Falling Skies Review: "Sanctuary, Part 2"

at . Comments

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:

Going into Labor

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.


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
  • 2.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

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


Hahaha! We had Schweinshaxe in Berlin! Probably at a chain restaurant there was some 50 foot tall lbrjemuack cartoon statue out front! So funny. We found a home-cook, tiny little German restaurant about 20 minutes from our house. Every amazing German beer and tons of great food. I had Rindsroladen and Kate had some bratwurst, kraut and some other epicness.


I really enjoy the show and the plot twists. Still trying to remind myself that the history professor is not Dr. Carter struggling to get the approval of Dr. Benton. I do agree that there are some great ideas that the show has introduced but are not capitalizing on these with great plot twists. I really enjoyed Mike's character. I am sad to see him go and like some of the others on this site enjoy Pope and for me I would put him up there with Pope in terms of enjoyment when he was in the scenes.


It's a crap series that got picked up on the strength of Spielberg's name. In many ways, it's a throwback to the late eighties series. All forced pathos and cheesy action. In this world, every birth is a breech... every curmudgeonly leader has a secret soft heart, every bad guy shoots poorly. I'm watching only because there's nothing else to watch these days. Everything said by Arakuss is correct. This is supposed to be a trained unit of fighters...The guy's plan is to crouch behind a car and talk for ten minutes? Just piss poor. The son is trying to hide the kids but bivouacs in the first cush house he comes across? Ludicrous. And this was really a stock concept for an episode..."The Formerly Trusted, but Never Seen Before, Soldier who turns out to be a Bad Guy". Coming next week..."Hardcase Hooker with a Heart of Gold" followed by "One Good Cop in a Bad Town" This show is all cliche


My opinion is basically what Arakuss said. Don't write Pope out of any more episodes writers!


The point I think that the writer of this review is trying to make is that each scene written is only designed to try and provoke drama. Its like inviting to people to a party who you know won't get along for the soul purpose of providing entertainment instead of letting the party do that for the guests. So far almost every episode lately has been written with this technique. This critique has shown up on several other forums. Is it a bad technique or tool to use, sometimes. It is just when it happens all the time it begins to get predictable. An aura of suspense has been slowly lacking with each episode. This one even less. They main problems I see with this episode is how it was built up. They build up Terry and why might he do this. Instead it is quite a let down how it all unravels. Remember it has only been 6 months since the Earth was invaded and suddenly men like Terry turn so easy and have become instant cold blooded killers? There is no moral hesitation, but maybe that is me. This could have been strung out more and better developed, however they went for the quick and easy. The question of Mike. How and why Mike got there doesn't matter. How he was used as a tool to tell why Terry and the others turn does. The writers chose for him to be that instrument ok fine. Then do it good. TNT claims drama. There was no drama there. It was quick and to the point. Oh we are doing it to save our own, so join us or else. Terry gives a small sob story of their plight and then asks Mike to turn too. Ok fine a little predictable for most of us would not think Mike would turn so we then can conclude they are all going to try and escape. There is a point here that leads into the question of Mike's death. One Terry chose him supposedly because he thought Mike might understand. Why would he do that? Because Mike has a kid and wants to protect him? Terry sees something in him that reminds him of how much he tried to protect his own? The writers did not try at all to exploit and build on any of this. Why was Mike killed? Well basic answer his time was up according to the writers. So how do they write in his departure was their next question. Mike and the others were trying to escape and suddenly they were shot at. Now here was the writers choices, along with Mike's. Mike and other could just run and get shot at. (did seem like the bad guys could hit anything anyways) Two he could have cover and retreat and cover. Perhaps even diverted them a different way. Or he could just did what he did. One running well ok would not slowed them down and they might been caught ok I will buy that. Cover and retreat. One would think after this long this would be a common tactic they would all have learned by now. Plus diverting and luring them another way would been a smart tactic too. Staying there and being flanked and caught and killed. He did not at all provide any time for them to escape far. The problem here is the writers just chose the very easy route. Gave no brains to Mike or even showed he put up much of a fight. That is my issue not that he died it is in the way writers chose for him to die. This comes up with why did Terry shoot him? Well some said was maybe because mike might shot Terry so Terry shot first. Or maybe Terry just cold hearted. The later is what the writers portray Terry as. Especially the way he handles the attack on the kids in the house and when he is caught. Here is the problem with that it goes in contradiction with his talk with Mike. Terry was supposedly doing this to survive and help those he was with to survive. So grabbing the gun and trying to escape and kill Mason's son make no sense. He would be like Pope waiting for his opportunity to escape and survive on is own. Of course the writers could used this as another point to drama kidnap someone and run off. Break up the family again. Well maybe it might been good the writers did not choose this course. They writers could just been smarter in the way they let this episode, which was a continuation episode of the last, unfold. Its only plot advancement was to say ok they have to worry about their fellow man and that well the boy might be a bit more screwed then we thought. Mikes death and his memorial at the end was sort of hollow. More moral conflict should been given then just watching kids and one kid suddenly can run miles. In t the end was two dead and oh we can't trust anyone but ourselves type of feeling. Bring Pope back, kill off Mike and wait till next week so we can tell you something about aliens. The arcing story line is interesting but so far my main problems been in the story telling and writing in this series. I love sci-fi and failure of one sci-fi series often makes it harder for risks to be taken for the next grand sci-fi series. I really hope to see this series make it but so far the writing has not been up there.


Worst? I would rank it as one of the best...It gave us some insight on why rick was a total dousche to everyone which to me has been the best part of the series, and why? The purpose of books and tv shows is to keep the viewer guessing and for the viewer to create his own hypothesis on what he thinks is going to happen, and the rick dilemma is giving us just that. Secondly, why did mike die? ummm hello! You tell me, if you were in the woods with your child and all of the sudden a bear confronts you, what would you do? run with your kid like an idiot against an animal that's faster than you and is eventually going to kill you both or distract the bear and tell your kid to run. Obviously im not a bear expert but you get the analogy. I will say the did kinda get out of the house easily, like weren't there guards outside? But that really isn't an issue here and it's a minor detail. The pace is kind of slow at times but im loving the series. And what i even like the most is that even though they show pope as kinda of a good guy at times they completely erase it with things like killing the guy who fell asleep on guard duty, showing he's still bad guy and a murderer.




i was concerned that from past scripts to do a story with people so horrible they would trade chidren to"survive" might fall short. it needed to be great to work or it would be terribly offensive. i would have done away with the bad guys straight away first in the barn and later as an ambush...these people lost the war when they decided to deal for there selfish poorly scripted reason. they just kept comming and comming boohoo...so disapointed. how involved is speilberg really. i find it hard to believe he would approve this sludge...but there is so much worse on tv as well.


Why did Terry request Mike’s presence?
Well, bringing another adult would reduce suspicion for Tom and everyone else, and they were friends…I don’t understand why this is hard to accept. It’s not unreasonable to think that he hoped his friend would join in on the deal with him, so that they would both be free from harm. Why was Terry killed?
I think you meant to say why was Mike killed, because you mention Terry shooting “him.� First of all, Mike stayed behind so that he could fend off the fighters for long enough to give the kids time to escape. That was pretty clear. We can assume that Terry shot him because Mike was going to shoot Terry. And also, at that point it was obvious that Mike would not join him, meaning that Mike knew too much and would blow the operation eventually if they didn’t finish him off as soon as possible. Remember, they were actually after the kids the whole time. They weren’t going to waste time chatting with Mike and asking him to join with them, that would just be plain stupidity. How was it so easy for the kids to escape?
Well, actually, it wasn’t very easy. Immediately when they left the room and went down the stairs, Terry’s daughter asked them where they were going and then screamed for help when she found out. Secondly, part of the reason they were safe in the woods was because of Mike fighting the guys off. Also, you can only go so far with preventing the kids from escaping. They are trying not to look suspicious. Are you implying that the kids should have been so locked-down that Hal wouldn’t have been able to look out at the stars that night? Please. They are trying to make it COMFORTABLE for the kids to be there. Maybe I’m missing something, but the “plot holes� that you pointed out didn’t seem like plot holes at all. It all made pretty good sense to me.

Tags: ,