Episode Title: "Molon Labe"
Writers: Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
Director: Holly Dale
On the run from the 2ND Mass, Ben Mason (Connor Jessup) attempts to take Karen (Jessy Schram) to meet the rebel skitters led by Red Eye before they run into an alien Overlord flanked by his own skitters and a Mech. Karen is re-harnessed and she reveals that she was always loyal to her Overlord before she tries to re-harness Ben as well. Ben's father, Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) arrives just in time with the 2ND Mass and they catch the aliens off guard. Although the human resistance is still heavily out-gunned, Tom manages to hold the Overlord at gunpoint; which causes the skitters and Mech to stand down.
Back at the hospital, Captain Weaver (Will Patton) attempts to get the 2ND Mass ready for an emergency final push to Charleston ahead of the aliens' next attack. Dr. Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) and Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) receive Weaver's permission to search the basement for more medical supplies before they leave and he sends Matt Mason (Maxim Knight) with them as a guard. Before they go, Lourdes has a moment with Jamil Dexter (Brandon Jay McLaren) where they reaffirm their affection for one another. Tom and the others soon arrive with their Overlord prisoner, but the road to the hospital is quickly blocked off by Mechs.
The Mechs open fire and Weaver realizes that it's probably a distraction while they attempt to come in through the back. Checking it out himself, Tom finds a lone alien Mech breaking into the building. Tom manages to take it out with a well placed explosion, but the blast briefly knocks out Matt, Lourdes and Anne below in the basement. As Tom and Weaver argue about whether Ben brought this down upon them through his connection to the rebel skitters, Karen arrives holding a white flag while demanding the release of her master. Karen offers the humans the chance to walk away and live if they comply and she confirms that the Overlord is the same one that Tom encountered on the mothership.
Privately, Ben apologizes to his brother, Hal (Drew Roy) for causing so much sorrow, but Hal quickly forgives him. Finally noticing that Anne and Matt are missing, Tom and Weaver send Jamil to find them. Ben also tells Tom that he has to leave the 2ND Mass to protect them, but Tom is vehemently against that. In the basement, Matt, Lourdes and Anne are basically alright, but they soon come across a gravely injured Jamil. Elsewhere, Hal and Margaret (Sarah Sanguin Carter) reaffirm their burgeoning relationship before coming across several horrific alien spiders; one of which Hal manages to kill.
In the basement, Jamil and Lourdes tell each other "I love you" before several of the alien spiders emerge from Jamil's dead body. Anne practically has to drag Lourdes away as they and Matt run for their lives and seal themselves in the blood lab. Outside, Tector (Ryan Robbins) sends Boon (Billy Wickman) and other scouts to find a weakness in the enemy perimeter. Inside, John Pope (Colin Cunningham) volunteers to help Tom and Ben find Anne, Matt and Lourdes with Ben, but Tom is openly suspicious of Pope. In the blood lab, Anne sends Matt through the air vent to get help before forcing Lourdes to snap out of her despair and help her find a way to defend themselves against the alien spiders.
Matt eventually catches up to Tom, Pope and Ben while Anne and Lourdes use a makeshift flamethrower to ward off the spiders. Outside, Karen reappears with a captive Boon to send a message to Weaver. Boon is allowed to walk towards the 2ND Mass, but his friends, Crazy Lee (Luciana Carro) and Tector are horrified to see him shot to death by the skitters before he can make it back. Down below, Pope and Tom get Anne and Lourdes to safety. Finally fed up, Tom confronts the captive Overlord with Ben right behind him. The Overlord quickly uses Ben as his mouth piece for a tense conversation with Tom in which the Overlord hints at the aliens' true purpose on Earth and adds that humanity is doomed by its sentimentality.
To prove its point, the Overlord begins killing Ben through their mental connection. So, Tom shoots the Overlord and gravely injuries it. Weaver is less than pleased about the possible demise of their only bargaining chip, but Tom notes that the skitter rebellion may be very real if the aliens went through so much trouble to reclaim Ben and discover what he knows. They also decide to let Karen know what happened to her master. Hal soon escorts Karen inside and she happily tells him how serving the aliens has evolved her perspective on life and the universe. But Karen is so angered by the sight of her fallen master that she has to be restrained from attacking them.
Tom and Weaver give Karen an ultimatum of their own: let the 2ND Mass leave in peace or Pope will blow up the hospital with Karen and the Overlord inside. Hours later, the 2ND Mass is far along the road to Charleston and only 500 miles away. Anthony (Mpho Koahu) and several others share rumors about the amenities available to them there, but Pope is openly dubious about the entire thing. In the medical bus, Anne is proud that Lourdes has emotionally recovered enough to help the wounded. But Anne is taken aback when Lourdes reveals that she's lost her faith in God and humanity and she is essentially just waiting to die.
Outside, Tom finds Ben attempting to sneak off and join the skitter rebellion full time. Tom and his son share an emotional goodbye before he watches Ben walk off on his own.
That was my one note when Tom shot the alien Overlord before a commercial break. During its first season, "Falling Skies" didn't seem to have the edge that it needed to really convey just how bleak the situation was for humanity. Season two has shown great improvement in that regard. Tom's actions in that scene were far more surprising than the two deaths in the episode. That moment did dispel some of the aura of invincibility that the alien Overlords have had since their introduction, but this show needs a hero who is willing to act decisively towards these creatures who have devastated the world. Tom Mason may finally have evolved to that point.
Jamil's death was spoiled for me ahead of time, but the scene in which alien spiders poured from his mouth was eerily effective. Given Jamil's increasing importance to the show, I assumed that he was going to be around for a while. For the uninitiated, it was probably a good shock moment. Brandon Jay McLaren gave a very good final performance as Jamil, but I think that killing him off had less to do with Jamil and more about developing Lourdes. During the first season, Lourdes was often criticized for being a pretty one dimensional character who basically spoke only in uplifting Biblical messages. Essentially, Lourdes was defined by her beliefs and by her attraction towards Hal that was largely forgotten this season.
From Lourdes' final scene in this episode, we see that she's broken. She really loved Jamil and she simply can't conceive of a life without him. The writing was a little bit on the nose in Lourdes' speech to Anne, but it's the most interesting thing that she's ever had to say on the show. It's too soon to call whether Seychelle Gabriel will be able to pull off an angrier and disillusioned Lourdes, but it does seem like she's being positioned for more exposure on the series.
Boon's death was a lot less effective because we had barely seen him before his demise. Sure, Boon popped up occasionally in the earlier episodes, but in very minor roles. No one was under any illusion that he was going to have something important to contribute to the story other than an eventual death scene. The upside is that I love how creepy Karen has become as the aliens' mouthpiece, even without the harness. Karen is so far gone that saving her may no longer be possible; which is probably why Hal emotionally abandoned her for dead before he finally got his long desired relationship with Maggie. But Maggie's advances towards Hal seemed to be calculated to get his mind off of Karen as opposed to a sincere gesture.
The new alien spiders introduced in this episode were fun and they also demonstrate that the aliens haven't thrown everything that they can at the humans… yet. Keeping at least some of the humans alive must still fit into the aliens' overall agenda and it was intriguing that the Overlord hinted that the aliens already plan to leave Earth once they've accomplished their purpose. If it's resources that the aliens want, water is the most likely thing that they are trying to take. But that would be repeating some of the Visitors' motivations from both incarnations of "V," so hopefully the aliens of "Falling Skies" have something different in mind as their endgame.
The idea of a skitter rebellion is also starting to grow on me. Red Eye was apparently on the level about that and the Overlord was actually frightened by that prospect, according to Ben. Fighting alongside aliens against another group of aliens isn't going to be an easy sell for the human resistance. But it's one of the few genuinely hopeful prospects that the characters have at the moment.
This was definitely one of the best episodes of the season, maybe even the series. With more episodes like this, "Falling Skies" can start staking a claim to being among the best shows on TV.