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Falling Skies - S3E1 - On Thin Ice

Hola, ProFans! I’m super-excited to be getting to supply you with recaps of what has become one of my favorite shows. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to throw me some feedback in the comments!

Episode 1 opens seven months after the season 2 finale, on Colonel Weaver, his daughter Jeanne, and Matt Mason scouting a mining camp full of harnessed kids, working under the supervision of the standard skitter/mech security detail. Jeanne’s boyfriend, Diego, is among the captives. It appears that Matt has finally gotten his wish, and is now allowed to be involved in actual missions, as he is quickly tasked with sneaking about deploying what I took to be bombs at first, but apparently is some new distraction technology provided by our new alien friends, the Volm.

It works quite well apparently, giving an opening for the rest of the 2nd Mass to reintroduce themselves. Ben and Dani (his new I-used-to-be-harnessed-but-am-now-a-super-soldier girlfriend/counterpart) dramatically rappel in and start dishing out the old chin-stab to skitters. A convoy races in blasting away, consisting of Pope on his ubiquitous bike and a Maggie-driven armored vehicle with Hal on top manning the big guns. There’s nothing new here, as they take down the guard with ease, and begin rounding up the children. However, just as everyone is ready to celebrate the victory, with a creaking of metal and a crashing of rock, two brand-new enormous “megamechs” emerge from obviously staged rubble piles. (Our first hint at the “mole” storyline that will build as the ep goes on.) Rocket launchers for arms, lasers on their shoulders, and giant cannons sprouting from their backs, it seems these fellows were built for the squishing of all that is puny.

What ensues is probably the best action sequence in the series to date, as the megamechs proceed to raze the area, putting the 2nd Mass on the run. A horde of skitters emerges from the mine shaft, furthering the insinuation that this was an ambush from the get go, and everything looks dire for the 2nd Mass, until the cavalry suddenly arrives. Literally. Tom Mason comes riding in on horses with Cochise, the leader of the Volm, and they both have what look like typical assault rifles, but they shoot LASERS! Awesome megamech melting lasers, and everyone is saved!

We cut to Charleston after the battle, and start to discover what’s been going on these past seven months. It seems that public demand finally wore Tom down, and he is now the acting President. Though he claims to hate the title, he seems to take to it rather well, shutting down General Bressler’s concern about him fighting in the field, and bossing people around with ease (though in a very nice way.)

Hal and Maggie return to camp, and a group of people are helping Hal down from the gun mount into… a wheelchair. It seems that the eyeworm Hal was secretly infected with last season has taken a toll on his nervous system, leaving him unable to walk, though he is making improvements through rehab.

Pope continues to lead the Berserkers, and they continue to be discontent.

Next we see a very pregnant Anne using what looks like an alien CT scanner to kill and remove a harness from one of the rescued kids. It seems we are using a lot of Volm tech, but we haven’t gotten a lot of background on them yet.

A war council is convened, and we finally are properly introduced to Cochise, who resembles the “fishhead” overlords of the Espheni, but seems to be much more compassionate. We get the sense that, other than Tom, pretty much everyone distrusts the Volm. The council agrees that the ambush today means that there is a mole in the ranks, and Tom assigns an apparently reformed Arthur to root him out. Arthur subsequently recruits Anthony to assist.

Meanwhile, Hal has more problems than just being partially paralyzed. He’s having very real seeming dreams about his ex-girlfriend (and our favorite evil alien proxy) Karen. She is meeting him in his dreams on a regular basis, obviously to subvert him to her own purposes. Even more obviously leading us to believe that Hal may be the mole. Maggie is aware of the nightmares but Hal won’t tell her about them, so their relationship is becoming strained.

The skitter rebel leader, Red-Eye, requests through Ben, a meeting with Tom and Weaver. He relays intelligence that the Espheni intend to attack Charleston in an attempt to prevent the arrival of more Volm ships. He also reports that not only have the Espheni replaced the overlord that Tom killed last season, but that its replacement is Karen.

Arthur, who apparently works very fast, announces to Tom that he has narrowed down the list of suspects to 12. Immediately, and terribly conveniently, Anne’s water breaks. Tom puts off Arthur’s revelation for later in order to rush his wife to the hospital (bad move, Tom? Probably.)

Well, what do you know, while the Masons (all of them, yes, Hal too) are occupied playing Monopoly (no, really), Arthur gets a visit from a man with a very blurry face, but a very clear gun in his hand. Before he is shot, he recognizes the person. “It’s you?”. This essentially proves that there is a mole in the camp beyond whatever the hell Hal is. It is later mentioned that the list of suspects is missing and that the gun was Volmar tech. Thereby the shooter must have had access to the arsenal.

Back in the hospital, it’s a girl! World, meet Alexis Mason.

Here we’re… I hesitate to use the word subjected, because in the format of the “Presidential Address”, I don’t quite hate Tom’s speechifying as much as I did when it was randomly on the battlefield, so, let’s say, we’re treated to a speech from President Mason.

Hal has another nightmare, in which Karen tells him that the eyeworm is in him, “so that they can be together”, and a bunch of other sappy tropes. She also informs him that his paralysis is due to him “fighting” the implant. This bothers him, but apparently not enough to keep from having some glowy-spined sex on the forest floor.

Baby Alexis is surprisingly well-developed, both mentally and physically, and perfectly capable at 2 days old to stand up in her crib and freak mom out with a creepy smile.

Maggie confronts Hal with the mud on his boots after his last “nightmare”, and he’s all like “but I can’t walk!” This is the first indication that the dreams may be more than in his head.

Finally, after voicing concern over the intentions of the Volm, Tom takes Weaver to a secret construction yard where the Volm are busying themselves with the building of  an enormous cannon, supposedly for taking out the Espheni towers, thusly allowing Volm ships to land. [sarcasm]Of course this completely assuages any fears Weaver had, and everyone lives happily ever after [/sarcasm].

The Falling Skies premiere was a two-hour event, consisting of the first two episodes of the third season; a recap of the second episode, “Collateral Damage”, will be posted tomorrow.

About Chanse Horton (47 Articles)
Chanse Horton was raised in a cave by Tibetan Death Buddhists and fed a steady diet of good comics and terrible B movies. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA, with his wife and two direwolves.

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