CliqueClack TV

Falling Skies – Who is the real enemy?

The penultimate episode of 'Falling Skies' second season has the 2nd Mass trying to integrate themselves into Charleston society, but things do not go nearly as well as they'd hoped.

- Season 2, Episode 9 - "The Price of Greatness"

The way Avery Churchill spoke about Charleston in “Compass,” one could have gotten the impression it was a city-sized version of the bar from Cheers. A place where the 2nd Mass could take a break from all their worries – yes, that’s another Battlestar Galactica reference as well, but I digress. Unfortunately, ole Chucktown didn’t live up to the near mythic status it evolved into for the 2nd Mass.

“The Price of Greatness” introduced two new players to the game. “Majority Leader” Arthur Manchester immediately emerged as a threat to the 2nd Mass. While he and Tom have a long history, Charleston’s new political leader was advocating burying humanity’s collective head in the sand. That doesn’t fit well with the 2nd Mass in general, and Tom in particular. The elder Mason has now fully embraced the idea of allying with the rebel Skitters, a plan that Arthur “the ostrich” Manchester dismisses out of hand. Tom’s old friend is set up as the largest human obstacle the 2nd Mass has ever faced. That idea, my friends, is a massive red herring.

No … Weaver, Anne and Tom should be much more worried about one Matt Frewer’s General Bressler. The general has quite obviously also had problems with Manchester’s strategy, and has been looking for an excuse to buck his authority. Why he did not try to do so politically is beyond me, though we never really learned who was behind the confidence vote that Manchester was facing. Regardless of what is past, Bressler look advantage of of the situation and executed a coup d’état.

It’s telling that Manchester was jailed; I’m sure most ousted leaders are treated as such, but in Manchester’s case, I’m not sure that it was necessary. He has no leverage with the military, he had just himself jailed the only potential powerfuly ally he had … he served no real threat to Bressler at this point. But the general, when finally given the opportunity, acted swiftly and decisively. He allowed Tom and the 2nd Mass to continue with their rendezvous with Red Eye, but Tom and Weaver have no real power. For the captain, that might be slightly easier to stomach; he is used to acting within a deep chain of command.

The rest of the 2nd Mass — Tom in particular — is not going to be as easily sated. While there has been some structure, the more “free-spirited” members of the group have proven time and time again that they can get away with doing whatever they want to, and dealing with the consequences later. Tom personally has proved this many times; show your value and you will generally be forgiven for going off on your own. Bressler — or any command authority — is not going to afford the same the same leeway to his subordinates.

In many ways, that is going to be a challenge that the 2nd Mass faces with the reintegration into any existing society. This means that the rag-tag caravan will have to change — more importantly, it means that Falling Skies will likely change — if the show stays in Charleston. So many question hinges on what happens in next week’s season finale.

A couple additional observations:

  • A discussion about the connections between Falling Skies and Battlestar Galactica on a story level is definitely forthcoming, but another production connection popped up early in the episode as Ty Olsson joined the cast.
  • I was very pleased to see Weaver’s daughter Jeanne show in up Charleston. Being a father is a side of his I’d like to see more often.
  • I’m curious where Anne’s story might go now. The dressing down she gave the other doctor was fun, but she does have more value than she was given credit for.
Photo Credit: TNT

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