Falling Skies: Love and Other Acts of Courage

Maggie: "The problem is, I don't know how to stop myself from going too far."

Yet another strong episode, and this time it was about relationships. There is a lot of interpersonal stuff going on in the 2nd Mass. and apparently there's some interesting stuff going on in the Skitter ranks as well. Is Red Eye being honest? I have a theory about that, but I'll get to it in a bit.

First, let's talk about our human characters. Tom finally feels like himself this time, and I didn't mind the slightly sappy stuff at the end because it felt right to have a bit of reprieve. Weaver and Tom finally acknowledging mutual respect and perhaps even friendship was kind of perfect. I'm worried about Weaver's leg, though. I swear if a Skitter worm bursts out of it in a couple episodes I might stop watching (just kidding).

It was an interesting choice for Tom to give sentry duty to Matt. It might seem a bit soon after the last episode, but from the little bits of information we got, I figure that at least a month has passed for our characters.

Thankfully, we spent quite a bit of time with Margaret (who must like to be called Maggie by the right people) and Hal. I like the chemistry between them, and we finally got some more information about Maggie's cancer. She had tumors in her head, which is about the worst thing I can think of. With scalp scars like that, no wonder she likes her hair to be that long, even without the accessibility of quality hair care products. I was momentarily worried they were going to kill her off because she hasn't been central so far this season, and they've been kind of merciless with the character deaths.

Which brings me to Rick's death. His sacrifice was pretty noble, and in his dying breath we finally got some emotion from him about his father's death. That's the second high profile death this season, and the second kid as well. Harsh. His dying wish was for Ben to keep going, and to be a son to Tom. Anne was right, he wasn't really the traitor; it was what the Skitters did to him that made him that way. Ben, on the other hand, seems to have found a cause, but I wonder if it was his choice?

Red Eye threw himself on the mercy of the 2nd Mass. and managed to convince Tom that he might be telling the truth. If he was telling the truth, we got some interesting information about the whole situation. The Master Aliens (Red Eye called them the overlords) invaded and enslaved their race over a hundred years ago, which answers a question I had. The harnessed kids are not becoming Skitters, they are being changed into something else. Maybe a humanoid version of the Skitters?

Red Eye referred to the Harnesses as "Chem-locks", and their entire race was enslaved as children. I wonder if that's a limitation of the harness technology? He showed some admiration for the way the humans are resisting. He also saved Tom from that Mech in the first episode. The proof of his supposed rebellion is the massive carnage the group ran across early in the episode. Which makes me wonder, is this all a set up? Charleston, this Skitter rebellion, are they all lures being used to break the human resistance once and for all? Or, are all these promises of hope real? They could finally represent a change in this seemingly hopeless war.

Okay, my theories. I feel that the best lies are always seeded with truth. If Charleston is just a lure, then I think at one point it did exist. But it was likely wiped out by the Skitters, or transformed into this Sanctuary that the Master Alien described. I also think that Red Eye very much wants to destroy the Overlords, but I have to question what his end goal might be. Sure, he might align himself with humans for the duration, but I got the impression his planet didn't fare too well after their invasion. So my guess would be he wants to use the humans to win, but will then take the planet for his people afterwards.

Bits:

I find it hard to believe that the hospital wasn't picked clean long ago. Also, turning on the lights is an extremely poor tactical decision. It's like a giant beacon saying, hey I'm over here!

Ben has been in contact with Red Eye since Jimmy's death.

Tector and the Berserkers (Crazy Lee, Lyle, and Boone) are now officially under Tom's command. Are Tector and Crazy Lee a couple?

I also need to talk about Boone. He has already shown himself to be ignorant and irresponsible, such as using Matt as bait and not seeing the problem with it. But he's also made several kinds of comments about the Skitters (the only good Skitter is a dead one, etc.), and alluded to the idea that the harnessed kids deserve the same. What's worse is the fact that he showed no remorse or shock when he accidentally shot Rick. He makes Pope look like a saint.

Speaking of Pope, I hope he returns soon.

So the Skitters can talk through de-harnessed kids as well. That doesn't look good for Ben's future.

The connection between Skitter and harnessed kid seems almost physical, since Rick collapsed when Red Eye did while they were connected.

Hal had a girl friend named Rita, who was a Jazz dancer. He bought a Civic with 212 thousand miles on it and tinted windows just so they could fool around. Except, wasn't he sixteen when the show started and it had only been seven months since the invasion? The math doesn't quite add up, unless they are trying to make him older so the relationship with Maggie fits better.

Quotes:

Matt: "Yes sir... Dad."

Weaver: "You are one tough lady."
Anne: "Please, three year olds used to throw up on my head. This is nothing."

Maggie: "When I went in for the third operation, I remember thinking if I don't come outta this, if just die on the table, I'd be okay with that."
Hal: "Wow, it was that bad?"
Maggie: "It's like you're out, out of life. You're at your last drop. So if it just drips away, wasn't much left anyway."
Hal: "Glad you got it back."
Maggie: "I didn't get it back. Not of all of it."

Red Eye: "We tried to fight back, but they were too powerful. Then we came here, and we saw you. How your species fights even after you were almost wiped out. You refused to capitulate. Don't you see, professor? Together we could do what neither of us could do alone. Overthrow our oppressors."

Red Eye: "The point of the matter being your weapons are substandard, and you do not understand their strategies nor their tactics. So you can join us and survive, or fight alone and die." (I knew we would get a Lost reference eventually)

Weaver: "When Porter first put us together, I didn't like you very much."
Tom: "Really, couldn't tell. Well I don't mind telling you that the feeling was more than mutual."
Weaver: "I can be stubborn sometimes."
Tom: "Sometimes."
Weaver: "I could never see how some professor would be any use in the battlefield. But Tom, I've come to respect you."
Tom: "I feel the same way, Dan."

Whatever is in store, there is potential for some really interesting storytelling. The way they've been going, I have a feeling the end to this season is going to be one hell of a game changer.

3 out of 4 Hospital Beds with clean sheets.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

J.D., I was worried about Maggie, too. She's probably my favorite character now, and it just felt like they were going to kill her off. I also got the feeling she still has cancer, which of course would now be inoperable because who could possibly do it? I don't think Anne is ready for that.

Jess Lynde said...

More proof that I've started to genuinely like the characters: the goofy plot holes and idiot moves don't bother me as much anymore (like Tom just continuing to chat up Red Eye even after he said a death squad was coming --- hello? You could at least alert your peeps so they can get ready to roll). That stuff drove me crazy last year, and still bugs me to a certain extent this year, but I'm starting to care about it less, because I enjoy the overarching plot and spending time with the characters.

I found myself with a goofy smile when Hal and Maggie were flirting in the car. I'm really rooting for them to finally get together. I kind of like that they didn't, though. It feels very true to Maggie's character to continue resisting her feelings for Hal. Especially now that we know how close she came to dying from cancer, and then suffering as she did with Pope's old crew. I could see her not wanting to let herself become intimately close with someone. I'm also worried that she may still have cancer, and is just trying to protect Hal.

I'm digging the Tom and Anne stuff, too. It's nice to have an adult couple coming together without all the angst the younger ones are going through. Them sneaking off into a private room at the end made me smile.

I like your theories re: Red Eye and Charleston. It seems extremely hard to believe that the Overlords would just let a place with electricity, running water, and a centralized government go untouched. The place is screaming alien "sanctuary" to me.

zob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Zob. I saw an article a couple of days ago that said it was TNT's most popular show with the young demographic, so I thought renewal was likely. :)

J.D. Balthazar said...

I guess that means my plans for next summer are kaput... jk. Great news!

Thanks Zob.

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear about the third season!

Another good episode, especially true in terms of story progression, although there were good character moments thrown in there as well.

So, Maggie. Brain cancer. Recurrent brain cancer. Not good. I hope it was intentional to create an illness that would not be curable in this setting, because it is really going to stretch my willingness to suspend disbelief if they try to do surgery on her.

Under normal circumstances, I could see Maggie not wanting Hal to get attached in case something bad happens to her, but it is a bit silly when they are getting shot at by aliens on nearly a daily basis! I will say that having her refuse to spend the night in the hospital, even with the temptation of clean sheets on a real bed, was a nice touch of realism. Anyone who has spent too much time in hospitals knows that feeling all too well. And now it seems they may be holing up there for a while…at least until the aliens see the shining beacon of all the lights and come to kill them all.

I think Tom assigning Matt to guard the hospital bus was a genius father move…he made Matt feel important while keeping him close to Anne, who Tom knew would look out for his son.

I am also worried about Weaver! But, as long as no worms pop out of him, I think it is possible the bite might give him Skitter super powers (like Ben and Rick) but without the pesky mind control.

They should drug Weaver more often…it really helps him get in touch with his feelings. I like that he and Tom finally acknowledged their mutual respect and friendship, and I loved Tom pulling the blanket over him at the end…but only after hesitating for a moment.

My favorite character moments were the small, subtle references all the characters kept making about Charleston. All their simple little hopes and dreams…baseball, TV, running water… will just make it that much more crushing if it turns out to be a big lie.

To me, the best thing about this episode was the revelation that there is a Skitter resistance, too! At least if you believe Red Eye, which I do. The evidence adds up, and he made some good points about why it would be mutually beneficial to form an alliance. But, I think you may be right, JD, that Red Eye’s motives might not be so pure. I didn’t like the way he was looking at our planet!

-M