Falling Skies Review: A Blonde Bombshell
So, does Ben really trust Karen all of a sudden? Or is it quite the opposite, is he on to her as an alien agent and taking what steps possible to separate her from the Second Mass?
Those are just some of the questions on my mind following "Homecoming," another terrific episode of Falling Skies, one that furthered Weaver's bond with Tom; featured another gruesome, unexpected scene; and proved that Jamil is one genius engineer.
From Tom's eye surgery to the focus on the harness facility a couple weeks ago to this installment's mass grave of kids and teenagers, Falling Skies has felt like a completely different show on Season 2. I mean that in the best way possible.
There really are shocks, twists and turns on a weekly basis and many of them are centered on impressive nausea-inducing moments and close-ups. Full props to the special effects department.
But back to Karen and Ben. The latter appeared on to the former from the outset, insisting he keep an eye on his brother's ex and then sitting across from her in one of the more tense moments of the episode. Could she really convince him that she was free from the effects of the harness?
I, for one, never bought it, considering Karen's oddly excited reaction to her newfound physical prowess. She never came across as disturbed or freaked out by experience. But I've also never been harnessed (really, you have to believe me!) and can't relate to the loneliness Ben must be feeling. He's a constant outcast, even more so now than Rick is dead. Might Ben really have fallen for Karen's act, might he really believe that Maggie attacked her, because he's so desperate to bond with someone who can relate to all he's been through?
I still say no. I still believe Ben is trying to protect his fellow survivors, but the episode did an excellent job of making his motives unclear.
It also excelled at combining mystery and suspense with personal moments for various relationships. Hal's reaction to Karen's return was made all the more interesting because we've seen how he's grown close to Maggie. Weaver's illness was especially noteworthy because it offered the possibility of more than just the Second Mass losing its leader; Tom couldn't help but react to his fallen captain from the viewpoint of a friend, as well.
He also referred to Anne by his wife's name. Ouch. Awkward! But I'm glad the show is neither treating this relationship as if both halves never had a spouse… nor making either upset when that spouse is mentioned. The exchange that opened the hour was perfect: each possesses a painful history, the other is aware of it, but what is there to do now but make the best of the (sometimes naked) situation in front of them?
Other pressing questions from the episode: Is Weaver really out of the woods? What does Karen actually want with Ben? Is she still connected to the aliens despite being unharnessed? Or is she now simply brainwashed into being a follower?
Where the heck is Red Eye?
Overall, yet another strong Falling Skies Season 2 outing. The stakes continue to be raised, the mysteries continue to unfold and, as the relationships continue to evolve and story lines shift, I continue to be more invested than ever.