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?