Character Rundowns

Guest-Writer-A-Con powers forward! Apologist extraordinaire Justin Mathai returns to answer the call for character rundowns! (We still need a brief show intro, so if you are interested…)

Character Profiles!

Hello, everyone! I have returned and this time I am not trying to win you all over to a character you love to hate! Greg’s been requesting some character rundowns and I thought I’d give it a shot. These are just for the main cast (that is, the ones listed as ‘starring roles.’ Some of you may disagree with what constitutes ‘main cast.) Anyway, without further ado, Justin’s totally objective character mini-bios.

Tom Mason (portrayed by Noah Wyle):
Let’s start with our lead, shall we? Tom is a forty-something former history professor originating from Somerville, Massachusetts, the patriarch of the Mason clan, and second-in-command of the 2nd Mass. His wife, Rebecca, was killed early on in the invasion (i.e., before the show begins). Tom has three sons: Hal, Ben, and Matt, and he’s proven to be fiercely protective of his boys. As second-in-command during season 1, he clashed a lot with 2nd Mass leader Captain Weaver (more on him in a bit) and began to develop romantic feelings for Anne Glass. At the end of season 1, Tom made the baffling decision to board an alien spacecraft under the impression it would somehow be able to help his previously-harnessed son Ben. As it turns out, this was indeed a trap and he was instead tortured before being brought face-to-face with an alien overlord. Upon his return to the 2nd Mass, we learn that he had some sort of creepy Intel-gathering worm living in his eyeball, which was removed in one of season 2’s more cringe-worthy moments. He is still plagued with lapses in memory and is therefore unsure what may have been done to him aboard that spacecraft. Throughout season 2, we’ve seen a lot of conflict between Tom and Ben, which reaches a boiling point when Ben, fearing he is endangering everyone else, leaves the group, shattering his dad. As the de-facto lead of the show, most action seems to center around the benevolent professor and he is expected to receive some ‘life-altering’ information in the coming weeks leading up to the season finale.

Anne Glass (portrayed by Moon Bloodgood):
Just as Tom is de-facto male lead, Anne is the de-facto female lead. Anne Glass is a former pediatrician who now serves as the 2nd Mass’ primary medical officer. She was married in her past and had a son, Sam. Her son and husband were purportedly killed during the opening phases of the alien invasion. Throughout season 1, we see Anne as an advocate for the civilians, playing lancer to Weaver’s more military-minded leadership while also taking care of everyone’s needs as any maternal figure would. She seems to have a developing relationship with Tom Mason, though it is usually shown as playful back-and-forth and is generally more subtle than some (ahem) ‘other’ onscreen romances. Season 2 sees Anne a bit more hardened (and quite sleep deprived). Though not an ‘action’ character by any definition, she does get to wield a homemade flame-thrower in episode 7 “Molon Labe.” From some dialogue later, we must deduce she is from ‘the hood.’ Again, because of her character’s major role on the show, we can expect a lot more of her in the last remaining season 2 episodes and likely into season 3 as well.

Hal Mason (portrayed by Drew Roy):
I will refrain from making any comments other than to say Hal’s purpose on the show is ‘disputed’ on this site. In any event, Hal is the seventeen-year-old son of Tom (sixteen in season 1) and older brother to Ben and Matt. In season 1, we see him as a very impulsive kid serving as a scout for the 2nd Mass. Like his father, he also appears to be driven by family. He disguises himself as a harnessed kid in order to infiltrate skitter ranks and save his younger brother, for example. Also the apparent ladies’ man of the show, nearly every young female character has, at one point or another, thrown themselves at him only to receive varying degrees of rejection. In the season 1 finale, Hal is sent away from the frontlines and back to the civilians of the group, setting up his role in season 2 as the father-figure in his dad’s absence. Season 2 highlights a lot more tension between Hal and his brother Ben, who resents his older brother’s scrutiny and attempts to assert himself as leader. Although it is evident that Hal cares deeply for his brother, the two often fail to see eye-to-eye and any concern he displays is met with dismay or even hostility from Ben. This leads to many arguments and even physical confrontations at times. Hal is also involved in an ongoing romantic subplot between him and Maggie, another 2nd Mass fighter. This, again, is often seen as back-and-forth although we get two kiss scenes within three episodes. This is a cause of squealing for some viewers and dismayed groaning from others. As we head into season 3, expect more developing romance between Hal and Maggie and (hopefully) a few more good sibling moments between him and Ben.

Ben Mason (portrayed by Connor Jessup):
Ben is perhaps the most favored character of the series with Connor Jessup’s performance being lauded (quite deservingly, too, I might add). In season 1, we learn that Ben was kidnapped by the aliens and harnessed to serve them, which sets up most of the action for the first few episodes until his older brother rescues him. Ben’s harness is subsequently removed, leaving a series of spikes embedded in his spinal column. Although no longer under the alien’s control, it is apparently still possible for the aliens to get into his head and it is possible that the spikes still have some power over him. He is capable of superhuman feats of strength, along with sharpened senses and sensitivity to radio frequencies being used as a means of alien communication. Many members of the 2nd Mass do not trust him due to his obvious differences and he feels (pardon the pun) alienated. Even his father and brother are at times critical or suspicious of him. He seems to be mixed up in an apparent skitter rebellion in which some of the creatures seek to overthrow their Overlord masters though the validity of this movement remains to be seen. Feeling himself a danger to his friends and family after multiple alien attacks, Ben leaves the 2nd Mass. Expect a lot more plot/character advancement from his point of view in the coming weeks as he tries to recruit more once-harnessed kids to the rebellion’s cause and into season 3 as we see what other affects the harness may have had on him.

Matt Mason (portrayed by Maxim Knight):
Matt is the youngest of the Mason boys at nine years old (eight in season 1). The first season sees him as eager to help his older brothers and his dad but unable to thanks to his father’s attempts to preserve his childhood. His role increases in season 2 where he does, in fact, get a gun and acts as skitter bait to draw aliens out to be shot. Despite his bravery, his father still obviously struggles with putting such a young child at risk. Matt makes relatively minor appearances throughout the series but expect his role to increase this coming Sunday with the episode “Death March,” in which the discovery of a harnessed girl his age should play into his development somehow. 

Captain Daniel Weaver (portrayed by Will Patton):
Captain Weaver is the leader of the 2nd Mass resistance group with a military background and a grizzled demeanor. We have learned that he had a daughter, Sophia, who was harnessed and died when he attempted to free her. In addition, he has an estranged wife, now dead of a stroke, and a second daughter Jeanne, who makes a brief appearance in episode 204 “Young Bloods.” Season 1 sees Weaver as a fiercely militant character, paired with Tom Mason as his second. Weaver and Tom often butt heads in season 1 over how best to run the group, causing mutual tensions to rise. He also seems to have a substance-abuse problem when he begins taking pills that cause him to act erratically. Season 2 sees him as more concerned with the general wellbeing of his people (not just the military). He has a brief encounter with his estranged daughter Jeanne, who subsequently abandons the 2nd Mass shortly after being rediscovered. Of note: he was bit by a harness and now appears to have some sort of infection as a result. This allows him to gain a cool walking stick. Weaver’s personality is generally hard-headed and he’s had a few arguments with various characters, most often (as mentioned previously) Tom. He is the first to recognize Ben’s abilities as useful to the group and also the one to make Tom aware of his son’s potential threat to the group. Going into the next few episodes, we should expect to see more of his struggles to lead the group as they head for Charleston (which we’ve all pretty much decided is a trap but, due to genre-blindness, the characters have yet to wake up to this fact).

John Pope (portrayed by Colin Cunningham):
Pope is the 2nd Mass’ resident bastard, an ex-con with an itchy trigger-finger and a love for badass motorcycles and snarky remarks. Season 1 introduces him as a member of a band of outlaws that include his brother Billy and main character Margaret/Maggie. He and his gang would rob resistance movements, which leads them to capturing Tom’s unit early on. A standoff ensues between the gang and the 2nd Mass, which leads to Pope ultimately being captured as a prisoner. He later escapes and is re-captured by a rogue resistance movement. He ends up saving Hal Mason’s life, earning him a permanent place in the 2nd Mass as a munitions expert. By season 2, upon Tom’s return, Pope is once more an antagonist as he becomes suspicious of the second-in-command. He also harbors distrust and at times outright hatred for Ben, who he fears may be an enemy sleeper agent. This leads Pope to attempt to force Tom out of the group (which is thwarted by Ben) and ultimately leave in rage. Anthony leaves the group with him, intending to keep a close watch on the former criminal with whom he has formed a wary sort of friendship. The two eventually return out of necessity with Pope claiming that the aliens are after Ben. Interesting to note: Pope appears to have some sort of secret info on Maggie, which we may see in the coming episodes.

Maggie (portrayed by Sarah Sanguin Carter):
Season 1 introduces Maggie as a member of Pope’s gang and implied criminal. She has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of John Pope’s brother Billy, which ultimately leads her to turn on the group and execute two of its members (Billy among them). From there, Maggie seeks to join the 2nd Mass, earning herself a place as a respected fighter and scout. Season 2 expands upon her role as she begins to develop interest for Hal Mason. Their relationship begins with heavy flirting and ultimately has them kissing by episode 205: Love and Other Acts of Courage. We learn that Maggie had brain tumors and that she was close to death, thus giving her a fear of hospitals. Expect more of her back story to be revealed to us shortly as Pope apparently has some dirt on her that may change how Hal views her.

Dai (portrayed by Peter Shinkoda):
A ‘silent warrior’ or sorts, Dai had no family coming into the invasion and therefore lost no one either. He serves as an all-purpose fighter for the 2nd Mass and is mostly seen in the background. We’ve seen that he is an excellent shot, able to knock out alien communication towers and shoot moving targets out of the sky. Other than that, little is known or shown of the character, but expect to see him onscreen fairly frequently throughout the remainder of season 2 and into season 3.

Anthony (portrayed by Mpho Koaho):
Anthony was a former Boston police officer and is another largely silent character. He formed a close friendship with Click that ended with the latter’s death at the hands of Pope’s gang. He has an initial distrust and hostility towards Pope, but by season 2 this has become a tentative respect and almost friendship, which may stem from the distrust. Anthony leaves the 2nd Mass with Pope, saying he plans to keep an eye on the convict. Although what mishaps they encountered are a mystery to us, he returns with Pope shortly after, having been attacked by mechs. Expect to see more of Anthony in the background of various scenes as season 2 winds down and (hopefully) a bit more exposure for his character come season 3.

Lourdes Delgado (portrayed by Seychelle Gabriel):
Season 1 sees Lourdes as a devout Catholic who keeps her faith as a way of coping with the trauma around her. A former pre-med student whose family is presumed dead, she joins the 2nd Mass and beings helping Anne out with whatever little knowledge she has. Throughout season 1, she harbors a crush for Hal Mason that is unreciprocated. Season 2 sees a role-expansion for Lourdes as she obtains a boyfriend, Jamil, who is subsequently killed off a few episodes later, marking a turning point for her mentality. After his death, Lourdes adopts a defeated and at-times hostile attitude. In the coming episodes, expect her to grow closer to Anne and, perhaps, lose all of her faith entirely.

More of Justin’s stuff can be found at: http://justinmathai.wordpress.com/ and he can be followed on twitter at @JustoMathai

Keep the Resistance Strong!

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~ by The Falling Skies Blog on August 2, 2012.

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