'Falling Skies' Season 2, Episode 9 Recap - 'The Price of Greatness'
With just two episodes left in the second season, you would expect some action in this penultimate episode. You would be wrong. There are no aliens, nor scouting, nor shots fired in "The Price of Greatness." There is only politics.
It had to come to that eventually, and honestly, a show about the political restructuring of a nation after an alien attack might be a really interesting show. "Falling Skies" is not that show, however: it is a show about shooting the aliens, and then everybody hugs, and then hopefully two attractive people make out.
When the 2nd Mass arrives at Charleston, they are met with awkward applause from the residents there. This is a bit confusing, because not long after that we're getting reports that people are generally being dicks to the 2nd Mass and accusing them of infringing on their space and their supplies. Nonetheless, here we are. The most jovial of greetings occurs between Tom and his former professor at Boston College, Arthur Manchester (played by "Lost" alum Terry O'Quinn).
Arthur is the "Majority Leader" here in Charleston, which is to say he's basically the president. You can tell he's important because he has a huge room to himself with a lot of books and a gigantic painting of the founding fathers, which somehow not only survived the alien attack but was transported into this underground mall by someone who thought a gigantic painting of the founding fathers would be useful in a post-apocalyptic society.
At first Arthur and Tom are very much on the same page. However, problems arise when the two clash over what to do with the military force. Arthur wants to bunker down and avoid any and all conflict with the aliens in order to rebuild society. Tom wants to get back out there and keep fighting, especially when a deharnessed boy shows up saying he was sent by Ol' One-Eye with an important message about the skitter rebellion.
Arthur's response to all this seems to be to imprison everyone, which leads to many dramatic cries about democracy and freedom and the founding fathers and so on. In fact Tom and Hal attempt to organize their own force and sneak out, only to be caught by General Bressler, who arrests them on Arthur's orders. Eventually, though, Bressler changes his mind and jails Arthur instead, completing a coup and putting Charleston under martial law.
As for the relationships this episode, Tom and Anne seem to be getting along swimmingly and sharing a room with a bed that's way too nice for an underground bunker. Matt is having trouble fitting in at school, because it just wouldn't be "Falling Skies" if one of the Mason boys wasn't whining about something. Weaver gets a nice surprise when he finds that his daughter Jean made it there safely, though Diego and her other pals didn't. Maybe that's because they were a traveling pack of kids and they should have stayed with the 2nd Mass. Just a thought.
Pope hates it here obviously, because he's Pope and he doesn't like nice things. In fact, he attempts to break into the armory, but Maggie stops them. And then they all get arrested by Tector, whose name is actually Aloisious Murphy. Go figure.
Eventually the relationship between Tom and Arthur sours, which leads to much debate about their current situation when comparing it to the Revolutionary War. Listen, I know we're supposed to learn from history and all that, but this is apples to oranges here. Tom can't seriously just be saying what the Americans did 250 years ago and assuming that the same thing will work now, can he? Oh, he can. He's been doing that all along. Well then.
Ultimately, this was clearly a setup episode for the finale, which looks to be full of action. Clearly the war is not going to be resolved in one more episode, so you can bet that "Falling Skies" is planning on picking this back up with the already-announced third season. Hopefully next week will at least be a bit more exciting.