TV Recap: 'Falling Skies' Episode 307 - 'The Pickett Line'



falling skiesFalling Skies Episode 307
“The Pickett Line”
Written By: Heather V. Regnier & Jordan Rosenberg
Directed By: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Original Airdate: 14 July 2013

In This Episode...

The Masons head off in search of Anne. They are supposed to meet up with the new rebel leader but he shows up, badly injured, and can only announce that the aliens are after the Masons before he dies. The Masons mount up and get the hell out of there. They don’t get very far when they are ambushed by a half-dozen masked bandits. They take the Masons’ horses and supplies at gunpoint. Tom isn’t exactly looking for revenge, but he wants his stuff back, so he and the boys stalk the bandits and take them by surprise on their farm. There are two men, Dwayne, the leader, and Gil his brother, and Dwayne’s three teenaged kids. All of the bandits are subdued without violence except for Gil, whom Hal attacks. They battle with a huge knife between them. Max shoots Gil to save his brother.

The shot isn’t fatal, but it could be. Ben and one of the kids take Gil upstairs to administer first aid, while Tom, Hal, and Matt take the rest of the clan into the basement and tie them up. The Pickett family have owned this farm for generations. All have been born in this very house. When the invasion happened, they hunkered down at home. It was far enough from cities that the aliens never found them. Dwayne’s wife was killed when they took in some hungry refugees for a meal. The people they took in tried to rob the Picketts; Dwayne’s wife died during the altercation. They turned to banditry when supplies grew scarce.

Gil is not going to make it. Against Hal’s advice, Tom lets him go upstairs to say goodbye to his brother. But Dwayne has a gun stashed beneath the bed, so the Picketts gain the upper hand. Dwayne forces the Masons into the basement and makes them line up, facing the wall, so that he and his kids can execute them. The kids don’t want this, though only Dwayne’s daughter has the guts to say anything (or cry over it). Tom tries to talk Dwayne down, and insists if he is going to be shot, Dwayne needs to look him in the eyes. The daughter grabs her dad’s arm, which distracts him enough for Tom to take the gun and the Masons once again have the upper hand. The Masons take only what belongs to them and leave. On the road, they see two mega-mechs and a half-dozen skitters heading towards the Pickett farm. Tom can’t be “that guy” so he sends his sons ahead to Mechanicsburg, the next step in their search for Anne. Tom is going to go back to help the Picketts. Unfortunately, when he arrives, he discovers the Picketts have left. But the skitters and mega-mechs have just arrive.

Back at camp, Cochise shows up, carrying the president in his arms. They survived the crash because Cochise was able to absorb much of the impact, but the president is still in bad shape. But the incident has changed the president’s views on the Volm, and he wants the plans for the massive Volm weapon to continue, unhindered. Marina disagrees and thinks the Volm have ulterior motives.

Hmmm... what else... oh yeah - Lourdes is the mole. After changing the president’s IV bag, she slips into a stairway and heads one flight down, to an area that must be storage. She measures her footsteps carefully, adjusts the gurney in the room accordingly, lies down, pulls out one of the Volm mega-guns, points up, and pulls the trigger. The president is blown up immediately. Later she goes to pray in a makeshift temple at the dirt mall, and we see little alien bugs crawling over her face.

Pope is having a bad day. Unbeknownst to him, the government is towing his trailer, his home, and his bar. Weaver tells him it is just to fit in more refugees, but Pope feels like his rights are being trampled on - and they are. Pope has his people participate in a work slow-down, and Weaver arrests him for civil disobedience. But after the whole “president gets blown up” incident, Weaver lets him out and whispers knowingly that there might come a time, soon, when his “civil disobedience” is going to be needed. Pope and Weaver have a kind of unspoken truce. Clearly, Weaver suspects Marina is the mole because, with the president out of the way and Tom having resigned from his position, Marina is now the leader of the country - or at least Charleston.

Dig It or Bury It?

This was the first episode in which I didn’t miss the aliens. It was compelling, and we finally know who the mole is. I was glad that they didn’t leave that to the last episode of the season; I think it is more interesting because we know. Now I want to know what Lourdes’ motivation is. Was she simply infected? Is there something deeper going on? Maybe the aliens have figured out how to reverse the humans-into-aliens process and she is an alien in human skin.

I also found the social implications interesting, namely the way Tom handled the bandits. I can’t help but compare some aspects of Falling Skies with The Walking Dead, the other post-apocalyptic TV show on air. Where Rick - and many of the other characters - lost their humanity rather quickly, Tom seems to be hanging on to his, but in a way that is more realistic to their current situation.

Alien Nation

As Cochise explains, the reason the weapon they are building needs to be so powerful is to get through the grid that the skitters are building around the planet. The grid is radioactive, so within three months of being built, the planet will be unable to sustain organic life. Cochise worries that if they don’t break through the grid, the rays could be stuck in this atmosphere and speed up the radioactive annihilation of the the planet.


The grid is up, and the clock is ticking. Apparently the most “shocking revelation” is still to come.