Falling Skies - Episode 2 - The Armory
A bit disappointing to be honest. I might be naive but I would assume that when it is the end of the world (literally) and we are being attacked by Aliens with over 90% of humanity wiped out, the remainder while not necessarily being active in the fight against the aliens, would not further prey on their fellow man.
Unfortunately while my disappointment might be real, this episode might be more right than I would like to believe which is really sad - however, I will continue hoping that even the criminal element would realize their only long term hope of survival would be in either helping or at the very least not hindering any fight that humanity is putting up in their struggle for survival.
In this second episode, Tom (Noah) and his team set out to scope out an abandoned Armory to search for any left over weaponry - while their initial incursion is spotted and stopped by a Mech (the Aliens are smart enough to trap food storage locations and other obvious targets of opportunity that the human survivors might frequent), their subsequent attempt is more successful and they are able to infiltrate the Armory. Unfortunately, upon their entrance they are immediately attacked - not by Skitters or Mechs but rather by the remnants of a Biker Gang that had been surviving in the area.
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John Pope is the leader of the Biker Gang (quick question - why do leaders of nefarious groups have to so well educated and skilled? Seems to me that strength and evil doing would be the prerequisites and not how well you speak English?) and he has successfully attacked and killed several Skitters over the preceding months (using some of them as decorations in his lair). In fact in one confrontation that he mentions, his group attacked a Skiiter shuttle and shot at it with a SAM (Surface to Air Missile) but somehow it was able to avoid the SAM entirely.
Pope is well aware that the group he has captured is part of the resistance and also knows that they have a 50 calibre machine gun attached to one of the vehicles in their convoy. He proposes that he will release Tom's group in exchange for the gun and dispatches Tom's son to obtain it.
When Hal makes it back to the camp, he is told in no uncertain terms by Weaver that they will not be releasing the weapons and that Tom is on his own. Managing to effect an escape, Hal returns to Pope accompanied by Anne (Moon Bloodgod - the Doctor of the 2nd Mass). Pope's brother and 2nd in command had been injured in their capture of Tom's group and Anne feels that possibly by returning with Hal she will compensate for Weaver not supplying the 50 cal.
Pope is rather "disappointed" and annoyed at Weaver not giving up his weaponry and while Anne is able to save his brother's life, decides that he wants the 50 cal anyways and sets out to obtain it leaving Tom and and the rest with his brother and 2 others in their hide away.
After Pope departs however, one of the members of the gang - Margaret - quickly turns on the rest of them, killing Pope's brother and the other guard and freeing the hostages. Margaret informs Tom and his group that she was basically part of the gang against her will and that Pope's brother had done - not too nice - things to her and deserved to die.
Pope meanwhile had managed to persuade Weaver to hand over the 50 cal, but was stopped in his getaway by the arrival of Tom and his team. A short, sharp fire-fight ensued and the only survivor was Pope who was captured and imprisoned by Tom and Weaver.
Overall a rather disappointing episode - nothing really happened, no explanation was given to who the Aliens really are or why they are here. None of the other questions asked earlier were answered or addressed in any meaningful fashion either. While Falling Skies has already been renewed for a 2nd season, here's hoping they know where they want to take the story and how they are going to get there.
Ideas and Questions
- Why are they here? - As anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows, justifying intersteller warfare is never easy. If a civilization can travel between stars, then they can easily find resources on other planets without having to fight a battle to obtain them. Hopefully a reasonable justification will be provided as the story progresses.
- Why didn't humanity fight? - In the introduction, Tom's youngest son told the camp Doctor that humanity didn't use nukes "in case they had come in peace" ... however after they realized that this was not the case, why didn't they use them then? What happened to all of the worlds soldiers as it is somewhat amazing that so many civilians survived when so many soldiers did not?
- What are the Mechs? - The Mech's have a completely different shape to the Skitters - more bipedal and birdlike in terms of gait then the other aliens ... two possibilities come to mind:
- There is another alien species that we have not yet met (in which case you would think/hope that they would investigate the body of the Mech's they destroy?)
- Humanities children - with their alien parasites - are the actual drivers?
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