Monday, June 17, 2013

'Falling Skies' recap: 'Badlands'

Pope confronts Tom and Weaver. Courtesy TNT
BY MELISSA HARKNESS

After destroying the nuclear power plant in the season premiere, the 2nd Mass has been stationed in the badlands at the perimeter of Charleston -- watching for the Espheni.

But when the attack comes, it's not aliens; it's humans. A group of human snipers have hidden themselves in the abandoned buildings and are firing on the 2nd Mass. Weaver and Tom rush to the front line to see for themselves. They manage to capture one of the snipers after Weaver bazookas a building. Turns out it's a woman in military fatigues.

This particular sniper was firing on the Berserkers. During the firefight, Crazy Lee escapes a bullet but falls and impales her head on a piece of rebar. Amazingly, she is conscious and doesn't feel any pain from the injury. Matt and Pope find a hacksaw and try to saw through the metal to get her free. While they work she tells them a story about how she had a dog when she was a kid. She loved that dog, but she got old and they just knew it was time to put her to sleep. Pope tells her to shut up and continues his work. Eventually they get her back to town, but they can't remove the rebar. It's the only thing keeping her alive.

After last week's revelation, Hal has progressed and is sort of able to walk without help. I'm thinking having your girlfriend catch you sleepwalking in the woods to get a little alien nookie would do that to a guy. With his mobility somewhat returned, he decides to leave Charleston. Fortunately for him, Maggie shows up while he is packing and refuses to let him leave. She does manage to get a confession from him that he has been going to see Karen during his nocturnal wanderings. Of course, the last place Maggie wants him is loose in the woods with Karen. Hal, being a Mason, decides that if Maggie won't let him leave, he has to confess to being the mole. Maggie suspects that will get him killed for treason.

Let's go check on Anne and that sweet, adorably creepy baby of hers. Poor Anne's consternation with Alexis' strange abilities continues. Her latest freak-out is witnessed by Lourdes. Unfortunately, when she looks at the baby, she is lying quietly in her crib. Makes one wonder if all of this might possibly be in Anne's head. To continue the baby drama, Lourdes takes her concerns about Anne's mental health to Tom. He postpones his interrogation of the sniper to go talk to her. She finally admits that she doesn't think that Alexis is human. I have to say, Anne really isn't looking very healthy. Tom is so understanding and loving that even I want to hit him, so I don't blame her for the pissed expression. He changes the baby's diaper, kisses Anne on the forehead and heads off to do presidential things like interrogate the sniper.

The captured sniper has declined to give anything but her name, rank and serial number -- until they tell her that Tom is the new President of the United States. She scoffs and tells them she works for Ben Hathaway (the President when the invasion began). Oopsie! It looks like the real government thinks they are alien collaborators because of all the rebel skitters around. Tom thinks they need to send someone to Hathaway to explain, but General Bressler feels that they can't spare anyone with the impending attack.

Let's take a look at a slightly more stable family relationship and see what Weaver's daughter has been doing. Jeanne has had a brilliant idea to erect a large metal tree sculpture in the town center. They have dubbed this the Liberty Tree, and the inscription at the base reads: "Honor to him who braves for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle - A. Lincoln"

Aww, I do love the little bits of history in this show. The sculpture is almost finished, just in time for the dedication ceremony that night.

Meanwhile, the Berserkers and Matt have been sitting vigil with Crazy Lee at the hospital. Tom stops by to pay his respects to her. As he is leaving, Pope decides this is an appropriate time to launch into a tirade. Essentially, he blames Tom for Crazy's injury because he has been working them to death without telling them what they are working on or for. We learn during this little speech that the Berserkers have been helping the Volm build their secret weapon. I'm shocked that Weaver agreed to that. Anyway, in typical Tom fashion, he agrees with Pope and walks away. One hopes he's going to go check on Anne, who is currently in a rage. Turns out Tom asked Lourdes to stay with her to make sure she didn't hurt the baby. We've already seen that Lourdes isn't all that good at keeping secrets.

Pope is sitting with Crazy when she finally wakes. She decides that when she gets out of the hospital, Pope needs to take her to Disneyland. As tears run down his face, he tells her that he can't because he once got in a fight with Goofy. She chuckles and then falls silent as she passes away. Pope takes the dogtags she had been holding and puts it around Matt's neck before leaving. Pope was crying, people. Crying. He really does have a heart somewhere in that dirty chest of his.

That night, the good people of Charleston gather together for the Liberty Tree dedication. Tom tries to read a speech his aide prepared for him, but he soon puts it away and delivers one from the heart. As the community gathers around the Tree to place the names of their dead loved ones on it's branches, the Espheni finally attack.

The next episode of Falling Skies, “At All Costs” airs Sunday June 23 at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.

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