We've seen the Second Mass pull a few Hail Mary plays over the first two seasons of "Falling Skies," but in this week's episode, they might have a chance of turning the tide in the war against the Overlord. In this kind of thing, you have to assume that someone isn't going to make it out alive. Working with a couple of twists through the episode--one expected, one kind of the stuff big sci-fi is made of--season two goes out on a high note.
****Mild spoilers after the jump****
The episode gets off to a rocky start following the accidental coup from last week and subsequent jailing of President Manchester (Terry O'Quinn). I don't know how I forgot to mention last week that Matt Frewer ("Max Headroom<") was also in the mix as General Bressler. Last week he was gritting his teeth because the civilian authority over the military prevented his people from using actionable intelligence against the aliens. This week, well when given at least an idea that there might be a way to take the fight to the Overlord, he does something terrible out of fear of the Skitters. It's curious that there's no payoff to that in this episode, but maybe if the Second Mass sticks around Charlotte next season we might see something come of it.
The General's actions put Ben in charge of leading the Second Mass to the alien super weapon which is aimed at the sky. I'm paraphrasing here, but the big reveal of this episode is tied to his explanation of what the weapon isn't for. Connor Jessup's character is allowed to be more relaxed and at home this episode, surrounded by the Skitter rebellion force. There was always something clipped an off-putting about his delivery that makes more sense now that Ben has gone a little more alien in recent episodes (but it also makes his human moments a little harder to take seriously).
There's a change in the dynamic of Tom and Anne's relationship which I'm hoping doesn't sideline her character more than she already is. I understand the focus of this season has been mostly on the Tom-Ben dynamic, but as a result, it's pushed Dr. Glass to the background a bit, meaning we only see her relationship with Tom mature in the periphery (a quick morning conversation before breakfast, an argument here and there). Mostly, she's become defined as Tom's girlfriend and I hope the writers find some room for her character to grow beyond that next season.
There are actually two big reveals near the end of the episode, both of which I'll let you discover for yourself, but one of them will likely have some low-key impact on the Second Mass throughout season three while the other could completely shift the dynamic of the war. That final shot is hands-down the best moment of the season, rich with future story opportunities and indicative of a vast universe beyond our own which could offer opportunity and more conflict for humanity.
The season two finale of "Falling Skies" airs Sunday night at 9 on TNT.