‘Falling Skies’ 3.5 Episode Recap and Review: Search And Recover

We’re already at the half-way mark to our Falling Skies season finale! I personally have no idea how they’re going to fit everything in before then. I want Evil Hal unmasked! I want Anne and Alexis found! And what about that dang mole that’s been wrecking havoc since our season opener? Arg! I have a feeling that a lot of TV remotes will be thrown when all is said and done and we have to wait another year for answers. Thankfully, we’re not there yet!! Let us commence with this week’s episode…

Tamara’s review last week ended with Anne running off with Alexis, only to be intercepted by a Skitter, a harnessed girl, and Evil Hal. Meanwhile, while attempting to evade an Espheni airstrike, Bressler loses control of the plane carrying him, Tom, and Pope, and they crash in the Badlands outside of Charleston. We begin this week’s episode with Tom awakening amid the wreckage of the plane. Bressler is dead (damn, there goes one of my mole suspects) and Pope is unconscious (lucky for us, or Tamara would have wrested control of this week’s review from my grasp to scream bloody murder). Tom manages to haul Pope out seconds before the plane explodes.

In Charleston, Evil Hal is staring evilly at a sleeping Maggie. Ben arrives and informs them that Anne and Alexis are missing. The three of them meet in Marina’s office with Colonel Weaver, Matt, Lourdes, and the Rat-King. It might be the whack in the head that Anne had given him, but Dr. Kadar seems a tad excited as he tells everyone about the blood tests that show that Alexis is half-human, half-alien. Creepy hybrid baby aside, Weaver starts talking about a search party, and heads out the door to make it happen. He is stopped by Marina, who tries to throw her Vice Presidency weight around by refusing to let him put together a search. She reluctantly gives him 24 hours to look for Anne and Alexis after Weaver makes it clear that she won’t be able to stop him from searching for part of the 2nd Mass family.

An Espheni beamer sweeps in and starts playing a searchlight over the smoldering remains of the downed airplane. Tom crouches nearby, watching, as Pope regains consciousness. He immediately starts blaming Tom for everything that happened, and the destruction of his airplane is just as bad as the deaths of Bressler and the President. Tom decides that the beamer is planning to leave (or maybe he’s already tired of Pope’s accusations) and he stands up to also leave; Pope trips him with his first step, and as he hits dirt, the beamer’s searchlight zips over toward where the two men are hiding. They freeze as the light slowly moves back and forth, only a few inches in front of them.

Back in Charleston, Hal tells Matt that he can’t be part of the search for Anne and Alexis, and then looks mighty pissed when Weaver overrides him. Maggie says she’ll look out for Matt, which means that Matt gets to share a horse with her. Now, I’m a rider, and let me tell you, no matter how thin you are, saddles really aren’t meant to be shared by two riders. Kudos to Maxim and Sarah for managing to make it look like it wasn’t the uncomfortable, awkward balancing act it likely was.

They walk their horse off, followed by Ben and Hal on their own horses. Jeanne is also joining the search, and waits for her father to mount up. Before he does, Marina comes over, apologizing for her earlier attitude and urging him to return safely. She hesitantly touches his arm before leaving, which prompts Jeanne to tease dear ole Papa Bear that the woman “likes” him. Weaver blusters at this before ordering them all to head out.

As Skitters crawl around the wreckage, Pope and Tom manage to sneak away. Tom wonders how the Espheni found them, considering that they didn’t even know the flight coordinates or where they were going until they were airborne. As he continues to ruminate over how they could have been discovered, Pope interrupts him, stating that Tom is the “King of Chaos” and that that is the only explanation that he needs. He also reminds Tom that he owes him an airplane. Obsess much, Pope?

The search for Anne and Alexis doesn’t begin well. Ben finds a fresh blood trail, which leads to a body. At first glance, it could be Anne, but it turns out to be some random unknown female. (Thanks, writers, for not only producing a dead person, but making sure that that person is female, with long dark hair, sprawled in such a way that Anne Glass fans would have a small heart attack while waiting for her identity to be determined.) After a general sigh of relief, they decide to bury her, although Hal is not happy about it. They dig a shallow grave, and Matt removes a bracelet from the woman’s wrist, to put on the Liberty Tree. Hal is noticeably silent and withdrawn when the others take turns talking about what the woman’s life might have been like before she died.

The search party takes a break after burying the woman. As Ben brings Matt some food, a troubled Matt asks Ben if their mother died alone. We’ve only heard bits and pieces on how Rebecca Mason died, but we hear a little more, as Ben reveals that, while he didn’t know if their mother died alone, he did see her shortly before her death. He just happened to catch sight of her as she left on a food run, and noticed she was wearing pink Nikes. The next time he saw her, their father was bringing her body back, and one of her shoes was missing.

Matt listens to this, and then thanks Ben for answering him honestly.

Returning to Charleston, Marina pays a visit down in Dr. Kadar’s lab. Dr. Kadar thinks she is there to go over some new blood tests taken from other babies born in Charleston, but Marina has a different job for him to do. She has brought him some pictures taken of the Volm structure that is being built, and she wants him to try and figure out exactly what it is meant to do. She implies that Tom was the one that directed her to seek out Dr. Kadar’s aid in determining this.

After stopping for the night (after numerous objections on Pope’s part), Pope mocks Tom’s attempts to start a fire. He starts to paint a picture of Tom’s upbringing – a kind of Normal Rockwell, idealized life – but Tom quietly interjects that his father was a mean, angry drunk. “There was nothing idyllic about my childhood – except that I survived it,” Tom responds. The kindling alights, and as he blows at it, coaxing up a fire, he doesn’t see the stunned look on Pope’s face. Later, as Pope roasts a frog over the fire (yum!), he and Tom start talking about cooking, and the topic shifts over to their kids. From there, we learn how Pope ended up in prison: 5 years before the invasion, Pope and his son were working on Brandon’s minibike. While riding it, Brandon narrowly avoids being struck by a neighbor driving by in his Cadillac. Pope follows the man, and ends up punching him so hard that the man falls to the ground and cracks his head on the asphalt and ultimately dies.

Perhaps Pope regrets sharing some of his past with Tom, for the next morning, he decides Tom deserves to be woken up with a snake to the head. Tom doesn’t get the joke, and in short order, they’re rolling around throwing punches, reminiscent to Season 2’s “Compass” (everyone say it with me: Jim-MEH!!). This time, however, their fight is stopped when they accidentally attract the attention of a nearby Skitter patrol. They are forced once again to band together as they first attempt to kill the Skitters and then flee from them. They race through the forest and are brought up short by a steep cliff. A nearby waterfall pours rapids into a river down below. Pope turns around to make a last stand against the Skitters, but freezes when he sees what Tom is about to do. “No, no, no,” he exclaims, “I saw that movie – no way!” Before he can argue further, Tom races forward, grabbing Pope and forcing him to leap off of the cliff.

Amazingly, they manage to survive, although as they drag themselves to the shore, Pope hauls himself up and then punches Tom, likely in response to Tom’s decision to have them reenact The Fugitive (or Avatar, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid if you’re Greg Beeman). Tom pulls a gun, and Pope rolls away, before angrily demanding that they finish it. Tom seems to think about it for a moment, before letting the gun fall, stating that the fight is over, and that Pope wins. This prompts Pope to laugh, and he slowly climbs to his feet. When Tom starts to do the same, he cries out, and falls back over, clutching his ankle.

The search party has moved on, and Jeanne, worrying about how the world might change with the potential half-human, half-alien species, extracts a promise from her father not to let the aliens “get her” and possibly “use her.” As thunder rumbles, Ben discovers Alexis’s baby blanket lying in a puddle. Weaver orders everyone to dismount and start looking around. As Hal watches Weaver and Ben look over the blanket, Maggie approaches him, raising the first red flag about how he’s been acting. Hal brushes her off, telling her that their search is pointless. They join the others as Ben finds Skitter tracks, and what also appears to be several human shoe prints. It looks as if Anne has been taken by the Skitters. The good news is, Ben states that the Rebel Skitters have spies within the Espheni forces, and they can be contacted to see if they know anything about Anne or Alexis. The bad news, Hal is standing nearby as Ben reveals this bit of information, and from his expression, he’s not happy about that. Not happy at all. Maggie watches Hal, and appears to be thinking suspicious thoughts as the group prepares to head back to Charleston.

After building a fire and drying off, Pope helps Tom make a splint for his ankle. Unfortunately, Tom still can’t walk, and he tells Pope to go without him. Pope refuses, stating that Tom owes him an airplane. Tom laughs at this, and now it’s his turn to mock Pope. He ends up yelling at the man, calling him a coward for choosing to stay and die with Tom instead of leaving. This finally causes Pope to grab his jacket and walk away.

Marina returns to Dr. Kadar’s lab and finds him staring at some diagrams he’s drawn based on the photos of the Volm device. Frustrated, he crumbles his drawing, and tells her that what the Volm are designing doesn’t add up. There is one area that he believes is an “Energy-Storage Device,” and if he’s correct, they’re storing up a lot more energy than what he thinks they would require. He asks Marina what the Volm have told her about the device, and she admits that she knows nothing, and that Tom hadn’t really asked her to look into it. She adds that Tom should have; and that he also should have told all of Charleston exactly what the device was. After gathering up the pictures of the Volm device, Marina warns Dr. Kadar to tell no one about his findings. Dr. Kadar agrees, and then adds that he had also run the DNA tests on the babies that had been born in Charleston, and that they were all normal. Alexis was the only alien baby in the batch.

All alone in the dark, Tom enjoys a few hallucinations, before awakening to the sight of two Skitters approaching. He fires his weapon until it’s empty, but doesn’t do much damage to them. They are nearly upon him when they are killed by shotgun blasts, and Pope appears to save the day. He drags Tom out of the woods to a nearby road, where he had discovered a truck full of ammo and enough gas to get them most of the way to Charleston. He loads Tom into the passenger seat, and then climbs behind the wheel. He hands Tom a bottle of alcohol; the go-to pain-killer when nothing better is close at hand. They eventually make it back to Charleston, on foot after the gas runs out, barely making it to the perimeter before collapsing in exhaustion.

Two days later, Tom wakes up in the infirmary, with Pope sitting nearby. He tells Tom that he considers them even. “You know what they say about a tie,” Tom replies. “It’s like kissing your sister.” Now, I’m not a sports fan of any sort, so I’ll assume that that means that a tie is icky. I’m guessing Pope feels the same way, as his response to that is, “Next basket wins.”

Pope leaves after Weaver and Lourdes arrive. Weaver informs Tom that they have heard no word about the President or Cochise. Matt, Ben, Maggie, and Hal appear, and Tom asks them where Anne and Alexis are. Our episode draws to a close as Tom listens in shock as Weaver tells him that they are missing.

What did everyone think about this episode? What are your thoughts on the history we found out about Pope and Tom? Do you think their relationship might change in the future – that they might have a better understanding of each other now? Or do you think they’ll just duke it out whenever and wherever they can? Do you agree with anything Tom said to Pope while attempting to drive him away? I truly believe that Pope left with the intention of returning…perfect timing, of course! What are your thoughts on Marina’s digging into the Volm device? Do you think she’s just trying to help, or perhaps going behind Tom’s back to maybe initiate the first Post-Apocalyptic Presidential impeachment? Well! I could go on, but instead, I’ll see what you have to say! Post your comments in the section below.


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  1. well this was a good post because it caused a reaction in me and to think!
    1. The Rat King! how hysterial and accurate.
    2. I think Pope and Tom are beginning to like each other after the bonding experience in the forest. Before this, they just respected each other but hated one another. I know Pope respected Tom by saying what he did to Lost Boy, Terry O’Quinn (yes, I’m lame, forgot name) when he asked Pope to give up info on Tom and Pope wouldn’t.
    3. Ooooh, Weaver’s gonna get a girlfriend.
    4. Pope is hysterical (we already knew that)…King of Chaos…lol
    5. I think Tom said what he did to Pope when he was driving him away to save Pope….since Tom didn’t think he was going to make it with his bad leg.
    6. I think the 2nd Mass loses its identity when it teams up with another group, although the sense of family stays. I like when the 2nd Mass is on their own and helps another group.