Falling Skies "Compass" REVIEW

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Falling Skies 2.03 "Compass"

Episode 2.03
Writer: Bryan Oh
Director: Michael Katleman

THE ONE WHERE : Ben and Jimmy secretly track some skitters, with tragic results… Tom and Pope clash, and Avery Churchill arrives, with word of a new government in Charleston.

THE VERDICT : The second season continues to trade in consequences, killing off a character who’s been with us since the pilot. Shame he was such a minor player, though; one of the leads would have been a more striking scalp at this stage of the game. A graveside scene involving Weaver’s old Eagle Scout compass tips into mushiness – far more effective is Anne’s understated wish that nobody should die on her dead son’s birthday. Still, there’s some emotional resonance here, particularly in Tom’s confession that they can’t protect kids anymore, only protect them, a moment that rings out among some hokey dialogue (yes, someone really does exit a scene saying “You should have killed me when you had the chance.”) Pope, meanwhile, seems to have been repositioned as less of a roguish anti-hero and more of a straightforward antagonist. You can’t help feeling that more could have been made of Weaver’s decision to enlist Tom in the Berserkers, a plotline that seems to fizzle.

RESISTANCE STATS : The complement of the 2 nd Mass now stands at 176.

HMMM : Tom argues that while the humans know the difference between retreat and surrender it’s a distinction that’s lost on the invaders. But didn’t the first episode of this season suggest that the aliens were superbly briefed on the nuances of military history?


Tom: “We’re moving out after Jimmy’s funeral.2

Pope: “Yeah, I think we’re all going to pass on that incredibly empty gesture.”

Falling Skies is now showing on FX. Check out SFX's exclusive interview with Noah Wyle here

Nick Setchfield
Editor-at-Large, SFX Magazine

Nick Setchfield is the Editor-at-Large for SFX Magazine, writing features, reviews, interviews, and more for the monthly issues. However, he is also a freelance journalist and author with Titan Books. His original novels are called The War in the Dark, and The Spider Dance. He's also written a book on James Bond called Mission Statements.