Falling Skies

Season 2 Episode 2

Shall We Gather at the River

20
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jun 17, 2012 on TNT
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8.0
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  • Alternate Title: Eyes on the Enemy

    9.0
    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.
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