‘Falling Skies’ Season 2, Episode 6: ‘Homecoming’ Recap

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Drew Roy Noah Wyle Connor Jessup Moon Bloodgood Falling Skies Homecoming Falling Skies Season 2, Episode 6: Homecoming Recap

Striking the right balance between characterization and the progression of plot can sometimes be a tricky endeavor. So when Falling Skies sets out to develop the notion of a skitter rebellion headed up by Red-Eye, there needs to be a certain amount of leeway with some of the characters. This is handled easily enough with unreliable characters like Ben (Connor Jessup), whose motivations can be chalked up to moody teenager just as easily as they can be attributed to the spikes sticking out of his spine.

However, when it comes time to indicate that a character with a more nuanced arc like Captain Weaver (Will Patton) would willingly allow his beloved 2nd Mass to nearly strand themselves in an untested environment, that only serves to damage the character’s credibility. Weaver’s actions – or inaction – could certainly be linked to the harness bite on his leg, but then that would have to implicate Anne (Moon Bloodgood) in the potentially dangerous situation, as well. With Tom (Noah Wyle) enjoying so much time with her, nobody wants that, so the show decides to up the ante by bringing a handful of departed characters back and throw everyone off the scent of skepticism.

‘Homecoming’ picks up two weeks after the end of ‘Love and Other Acts of Courage,’ revealing the 2nd Mass to have remained holed up in the hospital for a little rest and recuperation. While there, though, the group has managed to exhaust nearly all of its resources, making the journey to Charleston exponentially harder than it ever needed to be. Even though the hospital’s generators are shut down to conserve fuel, it’s good to know the Falling Skies random character generator seems to still be up and running.

With Weaver’s condition rapidly deteriorating, Tom finds himself in charge of the 2nd Mass, realizing he was apparently the only one who didn’t know the group had run disastrously low on fuel and food – not to mention the existence of a puss-filled slug bite on Weaver’s leg, causing him to convulse and slip out of consciousness. Thanks to the rapid succession of bad news, Tom’s first act as commanding officer is to prep the group for travel, only to have them sit tight and wait for an experimental treatment to either revive Weaver or kill him.

Sorting out the various problems that come with leadership – including calling his new lover by his dead wife’s name – Tom is subsequently hit with an additional surprise: Hal (Drew Roy) and Maggie (Sarah Carter) have recovered Hal’s former love interest, Karen (Jessy Schram), de-harnessed in the woods, not too far from where the 2nd Mass is stationed.

Naturally, with certain feelings growing between Hal and Maggie, the return of Karen at first appears to be a spoiler in that regard. But considering the response to Karen’s abduction was wildly overshadowed by the quest to find Ben, Hal’s reaction to finding Karen comes off as a tad stilted. The only connection the audience has to Karen is through Hal, and he only half-mourned her loss while reminiscing about old girlfriends in the backseat of a car with the new object of his affection. As such, Karen operates merely as a plot device that may or may not have some legitimate character arc of her own as the series progresses.

That arc ties directly into the one Ben is currently set to embark upon. As any super-powered teen is wont to do, Ben is feeling the call of rebellion – or in his case, Red-Eye. But first, he’s around to put on his best Taylor Lautner impression, telling everyone how wrong they are to allow Karen to stay, and stiffly proclaiming any and all of his pending actions justified. Surprisingly, though, when Karen and Ben share a moment of super-power appreciation, it’s the most charming Ben has been all season, even if the two are essentially pulled together by alien harness technology. So, in that aspect, perhaps Karen’s reintroduction is a step in the right direction.

Drew Roy Falling Skies Homecoming Falling Skies Season 2, Episode 6: Homecoming Recap

While Hal and Ben squabble over the course of action regarding Karen, Maggie decides to approach her with all the subtlety of a John Woo film. Despite Maggie’s double-barreled insistence that she head for the door, Karen simply overpowers her aggressor and tosses Maggie like a rag doll against the wall – aggravating the wounds she suffered at the end of last episode. Karen manages to convince Ben that the situation is turned around, and effectively becomes the excuse Ben was looking for to leave the 2nd Mass and head out to join the rebellion. After subduing Hal, Ben and Karen leap from the top of the hospital and run off into the dark.

Adding more confusion to the mix is the return of John Pope (Colin Cunningham) and Anthony (Mpho Koaho). Pope conveniently regains consciousness after Ben and Karen make their break, and quickly corroborates the rumor of the skitter rebellion. The only catch is that Pope became privy to this information by a still harnessed, and apparently frightening Karen who was searching for Ben on orders from the overlords.

Whatever designs Red-Eye has for Ben and the rebellion apparently has the overlords worried enough to attempt to infiltrate the 2nd Mass and recover Ben alive (rather than eliminate him outright). Additionally, Karen’s deception, coupled with Ben abandoning the other survivors, likely means future denunciation by the group of any formerly harnessed kids.

With the 2nd Mass now stuck between a skitter rebellion and the promise of Charleston, hopefully there’ll be no more lazy, two-week layovers for the rest of the season.

Falling Skies continues next Sunday with ‘Molon Labe’ @9pm on TNT. Check out a preview of the episode below:

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  1. There have been many who have been critical of many of the plot points of this show, and equally as many defenders. I have always been on the fence since it is just a Sunday night diversion, but the constant in and out of characters and total lack of logic shown by the characters is making it hard to ignore what are becoming increasingly groan worthy moments.

    Some of the trappings of this show kind of mirror the problems I had with Terra Nova, which is that while it is set-up to focus on a family in a sci-fi survival situation, at times the kids become annoying and it makes it hard to believe they would even last that long or even care. The set-up tension between Ben and Hal is becoming stale, and adding the alien-zombie ex-girlfriend of Hal along with the other blonde girl was just telegraphed. And you could see she was playing both brothers from the start and the only thing Ben said that made sense was that they should have not let her stay there. That brings up another point, the overall lack of security/common sense of the group as a whole.

    Every week someone comes wandering back to the group one way or another, and they let them hang around knowing they may have been compromised by the aliens in one way or another. At the very least the fact everyone from that kid Rick, to Red Eye keeps findings them means the other aliens must know where they are pretty much at all times too. This week just kind of seals it since they just happened to find that Karen chick up the road in a mass grave of kids. One of the characters even makes reference to it, but in usual away mission fashion they had to deal with the weekly medical/maintenance emergency while they were infiltrated and information was gathered by yet another alien agent.

    • Well said. I think the show is at a crossroads in terms of its storyline. I think the directors are making a mistake by focusing so heavily on the kids. It doomed Terra Nova because it’s a flawed formula given its target audience. Falling Skies has a similar demographic (I assume), so I see the formula equally flawed here.

    • I completely agree with you on all points. Understanding that all Sci-Fi requires one to leave some logic/reality in the drawer, there are so many moments where I yelled out, “What the f@#k!” Like when only one person at a time guarded Karen; or when Ben and Karen were about to kiss and the two guards standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR didn’t see a thing! I let the blood-cleaning sub-plot slide, though.

      What’s worse is that when tension and suspense CAN be increased, the show zooms in on Karen’s smirks. WHY?! Not only is it incredibly cliche, but it gives away parts of the plot that would be better left alone and eventually surprise the viewers.

      This show is wearing on me. The first 2 or 3 episodes were fantastic, but it has quickly turned into a yawn-inducing mess.

  2. Interesting, but there really wasn’t any surpises here. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen.

    I have a couple of questions…..Karen is in some dump ground with several dead kids. Her skin is blue like there’s (Those kids did look really dead….That was a bit creepy). First how did she get into a state of being almost dead to pull it off when they found her, and how did anyone ever know someone would find this dumping ground in the first place?

    I also wonder about the not too well thought out escape by her and Ben by the writers. They jump off the roof and just jog off into the woods. If this is a fortified location then why is there a big gap in back someplace where the enemy could slip in to? I mean if they can just walk away undetected then it can’t be watched back there…

    • You’ve pointed out yet another gaping hole in the plot. The writers need to buckle down. Lazy, lazy writing.

    • The idea that they have some type of military structure should just be scrapped at this point. Aside from what looked like a clear lack of any guards being stationed anywhere, the ones they told to guard Karen just left their post on the say so of either one of the two brothers or Maggie. And even though they are supposed to be main players in the show, the sons should not have as much free reign at they do, especially when it almost always ends badly.

      It would be more believable at this point if some people wanted to break off from the group due to the actions of Tom and his sons, considering Tom and Ben have both been in alien custody and since their return a supposed rebel skitter and an agent of the main baddies has been allowed to just walk into their camp and walk right back out.

  3. It’s fairly obvious that the skidders know every move the 2nd Mass is doing. The skidders know how humans behave and interact with each other. The aliens are louring the humans to Charleston to finalize their attack, once the 2nd Mass is in Charleston all hell is gonna break loose.

    • Well the way that episode went if the Overlords didn’t already know about Charleston, they do now since Karen overheard everything they were saying and doing at the base. And even though they are the main characters of the show, if they risk anymore people going after Ben now that he has run off with alien girl, then it will be hard to defend the shows writing at all.

      Pope is supposed to be the most unlikable character in the group, but at least he acts like he is trying not to get killed. Overall the rest of them really make it hard to believe they have lasted this long considering how much danger they put themselves in.

  4. Personally, I’ve enjoyed the series and it does pass the time nicely on Sunday nights. I wish I would have seen this episode on TV last Sunday on TV but unfortunately I missed it. I did finish it up a few hours ago using Dish Online. I’m glad there’s a place where Dish customers and employees like me can watch a ton of movies and shows, and that there’s a place to see Falling Skies when I miss it on TV. I can’t wait to see what happens next week.

  5. I wasn’t real happy with this weeks episode either. I really didn’t like was the Ben/Karen realationship. At first Ben said Karen was still connected to the aliens and could’t be trusted. The next scene, when he’s delivering Karen food, he’s talking to her like she’s the only person who understands him. Why the sudden turn turn around?
    Don’t get me started on Hal, he turned into a little b!+@- as soon as his old girlfriend showed up. At least Pope is back, he keeps it interesting.

    • Totally agree with you. This was my biggest gripe about that episode. How the hell does Ben just suddenly forget that Karen is still connected to the aliens. I thought he could “hear” her.

      They better do something about this nonsense story line. Like maybe Ben is just playing Karen and is trying to lure her away from 2nd Mass…

  6. I haven’t thought of a lot of it as convenient, per se. I think that it’s kind of obvious that the Aliens know where they are and are funneling them to Charleston. They wanted Tom to lead them to a concentration camp, so they put people in his path to drive him there. Also, the fact that people keep coming in and out of the show “conveniently” just tells me that they are also being funneled.

  7. I Guess the aliens now know “everything”. They don’t attack because they want them to go to Charleston. This is the place they talked about to Tom in their ship. And that’s why they put some Diesel close to them.
    The series doesn’t make any sense at all since the aliens could just kill the few human beings still alive if they want to do so. Why fight such small battles? Just for fun? But that is OK. There would be no story at all :)

  8. So Pope says Karen read his mind to find the location of the 2nd Mass. But when Pope left the 2nd Mass hasnt found the hospital yet. So how could he have given the new location if he never knew where it was to begin with?

    • I think they just asked Pope about Ben, but considering the group has been infiltrated one way or another almost every other episode so far they don’t seem to be very effective at hiding. Maybe someone saw the hospital all lit up, which struck me as odd when they did it since anyone with two brain cells would notice lights on in a huge building like that when everything else has no power.

      It doesn’t even really matter at this point because Red Eye and the main aliens know where they are now, so if there is any cohesion left in this show they have to leave next week post hast. I’m just waiting to see if they A)Waste more time and bodies trying to find Ben, B)Weavers daughter continues the trend of people popping back up and that causes them to delay or get some more people killed.

  9. Meeting in the conference room discussing the gasoline shortage – there are CARS seen through the window passing by on the highway! Are you kidding me?? That”s so sloppy.