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Falling-skies

Falling Skies Review: "Silent Kill"

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For obvious reasons, this episode of Falling Skies was titled "Silent Kill" (eat it, Skitter!), but it could easily have been called "Silent Pain."

Viewers saw a much softer, more vulnerable side to both Anne and Weaver, who suffered quietly over their losses in the alien attack.

It's easy to forget the invasion only took place six months ago. Everyone has been fighting for survival ever since, organizing teams, figuring out strategies. Only in down moments do they have a chance to mourn loved ones. It was jarring to watch Anne and Weaver do so here, especially against the backdrop of good news for the Masons: Ben is free.

Tom and Anne

But is he truly okay? Yes, Ben recognized his father to close the episode, but Rick doesn't act like any normal kid, does he? Is is possible that the death of the children's chosen Skitter could have a negative effect on them in some way?

Speaking of which: how freaky was that scene/act?!? It opens up the possibility that the aliens lost their own kin and have arrived to shepherd in a new flock, but... man. Watching that Skitter fall asleep on top of his violently adopted brood and pat their heads was just eerie.

It stood in contrast the moment shared between Tom and Hal. These two butt heads occasionally, but you always get the feeling there's a strong connection there. Noah Wyle nails every tender moment for his character, which helps separate Falling Skies from other alien invasion-based programs:

We're never far removed from the heart of the series. Tom isn't running around screaming, shooting, panicking. He's just a loving father, never failing to be there for his kids, who has been thrust into the role of quasi action hero. He also seems to have come a long way from the premiere, when he said his wife always said the right thing to their sons. Tom did a pretty solid job here with Hal, didn't he?

Other questions/notes from a slow, character-building hour:

  • We don't know for certain what relationship Scott has to Anne, right? Father-in-law is the best guess.
  • It's safe to assume Sophia was Weaver's daughter. Anyone familiar with the song that reminded him of her?
  • I missed Pope. But I assume he was cooking up some mean stew somewhere.
  • Margaret has some "bad" cancer? Come on. Is it really that hard to provide more detail? This took away from what should have been a memorable scene and another example of a previously stoic individual opening up.
  • Where is Karen? Why no mention of rescuing her?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

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

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So in response to the first comment. People in War of the Worlds could not pull out their phones and record it because all electronics were disabled. Just saying

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It reminds me of how Spielberg's War of the Worlds was utterly unbelieveable, because during all the alien invasion scenes, not a single person pulled out a cell phone and tried to record what was happening. It's like the show runners have absolutely no idea how real human beings act.

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This was the best episode of the series to me. I've felt it has been way too safe and D-level Spielberg to really get involved in, but at least this episode had a few surprises. I'm still annoyed that if it's only been six months since the end of the world, everyone is still acting like this is a minor inconvenience or something. People should be screaming, freaking out, losing their minds, but no. Everyone is soooo cool. It's just not realistic enough to care about them.

Realdiehl

Good question. Where is Karen and why no mention of her? Out of sight, out of mind? For me the scene with the biggest impact was the Skitter falling asleep with the harnessed kids. "Freaky" is right. My leading theory is that these harnessed kids are part of the skitter's reproductive process. I don't think the kids themselves are important other than serving as vessels in some sort of parasitic capacity. Then again why is it that only the children are being used? Whatever the case, that scene cranked the intensity up a few notches, and the fact that it did so without the use of pyrotechnics or flashy special effects says a lot about the talent of the show's writers and production team.

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I'm liking the show more each week. The part where Anne says she can't post a pic of her child becuz she doesn't have anything pretty much killed me! But the ending was great; family reunited.

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The song is "Many Rivers to cross" by Jimmy Cliff....

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