Falling Skies: "Sanctuary (Pt. 2)"

Categories: Film and TV

hal0725.jpg
Hal hides from his many suitors.
When last we left the children of the 2nd Mass., they had left with Lt. Clayton for presumably safer lodgings in anticipation of an expected alien offensive. Unbeknownst to them, Clayton and the rest of the 3rd Mass. have cut a deal with the aliens, serving up human children in an apparent non-aggression arrangement.

With two episodes left, we can start looking back on the first season of Falling Skies. I can't write it off as a bad show, but there's no denying writer Robert Rodat (with complicity from exec producers Steven Spielberg and Graham Yost) relies way to heavily on incidences of pure convenience and characters acting stupidly to advance the plot. The show is idling at this point, leading me to believe the situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

They're just the guys to do it.

At the Hidden Frontier Ranch, Hal is making time with Tessa, whose father looks like Billy Bob Thornton and offers counsel like, "Don't like him too much, Tessa." Can't have the quislings fraternizing with the meat, after all. She probably can't help it, as Hal is apparently the only male between the ages of 16 and 35 left on the planet.

Pope escapes, but not before Clayton lets slip the fairly obvious news that Col. Porter didn't actually order them to move the kids. He offers Pope a spot on the traitors' team, but the irascible longhair has some scruples, dude.

Tom, reacting with the intuition only a...history professor possesses, takes Dai to check on the kids.

Mike has his suspicions too, but Rick's bad table manners distract him. Lourdes also suspects something after finding the backpack of the kid whose dad tried to rob Dr. Glass. She and Hal take their fears to Mike, who breaks into the locked barn, finding the kid's clothes and...Clayton.

"An arrangement just...evolved," Clayton tells him. Mike feigns acceptance, then grabs Hal and the others and makes a break for it. It's helpful they chose the exact moment in time when every sentry keeping watch on the kids decided to take a whiz. Unfortunately, Tessa rats them out. Clayton kills Mike, which doesn't appear to matter much to Rick. Why is Ben so different, attitude-wise, from Rick?

Back at the school, the 2nd Mass. prepares for an attack that, let's face it, probably isn't coming. And Sarah's having a baby. This has evidently been a source of some consternation among fans of the show, though I must confess I don't remember a pregnant chick at all. I should drink less.

My uncle once told me "You're never ready to have a kid." That would apply doubly to someone who gets pregnant six months before an alien invasion. Don't you worry, sweetheart: Capt. Weaver's going to pitch in.

[Interlude for a Cowboys & Aliens preview. It...it doesn't look good.]

The fleeing children take shelter in a house that looks like it was in the same neighborhood as Tom Cruise's in-laws from War of the Worlds (their homeowner's association must forbid aliens). Rather than grab some quick Zs before resuming fleeing from the angry men with guns pursuing them, they decide to play Battleship and let Lourdes play piano. Unsurprisingly, Clayton finds them.

Luckily Hal let Ben - the kid he spent five episodes trying to rescue - go off on his own to find Dad, which he does, spilling the beans about Clayton's treachery. Tom's grand strategy is to...surrender. "The first rule of combat is to survive," he tells Hal. Guy must be a big Jean-Luc Picard fan.

Fortunately, Weaver has beaten them back to the ranch (he even had time to help deliver the baby). Tom kills Clayton, and a wounded Pope returns to the 2nd Mass., which is worth it solely to see him dressed in nut huggers and a rugby shirt.

The episode ends with a military funeral, of sorts, for Mike. This seems generous for a guy who endangered the whole operation to rescue his son, who expresses no remorse about Dad's death. He also answers my earlier question by referring to himself as an alien. Ben seems surprised. One a razorback, always a razorback, I guess.


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