The Harness: What’s That All About?


Guest Writer Dawn returns to speak on one of my favorite subjects. It is no secret that I love talking, theorizing, and philosophizing about the harness. In my opinion, a few months in the harness would be a pretty fair trade for super powers. But I digress. Here is dawn’s take.

Harnessed vs. Unharnessed: How will Season 3 Address This?

Dear Readers,

My first two articles as a guest on Greg’s blog were easy to write. There was a certain mental flow that kept them going for this writer. They just didn’t take too long to put together. But this one…oh, this one…maybe it’s the (cough) lack of (cough) material to go on. I can expound forever on where Season 3 should go, but I’m having trouble keeping up flow of thought. Greg has certainly put his 2 cents in on his S3 demands. Well, actually I think he’s close to a dollar at this point. There is so much we can speculate, guesstimate, whatever. Now that we know that Season 3 has wrapped, perhaps we’ll hear more from the actors on how things went.

So, rather than discuss the potential things we might see in Season 3, I plan on writing about…the potential things we might see in Season 3. However, my main focus will be on one topic I am morbidly interested in: the harnessed (and unharnessed) kids.

In Greg Beeman’s blog, to answer a question of a fan, he estimated that the mutation process of a harnessed child takes roughly a year. I find this a contradiction of sorts…after all, in Episode 107, Terry Clayton mentions that it was Megan’s falling behind/capture that led to the “alliance” of the remaining 7th Mass and the Skitters. Upon reviewing the first season, I can only speculate that this happened a month or so before Terry met up with the 2nd Mass…maybe less…yet when Megan chatted with Ricky in Episode 210, she was already getting patchy on her face. Yet Ricky and Ben – who supposedly were harnessed for quite some time before being freed – had no such alterations. (Speaking of Ricky and Megan – am I the only one that wondered WHY in S1 the aliens did not reharness Ricky? I mean, he went out of his way to escape the 2nd Mass & make contact with the Skitters, and he fed them all kinds of info…at first I thought, well, maybe he can’t be reharnessed because his body is linked to the harness he was previously attached to, but then in S2 Karen tried to reharness Ben, so…that blew that theory away. I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t take back someone who seemed willing to go, and this way the 2nd Mass would have been in the dark on what Ricky had told them. Obviously would have killed/altered future story plots, but had to throw this “eh?” out there.) So are we to assume that the process is perhaps longer/shorter depending on the kid? If so – why?

When Greg Beeman opened up his blog for questions, I posted many a question about the harnessed kids. He answered some of them…not ALL of them, which was likely due to the insane amount of questions he had to deal with. I did ask if there would be more background on the relationship between Skitters and their harnessed kids, especially since there is now a relationship between rebel Skitters and deharnessed kids? Beeman’s response: It will probably take a new form, but yes, the topic will be explored.

I also asked Beeman about the evolution of the harnessed kids. In S1, the harnessed kids were mostly mental zombies following the commands of their Skitter. When Ben’s Skitter died, all of the kids went into shock and they all would have died if the harnesses hadn’t been removed. In S2, we meet Jenny, who is creepy crawlie crusty but is surviving without her Skitter aka Guardian. I asked Beeman if it was because she was mutated enough to not need it? Beeman’s response: Yes, Jenny had, I believe, mutated enough and she and her brother were actively searching for a new Skitter to re-attach to. At least that’s what we thought.

I went on further in this vein and asked about Jenny’s choice of wording – as she seemed to classify herself as “other” instead of human. I wondered if that meant that we had the possibility of kids acting independent of their Skitters as potential enemies. Beeman’s response: Yes, I think once the kids mutate enough – they evolve and become independent. But they would probably still be in psychic/radio communication with the skitters and overlords through whatever network is used by the invaders – but, as I say this, remember I and we just make this up as we go along…We try to think it through, but sometimes old ideas don’t end up working out as stories evolve, and sometimes new, better ones come along…So I reserve the right to have the collective “we” of the show’s creators take it in a different direction later.

Because of this – I got to wondering about Ben and the other deharnessed kids we briefly saw in Episode 210. (I did ask Beeman if we’d see more of them in S3 as regulars/scouts and his answer was properly vague: Sure… But I can’t spoil.)

One of the things I hope they address in S3 is Ben’s time away from the 2nd Mass. Greg has already mentioned this in a prior post, but we need some time for Ben to tell his story. Of course, he wasn’t away from the 2nd Mass for that long in my opinion, so how did things play out? How did he meet up with other Rebels? Did he find deharnessed kids already with other Rebel Skitters (Red Eye already recruiting) or did he stumble across other bands of humans that had figured out methods of deharnessing their kids, and he convinced those kids to come with him, and from there he hooked up with Red Eye and other Rebel Skitters?

I’d also like to know how his relationship with Red Eye seemed to evolve into something more personable, based on his reaction to Red Eye’s death; after all, this is the very Skitter that flung Jimmy into a tree and to his death. Sure, “technically” it was an accident; Red Eye merely threw Jimmy hard and fast, and the tree got in the way. But is there nowhere in Ben’s mind that thought about that moment when he was reunited with Red Eye? He was certainly up for protecting Red Eye in Episode 205 – guessing it had something to do with the eye-to-eye they had at the end of Episode 203; but still. Should this be brushed off as an emotional change in his makeup due to his deharnessed state “evolving,” perhaps? Or since we know Red Eye could use Ben to talk through, perhaps there are other things he and other Skitters can also do based on their ability to take over Ben and the other deharnessed kids?

I will leave you with that thought, mainly because it’s late and I’m not sure what Greg is going to think of this article. We’ve got enough speculations going on for S3, and here I am wondering what the difference between harnessed and deharnessed kids are, especially with Rebel Skitters in the mix. Sure the deharnessed kids aren’t “attached” to any one Skitter, but who knows how things could go…

P.S. = One other question I asked Beeman was about the Rebel Skitters and how the heck we’re going to tell them apart from the other Skitters, now that Red Eye is gone. Beeman’s response: We’ve got a plan for that.

Dawn provided this bio for herself:

Dawn discovered Falling Skies when Season 2 was nearly over, and spent a hellish amount of time catching up (sleep? Work? Okay, she did draw the line at food…). While browsing the internet for anything Falling Skies, she discovered Twitter and the many fans that hang out there, and the rest is history. Dawn can be followed on Twitter at @dawnmarie0301.

Keep the Resistance Strong!


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

3 Responses to “The Harness: What’s That All About?”

  1. Great post Dawn! I have to admit, I haven’t spent much time wondering about the harnessed/unharnessed kids, but you brought up some interesting points. I recently read an old(er) interview that Noah Wylie did (thanks to Elizabeth for posting the link on Twitter) and he said something about getting a whole new writing staff when the show changed locations between seasons 1 & 2. This may explain some of the inconsistencies we are all noticing in the story line. I hope they can stick with the same writers, or that any new ones will try to stay true to the existing story line. It’s the “little” things that drive me crazy.

    I remember reading some of your questions in Greg B’s blog. I also remember thinking “I wish I could come up with some great questions like that”. Mine were fairly lame, and mostly about Pope. But it was pretty awesome to get them answered. 🙂

    Oh, and my favorite line from this post: ‘Sure, “technically” it was an accident; Red Eye merely threw Jimmy hard and fast, and the tree got in the way.’

  2. Thanks Tamara! Yeah, I’ll admit that the harnesses have ALWAYS been a fascination of mine. In fact, I think it was the TNT commercial about Ben Mason (“When the hunted becomes the hunter”) that first made me go, “Eh? What show is this?” And then I had to play catch-up.

    There’s another harness issue that annoyed me in S2 – and maybe Greg will chime in here – in 204, “Young Bloods,” Weaver starts asking Ben about Harnessing Facilities. Here’s me: “What, they are only asking him this NOW?!” And Weaver’s questions were so vague – at this point I was still catching up on the show (and had yet to really start poking around online for other fanatic followers) – or I would’ve been tweeting “WTF? The distance from the chamber to the holding area?! Are you kidding me?!” LOL.

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