Welcome to Falling Skies Observations. In this edition we identify the clues and thematic parallels from the episode 1.04 “Grace”, and examine their potential meaning for the overarching story.
With Falling Skies taking place six months after the alien invasion and the show opting not to use flashbacks, we don’t really get a sense of the initial public reaction to the alien arrival on Earth.
However, the above scene offers some clues as to what scientists made of the alien technology. Namely their ships, which one newspaper clipping describes: “Ships Defy Scientific Analysis”.
It’s a very small thing, but little clues like this can be helpful in filling in the gaps and adding layers to the story with minimal fuss.
In this episode we discover that the Skitters sleep upside down – like bats. Tom notes that they’re not nocturnal creatures. However, Pope reasons that they get their sleep on “whenever and wherever they can” – just like soldiers anywhere.
If our heroes can determine which Earth animals the Skitters most resemble, they may be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The more they know about them, the better.
It’s worth holding on to the bat comparison, particularly in light of what else we discover about the Skitters in this episode.
Line Of Sight
The the word “SIGHT” is graffitied right where the Skitters are sleeping. This may (or may not) be the show referencing the bat-like qualities of the Skitters. We know that bats use echolocation to help them navigate. Could the Skitters have a similar ability?
An alien “I Want You” message. Interesting ‘humanizing’ of the aliens (also notice how the eyes are actually much bigger than that of the Skitters). But specifically this is a cute play on the Uncle Sam poster used to recruit soldiers during World War I and II.
Again, in the absence of flashbacks, the show turns to illustrative visuals to help describe the pre-attack setting.
It’s an interesting parallel that can be looked at from various perspectives. It can be viewed as a reference to alien propaganda – not that different from human propaganda, it would seem. It could also allude to the alien recruitment of humans – something that will no-doubt be further explored in the overarching harness storyline
As ‘Plot Device Mike’ discovered, the Skitters have a ‘pressure point’ located above the soft palete. Apparently, “there’s no bone to separate the brain from the soft palete.” An area of weakness, perhaps?
Either way, our Skitter anatomy lesson continues.
The Skitters produce bursts of static during moments of high emotion. Essentially they have “radios in their head”. Could this be, in part, why they wiped out Earth’s electronics? You know, aside from it being a pretty smart move on their part.
Also, it’s worth reiterating that the Skitters are capable of what we’d deem ‘human-like’ emotion. This could be interesting as the story develops.
Since the harness was attached to Rick for a long period of time, they appear to have a sort of symbiotic connection, allowing the Skitter prisoner of war to control/persuade Rick.
Under the control/persuasion of the Skitter, Rick picks up the harness..
And attaches it to his back, the tendrils immediately reinsert themselves.
The sensation is clear as Rick gets an instant high from the harness.
The crafty Skitter tries to use Rick release it from the cell, but Mike arrives just in time. Here’s the transcript of the first known conversation between human and Skitter (communicating via Rick):
Dr. Harris: “What do you want from us?”
Skitter: “You want to hurt me”
Harris: “We just want to know why you’re here. So what do you want?”
Skitter: “Let me go”
Harris: “No, can’t do that”
Skitter: “This child is one of ours”
Harris: “Not anymore, we cut off his harness”
Skitter: “Then I’ll be punished. Help me”
Harris: “How can we help you?”
Skitter: “Kill me”
And then Mike, in yet another reckless move, literally rips the harness off his son.
Looking past the contrivances, this was an interesting scene. We find out that the Skitters can communicate through the harnessed kids – and that they know the international language of manipulation.
At times it was unclear as to whether it was all Skitter responses, or whether ‘Rick’ was interjecting with his own pleas. If we’re looking at the former, then I would find it interesting that the Skitter believes it’ll get punished because Rick was taken back – and that it would rather be killed than go back to base with its tail between its legs.
Of course, the Skitter may have been attempting to soften the humans by making Rick ask for help.
I Wouldn’t Weave Him Out There
Weaver admits that if his son were still out there nothing could keep him from going after him. Interesting, from a man who has prevented Tom from going after Ben on numerous occasions. What does this say about Tom’s desire to get Ben back? What does it say about Weaver’s ‘double-standards’?
This also confirms the hints from previous episodes that Weaver has a son.
According to Tom, he and Ben were halfway through Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows when the attack happened. Apparently Benji wished he was near-sighted so that he could have glasses like Harry. That seems like a pretty direct reference, and again with the ‘sight’ parallels.
The book reference also informs the discussion Hal and Tom are having. Hal reckons Ben will be different if they get him back, while Tom is still holding onto Ben’s ‘childhood’. He takes the book from Hal and places it in a box. “I know my son.”
Weaver secretly joins in with saying Grace, suggesting that he is also a man of faith.
It’s also interesting to note the meta question at hand – do humans (believers or otherwise) still have dominion over the Earth in light of the alien invasion?
- The Mechs have “sleep mode”. I guess that’s when they recharge their AAA batteries.
- Rick didn’t remember dad after the harness was removed – we can assume similar memory issues for other harnessed kids.
Any thoughts on the above? Have your own observations from the episode? Feel free to share in the comments.