Episode Title: "A More Perfect Union"
Writers: Remi Aubuchon and Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
Director: Greg Beeman
Previously on "Falling Skies":
Picking up where we left off, John Pope (Colin Cunningham) taunts Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) over leading the 2ND Mass straight into a military coup by General Bressler (Matt Frewer); who offers to give Tom a chance to meet up with the rebel skitters if he goes along with it. Instead, Tom and the 2ND Mass reject Bressler's military rule; which ousted leader, Arthur Manchester (Terry O'Quinn) takes as a sign of solidarity. After Tom tells Arthur that it wasn't about him, an alarm upstairs sends everyone running to the common area, where the Red Eyed skitter and several rebel skitters have entered the compound as Ben Mason (Connor Jessup) pleads with Bressler's soldiers not to fire.
Tom, Captain Weaver (Will Patton), Dr. Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) and other 2ND Mass members use their bodies to shield the rebel skitters, forcing Bressler to relent and hear them out. Through Ben, Red Eye explains that the 2ND Mass should have killed the Overlord when they had the chance because it would have crippled the aliens' war effort in that part of the continent. However, Red Eye says that the Overlord will be inspecting a new weapon in three days and that they need help from the humans to get inside. After Ben and the skitters withdraw to a nearby area, Bressler rejects the offer to team up as a trick and orders the 2ND Mass locked up.
However, Weaver and Tom are able to convince Bressler to let the 2ND Mass try what will almost certainly be a suicide mission. But in private, Bressler orders some of his men to attack the rebel skitters while they have the chance. Before that happens, Hal Mason (Drew Roy) enters the rebel skitter camp to speak with Ben, who tells his brother that he feels accepted among the rebels and his fellow de-harnessed humans. As Anne packs for the mission, she suddenly throws up… which causes Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) to believe that she is pregnant. Anne confirms her guess, but says that she will tell Tom after the mission.
Later, Tom and Arthur start to heal the bond between them as Arthur admits that his some of his mistakes led to the coup. Shortly thereafter, a bloodied Ben tells Tom that the rebels were attacked, but he can't identify who struck during the night. With the skitter camp littered with bodies of de-harnessed humans and aliens, Bressler uses his massacre as a pretense to cancel the mission. But when Ben reveals that he has the mission details in his head, Weaver elects to send the 2ND Mass with or without Bressler's approval. Reluctantly, Bressler gives it to him. As they prepare to roll out, Weaver's daughter, Jeanne (Laci J. Mailey) volunteers to go, but he insists that she stay behind and continue becoming a leader for the people in Charleston.
Matt (Maxim Knight) also tries to come, but his father tells him to watch over Lourdes while they are away. Meanwhile, a contrite Tector (Ryan Robbins) returns to the Berserkers and apologizes to Pope, Lyle (Brad Kelly) and Crazy Lee ( Luciana Carro). None of the Berserkers seem inclined to forgive him right away… but they still accept Tector's presence for the upcoming battle. Hours later, the 2ND Mass crawls through a series of tunnels to get to the alien fortress. Dai (Peter Shinkoda) and Anthony (Mpho Koahu) blow the wall to get in after Ben confirms that the Overlord is nearby. As the 2ND Mass begins laying out charges, they note that the new super weapon is aimed at the sky. Ben even confirms that it wasn't meant for humans.
Suddenly, the skitters attack. Dai is quickly murdered before the 2ND Mass is surrounded. Karen (Jessy Schram) enters the room and greets Tom. Sometime later, the Overlord watches as Karen tortures Tom and other 2ND Mass members for details on how they knew where the Overlord will be. Karen also envelops Hal with a passionate kiss and embrace that seems to knock him out. Before Karen begins shocking Anne, she seems to sense that Anne is pregnant with Tom's child and she voices her theory after confirming it. Just as Tom starts to give into her demands, the rebel skitters attack.
Red Eye jumps at the Overlord and manages to injury him, but the Overlord fatally wounds the rebel skitter. After being freed, Tom attacks the Overlord and brutally stabs him several times before killing him. Incensed, Karen tells Tom that he will never win before she makes her escape by climbing the walls just as a skitter would. The 2ND Mass gather around the dying Red Eye, who imparts his final message to Ben. Tom even takes Red Eye's hand as he is urged to keep fighting. The 2ND Mass regroups with the few remaining rebel skitters, taking the unconscious Hal with them along with Dai's body.
Finishing their mission, the alien super weapon is destroyed. Once back in Charleston, Bressler gives the 2ND Mass a hero's welcome. Matt asks Ben if he will stay with them now that the mission has been accomplished. Just as Tom starts to explain that Ben has to go, he is surprised when Ben indicates that he is staying this time. In the infirmary, Anne can't find anything wrong with Hal and she's not sure what to do next. In private, Anne and Tom discuss what they should do about their impending child, but they ultimately choose to keep fighting the aliens. Hours later, Hal wakes up alone and walks over to a mirror before an alien device emerges from his eye and enters his brain… leaving him with a creepy smile on his face.
Elsewhere, Arthur tells Tom that Bressler will restore civilian rule if he steps aside as leader. He offers the position to Tom, who politely declines because the 2ND Mass is leaving to continue fighting the aliens. Outside, loud noises draw out Tom and almost everyone in Charleston as they witness several alien space pods land on Earth in a flash of blue lights. As they raise their weapons in fear, a tall humanoid alien emerges and opens his helmet… revealing that this is an entirely different alien species that is neither an Overlord or a skitter.
As a cliffhanger for the next season of "Falling Skies," bringing in a new alien race seems like a pretty logical step to take. If this new race turns out to an enemy of the Overlords, then humanity would have a much better shot at victory. And the events of "A More Perfect Union" certainly implied that this race is opposed to the Overlords when Ben revealed that the super weapon wasn't meant for the humans.
That doesn't necessarily mean that the new aliens are automatically good or on the side of humanity. That would be a little too easy. It's more likely that this new race has its own agenda which may or may not line up with humanity's best interests. But with the skitter rebellion largely decimated in this episode, it could even the playing field again. It was a little surprising that Red Eye was killed off… and that his death was more poignant than Dai's. Unfortunately, Peter Shinkoda's character was poorly served this year with even Tector and Jamil receiving more screen time. If Dai had been featured in any storyline this year, his death could have really meant something. Instead, Dai went out like a red shirt on "Star Trek." And he deserved more than that.
If the action is moving away from Charleston again next season, then it probably means we won't be seeing Terry O'Quinn or Matt Frewer on a regular basis. At least "Falling Skies" left the door open for their potential return. Frewer in particular needs to come back at some point and answer for his crime against the rebel skitters. At the very least, the rebel skitters seemed to be trustworthy and sympathetic to humans… even if the fact that Red Eye murdered Jimmy was kind of glossed over. Looking back, Red Eye was probably meeting with rebel skitters when Jimmy and Ben attacked them several episodes ago… and they killed Red Eye's companions, so he may have felt justified at the time. But that should have been dealt again while Red Eye was still alive..
I'm not sure how a I feel about Hal becoming a pawn of the Overlords. When the victory came, I knew that the other shoe was going to drop and it quickly became clear that Hal was the metaphorical shoe. Drew Roy gave Hal a really unsettling expression while staring in the mirror. This could work, but I'm not looking forward to a long drawn out story of the 2ND Mass taking forever to realize that Hal is now a threat to them. If that had been the only cliffhanger of the episode then it would have been disappointing.
In a very real way, "Falling Skies" is a family oriented show; but I enjoy the relationship between Hal and Anne. If they're going to have a baby together, that may have some dramatic potential. I also like Anne's motherly connection with Lourdes, even though Lourdes' character development after Jamil's death was largely forgotten in the last two episodes. The only thing I don't like about Tom's extended family are the painful to watch scenes with Matt. Fortunately, Matt was less annoying in this episode than he has been earlier this season. But the poor scripting of Matt's scenes is something that this show should address as it goes forward.
Overall, "A More Perfect Union" was a fairly satisfying finale that set up some interesting beats for "Falling Skies" season 3. This isn't a perfect show, but I still want to see where it goes next.