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Change seems to be the order of the day in this episode of Falling Skies. Tensions are rising in the camp of the Second Mass and not everybody is relieved to have Ricky and Ben back. They have a new insult term for the harnessed kids now – ‘Razerback’. One family try to make a run for it after obtaining some medical supplies from Anne. Anne puts up a good fight, but in the face of a gun brandishing middle-aged father, she cannot win. While Mason, Weaver and the gang are chasing after them to reclaim the meds, Terry interferes and helps them out.


 He informs then that the Seventh Mass has been destroyed and only a handful of adult survivors remained, while the children were harnessed. He also had knowledge of the aliens patrol group coming towards Second Mass. He convinces them to send the children and some fighters with him to a safe house. Then the rest of the Second Mass, along with the Third Mass, who were on their way there, could gather and come to the safe house.

That night the patrol group finds out the Second Mass base and a fight ensues between the Mech and the fighters. One skitter goes behind, while everybody is involved with the Mech and attacks Jimmy, the thirteen year old, gun-toting kid. After a very cheesy crushing of the globe of the Earth, it is about to attack Jimmy when Weaver kills it from behind. The brave hearted Jimmy finally acts like a kid and hugs Weaver. Weaver is positive towards Jimmy and we can see there’s a fatherly bond growing inside him.

At the safe house, Terry takes a child out into the woods for an exchange with a little girl. The little girl is harnessed and a mech and skitter appear out of nowhere and reminds him to honor the deal he had made. He plans to surrender all the kids to them in a couple of days. The way this scene was handled was chillingly beautiful! Back at the safe house, we see Pope chained up like an animal. He is in a bad shape and we find out that he was the one who had given information about the whereabouts of the Second Mass, under an extremely difficult situation.

This episode was very predictable, but that does not mean that it was in any ways, boring. There was a lot to like about the writing in this week’s episode. In fact this episode was one of the best in the season. We get to know more about the skitters without the information being blasted into our face, through Ben. Turns out the harnesses do more than get the kids disease-free. Ben is able to do a hundred push-ups without breaking a sweat now. He also explains that the skitters were more like family. Dr. Anne is now more alert and has a gun at all times to protect herself the next time somebody tries to attack her. Mason went from ‘I’ll not send away my kids anywhere’ to ‘They must go for their own safety’! The safe house is as far from the definition of a Sanctuary as possible!

I love the way the skitters are being handled. Last week, the skitter in the hallway was very chillingly creepy. This week it was absolutely terrifying while attacking Jimmy. If they handle next week’s episode right, then the predictability of this week’s episode will fade from the mind and I will probably love it. And for goodness sakes, let Pope out!

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In this episode, we are on another attempt to rescue Ben from the skitters and the evil mech robots. I was thinking, if this episode doesn’t resolve the Ben situation, the show is going to lose some viewers. Thankfully, they finally resolved it.

Since Tom is a hotshot and had done another good deed in the last episode, he gets to put his 5 fighters, probably the best fighters in mortal danger once again. This time Weaver allows him to do whatever he wants as long as the plan is sound, since Tom brings a lot to the table. Tom suggests a plan which is not approved by Weaver. Later Hal comes up with an undercover plan which doesn’t sit well with Tom, but is probably the best bet to get Ben without any casualties.

Apparently, the harnessed kids are allowed to roam around on their own as long as the harnesses control them. Tom suggests he put on a dysfunctional harness and sneak into enemy camp to rescue Ben and the other kids. The plan is put into motion and it allows Hal to discreetly sneak into the place where his brother is being held captive. A skitter takes him and the other kids in a grossly disturbing, symbiotic, motherly embrace and all the kids fall asleep. Hal assumes this is best shot to kill the skitter by the method taught by Anne earlier and puts it to good use.

Dr. Harris has an inglorious end this episode where he is murdered by the skitter. The always calm, collected, level-headed Anne has a breakdown this episode and kills the skitter. She confesses to Tom that she doesn’t have any pictures or physical stuff of her family and is heartbroken about it. The emotional trauma she is going through was portrayed wonderfully. In the final scene, she and Tom holding hands has a deeper meaning and hopefully this will be the beginning of a romance between them. We are getting to know more about Margaret, she actually had cancer before and is now recovering.

Tom and the others rescue all the six kids and take them back to their camp. Five kids survive, but one of the kid dies. This may be because of the death of the skitter controlling those children. The ending was on a happier note with Ben waking up and recognizing his father. This was a very fulfilling episode and now the show can move on from the main objective of Ben to other more interesting things. Each week we are learning new things about the aliens. This week we found out that the working harnesses actually glow in the dark. How freaky is that. They are luminescent and give the skitters advantage to know who is under their control and who is not.

Symbiotic relationship!

I’m very excited for the next episode. Why is Ricky permanently damaged while Ben seems to have apparently recovered from the trauma of wearing the harness so quickly? Why do the skitters have a symbiotic relationship with the kids? Why the friendly bedding while earlier we saw the skitters sleeping like bats?

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Harris and the others want to study the captive Skitter. Meanwhile Weaver orders Tom and his group to go and check out a motorcycle shop near Summerville. Pope goes along with them as he knows the fastest route there, while Weaver is keeping tabs on Maggie and not trusting her. I mean, give the girl a break! She was forced into doing the things she did and for survival she put up with it. Because of her, Weaver still has Mason, the second-in-command and his group! And trusting Pope to go along with the group is probably the dumbest thing ever! The guy has an ulterior motive for everything!

Back at the Kennedy High School, Dr. Glass tries to communicate with the skitter using pictorial methods, but to no avail, while Dr. Harris scoffs at her non-violent, non-invasive, passive methods. He taunts the captive skitter with Pope’s dead skitter, whereupon it goes nuts. He then proceeds to get ready with the invasive operation. Like as if the skitter would let him probe it that easily! Also Ricky had cystic fibrosis and the harness or skitters cured him of his ailments.

On the other side of town, our group come across a nest of skitters hanging upside down and sleeping like bats. Pope wants to kill the beasts, while Mason orders them to continue on their mission path discreetly. Back at the motorcycle shop, Pope escapes and blasts three of the skitters, like the idiot he is.

Ricky, the kid who was rescued, doesn’t remember his own father. But he seems to recognize the skitter. Uh oh, ominous signs in last episode are coming true. So, the black dude goes and tries to reason with the skitter. The skitter doesn’t budge, so finally he loses his cool and puts a gun in the skitter’s mouth. The skitter goes into a shock and gets knocked down. Dr. Glass theorizes that the skitters emit a frequency, which can be picked up as radio signals, inside their minds to communicate with each other and this theory is scoffed by Harris.

In the other room, Ricky gets up and puts the harness back on himself. How stupid is it to leave him alone in the room with the skitter!! Anyway after doing a postmortem on the dead skitter, the radio comes alive with static. They all rush to the other room to see Ricky trying to let out the skitter. The skitter communicates with them through the controlled kid and tells them to kill it as it would be punished if it went back. The father rushes to rip apart the harness from him and in the process Ricky dies.

The motorcycle shop is now surrounded by children who open fire on the group. Through some tactful, quick planning they manage to escape and kill one more skitter who was controlling the children. Hal has his doubts about rescuing Ben since the children who have been harnessed won’t be the same anymore.

Weaver is much more humane in this episode. Mason goes on and on about rescuing Ben! What about Karen!! She is also basically a kid, who went with them for the sake of Hal. He doesn’t even talk about her and this pisses of Hal somewhat. And Pope may be a bastard, but even when he escaped he had made a delicious meal for them and fresh bread! He can’t be all that bad. Damn, I hope he comes back soon. He makes the show more exciting. Intellectually, he is in the same level as Tom Mason, but since his experience is based on surviving throughout his life, killing off the skitters actually made sense and made me root for him.

This show has now found its feet and the story is progressing much more smoothly. We are now caring about the characters and their plights. Also this episode had much more focus on the skitter and the cgi on it looks insanely real and wonderful. And the sweet Lourdes seems to be the Christian faith propagator on the show. While its extremely prejudiced on the part of the writers, I don’t mind it that much. All I ask is, what about the other faiths? Are there none other than Christians in the camp? This is a huge cliché in American shows.

Can they rescue Karen, Ben and the others? How can they make the kids come out of the skitters mind control? Will Pope survive alone? Will the imprisoned skitter make more troubles for them? Will they get enough drugs to treat the kids? What did you think of this week’s episode, Falling Skies fans? Did you too think that this was the best episode on the show yet?

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Tom Mason and his group spot the enslaved kids from the rooftop of a building. The aliens are making them collect metal scraps and wires. There are two Mechs and three Skitters guarding the kids and if they wait any longer, there would be more aliens along the way. But that plan is thwarted when Karen accidentally gives away their position and the group has to retreat. Back at the John. F. Kennedy High School, which is the place that Commander Porter had ordered them to meet up at, Tom is submerged with pleas from grieving parents enquiring about their kids. Commander Porter gives out orders to collect as much data as they can about the aliens and a chief surgeon had found a theoretical way to remove the harness from the kids without killing them in the process.

Pope, in his usual flair, even as a prisoner disdainfully badmouths the food being served and in the process we get to know that he was actually a chef before the alien invasion. He manages to convince them to let him cook for everybody. Meanwhile, Tom finds out that the surgeon who had come up with the new plan to remove the harness was actually his friend, Michael Harris. Tom’s wife and Harris were together scavenging for food when his wife dies and Harris went missing. Instead of feeling betrayed, Tom understands Harris’ predicament at the moment and lets it slide.

Tom and his group go back to rescue Ben and there one of the group’s men finds his son and rushes head-on to rescue the kid. Tom gets knocked off and Karen and Hal are taken prisoners. Later, on his way to rescue all the kids back, a Skitter attacks Tom and he valiantly fights against it and single-handedly wins against the beast. Next morning, he is seen dragging the half dead Skitter across the halls of John. F. Kennedy school. The Skitter is a ‘prisoner of war’, they could study it and learn its weaknesses. Though Weaver offers him two soldiers, Tom refuses him and goes alone to get his kids back.

That night, Hal witnesses the mass murder of all the other kids who were in the same group as the one who was rescued. The aliens were sending the humans a message by letting Hal go to report what happened to the others. Tom gets back to the school with Hal, where apparently the rescued boy is still alive even after removing the harness. Tom hadn’t got over his wife’s death, he and Harris get into a fight over a chat about the imprisoned Skitter. The closing shot of the episode shows the Skitter ominously opening its eyes widely and the rescued kid also opens his eyes, which has this fan very excited.

I love the writing and direction of the show. I really like Tom’s character, the emotional bond he has with his sons is very touching, especially with Matt. His reasoning and moral compass doesn’t waiver much even when he is under severe strain. But his emotions got the better of him this time with Harris. And that makes him human and all the more empathetic. I was really angry with that black guy, if only he had waited and made a plan with the others, they could have easily rescued both of the kids and Karen would not have been held a prisoner. Tom and Dr. Glass have a growing bond between them and they understand each other well and this could turn into a possible romance in the future. I also like the way they’re portraying Dr. Glass. They haven’t turned Bloodgood into a caricature hottie, which she easily could be, but hinting us through the interviews that she has a much meatier role than shown up till now.

We now know that the harness is a biological weapon which is like a plant and grows its roots to the back of the spine and releases a toxin which induces a coma-like state to the kids. The closing shot showed us that the Skitter still has control over the kid even though the harness is removed, which reminds me of zombies!

Were you angry with the black dude as much as I was? What does the ominous closing shot of the episode indicate? Will the creature escape? Can Tom rescue his son, Karen and all the other kids? Even if he does, how can they stop the Skitters’ control over the kids? And why are the aliens making the kids collect scrap metal?

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The premiere was a 2 hour event. Since I was moaning about the Bloodgood’s barely there presence, they decided to give her more time by making her character look weak in front of commanding officer Weaver. According to him, the needs of the military are greater than the needs of the civilians.

In this episode, we meet Uncle Scott, a biology teacher. In one of the brainstorming sessions, a student had the same questions about the Skitters that I had. About the difference in the Mechs body and the Skitter’s own physiology. Tom reasons that may have to do with the psychological impact that the shape of the Mechs will have on the humans. We tend to be more afraid of robots which look like them since its been ingrained into our minds through movies and social events that robots are inherently evil. Then there was the awkward scene where he walks in just when his son was about to get lucky.

Well, the 13-year-old Jimmy is no longer going on active fights because he messed up earlier at the armory when he went after his dog which was about to be killed by a Mech. Tom and the rest of his fighters go to the armory to check if there are any weapons left leaving little Jimmy behind. John Pope and his band of thugs who were staking the place, attack and capture them at the armory. Pope has a bit of cruel fun with them. Of course, in time-honored tradition of post apocalyptic stereotypes, he is a cynical and psychopathic marauder who is better at killing a Skitter than the military or anyone else is. He thinks the mass murder of 90% of Earth’s population is a boon for him. Hal is sent back to make a deal with the 2nd Massachusetts commander. They are to give them 50 cal and a GTO in exchange for the prisoners. Hal tries to reason with Maggie, his handler, by offering her a place in their camp, but we all know how that goes, she didn’t go along with it and Hal got his ass kicked.

Pope and Tom have a seemingly friendly chat, all the while Tom trying to get closer to the gun on one of the wounded thugs and Pope obviously notices Tom’s intentions. Back at the camp, Weaver dismisses any notion of going to rescue Tom and the others or negotiating with the terrorists, since they neither have enough fighters nor does Hal know the exact position of the thugs hiding place. Dr. Glass goes with Hal to offer her services for the wounded thug in exchange for their release. Pope isn’t happy about it, but lets her treat the injured thug and goes to the camp with his demands. The demands have now escalated, now he wants all the food too. If there’s any kind of shootout, the aliens will detect it and he has already signalled a flare which would attract them to their position. So, Weaver backs down and concedes to the demands.

Back at the thugs hideout, the now treated scumbag treats Karen like a piece of meat. Maggie opens fire and kills both the thugs. She joins forces with the 2nd Mass and they eventually capture Pope along with the help of Weaver. The alien drones which were attracted by the flares blast away Pope’s band of thugs. Later Weaver concedes to Tom and lets him and his group to go rescue his son, with Maggie’s help.

It always makes my blood boil in situations where the girls are harassed upon. Why can’t they be humane and treat everybody with respect no matter what the situation is. That said, Pope wasn’t the one who did anything to her, but he didn’t stop his men from molesting Maggie and as a result he’s a scumbag too, but he is an interesting character and the show just got a bit more exciting because him. Now we know that 90% of humans are dead, that makes it much more difficult to fight the invading aliens.

Next episode, what’ll they do with Pope now? Will Tom be able to rescue his son, Ben from the aliens? If he does, can he remove the harness without causing death to Ben? Will everybody survive the rescue operation?

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As soon as I saw Steven Spielberg was an executive producer on TNT network’s “Falling Skies” show and Moon Bloodgood and Noah Wyle starred in it, not to mention being a sci-fi fan and drama fan, I knew I had to watch this show. This is the review for the first episode – Live and Learn.

The premiere opens with drawings of how the aliens attacked and took over the world from the perspective of the children. Soon we are introduced to the main characters in this post-apocalyptic tv show. Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and his son Hal, along with some other military soldiers are scavenging for gas, food and anything which might be useful to their survival. The aliens are hot on their trails and destroying everything in classic Star Trek style laser beams. Some of them die in the battle and the remaining come back to camp after the aliens destroy a vast portion of the city. Here Commander Porter issues an order to move out in units of 300 – 100 fighters and 200 civilians, as the alien sensors are starting to detect groups of people over 500. Mason has his reasons to not want to go because his second son Ben has been harnessed by the aliens. Finally with Weaver as head of the 2nd Massachusetts and Tom Mason, the history professor as the second in command, they move out on a predetermined path. Tom wants to lead a group of fighters who can scavenge for more food and Weaver barely gives him any proper heavy ammo to defend himself and his group. They set out and Mason finds a young dead boy with a horrible harness cut halfway across his back. In another part of the city, Hal accidentally discovers his younger brother, Ben along with other kids and a bunch of Skitters and Mechs. Tom convinces his son and himself that it is not the right time to rescue Ben and go ahead to scavenge for more food. Here Hal finds out a way to kill a Skitter, just go really close and shoot off the head! Apparently, they didn’t know that a Skitter could be killed so easily.

There’s a poignant moment in the show when Tom weighs two books in his hands and mind – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and chooses the Two Cities book to carry along with him, tossing the Captain Nemo aside. Of course, A Tale of Two Cities is about the French Revolution where the French civilians fight the Aristocrats. So, its understandable why he would choose that particular book. 13-year old Jimmy plays a fighter who is considered good by every fighter, travels with the fighting group and this was very shocking to me and so would it be to others.

The interaction between Tom and Hal with the kid, Matt is very nice and heartwarming. There’s a scuffle between the father and son and the eventual plan to rescue Ben is met with a hopeless feeling. So our dear professor indulges them to a bit of fun historical facts where the invading armies are overthrown by the natives due to their relentlessness, like Athenians, Scots vs British, French Revolution. Everybody look like they were hearing somebody talking in Latin. So our professor says the only thing everybody can understand, Red Socks Yankees ’04. With smiling faces and renewed hopes, they set away to do some good old scavenging.

The story seems to be pretty derivative from so many other sci-fi shows. You have the main character, Mason who is a nerd (history professor) and has someone (son) whom the aliens have abducted, the doctor chick and a serious looking asian guy. The young handsome guy (Hal) with a hot blonde (Karen) and another cute girl (Lourdes) who has the hots for him. Even though it has all these clichés, I find the show interesting and I am gonna stick to it. The show will obviously be more about the human drama rather than the technical mumbo-jumbo which most sci-fi shows have. It isn’t flashy and try to be cool. The dialogues are very real and the alien ship, Skitters and Mechs CGI look awesome, in a realistic way.

I didn’t like the fact that Bloodgood barely had any screen time here. And the ending where Matt and the other kids take turns on a Rollerblade and everybody stand around them watching, like as if they have not got anything to do rather than watch, smile and clap for a bunch of kids! And the aliens who could disable all the latest human technologies don’t have a single infrared camera? They could wipe out every last human with that device easily. And North Vietnamese victory over the U.S Military was one of the greatest wins for the natives, why wasn’t it mentioned when the professor was going on about greatest upsets in history!

Anyway I am very interested in why the Mechs look like our robots – 2 arms and 2 legs, while the Skitters have 2 arms and 6 legs. Maybe the aliens were here long before anybody had known and studying the humans and their strengths and frailties? And why did the aliens only harness teenage kids and not adults or young children? And will we ever see how the aliens actually destroyed our world? If you have anything to share, any views, hit the comments people.

P.S: The premiere of  “Falling Skies” had the biggest opening in cable history. More than 6 million viewers tuned into the show.

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