Falling Skies fans, welcome to the second half of our season premiere ‘Collateral Damage’. We begin this episode following Ben and Denny on a recon mission. It seems they have located a working nuclear power plant that the Espheni are using to fuel up the new Mega Mechs. Denny makes a good point here; it does seem strange that the Espheni would travel all this way to conquer Earth but not being the fuel needed to power their weapons. Hmmm….Ben dismisses this thought, he is focused on how to take this plant out of commission. It is very well guarded at the entrance but there is a (rather sheer) cliff to the rear of the complex. He takes several pictures of this, thinking it may be their only way in. While he and Denny watch, a harnessed kid collapses and is unceremoniously tossed aside by a skitter. It is a poignant reminder of what their fate could have been if they had not been rescued.
Back in Charleston Pope and Tector are having a lively discussion about our alien friends, the Volm. Tector seems to be a more trusting soul, choosing to believe that the Volm are exactly what they appear to be, helpful freedom fighters.Pope is more practical, he doesn’t believe that when the fight is won the Volm will wave bye-bye and fly off into space. No, it is much more likely that the Volm are here to stay and that humanity will simply find itself with new masters to serve.
Next we watch a very flirty exchange between Maggie and her “battle buddy” Lars (who should be wearing a red shirt, just sayin’). We aren’t the only ones who witness this fun little exchange, Hal is front and center for it and not impressed. He rolls off in a huff and Maggie follows. They have a tiff and he accuses her of sleeping with Lars and she accuses him of being able to walk. She knows he has secrets he is hiding from her and she believes that is what is keeping him stuck in that chair. He obviously isn’t ready to share and Maggie ends up walking away empty handed.
With Ben and Denny’s intel, Tom, Weaver, Bressler and Marina meet to discuss Weaver’s very dangerous and daring plan to take out the plant. But how do they destroy the plant without raining nuclear fallout over the land? Enter Roger Kadar, who taught nuclear engineering before the war and knows about nuclear power plants. The only problem is he has agoraphobia and refuses to leave the safety of Charleston. Marina takes Tom and Weaver to see him and together they manage to convince him to help.
It’s time for some very creepy mother daughter bonding with Alexis and Anne. Anne notices that Alexis seems to be able to track her finger, something a baby that is a week old shouldn’t be able to do. When Anne turns away for a moment little Alexis begins to speak, saying “momma” very clearly. When Anne turns back Alexis is nowhere to be found. She eventually finds her bundle of joy under the bed, of all places. She almost tells Tom about this little adventure but changes her mind at the last minute. Later Lourdes notices Anne’s worry and questions her, but Anne once again chooses not to share the strangeness that is her precious child.
Speaking of precious children, Matt and some friends are cutting class and looking for fun. The problem is their idea of fun is putting a half stick of explosive on a window of an abandoned house and lighting it up. The blast is a bit louder than expected and while the 3 boys enjoyed the noise, they quickly realize that the adults are not happy. They had not stopped to think (as boys that age will do) and didn’t realize that people would think the city was under attack and come running with guns drawn. Anthony takes Matt to Anne at the hospital where she lectures him about cutting school and how he could have been hurt pulling a stunt like this. In anger Matt yells at her “You are not my mother”. Anne is obviously hurt by this comment but handles it well, sending Matt back to school with an escort (Anthony) to be sure he doesn’t lose his way.
Kadar has come up with a plan for the raid. It will involve placing explosive charges in just the right places in order to cripple the system without hurting the shielding of the reactor. One problem, he can’t tell them where to place the explosives without seeing a building plan, which they do not have. They will need him to go with them for this and to safely shutdown the reactor. He refuses, but Marina seems to know what buttons to push, she says something to him about saving kids and he reluctantly agrees to help (makes me wonder what his story is).
This leads to a secret planning meeting with Marina, Anthony, Kadar, Ben, Pope, Maggie, and Porter. Everyone there is essential to the plan and charged with keeping quiet to keep the attack plans out of the hands of the mole. Each part of the plan is laid out for them (it seems) and everyone understands their role. Pope sees the insanity of this plan but doesn’t really push too hard for a better explanation (you can see the wheels turning though). Shortly after this meeting, the mole picks the lock on the meeting room and uses some sort of alien device to scan the layout and find traces of where the teams plans to make their move on the maps. The device then turns into an eye worm, sprouts wings and flies off. Really, those little worms are quite versatile!
Now we cut to our battle scene and find Weaver and the others pinned down by Espheni forces. Things do not seem to be going according to plan. Or maybe they are.. while the main force fights for their lives a smaller force lead by Tom and including Maggie, Anthony, Kadar, and Lars enters the plant through the front gates. Lars is attacked and severely wounded by a harnessed kid. At first the team tries not to kill these kids, but it quickly becomes apparent that this will not be possible. It is kill or be killed, and no one seems to understand that better than Maggie. While Anthony lays the charges and Kadar and Tom turn off the reactor Maggie is guarding their back and is taking no prisoners. This is not a rescue mission, after all.
In the end, the mission is accomplished but many lives are lost. Weaver lost many good fighters on the cliffs and Lars dies from a bite from a harnessed kid. Weaver once again expresses his doubts about the Volm and their intentions. He and Tom raise a glass to honor the fallen and then Cochise stops by to congratulate them on their victory and warn them of an Espheni attack on Charleston, echoing the earlier warnings of the rebel skitters.
Matt and Tom have a little time together to discuss Matt’s explosives work. Matt apologizes for his actions and accepts his punishment. For his part Tom also expresses his regret that he has not been there for Matt as he should be and promises to do better. Matt tells Tom what he said to Anne and Tom reassures him that Anne will forgive him. He just needs to go talk to her. Matt does and of course she forgives him. Then he asks her if he can call her mom, they hug, and all is right in the world.
Well, maybe not. Maggie wakes up to find that Hal is missing from their room. He left behind his chair though. She tracks him through the woods and wakes him up from his sleep walk. As she helps him back to town we see Karen and a skitter watching. It seems Maggie managed to interrupt a planned meeting. Karen doesn’t look happy…
So, I have to tell you, I have mixed feelings about this season. The story lines all have potential to be great, but I have concerns. First and foremost is the baby. I really think they pushed the creepy factor a bit too far in this episode. My advice to Anne, run far and fast and for God’s sake stop looking under the bed!! Nothing good comes from under the bed!
I also have to say while I am impressed with Matt’s obvious growth into a fighter, I thought the whole “may I call you Mom” scene was a bit over the top. It just didn’t feel authentic to me. Too much, too soon for this viewer.
I am intrigued by Hal’s storyline and the mole. Both have great potential and I am excited to see where they lead. I am also looking forward to seeing more of Pope this season. He is my personal favorite, the one I love to hate. He is a thinker and a schemer and there is never a dull moment with him on screen. I am interested to see where his scheming leads us and exactly what he is thinking about Tom, Weaver, and this Volm machine.
So, what are you thinking about the season premiere? Was it everything you hoped for? Who are your favorite characters and why? Inquiring minds want to know!
As I mentioned in part 1 of this review, this is my first season to write about Falling Skies for FanBolt. I won’t be alone in this however. My friend Dawnie279, who writes the Revolution reviews will be alternating weeks with me. Dawn is a huge fan of the show too, her perspective is a bit different from mine (who her favorites are and what intrigues her *harnesses*), and I am excited to share this review with her. I hope you will enjoy reading our rambles!