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To Fight or Not to Fight; It Shouldn’t be a Question: Falling Skies ‘The Price of Greatness’ Recap & Review’

By on August 13, 2012
Terry O'Quinn in Falling Skies. Image © TNT

Terry O'Quinn in Falling Skies. Image © TNT

By Jamie Krakover

This week on Falling Skies, the 2nd Mass finally enters Charleston, but is it everything they hoped it would be? And just how will they integrate with this new self-proclaimed government of the United States?

Charleston is bustling with activity when the 2nd Mass arrives. They were able to survive because the site they now occupy was underground and in construction when the aliens attacked. The 2nd Mass receives a warm welcome and Weaver is reunited with his daughter, but how long will the happy last?

Terry O’Quinn as Arthur Manchester in Falling Skies. Image ©TNT

Matt is excited to see so many kids running around and hopes there’s a school. Maybe now Matt can finally get back to being a kid. And Weaver isn’t the only one having happy reunions: Tom is reuniting with his former history professor Arthur Manchester, who is eager to hear about Tom’s encounter with the alien overlord. Manchester thinks Charleston can use a leader like Tom. Glad to see someone else recognizes Tom’s great leadership abilities.

Meanwhile, Weaver is meeting up with the general and sharing all the 2nd Mass’ intel. He also offers scouts to Charleston, but the general says they won’t be needing them because the aliens have no reason to attack. They think Charleston has been destroyed. Charleston is in the business of rebuilding, not picking fights. Tector has even joined Charleston’s army. All of this is a huge turn of events for the 2nd Mass, and will require some serious adjustments. Charleston has a lot of people to protect, but it seems odd that they are just waiting things out. With their numbers they should be more proactive.

And the happy bubble bursts quickly after. The 2nd Mass is upset that the colonel wants to split them up and confiscate their weapons, storing them with the others. At first Tom and Weaver disagree, but after hearing the colonels reasons they finally agree to the terms.

On the next day, Tom receives a note from Arthur and the morning gazette. Everyone has their new assignments, and life seems to have changed drastically in a short time. Everything appears to be so normal. When Tom meets with Arthur, he speaks of creating a new democracy, and says they need a post invasion style government. Tom is intrigued, but thinks Arthur might want to reconsider after he recounts his journeys. Arthur seems skeptical about joining with the rebel skitters and refuses to jeopardize Charleston on a war. It seems Arthur and Tom have very different ideals now. Something feels off about Charleston. It’s like they’re too afraid to fight back now. Fear can be dangerous. And the more discussions we hear, the more we learn that Charleston is more a city of survivors than an army. They wouldn’t even send out rescue parties for injured people because the risk is too high – an opposite mentality to the 2nd Mass.

Anne (Moon Bloodgood) and Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel). Image ©TNT

Tensions continue when Anne and Lourdes start work in the hospital. The doctor there seems above kids with snotty noses until Anne forces him to acclimate her with every patient. Over lunch Tom and Anne discuss how something seems off in Charleston. We can sense it too: things seem too calm on the surface, almost as if they are hiding something.

The berserkers are catching hell from the army in Charleston. Pope and company have to prove themselves by showing they know how to shoot. Hal is skeptical of the army as well. Weaver tells him that most of these guys have never seen combat, and Hal will likely be leading a group of them. Therefore he’ll need to build confidence among the ranks. This is a shocking development and possibly explains why they haven’t engaged the aliens. But even Matt is getting into fights with the kids in Charleston. The other kids don’t think the 2nd Mass has seen any combat, and Matt slugs a kid over it, knocking out his teeth.

Maggie catches Pope and some of the berserkers trying to steal weapons. When the army arrives they shoot Lyle, and tensions rise. Maggie, Pope and two others are taken to lockup. These two groups are definitely clashing. Tom argues with Arthur about how to punish the group, saying that they can’t afford to lose four people. Arthur, however, is more concerned about building a government than building an army. And while a government is important, surviving and having an army to fight off the aliens seems like a more pressing issue.

When Hal tries to hatch a plan to get Maggie out of jail, she picks a fight. After all the tough discussions they’ve had, Maggie thinks Hal didn’t give her the decency of an appropriate reaction to her troubled past. Sadly she doesn’t want his help, but this really isn’t the time to continue petty arguments. Hopefully they can mend things between them.

Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) addresses Charleston. Image ©TNT

Later that night, Tom delivers a speech to Charleston. While the community Charleston has built is admirable, Tom thinks they have lost their sense of purpose in this war. Charleston has lost its fire. Tom tells them the aliens won’t leave until they are forced to. Hopefully the 2nd Mass can restore the fight in the people of Charleston. Before too much discussion on the matter can occur, one of the soldiers interrupts, saying there’s a deharnessed kid at the fence with a message for Tom. This can only mean one thing … or so we think.

To our surprise we learn that Redeye sent Marshall, another deharnessed kid, to Tom, and wants to meet. Tom is eager to do so, but Arthur is playing things safe. He sends the boy to lockup and says it’s too dangerous to go out there. Arthur is disappointed that Tom didn’t mention that Ben was in the middle of the skitter rebellion, and the fact that Ben knows they were coming to Charleston puts them at risk. This creates a bigger rift between Tom and Arthur. After the encounter, Arthur plays hardball with Pope and tries to persuade him into giving up information about Tom. If Pope does, he gets his freedom from his cell and Tom “burns.” Arthur is a lot smarter than we originally gave him credit for. It’s a good thing Pope doesn’t give anything up.

Meanwhile Hal has executed a rescue party for Maggie, Pope, and the deharnessed boy. Hal patches things up with Maggie, saying he isn’t upset because he never knew the druggie thieving Maggie, and she never knew the jock Hal so they should start on a clean slate. Fortunately she enjoys his speech and things seem to be good between them. We are glad they have each other’s backs again. When they join up with Weaver, Tom, and the colonel (who has flipped sides), they head for the skitter meeting. Unfortunately they are caught by Charleston’s army, and are imprisoned. Tector even willingly leaves the army to join the 2nd Mass in lockup. (We knew we liked that guy!) The civilian members of the 2nd Mass are also rounded up and detained. The trust Charleston had for the 2nd Mass has eroded. Arthur wants to charge the entire 2nd Mass with treason and start trials, which sounds a bit harsh for the mistake of one small group. Charleston is looking like an awful idea now. They are in serious trouble until the general turns on Arthur, arrests him, suspends the civilian government, and declares Martial Law. Now the 2nd Mass is caught in the middle of a giant military coo. This leaves viewers with many questions as we head into the finale next week.

What did you think of Charleston? Will the 2nd Mass be able to finally join the fight again? What will the new dynamic in Charleston now be like? And will the people of Charleston still look down on the 2nd Mass? Arm yourselves and let’s talk Falling Skies.