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Finding Their Way: Falling Skies ‘Compass’ Recap

By on June 25, 2012
Falling Skies cast. Image © TNT

Falling Skies cast. Image © TNT

By Jamie Krakover

This week’s episode ‘Compass’ opens with Ben and Jimmy hunting down a skitter – which Ben takes down for the second time with his bare hands. Yes, his bare hands. Shudder!

Connor Jessup as Ben Mason. Image © TNT

We also see Tom and Anne engage in an awkward exchange, which would be cute if there weren’t so much weird tension between them. He’s becoming restless and trying to convince Weaver to move on. They joke about how tired they each look. Anne has apparently been tracking the days, and Tom thinks it a good thing, even though her calendar is full of X’s. It’d be nice if they’d just move on from the small talk and get to the heart of the issue rather than acting like tentative teenagers.

Tom meets with Weaver, who points out that the aliens have been posting double the patrols. Weaver says they need to push north into the Catskills. Tom, however, disagrees, saying if they are “resting they aren’t resisting,” and the aliens will think they surrendered which is giving them exactly what they want. You tell him Tom! Hiding out may be good for regrouping and healing up, but the 2nd Mass really needs to keep fighting if they want to keep the aliens on their toes.

Pope has other plans. He kidnaps Tom, calling him an “alien stooge” (this guy has the best insults). Pope hauls him into the woods and apologizes for the dramatics, but something tells us he’s not entirely sorry. Pope asks Tom to just walk away. Seems like he still suspects Tom is a big threat, and we don’t blame him. Unsurprisingly, Tom does not agree to Pope’s request, and asks who will watch his kids if he leaves. Pope offers to watch them like they are his own, “Even the spiky one!”

Meanwhile Weaver questions Anthony as to whether or not he knew about Pope’s plan. Anthony swears he didn’t but says Pope has a point, and Tom agrees that he might still be a liability. Hal thinks the Berserkers have outstayed their welcome. Tom, however, believes the benefit of having a weapon outweighs the cons, and that the same is true for Pope and the Berserkers. We are going to have to side with Tom on this one. The Berserkers may be a pain in the rear but they definitely add quite a bit to the 2nd Mass. And in an odd twist, Tom requests to join the Berserkers to “keep an eye on them.” Weaver gives them the news in their “cell” and they laugh at the idea. Weaver reminds Pope that he’s still in charge and he and his team can go free with Tom or stay locked up in the school bus. The Berserkers clearly want out of their prison and agree to Weaver’s terms, but the new addition leaves some burnt egos and the tension is mounting.

Redeye. Image © TNT

Ben and Jimmy are still hunting Skitters late at night. Don’t these kids have parents? … oh wait, that’s right; Jimmy doesn’t and Ben’s might still be untrustworthy. Using a flamethrower, they take out two before the Skitter (affectionately dubbed “Redeye” by the Falling Skies producers) throws Jimmy into a tree, injuring him. Redeye then turns around to stop Ben mid-attack, lights up his spikes and freezes him in place, for a massively awesome WOAH moment! That’s an intense stare they have going on there. Are they having a chat? Let’s hope Ben isn’t being turned against the 2nd Mass with some secret alien plans. When Redeye releases Ben, it skitters off (pun intended). Anne takes on the task of fixing up Jimmy, while Weaver talks to Ben. Tom and Hal both want to know what Ben and Jimmy were doing hunting Skitters. (Isn’t it obvious?) Ben says he doesn’t need a reason, especially after what he’s been through, but Weaver thinks they see enough combat without going out hunting. Weaver is angry, but Tom says unfortunately they are living in a world where kids have to grow up too fast. Poor kiddies. Seems like its only a matter of time before we see Matt back in the fight. Weaver asks Tom to gather the Berserkers to sweep the area, fearing the aliens know their location. While out on patrol Tom finds Jimmy’s compass and they happen upon some more Skitters, who Tom says are just collecting their dead much to Pope’s disagreement. He’d much rather take them out, which deepens the rift between the pair. Tom turns out to be right and Pope congratulates him on a good call, but does he really mean it?

Tector (Ryan Robbins ), Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and John Pope (Colin Cunningham). Image © TNT

Back in the tent, Ben and Hal are at odds … again. Someone needs to put them in a room together and let them slug it out. Tom gives Jimmy’s compass to Ben telling him to return it once he wakes up, as if he doesn’t feel guilty enough. Anne says she’s done all she can and it’s all up to Jimmy now. Ben runs off and Tom tries go after him. Hal asks if Tom’s ever going to stop chasing Ben. Let’s hope the Masons can mend the deep wounds forming between them. The arrival of a biplane interrupts their chat. Avery Churchill introduces herself and has apparently been looking for Weaver and the 2nd Mass. She’s been rounding up survivors ever since she left South Carolina. There’s a new capital in Charleston where a new continental congress and military has formed, and she says they should join the group. Sounds like the 2nd Mass isn’t alone anymore. Weaver says thanks for the offer but wonders if they can trust this new chick, and detains her until they are ready to move out. (Good call Weaver!)

In the med tent Tom is having a heart to heart with Ben. Ben reminisces about the time Jimmy was separated from the group for two days. When he returned, Weaver gave him a compass so he could always find his way home (aww, warm fuzzies!). Ben thinks everyone is blaming him for what happened to Jimmy. Tom says it’s not true but it seems more like comforting words than the truth. Poor Ben has enough to worry about without all the stress of the 2nd Mass blaming him for more bad happenings. Tom knows this situation sucks and tells Ben sometimes its hard to go on, but you have to. And the good news is that they have each other, even though they are in this lousy situation. And then the most horrible scene of the evening –  Jimmy isn’t breathing. How could they let this poor kid die?  He’s done so much for the 2nd Mass. The price of war with the aliens is becoming too high. Guess Ben is the new owner of the compass and will never lose his way, or will he?

At the hanger, Avery is talking to the rest of The 2nd Mass about how great the new capital is with electricity and hot water. This place is starting to sound like a five star resort, but can they trust her? Avery tries to convince Tom that the new country forming needs his expertise. But Tom wonders what he has to offer as a former history professor. Tom should have a little more faith in the power he holds, even if he isn’t entirely trustworthy. Avery also tries to persuade Weaver, pointing out that he’s a leader and his people would follow him anywhere including “the gates of hell.” She thinks her people need the 2nd Mass and Weaver’s people need Charleston. She’s definitely got everyone wrapped around her pinky finger now.

Dylan Authors as Jimmy Boland. Image © TNT

As Ben prepares Jimmy to be buried, he notices that his compass is gone. Meanwhile, Pope and his Berserkers are having a party, and Tom tells them they are moving out once Jimmy’s funeral is over. Pope tells Tom that he can’t keep comforting Ben by telling him he did the right thing, because really all he did was give the Skitters an edge by taking out one of their own. Pope is pushing Tom’s buttons and it seems to be fueling a fire inside him. When Tom sees Pope has Jimmy’s compass and he refuses to return it (saying “finders keepers”) this is the final straw. Tom slugs Pope and they duke it out in an anger filled rage. At least a couple of people are getting it out of their systems.

After the fight, Pope tries to get Tom in trouble with Weaver, but Weaver sides with Tom saying that he may not have been as kind in that situation. Pope can tell he’s no longer wanted and decides he wants out, at which Weaver points him to the door. Anthony agrees to join Pope because he saved his life, and he thinks someone should keep an eye on him … or maybe two. This could be a big mistake on Weaver’s part. The 2nd Mass is losing some valuable soldiers, even if Pope is unpredictable.

Anne checks out Tom’s head injury from his fight with Pope, and before we know it they are having awkward exchange number two of the evening as Tom plants a kiss. The chemistry here needs some work. This could be a good thing but both sides are harboring too many pent up feelings. Anne pulls away saying it is Sammy’s birthday and all she wanted was for no one to die. Too bad that didn’t happen. RIP Jimmy.

At Jimmy’s funeral, Weaver gives a touching tribute to Jimmy saying he died a hero, and he was proud to have served with him. We won’t forget you, little buddy! Afterwards, everyone sprinkles some dirt on Jimmy’s open grave. Let’s hope they don’t have to bury anyone else. Later Ben visits Weaver graveside and returns his compass. Ben said it served Jimmy well and Weaver agreed saying that he was a good soldier but he had no sense of direction. After the joke, Ben loses it on Weaver’s shoulder. Poor kid has had so much loss and pain. We just want to reach through the screen and give him a big ol’ hug.

And after all the back and forth, Weaver has finally decided that the 2nd Mass is headed to Charleston. Tom asks Weaver what changed his mind. Turns out it’s mostly a numbers game. They used to be three hundred strong. Now at one hundred and seventy six they owe it to Jimmy to keep fighting. Charleston sounds like a good place to do that. Plus a hot shower would be nice. On the positive side this keeps the 2nd Mass in the action, but on the downside, who knows what kind of trouble they might encounter in Charleston? Who is in charge, and how will they react to a very independent well run band of soldiers joining them? This move could ruin a good thing.

As they head out, Ben is missing again (maybe he’s the second Mason that needs a bell), and Tom goes to find him. He’s over at Jimmy’s grave, where Redeye is having another little encounter with Ben. If only we knew what was being said. As it hears Tom’s motorcycle, Redeye skitters off (sorry, we just can’t help ourselves!).

So the 2nd Mass is on the move again. Was Avery telling the truth about Charleston? What does Redeye want with Ben? Let’s get out our flamethrowers, hunt some skitters, and talk Falling Skies!