Spoilers for the latest episode of "Falling Skies" after the jump:
First of all, apologies for missing the impressive series premiere last week. My initial recording of it had a glitch about five minutes in, so I had to wait until it aired again later in the week. By the time I finally got around to watching it, there just wasn't a whole lot of time to write a good review.
In any case, I'm here now. And to save time and energy, I'm just going to jump into the review as if I had reviewed the opening installments in-depth. I won't waste time on plot summary, since anyone who's reading this knows what the show's about and who most of the characters are. So here we go.
"Prisoner of War" was another extremely satisfying installment: introducing several new elements to the show's mythology while also providing some solid character development. It didn't quite hit the heights of "The Armory" (the second half of last week's episode), but it was definitely solid and entertaining. In addition, the rather cliched dialogue that plagued parts of the premiere is almost entirely absent here.
What impresses me most about this show is how surprising it can be despite the fact that we've seen all of this before in other sci-fi shows. For example, it was obvious (to me, anyway) that the rescue of Ben wasn't going to go as planned. My guess is that he won't get rescued until the end of the season at the earliest, if at all. But I certainly wasn't expecting Karen to get captured, or for the aliens to execute a whole bunch of harnessed kids to send a message. One of my original worries about the series was that it wasn't as quite dark or edgy as, say, "Battlestar Galactica". It still isn't, but. it's good to know that it isn't shy about depicting horrific events such as this.
Tom's capture of a skitter is also an extremely intriguing development, and one full of possibilities. Will they try and communicate with it, or simply study it? As Porter and others have made clear, the resistance needs to know what they're fighting if they want to defeat it. Of course, capturing the alien may prove to be more trouble than it's worth if the cliffhanger ending is to be believed.
Still, probably the biggest thing happening here is the introduction of Dr. Harris, who has apparently figured out a way to remove the harnesses safely. We also learned a lot more about how they work, which I for one found fascinating. In addition, Harris was apparently with Tom's wife on the night of the attack: leading to a wonderful, "BSG"-like scene in which the two of them discuss whether the survivors can be "the best of mankind" as well as admit their shared blame in Rebecca's death. It certainly appears that "Falling Skies" knows what it's doing, and I'm definitely looking forward to the ride.
- One thing I didn't buy was Mike abandoning all reason after seeing his own son. Yes, it's his son. But he's also a soldier, and that was just foolish (even if he did succeed).
- Pope is now a cook. Frankly, I couldn't care less. With so much other serious stuff going on, does it really matter how the food tastes?
- I hope Karen is all right. Thus far she hasn't been a very major character, but I like her.