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Falling Skies - Season one: Recap

Updated on May 28, 2012


Remember that Sci-Fi show from last summer, ‘Falling Skies’? Well, guess what! It was renewed and the second season starts on June 17th, broadcasted on TNT. In this hub I will recap the first season to refresh your memory before watching the second season.

First of all, the first season ending was intriguing and it will be very exciting to see what’ll happen next season. But before we get to that, there is some explaining to do. Because a lot of things happened, I will shortly recap every episode starting with the events that happened prior to the pilot.

Skitters: Six legged, very agile creatures. It's believed they are enslaved children that have transformed into Skitters. They communicate via radio waves.
Mechs: These are robots controlled by Skitters. They have a human-like body and walk like humans.

It all started when aliens invaded the Earth; within six months 90% of the human population was wiped out. In Boston, several groups of soldiers and civilians have set up camp, called regiments. The show follows the 2nd Mass (Massachusetts), which is lead by Captain Weaver. They do everything they can to fight off the aliens, subdivided in Skitters and Mechs (see below for description), in order to survive.

Hal Mason (Drew Roy; ‘Secretariat’): Tom’s oldest son, a scout in the 2nd Mass and boyfriend of Karen.
Ben Mason (Connor Jessup; ‘The Saddle Club’): Tom’s middle son. Captured by Skitters.

In the first episode, while searching for food, Hal discovers his little brother, Ben, is enslaved by the aliens through a so-called harness. This harness is attached to the back of people and Skitters use it to control the humans.


John Pope (Colin Cunningham; ‘Flashpoint’): Leader of the outlaws.
Tom Mason (Noah Wyle; ‘ER’): Former Boston University history professor, who’s currently the second-in-command of the 2nd Mass. His sons are, Hal, Ben, and Matt being the youngest. His wife was killed by aliens shortly after they arrived.
Margaret (Sarah Carter; ‘Shark’): Was part of outlaws, but abused by gang members.

In the next episode, Pope is introduced. He is the leader of a group of outlaws who captures Tom and a small crew, member of the 2nd Mass. As Weaver wants to trade his people for food an alien ship interrupts them and most of the outlaws are killed. Pope is being captured by Weaver and another outlaw, Margaret, agrees to fight alongside with them. Also, a group of children, including Ben, is sighted near a hospital.

Dr. Michal Harris (Steven Weber; ‘Without a Trace’): A surgeon who is good friends with Tom. He knows how to remove a harness from a child.
Karen Nadler
(Jessy Schram; ‘Once Upon a Time’): Hal’s girlfriend.
Rick Thompson (Daniel J. Gordon; ‘The Line’): He was harnessed by the Skitters.
Mike Thompson (Martin Roach ; ‘Aaron Stone’): A soldier for the 2nd Mass. Father of Rick.

In the third episode Dr. Michael Harris, a man who knows how to remove the harness from enslaved children, joins the 2nd Mass. Tom and a crew try to save the children from the hospital. Their attempt fails, however, causing Karen and Hal to be captured by Skitters. They only manage to save Rick, Mike’s son. Hal is sent home with a clear message: “If you take one child, we’ll kill the whole group”, Karen does not return and she’ll turn out to be enslaved. After the failed rescue mission Tom somehow manages to capture a live Skitter, which they can use for research.

Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood; ‘Burn Notice’): The 2nd Mass doctor.

Episode four revolves mainly around Anne who tries to communicate with the captured Skitter while Harris wants to dissect it. Rick’s harness was removed, but when he wakes up he reattaches the harness. After this, he tries to free the Skitter, but fortunately he is interrupted.

In the fifth episode Harris tries to inject the Skitter with a lethal serum, but he fails and the Skitter kills Harris. After this incident Anne discovers that the Skitters communicate via radio waves. Meanwhile a plan is devised to free Ben and his group. The plan succeeds and after Ben’s operation he recognises his father, contrary to Rick, who doesn’t.


The sixth and seventh episode together form a slightly less important event in the series. In short: Terry Clayton is introduced as the leader of the 7th Mass Volunteer Regiment. Most of his unit was wiped out by Skitters en Mechs. Later, Terry is exposed as an enemy collaborator. He delivers children to the aliens and in return they let him live in peace.
It comes to a confrontation between Terry and his men and the 2nd Mass. Mike and Terry are killed and the rest of Terry’s men are captured by the 2nd Mass.
Ever since Ben was enslaved he has an extraordinary physical strength and dexterity, and his behavior has changed. This change is also noticeable in Rick, but he dislikes humans, while Ben isn’t this alienated. For example, Rick isn’t sad about his father’s dead.

Colonel Porter (Dale Dye; ‘Larry Crowne’): The leader of all the resistance groups in Boston.
: They seem to be the creatures that devised the invasion of Earth. They are tall humanoid creatures. Very little of our knowledge about them is confirmed (or denied) in the series so far. It is thought that the Overlords use harnesses to command humans and Skitters, and that they have designed the Mechs. Slenders is the nickname given by the fans.

In this eight episode Colonel Porter visits the 2nd Mass and confirms that the 7th Mass has been destroyed and that there has been no contact with the 4th and 5th Mass. The Skitters are falling back in every major city which makes for a perfect time to attack their base, not just in Boston but across the country. Weaver, Tom and Hal scout the massive Skitter structure and try to find a way to destroy it. They discover there is another type of alien, who are tall and humanoid. These are the Overlords, which fans have nicknamed Slenders.

Pope is in charge of creating an explosive that can destroy the structure. He creates a bullet made out of Mech armor that can penetrate the Mechs.

While all this is going on, Anne preforms an autopsy on the Skitter they have captivated and killed (in episode 5). She discovers that underneath the skin of the Skitter there is a harness. It seems like Skitters are actually enslaved children who slowly have transformed into Skitters.

Uncle Scott (Bruce Gray; ‘Medium’): Anne’s uncle.

In episode nine Uncle Scott and Ben work on disrupting the Skitters’ way of communication. Ben still feels the effects of the harness he wore and therefore feels pain when they transmit interrupting radio waves.


Episode ten show how Captain Weaver meets at the rendezvous point for the three regiments with his troops, only to find out the others aren’t coming. It seems likely that between the episodes Colonel Porter was killed and the 4th and 5th Mass met the same fate of the 7th Mass.

When Rick runs off to rejoin the Skitters, he meets Megan, a girl whose body is slowly transforming due to the harness. Megan will lead Rick to the Skitters if he tells her everything he knows about the 2nd Mass. After he told everything, Megan leaves and Rick feels betrayed by the Skitters. Tom hears what happens and decides to evacuate all the civilians while leaving a small group to defend the base. Scott and Ben are included in this group, and during an attack from Mechs they drive them away using disruptive radio waves.

Tom goes to the rendezvous point and gets Pope’s rocket launcher. Tom fires it at a Skitter ship, which goes down and crashes one of their mother ships. Tom leaves as soon as possible, but on the way back he and Weaver are blocked by Karen. An alien ship lands behind her and an Overlord asks Tom to come aboard. The Overlord promises that if Tom comes on board they will stop the transformation Ben is undergoing.
The season ends with Tom entering the ship and leaving Weaver behind.

Did you like 'Falling Skies'?

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The next season will continue three months after Tom went with the aliens. The 2nd Mass is still trying to defend itself and looking for Tom. The first 3 minutes of the first episode of ‘Falling Skies’ season 2 have been released. There is not much revealed about the story, but the teaser promises a lot of action.
Don’t miss the start of season 2 on Sunday, June 17 at 9/8c on TNT!


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    • Robin Oatley profile imageAUTHOR

      Robin Oatley 

      7 years ago

      I can't wait either! Just a few more weeks! Rumors say this season contains more action than the previous, I'm really excited about that.

      Thanks for reading!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      7 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Robin, this is a great write up of Season 1 for Falling Skies. I love this show - can't wait for Season 2!


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