This review contains spoilers.
5. Silent Kill
Well, this is episode 5 of Falling Skies, and we’re on our fifth attempt to rescue Ben from the clutches of the skitters and their evil mech robot over(or under)lords. I had a good feeling about tonight’s episode when it came to resolving the Ben situation, and as it turns out? I was right. The situation was resolved.
Once more, Tom and company are going to get back Ben, because, apparently, Tom has done his last good deed for the group and now gets to once more endanger the lives of five of the group’s most accomplished fighters to regain custody of his middle son. He brings a lot to the table, and it’s best to keep him happy, so naturally, he’s given the go-ahead to recover his son, if (that’s a big if) he comes up with a good plan.
Tom’s first attempt at planning isn’t so good, but it’s Hal who comes up with the genius plan to wear a skitter collar, sneak into the hospital where the kids are hanging out, grab Ben, and scram.
Apparently, the kids are allowed to roam free while hooked into their controllers, which plays into Ben’s last, best hope of rescue. It also allows Tom to discreetly sneak into the school where his brother is being held captive for a little bit of skitter snuggling, in what is a very disturbing scene, especially considering just what happened to the skitter once Tom felt confident enough to make his move and put the killing technique that Anne taught him to good use. (Yes, skitters have a weakness. No, it’s not easy to exploit in the slightest.)
One of the more interesting developments of tonight’s episode, aside from the inglorious end of Steven Weber’s arc on the series? Well, it was learning about life in the skitter encampment, and just what it’s like to wear one of those evil-looking alien harnesses. As it turns out, things are quite a bit different there, and for whatever reason, Rick (Daniel Gordon) seems to have been permanently changed by his experience, and not just in the sense that the harness cured his cystic fibrosis. Weirdly, the skitter seems to have kind of a paternal relationship with Rick and the other captured kids, in that the skitter nests with the children at night.
Why? I’m not sure why. There’s obviously some kind of symbiosis going on, given the way the skitter used Rick to talk in last week’s episode. But why the friendly bedding? Could it factor into the previous scene from a few weeks ago when the skitters were sleeping under the bridge together? I guess (hopefully) we’ll find out more details from the newly rescued Ben.
The Ben situation was dragging out a bit, and I knew the writers wouldn’t be able to get much out of it if they continued to drag it out. Fortunately, that whole thing has been wrapped up, or at least fundamentally changed, so that’s a positive thing for the show and will allow Hal, Tom, and the rest of the Masons to move on and explore different territory.
While it’s great to move things along, something seems as though this rescue mission went a little too easily. Surely things have to be tougher than that, right? I know they struck at night and used subterfuge to their advantage, but surely the aliens have to be a little bit smarter than this, don’t they? Or, I guess, they will be smarter than this once they figure out just how the humans were able to rescue their captives and free them from their alien work camps.
I can’t help but think this little attack just might be the cause for next week’s teased removal of the civilian children from the Second Mass’ encampment. Of course, whether or not that comes to fruition is a different story, but they’ve definitely teased it hard. Here’s hoping they get the kids gone and increase the fighting! Drama is all well and good (and I like a lot of the things they’ve been doing to flesh out characters), but I’d love to see a few more explosions.
Read our review of episode 4, Grace, here.