FALLING SKIES: 2.04 “Young Bloods”
We had ourselves a pretty intense episode this week, partially because after the discovery last week that no life is too young to take, everyone is at risk. This should be obvious for us, but we’re a TV audience. We forget that this new world is brutal, and the old rules of TV don’t apply.
This week, it was all about the youth. Not only is Matt growing into a role that’s more adult than it should be at such a young age, but we also introduced a lot of kids to the show — kids who feel that adults do nothing but add more risk.
One of these kids just happened to be Wheeler’s daughter, one of his children that he feared was dead. Based on their conversations, it appears the rest of his family didn’t make it, but at least he got her back. But there’s a funny thing about survival: When you have to survive without your family, you learn to survive without your family.
This meant pretty risky behavior by the kids. When the kids were taken by the skitters, Wheeler’s daughter, along with her boyfriend, went after them, only to get themselves caught. It was a dumb, dangerous move, and clearly, they were out of their league. They were caught (along with Matt), and poor Johnny was harnessed.
Now, this was interesting. We finally saw the inside of a harnessing chamber. I have to say, it was a little cheesy for my taste. Creepy and chilling, yes, but I didn’t expect that the harnesses were living being. Yes, I know many alien races play with biomechanics, and I figured that the harnesses had some qualities of this sort. But swimming around in a tank, biting the legs of people attacking? It seemed to me a little much.
But the heroes saved the day (well, except for little Johnny, who from all I could tell was left behind harnessed), and the kids came out unscathed. Matt learned a serious lesson — he’s not quite as adult as he’d like to be yet, and perhaps he wouldn’t even like to be. And the other kids learned nothing. In the end, they went back into hiding, and from what I could tell, they probably will remain in hiding until the skitters find them again, at which point they’ll be harnessed all over again. Grim image? Well, let’s be frank: They didn’t make smart decisions this time, and even though they’ve made it this long, I don’t have much confidence.
What was interesting was that Wheeler’s daughter joined them in leaving the 2nd Mass. Yes, she has a life, but so many others in this horrible world are waiting, hoping, and praying to run into the loved ones that they thought they lost. To leave her father behind all that, even if they had their issues, is pretty rough. And to not even say good-bye…
I did feel bad for Wheeler, but I did think they could do a little more with his relationship with his daughter. For one thing, when he gave her the compass, I felt like it cheapened Jimmy’s death a bit. Did Jimmy die, just so that the writers would have the compass back to give to his daughter? Couldn’t there have been some time in between? And I think her leaving would have felt a lot heavier for us if they had been around for a little more. For one thing, we would have liked her more. For another, we might have seen their tense relationship that much more clearly.
But they used Matt well in the episode. Seeing him curl up with Tom at the end of the episode was nice. He’s still a little boy. I, for one, would like him to stay that way for just a little while more.
I can’t review this episode without mentioning Ben. Hal now knows that Ben’s harness is still active. What will this mean? And if Ben’s not going to pipe up and tell someone, will Hal? It’s a pretty tough situation to be in, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.