Friday, June 15, 2012

Falling Skies, Season 1, Episode 9: Mutiny

While everyone is watching old cartoons and laughing uproariously (it seems they got the good booze), Ann breaks the news to Tom about the Skitters being Harnessed. Meaning Tom is faced with possibly losing Ben again. Tom is also worried about Weaver who has put his pain and issues behind him but won’t talk it out with Tom. Weaver’s also pushing Tom out and relying on career military, Lt Danners more. Tom confides in Ann about Weaver’s near mental-breakdown. Tom is torn between supporting Weaver for the sake of morale and worrying about Weaver’s decisions.

Dai returns to camp from a scouting mission, severely wounded. They get him into the clinic with a stomach wound. There’s a military meeting and Danners (may he die soon. Yes he’s already hit the die list) tries to silence Tom when he asks questions. Weaver is keeping Tom out of the loop and Tom is worried that the plan to go ahead hasn’t changed despite having no contact from the other Massachusetts divisions – or even knowing if they still exist. Tom agrees to back him – and Weaver shunts him away on sentry duty.

Ann and Lourdes come to Tom about the medication weaver is taking, prescribed by Harris (who IS dead, thankfully) which are, apparently, not great things to take together and highly addictive and that his erratic behaviour may be a result of the drugs. Tom is getting a very good “oh you are shitting me” slow eye-blink. Poor Tom.

He tells Hal and Hal is all for throwing away the sentry mission but tom speaks up for what Weaver and the soldiers have done and how undermining Weaver could rip the 2nd Massachusetts apart. Tom sends Hal and Margaret on the mission while he stays behind to talk to Weaver.

Time for the big confrontation – Weaver won’t listen to reason and has Danner (who needs to die) disarm Tom and have him imprisoned. For the sake of the ranks. Uh-huh. Tom and Danner get to argue it out in the prison – and it’s obvious Danner has had a problem with Tom for a while

Matt continues to hang around with Pope in what would be considered the worst child caring arrangement in any Dystopian if we hadn’t watched Carl on the Walking Dead.  Weaver also adjusts the plan with Pope and demands 4 bombs not just 1 - though it will result in very short fuses. Weaver, again, rejects all questioning.

Hal and Maggie return with scouting information – there’s Skitters between them and the target. Weaver dismisses it and is confident they can punch through them and hide. Jimmy meets Hal and Margaret, takes them to Ann and tells them that tom has been imprisoned in the boiler room.

Rescue time! Jimmy provides a distraction, Tom, being the Big Strong Hero, overpowers Danners (alas, he is not dead) and they tie him up. Tom runs to the clinic to question the weak and wounded Dai about what happened to Porter. When Dai last spoke to him he was pinned down by Skitters and Mechs, the other regiments didn’t report in and no runners returned. Porter aborted the attack because they have no idea that the 4th and 5th Massachusetts are still alive. Weaver is ignoring the facts and pursuing the mission anyway.

Weaver frees Danners but doesn’t want news of Tom’s escape (or imprisonment) to spread for fear of causing panic. Tom goes to Pope and talks him not dismantling the bombs. Then it’s time to ambush Weaver in the clinic and Tom trying, again, to talk some reason into Weaver. Pope, of course, double crosses them (SOMEONE KILL HIM ALREADY!!!) and Tom resorts to Big Damn Hero Passionate Speeches. Which works! (ok it was a good speech, so it’s not as corny as it sounds) and Pope puts his gun down. Weaver also reveals he’s quit taking the pills.

They have a great big meeting in the gym where Weaver explains the full gravity of their situation – the lost regiments and lost colonel and his last order to abort the mission unless they can confirm the other Massachusetts regiments still exist. If they still exist, they will be continuing the attack and Weaver wants them to back up the attack. But he also acknowledges the responsibility to protect the civilians – so he’s making the mission volunteer only (all while Danners scowls). He also wants Tom to remain behind so everyone knows the Civilians are in good hands – and Weaver praises Tom as a good second in command.

Meanwhile, Uncle Scott gets Ben to be his assistant playing with radio parts. Scott hopes to jam the radio frequencies the Skitters use to communicate. As they’re testing, Ben, as a former Harnessed kid, feels pain. Rick comes to Ben later because he also heard the radios and had hoped the Skitters had arrived. Rick continues to be creepy and referring to humans as something separate to himself – something Ben hasn’t reported because he hopes that Rick will come to his senses. Ben is aware they’re changing and worried about what’s happening to them.

Ben returns to Scott and reveals he can feel the radio signals – and worries what that means for his humanity.

Time to set off! First Matt tells off Pope (who isn’t dead), then Maggie gets to mock him for it and Maggie makes it clear how little she trust him and a rather menacing warning about what she’ll do if Pope double crosses them. Hal also volunteers to go as well on the attack. Ben also reveals the jamming signal and how he could hear it. But it sees too late to give it to the forces moving out.

Ok. I like what is happening to Weaver – stress, pills and emotional trauma can and should be shown. I applaud Falling Skies for showing it and not just showing everyone soldiering on except for brief moments of introspection and grief. What I am worried about is that Weaver has quit using his highly addictive pills – are we going to get a miraculous recovery? I hope not. Addiction and near-breakdown are not easily recovered