FALLING SKIES: 2.03 Compass — REVIEW

falling-skies-compass


The 2nd Mass lose a comrade, Ben has close encounters with Red Eye, while hope seemingly falls from the sky, in Falling Skies 2.03 “Compass”. Here’s our review.

THE GOOD

  • We got a couple of decent developments in the form of Jimmy’s death, which turned out to be more touching than I would have thought, and the arrival of the messenger pilot from Charleston. Can ‘Avery Churchill’ be trusted? Weaver notes that “we’ve been promised paradise before,” (indeed), but the 2nd Mass decide to hit the road and head south in the hope of joining the supposed stronghold, which should make things interesting in the episodes ahead.
  • The 2nd Mass now have a tangible destination, and it should serve the story well to see them on the move. (perhaps learning from the first half of The Walking Dead‘s second season where the story stagnated, in part, from the characters staying in one rather lackluster place for too long).
  • The Red-Eyed Skitter continues to provide ongoing mythology intrigue. He had two notable interactions with Ben — sparing his life like he did his father, which the middle Masonling decided to keep to himself. For me, these ongoing hints about the Skitters ‘relationship’ with the Overlords vs the humans is one of the most interesting elements of the story.
  • I actually appreciated Pope’s reaction to Tom, if only because he’s the one person not treating him like the second coming. Tom hasn’t earned his ‘hero status’ in my book, so Pope’s negative reaction to him, and Tom’s subsequent reaction to Pope (“I snapped”), mixed things up a little.
  • Weaver’s speech at Jimmy’s funeral was nicely done. While the writing and ensemble played their part, much of the credit goes to Will Patton’s delivery. I almost found myself actually caring about one of the show’s least engaging characters. RIP Jimmy.
THE BAD

  • Ben turning up to save the day, just as Tom was being booted out of the 2nd Mass by Pope was a bit contrived.
  • Weaver (and Tom’s) rage upon initially hearing about Jimmy’s close encounter with Red Eye felt a bit faux. While Weaver made up for it later, perhaps the episode would have benefited from seeing them together one last time, given their apparent father/son bond from Season 1.
  • The fickleness of Pope’s Berserkers seemed to have little tracking. They also seem way too cheese-orientated for my taste. Meanwhile, I’m not sure what to make of Anthony – he enjoyed watching Tom get his ass kicked, which seemed odd.
  • I still find it difficult to believe that these highly advanced aliens have struggled to wipe out the remnants of humanity. Especially our 2nd Mass (which is our main point of reference) who really don’t seem that well drilled, given that the Masons and Berserkers are among their ‘main soldiers’. Perhaps Red Eye has been helping all along behind-the-scenes, but I feel this part of the story needs more context besides historical references.
  • The Jimmy half of the titular “Compass” reference brought some emotionality to his story, though I’m not sure it was entirely earned.
NOTES OF RESISTANCE
  • The episode posed a potentially interesting question — how will the 2nd Mass combat the aliens in winter, likewise, how will the invaders hold up? They’ve already conquered most of the planet so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but it might pose them with different challenges. We’ll have to see whether or not it becomes important.
  • Pope says that a number of folks in the camp are creeped out over Tom’s return. Who are these people and where are they?
  • Anne didn’t want anyone to die on her son’s birthday, which is a bit selfish of her. Will she try less hard to patch people up tomorrow?
ANSWERS

  • The Skitters apparently bury/commemorate their dead.
  • The 2nd Mass have 176 survivors left standing (down from 300 when Weaver first took command).
  • There’s apparently a government in Charleston with some 3000 survivors, they have running water and everything.
  • Avery is one of four Charleston pilots looking for survivors. She’s avoided Beamers by flying low over short distances with a plane made of hope making it undetectable by radar.
  • Red Eye has some kind of control over Ben, causing him to freeze and light-up like a Christmas tree.
OVERARCHING MYSTERIES

Episodes 2.01-2:

  • Is Tom an unwitting sleeper agent?
  • Why does Tom have gaps in his memory; what happened during that time?
  • What is Red Eye’s agenda; why did he allow Tom to live?
  • Why the Red Eye? (aside from being a distinguishing feature).
  • Is Red Eye working on its own volition or at the behest of the Overlords?
  • What was the parasite/device that Red Eye implanted inside of Tom — Tracking device? Mind control? “Circuit board”?
  • What are the Overlords overarching plans for Earth and humanity?

Episode 2.03:

  • Why did Red Eye spare Ben’s life and what did he do to Ben?; it seemed to be reading/scanning him.
  • Is there really a government in Charleston?; Have they really made contact with the wider world?; Can they be trusted?

8/10 Seriable Stars

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