Falling Skies Episode 1.4
Written By: Joe Weisberg
Directed By: Fred Toye
Original Airdate: 10 July 2011
In This Episode...
It is finally time to rescue Ben and the other kids in his group. Tom has a vague idea of what to do, but honestly, he is just desperate for his boy back. Maggie gives him a better point of entry, but it is Hal who has the best idea. Inspired by a chat with Rick, Hal thinks that if he puts the harness on his own back, the skitter won't be able to tell him from any other kid in his control. Inside the hospital, he falls in line with the other kids, being led around by a skitter. The kids lay down in a pile to sleep, with the skitter hovering above them like a mother protecting her brood. Hal has little choice but to follow suit. When he thinks they are asleep, he pulls out a knife. Ben and the skitter wake up and a fight ensues. Tom comes in just then, having been worried that his son still hadn't give him the signal. Tom shoots the alien with a crossbow, then Hal wrestles it to the floor, shoves his arm in its mouth, and knocks it unconscious via the soft palette - a weak spot discovered last week. The kids are escorted back to HQ, and Anne de-harnesses them one after another. Five survive (including Ben); one does not. By the episode's end, Ben is awake and recognizes Tom.
Also: Harris, when left alone with the alien, starts to antagonize it. The skitter grabs him through the cage and throttles him to death. We also learn more character backstories: Maggie is a cancer survivor; Anne had a son, but now she doesn't even have a photo to remember him by; Weaver also had a child, and is beginning to show a human side.
Dig It or Bury It?
Finally, this series is starting to pick up. I still feel absolutely no connection with any of the characters, but at least the episode pacing and structure has picked up. there were no "wasted" opportunities for a fight. The end fight with Tom, Hal, and the alien isn't crazy or over-the-top, but I don't feel cheated. Similarly, Dr. Harris's death and Anne's demonstration of the alien weak spot both worked for me: just the right amount of intensity for the situation.
Hal puts the alien harness on his back, but it is not active. If the harness links the skitter with the kid telepathically, wouldn't it know that it doesn't have a connection with Hal?
It was kind of sweet the way the skitter slept protectively over its "kids."
I think it is safe to say that, though Ben is awake, he is not going to be the same. I wonder if all the rescued harness kids will band together to overthrow the survivors.