President Martinez and that doesn’t look to be resolved any time soon. Sophia herself has not cleaned up her house, what with her son stealing nuclear material to open that portal for an alien invasion. I keep thinking back to only about four episodes ago, when Sophia had Thomas under her thumb and yet, somehow, let him get away. It has to be a regret that’s eating away at Sophia as all of this drama is going on with Thomas. We know he’s willing to take out those aliens who are loyal to her and is now ordering her assassination without hesitation. How will she act when or if she captures Thomas and stops him from doing what he’s been doing. It should also be noted that when Thomas took the nuclear rods (all of the nuclear meltdown talk is uncomfortably timely in the wake of what is happening now in Japan, although definitely not the writers’ intention), everyone figured out they’d been duped and President Martinez tells his staff to hunt Sophia down. It’s a reactive course of action, the very opposite of what he said he was going to be earlier in the episode. Inconsistencies like this are hard to ignore when they happen so frequently.
So a showdown looms between Thomas and the President. Everything shown in this episode points to that as the series endpoint. The question actually is whether the show can even get there on air. The way the ratings are going during its re-launch, it’s very likely the series will not make the run of an entire season. It feels now like the network could pull the plug on the show after each airing. Looking at what has been presented so far, I wonder what would constitute a decent payoff to keep the series going. Part of me wishes Thomas and the aliens would go berserk and start killing everyone in sight. The show insists, however, on dragging on this waiting game. It has me wondering whether it would be so bad if the series went away. That’s definitely not a good sign.