Falling Skies: Hatchlings (recap and review)

Pope and Sara in Falling Skies
Falling Skies season five is amazingly easy to get into even without having seen the series from the beginning. Hatchlings takes 2nd Mass another step closer to shutting down the skitters and getting other militia groups organized. At the end of last week’s episode, the militia followed the bio-hornet to a valley where skitters and hornets were feeding en masse. This week, they have taken the drone, which flew successfully last week, to kill off the horde of bioweapons.

The creatures are dining on Croomia and the plan is for the drone to “crop dust” the valley with home-made white phosphorus. The stuff works beautifully and the creatures all drop dead. The news of their success is shared with other militia groups. Tom is upset to learn that the other resistant groups are being called Mason’s militia.

Maggie explains to Caitlyn that they cannot help her brother. As she and the girl talk, the creature communicates with Maggie via the spikes and she says “Catie.” Caitlyn has always believed that her brother is still in the skitter hybrid he has become and this proves it. Brian tells his big sister, through Maggie, that he is afraid he will hurt her.

Tom Mason and Weaver follow a trail of newly arriving skitters and it looks like they are being manufactured on a massive scale. Mason suspects that the creatures were made by another Overlord. The things are beginning to overrun everything and Tom is frustrated. He learns that there is not enough fertilizer left to make any more W.P. and that the skitters are being generated quicker than they can kill them.

Brian escapes with Caitlyn, he extends a claw and knocks out Anthony who was acting as a guard, and Maggie goes to save the girl. Mason sends Hal to go with her. As Anthony is being treated, he reveals that he has real issues with the skitter hybrid whom he calls a “G**dam Espheni.” Weaver says they need to follow the flow of skitters to see where they are being made.

Pope and Sara go to check the source by following the stream and Tom discovers that the creature in his dreams, or visions, is an extinct species called the Dorniya. Mason knows that the aliens are not extinct at all, he has seen them. Maggie and Hal find Brian and Caitlyn along with an Overlord. The mutant is being scolded and has been told to kill his sister.

Maggie is “taken over” by the Overlord via the spikes and approaches the trio in the woods. The Overlord orders Brian to kill Maggie and Hal. Caitlyn jumps in front of the couple and the “skitterling” shoots his sister instead. The Overlord is stabbed by Hall and Brian, upset that he hurt Catie, shoots himself. The girl dies and Maggie tells Hal that the two should be buried together. The Overlord is taken back for questioning.

Sara and Pope share backstories while looking for the “skitter river” and they learn a bit more about one another and their previous life. Pope was a father and Sara was not allowed to adopt because of her then drug habit. Pope tells her that after the war she could still have kids the old fashioned way and that she would make beautiful babies.

Matt is by Evelyn’s bed when she wakes up and the two talk. The Overlord is brought into camp and Mason uses Ben to question the creature who tells him that no amount of pain will make it talk. The Overlord says that Ben will not be able to withstand the torture as well as it can.

Pope and Sara are still heading to the “river” when she spots an “artichoke” bomb. Pope tells her it is okay as they were all “burnt to a crisp.” Jumping off the log in front of the thing, she lands in a patch of “Espheni fog crap.” Pope tells her the stuff is like cement but he tries to pull her out. Sara is stuck firmly and she says the fog is like “superglue.” Pope says they need fire to burn her out. She talks him into going to get a flamethrower and he promises her that she will not “die out here.”

Ben goes to find Maggie and asks her to join her spikes, he gave her some of his, as he believes that they can force information from the Overlord while in his brain. Hal is right and they learn that the Overlord is making the new bioweapons and where they are being manufactured. Once they learn where the skitters are being made the militia start out to bomb the facility. Tom wants the Overlord left alive so they can learn more.

Pope runs up and tells them about Sara. He says they need to save her first, Tom disagrees and they leave him behind. The group arrive to find a steady stream of skitters and hornets coming out of a building and Tom, Anthony and Hal go around the back to blow it up.

Weaver and the others stay out front and wait for the explosion before opening fire on the remaining creatures. Anthony freezes and it causes a delay. The skitter manufacturing plant is destroyed and the group head off to help Pope save Sara.

Pope gets back to Sara with the flamethrower only to find her covered in some sort of flying insects. She appears to be unconscious and he uses the weapon to kill off the bugs. Once they are cleared, he can see that her legs have been stripped of flesh and when she wakes up, Sara says that she cannot feel her legs. She dies in his arms.

Back at the camp, Anthony relieves the guard that Weaver put on the Overlord. The creature opens up its left hand revealing a red glowing object. Anthony tells the thing to put it down and when the Overlord ignores his order, He shoots it to death. The object melts away after the creature dies. Weaver comes in and takes Anthony’s weapon from him. He is then taken out of the militia as a soldier.

Mason, Hal and the rest arrive to find Pope cradling Sara. He looks at Tom and with his voice full of emotion says, “You’re too late, Mason.” Later, back in the camp, Mason is lost in thought and Weaver has to work to get his attention. Pope is on the other side of the fire and glaring at Tom. The group rest before heading to Washington D.C.

This episode of Falling Skies was an emotional mine field. Sara’s death was as appalling as it was shocking. Pope’s grief was the viewer’s and it is clear to see that John will be taking this up with Mason later. It is sad to see Mira Sorvino go but at least she had a pretty memorable death with Sara being eaten alive by flesh eating insects. The death of Caitlyn and her brother, while disturbing, was pretty much in the cards from the moment the two were discovered by Mason’s group.

Anthony’s distress at being dismissed, after going in to execute the Overlord regardless of the red glowing ball that prompted his action, was also upsetting to a degree. But at the end of the show, it is Pope we feel for and Tom Mason. Weaver and Tom talk about the death of Sara, “Do you think we should have gone to get her first?” Tom asks. Weaver answers, “No. I just remember a time when you would have.” The prolonged battles have damaged everyone as is evidenced by this exchange.

Falling Skies airs Sundays on TNT and continues to be excellent television despite this being the final season of the series. Noah Wyle and company knock it out of the park, don’t miss it.