Shall We Gather at the River

Episode Reviews (6)

Great
131 votes
8.1
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  • 2.0

    Possibly the stupidest thing I've seen on TV this year.

    By TomMcBride1, Jun 26, 2012

    I couldn't even finish this episode. 10 minutes in, the group is standing on a damaged bridge talking about scouting the other side. The decision is for one to swim across. Problem is, in the EXACT SAME SCENE you can clearly see that there is a fully intact ~12-18 inches of material on one side of the bridge that could easily be walked across by anyone. (See http://i.imgur.com/g68y7.jpg )

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  • 6.0

    Unbalanced second part plagued by Captain Stupid and weak military aspects but saved by Ben-alien and darkness (Spoiler-free)

    By jmw, Jun 21, 2012

    Shall we ? Why not ! The broken bridge-driven story would have been captivating to follow if it had anything in common with cult films like "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Sadly it was flawed by plenty of mistakes and bad ideas. However it also had some redeeming elements and even a few scenes that should appeal to hardcore sci-fiholics.



    The very first annoying thing was the dumb way Captain Dan Weaver acted around Tom. What a disappointing reaction to the warning he was given ! Second after what happened to them and specially Ben I'm amazed that the survivors aren't more careful. I mean even if Tom was my twin brother I would have never trusted him when he came back. To sum things up Noah Wyle's character isn't smart, it's just that many others are plain idiots. However what happened to him at some point was both shocking and exciting. It actually reminded me of Fringe's horrific spirit. In the same vein was the creepy part featuring a character walking in the woods at night and using a torchlight. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are eternal !



    This time in the science department we hadn't history but biology. And who better than Margaret to discuss reproduction ? Sarah Carter has done a decent job so far even if her character could use a darker attitude and muscles. Imagine how awesome it would be if they decided to turn her into a Connor ! I'm not asking the actress to train as hard as Linda Hamilton for her charismatic role in Terminator 2 : Judgment Day but for the moment she's just a babe who can hold a gun. It leads us to the lack of strategy and tactics on both sides. Sure the French Resistance was armed but more significant was its intelligence and ruse. In Falling Skies it's already hard to believe that the aliens aren't bullet proof or protected by force shields but the constant firing is dead boring and it gets worst when a kid holds a gun like in Worlds Apart. That's why I wish the writers had more imagination and that the military aspects were more accurate. Fighting an invader isn't just about killing, it's also about surviving even if it implies hiding. How is it possible to ignore stealth when it has become such an important genre in video games for instance ? I also just can't comprehend why the aliens are so slow to catch up with them, like if they were unable to communicate, and why they don't just blast them as they're almost waving their hands on the road in bright daylight.



    Why is the show ruined by such things when Ben's arc proved that there're very talented individuals onboard ? So I can't wait to see what they have planned for him because the more he mutates the better for the show. Rambo : First Blood Part II ? Predator ? He's no John Rambo or Dutch and the actor is no Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger but he's actually the only character I would like to "play". In general everything that blurs the lines between humans and aliens is entertaining. That's why I instantly embraced Tom's mysterious return and I'm glad its development was that surprising. And if it wasn't for John Pope, the bad guy played by Colin Cunningham, both the resistance and show would already be dead to me. Again it reveals how much Falling Skies sits on the fence because we're supposed to hate him when after this episode he has become my official guilty pleasure.



    Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.moreless

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  • 9.0

    Alternate Title: Eyes on the Enemy

    By Bob_Scrivens, Jun 19, 2012

    The uptick in quality of the season premiere, it seems, was no fluke.



    The tendency toward foolishness in Season 1 continues its welcome absence. Tom correctly wonders why he was allowed to escape alien activity. The 2MASS command structure correctly regards him as a threat. And when an alien biomechanism is plucked out of Tom's eyeball, he correctly surmises that he could have more such devices inside him. As a result, believable tension is built with Tom's fellow soldiers and his family, and leads to an intense nailbiter of an escape scene.



    There is an arch involved in the storytelling. The 2MASS has sussed out the enemy strategy: they have to escape getting pinned down and slaughtered (again: they have lost 100 of their number in an earlier fiasco). Along with strategy, there is an eye for the tactical: They are adapting to move stealthily. They are using recon.



    And they let a little boy fire an automatic weapon. It's nice when a show about alien occupation of Earth can find ways to surprise you. Not all the breakthroughs have to be based in computer animation.



    Character arcs continue. Ben continues to deal with being not-quite-human. Weaver still drinks. And finally, among an impersonal enemy, there is now Red Eye, an individual nemesis for Tom. Each of these sub-plots, along with the larger question of how the 2MASS will survive, are enough to keep me coming back.moreless

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  • 8.5

    Part 2 of the 2-Part Season 2 Premiere wasn't as good as Part 1 but it's still great

    By tigerdude22, Jun 18, 2012

    Tom is haunted by his time with his aliens; Pope plants seeds of doubt; Ben's hatred for skitters grows. It's Part 2 of the 2-Part Season 2 Premiere and it wasn't as good as Part 1 of the premiere but I still liked it. I'm kinda disappointed in this episode but it could've been a whole LOT worse if it wanted to so I'm glad that it's enjoyable. Part 2 was interesting and it's got good character development and SO FAR I'm enjoying the character development in this season more than in Season 1 and it doesn't really bore me that much. My score is a little low because the episode at times can be a pretty boring and a little slow plus it didn't have as much action. There was a lot of action and intense moments in the last 15 minutes though, I can say that and that's probably my favorite part of the episode. There's some more action scenes just mainly somewhere near the beginning there was a little more action. Tom running from the aliens and the bridge exploding was intense and cool to watch. The last 15 minutes definitely have me at the edge of my couch (you know, because I'm watching this episode in the living room on the couch drinking root beer, eating pizza, and all that good stuff LOL). The scene where Dr. Glass took out that very tiny alien thing out of Tom's eye was a little gross and kinda disturbing to see and Tom passing out when he was almost going to hurt Hal (Drew Roy) was kinda scary and surprising too. Part 2 is strong on character development and dialogue but kinda low on action and not enough depth in my opinion but as a whole it was great and it does make me look forward to the next episode Next Sunday night. Overall, Part 2 is not as good as Part 1 for the Season 2 Premiere but it's great to watch and hopefully, as Season 2 goes on, it will be a better season than Season 1. 8.5/10moreless

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  • 10

    Shall We Gather at the River

    By TrueTvWatcher, Jun 18, 2012

    Shall We Gather at the River was a perfect episode of Falling Skies and I really enjoyed watching. The story developed further along with some great character development as choices and decisions were made. It was neat to see the thing that Dr. Glass pulled out of Tom's eye and sort of learn what it might be. There were some great alien scenes and the tower in the woods was pretty cool. There was action, drama and intrigue. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless

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