Falling Skies Review: Avoiding Death

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The action on Falling Skies Season 3 has been upped with the arrival of the Volm and the favorable turn in the fight against Espheni.

Last Sunday ended with two major cliffhangers: Anne and Alexis' capture by the Skitters with Hal's help and the plane crash. After a week of anticipating what would happen next, "Search and Recover" was a disappointment.

The hour felt like a series of counseling sessions. The tree ceremony last week worked because it was the anniversary of the invasion and a time for people to reflect on those lost in the fight. The continual discussion about everyone's losses didn't pull at the heartstrings. They just fell flat.

Skitter Hunt

The emotional toll has been more effectively expressed in the past. Even the talk about the Masons' mother was unnecessary. I shed no tears during the episode and I will cry at commercials. With only 10 episodes a season, this was a wasted hour with a lot of talking and not much forward movement in the story.

"Hal" reluctantly went along with the search party. Since he knew what happened to them, it was a surprise he wasn't keeping a closer eye on the investigation. He did briefly awaken when the search team found where the Skitters took control over Anne and Alexis. Hal's odd behavior didn't seem to be noticed by anyone other than Maggie. Will she accept his brush off? Or, push to figure out what's going on?

Another issue I had with the episode is the exchanges between Tom and Pope. These two have always had a challenging relationship, but what happened made no sense. Tom saved Pope's life and then they bonded over their troubled history. Sure, Tom made fun of Pope about not being able to make a fire and that felt authentic. Even the little squabble over the gun after Pope revealed he accidentally killed a man rang true.

Pope definitely has poor judgment and he should have known better than to throw a snake at the sleeping Tom. But, Tom's reaction was so out of character. The brawl between the two of them was ridiculous. I could see a jab or two, but to get so angry that knives are pulled? It felt so wrong it pulled me out of the story. If the Skitters hadn't shown up, they would have fought to the death.

After Tom was hurt from the jump. Pope tried to do the right thing by helping him get moving. At first when Tom pushed Pope away, I thought it was a reverse psychology thing happening, but given Tom's reaction that seems unlikely. If Tom was being noble and trying to save Pope, then it would have been in character. The way it happened just felt wrong.

At least, Pope stepped up and settled the debt by saving Tom's life. Their journey in this episode was odd from moment Pope woke up after the plane crash until they walked into Charleston together. Now that Tom is back in Charleston, he can get involved with whatever Marina is up to.

Could she be the mole? When she brought the Volm project photos to Kadar to investigate and lied about Tom's request, I thought maybe she was the mole. Though, after the two discussed the findings, I'm not so sure. It seems more likely that she's being set up to appear to be the mole. She may just truly be concerned, like Tom, about the Volm's project.

Why would the Volm be creating a device that has a power source in excess of what's necessary to run it? Could the power itself be used as a weapon? That's a mystery.

Did you find the episode to be lackluster? What do you make of Mariana? Could she be the mole? 


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I think Lourdes is the mole. She gave Tom a medical kit just before they took off in that plane. She also told Anne she checked into the baby's DNA and she was totally normal. Tom was carrying the kit until after he and Pope left where he'd been in the woods and got in that truck. How did they make it back safely when before that the Skitters were so capable of tracking them down? Agree that much of the writing is inconsistent, even incoherent at times, and the writers keep changing the character of their characters. Enough, already.


Totally agree the scenes with Pope and Tom didn't fit in. I've been Pope's least-biggest fan since season one. I just don't like the character (just want to clarify it's the character and not the actor I dislike). I wish they would either write him off the show or write him differently somehow. I mean he's been with the same people for over 2 years now. Either he learns to get along with people or they exile him. Resolve it somehow, please. And another thing, every time Tom and Pope take a step ahead in their relationship, they take two steps back. Enough!
I wish we were given at least a small glimpse of what was going on with Cochise.
I see tragedy in "Baby bear's future".
Mariana? I hadn't even considered her as the mole. After reading the review and comments, it seems more likely, but still doubtful.


Pope and Tom are like Brothers, as long as they don't spend to long near each other they get along fine, but left to long together and they will try to kill each other, but if anyone else tries to kill either of them, they will fight for side by side defending each other. By the way Tom and his council came to the decision to ask Dr Wilson advice on the weapon from a previous episode. We know know nothing about him. For all we know he been receiving knowledge from the overlords. An how is he powering the city, no ones ask. According to him it a biological reactor, now who technology is biological, who wanted the humans to gather together into colonies. Who have only attack such colonies with conventional weapons, instead of their devastating, virtually unstoppable biological weapons, the overlords. I suspect our chums at Charleston are doing exactly what the overlords wants them to do. Why, volm technology is superior to their own, perhaps it a trap to capture that technology for the overlords.


I seem to recall a snippet of an episode or a preview from this season where Tom remarks that he "spent months in one of their ships - who knows what they did to me." Is it possible that his odd behavior is related to that? I would really like to see Tom and Pope become strong compatriots and I thought their bonding in this epsiode would be a good start but the fight-to-the-death scene ended any hope of that. Very odd scenes. They need to kick start this season with a new story line or some other defining moment - after a promising start, this episode fell flat.


The brawl between the two of them was ridiculous.
I didn't get that fight either. After all they've been through, after living in Charleston for many months, Tom still doesn't get how valuable Pope can be? If there's one thing that man excels at it's surviving! And he didn't save Mason once but twice! He came back and shot the Skitters, but before that he had stoped the President from running straight into the searchlights.
What did the writers want to tell us with this storyline? That Mason can't handle stress anymore? That Pope can be a nice guy when he wants to? That these two, despite their quarrels, make quite a good team? That there's a mole and he or she is dangerous? We know all that already!


On Marina: Her actions in this episode seem to make it unlikely that she is the mole. I have to add, though, that she seemed too uninterested in the question of alien babies. If she was working for the Eshpheni, her disinterest in the babies and her strong interest in the Volm would make sense. On the search party: Hal was actually right. What sort of search pattern are they executing? Why are all of them going together? Is there any plan at all behind their search? On Hal: I really think they're doing the character of Maggie wrong by making her let Hal's behavior go unremarked. The Maggie we knew last season wasn't a snitch, but she wasn't a pushover, either.


@Carla: "The hour felt like a series of counselling [sic] sessions." That's fair. I have to say, though, that I liked the final exchange between Matt and Ben, when Matt said he didn't want to die alone and got a hug from his brother. As for the fist-fight between Tom and Pope, it's part of an old and lamentable film/TV tradition that says men bond by pounding the hell out of each other. Oddly, fighting a guy has never made me feel closer to him. Maybe it's a homoerotic thing that I'm just not privy to. As for Dr. Wilson drawing major conclusions from a few photos, I agreed with him when he said it was a ridiculous request. He knows from analyzing the photos how much power the thing is going to draw and how much it needs to do whatever the alien weapon is supposed to do? Yeah, right.


I think Tom's over the top reaction to some of Popes antics is he's subconsciously figured out that Popes the mole. Also, I believe the Volm device will destroy all alien life forms, including themselves, splitters, the harnessed kids and hybrids. I think that's why Tom is keeping it a secret and why the other aliens are trying so hard to find out what it is.

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Falling Skies Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

By the way, I had a family too once. I understand what we are fighting for ... completely.

Marina Perlata

That's not how it works. You're going to get off your ass and we are going to move.