Falling Skies Premiere Recap: The Enemy Within?

TNT’s Falling Skies launched Season 2 with a good ol’ turkey shoot — but one in which perhaps the last person the 2nd Mass expected to see, Tom Mason, got winged. And by his own trigger-happy son Ben, no less!

WAR OF THE WORDS | As an unconscious Tom was tended to back at camp by the lovely Dr. Anne Glass, we were made privy to a sliver of what he experienced in his three months aboard the alien spacecraft, where harnessed Cinderella Karen acted as a liaison/mouthpiece for Tom’s super-tall, super-lanky host (to be referred to as the Overlord). The alien boss laid his cards on the table: In trade for the 2nd Mass surrendering, the ETs will allow them to live, in a prison camp. “We’re just following your human playbook,” the Overlord basically argued.

Tom engaged the leader in a bit of a debate about what human history has taught us, how the aliens shouldn’t ascribe to Earth the worst of its transgressions. Tom then contended that the humans’ history has yet to be written as he made a bold — if short-lived — break for it, detained by a Skitter with one red eye, whom we (and the producers) will now call Red Eye.

WHAT’S BUGGING TOM? | Back to the present day at camp, some — namely Pope — are wary of Tom’s allegiances after so long a captivity and seeing how few details he offers up after regaining consciousness. Even his youngest son Matt can’t help but be spooked by the worst of their theories floating about.

Tom begins ambling about when during a conversation with son Hal — whom he implores to keep an eye out for any hinky behavior from Dad — he sorta strokes out. Anne spies something swimming around in Tom’s eye and, with Weaver and Lourdes holding the patient down, plucks out a metallic bug thing that curls up into a little ball in the specimen jar. More suspect of himself than ever, Tom asks to be bound with zipties.

PREVIEW | Falling Skies Season 2: Expository ETs! Tom’s Chilly Welcome Home! And a Ray of Hope?

BRIDGE GAME | On the military front, Weaver is frustrated that the beamers are finding them more quickly than before, and charges Jamil (played by The Killing’s Brandon Jay McLaren) to conceal their vehicles’ heat signature, which he does using fiberglass insulation. Alas, Weaver’s plan to not get cornered by the aliens by crossing the Housatonic River on the one intact bridge left is waylaid by a fine piece of anti-aircraft shooting by Dai than nonetheless sends a careening beamer into the bridge. Jamil does a patch job, and as Dai, Hal and Margaret take out an alien transmitter using a bazooka, the 2nd Mass crosses the river — though not without incident, when Anne’s med bus gets stuck.

On board and tethered to the impaired vehicle, Tom urges Matt to free him, then exits the bus to join in the defense of the bridge against approaching Mechs and Skitters as others push free the bus. It then becomes a race against time as Tom sprints across the bridge, which is wired with explosives. Jamil — who based on this and an earlier moment apparently has some scaredy-cat issues — can’t bring himself to detonate the bridge with Tom still on it, but Pope gladly steps forward to flip the switch. We are briefly led to believe Tom perished, but really? Yeah, he’s fine, later emerging from the brush asking Ben not to shoot him a second time. Funny!

RED ALERT! | As the 2nd Mass celebrates its trip across the river, we see they’re being watched by Red Eye. The silvery bug that was inside Tom and burrowed free from the specimen jar flutters into view, and wriggles itself into the critter’s eye….

ELSEWHERE…. On the romantic front, Tom and Anna still have “it,” to be explored further in the weeks ahead, while Lourdes, we see, is involved with Jamil. Hal and plucky Margaret (Sarah Carter is but a grittier Sarah Chalke, amiright?) also share a playful spark; more on that in Week 3…. While doing reconnaissance work before the river crossing, Ben heard alien transmission whines but kept mum to the gang. Odd…. Pope now lords over a ragtag subset of the 2nd Mass called “the Berserkers.” You’ll spend more time with them next week, when an unexpected face joins their ranks…. Red Eye is obviously working off a specific agenda, having spared Tom’s life after he and other resistance members from New England were set loose from the ship only to be mercilessly gunned down by a Mech. What’s that extra-creepy critter up to?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. Annie says:

    So glad this one’s back. I missed smart, character-driven sci-fi on my TV.

    • Someguy says:

      I’m still missing it.

      Fiberglass hides engine heat and exhaust? Wow. Someone tell the laws of thermodynamics to take a hike.

      Why can’t mechs with laser-sighted weapons hit anything? Why can the aliens only see heat from their airborne ships, but not when a huddle of humans are only ten feet away in a tent?

      Why don’t the aliens just bomb them when they’re in camp, out in the open? Is this some kind of British “fair play” thing where they’ll only shoot if you’re near a running vehicle? Yes, the show would be dull if the aliens were unstoppable, but it’s stupid if there aren’t good reasons given for why they’re not finishing the job.

      Why are the aliens even here? They expended all that energy and technology to come to Earth for… what? Blowing up humans? If it’s resources, there are easier ones to find outside of gravity wells.

      Okay, Tom’s a history professor. WE GET IT. He’s about as irritating as a religious person with an OCD compulsion to compare everything to something even vaguely related to Jesus.

      I’m a sci-fi fan, I really am, but this is suffering from a lot of the same problems that Terra Nova did. The apocalypse is far too cushy day-to-day to be believable, the aliens aren’t much of a looming or even scary threat (“Okay, it’s daytime and we’ve made camp! We’re safe!”) and there hasn’t been much to differentiate this show from countless other alien invasion movies/TV shows where it turns out the aliens are here because “they fear human love” or “killing is what we do” or some other idea that was nonsensical even when the V miniseries first aired.

  2. Polly says:

    great start for season 2.
    only disappointing thing was the aftershow hosted by Wil Wheaton.
    it’s not nearly as entertaining as Talking Dead.
    hope they’ll work on that a bit.

  3. Coolio Jackson says:

    The 2 Part Opener was phenomenal. Season one was good but the producers clearly learned from some of the let downs and made this 2 hours full of action, aliens, and entertainment. I only hate that it will all be over so quickly like the rest of these short run series. I hope the Walking Dead producers take a few notes from Falling Skies.

  4. Linderella says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable and so glad Noah Wyle and crew are back! Awesome start!

  5. emma russo says:

    amaazing

  6. Julia says:

    Great opener! I cried “Henry!” when I saw Ryan Robbins on.

  7. Barbara Ferris says:

    I am very disappointed in Bell as they have dropped TNT from their guide so I am not going to be able to see Season 2 of falling.

  8. Mogget says:

    That. Was. Awesome!!!!! Is it next week yet??

  9. marty says:

    noah was better on ER

  10. FairyTaleLover says:

    So stoked this show is back. I wish it was a fall show instead of summer but hey I’ll take what I can get. Great start. Can’t wait for the rest.

  11. Martin says:

    Also was like Henry!! when saw Ryan Robbins.

    And i was excited to see Karen in the promos for the season ahead as looked interesting what they were doing with her in the promos.

  12. Broadwayfan says:

    If you haven’t gone to ‘fallingskies.com’ and seen Wil Wheaten in the ‘2nd Viewing’ segment, a ‘Q & A’ discussion with cast and creative team members it’s well worth the watch. It appears it’s going to be on more-maybe not every week. But we’ll get some great discussions of what was in the episode immediately previous to it.
    One of my favorite things was Noah telling the ‘doctor'; as he’s lying on the gurney, “You’re holding those forceps wrong.” She said “He’s ALWAYS doing that to me!”
    I thought, “Honey, one thing Noah Wylie can do without even thinking is handle medical instruments!”

  13. I think “Red-Eye” wants to rebel and might want to team up with Tom… My theory.

    • Pat says:

      Think Red-Eye is on his own agenda, not the Overlords. But, don’t know what it is. Remember the Skitters were once something else.

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