This Sunday on Falling Skies (TNT, 10/9c), Tom, Hal, Ben and Matt break away from the Charleston ranks to search for Anne and hybrid baby Alexis, who were captured by Karen and her critters in the midst of running away. But will the Mason men need to wrestle with fellow humans before engaging in an ET extraction? Connor Jessup, who plays Ben, previews the rescue mission as well as the far-out episode that is his most favorite to date.
TVLINE | In this week’s episode, “The Pickett Line,” what sort of obstacles do the Mason men face on their way to finding Anne and the baby?
Well, the Picketts, for one. We get ambushed by this band of brigands, thieves, and they all turn out to be from the same family – a dad and his kids, just trying to survive. But unlike the Masons, they don’t have the structure of the 2nd Mass or anything like that, so they are desperate to get whatever they can. But we’re also desperate, because we don’t have much time. So after they take all our stuff, we have to sort of “counter-attack” them, but that raises all these questions, since because of the situation, we’re sort of made to be the enemy.
TVLINE | Right — and the Masons also see these “parallels” between themselves and this other family — what they might have been…
…if we hadn’t joined up with the 2nd Mass, yeah. Our scope has opened up a lot, but for the Picketts, life is the same as it was during the invasion. It’s still a faceless, nameless enemy they’re fighting.
TVLINE | Is this also an opportunity for the Masons to look at each other and take stock of who they’ve become? What each of them is capable of now?
One of the interesting things this season is that the Masons are all up to stuff, but unlike previous years, we rarely ever do anything together. Hal’s obviously been doing his own thing, Tom is dealing with Cochise and with governing this little “country,” Matt is up to his own shenanigans with friends, and I’m on my own with Denny. And now, finally, we unite back together and yes, it gives us a chance to look at the Mason family “six months later,” so to say.
TVLINE | Are you glad that Ben decided to keep his spikes?
I won’t comment on whether or not I think it was a smart decision [for him], but for me, spikes mean superpowers — and superpowers means fun stuff to shoot. It makes my job more interesting!
TVLINE | Is it safe to say that things seemed a little too neat there in eliminating the mole threat, that maybe wasn’t necessarily Hal?
It’s possible. It seems like it would be an easy out, if it was just Hal. And it’s not necessarily a choice between “Was it Hal, wasn’t it Hal?” There could be more options that we just don’t know about yet.
TVLINE | Without revealing anything, tell me what it was like flipping through the pages of the July 21 episode, “Strange Brew” — because I’ve seen it and it’s one of this summer’s best hours of television.
It was exciting — my favorite episode that we’ve shot so far on our show, just because it’s very different. We kind of knew it was coming, but we didn’t know any of the details, or the execution, and it turned out really well. It gave us all stuff to do that’s very different than what we normally do. When we did the table reading, and then we started shooting it, we all looked at each other and said, “People are going to like this episode.”
TVLINE | Noah Wyle got us worried a couple of weeks ago, saying that the season finale (airing Aug. 4) offers “a sense of closure, and completion” — but then days later, the show gets renewed for Season 4. How can there be closure and also more to come?
I don’t want to put words in Noah’s mouth, but I think he was probably talking about certain character beats. There’s closure and completion in the sense of some plots are wrapped up. There’s no closure in the sense of, “We win the war and the aliens go home.” There are still cliffhangers.
TVLINE | What has it been like for you, working alongside these great TV vets like Noah and now Gloria Reuben, and Will Patton, who’s always compelling, and the actor’s actor Robert Sean Leonard…?
In general, it’s amazing, and obviously the people you mentioned are the crème de la crème, some of the most talented people working in TV and in the industry in general. But our entire cast is incredible, and not just as actors but as really, really wonderful people. And when you’re working with them for five months a year for three years, in a city [Vancouver] where none of you are actually from, it’s almost more important that they’re good, interesting people than that they’re good actors. It just happened that they’re also good actors. So, it’s been a really wonderful experience.
TVLINE | Is there any particular piece of advice anyone’s given you along the way that’s stuck?
Nothing that I can or want to recall specifically. Most of what I’ve learned or how I’ve grown, both as an actor and as a person, doesn’t come down to people giving specific pieces of advice, but rather just from working with people and being around them and watching them work. When you work with Noah or Will or Robert or Gloria or Moon [Bloodgood] or any of the cast, you really have to try to play in the same ballpark they do. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. Either way, you learn a lot through osmosis.