Falling Skies "Search and Recover" Review: Into the Woods
A plane crash left Pope and Tom stuck with only each other for company and they talked about their feelings. Tom declared that just because the two men talked about the time Pope murdered a guy for almost hitting his kid with a car and Tom's discussed his suck-ass childhood, that still didn't make them friends. Tom clearly doesn't know how TV works.
Pope's recollection of his life before the aliens came was necessary to reestablish that Pope is, in fact, a crazy badass who has a temper and makes unfortunate decisions from time to time. Lately, he's been written as a sort of alternative to Tom—he doesn't trust the Volm, so he's been on hand to highlight some valid reasons why. Like, say, the only thing any of the humans have to go on is Cochese's word, and it's not like humans have the market cornered on lying. For awhile there, I found myself edging closer and closer to Team Pope, which isn't to say that I'm not usually halfway there to begin with, or that I've suddenly been inspired to reject his "Tom is a moron" philosophy, but it's important to remember, when choosing sides in the endless battle of Pope and Tom, that Pope is just as flawed as anyone else on Falling Skies. He makes mistakes. He's got his own baggage. Sometimes he acts before he fully thinks things through, or he just plain overreacts. That doesn't make him a bad guy and it doesn't mean that he isn't capable of doing a lot of good—as we've seen him do quite a bit in the past, and of course as we saw this week when he went back to save Tom after the doofus broke his ankle.
"Search and Recover" was rife with ideas and feelings and honestly, not a ton of action. Tom, Pope, and Bressler's plane crashed, resulting in a long, soggy romp through the woods for Tom and Pope before they made it back to Charleston (R.I.P., Bressler). Rather than send Anne and Creepy Alexis back to Charleston as a re-programmed Stepford family, Evil Karen took them somewhere, and back in Charleston, Weaver organized a search party thinking their whole disappearance was due to Anne freaking out about Alexis not being human—which it is, technically. Not-Our-Hal spent an uncomfortably long time watching Maggie sleep before joining the search party because it would probably look bad if the dude who is essentially Anne's stepson didn't bother trying to find her.
In the end, the search party didn't find her. Womp womp.
But they talked. Everyone had something to say this week and the Death Tree made a reappearance so that Sadface Matt could stick something on it to symbolize his biological mom... because I guess no one thought to do it during the actual remembrance ceremony? Really?
Whatever. No one seems to know what Matt should be doing these days anyway, since he's too old to fill the "cute kid" slot and too jaded to come off as precocious and innocent when he asks if he can carry an assault rifle. So now he pings between being a sullen teenager and a little boy who just wants his mom. His storylines give me whiplash, though I'll admit that having the 13-year-old voice his real and legitimate fears about dying alone was quite a sobering nod to how quickly the children of the 2nd Mass have been forced to grow up.
Not all of the yammering was pure philosophy, however. Tom's assistant, the always impeccably dressed Marina, brought pictures of the Volm's super-secret super cannon thing to Dr. Kadar and asked him to figure out what it was. She said Tom asked her to ask Kadar. She was lying. The big question concerning her eagerness to learn about the giant stun gun comes down to what she's actually lying about. She was our frontrunner in the hunt for Charleston's mole, so my first thought when she went to Kadar was that she was looking for info to pass along to the Espheni. However, between Tom's formerly harnessed super-son, his alien-baby, and his refusal to hear any criticism about the Volm, it's not hard to take Marina's professed reasoning at face value. Given Kadar's confirmation that there's no way for the cannon to be the kind of cannon the Volm are claiming it is, Marina's quest for "the truth" is now even more understandable and worthwhile.
But still, poor Kadar. It seems like everyone is constantly using him and putting him in uncomfortable situations.
While not one of the more exciting episodes Falling Skies has graced us with this season, "Search and Recover" went a long way toward giving us real insight to the mindset of many of Charleston's residents, which was enjoyable in its own right. The full extent of the conspiracy in Charleston is closer to its revelation, and I'm beginning to get the sense that it goes much deeper than initially implied. Awesome. Also, I told you so, Tom.
– Where to you think Anne and Alexis are?
– Do you think the Volm are really lying about their secret weapon? What do you think it really is? Is their altruism bit getting harder to buy?
– I kind of wish Pope and Tom would just be friends by now. This head-butting has been tedious since two seasons ago.
– What did you think of the episode?
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