Falling Skies "Be Silent and Come Out" Review: HAL 9000

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jul 08, 2013

Falling Skies S03E06: "Be Silent and Come Out"

Still fresh from his plane crash/Homeward Bound routine, Tom freaked out about his missing baby mamma and tried to get a search party together to accompany him on one of his misguided adventures. Marina shot it down and wanted to argue about the giant Volm space cannon some more, but luckily, Evil Hal got bored with being nice, snapped, and took his daddy hostage, thus sparing us from the epic time-suck that circle of an argument would've become because Tom is right. Of course Tom is right. He's Tom Effing Mason and the Masons are basically Falling Skies' messiahs. 

That mindset is exactly what's made Pope so delightful this season. In three seasons, John Pope has grown from our token antagonist—the one who will contradict our hero at every turn simply because he's selfish/cowardly/shallow/etc.—to a crabby and cynical voice of reason on a show that wants to be a gritty apocalyptic drama. (But not too gritty; because, like, shouldn't gas and bullets be getting harder to find as we move further and further away from the fall of civilization? Those things just never seem to be an issue anymore.)


Despite the fact that so much of what Pope says and does is born from his crunchy "me first" persona, Falling Skies has done an exemplary job of making New Charleston's resident roughneck a deliciously complicated character. He'll proclaim his IDGAF philosophy, only to immediately turn around and prove just how much he does care about the people around him and the idea of a cause greater than himself. He's taken a shine to Matt, and sure, in the beginning, part of that relationship was based on Pope's desire to annoy Tom by being Matt's shiny new favorite person, but as we saw in Tom's interaction with Hal in "Be Silent and Come Out," Tom hasn't always given his sons the support they need—and that's been the case since before the Espheni invaded. Pope takes his mentorship of Matt seriously, and while he isn't a flawless father figure himself, he's managed to fill in where Tom has failed.

In "Be Silent and Come Out," Pope's cynicism took on a more meta angle: His complaints about the special treatment the Masons routinely receive were valid, even if his delivery was on the crass side with the LOL DEAD POOL <3. His confrontation with Weaver while Tom did his hostage routine voiced a lot of things I myself have considered while watching Falling Skies: The attitude that the Masons couldn't possibly be compromised is prevalent, even though Tom, Ben, and now Hal have all been subjected to alien mind-meddling in the past. Tom's tunnel vision concerning the Volm is alarming considering how, in the past, he was portrayed as a rather thoughtful character who routinely questioned authority figures and outsiders alike. Tom's change in personality could be the result of constantly running and fighting a seemingly superior enemy for so long, but it could also just be a corner that Falling Skies has written itself into. 

For every ailment the humans are stricken with, the rebel Skitters and the Volm have shown up in the nick of time with a handy-dandy Fix-It Felix to make everything better. Oh, sure, the glowy egg thing might kill Hal instead of cure him because of the massive physical differences between humans and Skitters—but probably not, because it's Hal. He's special. All of the Masons are special. Ben is the poster child for Skitter/Human cooperation. Tom is the always-wise, always-right, moral compass and mastermind of the new United States. Maggie covered for Hal's bizzare and painfully obvious behavior. Weaver was adamant that no one should try to kill or incapacitate Hal to save Tom, but like Pope said, if it had been anyone else in Charleston who was wreaking havoc and having gross rapey sex with Karen in the woods, they'd have been wasted by now. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

After the magical Skitter egg cleansed Hal of the mind-control glitter gunk, he claimed not to remember anything. Even even though I'm not at all convinced that he killed Manchester, it will be interesting to see whether Pope's suspicion about Hal's possible involvement being hand-waved despite what currently looks like some damning evidence—is true. In fact, seeing as Hal was on the Mason Family Search Party that set out to find Annie and Creepy Alexis and no one said boo about it, I'm guessing the hand-waving is exactly what happened. 

The thing is, though, like I said, I don't think Hal actually killed Manchester. So the hand-waving is annoying, but not a deal-breaker, and as a bonus, the Masons actually had to face some freaking consequences when Tom had to resign his presidency in order to go on his little rescue scavenger hunt. This left Marina in charge, which could be awesome if she's the mole like I think she is. 


Please let her be the real mole. Please, please, please. 

I mean, she was really eager to get Hal's head blown off this week—all the better to cover up the evidence, right? Plus she's been a total nebshit about the Volm weapon since pretty much forever. We're all curious, but she's been downright sneaky. Also, there's no way Hal could have killed Manchester because he was waiting for his alien stepsister to grace us with her (unwelcome) presence. Also also, whoever killed Manchester had a meeting with him; why would Hal have a meeting with him? It would make more sense for someone in Marina's position to meet with him and maintain democrazy inaction. 

Yep, it's totally Marina. And now she's in charge. Sweet. 

No alien baby and the end of brainwashed Hal? BEST EPISODE OF THE SEASON. Well, not really. Not even close, but those are two very big positives for me so I call it a win. What did you think?



NOTES

– Kudos to Drew Roy for his alternately hilarious and terrifying take on Batshit Crazy Hal. It was unsettling. I mean that as a compliment. 

– Do we like Matt's weird little curly faux-hawk? I think I do, but I'm kind of amused by all of the clean-shaven, well-coiffed survivors walking around in their rubble-strewn, alien-occupied wasteland. 

– So... a few weeks ago, the "real" president from pre-invasion was confirmed to be alive and in power. Why does no one care where he is these days? Why are Tom and Marina still calling themselves the President(s) of the New United States? Shouldn't they have downgraded themselves to governors or something? Are we not allying with Hathaway? I mean, he has Tom's pet Volm, maybe they should respect his authoritahhh for like ten seconds? 

– Do you think Marina's the one true mole?

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  • alcalde Oct 01, 2013

    I think you're all wrong about the mole; Marina's asking about the Volm secret project was just to throw us off (and consistent with her other meddling). Whoever the mole is would have had to either plant a tracker on the plane or get a tracker on the plane. Since I'm doubting Marina would have been able to nose around Pope's plane, I don't think it's her. On the other hand, Anne gave Tom a medical kit that she said Lourdes made for him (how did she know he was even leaving?). Tom made sure to get it from the plane, too, but the skitters seemed to stop finding them after they were no longer carrying it. I think that means Lourdes is the mole.

  • CalumRobertson Jul 11, 2013

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJy8KTiMkbI

    Introduced this season? Suddenly important? All over the Volm thing? Yeah, Marina's totally The Mole.

  • mad-pac Jul 10, 2013

    I hate it when action heroes can't stand behind a desk, have to be all over the action and never see the big picture. Tom was already leaving all the time, going on missions and all, and now he's given up for good. Bad move, Mr. President! You have to stay and do your duty. Think of the people who elected you and the work you were trying to develop. Now President Peralta (which translates as playfully naughty in Portuguese) is going undo all the work you did with the Volm. Even in the New United States, we can't trust politicians.

    Another thing. Pope was right, and Hal was getting special treatment. But what Pope doesn't realize is that he would get some of that treatment himself because, come on, everybody knows Pope is the best character, even Weaver is his fan in disguise.

    By the way, if they forgave Hal because he wasn't himself, I suppose they'll show the same tolerance to Karen, right? Right? She isn't to blame either, right?

  • StareNation Jul 10, 2013

    I was pretty disappointed to see the Evil Hal plot line wrap up so soon, though when i look at the current storyline running on the whole I'm certain that was simply one (of many) small distraction from the actual Mole. Perhaps it was because i am over the Mason's sensitivity but for its short time i bloody loved evil Hal.

    As for the mole, Perhaps Marina is an innocent or not so innocent pawn being directed by the mole.... either way that chick is up to something!

  • smorbie Jul 10, 2013

    I loved it when the Mason clan saddled up and went after their Pa's woman. Like an episode of Bonanza.

  • claudia40 Jul 12, 2013

    lol for real...

  • headclub Jul 09, 2013

    -If this show had any balls, they would've killed Hal....
    -If this show had any brains, they would've ended the episode ominously,showing us Marina is in fact the mole....

  • headclub Jul 09, 2013

    Ok, so of course Hal was eye-bugged! And of course Hal survived! And offffff course, there are no reprecussions for his alleged actions--he's a Mason! (oh no, that mean Pope called him a name :(

    But seriously, of course he -didn't- kill Manchester, it was sooooo obviously Marina, but FS is still holding that lil secret close to the chest like it's some mindblowing revelation...pfffft. This is Warlow-syndrome all over again...jesus, these shows are soo predictable. I will happily eat my words if the mole is the little mohawk kid, but hey, I doubt it!

  • smorbie Jul 10, 2013

    Am I the only one who thought about heart worms during the skitter's whole if-it-doesn't-cure-him-it-will-kill-him speech? You know you can't give dog heart worm prevention pills until you have made certain they are already heart worm free because the pills will kill the dog if he is already infected. Who knew it would be the same with eye worms?

  • ZeroCals Jul 09, 2013

    Best part of the episode: when Evil Hal just absolutely beat the crap out of Tom (mainly his bum leg). Honestly, that really warmed me up to "bat-shit crazy Hal", because I've been wanting to see someone do that to Tom for a while now (frankly, the Pope-Tom fight didn't satiate that desire, so it doesn't count).

  • DavidKnowles0 Jul 09, 2013

    The bullets problems was solved back in season 1, they learnt to make their own bullets and they get their materials to produce the bullets from their enemy mechs. Not sure where they get gunpowder through.

    They tackle the fuel shortage by using horses, through it be nice to see them start to breed some horses, because I am sure the skitters have killed more than a few in this war.

    Pope is a complicated character but this only caring about himself I suspect only started up after he went to prison. Where he chose to act as a hard ars rather than learning to live with what he did, which is murder a person virtually in cold blood.

    Tom I believe is playing the long game with the Volm, he doesn't see the point of questioning their story, even if they did, there not a lot they could do about the Volm anyway and if they did try to forcefully evict the volm I doubt that would go unnoticed by the overlords and they would almost certainly launched a full scale assault on Charleston, an this time Charleston may not have access to Volm weaponry to defend themselves.

    An if the Volm decides to fight back, we know their weaponry are superior to the Overlord and I bet their combat tactics are as well, an we can reasonable guest that if they are the bad guys, they are going to be well prepared to fight back against any plans to evict them. An Charleston cant afford to fight on two fronts. Even with Volm weaponry, their front lines didn't look solid during the last attack.

    Anyway, why I think the Volm and chachise story is a load baloney, I think there enough truth to their little story that they aren't going to be outright bad guys, just their interests may not align entirely with humans and rebels skitters interests, at least not until the new president of new united states make the biggest mistake of her life and attack the Volm compound, the human forces will probably be easily defeated or on the verge of being easily defeated when Tom and Colchise reunited, return to Charleston, probably followed by the old president and end the fighting.

    The mole is female, I know that much, that rule substantial part of Charleston population. Yes I believe Marina is the mole, I thought she was trouble from the first time I saw her and as soon we knew their was a mole, she was my prime suspect. But may be that just because she outsider to our little group.

    I would love to find out what happening outside of Charleston or even outside of America. A story base in Afghanistan with Taliban, British, US, Pakistan solders working together on attacking the Overlords could be epic, or even one base in Europe or Africa, I settle for some webisodes.

  • gzeigler3 Jul 09, 2013

    I like the idea of an outside of Charleston or America story-especially with soldiers.

  • OdumC Jul 09, 2013

    It cracks me up how the "experimental cures" always have the condition "We don't know if it'll work but we definitely know it'll kill the patient" you can't claim "we don't know if it'll work due to compatibility with a different species" then say "But if there's no bug he'll definitely die". If you don't know the effects, then you also don't know the side effects.

    throttle back on the canned drama.

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