ORBzine - Falling Skies TV Review

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Falling Skies

Season 1

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 1] Live and Learn
Shown 19/Jun/11

This show starts with exposition in the form of a child’s drawings. The alien invasion has already happened, months ago, sparing us the expensive and incredibly watchable sight (like in the misleadingly good trailers to Revolution ). Instead we are plunged straight into the post-apocalyptic world, like in The Walking Dead .

Noah Wyle has been promoted from The Librarian to Professor of American History. Strangely he never quotes specific sources, and only makes generalised references that High Schoolers should be familiar with. He even states the importance of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, where the Scots defeated the British (AKA England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) ... Which merely proves that he watched Braveheart , but did not understand it.

The Librarian is second-in-command of the 2nd Massachussets, a unit consisting of a hundred militia soldiers and two hundred civilian non-combatants. The Captain in charge, Weaver, dislikes being lumbered with civilians - even though these camp followers supply essential support services (food, laundry, medical backup).

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 2] The Armory
Shown 19/Jun/11

The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) and his gang of freedom fighters (his son, the son’s blonde girlfriend and a couple of non-Caucasians - I wonder who will die first) get ambushed by a gang of outlaws. The freelancers are led by Pope (Colin Cunningham) and include a beautiful blonde named Maggie ( Sarah Carter ).

It is a cliche that in post-apocalyptic situation the heroes have more to fear from other survivors than they do from the invading aliens/zombies/Russians/whatever. But Pope displays the intent of actually fighting the alien invaders, because he is smart enough to know that there is little or nothing left worth stealing. Will the Librarian choose to solve this problem like they would in Doctor Who - without the use of violence? After all, Pope would be a great ally (and magnificent cannon-fodder)!

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 3] Prisoner of War
Shown 26/Jun/11

Pope is under guard, but volunteers his services as Head Chef. If he could make thanksgiving dinner for an entire prison full of convicts, he can cook three squares a day for the 2nd Mass.

The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) and his team try to rescue his middle son, who has been collared with an alien biotech harness. Unfortunately, he is not the only one.

Pope's advice about fighting Skitters actually comes in useful. A pity that nobody is likely to give him any credit for it.

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 4] Grace
Shown 03/Jul/11

The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) and his team take Pope on a trip to scavenge some motorbikes.

Dr. Anne Glass ( Moon Bloodgood ) and the surgeon try interrogating the Skitter that the Librarian captured.

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 5] Silent Kill
Shown 10/Jul/11

The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) sends his eldest son into the alien warehouse, to save the middle son and the other harnessed kids.

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 6] Sanctuary (1)
Shown 17/Jul/11

Henry Czerny ( Mission: Impossible ) arrives in camp. He is a survivor from the 7th Mass, and has orders from the Colonel. The 2nd Mass must hand over everyone under the age of 20, so that Mr Czerny can lead them all to a sanctuary. Meanwhile, everyone else must dig in and expect to repel a major enemy offensive.

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 7] Sanctuary (2)
Shown 24/Jul/11

Pope is still hanging around. He should have kept going when he had a chance, but he does not want to let the Skitters win.

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 8] What Hides Beneath
Shown 31/Jul/11

The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) and his eldest son go to Boston on a recon mission. They intend to carry out a plan first suggested in the first episode, to take out the alien HQ using multiple car-bombs. Captain Weaver insists on going with them, since he has practical knowledge of structural engineering.

Luckily the Colonel (Dale Dye, USMC advisor on Saving Private Ryan) is back at base, or the highest-ranking person there would be the acting Quartermaster (and convict) Mister Pope. Not only can Pope bake them bread, he can also improve their IED designs and even back-engineer alien tech into usable weapons!

While scouting the city, the HQ staff encounter a scavenger. She is William Bell's lady friend from Fringe , and she claims to have survived single-handedly. However, after the events of previous episodes the heroes are unwilling to trust other survivors.

The scouting mission also exposes an alien secret. The Skitters take orders from tall bipedal aliens. Presumably the bipeds are the ones who designed the bipedal mechs, and who set the performance quotas for the Skitters.

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 9] Mutiny
Shown 07/Aug/11

The Captain is acting strangely. He has promoted a young Lieutenant who was career military, and who obeys all orders blindly and without question. The Doctor realises that the Captain may be impaired due to abuse of medication. Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) wants to relieve the Captain of command before he orders a suicide mission.

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 1, Episode 10] Eight Hours
Shown 07/Aug/11

Captain Weaver takes Pope and a handful of volunteers to blow up the alien structure. Back at the school, Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) and the others organise a rearguard action. They have the new ammunition, and possibly a way of jamming the aliens’ communications.





Falling Skies

Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 1 ]

Reviewed in our special supplement Falling Skies

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  • Falling Skies

    Season 2

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 1] Worlds Apart
    Shown 17/Jun/12

    Tom Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) makes it back to the 2nd Mass. He has been gone for three months, and a lot has changed. Pope now leads a five-man biker gang called The Berserkers, including Ryan Robbins (Henry from Sanctuary ). But Mason’s younger son is also a kill-crazy maniac, hunting Skitters. Did they suddenly forget that the Skitters are slaves?

    Mason has flashbacks to his time aboard the alien ship, when they offered him a deal. If the humans submit to live in concentration camps, they will be spared. Naturally, Mason refused to comply. The result was a mass execution, and Mason has to trek a thousand miles from Michigan to Massachussets. His journey across post-Apocalyptic America was relatively uneventful, even if it did make up the majority of his three missing months.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 2] Shall We Gather at the River
    Shown 17/Jun/12

    The 2nd Mass must withdraw from their current position. The only safe route is over a bridge, but it needs repairs. Worse, the aliens have counter-measures to prevent the jamming technique from Season One. Yes, a war-winning weapon is now practically useless.

    It turns out that the Aliens planted something inside Mason after all. He has been compromised, but everyone assumes that if they remove a single bug (the device is literally a tiny robotic parasite) he will be okay again.

    The aliens are building a radio control tower nearby. Luckily, it is close enough for the Mason kids to sabotage it.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 3] Compass
    Shown 24/Jun/12

    Pope does not believe that Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) is free of alien influence. He gives him a choice - leave or die. However, Pope himself may have to make that choice too, and sooner than he thought.

    Mason’s middle son and Weaver’s protégé Jimmy have taken to hunting Skitters at night. They must know that the skitters are slaves, but they do not care. However, they run into more trouble than they can handle.

    Mason has himself assigned to Pope’s Berserker team. It is the only way he can prove himself to them.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 4] Young Bloods
    Shown 01/Jul/12

    The Earth has been invaded by aliens, and reduced to a post-apocalyptic mess. The human resistance (the 2nd Massachussets Regiment, AKA the Second Mass) are led by Professor Tom Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ). His team include his girlfriend ( Moon Bloodgood ) and his son’s girlfriend ( Sarah Carter ).

    Henry from Sanctuary is on sniper duty, and kills a couple of aliens. Unfortunately he uses the hero’s pre-teen son as bait to do it, so he ends up on sanitation detail as a reward.

    The hero’s older sons have their bikes stolen. It turns out that there are some teenagers hiding out in the city. The boys invite some back to camp to trade.

    The alien invaders abduct humans and fuse them with bio-technology. This time, they get some minor characters. Our heroes have to track them down and save them.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 5] Love and Other Acts of Courage
    Shown 08/Jul/12

    The Librarian’s middle son goes MIA. The elder son rats his brother out, and tells their dad about the glowing spikes. It turns out that the alien Skitters are having a battle with the giant robots. The aliens lost, and one of them has asked the middle son for help.

    Meanwhile, the eldest son is having girl problems with Sarah Carter .

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 6] Homecoming
    Shown 15/Jul/12

    The Captain (Will Patton) is in the middle of giving The Librarian a dressing-down for tardiness (hey, he’s sleeping with Moon Bloodgood ). However, since the Captain was previously infected by alien bio-tech he has a relapse.

    The eldest son is patrolling with Sarah Carter , bickering as always. They discover some dead human kids with spikes in their spines. One is alive, so they take her home. Of course, as she is tainted with alien bio-tech they do not trust her.

    The middle son (the one with the spikes in his spine) is suspicious of the new girl at first. Will she win his trust?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 7] Molon Labe
    Shown 22/Jul/12

    The 2nd Mass go after the aliens who snatched the boy. In the ensuing shootout, they manage to capture an Alien Overlord. The aliens have the camp surrounded, and a siege ensues.

    Some recurring characters get trapped in the basement. Unfortunately, not all of them make it out alive.

    This show has the same grim post-apocalyptic setting as The Walking Dead , but it is somehow lacking. While TWD seems to have hope, and its characters appear to be making progress, the 2nd Mass seem to be fighting an unwinnable war. In theory it should be the other way round, but TWD just comes across as a more positive show.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 8] Death March
    Shown 05/Aug/12

    The 2nd Mass are now a truck convoy, en route to the new capital of the USA - Charleston, Virginia. It is a long drive, hundreds of miles, but they hope to avoid alien encounters.

    Sarah Carter and her partner take point, driving their pickup truck well in advance of the convoy. Their vehicle breaks down, and pretty-boy has to go get fresh water for the radiator. Pope is along for some firepower, and he gives the girl some reasonable-sounding advice.

    The Colonel rides with the sniper. Some bonding occurs.

    The Librarian and what remains of his family are in a school-bus that has been converted to a medical wagon. They have to take care of a young girl who had alien spikes implanted in her spine. But is she loyal to the alien overlords or to the rebel skitters?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 9] The Price of Greatness
    Shown 12/Aug/12

    The 2nd Mass has finished their thousand-mile journey to Charleston, Virginia. But just like safe havens in other post-Apocalyptic shows like The Walking Dead , something does not seem right. The armed units are disarmed (gun control), the civilians are re-housed separately (Gerrymandering), and people do not get the work assignments they are best suited for (scut work).

    The General (Matt Frewer - Max Headroom ) has been ordered onto a purely defensive strategy by President Terry O’Quinn ( Lost ). The Prez is a History buff, comparing the Aliens’ invasion to the American colonial rebellion of 1776. Of course, he himself is (like all Presidents) an 18th Century absolute monarch, a supreme dictator with the trappings of democracy to legitimise him.

    The Prez refuses let his military help the alien skitters’ rebellion. This leads to the question - what is worse? Use of the military for internal repression, or a coup where the military overthrow a totalitarian regime?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 2, Episode 10] A More Perfect Union
    Shown 19/Aug/12

    The General (Matt Frewer - Max Headroom ) has taken over from President Terry O’Quinn ( Lost ). However, he adopts the exact same policies - mistrust of the rebel Skitters and internment of the 2nd Mass. Can he be persuaded to let our heroes attack the enemy?

    The rebel Skitters have identified the Overlord the 2nd Mass held hostage as the Chief of Operations on the East Coast of North America. He will be inspecting a superweapon construction site nearby. This is the best chance they will have to assassinate him. But is it a trap? And since two non-Caucasians come along on the mission, which one of them will die first?

    Since the alien invaders tend to use bio-tech, and are experts at enslaving other species, can anyone who has been their prisoner be trusted?

    Falling Skies

    Season 3

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 1] On Thin Ice
    Shown 09/Jun/13

    The 2nd Mass makes a well-armed attack on an alien slave mine. They free a bunch of slaves, thanks to tech from their new alien ally Cochise. Unfortunately it seems the enemy aliens have a Mole in the humans’ command structure. The VP (Terry O’Quinn - Lost ) is put in charge of finding the Mole. But why assume there is a traitor (HumInt) when there could be a bug, computer hack (Elint) or a phone tap (SigInt)? Well, nobody seems to be an Intel (or counter-Intel) operator. Yes, Intelligence does not seem to be in evidence.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 2] Collateral Damage
    Shown 09/Jun/13

    The 2nd Mass, backed by the military of the New USA, plans its greatest attack yet. If they take out a nuclear reactor that the Ishveni have commandeered, they can prevent the Mechs from refuelling on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. Will they use the Mole to pass counter-intel to the aliens?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 3] Badlands
    Shown 16/Jun/13

    After the previous mission, the aliens are bound to counter-attack. Pope and the berserkers hold the perimeter. Soon enough, they come under fire - but the shooter is using a human weapon!

    A new semi-regular character is introduced - Luvia Petersen , recognisable from another Dystopian future - Continuum .

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 4] At All Costs (1)
    Shown 23/Jun/13

    The President of the New USA (Noah Wylie - The Librarian ) is invited to meet the Prez of the Old USA. He borrows a plane from Pope (who insists on coming along), gets the General ( Max Headroom ) to pilot it, and is accompanied by Cochise (the Volm group’s leader).

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 5] Search and Recover (2)
    Shown 30/Jun/13

    The Ishveni try to disrupt the leadership conference. The Prez takes Cochise aboard Marine One. The Librarian, the General and Mr (not THE) Pope take the DC-3.

    Pope and the Librarian end up trapped in the wilderness together. They start to bond, but the Librarian is an asshole. Then they let their old greviances take over, and it turns into a knife-fight …

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 6] Be Silent and Come Out
    Shown 07/Jul/13

    The Librarian gets held hostage by The Mole. Pope’s crew have a rep for getting trigger-happy, so they get sent to the pub. Of course, Pope starts taking bets on the potential outcomes.

    The Rebel Skitters have developed a cure for the brainwashing bugs the Mole has been infected with. However, it tends to kill the host too. Will it save a regular character?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 7] The Pickett Line
    Shown 14/Jul/13

    The Librarian and his sons go looking for their stepmother. They get ambushed by rent-a-villain Christopher Heyderdahl ( Sanctuary ) and his own gang of sons.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 8] Strange Brew
    Shown 21/Jul/13

    The Librarian wakes up in bed with his wife. The alien invasion and the last two years were all a bad dream. However, familiar faces from his dream start appearing in his everyday life.

    This is the old Beware of the Dog trope, created by Roald Dahl from his training days in the RAF during the Second World War.

    Back in Charleston, the others try to work out who the Mole is. Their main suspect is the new Prez ( Gloria Reubens ).

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 9] Journey to Xibalba
    Shown 28/Jul/13

    The Mole starts to sabotage major installations in Charleston. Why the Overlord did not order this Seven months ago is not explained. The first target is the Volm weapon, while the next is the underground living quarters …

    Our heroes are mostly trapped underground, in different groups. Of course, for dramatic purposes the Mole is trapped too. Will anyone work out who it is in time?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 3, Episode 10] Brazil
    Shown 04/Aug/13

    The Resistance finally gets the chance to use the Volm weapon. Will it take down the Ishveni defence grid, or will it destroy the Earth?

    The Librarian finally gets to meet the leader of the Volm. But he discovers that the Volm have their own ideas about how to fight the war. The Ishveni have retreated to the North Pole, so the Volm want to relocate the humans to Brazil. Pope is not the only one who wants to stay and fight the Ishveni.

    Isn't the reason the 2nd Mass travelled all the way from Boston to Charleston because they wanted to find a Sanctuary (like in Logan's Run )? Have they not earned the chance to rest and repopulate the human race? Because if the survivors in that other post-Apocalyptic show, The Walking Dead , had half a chance at Sanctuary they would go for it!

    Falling Skies

    Season 4

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 1] Ghost in the Machine
    Shown 22/Jun/14

    After the end of the previous Season, the 2nd Mass head south to Sanctuary. Not Brazil, of course, but back to good old Charleston. Of course, the Ishveni have air superiority and they might set an ambush ...

    We jump forward four months. The Librarian is in solitary confinement. He breaks out of his cell every night to rule the ghetto as a costumed hero, complete with motorbike and makeshift flamethrower. Mr Pope is the prison daddy, hoarding supplies like Sawyer in Lost and trading favours like Sefton in Stalag 17.

    Middle son wakes up with Maggie ( Sarah Carter ) in a peaceful enclave.

    Youngest son is in a re-education school. The aliens have started their own version of the Hitler Youth, and are brainwashing human children to surrender their free will. This is reminiscent of an early episode of V: The Series .

    Dr Glass ( Moon Bloodgood ) commands whatever is left of the 2nd Mass.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 2] The Eye
    Shown 29/Jun/14

    The Overlord in command of the prison demand that the inmate known as The Ghost hand himself in. Otherwise, there will be no more food drops.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 3] Exodus
    Shown 06/Jul/14

    The Librarian enacts his plan to bust out of the prison ghetto. It comes in three stages.

  • he has to lure the Skitter guards into a building, and blow it up
  • Eldest son has to get all civilians into an underground tunnel
  • the rest of the command team have to disable the fence.

    However ... Token Black Guy is a newbie (and thus an unknown quantity), the Colonel is injured, and Pope is his usual self.

  • Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 4] Evolve or Die
    Shown 13/Jul/14

    Our heroes have busted out of the prison ghetto, and now want to save their loved ones from the re-education camp. Unfortunately, the place is full of brainwashed collaborators. Will the so-called good guys resist the temptation to beat up some teenagers?

    The bad aliens are searching for the escapees. Beardy bloke Mr Pope goes foraging to find extra fuel for an evacuation. He meets Sara ( Mira Sorvino ) - a female hobo with a shotgun.

    Back in the main camp, the ladies ( Moon Bloodgood, Sarah Carter ) discover that the girl in charge (Lexie the Starchild) has been secretly meeting with an alien. They investigate.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 5] Mind Wars
    Shown 20/Jul/14

    Noah Wyle, his youngest son and Will Patton are only a day behind the others. They are starving, but luckily they smell the delicious cooking of Gil Bellows ( Shawshank Redemption ) and Chief Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica (2003) . Is this too good to be true?

    The main group are en route to the safe haven. To discover enemy patrol routes, they must take down a Mecha-Walker.

    At the safe haven itself, Moon Bloodgood tries to interrogate the alien prisoner. The good news is, a young man has a bio-neural implant that lets the alien talk through him. The bad news is, the implant also allows him to feel sensations, so torturing the alien turns out to be a good idea.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 6] Door Number Three
    Shown 27/Jul/14

    Our heroes all manage to meet up at the sanctuary. However, since the Starchild has discovered that her mother ( Moon Bloodgood ) is a follower of the Jack Bauer school of interrogation, she decides to spin herself a cocoon (like Delenn in Babylon 5 ). The others have to decide - do they trust that she will still have her humanity when she emerges, or do they assume the worst?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 7] Saturday Night Massacre
    Shown 03/Aug/14

    After the events of the previous episode, the sanctuary no longer has the Starchild to protect it. The Alien Invaders send in a massive force to annihilate the human resistance. However, the Alien Overlords seem to be equipped only for a Police Action, not a proper war. They have no bridging equipment, heavy artillery or air cover - they cannot simply pound the town from a safe distance. Instead they can only approach on foot over a single bridge, meaning they get bottlenecked. Basically, the human militia can take the aliens on an even footing, Stalingrad style.

    The battle is short but bloody. A few recurring characters will recurr no more.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 8] A Thing With Feathers
    Shown 10/Aug/14

    The survivors try to dig their friends out of the rubble. Maggie ( Sarah Carter ) has had her spine wrecked. The only cure is to implant alien spikes in her central nervous system. But this is physically dangerous and morally dubious.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 9] Till Death Do Us Part
    Shown 17/Aug/14

    The Resistance have a new plan - destroy the alien’s power core. Hopefully this will cripple every major alien installation on Earth. Unfortunately the power core is on the Moon. Luckily, an alien Beamer ship crash-landed during the attack. If the humans can dig it out of the rubble, they can fly it to the moon.

    Cochise the friendly alien takes a handful of humans to find a cache of hi-tech tools. Hopefully this will make the digging easier. However, they encounter the children from the brainwashing camp in episode 4.1.

    Maggie ( Sarah Carter ) is having trouble adjusting to the alien spikes implanted in her central nervous system. Her boyfriend’s younger brother also has implanted spikes, so he teaches her a few coping mechanisms. The result is that she becomes a twin-pistol-packing Lara Croft . However, the spikes also magnify their latent attraction to each other. And love triangles never end well.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 10] Drawing Straws
    Shown 24/Aug/14

    The Resistance need to pick two volunteers to bomb the alien moonbase. Cochise is ruled out, because the alien tech will detect him. Everyone else puts their name in a hat (okay, a skull).

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 11] Space Oddity (1)
    Shown 31/Aug/14

    Lexi the Starchild is back, but the human resistance will not accept her again. They show complete ignorance of her power, even though she destroyed several alien flying craft with her telekinesis. After all, if she meant to harm them then they would all be dead.

    The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) takes the salvaged ship to attack the moonbase. Lexi is his co-pilot - after all, she does have superpowers. But he does not trust her, which is not a good way to run an operation - or a family.

    The ship was damaged in the crash, and the take-off stresses turn a hairline fracture into a hull breach. Lexi seals her father in a cocoon, to keep him in stasis. He wakes up to discover the mission was successful, and the war is virtually over ...

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 4, Episode 12] Shoot The Moon (2)
    Shown 31/Aug/14

    Lexi and her father near their goal. However, their plan relies on the enemy having little or no defences. There is a good reason that such plans tend to fail.

    The aliens bombard the camp with their new weapon. It is a combination of a glue-bomb and a bio-weapon that turns a human host into a hybrid. Despite knowing what will happen, the humans get themselves caught anyway. Can they fight off the giant alien worms?

    Falling Skies

    Season 5

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 1] Find Your Warrior
    Shown 28/Jun/15

    The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) has a vision while in the starship. His wife’s ghost tells him that to defeat cancer you must use everything you’ve got, to burn it out mercilessly.

    Back at camp, the remainder of the 2nd Mass are digging in against a potential alien counterattack. Since the humans have only one truck left, and just a handful of troops, they are not ready for large-scale offensive operations.

    The Professor makes it back to camp, like at the start of Season two. The only one on guard is Pope - his berserkers are all dead now, and his only sidekick these days is Sara ( Mira Sorvino ). The Professor tells the huddled group of survivors of his new plan - attack, and take no prisoners. Pope is keen, and the Colonel goes along with it.

    The war is taking a low-tech twist. The Ishvenni have pulled out most of their ships, leaving only skitters and powerless mechs to occupy Earth. The Volm have minimum fighting capacity of their own, but are able to coordinate with other human militias. There are only two others, and one is in South Africa!

    The few remaining regular characters split into three teams, each targeting a separate enemy grouping. The skitters are starving and feral, except those under direct control of an Overlord (that is, within a five mile radius). The humans have known that the skitters are helpless slaves, ever since Season One, yet now they are genocidal against their potential allies. Nobody even mentions the possibility of a second Skitter uprising.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 2] Hunger Pains
    Shown 05/Jul/15

    The Militia holdout is besieged by hundreds of starving, feral Skitters. Without the Overlord to control them, they are basically animals. This is the opposite of the creatures from previous episodes, the oppressed slaves and caring foster-parents to the harnessed children. However, the Skitter attack destroys the Militia’s food supply.

    Sara ( Mira Sorvino ) and the new berserker crew try spit-roasting a dead Skitter. Unfortunately the alien’s generically modified flesh has a spectacularly negative affect on human physiology.

    Maggie ( Sarah Carter ), Sara and their respective love interests go on a foraging raid. They loot a local warehouse packed with canned goods. However, they forget that such places attract other scavengers.

    Maggie convincingly lies to someone. But she believes in carrying through with a false promise. Unfortunately, the Professor is now encouraging the soldiers to behave like violent animals, the same way the Skitters are. This is not a safe camp to bring outsiders to.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 3] Hatchlings
    Shown 12/Jul/15

    The 2nd Mass tries crop-dusting the valley of skitters, but the Ishveni Overlords just send more in. There must be a breeding factory nearby, so the Mason Family try to find it. If they capture the local Ishveni Overlord, they can use the spine-spikes kids to mind-rape the information out of him.

    Pope and Sarah ( Mira Sorvino ) go scouting for the factory. The two of them have been together a lot, so it looks like their relationship is a big thing. However, this show is not big on happy-ever-after. Recurring characters get killed off a lot, in order to provide extra grief for the main characters. So if people start talking about settling down and having kids, and one of the background characters gets a lot more screen time than usual, you can bet that they are being set up to take a fall.

    When Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) and the rest of his clan find out the Factory’s location, they set out to destroy it. Unfortunately a scout is in jeopardy – in completely the wrong direction. Mason has to make the choice. Save one life, or take out the enemy base and save the whole camp. Not much of a choice, really.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 4] Pope Breaks Bad
    Shown 19/Jul/15

    Pope has taken Sarah’s death very hard. The Professor (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) tries to give his condolences, but Pope holds him personally responsible for the events of the previous episode. And Pope’s next step is to whip up some support. After all, he is not the only one to have had a friend sacrificed while the Masons have been pretty much unscathed through the entire war. The Token Black Guy, who had his gun confiscated when he showed symptoms of PTSD, is as frustrated and angry as anyone else.

    While Mason and his sons have Main Character Shields(tm), it is unfair to say that Mason has never lost anyone. His daughter Lexie, for example, was lost to him both emotionally and physically. It may seem in retrospect like a contrived scenario intended purely to provide emotional conflict for the character, but it still counts as a dead family member. And where is Maggie this episode? She should be grieving Sarah (one of the few fellow female speaking roles) and defending the Mason boys (two of whom are her love interests, in a predictable love triangle cliché AKA a contrived scenario intended purely to provide emotional conflict for the characters).

    Cochise the friendly alien reveals he is dying. His kidney is failing, and his people never bothered to develop the technology for transplants or dialysis. His father would be a perfect match for a tissue donation, but is unwilling to break with tradition. Doctor Anne ( Moon Bloodgood ) lacks the equipment for a regular organ transplant procedure. Worse, she has absolutely no idea of the aliens’ physiology. Will she blunder through and win despite the odds being against her?

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 5] Non-Essential Personnel
    Shown 26/Jul/15

    Pope has shaven his head like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, Now he has kidnapped Hal (the eldest Mason son) and is using him as bait for a trap. The constant bickering between Pope and Tom Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) has gone on ever since the first episode! Will it finally be ended?

    Pope has started to make himself an army. He finds survivors, offers weapons to the tough ones and allows free passage to those he deems weaklings. One of the weaklings tells Pope that she is a nurse, And he takes her in so she can keep Hal alive.

    The Second Mass, who in the previous episode had only one truck in working order, have now mounted up their entire unit and are driving out to a new position. They get ambushed by a well-armed gang who have rocket-propelled grenades. The ambushers are human brigands who demand some of the military’s weapons. But the brigands are evidently so well-armed that they do not NEED more guns, and they cannot be expected to gain enough from the ambush to replace the ammunition they expend doing it! Is this Pope’s new army? No, it is an entirely DIFFERENT team of Brigands!

    Just as Hal is held captive by Pope, so Weaver gets taken hostage by the Brigands. The two stories parallel each other, but the coincidences are quite unbelievable. Doctor Anne ( Moon Bloodgood ) and the spike kids Ben and Maggie must lead the unit in Weaver’s absence. They have abandoned Tom Mason to rescuing his son single-handedly. Or, to prove Pope's point, Mason has abandoned the Second Mass and their mission (the salvation of the human species) to selfishly save his own son.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 6] Respite
    Shown 02/Aug/15

    Mason (Noah Wyle - The Librarian ) wakes up in a warm bed with clean sheets. Is this a Beware of the Dog episode, where the villains pull a Mission Impossible confidence trick into convincing him that the war is over (or never happened)? No, they did that last Season. He is in an isolated farmhouse where the woman in charge is tricking her teenage son into thinking there was no alien invasion. Mason has to play along with her.

    Dr Anne ( Moon Bloodgood ) finally tells the spike kids Maggie ( Sarah Carter ) and Ben why Pope, Mason and Hal are no longer with the Second Mass. Yes, the reason they did not seem to care in previous episodes is that the officers (AKA the grown-ups) did not tell them!

    Maggie’s response is to request that she have her spikes removed. It may seem sudden, but she and Ben have been spending a lot of time off-screen together so we are left to assume she has fallen out of lust with him. After all, their brains are linked 24/7 so they have no privacy from each other. To someone like Maggie that could be quite suffocating. Also, there is an online backlash concerning a perceived age-gap: Maggie is played by an actress in her mid-thirties, while Ben is supposed to be a teenager.

    Cochise offers to help Maggie remove her spikes. Yes, more magical inter-species surgery – although it is not as extreme as last week’s kidney transplant. However, Maggie’s choice may lead her to fall out with the Mason clan for a number of reasons:

  • Anne values the tactical advantage that Maggie’s spikes give her in combat
  • Ben enjoys the intimacy of sharing a connection with another human being
  • Hal has a new love interest, and may not want his clingy ex-GF back
  • Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 7] Everybody Has Their Reasons
    Shown 09/Aug/15

    The survivors find an armed compound led by a US Military officer that the Colonel was friends with.

    The military have a lot of the same problems with the Mason family that Pope did. They state their objections more formally, but the subject matter is the same.

    Maggie ( Sarah Carter ) starts to bond with her rival, Hal's new love interest.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 8] Stalag 14th Virginia
    Shown 16/Aug/15

    The Mason family are all in the brig, accused of Treason. The Colonel has a plan to get them out, but he is playing the long game. Instead of taking the direct route to success, he manages to stretch it out over the whole episode.

    The episode's title is a play on the movie Stalag 13 about an escape attempt at a World War 2 prison camp.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 9] Reunion
    Shown 23/Aug/15

    This is the penultimate episode, so a few sub-plots have to be tied up. Pope makes a last-ditch attempt to take out the Mason family.

    Lexi is back. Did she make it back to Earth the same way Tom Mason did, or is she an infiltrator like Karen was?

    The conveniently discovered alien communications hub allows the heroes to locate the Alien Queen. She is within driving distance, so they will have sorted her out by the end of next episode.

    Falling Skies Falling Skies [Season 5, Episode 10] Reborn
    Shown 30/Aug/15

    With Pope out of the way, the 2nd Mass recruits some new bikers as cannon-fodder. Their leader (Jeff Fahy - Lost ) only has a couple of lines, so it is basically a pointless cameo.

    The 2nd Mass try to infiltrate the enemy stronghold. Predictably, the whole thing boils down to a confrontation and fist-fight between the Librarian and the Alien Queen (voiced by Tricia Helfer ). She manages to squeeze out some unnecessary exposition before the end. It turns out the Ishveni had a personal grudge against humanity, because some stone-age humans circa 600AD killed her daughter's invasion force. Considering this had never been foreshadowed in the previous five years worth of storyline, the whole thing seems completely irrelevent.

    There is a tagged-on sequence at the end. It turns out that Tom Mason’s surname seems to be a reference to the Freemasons, the secret society that many of the slave-owning US Founding Fathers were members of. As was Santa Ana, the Mexican General responsible for the massacre of prisoners after the battle of the Alamo. As one can imagine, this allusion is not necessarily a flattering one.