Falling Skies episode 7 review: Sanctuary: Part 2

Falling Skies stumbles a little with its latest episode. Ron wishes it had just a bit more courage...

This review contains spoilers.

7. Sanctuary: Part 2

Every war has more than two sides. Every war has collaborators. From the Vichy French to the Viet Cong to the Loyalists of the American Revolution, wherever there’s war, there’s someone willing to cut a deal with the other side, just in case.

You’d think that when the choice is to become a slave for a giant space spider, or kill said space spiders and defend the human race, the choice would be easy to make. Turns out, it’s not, as the collaborator Terry Clayton (Henry Czerny) has been occasionally handing kids over to a group of skitters in exchange for freedom and continued living. In order to get those kids, Terry and the remainder of his troops went to Second Mass, gave poor Weaver a line about Porter telling them to turn over the kids, and off they went. It was quick, and of course, entirely too easy.

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I have to confess that the B plot on this week’s episode did absolutely nothing for me. I couldn’t care less about the pregnant woman or her baby, and it just seems like a throw-in to give Moon Bloodgood some screen time, and to humanize Weaver a little bit by giving him children and breech birth experience. I’m glad it’s over, and I hope to never see it again, as it was a complete waste of space.

However, I’m enjoying what they’re doing with Rick. The fact that he’s freed from his harness, but not exactly back to normal is a great touch. Surely something like that would have lasting damage to someone mentally, and it’s obvious that there’s something wrong with Rick. Also, I’m glad that a) Mike (Martin Roach) got to actually have some screen time, and b) he’s out of the way. The Mexican stand-offs in this episode were wonderful, and I quite enjoyed the quick way they tended to end. Rather than having one big stand-off, there were multiple this week, and that’s great.

Aside from Rick, the return of Pope, and the sheer amount of shooting this week, Falling Skies didn’t grab me. After such a good set-up last week, the conclusion (all the kids come back safely, evil is punished, etc.) was a big let-down. I didn’t want a happy ending. I wanted something bad to happen to more important players. Or, perhaps better, I wanted all the kids to get taken, which would leave the Second Mass with two sets of enemies to fight off.

Still, an average episode is better than a bad episode. While it was a let-down, it was still very well done. Director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan is a talented guy with a lot of TV credits, and it shows because he constructs the episode well. Still, it’s a bit flawed in that it requires us to invest so much in some kids we hardly know (Ben, Jimmy) and a pregnant woman who literally just showed up last week. Bonus points for handling the combat scenes so well, and I can’t completely discount this episode, as we’ve still got that skitter mouthpiece girl and her child-collecting group out there somewhere.

Weaver should’ve just executed all the collaborators. I know they were just trying to save themselves and their families, but if the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then the friend of my enemy is my enemy, and a human who turns his or her back on his fellows once will do it again. I know these are the good guys, but Pope would’ve organized a firing squad. I just hope this doesn’t come back to bite them in the next three episodes.

Read our review of episode 6, Sanctuary: Part 1, here.

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US Correspondent Ron Hogan wonders why everyone gets motorbikes and nobody rides around on a jet ski. Waverunner is the way to travel while fighting aliens. Find more by Ron at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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