Falling Skies "Search and Recover" Review: Into the Woods

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jul 01, 2013

Falling Skies S03E05: "Search and Recover"

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?

  • Comments (85)
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  • I_M100 Jul 03, 2013

    I don't know about you guys but I'm really not feeling this season thus far. Something's off. Whether it'd be overly extended battle/fight scenes or episodes like this one where literally nothing happens apart from endless pointless dialogue in the woods. It just feels like we're churning water for the sake of it which makes me too aware of all the plot holes and stupid writing which makes me think that at this rate I might not make it till the end of the season... I really hope they'll start picking up the pace from here onwards and FAST.

  • hockeyrick Jul 03, 2013

    This show could be so much better!!!!!
    Pope and the Prez jump off a cliff into water, coome out with nothing, then out of nowhere Pope has a shotgun???

    Defiance is much better and hey, they play great music in it!

  • Arekushi Jul 03, 2013

    He found it in a car that they used.

  • KateSullivan Jul 02, 2013

    1. On maternity leave island...oh you mean in the show? I imagine Anne is in some prison somewhere because Alexis refused to help unless her mommy was safe and they are trying to either harness the kid or do something more advanced so she...hell, I don't know.

    2. I must confess I was baffled by their conversation. I, for some reason, thought she was in the know about it being a weapon. We know it is a weapon (or at least it still jives with that information). Now, we don't know if is overkill whatever the purpose because we don't know the purpose. But if it has to reach whatever level of orbit a mother ship happens to be or reach another planet...it seems to need to have a lot of power, or at least more than an earthbound weapon meant for earthbound purposes would be. Now, is it the equivalent of setting off a nuclear device in which the people exposed are as in a different sort of danger. Who knows.

    3. Yeah, I agree. I even thought they got to the point where Tom was insisting on Pope leaving that he would ask Pope to keep an eye out for Matt since Hal is trying to figure out his own life (and is evil) and Ben might get distracted by something like his father that putting him in charge would not work out well.

    4. It was okay...my most random thought was that I kind of wished I had saved it for my day off on Thursday.

  • headclub Jul 02, 2013

    Also, anyone else reminded of Jack and Sawyer?

  • headclub Jul 02, 2013

    Ok, so here's my obvious theory:

    President Seven is NOT dead. He's in league with the Espheni, just like Tom is in with the Volm. It makes sense. The Espheni realized they were losing the war, cuz the 2nd mass has a new alien ally. So they make the same offer to the POTUS, as the Volm did with Tom (i.e., help us with our little Volm problem and we'll give you peace when it's done). That's why they Volm-napped Cochese, the Espheni wanted him (high value prisoner and all). Plus, that attack was waaay too convenient!

  • Spunkfire Jul 02, 2013

    I have stopped watching this god awful show and just started rubbing shit into my eyes and ears and trust me it's a lot better!!!!

  • funnyl3unni Jul 02, 2013

    If there's one good thing that came from this episode it's the preview for next week that makes it look like this evil-Hal thing might be coming to an end. If the preview deceived me you will find me back here next week complaining. Until then I'm biting my tongue and crossing my fingers for Falling Skies' redemption.

  • natesjokes Jul 02, 2013

    I totes agree. Been really getting sick of the passive-evil-Hal thing. Just be evil or not already.

  • xheroesx110 Jul 02, 2013

    I actually think it's quite interesting, perhaps it's that I didn't like Hal in the first place.

  • natesjokes Jul 03, 2013

    Exactly... maybe if it was a character we were more invested in then we would be more interested in finding out what's going on and whether he could overcome his alter-ego... I just don't care. Hal is just a waste of space on the show.

  • funnyl3unni Jul 02, 2013

    I agree there. His character was always kind of take it or leave it for me. It might be the acting quality or something along those lines as to why I'm not feeling this subplot.

  • Komboloi Jul 02, 2013

    Evil Hal is the most interesting subplot of the season.

  • funnyl3unni Jul 03, 2013

    I touched on this in my reply to xheroesx110 above, it's not that I don't like the subplot in theory, I'm just not a fan of the acting/delivery. If it was more convincing (to me at least I know others disagree) I'd be into it more, probably a lot more. Evil-Hal feels/comes off as too over-the-top/cheesy to me. Maybe my expectations are too high or I'm wanting too much out of Drew Roy.

  • Komboloi Jul 03, 2013

    Personally I was never a fan of Hal and now for the first time I find him interesting. Especially when he interacts with Maggie. I like Evil Hal/Maggie couple more than ordinary Hal/Maggie.

    But ok, I totally respect your opinion.

  • funnyl3unni Jul 03, 2013

    I do agree about the evil-Hal/Maggie couple .... WAY more interesting.

  • agarres Jul 01, 2013

    Pope had the best line in this episode - just before he's forced to jump off the cliff he shouts "Hey! I saw that movie!!" Luved it

  • Komboloi Jul 02, 2013

    Pope was great in this episode.

  • smorbie Jul 02, 2013

    me too

  • TriniMysTic Jul 01, 2013

    "I kind of wish Pope and Tom would just be friends by now. This head-butting has been tedious since two seasons ago." <<< This.

    Also, was Marina coming on to Weaver? Well go 'head Weaver lol.

  • Komboloi Jul 01, 2013

    Great episode! I enjoyed it very much! Tom and Pope had amazing scenes together.

    Also I enjoy it very much when (evil) Hal and Margaret share a scene!

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