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Falling Skies: Resistance May Not Be So Futile

Falling Skies: S02E05: "Love and Other Acts of Courage"

With an episode title like "Love and Other Acts of Courage," it was obvious that hooking up would be a big agenda item for Falling Skies this week. But you know what else was on the syllabus for the day? MOVING FORWARD WITH SOME MAJOR PLOTTAGE! There were goo-goo eyes aplenty, but the real takeaway from "Love and Other Acts of Courage" was the introduction of an alien resistance that really respects what we humans do. That is, if we can trust a space spider with pink eye.

We've been waiting for some surprises in Season 2, which until now has largely just been "See alien, shoot alien, run away," and this new alien resistance is the biggest turn of events for the show since we learned that all Skitters weren't created equally. Or that they were equal before they were created. You know what I mean, Skitters were something else before they were Skitters.

So it makes sense that they wouldn't be happy about being enslaved by pale skinny dudes, even if the resistance-within-enemy-ranks plot is nothing new in storytelling. Hey, I'm on board. I've got nothing better to do. This development at least adds a big layer to a show that has largely been black-and-white with its aliens, the effects of which are causing trouble within the 2nd Mass and the Mason family. And it opens up the chances for inter-species romance! Red-Eye and Margaret and Hal will be involved in a gross love triangle, I'm calling it!

I do have a complaint, though—and this isn't isolated to Falling Skies, but in this case it will serve as the example—and that's the little trust dance that captive and captors always do on shows like this. The big question for the captors is whether or not to trust Pink-Eye, and the big task for Pink-Eye is to gain the trust of the humans. I don't know if Skitters have the intelligence of a chinchilla or what, but it would seem that a logical step—even for a chinchilla—would be to give up some decent information that the human resistance can use against the lankly alien overlords to build some trust, and promise to provide more useful intel if they can work together. See? I'd make a GREAT captive.

Instead, all we got was the same sob story we'd figured was coming all along. The bad aliens ravaged the good aliens' planet and turned them into six-legged Sleestaks with vertical mouths, just as we already knew. Maybe this info was more of a refresher course for people who didn't watch Season 1, but I was hoping for more from Pink-Eye. We did get some sort of time frame on the alien destruction, though, as Pink-Eye said his people have been enslaved for something like 100 years. But is that 100 human years, or do aliens work in dog years? Who knows!? Again, Falling Skies isn't alone in the never-ending trust dance ("Why should I trust you!?" "Because I said so!" "That's not good enough!" "Well I'm right!"); plenty of other shows do the same thing, and I don't know if it's because they think we can't handle a lot of information at once or if they need to stretch out their seasons because they lack story. It's just a tad frustrating.

But how valuable is Pink-Eye to the 2nd Mass now? Pink-Eye said the Death Squad was coming for HIM as well as the humans, so all the trust he built up inside the Mothership is as dead as Jimmy. I figured the 2nd Mass would use him as a man-alien-crustacean on the inside, but since he was outed by the bad guys, he's lost a lot of his worth as a clandestine spy-der. Now he's just good for telling the 2nd Mass what parts of Skitters are ticklish, and hopefully, how to put a hole through a Mech. It's still valuable info, but I'd rather see the 2nd Mass strap a bomb to Pink-Eye and have him walk up to the Big Alien in Charge and detonate, Sgt. Brody-style.

Ben's storyline continues to fascinate me, but Falling Skies is starting to lose me a bit by not taking him to the next step. We've known for a while that he has some weird connection to Pink-Eye, but the way the show is handling his situation—mostly secretively—isn't as effective as it could be. If we knew up front what Ben was thinking, we'd be able to get more out of his conflict. As of now, it's resigned us to anticipating that we won't know what's really going on with him and we'll just get little nuggets at the end of each episode as the season goes on, which would be okay if those nuggets were more enticing. And why is it only now that Weaver is voicing concern for Ben? That ship sailed a long time ago, Weaver. To borrow from one of your many grizzled military clichés, you done got caught with your pants down already.

Enough of the aliens, let's talk about *makes a circle with one hand and sticks index finger in and out of hole with other hand*!! The Margaret-Hal relationship is taking off like a one of those soda-bottle rockets that didn't get enough air in it. The attraction is there, but Margaret is still a little hung up on her past. But not because of ex-boyfriends who left her in a ditch on prom night, because of brain tumors. I understand having them removed was a traumatic experience, but if she's not making out with Hal because they got removed, I'd hate to see her if they hadn't. As for Anne and Tom, well, those two are acting like horny teenagers. My respect for Anne just shot up like a nudist at the Playboy Mansion because she was so good to go and get Mason'd that she dragged Tom by the hand into the first room that was available. Take a page from your dad's book and get a room already, Hal.

Still, Falling Skies is having a horrible time writing its female characters and not giving them anything meaty to chew on except for Tom, Hal, and Jemile. People talk about The Newsroom being a poor place to be a female character, but Falling Skies is right there with it in the Chauvinism Club. And the saddest part is that the show has a great female character just waiting to be awesome in Margaret. But nooooo, the writers would rather have her fall off her motorcycle and be rescued by Hal. We saw her blast a Mech with an RPG in the Season 2 premiere. She should be drinking blood from Skitter skulls by now. Anne is still a Band-Aid pusher, and Lourdes is still an assistant Band-Aid pusher. Looks like the aliens not only blew up our homes, Wal-Marts, and internet, they also blew up our sense of women's rights.

We're five episodes into Season 2, and I'm just going to go ahead and say that it's better than Season 1 was at this point by a healthy margin. Let's hope the trend continues. And that starts with Margaret ripping a Mech in half with her bare hands.



Notes

– After Maggie said she couldn't be with Hal, did you see her ride off with her kickstand out? WOMEN! I TELL YA!

– Did those two berserkers totally get it on in the hospital? Was that why she referred to the bed as "very bouncy"? TMI, y'all! However, they played pace car for Hal and Mags, and Hal still couldn't seal the deal. Come on, Hal.

– R.I.P. Rick. Your hair was an inspiration to us all. But your demise wasn't even close to Jimmy's. JIMMMMMMMMMMY! NOOOOOOOOoooooooo!

– I don't think we saw one alien die in this episode. We saw dead aliens, but we never actually saw one die.

– Ladies, don't worry. If we're hiding in a car and lying on top of each other to avoid getting blasted apart by a Mech's Gatling-gun-hands while aliens tromp around JUST OUTSIDE of our hiding spot, I will not be flirting with you and telling you stories about my ex-girlfriends. I will probably be peeing my pants. Also Hal, you have no game. Shut up about your exes.



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (42)
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they do know how to put a hole through a Mech!! remember the special bullets?
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RRRRIICCKYYYYY! I will always remember when his lazy eyed dad ruined the rescue of the kids to save his own in the early eps. He was really impulsive. It just irritates me that ricky's dad sacrificed himself to save rick in vein. I hoped Ricky was gone for good because noone really cared about him once he got harnessed and even less when he came back talking peace for the skitters. I dont like how the only other brotha goes off into the wilderness w/ super crazy racist alone either. The writers arent treating the black people well in my mind. Not that anyone really is living the life onthe show. But its even harder to see love stories when interesting characters keep leaving. I predict a cliffhanger of the 2nd Mass. getting its butt kicked b/c they didnt take pink eye up on his offer like they should of and the show is canceled afterwards. OH WELL, but for me it makes me smile knowing everyones as screwed as RRRRICKYYYYYYY! LOL
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So far this season has been a bust, the only remotely interesting story so far is Ben, which is moving at a jurassic pace.



Last season went from mediocre to okay at best, as a big sci-fi fan, I just can't get interested to the same sob stories and hopeful speeches, and a whole lot of other clichs of this show, and come on, a technologically advanced species can't find a resistance that lives in the open?
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I thought Maggie couldn't go any further with Hal because she got raped a bunch just before she met Hal and his dad in season 1.
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don't be so hard on the kickstand and revoke logic a couple of posts later: in the last couple of frames Maggie is moving her leg out to kick it in. In a serious emotional situation people tend to forget simple things - and should better not drive, that's what they once get taught. Eventual it gets you killed. But not Maggie on this one, I'd rather give her acting kudos but the editing almost cut it away.



Cut away.



What's up with the steel fly they pulled from Manson's and slicked itself into the not red eyes of Red Eye?



What's up with that?
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Staff
Hal has less game than Walter White Jr.
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Just like there's a running joke that the writers of "The Walking Dead" hate little girls because Rick kills them all, I'm beginning to think the writers of "Falling Skies" hate kids, just all kids in general.



It's funny that you've picked up on the lack of strong women characters on the show because an argument can be made that there aren't many strong characters at all. Honestly, everyone's flying by the seat of their pants. How many characters on the show are really all that well developed?
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Margaret should team up with Pope's gang. That would bring more meat to her character and to the whole story (if used right).
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"My respect for Anne just shot up like a nudist at the Playboy Mansion because she was so good to go and get Mason'd that she dragged Tom by the hand into the first room that was available."



I believe Tom led Anne to the first room available and she was just like: "Really? Well, OK."



Anyway, I didn't like the episode. Aside from the Pink-Eye Skitter getting all One Love with Tom, everything else in the episode bugged, bothered, or bored me.



I think it may have helped the show for me that I read the name of the episode before watching it. With a title like "Love and Other Acts of Courage", my level of expectation was so low going into the episode that I didn't feel at all disappointed after watching it. Lower expectation = less disappointment = not enough to get me to stop watching the show altogether.
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Well... a rebel alien... gee! who could have predicted that? duh!

Oh. and yes, I am sure that we would go into small coochie-coochie talk in a car surounded by 4 or 5 mechs who could turn you into puree...



To me, this show is a waste of time. Even with the niched fans it will end this season.

Sorry.



Next sunday: Leverage & Breaking Bad!!!! :) Ba-bye FS...
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BREAKING BAD
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I can't decide if the acting on this show is so terrible or if the actors are brilliant and do wonders with the crappy lines they've been given. I seriously don't know, but somehow the acting isn't all that good. Wheter its beacuase of the writing or in spite of it, i can't say.

I like the idea of a woman in charge someone mentioned.

I would really like a twist in wich it would come out that pink eye really is an alien sleeper trying to infiltrate the resistance by telling them sob stories. But it would be kind of counter productive since we don't know anything about these aliens and it starts to bother me. Somehow pure survival isn't good enough anymore.

Let's say this show, for some reason, gets five seasons in which they tell a story of poor band of survivors forming a group developing tatcics and weaponry and uncovering the truth about the aliens to ultimatly driving them of our planet. Thats plenty of story to cover but the show acts like it doesn't care, as if 5 season finales would do the trick and the rest of the time there is no actual overall story.

I wondered a different thing about the scene where Meg drives of on the Motorcycle. Her hair didn't move like I would expect long hair to move whilst riding a motorcycle really fast without a Helmet.
More+
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I think they're setting up Red Eye coming in to save the Captain just as the infection is about to kill him - that's the big 'earned their trust' moment.



And yeah, totally laughed at the kickstand.
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oh, good grief, woman! (i mean maggie, of course). dude's gorgeous, it's the apocalypse, your brain tumors didn't kill you, so go for it!



i wish they would kill weaver and put some really cool army woman is his place. there aren't enough real women on that show.



and why was the alien questioning 5 minutes long? i totally agree that would be the best storyline to move forward with, but noooo! let's make it quick, badly written and have him runway. that's much better.



and that hospital? the paint wasn't even chipped on the outside! the alien explosions didn't even make some cracks on the walls or flipped some beds and shit. do you think the aliens looked and thought "well, let's leave this one standing for the 2nd mass" and the humans thought "well, let's not ravage this one and take all the medication or sleep here in case some resistance movement comes through here and needs a place to crash"????
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Not as bad an episode as I thought, based on the title, but I agree that the whole Hal/Maggie thing was pretty unbelievable -- in terms of how quickly she did a 180 on him. The kickstand thing was hilarious! I went back and watched it again and sure enough. Good eye, Tim!



I was curious if there's an Aussie scriptwriter in this show or not. The 'shrimp on the barbie' thing is pretty par for the course, but never have I heard an American say "We'll suss it out", as the leader of the 2nd Mass (suddenly can't remember his name, sadly) did when they heard the fighting in the background at the beginning of the show.
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I doubt an Australian would have written the line 'shrimp on the barbie'. Australians don't say 'shrimp on the barbie'. We call them prawns.
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still a meh episode but Red Eye is interesting and ugh the romance on this show is awful acting like horny teenagers all of them
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Is it strange that this show paired up its two "Battlestar Galactica" former cast mates? They have to give the former viper pilot a little bit more to do in this Resistance. They really have to start giving the actresses on this show more to do than be female stereotypes - they still haven't taken that cue from "Battlestar". Weaver should have been the one getting with Anne; then maybe this show would have shown that it had some courage.
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Now now, maybe she was just being decorative with that kind stand out.....
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Don't get me wrong, I loved the episode but the review and comments just made my day :)

Logic is scarce in this show, but it is enjoyable. Not as much as Tim's reviews though.

"to go and get Mason'd" - brilliant
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That was an interesting twist with red eye. I have to say I didn't see it coming. Kudos to the writers. It makes sense though, in order for humanity to survive they are going to need him and his comrades to help them. It does make me wonder though what led to red eye being found out by the tall guys. And Ben was more tolerable this week. So great job on that as well.



As for the rest. Maggie and Hal are going to happen. It is futile to resist it. Mostly because they are attracted to each other and there isn't that many fish left in the sea. He does need to take a lesson from his dad though. Also, i thought I was the only one that got a civic hatchback for that reason.



Good episode. But it is still lacking that something that makes me want to come back. I want to really like it and it is on the precipice. But some of the things are inane and pointless.
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I, too, will miss Rick's hair.
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Well, red-eye has other uses. If he is in fact part of a fifth column, he could help then coordinate with other spies and such. So while he might directly know what's going on, he may have a source that knows what's going on. And if they want his source, they have to work through him.
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There's one thing that bothers me about this (and other) shows where mankind is all but wiped out and that is alien invasion 101 (also shown several times on Discovery science): Keep your female survivors pregnant *at all times*. This is the first rule of survival, not noted by many shows.
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Unfortunately, children seem to be usable by the aliens to increase their workforce, so it wouldn't be a smart choice at all in this case.
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Not to keep mentioning the best but 'Battlestar Galactica' did it. They stated it a little more elegantly than that but it was one of Roslin and Adama's first conversations.
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Pregnant people aren't particularly mobile. I vote for live first, propagate the species second, maybe never. The new generation can kiss my ass, I'm looking out for myself, not turning myself into a literal sitting duck.
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Pregnant women may be literally sitting foul, but they are not literally sitting fowl.
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Proverbial then. Whatev
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Staff
I'm trying!
1
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If the back-bugs can remote-control humans to give up intel to the skitters, then wouldn't the tall aliens use the same trick with Red-Eye to win the trust of the remaining humans?
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Staff
Please keep logic out of all discussions about Falling Skies.



Thank you,

The Management.
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letshitthat, lets hit that! :)
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Isnt the John Dahl guy that directed this ep, the same guy that directed all the Dexter eps ?
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This show doesn't disappoint...it's consistently terrible every week!
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Me too want more boom boom- less talky. Words make me go sleepy.



-Romney/Palin 12
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First off, I've been enjoying your reviews this season, I need a laugh after watching this show. Come on, if all those mechs can't locate two humans from 5 feet away (must be some alien proof tint on that civic I guess) how did they wipe out humanity or get on red eye's trail as Rick says. I liked it better last year, more action, tension, and a more "realism". Now its more dialog and characters that I don't care about dying and other roll my eyes moments. I'm come to realize you just need to watch the first minute and last ten and nothing else really happens in between. I hope it goes somewhere fast but I may be done with it soon. anyone else think it was beyond laughable that they run away from all the mechs and first thing they do is turn on a huge generator at a hospital and turn on all the lights?
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Exactly my thoughs on the hospital generator
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From the bigger hospitals I've been inside, the patient rooms usually have windows, but there's plenty of inner rooms without windows. They should have used just the inner rooms to avoid lighting up the outer windows - there's more threats than just the aliens. Patient beds have wheels on them, so it wouldn't be too difficult to move the beds to the inner rooms.
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"Come on, if all those mechs can't locate two humans from 5 feet away (must be some alien proof tint on that civic I guess) how did they wipe out humanity or get on red eye's trail as Rick says."

Exactly, you think the overlord guys would spring for some heat vision for those mechs.



"anyone else think it was beyond laughable that they run away from all the mechs and first thing they do is turn on a huge generator at a hospital and turn on all the lights?"

YES, this made me groan...so they don't care that anyone could come along and see those lights on. This show is just silly.
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hal needs to hit that in sarah carter. that girl is fine. i'd hit that all night long.
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Staff
Awwwwww yeahhhhhhhhhh!
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