FALLING SKIES: 2.07 “Molon Labe”
Wow. What an incredible episode. Perhaps I’m too emotionally invested in this series and the characters attached, but I was on the edge of my seat for a full hour last night, waiting to see how this war would unfold, how the 2nd Mass would make it out alive, and who of the 2nd Mass wouldn’t.
Unfortunately, we got that last answer.
This was no light episode. If you thought that Karen’s reappearance last week would bring nothing but bad things, you were right. Within the first few seconds of the episode, she had led Ben into a trap and re-harnessed herself, ready to do the same for Ben. Fortunately, the 2nd Mass was there to save the day — and to take the head fishhead hostage. And while all that sounded like a grand victory, what happened next was anything but.
It’s amazing how much violence can happen while one woman stands at the end of a street holding a white flag. Surrender was clearly not what either side intended, and even “truce” isn’t the right word, since the aliens brought out a lot of secret weapons we never even knew they had. For one: Brand-new creepy crawlies that can work their way through metal…and the human body.
The loss of Jamil was a sad one. I’ll admit, for a while there, I thought Lourdes was going to be the one taking the hit, what with TV’s insistence that no happy couple should ever remain alive. But I should have known that a bigger hit to Lourdes would not be her own life but Jamil’s, since she’s the one she has left that she loves. Jamil didn’t look good when they found him in that hallway, but seeing those creatures rushing out of his mouth was just horrifying. It was a sad, grotesque end for a character I had grown to like.
What was most interesting, though, was seeing Lourdes change at the end of the episode. Lourdes, the little girl who led a community prayer in the first season, has turned hard and negative. She sees no more hope anymore. It’s certainly an interesting shift for this character, and I look forward to seeing where it goes, even if I do mourn Jamil’s loss.
But Jamil wasn’t the only casualty. We saw the horrifying end of another side character, shot dead in the street as the entire 2nd Mass watched. The aliens know how to prey on our weaknesses with their brutal psychological games. This was shown even more with the horrible torture on Ben, as Tom was talking to the fishhead. Tom’s anger flashed right back with a bullet.
I did like the end. In the end, the 2nd Mass did get the upper hand, and there is a question of what will happen next. I don’t think the aliens are going to just let them get to Charleston unharmed; payback’s a bitch. But it was a question why they didn’t just kill the fishhead. Yes, he was leverage, but even if the 2nd Mass was obliterated because of their actions, they would potentially have saved many other humans by killing the leader. (Of course, then we’d have no more show.)
And then there was the end, as Ben finally saw his opportunity to leave. Ben clearly got some intel from the fishhead, and he wants to help the Skitter rebellion with it. So if Ben has the answers, when will we find out?
Tom’s reaction to Ben’s leaving, with his story of the first day of school for Ben, was just heartbreaking. Even now, when I think of the end of the episode, instead of seeing the teenager with gun in tow walking lonely down the street. Instead, I just picture a face in the window, looking with tears streaming down his face, as he’s left behind. I’m sure we’ll see Ben again, but I’m almost a little fearful of what that day will hold.
*image courtesy of TNT