Hal and Ben have their bikes stolen while out on patrol and the hunt to retrieve them leads to the discovery of something much bigger. Matt finds himself in serious danger and Weaver rediscovers a lost family member. This was a very well done episode of "Falling Skies". First of all, the writing in this episode was very good and I just loved it. It's a bit slow-moving in one or two scenes but other than that, not a big deal. I loved this episode and I really enjoyed how it was handled. Not sure if I have much to say about this episode to be honest but it was just done very well. It's also good to discover about Captain Weaver's lost daughter. I enjoyed the character development between Weaver and his daughter. The action scenes in this episode were awesome too. This episode probably has some of the most intense, awesome, and quite strange action scenes that I have ever seen in this show. The ending of the episode was very heartwarming and had great emotion. That was too bad about Weaver's daughter leaving him a note that she left with that dude who speaks Spanish and seeing Weaver cry about it was pretty sad to see. The ending of the episode was very beautiful to watch, that's all I have. I honestly recommend this episode, it was terrific to watch. Overall, a perfect episode of "Falling Skies". 10/10
What's wrong with Falling Skies ? It's like if this fourth episode had been written and directed by people having a split personality. In the one hand we had some superb science-fiction and in the other hand ideas not even worthy of a bad family drama.
It all began with some immersive scenes featuring the "walkers" and Skitters we all love in fear. Their HDR rendering impressed me again because the visual effect gurus behind the show aren't afraid of the light ! It's not District 9 but you can only applaud considering it's just TV. Using Tom's young son as a bait was also unexpected and in general I think it's refreshing to witness kids dealing with an alien invasion. Moreover there's always something to learn from these parent-child relationships, specially when Noah Wyle plays the father. I'm also glad they keep covering humanist topics like love, through his flirt with Anne and the younger recruits. Still a real man would have baked a chocolate cake, even if they're resisting against powerful invaders from a distant galaxy. However even if I enjoy emotional moments here some of them are predictable or feel forced. Indeed the worst part was the ending as the Captain's daughter left them when not a single soul, beside John Pope, would be badass enough to take such an unreasonable decision. Survivors, food and water rations, weapons, leaders Who wouldn't want to stay in a post-apocalyptic world ?
Fortunately the harness room sequences were frightening and reminiscent of the Alien quadrilogy and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Its gloomy ambiance wasn't Fincheresque but I absolutely loved the dark red palette and steaming machines. As for the pod-like creatures they were well animated, disgusting and scary enough to chase the weakest viewers into their dreams. Things got even better when a glowing Ben decided to smash the tank. Now we have been introduced to the babies I can't wait to meet the parents !
Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.
The season continues to pick up momentum with this episode. Showing more action and developing new but brief storylines. It focuses on its main characters but continually brings new ones, like Diego and the other kids, which keeps the show dynamic.
We were able to see more of Captain Weaver's human side with his daughter's arrival. I thought it was appropriate to have her just pass through and not stay, so as to maintain Weaver's serious authoritative personality and not change him into an emotional character (two Tom Masons is one too many).
Finally somebody notices Ben's glowing spikes. That storyline probably will not climax 'til the end, but each episode should move it forward.
Margaret and Hals relationship showed some signs of evolving, there is nothing like a character saying "we are just friends" to get the ball rolling.
The song at the end was not quite appropriate for the middle of the season. Like in Ocean's 11, it should have been used more towards the end or not at all (the aliens are still out there after all). All in all, I like where the season is going.
Intergeneration squabbling was the theme of this episode: Tom with his youngest son, Weaver with his estranged daughter, and a gang of young survivors who have kicked out the adults for being too dangerous. This was the best episode of the series to date: the characters continue to behave like rational folk (unlike the blithering idiots in Season 1), the setting is convincing and the story is moving along.
Let's start with Tom and Matt. The nine-year-old goes off to be the bait for a pair on forward observation who decided they'd rather ambush Skitters instead. The operation has two predictable effects: it gives the kid a rush and makes his father blow a gasket. Tom's reaction fills double-duty: it makes him the protecting father and the military leader keeping discipline in his ranks. The conflict between the thrill-seeking kid and the worried parent is universal and recognizable. Like warriors of old who loved to hear their exploits sung in song, Matt is honored with a rap (ugh; I see the point of that, but, just, ugh) and wants adventure to the extent that he'll grab it from just about anywhere, even if it's a Peter Rabbit situation that puts him into extreme danger. More on that in a bit.
A group of young survivors is found, and a 15-on-2 standoff ends without bloodshed. (I buy it; everyone in the standoff wanted NOT to shoot.) This brings two philosophies into conflict: 2MASS wants to fight off the invaders, and the youngsters want to just live through this.
Right in the middle of this conflict is Jeannie, Weaver's presumed-lost daughter. Their reunion stirs up some bad memories of being raised by a controlling alcoholic, but Jeannie comes to reassess the man: terrible father, but great leader. She ultimately decides to abandon the 2MASS after her father promises to do what it takes to be a better dad. Leaving, then, put Jeannie with her boyfriend and her young charges, but also freed her father: I believe she sensed that becoming a better father would conflict with his leadership of the 2MASS. The situation was sensible, but it felt too tidy: the daughter discovered in Act II leaves in Act V.
But at least Weaver got a do-over as a noble father, when he rescues his daughter from the harnessing facility (perhaps a little too easily; I'd expect this asset to be heavily guarded). This sequence, anticipated since the pilot episode, was played for pure horror, and did not disappoint.
It played the classic horror formula: Start by showing the end result ... here, one boy already harnessed and silent as the scene starts. Then, show the process: mechanical chuffs and a slimy sluice deposits a worm on a helpless, bound child's back, which inserts a barbed mouth and a barbed tail while the victim cries in terror. (I'm just a sucker for any "Get it off! Get it off!" scene, and seeing the boy's look of fear frozen onto his face as his humanity is robbed from him ... mmmm m m, that's some yummy nightmare fuel.) And then leave the rest of the characters to deal with the inevitable happening to them too with the only things left: tears and crying out for dad to come to the rescue.
What really made the sequence work was essentially how UN-alien it was. Aside from a spawning pool, everything there looked like it was scrounged from a human factory. (Recall that the child-slave labor has been shown gathering junked stuff for some purpose.) The whole thing was familiar and thus relatable. An adult viewer has no problem identifying with a child trapped in a nightmare.
The show was given an extended denoument, which I rather liked; some stories just call for more time to be spent on resolution. Tom ends the discipline for his disgraced sniper, but only after he is sure that Matt's adventurin' days are over for now, and he's happy just to be an un-harnessed kid. Hal and Ben have words about Ben's glowing spikes; Hal agrees to keep Ben's secret, which I also buy: Hal wants to be closer with Ben, he knows the 2MASS will react badly, and, importantly, there is no indication that Hal knows that Ben is still under alien control. The only loose end is that there are at least two harnessed kids taken from the facility: What happened to them? Can you rip the harness off a kid when it's just been in place for minutes? I hope they address this shortly.
Rather than A Shocking Revelation! capping this episode, we get a mellow montage set to mellow guitar. A nice change of pace. An unexpected end to an unusually cohesive and tense episode where not much could have been done better.
Young Bloods was another superb and very entertaining episode of Falling Skies. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of great character development, some action, and of course some drama. It was awesome watching Matt scoot around luring the skitters into a trap. The tension grows between him and his father as Tom disapproves of his participation and being used as bait. It was cool to see a harnessing facility and it was pretty scary to imagine being in that situation. It was awesome to see Weaver reunite with his daughter and have some heart to heart with her. In the end she must stick with her boyfriend Diego and they both are the leaders of a group of misfit orphan kids who wish to hide and wait out whatever happens. There was a lot of great progress made in many respects. I certainly can't wait to watch the next episode!!!!!!!!!
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