TV Recap: 'Falling Skies' Episode 209 - 'The Price of Greatness'


Falling Skies Episode 209
“The Price of Greatness”
Written By: Mark Verhelden
Directed By: Adam Kane
Original Airdate: 12 August 2012

In This Episode...

Charleston is a utopia. 2nd Mass is greeted with a standing ovation, a hot meal that includes fresh veggies, electricity, running water, and real beds. Tom discovers that his former mentor, professor and historian Arthur Manchester, is the “majority leader” (because calling himself president felt “too presumptuous”). He wants Tom to help him create a new government.

But it isn’t long before cracks in the veneer start to show. It turns out that food choices are not as varied as they were led to believe. Most people slept 10 or more to a room. Anne isn’t respected by her fellow doctors and is relegated to pediatrics. Matt gets into fights at school when the 2nd Mass bigotry takes hold. Tom tries to convince Manchester that they should join with the skitter rebellion. Manchester turns out to be a strategic megalomaniac. He is paranoid about the aliens and believes the safest thing they can do is hunker down underground until the aliens go away.

All the weapons are deposited into a central arsenal. The berserkers decide they want their guns back and break in. They are caught by General Bressler and sent to detention. A de-harnessed kid shows up at the front “door,” with a message for Tom. It is not Ben, as Tom hoped, but another kid who was sent by the rebellion and wants Tom to meet with them. Tom is all for it - even Bressler thinks it is a good idea. But Manchester overrules them. Bressler and Porter even help Tom and Weaver sneak out to meet up with the rebellion, but Manchester stops them before they can leave the compound. Manchester has Tom and his group thrown into cells, and out of paranoia, demands that all members of 2nd Mass be rounded up and kept in the commissary until such time as they can be trusted. Bressler is torn. On the one hand, he believes that fighting is the right thing to do, tactically. But on the other hand, Bressler is a military man. All he knows is following orders. His plan? Stage a coup. Tom, Pope, and the others are released from their cells, replaced by Manchester.

Dig It or Bury It?

This episode felt contrived. The state of Charleston was so expected it almost felt cliched. Remember that episode of The Simpsons, where Homer takes a new job with Hank Scorpio and moves the whole family to his perfect, engineered community? At first, everyone loved it. The automated house meant Marge had no housework; Lisa had all the nature she could stand; Bart was popular in school. But then things soured: Marge was bored without housework; Lisa discovered she had debilitating pollen allergies; and Bart was put in the “slow” class. By the end of the episode they all rebel and demand to go home. Tonight’s Falling Skies felt essentially like that, but with less yellow.


In the season finale, the humans will come face-to-face with the aliens.