'Falling Skies' Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2 Recap - 'Worlds Apart' (Part 1)
Welcome back, folks! It's summertime, and while our TV options might not be as plentiful as they are in the fall, there's still some good stuff to watch. "Falling Skies," as we learned last year, has the potential to be that good stuff. It also has the potential to be a real yawner.
The season two premiere, a two-hour event that combined the first two episodes, was a bit of both.
In the first episode, we started off three months after Tom got on that spaceship with the alien leader. The rest of the rebels are still fighting on the ground, ambushing skitters and mechs with seemingly a little more finesse than before. The exception to that point is Ben, who is now allowed to carry a gun and be in the field along with Hal. If you're foggy on all this, Hal, Ben and Matt are Tom's sons, and Ben was harnessed by the skitters.
Ben continues to be just a tad creepy, and also a royal pain in the ass. He ignores just about every order that Hal gives him, and ends up shooting Tom, who reappears out of nowhere. Way to go, Ben. You should have stayed with the skitters.
The rest of the episode switches between the present, where Tom lies in a coma from the gunshot wound (really, he should probably be dead) and three months ago, when he was on the ship.
Three Months Ago:
Tom is apparently held in some kind of case for a while before a mean-looking skitter with one good eye takes him out and shocks him a few times. Probably not the negotiations Tom had in mind. Karen, Hal's long-lost girlfriend whom he has completely forgotten about, shows up and acts as a guide to Tom in the ship. She even acts as a mouthpiece when Tom speaks with the alien leader.
This may be the best scene of the episode. It's another one of Tom's History Lessons, but this time it's brought about by what the alien leader says: he (it?) offers Tom a "sanctuary" for humans if they surrender now, claiming it's an idea the aliens got from studying the humans' own history. Tom counters by saying that he can't just take the darkest moments of our history and use them. He likens the sanctuary idea to prison camps of the past, such as in Nazi Germany... the Japanese internment camps in America in WWII are, oddly enough, not mentioned. Huh.
Eventually Tom gets dumped off the ship in a field along with prisoners from other resistance groups... who are quickly gunned down by Ol' One-Eye and his mech. Strangely, or conveniently, they let Tom live. A lot of things happen conveniently on this show.
Tom makes his way back on foot first, but then saves the most obnoxious and ungrateful girl in history and uses her bike to get the rest of the way back. This girl is the prototype for Debbie Downer. Thankfully, she's probably dead now or something.
As Tom lies in his coma, tensions arise between Hal and Ben. Ben, being Ben, has to be a total jerk, and is deciding to do so by ignoring any orders that Hal gives him. "On missions, I have to follow your orders," says Ben. "But not here." I don't think you get how chain of command works, buddy. You're magically out of the army when you're back at camp.
It all comes down to a "you're not my dad" thing, as Hal has clearly tried to step in and parent Ben and Matt while Tom has been away. Considering the circumstances, Ben has absolutely no reason to be a jerk. People are jerks for no apparent reason a lot on this show.
The final straw is when Ben decides to teach Matt how to shoot a frickin' assault rifle with live ammo. Hal rightly flips out, and when Ben mentions Karen, Hal attacks him. Oh, so he still remembers her. I thought he was totally distracted by blonde cutie #2 back at the base here. Or the medic girl. Boy, I hope they introduce yet another love interest for Hal. He doesn't have enough of them already. Where was I? Oh yeah, Ben overpowers Hal because he's still half skitter or something.
Everything that happens at the camp seems pretty inconsequential, or at least quickly solved: they have to figure out a way to mask the heat of their vehicles' engines, so they coat them in fiberglass from surrounding buildings. Done. The patrols finally find their camp, but they can't move the medical bus for some reason (conveniently dramatic), so a small squad stays behind, but then the patrol just marches by. Anticlimactic.
Eventually Tom comes around, and things seem to be okay... except that Pope still doesn't quite want to be a good guy, and suggests to Weaver that Tom shouldn't be trusted, having come off the alien ship all... what's the word? Oh yeah. CONVENIENTLY.