Falling Skies Review: "Sanctuary, Part 2"
What a major letdown.
After setting a suspenseful scene and leaving us with a great cliffhanger last week, Falling Skies failed to follow through with "Sanctuary, Part 2." There were plot holes wide enough to drive three Mechs through. To wit:
Why did Terry request Mike's presence? Back at the school, he actually asked for his friend to come along. For what reason? To serve as a plot device, apparently. There was no need for more adults at the farm, making Mike's only role there to grow suspicious, learn the truth about Terry's deal with the Skitters and then die saving the kids of the 2nd. Which brings me to...
Why was Mike killed? First, he could easily have just kept running along with Hal and the children. But, more importantly, there was no reason for Terry to shoot him. Was it out of revenge? Terry was made out to be far too much of a caricature, which was a shame because there was an opportunity here for a true moral dilemma:
To what lengths would you go to in order to save yourself and your loved ones?
But we didn't get that. Instead, Terry was written as a cold assassin. He murdered Mike, he joked about looking at a home in the same area where the children were holed up, he grabbed Hal's gun even after his plan was foiled and his people capture. The character was poorly, lazily written.
How was it so easy for the kids to escape? Seriously, weren't there guards planted around the farm? Didn't Hal make a point to mention that they appeared in place to keep everyone inside. Then, all it took was one run for it and they were safely into the woods?!?
Overall, the episode appeared too focused on sending a grand message than depicting a tense, logical hour of television. Yes, Mike's death raises the stakes. Sure, it's important for the 2nd to learn they can't be so trusting of other survivors. But the storytelling that got these characters to those places was weak and implausible.
On the plus side, Pope is back and Rick is officially, admittedly a Skitter. There is some hope for intrigue after all.