The Effects of War: Falling Skies ‘Death March’ Recap and Review
By Jamie Krakover
This week on Falling Skies the 2nd Mass is on a dark road to Charleston. They are in the final twelve hours of the trip but everyone is feeling the effects of battle in different ways.
Tom misses Ben, as do we! Matt continues to twist our gut when he gives his dad his will. Even at such a young age, Matt knows the price of war. Lourdes is also suffering from those effects, and is having trouble treating patients. It’s probably because of too many bad memories about Jamil’s death. She completely loses it when another one of their patients dies. Lourdes can’t afford to see any more death. It’s clear war and travel are taking a toll on the 2nd Mass.
As Weaver and Tector drive together, Weaver astutely notes that Tector is military trained, but wonders why he’s trying to hide it. This is an interesting development for his character, but secrets usually mean trouble for the 2nd Mass. Before they can get too deep into the discussion, Tector hits something with the truck. When they get out to investigate they discover a girl whose harness deluminates the minute they approach. Where did the girl come from and what kind of trouble will this mean for the 2nd Mass?
Anne thinks the girl’s harness is internally damaged and we hope she’s right. When the girl wakes up she’s in pain and looking for her brother, Tyler. Weaver and Tom are concerned about the risk the girl might bring to the 2nd Mass, but they can’t afford to stop the convoy. They strap her in and keep moving. Tom starts to wonder how many harnessed kids are out there, noting that even if they remove their harnesses they will never be the same. More signs that the 2nd Mass is war torn and struggling with the effects. It’s hard to watch everyone when they seem so defeated and upset. But Tom tries to remain positive, saying they will chase the aliens off the planet.
Pope is on Maggie and Hal’s nerves but we can’t help but find his antics slightly amusing. He definitely adds character to the 2nd Mass. As they drive Maggie says she has faith that Ben will be back, but Hal doesn’t agree. We are really hoping Maggie is right. The truck starts to sputter due to an overheating radiator, interrupting their exchange. Pope tells them to keep going because they aren’t far from a river. We have to wonder how he knows this; it sounds very suspicious. As Pope repairs the radiator hose he sends Hal for water to cool it off. This leaves Maggie alone with Pope for the first time since she’s been rescued. In an extremely tense and hostile verbal exchange, Pope questions her about what Hal will think when he learns the truth about her. It’s hard to believe that Maggie has some deep dark secret that could be something really bad. We hope she isn’t working for the aliens. Pope says people like them don’t belong with the people in Charleston, and Maggie needs to tell Hal the whole truth. Maggie insists that no good can come from revealing her past. This isn’t sounding good at all!
Matt makes friends with the harnessed girl, Jenny, offering her some food. The girl talks about being harnessed. In some odd way she feels like her guardian skitter and the other kids harnessed with her were her family. The skitter that watched over them was like a parent. It sounds like a very strange dynamic, but it’s evident the aliens have been studying up on human culture. She also mentions that the rest of the kids she was harnessed with as well as her guardian were shot by humans. Something about the story sounds a bit convenient. Did the aliens plant a spy expecting the 2nd Mass to play to the child’s vulnerability? As they talk, Matt says the girl should come with them to Charleston, because there they can make more friends and the 2nd Mass can be her new family. Matt is so sweet. He seems to be trying to learn more about his brother through Jenny and is extremely caring, even though most the 2nd Mass looks at the harnessed girl as a threat. She, however, sounds skeptical of the proposal; but before she can explain, she senses Tyler, her “brother.” He slams into the bus, halting the whole convoy. Seems like a pretty good diversion if the aliens are following them. Jenny’s harness relights and she breaks free of her chains, fleeing the med bus despite Matt trying to stop her. We are left wondering what’s going on, especially since Tyler acted more like a skitter than a harnessed kid.
When Maggie, Hal, and Pope get back on the road, Hal notes that Maggie is acting strange. Hal is being cute and protective of Maggie and her feelings, but finally she launches into the truth. After recovering from cancer, her life was filled with drugs and crime that landed her in a correctional facility. At that point she found out she was pregnant, but unfortunately they took the child from her. From what Pope said it sounded like things might have been a lot worse, but who knows how Hal will react. Hopefully since he loves her he will accept her and her troubled past, but he says he needs time. We expect tensions to mount between the pair after this exchange.
When the convoy continues Matt talks to his dad about Ben. He’s worried Ben likes the skitters more than his family and that Ben might die or they may never see him again. Poor Matt has too many things to worry about for being just a kid, but he’s extremely astute.
Weaver continues to question Tector about his military past, noting that his experience will be needed in Charleston. Too bad Tector has no intention of sticking around when they get there. Weaver thinks he’s running away because of the death around him. Tector has a horribly guilty conscious thinking he’s responsible Boone’s execution. Weaver goads Tector into a yelling match, finally getting him to understand that the death around him is not his fault.
When the convoy comes to a screeching halt, everyone emerges from their vehicles to a dismal sight: an obliterated bridge and a decimated city beyond. They’ve come too far to run into a huge obstacle like this. Tom is extremely upset. He wanted Charleston to be real, but unfortunately the last bit of hope is now gone for the 2nd Mass. Anne consoles him and says they can’t ever lose hope. But the 2nd Mass has hit rock bottom and needs a serious pep talk. Tector tells Weaver he needs to say something even if he has to make it up. We knew we liked that guy! Weaver tells the 2nd Mass that this doesn’t mean the dream is dead, it just means they need to look for it elsewhere. At the end of his speech he has renewed the hope of the 2nd Mass. Just when they are about to leave, an army patrol finds them and explains that Charleston does really exist and looks can be deceiving. As spirits are on the rise, Hal, Maggie, and Pope come out of the brush and rejoin the group. After hundreds of miles and hours of despair, the tables have finally turned and the 2nd Mass has their hope back.
So there you have it, Falling Skies fans, one of the most difficult and emotional episodes to date. What did you think of the episode? Did it tug at your heartstrings? Are you missing Ben? Do you think he will return? Join the convoy and let’s talk Falling Skies.