Monday, June 10, 2013

'Falling Skies' Season 3 premiere recap: 'On Thin Ice,' 'Collateral Damage'

Doug Jones is...Cochise!

"On Thin Ice"

We start up this season of Falling Skies seven months after last season's end. The 2nd Mass attacks an alien mining operation and liberates a pack of harnessed children. One of the kids is Diego, the missing boyfriend of Weaver's daughter, Jeanne. Things go horribly wrong though, almost like the aliens were expecting them. Ben and Denny (also a de-harnessed kid) call in the reinforcements. Interestingly enough, the rebel skitters have taken to painting themselves up with stylish warpaint. They arrive with Tom and his new alien friend and the battle is won.

The Volm, the new alien race that showed up at the end of last season, have brought their technology with them, allowing the Resistance to remove the harnesses from the kids. Dr. Glass, who is quite pregnant now, performs the procedure on Diego. Cochise is the Volm liaison with the Human Resistance.

Happily, these new guys can actually speak English. Tom is now President Mason. He calls a meeting of his military folk and they argue about whether or not there really is a mole in the ranks. General Bressler (aka Matt Frewer, who will always be Max Headroom to me) doesn't understand why the Aliens would be resorting to espionage, but Cochise counters with, "Human logic must be discarded when dealing with extraterrestrials." Tom decides to put Dr. Manchester in charge of the mole hunt since Tom knows he wasn't involved in any of the war planning.

Hal has been unable to walk since his last encounter with Karen. He has been slowly trying to learn the skill again, but is still dependent on his wheelchair. He has also been having nightmares in which he meets Karen in some dark creepy woods. He refuses to tell Maggie what the nightmares are about, which is probably wise since he usually ends up making out with Karen.

The leader of the rebel skitters calls Tom and Weaver over to their camp for a little chit chat. They still aren't fond of Charleston seeing as a bunch of the humans still don't trust them. He warns them of a few important things. The Espheni are preparing another attack on Charleston. The Volm have many troop ships on the way and the skitters seem unsure of their motivations. Finally, there's a new Overlord in town, and this one's even worse than the last. Of course, the new Overlord is Karen.

We learn through Weaver's daughter that the Volm have their own camp outside of Charleston as well. They claim to have been attacked by the Overlords as well. They know follow after the Espheni trying to liberate the world's they attack. Most everyone, while grateful for the help, seem suspicious of their true motivations.

Speaking of motives, Pope breaks up some anti-alien talk in the town bar. One wonders what his motives will turn out to be.

Anne's water breaks and the entire Mason family gathers around her to play Monopoly until the baby arrives. That sounds splendid, really. Meanwhile, Dr. Manchester is in his office when someone we can't see opens the door and points an alien pistol at him. He seems quite astonished as the blast hits him.

Typically, Tom feels guilty and that this is all his fault, but goes back to Anne to see his daughter, Alexis be born.

Hal has another nightmare and appears to be himself when he meets up with Karen. When she is not trying to chew his face off, she explains that she put a probe in his brain that keeps them connected. He's fighting it and that's why he's paralyzed. She then throws him to the ground and has her wicked way with him. In the morning, Maggie is unable to find his boots. They aren't by the bed where they always leave them. It turns out they are covered in mud and hidden in the back of the closet. Hmm, looks like Hal's nightmares aren't really dreams after all. To continue the weirdness, Anne wakes up from a nap and thinks that she sees the newborn Alexis standing up in her bassinet.

Weaver meets with Tom to congratulate him on the birth of his daughter, and then throws his voice into questioning the motivations of the Volm. They have another historically relevant history lesson that results in Tom showing Weaver a secret. Tom and Cochise take him down below the city to show him a big weapon the Volm have been building. They feel that this weapon will decisively end the war. And this ends the first hour of the 2-hour premiere.

"Collateral Damage"

Ben and Denny find a nuclear power plant that the Aliens are using to make more new shiny mega mechs. The Resistance plans to take it out, but concerns over a possible nuclear fallout drive them to seek help from a strange little hermit running the city's power plant. Dr. Kadari used to teach Nuclear Physics before the Espheni arrived. They eventually manage to intrigue him with their request for help, and he wanders away to think about the situation.

Alexis continues to freak Anne out by displaying abilities no 1-week old infant should have. The freaky little kid can now say “Mommy” and crawl. Be afraid, be very afraid. Yes, I watch too many horror movies. Tom shows up for some baby duty and Anne blows it off as her imagination.

More fun with the Mason boys. Matt has found himself a gang of buddies. They decide to skip school and set off to blow up abandoned buildings in the city. Only they get caught and Anthony hauls him to Anne. Like any bratty kid, his response is “Your not my mother!”. Ann looks hurt, but sends him off to detention anyway.

Dr Kadari has come up with a plan to blow up the facility without causing a nuclear fallout, but he needs to see the blueprints to show them where to plant the explosives. Oops. They don't have any blueprints. Tom declares that the strange little man has to come with them, which prompts another kind of meltdown entirely. Looks like Dr. Kadari is agoraphobic, but Tom's new aide talks him down.

Due to concerns about the mole, the team splits up. The mole of course finds the plans in Weaver's office and leaks them to the Espheni via a creepy little bug that takes pictures and then sprouts evil little dragon wings and flies home. Only, it was all part of the plan. Weaver's group is getting the crap beat out of them, drawing all of the mechs away from the plant, while Tom, Maggie, Anthony, and Dr. Kadari go through the front gate.

After dropping them off, Tector and Hal head off to help Weaver's group and the Berserkers. Tom's group is quickly set upon by the mutated harnessed children left to protect the facility, but they get the charges set and leave. Weaver is understandably upset at the losses his unit suffered during the attack. Pope shares his frustration and mouths off about how the Volm aren't out there dying with them. He shuts up when Weaver snaps at him, so you know he's up to something. Back in Charleston, Tom and Weaver drink to their fallen soldiers and continue their discussion about the Volm. Weaver still doesn't trust them. They decide to consult Dr. Kadari about the Volm's so-called weapon. Cochise interrupts this talk with congratulations on their mission. He also brings the uplifting news that the Espheni are massing all of their mechs and troops to hit Charleston.

Now that the fighting is over for the day, it's time to wrap up some Mason family business. Matt finally goes to Tom about blowing up that building. He says he's sorry for doing it, but he doesn't see the point of school. First off, Matt, this is a bad thing to say to a history professor. After Tom sets his son straight on the importance of an education during an alien apocalypse, Matt confesses his ugliness about Ann. This leads him to go apologize to her in person and ultimately ask if he can call her Mom.


Tom walks in on this part and they all hug and stare down happily at little Alexis. While all this bonding is going on, Maggie wakes up to find that Hal is not in bed. She must see him walking away because she chases after him. I guess she's really slow though; she doesn't catch up to him until he's already in the creepy woods. She finally manages to wake him from his sleepwalking and they stagger back to town. Karen glowers unseen from behind some trees. Looks like Hal might have some explaining to do.

The next episode of Falling Skies, “Badlands” airs June 16th at 10PM ET on TNT.