Falling Skies “Compass” Review

Just as I was starting to warm up to Jimmy on Falling Skies, they’ve got to go and kill him off in tonight’s episode, “Compass.” Jimmy had grown up quite a bit since he first became a fighter with the 2nd Mass, and had he lived through this accident, I expect he would have continued to become the soldier that Weaver believed he was.

Jimmy had a history of unintentionally putting lives in danger, so when it was revealed that he and Ben had been “hunting Skitters” outside of their usual patrol boundaries, it came as no real surprise. Jimmy’s rather reckless style made him a great partner for Ben who needed someone who wouldn’t think twice about going on a secret, personal mission to take down Skitters.

I got a really good sense of Ben’s emotional loss after Jimmy’s death, but I expected more from Weaver. Last season, we saw how Jimmy had become a kind of surrogate son to Weaver. Jimmy had somehow worked his way into Weaver’s hardened heart, so I expected to see Weaver have more of a personal breakdown over Jimmy’s death.

Weaver’s eulogy for Jimmy was that of a commander for his fallen soldier. Although Weaver had no doubt that Jimmy was a war hero, I didn’t really see the side of Weaver that might have mourned Jimmy as a son. I understand that Weaver had a lot of other serious issues to handle in this episode, but if Weaver isn’t going to weep for Jimmy, is there anyone left in their world that Weaver would weep for?

One of the many things Weaver was dealing with was the conflict between Pope’s Berserker team and Tom. Pope might be a violent a-hole, but he does have some very valid suspicions about Tom and Ben. It seems as though Tom and Ben are both still being used by the occupation, but it’s not clear exactly how. For some reason, the red eyed Skitter that attacked Ben deliberately left him alive, much like Tom had been left alive after his time on the space craft. Maybe if Pope wasn’t such a callous jerk all the time, people might take him seriously.

Pope walked out on the 2nd Mass, but I’m sure it won’t be long before we see him again. I expect he’ll either return in an I-told-you-so moment when either Tom or Ben have lead the group into danger, or he’ll find himself being saved by one of those two people that he had been the most suspicious of.

I’m not sure what to make of the arrival of Avery Churchill and her wood and fiberglass plane. The prospect of the 2nd Mass meeting up with a larger group of organized humans is exciting and I’d love to see the battle against the occupation take on a worldwide scope. Then again, there’s something about her description of Charleston that sounds a little bit like the “sanctuary” that Tom was offered when he was on the alien craft. Might the 2nd Mass be unwittingly walking into a trap? Or are we going to see the start of humanity turning the tables on their occupiers? On Falling Skies, anything is possible, and I’m looking forward to finding out.