Falling Skies “Love and Other Acts of Courage” Review

Tonight’s episode of Falling Skies, “Love and Other Acts of Courage,” focused heavily on the budding romance between Maggie and Hal. As sweet as young love can be, I was much more interested in the information we got from the 2nd Mass’ short term prisoner, the red eyed skitter.

The episode opened with skitters and Ben going into some sort of psychic communication, or considering the way Ben dropped to his knees, perhaps it was a pre-battle prayer. This odd behavior remained unexplained even after the 2nd Mass took in the red eyed skitter for information.

The 2nd Mass had been in Richmond for about a week and had encountered no other resistance fighters or skitters. Instead, they found the aftermath of what appeared to be a battle among the aliens themselves. Even though this seemed to corroborate what the red eyed skitter had told Tom about their own resistance, there was something about this whole set up that didn’t quite sit right with me.

Last season, after observing the way the skitters had interacted with the biped aliens in the larger ships, Tom suggested that perhaps the skitters might have also been an enslaved race. The red eyed skitter’s story about their planet being taken over by “The Overlords” and being harnessed matched up almost perfectly to Tom’s earlier theory. I’m not sure if that’s just because Tom was spot on with his original theory, or if that red eyed skitter was feeding Tom a story that it knew Tom would be receptive to.

The red eyed skitter might have spared Tom and Ben, but it didn’t do much to stop the massacre of other humans in the past, so I’m not totally on board with the story of a skitter resistance. Ben and Rick were convinced that the red eyed skitter would be the key to overthrowing the overlords, but for all we know, they’re still being controlled and manipulated by their harnesses.

Assuming the skitter’s story was true, its species would have experienced the same strife on their home planet for hundreds of years. I would have liked the red eyed skitter to give us some insight into what exactly these overlords are after and what the fate of humanity would be if the human resistance failed. Were the overlords jumping around from planet to planet to plunder natural resources? Or did they have a more complex agenda?

When the “death squad” came into town, the red eyed skitter seemed to be able to easily escape the 2nd Mass’ cell, so whether or not that story was the whole truth, the red eyed skitter was willingly captured so it could tell Tom about their resistance. Why the overlords bothered to hunt down the human/skitter resistance with a small “death squad” rather than just wiping them out with a much more devastating alien weapon of mass destruction still isn’t clear to me, but thanks to that, the entire 2nd Mass was able to outrun their attackers yet again.

For the most part, I didn’t mind Maggie and Hal’s romantic storyline in tonight’s episode, but I had a hard time with their flirtatious chat about young love in the back of a car as mechs patrolled the area around them. They were a little too happy-go-lucky for what should have been a nerve wracking moment. The mechs are supposed to be one of the more serious alien threats, so Hal and Maggie’s cheerful chatter seemed really out of place and – at least from a tactical standpoint – it was pretty stupid.

Thankfully the awkward drama that followed Hal and Maggie’s kiss resolved before the end of the episode. I like Maggie and I like Hal, but a lot of this romance business keeps taking up time that I would prefer be focused on the occupation and the resistance’s fight for survival.

In the final scenes of tonight’s Falling Skies, Weaver sat down with Tom to express his concern about the threat that Ben poses to the safety of the 2nd Mass. Weaver was able to calmly and rationally address the obvious issues with Ben, but perhaps Weaver should also be a little more suspicious of Tom.

As if he had sensed the coming change in the 2nd Mass, Ben confided to Matt that he would be going away for a little while, but offered no insight into where he would be going, or what he would have to do while he was away.

The 2nd Mass will likely continue their journey to Charleston, with or without Ben. I’m curious to see if the red eyed skitter’s story actually influences the 2nd Mass to consider an alliance with the skitters or if they decide to stick it out on their own at least until they can get to Charleston.