‘Falling Skies’ Season 3, Episode 6 Review – Benefit Of The Doubt

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Noah Wyle in Falling Skies Be Silent and Come Out Falling Skies Season 3, Episode 6 Review – Benefit Of The Doubt

Tom Mason’s run as president has come to an end, and considering the decisions he’s made while in office, perhaps that is the best thing for Falling Skies and for the New United States the Second Mass is so desperately trying to keep alive. Naturally, the biggest problem with Tom leaving office, to go off in search of the missing Anne and Alexis, is he’s guaranteeing a position of significant power to one of the likely frontrunners in the subplot asking viewers to guess the identity of Charleston’s mole.

That’s the biggest takeaway from ‘Be Silent and Come Out,’ an episode that seemed tailor-made to deliver some interesting conflict in the form of another season 3 subplot surrounding the bugging of Hal, but instead it wound up burning through that development with startling speed and found resolution in a fairly rote manner. So far this season has been a little inconsistent in its approach to storytelling, either shoveling too many subplots into a single episode so none are given the opportunity to develop into compelling arcs on their own, or they’re resolved too quickly in favor of getting the storyline back on track in regard to the massive alien weapon that’s being built and the growing concern it, too, will spell doom for the human race.

A lot of this can be attributed to some of the subplots simply feeling out of place or not aligning properly with the nature of the show  – i.e., Alexis’ talking baby stuff and Anne’s subsequent irrational decision that landed her in Karen’s custody. It’s not that introducing alien DNA into a newborn is uncharacteristic for Falling Skies – in fact its part of the creepiness that the show has executed fairly well over the last two and a half seasons – but rather the manner in which it was handled that seems to have created a storytelling sinkhole for the season, making moderately successful episodes like ‘Search and Recover‘ seem more significant than perhaps they really are.

Drew Roy in Falling Skies Be Silent and Come Out Falling Skies Season 3, Episode 6 Review – Benefit Of The Doubt

The problem has to do mainly with the decision-making process of any given character; one that too often acts as filler for the overall plot of the episode, season or series and results in the individual in question repeatedly coming to a hazardous or flat-out wrong conclusion, but there seems to be little in the way of fallout regarding his or her choice. Most of the time, this falls on Tom Mason – who continually puts interpersonal struggles above the larger issue at hand and seems to do so without repercussion – but as the series progresses it’s becoming more and more a trait of anyone in the Mason clan, so when Hal reveals his internal struggle by taking his father hostage and nearly killing Weaver and then himself, the intended dramatic tension doesn’t necessarily strike the right chord.

Instead, ‘Be Silent and Come Out’ plays out as most hostage crisis episodes do, with people attempting to connect with the aggressor on an emotional level that more or less opens a window of opportunity. This time, though, the writers are afforded a rare chance to examine the sometimes-strained relationship between Hal and his father. While this could have delivered some stimulating drama between characters who spend a great deal of time with one another, but rarely interact on a personal level, it instead deflates as quickly as the hostage situation itself, given that the issue hasn’t been addressed since sometime last season.

Sarah Carter in Falling Skies Be Silent and Come Out Falling Skies Season 3, Episode 6 Review – Benefit Of The Doubt

The saving grace of the episode once again proves to be Colin Cunningham’s Pope, who has developed into not only one of the most enjoyable and reliable characters on the series, but also seems to be the only voice of reason for anyone in Charleston by asking why it is the Masons are repeatedly given a free pass when it comes to risky, self-interested behavior that puts the lives of other people at risk. So incensed is he that Pope begins taking odds on how the whole Hal situation is going to play out, putting 150-to-1 odds on both Masons getting out alive – with the added bet that Hal will then walk away scot-free. It’s good to see the show addressing this issue, and although it hasn’t yet manifested in any true sense of consequence for the characters, it does lead to a nice scene where Weaver quietly saunters into Pope’s bar, orders a whiskey and informs him, “If anyone tries to affect eh odds on that boy, one way or another, I will personally mount your head on the wall of this establishment.”

Although it feels like Hal’s subplot fizzled when it should have shined, placing all the excitement on a medical miracle afforded him by the rebel skitters, there is the possibility of more stimulating adventures to be had, now that the Masons have hit the road in search of Anne and Alexis. Additionally, this will leave Weaver and possibly Pope to deal with Charleston’s mole, whomever it may be.

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Falling Skies continues next Sunday with ‘The Pickett Line’ @10pm on TNT. Check out a preview below:

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  1. I am so excited for the next episode, mainly because it introduces Christopher Heyerdahl aka The Swede! from Hell on Wheels!

  2. I thought the episode made it quite clear that Hal was the mole…

    • It made it seemed like Hal was the Mole but it won’t turn out that way. Making Hal the Mole was to easy. My money is still on the newly elected lady president.

      • I think it’s going to be Lourdes. She stopped Tom to give him a first aid pack before getting on the plane to go meet the President. It was one of those scenes that screamed “pay attention, this will be important later”. When the first aid kit was never used by Pope or Tom after the plane crash, I figured it had to be some sort of tracking device planted by Lourdes.

    • That’s what the characters say and think, yes. However Hal cannot be the one who killed Terry O’ Quinn’s character because he was not only asleep in the maternity ward but at that time could not walk on his own – something the man he killed would have noticed.

  3. i personally liked how they’ve handled the Hal arc. Drew Roy has done some very good work the last couple of episodes, i could of done with out the Deus Ex Machina moment of the skitters miraculously coming up with a cure for the bug, but i guess its a sci-fi so whateves. there’s no way Hal was the only mole it’s two easy for one and doesn’t add up like you guys have pointed out, my money is still on Gloria Reuben. I guess we’ll find out next week.

  4. ugh pope pisses me off with his attitude there is a thousand and 1 different ways he could have taken out his frustration though he is interesting to watch i admit it.

  5. I thought it was “affect the odds on that board”, not boy.

  6. I haven’t had a chance to see the last episode yet, but two before when Alexis took the baby she was freaking out about made me think someone has decided it’s already time to “Jump the shark”. That made no sense even if she was worried what might happen to the kid…..How did a smart person like her ever expect to protect herself and child in the Badlands? The lack of logic really irritates me.

    The show has a lot of good features, but it keeps skirting soap opera territory and becomes silly at times. I’m not against a real small amount of that, but they need to keep in mind that from the get go this is science fiction. Loosing sight of that weakens the story.

  7. I was soooo hoping the writers were gonna go all “George R.R. Martin” with Hal.
    That would have added some needed Cause and Effect.

    The mole is clearly female. You can tell by the shape and size. The hand holding the gun (even gloved) was slight and feminine.

    I was wondering why the hell are they swearing in a new president NOW that they know the real one is alive?

    Also, why is Tom still walking around with his trusty AK when he was using an alien modified weapon last episode or so?? You think they make them turn them in to the alien armory or something….

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