Falling Skies Review: "Worlds Apart"
Last summer's hit television show returned this past weekend with a two hour premiere. The show last year was quite a surprise to me as I am frequently skeptical of a show being set in a post apocalyptic world. However, the show seemed to get better as it progressed through it's first season. Now that the first two episodes of the new season have aired (the second review will be later in the week), I can honestly say that the show is getting better. It is getting better in terms of writing, acting, CGI and even cinematography. It was very impressive to me how much better these first two episodes were then most of the episodes from the first season. Due to this revelation, the show has peaked my interest more than ever before. The storylines it seems to be delving further into are much darker and leave more room for what we all love in our television shows, more drama between our characters that we have come to love.
The episode starts off exactly where last season ended with Tom going onto the alien ship with Karen, who had a harness on her back. The episode skips ahead to three months later where we see the second mass fighting off a small convoy of the alien threat. Pope and Weaver lead the frontal attack as Hal and Ben take out a mech from behind. After exterminating the threat, Weaver gives the cease fire command, but Ben doesn't listen. Within a short period of time, it is very clear that Ben is a much better fighter but also a loose cannon. His trigger finger gets him in trouble as he sees a skidder and starts firing at it only to have hit his father who had been attacking it up close. Tom had been released sometime ago from the alien ship and hightailed it all the way back in hopes of meeting back with his sons. Ben is obviously disturbed by the fact that he shot his father, but it quickly shows how war hardened he is. He takes it upon himself to teach his younger brother, Matt, how to use a gun. When challenged on the subject by Hal, he shows off his enhanced strength thanks to the spikes still lodged in his spine. After their confrontation, Hal explains to Margaret that he doesn't feel like he knows his brother anymore. While Anne fixes up Tom, Pope questions Weaver as to whether or not they can trust Tom as he had miraculously escaped the confines of an alien ship.
The other half of the episode consisted of Tom's flashbacks as to what happened on the alien ship, at least a short bit of his time and also when he was released. Tom was met by Karen yet again who took him to the leader and was told that they didn't expect the humans to put up such a resistance. However, they know that the resistance is futile as the aliens will still win the war in the long run. As Tom is a historian, the leader attempts to reason with him by offering his people a small portion of land where they would be safe as long as the skidders and mechs could roam free wherever else. This would effectively end the war, but Tom decides he cannot trust the alien threat and attacks. Shortly after attacking, he wakes up to only find himself leaving the ship with others. The ship disappears only to reveal a skidder with a mech. The mech opens fire and kills every human except Tom as he was allowed to return to his people. As he heads to meet back up with the second mass and his family, he runs across a scared girl who was being attacked by a mugger. Tom fought the mugger off and helped the girl. The girl had a motorcycle with her that belonged to her now deceased mother and after Tom buried the mother, he took the girl with him on the motorcycle and headed towards the second mass.
The pilot was interesting mostly for the aspect of the shaky ground between Hal and Ben. Granted, I have always found that battles between brothers always make for great drama and potentially great storylines but this really has something. It is clear that Ben has been greatly effected by the harness that was on his spine but now it is also changing him physically. It seems to have augmented his strength in some way and it will be interesting to see where else it will take him. It does have the potential to led Ben down an increasingly dark road where he could see himself on the opposite side from his Captain America-like brother Hal. Speaking of trust issues, it will also be interesting to see where Pope's storyline is. No one seems to be able to truly trust him, while he is also the most level headed of them all. Granted, his decisions usually can rub people the wrong way, but they have the best chance of limiting casualties in war. His inability to trust Tom will also most likely be a big sticking point throughout this season as no one knows what happened to him on his time in the alien ship. As for a season premiere, it was serviceable but the next episode was a much bigger step forward.