Falling Skies – “Prisoner of War”

Season One, Episode Three

As we left off of the season premiere, we know that our hero Tom Mason and a small group will be looking to rescue his son, Ben, from the Skitters who have a bunch of kids harnessed (which basically means they’re slaves to the aliens). When the episode opens, we see the small group scouting out the area, realizing that they won’t be able to take the children by force since there’s only six of them and there are five Mechs. They think of a plan and arrange to return the next day.

Back at the school where the 2nd Massachusetts have made themselves home, Weaver, Tom, and other soldiers find out that there are other groups around the nation fighting back against the aliens. They’re planning to meet up together eventually for what I’m assuming to be one hell of a battle. But for now, the commanding officer is concerned with another task for Mason. There’s a new doctor around, Michael Harris, and he’s been undergoing some procedures into removing the harnesses off of the slaved children. During the past three experiments, they were able to remove the harnesses, but then the children died. But Harris has an idea that might be able to keep them alive. They ask Mason if he’d rescue his son for the experiment, and he agrees.

The rescue mission doesn’t go as planned when another soldier tries to rescue his own son, which jeopardizes Hal and his girlfriend. Later on, we see that the Skitters take Hal’s girlfriend, then shoot a few children in front of Hal and release him to be the messenger. Take one child, put the rest in danger. Quite a strong and clear message those aliens sent. Meanwhile, Mason comes into contact with a Skitter and after shooting two of the six legs off, knocks it unconscious and brings it back to the base.

Now for the most interesting part of the episode, we find out more about Mason’s wife and how she died. Her name was Rebecca and she knew Michael Harris pretty well. They were together when they were attacked by the Skitters. She died and Harris survived. When Mason dug a little deeper into the story, it was revealed that Harris made a split-second decision to abandon Rebecca for his own safety. He hid and he lived. But after being punched in the face, Harris put the blame as much as Mason, reminding him that he was supposed to be with her that morning (looking for food?). Instead, Mason didn’t go and Harris accompanied her. That sort of thing will drive you crazy, huh?

So that was our third episode of Falling Skies. The first half was action-heavy while the second half was a bit slower with explanations. It was good to be brought to speed with some of the science of the show. The harnesses are attached to the spine of the children and if they stay too long on them, it will be too late to save them.

I must say that the show is doing a very good job at having the audience back up Mason thus far, but I just hope they don’t over-do it and make him some kind of bulletproof, God. He needs flaws and we really haven’t seen any yet. Also, with the show concentrating so much on Mason, we don’t know anyone else, nor do we care about anyone else. From the last episode, it looked like Pope was going to steal the show, but he had very minimum screen-time here (we learned that he can cook – that was it).

I’ll leave with my favorite quote from the episode. It was Harris telling Mason, “Because I’m alive, we have a chance to get that harness off your son. Rebecca’s death may save Ben’s life.” Strong words from a man who is definitely on Mason’s shit-list. But in the very end of the episode, it seems that Harris might not be close to figuring out how to save the children from the harness after all. I look forward to next week.

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