TV Review: 'Falling Skies' Episode 1.2 - 'Prisoner of War'


Falling Skies Episode 1.2

"Prisoner of War"

Written By: Fred Golan

Directed By: Greg Beeman

Original Airdate: 26 June 2011

In This Episode...

Base camp has been set up in the high school. The colonel arrives with news of resistance groups in city centers across the country. A new doctor and old friend of Tom's, Harris comes to camp. Tom blames him for his wife's death - she was with Harris when she died. Harris thinks he has a way to de-harness the kids without killing them. The harnesses attach to the spine via a series of needles. Once there, the needles take root and eventually become one with the host. The harness keeps the kids on steady levels of opiates, so when the harness is cut off, so is the drug supply. The kid goes into shock and dies. Harris's theory is that he can save the kids by putting them on a steady morphine drip, removing the harness, and weaning the kids off the morphine after they are stable.

Tom and his group head out to get Ben, who will be the guinea pig. If it works on him, more kids will be gathered up. But while scouting, Mike spots his kid and cannot control himself. He runs out and grabs his kid. Tom is knocked out in the scramble, and dragged back to the truck. The truck peels away while Hal and Karen are still defending themselves. Inside a tunnel, where the recon group has holed up, Tom wakes and decides to go back for Hal and Karen himself.  As he heads out, he comes face to face with a skitterer. Tom blows two of its legs off, then beats it unconscious with one of them (or maybe his gun - but the leg thing is cooler).  He delivers the skitterer to Weaver as a prisoner of war. 

Since they didn't get Ben, Mike's son becomes the guinea pig. So far, so good. Back at the attack site, one of the mechs had knocked out Hal and Karen. Hal wakes later that night to see Karen being dragged off by the enslaved kids. One of the skitterers lines up half a dozen slave kids, then directs the mech to kill them. Hal is left alive as a messenger. Tom rescues Hal, but Karen will have to wait. Back at HQ, the harness removal seems to be a success. But as the episode comes to an end, the captive skitterer awakens - and so does Mike's son. 

Dig It or Bury It?

I enjoyed this episode significantly more than the premiere. The fight scenes were more engaging, and some interesting concepts were introduced. The whole Tom vs. Harris bit is already annoying, but I am pleased that they finally have a P.O.W.

But still, the show is not perfect. The problem I have found is that the show does not have a good flow. It goes from day to night and back in a manner that I don't think is actually consistent. The edits from one scene to another are often quick, hard cuts that are jarring. On top of that, there seems to be a lot of excess scenes with no point. Nearly ten minutes are spent on Pope's culinary skills, and whether or not he can be trusted. Frankly, I don't even know how he could poison everyone. 

Alien Nation

Tom compares the aliens to Nazis - seems fair. It was a pretty brutal scene when the alien lines up the kids and directs the mech to execute them all. They camera pans away so you don't see the kids being killed (this isn't Walking Dead), but it very effective. Anyway, when Hal tells his dad what he saw, Tom explains that the Nazis would sometimes leave a survivor as a messenger.


That P.O.W. alien is going to wreck havoc with that still-controlled kid.  It's on, earthlings!