Falling Skies season finale recap: The Skitter End
After a summer of ups and downs, Falling Skies ended its first season with two of its best hours and a reminder of the premiere’s promise. Everything that made the show a refreshing summer series was back tonight, plus we got to see Rick climb up a wall Exorcist-style.
Before we begin, let’s dedicate the season’s final recap to the late, great Dr. Harris. I’m sure he’s up in the big chem lab in the sky, presumably getting punched in the face.
The finale opened with a surprisingly touching moment from the eaters. (After all the Second’s fighters have been through this summer, it’s hard to not call them that.) As the troops mount their plan of attack on the enemy base over Boston, the civies take a moment to kick back and enjoy a movie, just like Shawshank Redemption—which in all likelihood is playing on TNT at this very moment. But all isn’t well in the school. Anne shares her discovery about the harnesses buried inside the skitters with Tom, and both question what it will mean for Ben and his gross back callouses. (Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize.)
On the bright side, Weaver is seemingly over whatever was bothering him last week. (Most celebrities call it exhaustion.) Anyway, Dai has gone ahead to talk with Porter about coordinating the attack on the Boston structure, but ominously, he’s late. In the meantime, Tom and Weaver prepare for the assault in front of a clear drawing board the Second must have borrowed from the Rebel Alliance on Hoth. Professor Mason still has his reservations about Weaver’s ability to command after his breakdown, and Dai only makes matters worse when he returns badly injured.
Word from Porter is that the attack is to proceed as planned, except for one small change in the Second. Weaver wants Lt. Danner, a military man, to replace Tom as his second in command. This directly contradicts what Porter said, and Tom is none too happy about it either, especially when he gets stuck with sentry duty.
Thanks to the Second’s very own drug dealer, Lourdes, we find out what Weaver’s been taking. He’s in an addictive cycle of uppers and downers and from most accounts, is still acting unstable. Tom fears that any accusations against the captain could tear the unit apart, so he sends Hal and Margaret to cover his sentry duty and probably make out. (Hey, just because we didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.) When Tom approaches Weaver, things don’t go over so well. Completely paranoid, Weaver orders Lt. Danimal to take Tom’s weapons and lock him in the boiler room.
Who do you turn to for a father figure when yours is locked in the boiler room? The ex-con, of course! Matt has taken a shine to Pope as his first official act of rebellion, but Pope isn’t so keen to the idea. The boy then cuts to the core of the matter when he asks Pope, “What’s it like, having hair like a girl?” Hey! Geddy Lee is not a girl.
Ben goes for the older alternative with his replacement father and talks to Uncle Scottie about helping out with the radios. The plan is to interrupt the communication between the skitters and hopefully protect the school in the process. Both Rick and Ben freak out a little when the radio is switched to the frequency the skitters use. It upsets Rick mostly because he thought the skitters were coming back for him and he got excited. Most importantly, he tells Ben that he doesn’t want to be human anymore.
Crazy Captain Weaver decides to tweak the plan of attack slightly. He now wants explosive expert Pope to split the charge four ways. It ain’t easy hiding crazy, so it doesn’t come as a surprise when Jimmy notices how loony Weaver keeps acting. He alerts Hal, Margaret and Anne, and the four of them put together an escape plan for Tom. Jimmy brings food to the boiler room and gives Tom the opportunity to spring and kick a little Danner ass while he’s at it. The group confronts the recently awoken Dai about what Porter really told him. Apparently, skitters took out the Fourth and the Fifth, most likely along with Porter.
Ben decides that it isn’t easy being green and chooses to tell Scottie about his connection to the radio frequencies. Scottie flips through the stations until he finds the one that really upsets Ben. The frequency changes often but is probably related to whichever station is currently playing Ke$ha.
Convinced the attack won’t work without the other units, Tom begins disassembling the plan and starts with the bombs. He tells Pope to stop work on them before he goes to confront Weaver. As it turns out, Pope doesn’t like taking orders from Tom and crosses him to help Weaver, but it’s all right. Thankfully, Tom saw it coming from a mile away and took the fuses. After a good chat, Weaver learns that he needs to trust people again. His first step is telling the Second what Dai originally told him. There is a chance that other soldiers from the different units are still out there and ready to attack. He asks for volunteers to go after the base, and Hal chooses to go.
The radio is now a priority. If they can lock in on the frequency, they could potentially stop the skitters from communicating with each other. Rick, a skitter poseur, does not like this, sneaks up a wall and attacks Scottie to take a key radio component from him. As soon as he finds Scottie, Ben knows what happened and goes after the attacker. Rick believes this is the only way he can get his happiness back, happiness in the form of a harness. (You get five points if you didn’t yell “Shoot him!” as Rick ran from the school.) In the woods, Rick finds Megan looking a little green. The harness has begun to change her skin to a more skitterish complexion. She wants to know everything Rick can tell her about the Second’s base. When Tom goes looking for him, he finds the boy abandoned by his preferred species. Rick told the skitters everything.
The bomb squad on their way to Boston finds some bad news. The other regimens don’t meet them at the rendezvous spot. It is time for a decision. Do they continue on by themselves or turn back? The group agrees to split the charge for ways and try to take on the structure themselves. But at least two of the groups get hit on approach, so Hal is sent back to warn the school.
Once everyone knows about Rick’s big blabber mouth, it’s time for the civies to head into the tunnels to make an escape from the impending skitter attack. Tom wants Ben to go, but naturally he wants to stay behind to use is radio head to help the troops. His dad ultimately relents.
The guards outside sent the one guy who can’t seem to get the whole running thing down to do recon. “Mech! It’s coming!” he yelled as he wattled back behind cover. Only one mech shows up to the party though. This is the first real test for Pope and his mech metal bullets, so the crew unloads on it and takes it down easily. Unfortunately, the fight isn’t over yet. Several more mechs come barreling down the street, and firepower just won’t do it this time. Scottie and Ben tag team the radio to find the right frequency. They hit it, but have to use the flag pole as an antenna to amplify it. Soon the mechs are retreating back up the street. (Did I just imagine the whimpering sounds?)
Now that the home base is secure, Tom needs to go for Weaver and the rest of the soldiers, but before he goes, he’s got some unfinished business to attend to. Tom kisses Anne! It’s a moment that was inevitable but really worked. So after breaking off a piece, Tom heads to town with a big ass antenna strapped to his car. It isn’t long before he finds Anthony and Pope injured but alive. Pope entrusts him with a mech metal RPG, which can only lead to good things. Captain Weaver is alive but the operation is over; the skitters have won this round. Tom is in a good mood after getting some for the first time in months, so he figures he’ll fire one RPG off. (What the hell, right?) His aim is better than expected, and the shot is a direct hit on an incoming ship, which careens into the structure and takes out a good chunk of one wing.
On the ride back to the school, Weaver and Tom meet a very unexpected acquaintance. Karen—and soon a huge ship—blocks the road ahead. One of the tall aliens with bad posture exits and through Karen, explains his situation. He’s confused and wasn’t expecting all of this fight from the humans. The alien reminds Tom that they can take Ben back whenever they want. The alien would like to know more about the humans, so he makes Tom an offer. If Tom boards the ship with the alien, Ben gets to go free. Tom, left without any other option, boards the ship and flies off into the night.
So what did you think of the first season of Falling Skies? Are you excited for a second season? What would you like the see next year?