Previously on Falling Skies, ‘Hunger Pains’
Starring: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Sarah Carter, Connor Jessup, Maxim Knight, Colin Cunningham, Doug Jones, Mpho Koalo, Treva Etienne | Director: Robert Lieberman
Though befittingly prominent in the general direction of Falling Skies, Tom Mason and family took a backseat in “Hatchlings” to further the development of John Pope and Anthony’s respective storylines. While Tom is under the suggestion of an unknown alien force and his sons acquire greater responsibility in the 2nd Mass, nearly all the supporting characters have meandered in the background. “Hatchlings” finally gives them a share of the spotlight, albeit every one of them suffers a relative blow to their standing in the resistance.
The chief Espheni war machine has been eliminated, swarms of feral mutants are being systematically taken out and a global resistance is finally coalescing. However the 2nd Mass appear to be in as worst shape as they’ve ever been within their ranks. With their big bad for all intents and purposes an impotent threat, it appears most of the conflict during season five will occur between the main cast. No matter all the 2nd Mass accomplished, if one were to look closely, it wouldn’t take much to make the wheels fall off the entire operation.
Director and co-executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi laid a great framework for the remaining episodes in “Find Your Warrior” and “Hunger Pains”, as the persons responsible for the overall success and safety of the resistance have sacrificed their integrity and security in a desperate attempt to finally be rid of the Espheni. In short time, Tom Mason has become the reckless gunslinger John Pope once was, until tempered by the attentive presence of Sara (Mia Sorvino) in season four. For characters like Pope that had little motivation to stay with the 2nd Mass, now he is confronted with the possibility of losing all he’s put together since last season.
Anthony, played by Mpho Koalo, is going through similar motions as he has been front and center in the most disturbing moments of the first two episodes. The 2nd Mass has been his family for seasons, but no one appears to have any form of sentiment or deep concern for the traumas he’s experienced in season five so far. Save for a few instances of Weaver telling Tom he should be looked after, Anthony has been left to his own devices. He’s sought various outlets for his frustrations and no one appeared to care until his expertise is needed on runs and sweeps. It isn’t until he commits one fatal error that he’s finally given the attention he deserves. Unfortunately, the way Weaver and Mason treat Anthony proves how out of sorts they are about the condition of the camp while trying to form an international fighting force.
The lack of sympathy and deception continues with the relationship between Maggie (Sarah Carter) and Caitlin (Julia Sarah Stone). It’s discovered her mutated brother is capable of communicating with Maggie thanks to her spikes – which are put to the test multiple times this episode – and Caitlin is able to finally have a few words with her younger brother, only for him to conveniently turn against them and side with the Overlord hidden in the forest. More people suffer thanks to Ben and Maggie’s selfish decisions; their consciences finally get the better of them when they once would have justified their actions.
By the end of “Hatchlings” life within the 2nd Mass is in an unfamiliar state. Loyalties are strained, divisions are forming and everyone except Anne appears to accept Tom’s odd behavior and his destructive decisions. If this episode is any indication of the dark journey Mason and Company will undertake during the final season, no one is safe. No one will be the same. Certainly, not everyone will survive.