Well, that was awfully quick and awfully interesting.
A great deal went down on the penultimate episode of Falling Skies Season 2, as the Second Mass arrived in Charleston... discovered just how inviting a mall food court could actually be... took classes... fired guns... learned about the society's attempt at self-government... were introduced to politicians and military men... met another harnessed boy.... received a message from Red Eye... and helped stage a coup.
No, seriously, a great deal went down on "The Price of Greatness."
It's hard to complain after last week's especially slow episode, and even harder when acting heavyweights such as Noah Wyle and Terry O'Quinn are squaring off, but the show may have been better served if events on this installment were spread out over the course of two weeks.
Instead, we both met O'Quinn's Arthur Manchester and were turned against him in a matter of minutes.
From the moment the Mass descended that elevator, life in Charleston was clearly amiss. It was almost too obvious and too neatly depicted. Maggie was arrested. Matty hated school. Anne was disrespected. Everything was spelled out as overtly as possible: things aren't right here.
One more complaint before we get to the good stuff: Why do the Berserkers always want to go elsewhere? What else could possibly be out there?
I get they are a rebellious bunch obviously, but it would help to learn why. Why would Pope and company be so intent on leaving Charleston in their rearview mirror? At this point, we're just meant to accept the rebels as rebels, acting contrary to whatever situation they find themselves in simply... because. I could use some more.
But we did get more in terms of the overall picture. There's a lot to ponder heading into next Sunday's finale. Can Red Eye really be trusted? Is Arthur simply power-hungry or might he have a point about laying low? Where is Ben? What is the alien plan of attack?
Between Hal and Maggie's relationship (they shared a sweet moment this week), Pope being Pope and Weaver's reunion with Jane, Falling Skies has done a solid job tying personal connections into the greater narrative of creatures trying to destroy all of mankind. I feel invested this season, not just anxious for the next action-packed Skitter shootout.
There is a finale on the way, though, and with Tom leading the latest American Revolution, there are many storylines coalescing, pitting not just alien against human, but human against human. Did this episode feel a bit rushed and jammed together? Yes.
But did it get me excited and curious for how a strong season would wrap up? Oh heck yes.