Falling Skies Episodes 201 & 202
Written By: Mark Verheiden
Directed by: Greg Beeman
"Shall We Gather at the River"
Written By: Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
Directed By: Greg Beeman
Original Airdate: 17 June 2012
In This Episode...
We pick up three months after the first season finale. The scout team - Maggie, Hal, Pope, Dai, and Ben - are in the middle of a firefight with a mech and a couple skitters. With only eight minutes before the aliens call in reinforcements, the team splits. Ben notices a skitter left alive - barely - and can't leave without landing a kill shot. Hal can't talk him out of it, so he covers his little brother. The shot lands, the skitter drops - and reveals Tom, standing right behind him. He smiles at the boys, then drops himself. The shot meant for the skitter also hit Tom.
Returning to camp - now set up as a shantytown beneath a freeway overpass - Anne immediately sets to work fixing Tom up. The question remains: where the hell has he been? Through a series of flashbacks in Tom's fevered brain, we see bits and pieces of his time on the ship. Some of it is spent in a vine-filled coffin-type chamber; some of it is spent being tasered by a skitter. Karen takes him to see the commander, and the alien speaks through Karen. While it doesn't reveal what the aliens want from Earth, they do want to put humans in internment camps. The aliens call them "neutral zones," but they were inspired by internment camps of WWII. This leads to an uninspired debate on morals and ethics. The aliens will allow humans to live as prisoners, or they will perish. Tom grabs a gun from the guard skitter and shoots at the commander. He is easily knocked out. Next thing Tom knows, he and a dozen or so other human captives are being dumped in the middle of an empty, expansive field. A mech is there waiting for them when the ship flies away, and it opens fire, killing everyone except Tom. Over the next couple of months, Tom makes his was across the country to meet up with the resistance. Along the way, he rescues a young girl from a thug who had just killed her mother, and convinces her into sharing her motorcycle to get him the rest of the way.
That is pretty much the bulk of part one. It is a tense couple of days, but Anne saves Tom. In part two, the group decides they need to keep moving. The aliens have them backed up against the river. The scouts finally find a bridge that is steady enough for their convoy to pass over. Of course, as they are checking it out, aliens fly overhead and attack. Everyone survives, but the bridge is blown out. Anthony, the camp mechanic, is convinced he can patch it enough to get the vehicles across.
Paranoia runs rampant. Tom is worried that the aliens did something to him: add a tracking device or mind control device or something of the sort. He makes Hal promise to "take care of him" should his fears prove right. Weaver wants to believe that Tom is okay, but Pope's hatred gives him some doubts. Anne is giving Tom another check-up, when she notices something in his eye. With the help of Weaver and Lourdes, she removes it. It appears to be some kind of little parasite. When dropped into a specimen jar, the parasite rolls up into a seamless metal marble. Later on in the episode, when no one is around, the parasite will uncoil itself and cut a hole in the jar with its giant sucker mouth. It sprouts wings and flies to a distant skitter - and crawls into the skitter's eye. Tom is freaked out by this, and asks Weaver to tie him to a pole in the medical van. Weaver obliges.
The bridge is patched and the other side of the river has been scouted by Ben (who found a crashed ship and snapped some photos), so the convoy moves out. They know the aliens are on their way, so they haul ass, with some staying back to fight off the invading forces. When everyone is across the bridge, they will blow it up to prevent skitters and mechs from crossing. A pretty awesome battle sequence takes place, and Pope blows up the bridge with Tom still on it. He does get some skitters in the process. A short time later, Tom swims up on shore, alive and well.
Dig It or Bury It?
Falling Skies is back, and more cinematic than ever. It's always appreciated when a show opens with a big alien gunfight. Other than the budgets increasing, not a lot has changed in this post-alien world. The aliens are still trying to kill off the humans - we don't know why or what they want. The few new people we meet either die or leave within minutes. Tom disappeared and reappeared miraculously twice in these two episodes. Can we please not have any more of that?
In a world where basic human necessities like food and medicine is in short supply, apparently film development equipment is plentiful.
Ben and Tom have a bonding moment. Ben explains to Tom that the way he keeps the aliens from controlling him is through his blinding hatred of them. Tom counters by saying that love can have the same effect - his love for his boys was what kept him going. So I think it is safe to assume that Ben's anger will deepen this season.
2nd Mass sets up base in an airport hangar, and Pope and his gang grow more and more distrusting of Tom.