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"Love and Other Acts of Courage" drive Falling Skies

Falling Skies poster

Written by : published Tuesday 10th July 2012

This week's installment of TNT's Falling Skies, "Love and Other Acts of Courage," sees a huge sea change for the show. The alien I nicknamed Scar in my previous review, but is now being referred to as Red Eye by the show's PR materials, is actually a good guy, who would like to team up with the human resistance! Viewers and the soldiers barely have time to digest this fact before the 2nd Mass must flee an attack, and Red Eye escapes from them, his captors and would-be killers.

In retrospect, this turn of events makes sense. We previously learned that the Skitters, or at least some of them, have been harnessed. Ben (Connor Jessup), and especially Rick (Daniyah Ysrayl), continue to show some loyalty to their former alien masters. Red Eye is observed not killing Ben, Tom (Noah Wyle), and other humans on multiple occasions. And yet, with the scary look the production crew gives to Red Eye, it is somehow still surprising when he reveals his gentle nature.

Unfortunately, Falling Skies is still struggling with some weaknesses in writing and/or editing. Tom switches his loyalties too quickly, as does Captain Weaver (Will Patton). Ben runs off constantly without talking to anyone about it, and last time fans saw Rick, he was outright hostile towards the humans, yet now, he's a friend. Why does the 2nd Mass keep putting up with Ben's behavior? Will who trusts who, and the reasons why, become more clear? When taken as a whole, it doesn't all quite add up, even as the show just drops the plot points on you and moves on.

One thing that "Love and Other Acts of Courage" continues is to build suspense about the stakes of the battle, a highpoint thus far in season two. A number of characters have been lost or killed off. Jimmy's (Dylan Authors) recent death is pretty unexpected, as is Rick's this week. With Pope (Colin Cunningham) MIA, and not returning as quickly as expected, it seems like anything could happen to anyone at any time (unless their last name is Mason). Which means that Weaver and his harness creature-infected leg could be in danger.

Will the humans learn to trust the rebellious Skitters? Will the 2nd Mass accept help? Will the army in Charleston prove to be real, and if so, how will Weaver, Tom, and the others adjust to taking orders from someone who hasn't gone through exactly what they have? So much about the war is done right that it outweighs the negatives, overall.

Falling Skies also does the romance pretty decently, taking it slow enough to be realistic, but fast enough to not frustrate shipper fans. Tom and Anne's (Moon Bloodgood) relationship continues to grow and deepen, but it's kind of nice that most of those developments happen off screen, and what is seen is small and sweet. Their disappearing into a hospital room in this episode satisfies those waiting for something to happen, but avoids intruding on their privacy.

Hal (Drew Roy) and Maggie (Sarah Carter), too, stay away from prying eyes, though viewers get something to talk about in "Love and Other Acts of Courage." When Maggie brings up Karen (Jessy Schram), it looks like she might sabotage whatever spark is lit. But then Hal overcomes that, and it's Maggie that pulls away. Thankfully, the circumstances of her injury and his rescue of her should push them along enough to avoid a "will they, won't they" struggle of several years.

With blossoming love and surprise allies, "Love and Other Acts of Courage" stands out as a strong entry for Falling Skies. The real reason that the show works is the human factor, presenting characters who are inspiring and relatable. How cool is it that one of those characters, Red Eye, is an alien, especially one that looks so different from people? Barely halfway through the second season, I can't wait to see where it goes next!

Watch Falling Skies Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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