Welcome back Falling Skies fans,
The “Skitters” have attacked Earth. Downed the Power and technology which humans have relied on for years now. Adults are killed and young humans are captured and harnessed by the “Skitters”. When the youngster gets ‘Harnessed’ they seem to become under complete control of the Skitters. In past episodes, we have seen the teens walking like subdued zombies, doing menial tasks.
When one sees a Skitter around, there are usually guards of a robotic nature nearby. These guards are called “Mechs” in this case, meaning Mechanical. The Mechs are quite tall, walk on two legs like man, and have powerful lights and emit a long droning sound as they search the terrain for humans who would pose a threat to the Extraterrestrials’ mission. In the last episode, a Skitter was caught and Anthony, Dai (Peter Shinkoda), Hal Mason (Drew Roy), Margaret (Sarah Sanguine Carter) and Karen (Jessy Schram) are going to try to learn more from it.
In this episode, our band of resistance fighters Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and some of the people they care for are in their refuge which used to be John F. Kennedy high school. We see the captured skitter in a large holding cage being wheeled through the hallway. The resistance members are speculating about their hostage. Doctor Harris (Steven Weber) says; “For all we know, he’s a prime specimen. The Brad Pitt of Skitterworld…”
They also wonder what the creature must be thinking of them. Dr. Harris then says “They could be making sounds that exceeds the scope of human hearing. For all we know he could be cussing us out right now.” Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) says; “Look at his eyes… He’s probably studying us just as we are of him.”. The caged Skitter is indeed looking at the humans intently. One can tell by their eyes seen in earlier episodes…. and the fact they got to Earth from where ever it is they came from, that these Skitters are intelligent. Unlike the Mechs, the Skitters are a biological, living species. The cage and humans arrive in a part of the medical area where a fortified holding cell has been set up. With the use of electric ‘cattle-prods’, they guide the Skitter into its’ new home.
John Pope (Colin Cunningham) is questioned by Captain Weaver (Will Patton) and is then taken by Tom and Ben Mason (Conner Jessup) along with Anthony (Mpho Koaho) to go off to find Motorcycles which they might be able to use from a bike shop nearby. Tom wants to go save his son, Ben from the Skitters, but Captain Weaver tells him that would have to wait. Of course the tactic being that having this transport will make it easier to get the drugs they need for the unharnessing of kids, getting other supplies, with the ultimate goal of getting the kids back from the skitters.
Good point. One means to an end. If I am correct, the bikes are not as ‘electric’ based as modern cars or the EMP (Electro-magnetic pulse) would have rendered the motorcycles useless as well. EMPs pretty much disables anything with a circuit board.
In the medical area, Anne is examining Rick, with Rick’s father Mike present One of the unharnessed kids. Before the invasion, this boy had Cystic Fibrosis. A debilitating lung disease “CF” as it is usually called results in chronic, potentially fatal congestion, among other whole-body symptoms, needing medications, inhalers, nebulizers and ‘cupping’ which is where one’s cupped hands are pounded over the back of the patient in order to break up the congestion, assist in clearing the mucus and allow some relief. But normally, CF patients are faced with a shorter life span, respiratory failure etc.
In this case, Ann is finding that Rick has gone through a spontaneous remission of the disease. “His lungs are completely clear” she tells Mike. “Are you sure he had cystic fibrosis?” Mike replied “Five specialists in three states sure. He had to go o n a nebulizer twice a day just to be able to breathe” It seems that being ‘Harnessed’ by the Skitters has actually cured him of CF! I guess it is practical that they keep their ‘slaves’ healthy.
A recon team returns and tells Captain Waever (Will Patton) that they saw some harnessed kids at the hospital off Second street; Same one they were at before. Weaver speculates the invaders and their mechs have decided to use the hospital like a base. As the others in the party return to wherever they are situated in the school,
Capt. Weaver and Margaret (Sarah Sanguine Carter) face each other as she asked Weaver if he had others keeping tabs on her. Weaver says that he has. Reminding her that the convicts trusted her with a gun asking if she had ever thought of using it. Margaret replied that she had. On herself at first, then later, on them. Weaver asks her “and what about now?” Margaret replies “I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
As the lead men all take off ..with Pope… to the bike shop, Matt tries to go with them, but Tom lays down the law and tells his son to stay at the school. Next, we are walking through the woods with the guys about a half mile from the bike shop. Pope is asking what gang Anthony was in before the invasion. Bloods? Crips? Slitheren (Shades of Harry Potter anyone?). Anthony tells Pope he was in one of the largest gangs in the world; The Boston Police Department.
Pope makes a comment about “smelling a little ham…” when Anthony retorts back about after all this being over and Pope not being needed anymore, they would have a chat about (Anthony’s) friend called “Clip” as he held his rifle out a bit. He has made his point. Hal and Tom talk a bit about life before the invasion, and Dai sidles up to Tom as Hal moves forward with the others. Tom said he missed his wife Rebecca most at these times.
Next, we’re in the School at the wall where pictures of the missing are. Amy stands there touching the pictures. when asked what she is doing she said she was saying a prayer for the missing.
Once the humans have their captive Skitter ensconced in a side part of the Medical area, Ann is showing it photographs of Earth, The local solar systems and galaxies. She is hoping to get a reaction from the extraterrestrial. Short of a few sounds from ‘him’ in reaction to other people in the room, she is not having much success and is being ridiculed by Doctor Harris. “You think he’s going to start speaking in skitter-ese?”. I note it is interesting how -again- females are the communicators.
She is at least trying to communicate with it albeit on a very basic level, while Dr. Harris is standing back with his own ideas of how the creatures might communicate. “Well, if that doesn’t work, you can try exchanging recipes…No fear, conscience or remorse, maybe that’s why it’s so easy for them to kill us.” Anne tells Harris to “Read what you want. I think it’s scared out of it’s mind” then she looks at the Skitter intently she said “I wonder what it sees when it’s looking at us… Are we as hideous to it? As strange?” Dr. Harris picks up; “Yeah, that’s a good question…I got an idea..”.and leaves the room
Captain Weaver enters one of the classrooms in the school, to find Uncle Scott (Bruce Gray) Building and trying to set up radios. He used parts from an old fallout shelter survival kit and is making what he hopes will be a listening device for their group, as well as anyone else, to listen for activity outside of the “2 Mass” base. He has made a dynamo-style crank up radio receiver.
Captain Weaver is looking it over as he says “The other regiments will be working on their radios. We’ll need to monitor the frequencies…See if they’re up and running. But, I don’t want it to take you away from making explosives.” Uncle scott agrees and on impulse gestures to Matt Mason saying “That’s why I brought along a very capable volunteer!” Matt comes down off the stool he was sitting on and comes to ‘Uncle Scott’ as he continues; “See, all he has to do is wind the handle and slowly turn the dial… He’s lookin’ for something to do…” Capt. Weaver says ‘right.’ as he walks out. Uncle scott Scott tells Matt, “Guess what? I just made you the communications Officer”
Back with our intrepid group on their way to the bike shop, Poke veers away from the others. “I thought I smelled something” He gestures to the others who are telling him to stay in the tree line, and we see he is looking at a few Skitters, hanging like bats under an old bridge. Hal cmes up seeing the skitters and wants to shoot them. Poke says “SHHHH, You’ll wake ‘em!’ As he smiles broadly.
Gently, the team gets closer to the sleeping skitter and speculate about the creatures. Poke says “I guess they get a bit of shut eye when ever and where ever they can… ” Tom Mason continues “Like soldiers anywhere…” Tom looks like he is readying his gun to fire, but Dai comes up from scoping the surrounding area. “Mechs, North and south… Sleep mode”. Poke wants to open up on the Skitters, but Tom says “The minute we open up on them, those Mechs will open up on us!” Shaking his head he continues “Engaging them is not the mission. Let’s go.”
Back in the Medical area, Anne is offering the Skitter a bowl of water. The Skitter seems to feel calmer, but is not accepting, it just stands back from the window of the cage as Anne passes the bowl in. As she withdraws her hand, Dr. Harris comes in “Get your hand out of that cage!” We see he is pushing a gurney into the room covered with a sheet. He speaks to the Skitter directly “Hey, Chief, remember that Skitter Poke and his boys killed? -watch this…Remember this guy?” as he whips the sheet off the dead skitter with a flourish.
The caged Skitter becomes very upset, and we can see maybe they DO have emotions…Like fear, or could it be grief? It is at this same time Matt Mason, back in the ‘radio room’ hears a burst of static on the radio he is monitoring. Back in the medical area, the Skitter is trying to reach through the cage and we can hear it ‘screaming’ as it seems to be reaching for its’ colleague…or the humans… Harris secures the window to the cage as he tells Anne “Want a friend? Get a dog!” As the skitter looks directly at Anne, I felt that Anne looked a bit sad. Uncle Scott and Mat at the radio, no longer hear the burst of static.
Our fearless group has reached the bike shop and are now looking for bikes that can run. They find some gasoline in the repair bay and Poke is wordlessly told to start siphoning gas from the tanks for the bikes in front of the store.
Hal and Tom see a very nice little keyring with a motorcycle on a pink background. Hal said Karen would have loved that. “She wasn’t a ‘Girly-girl’ but… she would’ve taken this” Hal said. “We could leave an IOU…?” Tom muses. Hal and Tom remember Karen and they also talk a bit about Rebecca-Tom’s wife who died during the takeover.
Tom guesses at what Rebecca would have said at this time, but Hal said “She would’ve just said ‘Suck it up!’… and if that was your attempt at parenting, uh, it was pretty lame…” They both got a smile from this. Eventually Tom gives Hal the keyring and they leave. Not sure, but it is as if they hope to see Karen again.
Dr. Harris is now laying out surgical tools and Anne is saying he cannot do this. That their job is to try to communicate with the Skitter. Porters’ Orders. Harris just meets her remarks with total derision saying “I’m not going to be second guessed by a pediatrician” Okay, I understand that the ties between Tom and Harris is that each was with the others’ spouse when they died during the attack. Harris could be like most Doctors. They seem to want to be able to “FIX” anything and when they cannot, they face a lot of frustration. But Dr. Harris had best know the true enemy is NOT Anne or anyone else in this situation.
-Gosh, nothing like a bit of Ego maniacal chest-beating. One thing I note about Falling Skies, is that as they fight an invading force, many people here hold onto their sexists, or racists feelings. They begrudgingly unite with each other to fight the Skitters, but I believe if they win, they will go back to their everyday lives with the same prejudices they always had.
Mike is sitting at his son Rick’s bedside in the infirmary, as the skitter in its’ cage looks on. Rick opens his eyes and asks Mike “Who are you?” Mike replies “It’s me, Ricky, It’s Dad” Rick asks again, as if not understanding the words… “Who are you?” Mike replies “I’m your father.” Rick rises a little from the bed and looks over at the Skitter who looks back at him making their noises. Rick stares for a while and then back at Mike. Resting his head back down on the pillow he says in a heavy sigh “Father”.
Mike gets up and walks over to the Skitter. He tells the Skitter that the boy in there is is son. He is everything to Mike. and he is healthy, probably because of that thing the skitters put on him. The Skitter is making his usual guttural, growls and ‘whines’ but does not seem agitated at the moment. Mike said to the Skitter that that is why it gets this chance….To live, or not. At this point the Skitter gets a bit riled. am thinking they can understand what a human says, but cannot articulate in our language. Mike is telling the Skitter that it is alive right now because the humans want to communicate with it. Mike tries with the pictures again and finally, walks over gets his rifle and comes back to the cage. “So maybe you didn’t understand me, or you need some motivation” as he aims the rifle at the Skitter.
Back in the radio room, Anne, Matt and Uncle Scott hear static on the radio again. It seems to happen when the Skitter is agitated or frightened. Anne wonders what is causing it, and at this point no one knows. Meanwhile, Mike is provoking the Skitter and shoves the rifle hard into it’s face, while yelling at it to “SPEAK!” when this happens, the static on the radio goes crazy. The Skitter seems to pass out and the static stops.
Next, we see Mike explaining to Anne and Harris that he was just trying to get the Skitter to talk. “What, by sticking a gun into it’s mouth?” Anne asks him. Harris said the Skitters’ heart and breathing seem fine. It seems during the dissection of the other skitter, they found there is a vulnerable spot between a nerve bundle and soft palate in the Skitters. Harris said it could be a pressure point, Mike most likely gave it a concussion. Anne said “So… this just happened five minutes ago?” Ah, I think she has clicked on to the possibility of the Skitters effect on radio waves.
Uncle Scott walks into an area where the dead Skitter is. Seems the connection is made of the Static and the Skitter. Seems the static bursts happened during the times their captive became agitated.
Back in the infirmary, the caged Skitter is looking at Ricky. I am impressed that as ugly as the Skitters are, I actually think the eyes are really expressive. The effect of seeing big, expressive eyes in a Skitter face is a bit unnerving. Rick gets up and sees the ‘harness’ he once wore on a tray beside him.
The Skitter looks on and seems to be talking to Rick telepathically or somehow. Rick gets up and in a trance-like state, slowly goes to the harness, picks it up and lays the harness back onto his back. The CGI with the harness attaching itself to Rick is pretty cool.
Rick seems to be comfortable with this thing on his back and the Skitter seems also pleased.Rick is back in a more direct communication with the Skitter.
In the other room where the dead skitter is, Anne, Mike Harris and Uncle Scott are told by Anne that it has been dead too long. “There’s mush in there.” Just at that point the static becomes very audible and intense. Harris says “There’s your proof right there!” Anne asked “what?” Harris says “That the skitter and the static are unrelated! It’s not being provoked, we’re all in here, it’s all alone unless it’s hangin’ itself right now…” Mike says “Ricky’s in there!” and they run to the infirmary!
They find Rick is trying to open the cage. Mike is restrained by the others as Harris asks the skitter (or Rick!): “What do you want from us?” Rick, looking very unemotional and almost zombie-like looks at them and says “You want to hurt me” Harris replies “We just want to know why you’re here.” Ricky is in fact being used by the Skitter to speak to the humans.
Rick says to the group “Let me go.” Harris tells him/it; “No we can’t do that. Ricky in monotone says “This child is one of ours.” Harris tells him/it “Not anymore. we cut off his harness”. Ricky (Skitter) replies “Then I’ll be punished.” The skitter-through Ricky then says “Help me”. “How can we help you?” Harris asked. Through Rick, the Skitter replies “Kill me”. It is at this point Mike loses control, runs to Rick and forcibly pulls the harness back off from him. The Skitter seems to ‘scream’ and Rick falls to the ground.
Back in the bike shop, they got one of the bikes to start and others start up soon too. Pope tells Dai that the gas can is dry. As Dai goes to investigate, Pope hits Dai, rendering him unconscious and Pope speeds off on one of the bikes. The others go in to get Dai, and assuring that he is alright, They see Pope speeding off on a bike from the side of the shop. they take off to the front of the shop to get going.
But Pope is now stopped by the sleeping skitters under the bridge and has gasoline, and what appears to be a grenade. Poke says “Rise and Shine!” as he tosses this super-sized Molotov cocktail right into the cluster of sleeping skitters!
The explosion is heard by the others at the bike shop. They all stop for a second and Hal said “That wasn’t good…” They all go outside to see a plume of smoke off in the distance. “Looks like Pope’s work” one says and Tom says “That’s going to draw some attention…”
Now, our heroes are getting ready to leave with their new transport when they are surprised by a group of armed harnessed kids. They know a Skitter is nearby because they always seem to be in the vicinity of the kids, and Mechs are also usually around. The harnessed kids advance on the bike shop and start to fire assault rifles into the store. Dai is hit and is dragged into the store. Anthony says the unthinkable and Tom shouts back “NO!! We’re NOT shooting Kids!”
… Maybe another reason the Skitters harnessed the youth. People are so hesitant to fire on or hit the youth… even if the youth ARE being controlled by the invading force. Tom says something about getting the Skitter who is controlling the kids instead. As the guys all get ready to make a break for freedom, they hop onto the bikes and start out. using an old truck as a distraction, blowing it up with a smaller Molotov.
As Dai is helped onto a bike with Tom, a Skitter comes out of what seems to be an office in the store, crawling up a wall and jumping out in front of Dai and Tom.
Shots ring out from Toms’ gun and the Skitter falls back. As they race past, the Skitter tries to give chase, but Dai takes it out with his gun. They fly out through the window frames and past the emotionless kids…. who now are standing still and facing ahead. Not seeming to care about those escaping. Dai asks Tom “What about those kids?” Tom says “Next time”… As they drive away.
Back at the school, we see Dai being taken in for treatment on his leg, Captain Weaver asked why, with the Mech superior weaponry, why the Skitters had to arm children. Tom replies he does not know. “Human shield… we’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Psychological warfare…” Weaver replied “It worked… You couldn’t shoot ‘em. No one would be able to” Tom said “Oh, we’ll figure it out… There is a silver lining” Weaver says “I’m not seeing it” Tom points out that “The more we get to know them, the more we see they’re not so different from us which mean we can understand them. Means we might be ablt to gain them (the kids) back if we figure out how we could end up beating them” Capt. Weaver says “We are a long way from figuring that out” Tom says “Well, we know a helluva lot more about ‘em then we did yesterday.”
Hal Mason is putting the motorcycle keyring into a box as Tom walks in. Hal holds up a book “I didn’t know you still had This!” The book was “Harry Potter Deathly Hollows” Tom remembers he and Ben were halfway through the book when the attack happened. As they spoke about Ben, Hal said when he took Karen, he was staring at him…and it wasn’t Ben looking back.
In the infirmary, Anne is saying the good news is that the Skitters’ radio frequency isn’t very strong, otherwise it could have sent out for reinforcements and they would have been attacked. She tells Tom about Matt’s new job with uncle Scott and the dinner bell chimes out for all to come eat. Tonight’s meal includes freshly baked bread. A gift from Pope. As they all gather at tables, remarks of what they are thankful for are said, and Pope’s bread is passed around. Then grace is said.
My Take… For what It is worth…
I know it is important for people in general to hang on to things that comfort them in trying times. at a time like this when your own family may be gone or scattered, those around you become a ‘second family’ so to speak. This seems not so much an invasion TV show, but more of how the characters try to hold their familiars close to them in times like this. It is indeed a human trait to want to be with others of a like mind or belief when surrounded by chaos and uncertainty. I am a bit saddened to see that while some are reaching out to others, there are those which hold on to the destructive traits of racism and sexism
I also found the Skitter’s comment through Rick interesting. Instead of facing it’s species in defeat, to be “Punished” it wanted to be killed. Perhaps this speaks of a ‘society where it is better to die at the hands of the enemy than it is to return in defeat…Seems the Skitters forgive nothing on their operatives. Like some cultures here in this world.
Falling Skies returns on TNT this Sunday at 10 PM EST/PST 9 PM central time with “Silent Kill”. Check back soon for our exclusive pre-review on the exciting fifth episode of this exciting series created by Dreamworks Television Studios for TNT! We include the full episode below courtesy of TNT!
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