Matt Mason: Mind Changer?


Author BethTX takes a look at a character we don’t often discuss (except for that diatribe I did in the “Death March” review…), Matt Mason!

Let the reader beware: this is my second positive article in the same week. I’m not sure what’s happening, but I hope it goes away soon. But today I’m here to let my Matt flag fly.

I don’t like kids. Period. They drool, they cry, they smell, they leak bodily fluids, they—well, I just don’t like them, Sam I am. TV writers don’t help. They normally write kids to be either precocious brats who solve adult problems when the highly-trained adults can’t (I’m not going to mention Wesley Crusher, Greg. No way will I mention Wesley Crusher. See how much I’m NOT mentioning Wesley Crusher?) Or they’re irrelevant, undeveloped background accessories similar to whoever is currently dating Charlie Sheen.

Okay, so having said that it’s time I come out of the closet. I’m a proud Matt Mason fan and have been since the first episode. I’ve said it before, “I like the writing and acting” is too easy, so here are a few thoughts on Matt and why I hope he’s not on the chopping block anytime soon.

We’ve seen good, realistic character development. Matt started the series as a typical little kid who did a lot of complaining and clinging to Tom. In the span of a few weeks he’d seen the world destroyed, his mother murdered, and his brother harnessed. At seven, he was too young to fully comprehend the impact of what had happened, so whining about his birthday and the quality of available food seemed normal to me. Matt’s frequent clinging to Tom made for some great “Awwww” moments and helped establish Tom as a loving father who actually has a solid relationship with his boys. In turn, that made Ben’s absence more powerful.

The first indication that Matt was more than Token Kid was when he started campaigning to be useful. He tried to cut school to go with Tom and Hal to rescue Ben. He helped Uncle Scott with the radio. He even defied Tom to help Pope in the weapons development lab. Pretty extensive resume for a seven-year-old (At age 40 mine reads “College. Business world. Sold soul for decent paycheck and benefits. Looking forward to death.”) Token Kids are never useful. The writers keep them cryogenically preserved until it’s time to remind the audience that there is, indeed, a kid around and then put them back in the deep freeze.

In season 2 Matt is handling weapons (thanks to Ben) and even saves Tom’s life by making Skitter puree with an automatic and going on missions with the team. Here’s where I’d normally call shenanigans on SuperKid, but the writers are doing a good job of keeping him a realistic 9-year-old. Sure, he’s progressing toward adapting to the world the way it is, but he’s also still young enough to crawl into bed with Tom when he’s scared. Sure, he still complains, but tell me you didn’t snicker a little when Professor Dad was lecturing him about doing something foolish and Matt comes back, “Yeah, like getting on an alien spaceship.” You’ve just had your ass handed to you by your 9-year-old, Tom. Enjoy that.

It wouldn’t be an article by me if I didn’t tie Ben into the topic at hand, so I also want to say that the scenes between Matt and his big brother make for some of the strongest drama in the series. Maybe it’s because I like the characters so much or maybe because both Connor Jessup and Maxim Knight are so skilled, but there’s a real bond between them. Matt seem to be the one person who can get Ben to relax and be himself instead of a “razorback”. Ben and Tom also have a great relationship, but Ben is very aware of how much extra worry his father has because of Ben’s status, so he tends to hold back a little. With Matt, all walls come down. I get the feeling that Matt has been close to Ben since birth in the same way Ben and Hal have probably been hissing at each other for that long.

So there it is. FS writers, if you kill Matt off I will hunt you down. I’m from the South; I have whole trailer parks at my disposal. We may not have many teeth down here, but a lot of us biting your ankles with the three each we still have will hurt like hell. Hands off Matt!

BethTX is a Contributing Author here on the Falling Skies Blog, just as sarcastic as me (not an easy accomplishment), and knows that the only reason I allowed such an article is that she said nice things about Ben.

Keep the Resistance Strong!


~ by The Falling Skies Blog on August 9, 2012.

3 Responses to “Matt Mason: Mind Changer?”

  1. I have you firgured out, Greg. I can write the most outrageous things as long as I follow them with “But Ben is great”.

  2. You are wise in the ways of the force Beth. 🙂

  3. Good to know. ~off to make mischievous plans~ Btw, Ben is great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: