Be Silent And Come Out: The Magic’s Back?

•July 8, 2013 • 2 Comments

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Hey folks! Beth returns to us yet again, a seemingly redeemed Falling Skies fan, to give us her take on the latest episode of our beloved show!

Before I get into the review, let me say that I realize that my last article was sadly lacking in Ben props. Greg published it anyway, knowing I’m a rabid Ben fan and would eventually get back to my roots.  This article will have Ben not just because he was instrumental in the outcome but also because two Benless articles in a row will probably get me IP banned from this site.

Wow. Let me start by saying that I consider “Be Silent And Come Out” to be the best-acted episode to date. Everyone’s performance blew me away to the point that I’m still trying to process it and I think that’s because everyone was finally given something of substance to do. Sure, there have been moments in a lot of episodes for an actor to shine, but this episode gave them all a chance and all of them rose to the occasion.

 I know I’m in danger of belaboring a point here, but this episode worked so well because it was devoid of the things that have wrecked Falling Skies in the past: soap opera romance and Anne, who has so far in 3 seasons been good for nothing but furthering soap opera romance. Falling Skies has some of the most talented and underrated actors in the business, but there’s very little even a great actor can do with a substandard, cliché script and unfortunately that’s what they’ve been getting since mid-season 2.  

“Be Silent And Come Out” was the perfect mixture of action and character dynamics that added up to a well-balanced episode because it really got us back to the first season where Tom was focused on his sons first and leadership/Dr. Chewtoy last. Seasons 2 and 3 led Tom so far astray from what his character was– a solid, loving father to Hal, Ben, and Matt and the cornerstone of the Mason family– that half the time I wondered if he even remembered he had sons. The boys wandered unsupervised from dangerous situation to even more dangerous situation like orphans while Tom played general with Weaver and footsie with a woman he barely knew. This episode is a complete return to the reluctant hero and protective father of season one and I love it.

The episode was Mason family-centric , which is as it should be since they’re the stars, but it also gave each supporting character his starring moment to spice up the drama, which is the purpose of the supporting character. I know a lot of us have been critical in the past of the lack of use for the non-Masons and assumed they were just there as furniture and cannon fodder. “Be Silent And Come Out” broke that trend and really gave us a reason to like the background folk.

Will Patton earns my coveted Scare the Cat Award for Weaver’s priceless scene in the bar. I thought the quiet, understated way he handled it was far more menacing than any amount of screaming could have been. As soon as he walked in and saw that Pope and his Berserkers were betting on the Masons’ lives I knew the nitrogenous wastes were going to strike the fan.  When he went all Clint Eastwood, grabbed Pope by the neck and threatened to hang his head as a trophy I let out a weird, surprised laugh that scared the cat off my lap. After three years he really should know not to sit there during Falling Skies.

Marina, Marina, Marina.  I don’t like you, Marina. I don’t trust you, Marina. But I do admire you in a way. There’s something reaaaally rotten and single-minded about her that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it would not at all surprise me if she’s the ruin of Charleston and the death of at least one character by the finale. I may not like the character, but I do like Gloria Reuben and the way she’s playing her because I don’t think we’re supposed to like and trust the woman who’s been going behind Tom’s back.

This brings me to Colin Cunningham and Pope, who seemed ready to move in and hang curtains with Tom last episode but was cheerfully waiting for his chance to pop a cap in his son this episode. This is what I love about the character: he’s consistent only in being inconsistent and that’s fun to watch when it’s well-written and well-acted. Pope is the anti-Tom and great at presenting the alternate viewpoint in the most vehement and offensive way possible. Dammit, I hate it when characters make me rethink my cherished beliefs about other characters and Pope sure did that this week. Of course, Hal being a Mason, I was completely sympathetic. The poor guy was under the influence of an alien device and not responsible for his actions, right? Well, Pope was pretty vocal about not seeing it that way. His parting shot of “Next time I’m arrested I’ll use the alien bug defense”  hit the mark; I mean, Hal supposedly killed a man, consorted with the enemy, and kidnapped and tortured his own father while under the influence but is allowed to ride off into the sunset with no consequences? Hal could have come forward about his suspicions and odd feelings, but he chose not to. Pope made me think about how we wouldn’t excuse someone’s crimes because he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so why now? Ugh, Pope…

I have never liked Lourdes, partly because of her early Holy Joe routine and partly because she’s just been altogether flat and uninteresting. She was basically Mini-Anne, existing only as an appendage to Hal or someone to bounce a plot point off of. Based on this episode, that bullpuckey is gone and she’s grown into someone who’s useful and independent. Good news for the fans and Seychelle Gabriel who I always felt did her best with what she was given. Although I haven’t seen enough of Lourdes to totally reverse my opinion, she was so decisive and competent with Hal’s treatment that I’m cautiously optimistic. The only thing is that I don’t see both her and Anne making it long term. That seems to be too much of a medical safety net in a series where we’re supposed to feel that the lives of the 2nd Mass are always on the line. If I have to choose, I’m flying my Lourdes flag, kthnx.

The lack of the soap opera has benefitted Maggie the most. She was always a ballsy and likeable character, but it never made sense that someone so tough and practical would throw herself into a giggling teenage affair, especially only weeks after escaping a vicious rape gang. I always felt like she was more of an appendage to Hal, which was not fair to a gifted actress like Sarah Carter, but this episode really gave her some layers. On one hand, Maggie was her usual badass self, but she also clearly felt guilty for letting the Hal situation get as far as it did when she should have reported it. You can’t keep a good Maggie down for long, and she decided to take responsibility and solve the problem.

On to the Mason family. I can’t say enough about everyone’s performance, but Drew Roy stole the show this week. The transition between EvilHal and OurHal was painful to watch, but in a good way. I clearly saw the internal struggle as OurHal fought to overcome the mind control and I felt every single moment of it in my gut. This wasn’t an easy thing to portray; do it too over the top and it’s laughable. Do it too understated and it fails to have an impact. Drew Roy found a happy (unhappy?) medium and I actually had tears in my eyes when OurHal came through.

I’m a Noah Wyle fan and I’ve never seen him fail to pull off whatever he was going for, so it was no surprise that he hit his mark in all scenes, but two really stood out. First was where he talked to Hal about his mother, yes as a tactic to get through to OurHal, but also expressing real regret for not being there as much as he should have been. It seemed like something that had been eating away at Tom for a while and he just found a time to let it out. The second was when he was watching Hal struggle for his life during the debugging. I could almost hear him think, “Dear God, I killed my son.” The scenes between Tom and Hal are the kind that stick with me after the TV goes off. This is pure season one Mason family dynamic and I’m glad to have it back.

I’ve loved Matt since the first episode, and one thing the writers have done well over the seasons is show his realistic transition from token cute little kid to a real soldier. Maxim Knight has rolled with the transition like a pro and has changed his physicality and the way he delivers lines to reflect Matt’s experience as a kid growing up in a totally different world than he came into. Case in point, Matt took charge and really saved Hal’s ass when he led Maggie and Ben into the building. No way was he going to let Tector kill his brother. Tom was the final holdout, but he’s acknowledged Matt’s maturity or he would have left him behind in Charleston.

Okay, well that does it for another article. Thanks for reading and see you next time.

The End.

Just kidding. Put down the pitchfork, Greg. Of course I can’t let an episode review go by without mentioning the heroic contribution of my favorite hybrid. According to the synopses earlier, Ben had the choice of removing the harness that he hates; unfortunately, it would mean the end of his superhuman abilities and the tradeoff was not worth it to him. Good news for Hal, as it turns out. Unharnessed Ben would never have been able to overpower him and keep him from giving himself a lead love note to the brain. Bad news for me, because he was able to find out where Dr. Chewtoy and Creepybrat are, so I’ll call it a wash. Anyway…it seems to me that with Hal riding the Eye Booger Express and Tom playing politics Ben has stepped it up as head of the Mason family. He’s taken his little brother under his wing and is calling his own shots. He’s come a long way toward making peace with who is he and reconciling the bad parts of being harnessed to the good. Connor Jessup has always been very skillful with Ben and his metamorphosis from awkward teenager in season one to angry outcast in season two to someone coming to terms and getting comfortable in his own skin in season 3.

I’ll end with a few plot points I loved:

  • Goodbye President Mason, welcome back Tom! If one good thing came of the Hal situation it was that Tom realized that he could not be a father and a president at the same time. He’d missed way too much of the most important things in his life.
  • The separation of the Mason family from Charleston. I’m looking forward to the last three episodes concentrating on them reconnecting as a family and dealing with the changes they’ve all been through. I think Tom may get some surprises.
  • President Marina. What is she up to? What will Charleston be like when the Masons finally return, if there’s anything left to return to? What’s her interest in the weapon? I hope Weaver keeps a sharp eye on her.
  • I’m stubborn in my opinion that Hal is NOT the mole. Too obvious and the whole thing was dismissed too quickly. Everyone just assumed and moved on, which I think is going to cost them I the season finale.

“Be Silent And Come Out” was a hell yeah episode for me. Action, character development, and the Masons being there for each other. This is what got me excited about Falling Skies in the first place.

  BethTX is  a Contributing Author here on the Falling Skies Blog, just as sarcastic as me (not an easy accomplishment), and mentioned Ben just enough times to get this published!

Season 3: The Word on the Street

•July 6, 2013 • 9 Comments

For the first time since last summer, Contributing Author Beth returns to talk to us about some of the developments in season 3, and some fan reactions to them.

Ding dong, the witch is dead!

Okay, so Anne isn’t a witch. That would actually require her to do something interesting. The only bit of magic we’ve seen her do so far is to turn a perfectly good show into a soap opera. Abracadabra <sigh>.  And she’s not dead, more’s the pity, but at least she’s gone for the rest of the season, taking her creepazoid, aesthetically unpleasant, plot cliché child with her. This allowed me to cautiously peek out from behind the blast door that I’ve been hiding behind and actually watch an episode of Season 3.

I’ve been keeping up with the reviews, lurking on fan sites and comment sections, waiting for this episode where Anne and the baby are gone. We knew she would disappear–Moon Bloodgood dropped that spoiler months ago in an interview—so it was just a matter of waiting until she exited stage left, effectively erasing 1/3 of the show’s sap and crap. I feel like there’s hope for this show for the first time since mid-season 2 and you can have my hope when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers. And away we go…

The general fan consensus seems to be that “Search and Recover” was an unnecessary episode at best, totally off-base at worst (more about fan reaction in a later article). I disagree. Maybe I’m feeling more bubbly than usual because I’m so damn excited just to be able to watch Falling Skies for the first time in a year, but I really liked this episode.

In case you didn’t pick up on my subtlety earlier, I’m a charter member of the I Freakin’ Loathe Anne Glass Club and my feelings would not be hurt if someone chucked her off a convenient cliff onto the jagged rocks below to be slowly dismembered by a drooling pack of rabid weasels, so the fact that she wasn’t in this episode and we know she won’t return to reek up the rest of the season was a high point. Okay, okay, you get it. Moving along…

This is the episode I’ve been waiting for since Tom knocked Pope on his moneymaker for making fun of Jimmy’s death and Ben’s Alien-American heritage. Pope let it pass, but we knew it wasn’t the end; after all, a big, tough biker dude got rope-a-doped by a wounded blackboard jockey. That had to sting, and it was a matter of time before things went from snide comments to full-on Gatti-Ward. In case that was all too subtle, Pope decided to remove all doubt by telling Manchester that if anyone was going to take Mason down it would be Pope himself.

First thing I loved about the episode was that it was Pope-and-Tomcentric. I lost all interest in Tom’s character in the latter half of last season and actually came to have nothing but contempt for him (see my previous articles for why) but this episode has me cautiously optimistic. Of course, any Pope is good Pope and it was nice to see that he’s as much of a jerkwagon as he always was. There’s one character that will (hopefully) never been feminized or watered down with a fanfiction romance. His sheer doucheyness is his appeal as he swims in a sea of outdated morality and simpering love affairs.

I love a good background story on a favorite character and I scored a twofer with Pope and Tom playing a rousing game of “Whose Past Sucked Worse” in the middle of the Skitter-infested woods. The back and forth snark between them had me picturing two high school mean girls going at each other. I could almost picture Tom’s Facebook post: “Oh Em Gee, Pope is a total poser. I totally called him on not being able to make a fire and he’s all, ‘I so can!’ and I’m like, ‘Not even!’ and he’s all, ‘Whatevs, I killed a guy’, so I was like, ‘Cry me a river, my dad was mean’, so Pope totally threw a snake on me. Loser alert!”

Tom’s abusive childhood has always been my head-canon and I was really surprised to get real-life confirmation. It’s always seemed to me that the steel that runs through him and his sudden flashes of temper don’t speak of a seventh generation academic. For someone like him to not only survive so long in an alien apocalypse but also bring his children through alive and well-adjusted points to him surviving something else earlier in life. To this end, Noah Wyle is a very unlikely hero but much more layered and effective than, say, The Rock with his tough guy looks. Please stop picturing The Rock as Tom Mason now.

For his part, Pope gave us a pretty decent revelation, too. I always figured he’d been in prison for an accidental death, but I thought it was probably a robbery or drug deal gone wrong. I like that he killed the neighbor for the sake of his son; it’s interesting and even as an accident it says that Pope is much more than just the resident turd in the 2nd Mass punchbowl.

This could have been a terrible scene if all involved hadn’t been so skilled. If Noah Wyle and Colin Cunningham had played it all maudlin, teary-eyed, and girly it would have been funny; instead it was manly, matter-of-fact, and all the more effective for it. Take note, writers of TV and fanfiction: it is never necessary to turn male characters into weepy girls to write a solid emotional scene.

What was attention-grabbing was how much of an antagonist Tom was through the whole episode. Pope was being reasonable (for Pope) and Tom kept picking at him with snide, petty  little comments until the whole thing exploded. I wanted to offer Tom a Midol for the PMS he seemed to be suffering from, but after a few minutes of irritation I actually enjoyed it. For the first time, we see Tom outside of the hero/Ward Cleaver mold. He was tired, scared, overburdened and decided to take it out on Pope. There’s more depth to the main character than the long, overly-confident speeches and soulful brown eyes. He’s not the same Tom we saw in the first two seasons. A little out-of-character behavior shakes things up a little and as long as he doesn’t do a permanent 180 it’s interesting.

Continuing in this vein, Tom got all emo and threw himself a one-man pity party while Pope heroically tried to save both of them.  That brings us back to Pope’s character. Why did he save Tom? He stormed off, prepared to leave Tom to the Skitters or buzzards, whichever got to him first, but something made him turn around. Could it be he was simply repaying a debt owed when Tom saved him from the helicopter fire? Could be, but then remember that Pope also saved Anthony in season one with no debt owed. I think our scruffy friend has more of a moral code than he lets on. I also think that he feels a little more kindly toward Tom after hearing about his childhood. Guys like Pope always resent people they see as rich, educated, and having had all the advantages handed to them while they themselves have to struggle. Tom pretty much squashed that notion and Pope is now seeing a self-made man like himself. Not that they’ll be picking out china patterns any time soon. I still think they resent the hell out of each other just for being light-years apart in their views.

Now on to the subplot of the search for Anne and her spooky little booger machine. Obviously, I wish they’d simply shrugged and said, “She’s gone? Huh. Oh well. Who wants ice cream?” but that only plays out in the twisted TV screen of my mind, so of course they got up a posse made up of every single important character vital to the survival of Charlesyawn and rode off in search of the missing presidential concubine.

My favorite line came from Lourdes as they were discussing Anne’s actions: “Anne isn’t the sort of person to knock someone out and run.” Um, yeah, Princess Denial, she kinda is the sort of person to knock someone out and run because she did that very thing. I really wanted someone to point that out, but then Lourdes does not strike me as overly intelligent or versed in anything involving abstract thinking, so it was probably better left alone.

I feel two ways about this subplot. On one hand, it interrupted what could have been more Pope and Tom action. On the other hand, with only 10 episodes in a season I’m glad they didn’t waste one whole episode on this. Besides, it got me more Matt and I loves me some Matt!

Speaking of, they’re finally starting to treat him as a full-fledged fighter and member of the team, thanks to Weaver. It’s about time, too. Matt has been pulling his own weight since he saved Tom from that Skitter last season and it looks like he’s finally being taken off the little kid shelf where his father plopped him for safe keeping.

The Mason boys finally remembered they had a mother once, even if Tom has forgotten. I’ve always liked the Ben/Matt moments, anyway, because they always seem so natural and realistic.

I wasn’t quite sold on the fuss over the dead woman. It’s a corpse, a bag of meat, nothing more, and burying her took precious time where they were all a nice, big target. Practicality should take precedence over sentimentality in that type of situation, but it didn’t bother me enough to take me out of the episode.

I’ve never been much on Jeannie Weaver one way or another, but her scene with her father where she tells him not to let the Skitters get her was actually one of my favorite parts. At first, I thought she was talking about not wanting to be harnessed, but given the context of the conversation she’s actually asking her father to kill her rather than letting the aliens breed her. I don’t know why, but that was a desperate, hopeless, and really touching scene.

Finally, the sub-subplot of Marina and Dr. Kadar. On short notice, I don’t like her, don’t trust her, and want her dead sooner rather than later. I’m sure that won’t happen until she’s wreaked havoc and screwed everything up because she thinks she knows more than she really does. Andrea from The Walking Dead, anyone?

On the other hand, I like the small amount I’ve seen of Dr. Kadar, but he’s so odd and endearing that I’m sure he’ll be very much dead by the end of the season, possibly at the hands of Marina. It seems like he’s getting suspicious of her, maybe enough to confront her. So long, Weird Basement Dwelling Guy. You’re gonna bite it before you make it to Tom and Weaver with your suspicions, brother.

We end the episode with Tom waking up to see Pope sitting by his bedside, where he’s been sitting for the whole two days. Loved it! There was absolutely no reason for him to do that except concern. I’m really trying hard not to imagine Tom/Pope slash fanfiction, but as odious as Pope can sometimes be, he’s a much better partner than Anne. Boys, meet your new stepfather.

A few random observations:

  • What was that evil look Hal gave his brothers toward the end? Was it for Ben, the one who betrayed the Skitter cause? Is Karen watching through Hal’s eyes and deciding who dies first?
  • Weaver/Marina flirting…because we don’t have enough of that vomit-inducing crap with Tom/Anne, Hal/Maggie, and Ben/Denny. Honestly, that stuff is like ipecac syrup for my eyes.

 

All in all, I really enjoyed this episode and I’m glad to be back. In spite of my utter disgust with the last half of season 2 I’ve missed the characters and the FS universe. I suspect I’m going to regret getting back into it because I know that She Who Shall Not Be Named will eventually return, but I’m cheerfully envisioning a brief reunion followed by an accident involving a chipper-shredder. Hey, I’m a simple woman with simple pleasures.

 BethTX is  a Contributing Author here on the Falling Skies Blog, just as sarcastic as me (not an easy accomplishment), and did not mention Ben enough in this article.

Digging for Moles

•June 26, 2013 • 8 Comments

Howdy folks. This time around Contributing Author Justin swings by to give us some of his thoughts and theories on who the mole is. Right now I’m convinced it is Hal. I mean, come on, he has a freaking probe in his brain. Rather I should say I’m convinced it should be Hal, but it will probably end up being some new person like Kadar the Rat King of Uselessness. Oh man I hope it’s Denny and she is executed by firing squad soon.

Let’s Play a Game of Clue

Hey, folks. I’m back. Like a terrible disease, it seems Greg is unable to get rid of me. This is, of course, better for me than it is for you…

Anyway, now that season 3 has come around, I’m officially back into my Falling Skies fanboy mode. So far I’m loving the new season, how about you?

Anyway, it seems Charleston has a bit of a mole infestation, hmm? Now I’ve read lots of online speculation as to who the mole might be. Thus far, they’ve murdered Arthur Manchester with Volm weaponry, fallen for a decoy plan laid out by Tom and his advisors, and possibly called beamers into Charleston on a night of remembrance and celebration. Now I haven’t any idea who the mole really is, but I have my personal theories. I’ve decided that, in the spirit of speculation, though, I’m going to tackle the most likely suspects and present my ideas as to why they can and can’t be the Judas amongst the characters. Basically, it’s just more wild theories but hopefully some better thought-out wild theories. And I’ve decided to format this like the board game (and detective film) Clue. So are you guys ready to play?

I suspect…

Marina Perlata as Mrs. White

Let’s start with the obvious one, shall we? Most speculation supports the theory that Tom Mason’s aide-de-camp and newly appointed vice president is secretly betraying humanity. It’s obvious that the writers want us to think she’s the mole but I’m not so sure…

Why she could be: Marina Perlata was introduced for season 3, which means her motives are fuzzy at best. As a member of President Mason’s inner-circle, she certainly has access to a lot of information that the Espheni would find useful. And as a non-combatant , she certainly has plenty of opportunity to get secret info to the enemy. Plus, with her security clearance, she could conceivably have access to Volm technology similar to that used in Manchester’s murder.

Why she can’t be: As mentioned before, Marina is a trusted member of Tom’s inner circle. As such, she was present during the meeting where the group formulated the decoy idea. If the mole were Marina (or anyone else who sat in on that meeting), she would have known the trick and informed the Espheni accordingly. Furthermore, a scene specifically depicted the mole scanning the battle map to learn the plans. Marina would have no reason to do so, as she would already be aware of the plans.

General Bressler as Colonel Mustard

Right from the start we all hated Bressler. He’s arrogant, hard-hearted, and disturbingly warlike. But is he secretly betraying Charleston?

Why he could be: As a high-ranking military official, Bressler certainly has access to the Volm tech used to murder Arthur Manchester, and it’s no secret he had no love for the man to begin with. And as a

member of Tom’s inner circle, he has access to all of the info the Espheni could ever want, particularly in the military department.

Why he can’t be: Evidence from last season suggests Bressler has a deep-rooted hatred for the aliens. Why would he help them? Also, the same principle that applied to Marina applies to him as well. He would have no need to scan battle maps, nor would he have fallen for the trick.

Denny as Mrs. Peacock

Denny’s a fighter for Charleston and a formerly harnessed kid who was unharnessed without using the Volm machine that Anne operates, as evidenced by her spikes. But is she really free? And who knows what she’s capable of?

Why she could be: Again, suspicion falls on the new characters whose motives are unclear. Denny may have been unharnessed but who knows if she’s truly free of alien control? After all, Karen was unharnessed and she was still evil. And as a soldier, Denny probably knows how to fire Volm weapons if she could gain access to them. If the writers continue their trend of giving Ben good things in his life only to take them away and break him down further, then Denny could indeed be our Judas.

Why she can’t: Denny likely has limited opportunities to walk around stealing secrets from Charleston and she seems to be spending much of her free time with Ben anyway. Furthermore, the chances that she could take Volm weaponry from the Charleston arsenal unchallenged are very, very low.

Hal Mason as Mr. Green

Ever since Karen planted a probe in Hal to facilitate their midnight trysts, he just hasn’t been the same. He also firmly believes that he is the mole. We have no clue how much control Karen has on her former boyfriend, but is he truly a spy for her?

Why he could be: Um, BRAIN WORMS! If Karen could control Hal’s body enough to make him walk to a secluded place in the middle of the woods and have a romp in the hay with her, she could conceivably force him to steal battle plans without him being able to stop her. Plus, with the most recent episode “At All Costs” we clearly see a Jekyll and Hyde thing brewing inside Hal. What if he is the mole and the twisted, Karen-infected part of him enjoys it? And if he was the mole, as the son of the president he could conceivable pull rank to get access to things he normally wouldn’t have access to, namely Volm weaponry.

Why he can’t: Hal isn’t exactly mobile during his waking hours. It would be hard for him to sneak around on those crutches of his. Of course, this could be averted if Karen takes control of him, but then wouldn’t people notice that he’s walking normally when he’s supposedly crippled? Also, it seems Karen is only completely in control of him while he’s sleeping, and she seems to be using him for “other” purposes then. Lastly, Hal can remember what he does while Karen controls him (even though he initially thought them to be vivid dreams), so why wouldn’t he remember selling out Charleston. So while the writers are again setting us up to believe Hal is the mole (even going so far as to have him believe it himself), I think it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors concealing the true traitor.

Jeanne Weaver as Miss Scarlet

Jeanne is the wildcard of the group here, and my personal favorite for the identity of the mole. We know that she was with Diego and the other kids when they were taken by the Espheni, and that she alone escaped. Until the 2nd Mass turned up in Charleston a few months later, her whereabouts were unknown. A lot can happen in a couple of months…

Why she could be: It seems highly unlikely that she would be the only member of the group of kids under her and Diego’s watch to escape. Unless the aliens wanted her too. She may have been captured and implanted with some sort of eye-worm (think Tom from last season) and become an unwitting sleeper agent. Or she may have bargained for her life with the Espheni, unaware that her father and his group would ever arrive in Charleston and in far too deep by the time he did. As a non-combatant, Jeanne has plenty of opportunity to sneak around unnoticed, and she does indeed have little camera time, so her daily whereabouts are unaccounted for. And based on that conversation with her dad, she does seem pretty pessimistic about humanity’s future. She may have just figured, ‘screw it, we’re all doomed anyway so I may as well end this faster and avoid unnecessary suffering’ and turned her back on Charleston. Further evidence that her role will be expanded this season? Laci J. Mailey is billed as a starring actress. What better way to expand Jeanne’s role than to have her betray the colony?

Why she can’t: While Jeanne may have the opportunity to steal secrets, she hardly has the clearance to do so. Any attempts to gain information on her part would likely be viewed with great suspicion and her ability to access Volm technology is limited. Further, she and her dad Weaver seem pretty close. Could she really betray her Papa Bear?

Dr. Roger Kadar as Professor Plum

Roger Kadar lives in solitude below Charleston, amongst rats and electricity. Our knowledge of him is limited at best, but if he lives like a Mole Person could he also be the mole?

Why he could be: The reclusive, agoraphobic Dr. Kadar spends all his time in solitude belowground. He could theoretically sneak around, steal secrets, and communicate with the aliens without anyone being the wiser.

Why he can’t: The relusive, agoraphobic Dr. Kadar spends all his time in solitude belowground. How would he sneak around unnoticed, steal secrets unnoticed, or even come into contact with the aliens to begin working for them in the first place?

Special mentions: Assorted theories from around the interwebs. Some are reasonable and some…aren’t.

Lourdes

Why she could be: As a member of Charleston’s medical staff, Lourdes has a high chance of being exposed to freaky Espheni tech that could mess with her state of mind. And if you recall angry, fatalistic

Lourdes from last season, she may still harbor resentment for her present situation, and she may feel there’s nothing left to live for (see my justification for Jeanne being a suspect above).

Why she can’t: Arthur Manchester was murdered while Anne was in labor. Lourdes was present for the duration of Anne’s labor in order to deliver the baby. It’s kind of tough to kill a guy while also being between your boss and closest friend’s legs delivering her child. Her alibi seems pretty airtight to me.

Alexis Denise Glass-Mason

Why she could be: She’s evil and part alien. And uber-creepy for a three week old.

Why she can’t be: She spent the first episode inside Anne’s womb. Hard to murder a guy while in your mother’s uterus, isn’t it?

The Volm:

Why they could be: They have the technology and they’re mysterious and unregulated, with somewhat unlimited access to Charleston and a presence in the military strategy meetings. No telling what they’re up to in their own little compound, especially with that purported super weapon they’re building.

Why they can’t: They seem to need human help to build their super weapon. Why would they want to kill off their worker bees? And if they were discovered to be treacherous, it would essentially be signing their own death certificates. Seems too risky this early on in their relationship with the humans.

The Rebel Skitters:

Why the could be: Skitters are skitters, even in tribal war paint. It would be mighty easy to plant an Espheni-loyal Skitter among the dissenting Skitter ranks.

Why they can’t be: At least some of the Skitters have proven themselves useful to Charleston. Wouldn’t they detect and expel a Judas amongst them? And the Skitters, unlike the Volm, appear to have limited access to Charleston’s resources, meaning the likelihood of them gaining major secrets and then sharing them is small. Furthermore, it would be pretty unwise for Karen or any other Overlord to send in a Skitter who could possibly rebel against them once surrounded by his rebellious buddies, thus losing a loyal follower and their eyes on Charleston.

So there you have it, folks. Our most likely candidates broken down for all of you. As it stands now, it seems the writers want us all to think that the mole is Hal or Marina, which is why I’m highly suspicious of theories claiming they’re the ones. It seems too easy. Nonetheless, I’ve presented all of you with reasons why any of the above-named could be the spy, while also poking holes in all of my theories to prove that I’m an impartial journalist in all of this (haha, just kidding). Who do you think the mole is? Leave a comment down below so that Greg can passive-aggressively tweet about it! (Just kidding, Greg, please don’t fire me from this unpaid writing gig). Seriously though, speculate below and we’ll see who (if any of these) is the true mole soon, hopefully.

Justin is a Contributing Author here at THE Falling Skies Blog, often defends the weaker characters, and actually made me relaize the pool of suspects is wider than I thought.

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

Badlands: Death of Icon

•June 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Crazylee

Contributing Author Tamara stops by to give us her take on Badlands. We focus on the loss of Crazy Lee. I’ll admit this one hit me pretty hard. I am a big Luciana Carro fan. I was very invested in her character on Battlestar Galatica, Kat. This is a big blow.

Farewell Crazy…Say Hi to Goofy for me…

So, we are 3 episodes into the new season and I probably shouldn’t say this, but this is my favorite episode for Season 3! I was absolutely blown away by the depth of emotion involved in Crazy Lee’s passing. Luciana Carro, I am so sorry to see you leave Falling Skies, but if you had to go at least you went out in style! Unlike poor Dai who, as my friend Tom Gardiner over at Three if By Space so succinctly put it, “got the Falling Skies equivalent of taking a wrong turn at Albuquerque, walking into a wall, and mysteriously forgetting how to live.”, Crazy Lee got the better part of an episode to make her dramatic exit! Okay, so taking a piece of rebar to the brain while having a potty break may not sound impressive, but it was real and gritty and involved dialogue (already an improvement of our experience with Dai!) that was touching and believable. Watching Pope and Craz say goodbye brought me to tears, as did Tom’s visit to the hospital and his speech at the Liberty Tree. All in all, a great tribute to a courageous warrior.
Of course a large part of my enjoyment of this episode was all the time devoted to Pope. Not that he dominated the screen, there was still plenty of time given to the alien baby storyline as well as Hal and his eye worm. But for the first time ever we got a real glimpse into Pope’s heart. Pope has always been my favorite character because he is just so much fun to watch. Everyone else is running around being selfless and heroic and that is wonderful, but it can get boring. We need that one person guy that is willing to stand up and say what others are thinking and who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. In fact, he relishes it! Sneaky, conniving, and distinctly untrustworthy, Pope never fails to entertain (even while he is pissing you off!). But even so, I have been craving more depth to my most beloved character.

Season 1 Pope was something of a mystery, from his strange history with Maggie to his unexpected rescue ot Anthony in the season finale. Season 2 Pope was something of a disappointment (as were many of characters) seeming very 1 dimensional and flat, but Season 3 Pope has redeemed himself in my eyes. His concern for Matt when the bullets started flying, his care and gentleness with Crazy Lee, and his righteous anger at Tom over the whole incident were very moving. I can only hope that this is not an isolated incident and that we will be seeing more of this Pope in future episodes!

Another character who impressed me was Matt. I laughed out loud when he gave Pope, Tector, and Lee cinnamon buns and other “good stuff” after leaving Ben with only a fresh battery for the walkie! The Berserkers have obviously accepted him as a fellow member of the team, and he is certainly appreciative. Then when Lee is hurt and starts to talk of dying Matt is the one to say No, we are not leaving you out here to die “in this hole”. I think he realized the inevitable, and he could have reacted as a child (which he still is) but he chose to stay and help Pope to get her out of there and back to Charleston. This “little man” as Pope calls him stepped up in a big way and I find myself taking his character seriously as a true fighter for the first time.

My one disappointment in this episode was Lourdes. I am not a fan of Anne or her alien kid Alexis, but really, I would have thought that her friend Lourdes would have been slightly more supportive and not so quick to run to Tom and tattle. I mean, this is the world of the alien apocalypse, where harnessed kids and eye worms are the norm. Is it really so far fetched to think that a child fathered by a man known to have been tortured and hijacked by the aliens in the past might not be 100% human?? I suppose it was necessary to move the story forward, but I just want to say, Shame on you, Lourdes!

And while I am at it, shame on Tom too, for being so quick to condescend and “poo-poo” Anne’s fears. I am actually looking forward to seeing the look on his face the first time Alexis stands up in her crib or ducks under the bed while he is with her! I may not like Anne, but us crazy ladies gotta stick together!

On that note, this crazy lady is going to wrap this up. We here at The Falling Skies Blog hope you are enjoying the new season as much as we are and would love to hear from you. What is your favorite storyline this season? Who are your favorite characters and why? Please tell us what you are thinking!!

Tamara provided this bio herself:

“Tamara has been a Falling Skies fan from day one, but didn’t discover this online support group/community until after Season 2. Now she can’t get enough! She also has a blog (http://faithandsubstance.blogspot.com), writes reviews of the hit show Castle for Fanbolt.com, and most recently has been guest writing for Underground Book Reviews (.com). In her real life she is a certified pharmacy technician, a wife, and mommy and chief litter box cleaner to a herd of furry felines. You can find her on Twitter at @tamaratipton.”

Join the Harnessed!

Badlands: Family Conflict?

•June 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

TM

Hello best readers in the world! Let me start by apologizing for the lack of updates after the most recent episode. Life has taken some crazy twists and turns lately and I have let that affect my work on the blog. Also I am having trouble with my laptop. 

But, Contributing Author Elizabeth stops by to give us her take on Sunday’s episode!

A House Divided Will Fall- Badlands Review

Howdy y’all! I don’t remember the last time I did an article for The Falling Skies Blog, but I know it has been a while. I was busy with University, homework, and life. I apologies for not being very active as a writer. After watching Badlands I felt a strong urge to write my take on this review. I love history and Abraham Lincoln, so I hope when others read this, they may see the connection as well, and not think I’m crazy. Here is my review below:

I don’t know if other fans have noticed, but I have noticed as a historian, well in my eyes as a historian, others could disagree is Falling Skies has switched a little from their American Revolution ways to Civil War (even though I noticed during the season three premiere when Bad Skitters were throwing dead harness children into a pile reminded me of World War II with the Holocaust.)

I didn’t name my article “A House Divided Will Fall” because I think Tom Mason may rise up and tell all of Charleston to secede from the Union like in Charleston South Carolina’s past history, because we know the real President named Benjamin Hathaway is alive and he will appear in “At All Costs” according to the previews they have shown for next week’s episode. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love that Tom Mason is the President of eighteen blocks, and I do think it is a good ideal for him (and me along with him, even if the others don’t join, I will) to succeed because I prefer Tom Mason over President Hathaway as President. As a Tom fanatic, I’m a big supporter in his Presidency. To get back on subject, I will explain below why my article is named “A House Divided Will Fall”

 

In Badlands we saw family against family, friend against friend, foe against foe, and girlfriend against boyfriend. Which was very common during the Civil War. Family and friends fought against each other for the caused they strongly believed in, along with foe against foe.

I’ll start with family: Anne confined in Tom that something was wrong with Alexis (I knew all along this baby was alien… if only she came out green with six legs I would have been a little happier about this storyline.) Tom believes Anne is going crazy, since Alexis only shows what the writers has named “advancements” toward her “Mama”. Alexis special “advancements” has led to her family (parents) turning on each other. Now, we can’t give Tom all the blame because I’m blaming all of this on Lourdes since she ran to tattle tell to Tom what Anne told her. Lourdes who is Anne’s friend turned on her and told Tom she believed Anne was going crazy, well she didn’t use those words, she said she believed Anne was suffering from Psychosis or Post Pardon Depression.

Now moving on to foe: We all know Pope hates Tom and all Mason’s, even though I think he is developing a softer side towards Matt, since Matt is hanging out a lot with the Berserkers. Pope expressed his feelings toward Tom after Tom was saying good bye to Crazy Lee. We will later see in “Search and Recover” a lot more of foe against foe going at each other.

Finally, moving on to relationships: We saw Hal and Maggie go at it when Hal was going to tell his Dad and all of Charleston what is going on with him, and that he believed he was possibly the mole (I don’t believe Hal is the mole, I think it is Marina or Denny as of right now, this will possibly change.) Maggie explained if he did this he was signing his own death certificate. After Maggie through Hal into their bedroom wall it resolved the issue… maybe, for now.

Another big reason I saw the Civil War was during Tom Mason’s speech when presenting the Liberty Tree, as in other scenes involving Tom. I see Tom Mason as Abraham Lincoln, yes, it may be because of the suit and beard, if we just add a big black top hat, we may have the full picture. Tom embodies Abraham Lincoln through his speech, as well as expressing his guilt, and remorse.

When Pope expressed his feelings of Tom sending out his Berserkers to die Tom expressed his guilt similar to what Abraham Lincoln did when he sent fathers, uncles, and sons, etc. to die fighting for our Union. He expressed his remorse to Crazy Lee, similar to how Abraham Lincoln went around to the Union hospitals, and on the battle fields where many Union soldiers laid dead. Tom did this once before Crazy Lee, he did the same for Lars.

Tom speaks with his heart, just like Abraham Lincoln did. He believes in hope in a new birth of freedom just like Abraham Lincoln did with war raging in America that seems there would be no ending. The Library Tree is a symbol of hope that maybe one day (not too soon, because I want Falling Skies to last a very long time, maybe as long as ER with 15 seasons) there will be freedom and America can rebuild and start over.

 

Elizabeth is Contributing Author on The Falling Skies Blog, a Tom Mason fanatic, and as a Kentuckian should know that war is actually called the War Between States…

She can be reached and and should be followed on at @7sweetprincess7

Season 3 Premiere: Baby Genius?

•June 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

E1

Contributing author Tamara stops by to give us her take on the season 3 premiere of Falling Skies.

It’s finally here, the 3rd season of Falling Skies! One week in and 2 episodes down already (I HATE that they give us only a 10 episodes season!). On the whole I enjoyed “On Thin Ice” and “Collateral Damage” very much, though I do have concerns. First and foremost, the baby. Little Alexis Denise is creepy. CREEPY. I was never a fan of this particular storyline, alien/human baby story-lines have been done. And they all follow a predictable pattern: Baby is born looking perfect, sweet and cuddly (and a girl) and completely human. Baby begins to behave strangely, growing too quickly, speaking too soon. (Yep, 2 episodes in and we are right on target). Baby is soon a little girl, a girl who has unpredictable abilities. She soon reaches adulthood and most likely falls in love (yea! another romance!) with another important member of the cast (they may have trouble with this one since Alexis is related to most of the central characters of the appropriate age). I truly hope the writers will have some new twist to this story because right now I am not impressed. I did see some chatter somewhere with speculation that Alexis’s uniqueness may be a result of Anne using the alien deharnessing device rather than because of Tom’s time as an Espheni prisoner between season’s one and two. An interesting idea, I will admit, but I don’t see it. It would take focus off of Tom and he is THE central character.

I do have one piece of advice for Anne. Do Not under any circumstances EVER look under the bed. The is nothing good under the bed. Not ever. That was such a weird scene, completely over the top.I get that Alexis is not normal, but hiding under the bed at 1 week old? Can we say “overkill”? And how do you not tell Tom about this??

Another over the top storyline that involved Anne is her relationship with Matt. Now, don’t get me wrong, I impressed with Matt’s growth. He has a larger role this season and I am excited to see where it takes us. And I enjoyed seeing him act out a bit with kids his own age. What I was not impressed with was his interaction with Anne, most especially the “can I call you Mom?” scene. Ugh, really? I think I need to go check my blood sugar on that one. We have barely seen Anne interact with any of the Mason boys outside of her role as a doctor during the last 2 seasons and now we jump straight into the “Mommy” role. It doesn’t fly for me.

I do have to admit I am not completely disappointed with Tom as president. This story may be a good one, it has potential. More than I thought it might, anyway. It will be interesting to see what they do with this reversal in the  Tom/Weaver dynamic. And may I say that I am so happy to see they killed off Mansfield. Now, can we please kill off Bressler?? I have hated him ever since he ordered that sneak attack on the rebel skitters. As for the Volm, we will have to wait and see. I do definitely think they have a plan beyond what they have shared with Tom. But are they truly evil, like the Espheni? Time will tell.

Now what about Hal, the eye bug, and Maggie? Well, I am intrigued. I actually like Hal and Maggie as a couple now that they are past the puppy love stage and the writers have matured his character (he seems to have jumped from his teens to early 20’s in the past 7 months). His sleepwalking relationship with our latest overlord, Karen, is bound to create lots of strife with Maggie. I just hope we can keep the focus on Karen’s role as overlord and not just as the super powered ex-girlfriend!

 That brings us to Ben, our beloved Ben. Aside from the potential budding romance with Denny, I see Ben’s storyline getting better and better as the season progresses. It seems he has truly grown into his role as the liaison for the rebel skitters and deharnessed kids. One of my favorite scenes with Ben is in the opening of “On Thin Ice” when Ben and Denny were being overrun by enemy skitters and their spikes turned blue (I assume in some sort of communication with the rebel skitters). Very cool! Another is the opening of “Collateral Damage” when Ben and Denny witness the death of a harnessed kid at the nuclear power plant. It really brings home how lucky they are to have been saved.

I could go on and on, after all I haven’t even mentioned Pope once! But I think I will stop here for now. All in all, I found this to be a great season opener! We have several interesting story-lines (so many more than mentioned above!) and lots of action. Charleston may turn out to be a good idea yet. Or it may be the undoing of humanity… Guess we will all have to stay tuned. Until next time! 🙂

Tamara provided this bio herself:

“Tamara has been a Falling Skies fan from day one, but didn’t discover this online support group/community until after Season 2. Now she can’t get enough! She also has a blog (http://faithandsubstance.blogspot.com), writes reviews of the hit show Castle for Fanbolt.com, and most recently has been guest writing for Underground Book Reviews (.com). In her real life she is a certified pharmacy technician, a wife, and mommy and chief litter box cleaner to a herd of furry felines. You can find her on Twitter at @tamaratipton.”

And I would like to point out that while I too hate Bresseler for betraying Ben, I am a huge fan of Matt Frewer and don’t want to see him go.

And our new catchphrase for Season 3: Join the Harnessed!

Season 3 Premiere: Make or Break?

•June 11, 2013 • 6 Comments

Ben Knife

Kind of a short review, but it’ll do for now.

So, Sunday night it finally happened: Falling Skies returned for Season 3 and so we are back for new content on this blog. All of our favorite (and least favorite) characters returned for wacky hijinks in the apocalypse. Yes, all of them, I am convinced zombie Jimmy and zombie Dai are partying somewhere in Pope Town.

I have to say for the most part I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed most of the premiere. After all the doom saying I’ve been doing, most things seemed to go well. Granted the season is only 1/5 of the way through, so there is plenty of time for them to mess everything up.

Let’s get some of the complaints out of the way first. I remain tired of seeing Anne is any way shape or form. I don’t care about her or her baby, in any way. The baby is made slightly more interesting by being some kind of mind-screwing Damien but still falls flat and boring.

Obviously I don’t really give a crap about Charleston politics. I have to say they did tone it down somewhat. Tom is still out there fighting, seeming to leave a lot of the nuts and bolts to the now deceased Arthur Manchester. I was not enamored with the Rat King of Charleston theme; I felt it was way over the top. Bumbling scientist loses his glasses, etc.

Matt Mason has really stepped up this season. He has gone from a whiney helpless little kid who I previously diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder to a much more confident young man. Fighting on the front lines as a sapper. It is really gratifying to see Matt step up to the fight. One of the best scenes of the entire episode is Matt blowing up a house with his friends, with whom he has skipped math class. Maxim Knight’s great talent comes out in a dramatic scene where rejects Dr. Bimbo (Anne’s) attempts to mother him. Though this is later kind of ruined by a “touching” (read: boring and overly sappy) moment where he apologizes and asks if he can call Anne mom.

I actually didn’t even hate Hal (as much) this time around. The eye bug does give him a cooler and deeper dimension than the teeny bopper eye candy skirt chaser we were stuck with all season 2 long. His secret rendezvous with Karen add a level of intrigue that I was not expecting. It remains to be seen just how much control Karen has over Hal. In the first scene between them he is confessing he missed her and embracing her, while later he possess no memory of meeting her previously and freaks out before she comforts him *cough* physically. It is possible that now that Hal and Maggie are an established couple and no longer mutually stalking each other the level of annoyingness has gone down.

Thus far, even though I am still getting the flirting vibe, Ben and Denny seem to only be friends, so that is good. It remains to be seen whether they will try to “surprise” us with a new love storyline.

Main objection to the episode: Not enough Ben. Though there was a great scene where Ben and Denny debate comic books versus manga.

OK there you have it folks. The first few thoughts on the Season 3 premiere. Keep an eye out for more from myself and the rest of the authors in these parts. As always we accept guest reviews and articles, e-mail gh_schuster@hotmail.com for details!

Keep the Resistance Strong!