I often (okay, just now) wonder about how the alien invasion went down pre-Falling Skies. According to what we've heard, the aliens overpowered Earth's defenses and killed 90% of humanity in the space of a few days, which I guess means Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum weren't able to upload a virus into the overlords' Macintosh OS in time.
And while the show's primary focus is on Tom Mason and his sons, we've gotten enough hints of other characters' pasts to provide us with handy side plots when convenient. A couple of those came into play last night, though the episode was depressingly Pope-free.
TNT described the fourth episode of this season, titled "Young Bloods," as "an episode of discoveries, each one more shocking than the last." Right, then. Let's keep track of these.
First discovery: Apparently nobody has any problem letting Matt Mason (Maxim Knight) scooter around unattended, free to be drenched in the blood and brains of a couple skitters, courtesy of gangsta wannabe snipers Tector (Ryan Robbins) and Boon.
Hal (Drew Roy) and Ben (Connor Jessup) are scoping out an alien warehouse when their motorbikes are stolen. Ben discovers he's able to hear their engines and can therefore tell which way the thieves are headed (east). His new superhuman abilities don't really count as a shocking discovery, however.
Tom (Noah Wyle) gives Anne (MOON BLOODGOOD) a Choco Pie, and equates it with their blossoming love. It isn't much, blingwise, but you do what you can in the postapocalypse. Oh, and Tom sends Matt on the mission. Bad dad.
Hal and Ben track down the thieves. They're a bunch of kids, led by a fiery Latino named Diego. One of the creepy little Onlies tells them, "Adults get us killed." Hal, being a softy like his old man, invites them back to get some equipment and food.
Okay, so Matt's mission was supposed to be "scouting" only, and Tom takes umbrage at the Insane Clown Posse East (they even made up a "rap" song about Matt) using his son as "skitter bait." Just when you think he's going to deliver a Pope-style beatdown, he sends the two dudes on sanitation duty. Matt is upset at Dad's party-pooping.
Second discovery: Hal and Ben return with Diego and his girlfriend, Jeanne. Jeanne is Capt. Weaver's long lost daughter. Now we get to find out if Dad (Will Patton) is prejudiced against Hispanics. Jeanne tells dad about mom's death (stroke) and the two exchange creepy nicknames ("Papa Bear" and "Baby Bear"). He also meets Diego. Refreshingly, he simply hates the guy because he's (likely) boning his little girl.
Diego gives Hal some intel, and then gives the bad news to Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) that the Mexican town of Parras -- where she's from -- was obliterated in the war. They then return to the kids' camp to find it trashed and abandoned. The sole survivor tells them the skitters took everyone, and Ben and Diego determine they've been taken to the alien warehouse to get harnessed. Diego wants to go, Weaver is more cautious, and of course the whole thing turns into "You couldn't even save your own family!" bullshit. Diego takes off...with Matt.
The 2nd Mass mounts up -- including Tector, the sniper guy who wants to make up for endangering Matt -- only belatedly realizing the kids have already Gone, Diego, Gone. And that young Matt has accompanied them.
Matt wakes up on a skitter assembly line with the rest of the kids, and Jeanne tries her best to comfort him. The actual harnessing is pretty grotesque: the alien larva attaches at the base of the neck, then inserts tendrils into the victims' spines. The 2nd Mass arrives in time to save them, but not the one kid who helpfully demonstrated the process for us. Not that anyone cares; he wasn't a member of the cast or anything.
This is all well and good, until Ben communicates with the harness tank and, hearing something he's not happy about, goes all Martin Riggs on the aquarium ("Shooting the breeze, shooting his fish"). Oh, and Weaver gets bitten by a stray harness larva. Surely nothing bad will come of this.
Weaver's unfortunate old man black socks don't stop Jeanne from visiting him. See, parents? All you have to do in order to win back your recalcitrant child's love is save them from alien possession. It's just that simple. Anyway, she tells dad she's staying with Daddy, but Diego and the others think they have a better chance "avoiding the aliens" on their own. Hey, bang-up job so far, you little shits. Just don't call the 2nd Massachusetts next time you're spirited off to the skitter equivalent of a Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop.
And Weaver gives Jeanne his compass. How soon we forget noble Jimmy Boland.
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In one final scene, Hal asks Ben about his glowing spikes and new communication abilities. Ben tells him to "back off." Good talk, bro.
Tom puts Tector back on sniper duty and instructs him to keep his partner Boon in line. Tector seems...overly enthusiastic about the opportunity. Dexter (Brandon Jay McLaren) also does his best to comfort Lourdes about her almost certainly dead aunt and uncle in Parras.
Third discovery (take your pick): Jeanne decides to leave anyway and Weaver cries. Matt forgives Tom...no, none of those really count. That's quite a gyp, TNT.
Next week: Okay, I had to change the goddamn DVR settings because that stupid Rich Eisen show cut off my previews. Oh look, a bunch of attention-whoring dingbats are trying to escape from an aircraft carrier. WHO GIVES A SHIT?