I will always have a love/hate relationship with Falling Skies, if only because I love the premise and the cinematography (teleography?). I watch it loyally every week, and unashamedly had my picture taken with the ad at Times Square. But tack that on to the fact that my least favorite character is the protagonist, and the fact they keep killing off everyone I love, what I have is a very complicated and messy relationship with the show.
Still, I’m excited for Season 3, and I think you should be too, even if you haven’t caught the last two seasons or just barely remember them. Why? Because I’m here to help you. (Feel free to read this in the vocal stylings of the Glee narrator). So here’s what you missed on Falling Skies:
Aliens attack and the humans are on the run, but they are still fighting. Tom Mason lost his wife, but he still has his three sons, Hal, Ben and Matt. But Ben was taken by the Skitters and turned into a brainwashed “harnessed”. They eventually recover Ben, but no one trusts him because he’s someone how super strong, super fast, and super everything. Meanwhile, Hal’s girlfriend gets harnessed and takes Tom away to negotiate peace, which he rejects by stabbing the lead alien in the face. She comes back later and pretends that she’s no longer brainwashed, but she totally is. Some Skitters say they are trying to fight the Overlord aliens, but no one believes them. Oh, everyone else? Well, they’re going to Charleston where there are other humans. Everything seems safe until they get attacked, and turns out those Skitters were really rebelling so the battle goes better than they thought. That is until a new super alien is introduced. And that’s what you missed on…
Now, if that didn’t cut it, check out this rad auto-tuned recap by melodysheep that gives a half idea of what the first two seasons were about:
The premise is simple, and repeated in that video: “Aliens find you and they kill you.”
Why the aliens are here, no one knows. What we do know is that they are intent on killing adults and “harnessing” children, which entails sticking some sort of bug thing on them that forces them to do the aliens bidding. There are many types of aliens, and it’s suggested further on in the series that all of them are harnessed and subordinate to one race, generally thought to be the tall aliens called the Overlords (or “Ephensi” as we learn later).Skitters (left) and Overlords (right)
“What’s a Skitter?” you ask. Why, it’ an eight-legged alien whose primary job seems to be to find and kill humans. Oh, and protect children who are harnessed. It is later suggested that Skitters are also harnessed, and that the parasite that harnesses them changed their biological makeup to make them look like Skitters. In the second season, some of the Skitters start a rebellion after they were inspired by the humans’ resistance movement.
As for characters, here’s a handy dandy roll call list made at the end of the first season.The Mason Family
Dr. Tom Mason is the main character, a professor of the American Revolution who proves once and for all that history degrees aren’t useless, and is second-in-command in the 2nd Massachussetts, a militia dedicated to ousting the aliens. The major plot of his story in the first season is his search for his middle son, Ben, who was captured and harnessed before the television show started. Frankly, Tom has an irritating habit of putting his family before the survival of the human species, and his drive to find his son in the first season is simultaneously heart-touching and frustrating, but that’s not really here nor there.
What’s ultimately important about the first season is that Tom seems to love one of his children best (Ben), the aliens do not destroy their militia, and a few former convicts join the milita and make an already uneasy environment just that much uneasier. The end of the series has the aliens approaching Tom Mason, using the harnessed body of Karen, Hal’s captured girlfriend, as their mediator.Karen tries to “reason” with Tom.
The second season starts with Tom coming back to the encampment after a long journey from Detroit, where the aliens left him, seemingly on purpose, despite killing all the other humans they had captured. The 2nd Mass learn of a place where there is a safe haven for humans, which is Charleston. They make their way there, although it’s so slow going as aliens try to block them, and they are betrayed by humans who are either working for the enemy to ensure their own safety or ones that used to be harnessed and long for that feeling again. Basically, every episode plays like an action movie and the really only important thing is they are slowly but surely making it to Charleston. Some Skitters may or may not be rebelling (not that the humans trust them anyway) and Anne, the love interest for Tom gets pregnant. Sorry. There isn’t really a graceful way to add that last one in, though it seems important that I should.
While this is happening, Hal’s captured and harnessed girlfriend, Karen, is “set free” by the aliens and she tries to infiltrate the group. Ben comes to terms with the fact that he still sympathizes with Skitters despite the harness being removed. He goes off with the Skitter rebellion, which no one else really believes is true, and comes back in the last episode at the Battle of Charleston where a new freaky alien is introduced.
We’ll find out tonight what the Overlords are going to do about this when ‘Falling Skies’ returns to TNT. Here’s to another season of great sci-fi and make sure you return back to ScienceFiction.com for reviews of the episodes after it airs!
‘Falling Skies’ airs Sundays at 9pm on TNT beginning June 09.