Tom Mason: More than a History Professor?

In our exciting continuation of Guest-Writer-A-Con, we have new friend, but awesome friend, Elizabeth from Twitter telling us about how awesome she thinks Tom Mason is! Once again, this is a much more positive article than I (could) would have written, but I think it is good to balance out my cynicism with a healthy dose of optimism. She mentions a lot of people, so if I forgot to tag a character, please let me know. So, without further ado, let’s read? 

Tom Mason: A Man Who Leads With His Intellect:

Tom Mason is played by the fabulous actor Noah Wyle on Falling Skies on TNT. Falling Skies is filled with history; the writers and producers seem to focus on the American Revolution and World War II. They also took it as far as naming the characters of the show after real people in history; for example, John Pope was a General during the Civil War.

Before the invasion Tom was a husband, father of three boys–Hal, Ben and Matt, and a History Professor at Boston University. His family and he are original from the Cambridge area of Massachusetts. After the alien invasion, Tom’s American dream life was changed forever, his wife Rebecca was killed by the invaders while out on a scouting mission to get food and supplies for her family with Tom’s friend Doctor Harris. He still continues to grieve the loss of his wife even as he grows in a close relationship with the 2nd Mass doctor, Anne Glass. Tom was placed second in command of the 2nd Mass alongside Captain Weaver by Colonel Porter in the season one premiere. He now lives a life on the edge; protecting his three boys and trying to give them a normal life during this alien post-apocalyptic war. He has to protect the 2nd Mass and he has to fight back to take back planet Earth from the alien invaders from another planet.

Tom is a kind-hearted, intelligent and brave family man. He also shows a remarkable level of compassion towards the civilians. Even as the war continues, Tom stays true to his principles; he refused to leave his captured harnessed son Ben behind after he was taken by the Skitters during season one. He is an optimist who wants to see the best in people. During season one Weaver and Tom had a very conflicted relationship together and by the end of season one and during season two they come to accept each other’s differences with Tom leading as an intellect and Weaver leading in military. Tom has led many scouting missions and has led the 2nd Mass temporally while Weaver was ill. His leadership abilities are also complimented by his extensive knowledge of military history, comparing the invasion to several invasions in human history.

After the end of season one we all saw Tom’s love for his sons, especially for his middle son Ben when he went willing on the alien space ship with Karen and the Overlord to stop or slow the harness process Ben was going through. Risking his life, he went aboard and was held prisoner of war by the invaders for three months. During those three months he was lied to, subjected to torture, and other unknown events. He is eventually brought forward by Karen before the Overlord to hear a proposition.

The Overlord wants to set aside a neutral zone, where humans will be allowed to live in exchange for the surrender of the resistance. As a man who leads with his intellect, he connects this to past historical events with Nazi Germany comparing it to a concentration camp. He flat out refuses the proposal knowing it was probably a death trap for the 2nd Mass. Tom is released with other captured members that are apart of other resistance groups from other states and after watching them all die and was the only one allow to live, he has to make a pilgrimage back to Massachusetts from Michigan to find his family and the 2nd Mass.

During “Love and Other Acts of Courage”, Tom is faced with another proposal of a Skitter rebellion by the Red Eye Skitter. Red Eye explains that the Skitter’s home world was once like Earth and they lived in peace until the Overlords came. They took over their planet and enslaved them with the harness like they are now doing to the children. Red Eye offers Tom the chance to form an alliance between the 2nd Mass and the Skitter rebellion. Tom considers it a fantasy story. He is skeptical of the proposal made by the Red Eye and still has not made a decision on if he believes it or not or will join the Skitter rebellion.

During the episode “Molon Labe”, Tom meets with the Overlord again after he takes the Overlord prisoner of war. When they meet face to face again to talk, the Overlord offers the same proposal he offered Tom on the ship, once again since Tom leads with his intellect, he refused the offer again comparing the neutral zone to a concentration camp and genocide.

Also in “Molon Labe”, while he is in the hallway with his son Ben, Ben says fifteen year olds fought in the American Revolution and as a father he doesn’t want to let his son go or want any of his sons to fight in a war. At the end of the episode Tom had to let his son go, which was the hardest thing for him to do. He wanted to stop him with all his heart and soul but he can’t because he has to let him go and not hold him back so Ben can do what he thinks is important. Ben wants to find other de-harnessed children and tell them of the Skitter rebellion and possibly persuade them to join him. Tom has to face what many parents felt letting their children go off to war by themselves like those parents felt during the American Revolution and during other wars throughout history.

Throughout season one we see him lead with his intellect and talk of history and make several patriotic speeches to keep the 2nd Mass going in the hell hole they are now living in. Now in season two he continues to lead with his intellect but he knows there is no way to peace, the only way to defeat the alien forces is to FIGHT!

Even though Tom leads with his intellect and makes his decision based on his scholar knowledge of history, he does know the only way to defeat the alien force is to not stop resisting. As season two continues on, will Tom have to make a tough decision for the 2nd Mass and agree to the neutral zone the Overlord has offered? Will Tom agree and be persuaded by his son Ben and the Red Eye Skitter and join the Skitter rebellion so they can take out the enemy to get planet Earth back? Or as Tom holds optimism seeing a possible civilization being built in Charleston, South Carolina and a place to restart, is it really what he thinks it is, or is it a possible trap? What will happen to Ben after he made the tough decision to let his son leave the nest? And since Tom was held on a space ship for three months and had a parasite placed in his eye, used as some kind of information device, can Tom still be trusted? Is he a sleeper agent that hasn’t been activated yet? Even though the 2nd Mass has regain trust with him, can he really be trusted? Only we can find out these answers to these questions as we continue to watch the remaining three episodes of season two.

Everyone should follow Elizabeth on twitter: @7SweetPrincess7

I hope to have some more Guest Articles lined up for tomorrow afternoon, but if not you shall have to settle for me!

Keep the Resistance Strong!


~ by The Falling Skies Blog on July 28, 2012.

One Response to “Tom Mason: More than a History Professor?”

  1. I’m sorry, but I don’t see it. Each and every decision Tom made was based on his emotions, not his intellect. At any given time in the show, he is/was willing to put his sons over the entire 2nd Mass – that is highly emotional.
    I still see Spock as an archetype of “intellectual” character and that includes putting the needs of the many over the needs of the few. Tom doesn’t do that at all.
    Weaver shows signs of that whenever he talks about “tough choices”. He knows that he cannot depend 100 % on Tom to do what’s best for the many. Yes, he wants to trust him, but deep inside, there is doubt. It shows; Weaver called Tom out on being too emotional and putting his sons over the 2nd Mass (and ultimately the entire resistance), not just once.

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