This review contains spoilers.
It’s the battle of the subplots on tonight’s edition of Falling Skies. Just when you think a plot has veered off course or disappeared in some way, it resurfaces this week on one of the busiest hours of television I think I’ve seen since Game Of Thrones went off the air. Everyone got some lines this week, from Tector and Jamil to even a returning first-season character (for the second week in a row), and a pair of exiles come back to camp.
This week’s theme was friction, and boy, was there a lot of arguing back and forth. The episode opens with Tom and Anne having a discussion of Tom’s fights with Weaver, but before those two can get past the foreplay option, Tom has to go have another staff meeting with Weaver. Before those two can get past the foreplay, Weaver collapses to the ground having a violent spasm. Turns out that harness bite he got a few weeks ago isn’t the sort of thing you can smear antibacterial ointment or aloe vera on. He’s going to need serious medical treatment if he’s going to live. Unfortunately for Tom, his commanding officer has been keeping a lot of secrets that may well destroy the group.
While Tom plays boss, Hal and Maggie are off in the woods – with guns – to talk about their relationship. Seems safe to me. Fortunately, we’re spared any budding relationship drama from the eventually-will-be couple because Maggie stumbles across a dead body (not literally). Another and another are uncovered, until Maggie finds the body of Karen. Hal, understandably, freaks out until, shocking everyone, she sits up and makes some noises. Turns out, there’s a survivor in the killing field.
That survivor is none other than Karen. You may remember from such television shows as the first season of Falling Skies, back when she was Hal’s girlfriend and the Skitter mouthpiece. As it turns out, she may not exactly be as honest as she first seems. Despite Ben’s warnings that Karen is not to be trusted, turns out he’s pretty easily swayed. After a few stories, Ben’s putty in Karen’s evil hands (director Greg Beeman handles these scenes very well, and has turned in a very good episode).
I like the direction that the show took with the returning Karen. By really trying hard to set up Hal as the potential fall guy, it’s fun to see Karen using the overconfidence of others (Maggie, Ben) to her advantage. Even when it’s completely expected, which it is, by Ben, when Karen wakes up because he can share Skitter radio lengths as well, it’s amazing to see the Falling Skies cast falling for the logic. Still, it makes sense; the person most likely to say they can’t be hypnotized is the person most likely to wear pants for. Hence, Ben and Maggie are both easy targets. It’s not the best writing in the world, as it’s pretty obvious, but the show has been a lot worse – and more recently, to boot. Bryan Oh’s script is passable, with a few subtle moments of brilliance.
Still, it’s nice to see the Mason boys arguing, and it’s nice to see Tom being forced to lean on others (Jamil’s engineering, Tector’s scouting, Glass’s doctoring skills) to accomplish the things needed to get the 2nd Mass to Charleston. Weaver has kept too many secrets from Tom, possibly due to Tom’s untrustworthiness following alien abduction, so it’s nice to see Tom suddenly find a whole mess of problems dumped into his lap. It’s a mess that keeps growing once Pope and Anthony get discovered by one of Tom’s fuel scouting crew.
It’s great to have Pope and Anthony back into the fold, as the show is always better with Pope around. Still, Ben appears to have flown the coop, again, and this time Karen won’t be around to help hunt for him. Tom’s got more on his plate this time, too; I can imagine next week is a full-fledged search party for Ben and Karen, possibly led by Maggie and Hal – they both have unfinished business with Karen, after all.Read our review of the last episode, here.
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