Sunday, April 24, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' - An Alien Lands on Earth and Pulls Justin Into a Mission He Deems Important in 'Hallo Spaceboy'

Showtime's The Man Who Fell to Earth - Episode 1.01 "Hallo Spaceboy"

An alien crashes deep into the oil fields of New Mexico with a mission: to find the one woman on Earth who can save his species. Together they discover in order to save his world, they must first save ours.

"Hallo Spaceboy" was written by Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman and directed by Alex Kurtzman

An alien lands on Earth with a mission. He states that over and over again to whomever is listening. He has a specific time window to receive his next message detailing what needs to be done. He projects importance onto Justin Falls. She is the most capable scientist on the planet. She is no longer living up to her potential. Her research didn't have the science yet to be feasible. Meanwhile, she has a family that depends on her. She is whisked away on this mission by a total stranger. She knows nothing about him. He knows everything about her. Well, he knows the importance she has. She is necessary for him to complete this mission. She is the only person who can fulfill this task. He only sees what he wants from her. Sure, it highlights her brilliance. It comes at the expense of her humanity. Faraday starts this story telling a crowd of people how he learned to become human. He had to embrace this species in order to save both worlds. He is an alien from a dying planet. He lands on Earth seeing all the same tragedies. He knows the disappearance of clouds foretells the pending apocalypse. He scrambles for water no matter where he encounters it. His thirst can never be quenched. People are amazed at what his body can endure. He doesn't behave like a typical human in this environment. He stands out. He picks up the language. He doesn't inherent the nuances. He takes everything as is. That makes him a dangerous person because he serves as a key disruptor. He's on a mission. That takes priority over all else. No one can create a reason to escape the mission. He won't allow it. Instead, he simply repeats the situation back to them. He does nothing to warrant anyone being truly scared. He's a threat only when it comes to the gun because he doesn't know how to use it. That easily could have turned deadly. That's not the outcome though. Instead, Justin assists him on the journey. She's not willing to completely devote herself to the cause. She projects her own agency over the situation. She has to prioritize her ailing father. She needs to keep him as comfortable as possible during what is likely his final year of life. He's suffering and the world refuses to ease that pain. And so, she hustles. She will do whatever it takes to buy the drug off the street that can make life more tolerable. She is taken away on a completely separate journey. It's a massive detour. One that only further endangers her life once a tornado appears. Everything could be lost. It's all in the name of an alien becoming that titan tech seen at the beginning.

It's somewhat exhausting to navigate through all of these plot details. So much of it is carried by Chiwetel Ejiofor's committed performance. Meanwhile, Naomie Harris gets to be constantly puzzled by this man. Justin continually feels the pressure to help him. At first, she's terrified because he seems like a stalker. And yes, he is only interested in her for her research. They can bond over their commitment to the science and the mysteries they can possibly unlock together. Their mission is so important. No one can afford to be distracted. The last alien that came to this planet landed 40 years ago. Thomas Jerome Newton founded a company. Justin recognizes it. And yet, it seems to have amounted to very little. Indeed, the ultimate message Faraday receives is one telling him he can be molded into a visionary the world can't deny. He can step into the role of someone promising to bring a new evolution to the entire species. It all resides in a little box. That mystery persists. It showcases a willingness on Faraday's part. He is willing to devote his life to this cause. He leaves behind two children on a dying planet. He doesn't know if he will ever see them again. Instead, he has to be molded into the man Newton demands him to be. That will bring more urgency to the situation. Justin is caught up in the chaos as well. She doesn't have the physicality to survive the tornado that rips through the New Mexican desert. Faraday can walk into the eye and be mesmerized by what he sees. He's transported to a new destination altogether. One that showcases a man who barely resembles the alien who first landed here. That transformation will be forced upon Faraday too. It will more than likely be extended to Justin. She is continually told she isn't living up to her potential. She feels that on a visceral level too. She isn't respected when she simply wants to work another shift to pay for what her family needs. She has to work herself down just in order to survive. That's all she can amount to at the moment. That has to be her priority. It's silly to dream for anything more. She pursued that path once. It was ultimately futile. It caught the attention of some people though. That's all it takes for inspiration to strike and demand something groundbreaking to occur. Justin has to make that choice knowing the full extent of what's required and who she is dealing with. She is always burdened by the mission. She always turns back because she is empathetic and doesn't want someone to die knowing she could make a difference. The complexity of the situation is probably going to be more extreme than what is initially presented here.