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      Monday
      Jul232012

      Falling Skies Season 2, Episode 7 Molon Labe

      Falling Skies S2 Ep7

      Molon Labe

      Molon Labe is Greek for “come and take them” it was supposedly what the Spartan king, Leonidas, told the Persians when they were ordered to throw down their weapons at Thermopile.  This kind of defiance pretty much sums up the Second Mass, huh?

      Recap:

      The story begins with Ben and Karen in the woods looking for the rebel skitters only a few minutes after their escape last episode.  They hear skitters, but it is not the rebels, it is an Overlord!  Karen has led Ben into a trap!  Karen gets her harness back and is in ecstasy.  She seems nearly orgasmic as she tries to harness Ben.  The Second Mass comes to the rescue but Karen slips away.  They capture the Overlord though. 

      Back at the hospital, Jamil and Lourdes share a moment.  Aw, ain’t they cute?  Captain is up and moving, and he allows Doc and Lourdes to go downstairs and clean out the supplies.  Then he “orders” Matt to be their security detail.  That was really cute.  Matt carrying around an assault rifle like a Woobie is also cute.   

      As they confine the Overlord in the psych ward, the mechs attack.  Weaver realizes it is just a distraction while a mech comes in from behind.  Tom goes to the back of the hospital and takes it out by blowing up some propane tanks.  Matt, Lourdes, and Doc are injured in the explosion, though Tom doesn’t know it.   

      During a break in the fighting, Weaver says, “We’ll have to wait for their next move.”  As he says it, Karen’s voice calls out.  Weaver quips, “That didn’t take long.”  Two Weaver quips already this episode.  Great writing, I love just a touch of humor in this show.  Karen has a white flag and wants a parlay.  She says if they let the Overlord go, they can leave free and clear, but Tom, rightfully, doesn’t trust her.  Karen claims that she is still trying to protect the Second Mass.  She keeps saying this enough that I think it must be at least partially true.

      Matt, Doc, and Lourdes all come to at the same time.  How come that only happens on television?  Tec sends Boone and Tyree to scout the mechs’ position and Weaver sends Hal and Maggie to search an old access tunnel to see if there is another way out of the hospital.  He also sends Jamil to the basement to find Doc, Matt, and Lourdes.  

      Ben tells Tom that he will be leaving after they escape the hospital.  He says that he had a connection to the Overlord and that the Overlord is terrified of the rebellion.  He has to leave before the Overlord reestablishes the connection and learns what Ben knows about the rebellion. 

      In the basement, Doc, Matt and Lourdes find Jamil.  He is all beat up and bloody and holding a metal door handle.  My first thought was that he has been electrocuted, but it is much worse.  He’s all twitchy and squawking.   When Matt tries to open the door, Jamil manages to scream, “No!”  Hal and Maggie are trying to open the access hatch and while they work on the door, Hal says that he might have loved Karen, he doesn’t anymore because she isn’t the same person.  I guess that was the right answer, because Maggie kisses him.  Fickle woman.  They open the hatch and these little alien bugs are coming down the shaft!  Oh crap, that’s what happened to Jamil, isn’t it?  He says “I love you” to Lourdes right before the crawlys start to swarm out from inside him.  Gross…and kinda awesome.  The crawlys can eat though metal, so while Lourdes, Matt and Doc are safe in the blood lab for a while, it won’t last long.

      Ben and Hal go to the basement joined by, of all people, Pope.  Pope promises to be good and follow Tom’s lead.  Interesting character development.  Matt crawls through the air vent to try and find help.  He bravely gives up his Woobie to make the journey.  Doc tries to find something to fight the crawlys with, while Lourdes fights her own despair.  This was a great performance by Seychelle Gabriel.  By far the best scenes she’s ever had.  Even later in the episode, when she has no lines, she is still acting her ass off.  Pope, Tom, and Ben find Matt.  Hal takes him upstairs while Pope and Tom look for the Doc.

      Back at the front line, Karen has captured Boone.  The mechs kill him, slowly, sending the message to Weaver that they will be next.  A tear runs down Weaver’s face as Tec fires into the nothingness.  Wow, they are making even a chump like Boone’s death means something.  Doc turns an oxygen tank onto an improvised flamethrower and starts to fry bugs.  Bitchin’!   They find Tom and Pope and make a run for it.  When Weaver finds out about Jamil he immediately goes to comfort Lourdes.  Another great moment, and a great acting job from Will Patton, one of his best from the season. 

      Tom is furious and goes to the Overlord with Ben.  The Overlord stands, breaking his chains like they are made of paper.  Apparently, his skinny frame has a lot of power.  The Overlord talks with Tom through Ben and we learn that this is the same Overlord from Tom’s time on the ship.  The Overlord starts by saying a bunch of crap about how the human race was destroying their planet and such, but Tom sees through that BS right away.  Tom asks the Overlord why they are on Earth, but he refuses to tell him.  The Overlord claims that humans are too crippled by sentiment to defeat them.  He proves his point by causing a seizure in Ben, which melts Tom’s will.  Tom begs the Overlord to stop the seizure, which he does, but then Tom shoots him in the face!  Holy Shit!

      Weaver dresses down Tom about shooting the Overlord, but understands too.  Tom convinces Weaver that the skitter rebellion is probably real.  They bring Karen in to see the Overlord.  She and Hal share a tense and nasty moment.  Good acting from Jesse Schram too, damn!  Tom tells Karen that if she lets the Second Mass evacuate, she could save the Overlord.     

      The Second Mass escapes as Weaver gives a rousing speech.  Tom and Doc share a tender moment.  Doc tries to talk to Lourdes, but she is not the same kind and gentle person she was before.  Ben and Tom share a long scene before Ben leaves to go off on his own.  It is a great finish to a great episode.

      Review:

      I am surprised they paid off the Ben/Karen storyline right away; I figured it would take several weeks for Karen to betray Ben, not several minutes.

      The whole opening was really well done.  Capturing the Overlord was a great surprise, and I also liked the quieter scene in the hospital.  A little humor really helps this show.

      All of the action sequences work really well this week.  Some of the special effects are a little blocky, but the human actors are really coming into their own.  Noah Wile especially looks good this week.  He does a great job handling a machine gun, talking to the giant special effect, and with his paternal feelings.  Great episode from him overall.

      I’m pissed off that they killed off Jamil.  He was my favorite non-cast character.  As I watched this the first time I thought, “why don’t they kill off someone annoying, like Boone?” then they did that too.  Bad day for people not in the opening credits.  RIP Jamil, you really were a great character.

      The Overlord is clearly only as captured as he wants to be.  This is the third time this season that a character has allowed themselves to be captured by the Second Mass.  I don’t know what it means, but it is interesting.

      As churchy and annoying as the Lourdes character was before, I hope they take the momentum she has built this episode and run with it.  Seychelle Gabriel has shown me some acting chops this episode.  I’d love to see her search for her faith play out over the second half of the season.

      Grade:  A.  This is the best episode of Falling Skies all year, maybe ever.  The action is tense and the drama is high, with just a touch of humor and horror thrown in.  A great ratio.  The acting was stellar all around in this episode.  There were new aliens, several surprising plot twists, and real peril.  Losing a character like Jamil, who had been featured so prominently, really gives the show an “anything can happen” kind of vibe again.  I’m bummed that we are losing his character, but his death really added something to this episode and to the overall arc of the show.  FS is taking a week off, but next week they are running a marathon of all the season’s episodes.  A great chance to catch up if you haven’t seen all of them yet.

      Second Watch:

      I hope they are interviewing the director this time, because this episode was, by far, the best acted one we’ve had yet.  Nope; Moon Bloodgood and writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle join Wil tonight.  Oh well the writing was good in this episode too.  Moon Bloodgood talks about how she prefers the action stuff to the medical terminology.  She also talks about her relationship with Seychelle, and how their feminine energy is important to this very masculine show.  They talk in depth about Jamil’s death and Wil is surprisingly jubilant.  I must be more attached to the character than he is.  Moon takes an audience question about her relationship with Tom and talks about how they do not play it as overly sentimental, as survival and duty are more important.  I thought that was interesting.  Moon and Wil complement each other’s acting and Moon does the head bow with hands folded like a Catholic in front of her.  Normally I find that gesture annoying, but it seemed natural from her. 

       

      Thanks to Barron Network, Carlost, and Wormholeriders, for the pictures.

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