Falling Skies Review: "Prisoner of War"

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These aliens mean business.

Falling Skies delivered my favorite hour of the opening three via "Prisoner of War." Not only did it shed new light on Tom - his overwhelming guilt at accidentally abandoning Hal made even more sense when we learned how his wife died - but it gave us plenty of insight into those invading Skitters.

Humans vs. Alien

And they are clearly a lot more than just a violent bunch. These are vindictive creatures, the kind that think through their actions and, therefore, raise the most intriguing question of the show's early life: What is such a forward-thinking group forcing those kids to build?!?

Elsewhere, we learned more about Captain Weaver. Did anyone else catch his look when the doctor was operating on the boy? It's safe to assume Weaver has lost at least one child to these harnesses, which creates a new layer to this army man. He wants revenge, but he also wants to protect the citizens who cannot protect themselves. Even if doesn't always show it.

John Pope is fitting in perfectly as comic relief, too. Falling Skies is an especially serious show. It hasn't felt dour because there's been so much going on, but it helps to have a somewhat lighter character around. You know, like an inmate-turned-hostage-taker-turned-proud-cook.

This was mostly Tom Mason's episode, though. Noah Wyle plays him as a father in control of his emotions, except when he truly can't help himself: when one son is harnessed, when another is almost taken, when he's confronted by the man who last saw his wife alive. It's a great, often subtle performance. And it will be interesting to see the lengths to which Tom will go, as events unfold, with his family on the line.

Speaking of which, I'm calling it now: Porter is Tom's father. There was something to the interaction between these two; plus, why else is Tom, a civilian, given such responsibilities?

Overall, an ideal follow-up to a solid premiere. Numerous questions remain: What is the connection between the Skitters and the harnessed children? What is the deal with Dr. Glass? What family members did she lose? Will we get any flashbacks to the invasion or even life prior to it?

I'm most definitely on board to learn these answers. Are you?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (26 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Pueblo rocks! Yeah it is too hot and too far from the mountains, but truly is a unquie small Colorado city deserving of more attention from the outside world. The hand-painted signs are one of many reasons why I periodically head over to Pueblo to experience an urban environment very different from either Colorado Springs or Denver. Do check out the drive-in theater before the summer's over.


20+ mins of commercials for a one hour block of show is way out of the norm. Able to FF when watching on demand or not, I wont patronize any station that goes that far beyond the normal ratio of show-vs-ads.


I wanted this show to be good, but unfortunately the writing is really, really weak. The dialogue is laughable. Too bad.


Well, my husband said last night that the show was starting to be boring :( Anyway, a few things: 1. Do we know how long this has been going on? Either I am having brain-freeze, or they haven't told us yet. The reason I ask is because Tom and the female Dr. are awful chummy to have just been thrown together, unless they were in crappy relationships before. 2. Everytime I see Will Patton, I think of Ox Knolls (sp?)from Ryan's Hope /sigh. I've just never gotten that character out of my head, after all these years LOL 3. Tom defeating that creature on his own, well, I had to do a double-take and play the scene again. It simply wasn't tenable. On the reality scale, it went to -3.


Writing is still bad. Script needs improvement although making the imprisoned leader of the "gang of renegades" a chef, who just needs some better quality items to cook and olive oil was hilarious. And I agree, too many commercials.


For Steveo, Jessy Schram who plays Karen is listed in 5 episodes of the 10 known episodes (though most the cast is only listed for 8 or 9 so far). We will see more of Karen, harnessed or not, I am with you and hope they get her back!


I am going to call it now, slightly different from Matt.. Porter is Tom's father-in-law his daughter was Tom's wife Rebecca that was discussed in the episode...


This episode was better than the first two, I agree. I'm not buying Will Patton's tough guy act. It's just too cheesy. Colin Cunningham is doing a good job, though. And Noah Wyle is always good. I can't wait for all of the mournful dialogues about what happened before we met these characters to be over, though, because they just make me gag. Even Noah can't do much with those. And the "Man Alone" stuff about going after to the two scouts in hackneyed drivel(and it was telling that Mason just abandoned his heroic derring-do as soon as he got his kid. Sorry other scout. Adios) You'd think Tom would know that his dad was about to retire, wouldn't you? Porter delivered the info as if Tom never knew about it. Porter sending Tom to go get his kid was a decision based on the Doc having a procedure he wanted to try, not because a Grandfather wanted to save his Grandkid. Nope. You're not right about the Father/Son thing.




I love Falling Skies but I have to watch alone. My husband and son are so upset that V and The Event were just dropped without an ending, thar they feel the same will happen to Falling Skies and they don't want to invest the time.
Enjoying the program very much, great story line, the aliens are SO evil.

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