Friday, July 12, 2013

The Volm are A Potential Ally in Humanity's War on the Aspheni, or Are They? "Falling Skies" Has Returned

Alright, folks, last night TNT aired the season 3 premiere for their hot sci-fi TV series "Falling Skies", and it looks as if the tide of the war really has begun to turn in the favor of humanity. The first episode, "On Thin Ice", began with a rescue mission. It's been 7 months since the end of the previous season and a little under 2 years since the Aspheni invaded Earth. It has also been around a year since the show's events began. Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) is now the president of the people of what used to be Charleston, South Carolina, and indeed just as the 2nd Mass has been merged into the Charleston Resistance (as the militia is now called), more and more refugees are relocating here, and more harnessed kids are being rescued and de-harnessed. How is it? Wait and see. So here is just one of these rescue missions, near an industrial development the Aspheni are using as a mine. It is to rescue the friends of the daughter of Dan Weaver (Will Patton), who has now been promoted to major, lt. colonel, and finaly the full rank of colonel. He and Jeanne Weaver (Lacey O'Malley is what I think her real name is) are in charge of the operation. They and the Berserkers led by John Pope (Colin Cunningham) along with Ben Mason (Connor Jessup) and his fellow de-harnessed kid and new girlfriend Danielle (an African-American who has dreadlocks) and his brother Matt (Maxim Knight), who uses a mysterious type of explosive charge that looks futuristic, manage to destroy the Skitters and mechs at the mine and rescue the children and also do so with the help of their brother Hal (Drew Roy), who knows of course that an eye-bug has been placed in him yet isn't willing to do anything about it. It is because of this that it's revealed he is apparently wheelchair bound. Suddenly, a pair of gigantic new "mega-mechs", which are mobile pieces of larger artillery, appear and attack and it takes more effort to destroy the gigantic mechanical beasts. However, the day is thankfully saved when the Skitter Rebellion, led by who appears ! to be Red-Eye's son (his right eye is bloodied and it therefore is possible he's related to the deceased Skitter Rebellion leader somehow), attacks and buys the humans precious time to escape. Tom Mason and the other humans show up along with a very special ally: Cochise (Doug Jones of "H---boy" fame), the alien they encountered at the end of the season 2 finale, who is the leader of the Volm race. The Volm, it turns out, are the mortal enemies of the Aspheni (hence why that weapon was constructed and when it was destroyed the Volm arrived on Earth, adding chaos to the Aspheni and making them beginning to question if the invasion of Earth is worth it). All of Tom's men and women, including Cochise, are also on horseback as well. Oh, and it turns out that Cochise and his people can talk. They can speak the English language (and maybe others) perfectly with some fluency. Everyone gets back to the Charleston fortress, with the Volm and Skitter fortresses nearby and it is here that a now very-pregnant Dr. and Frst Lady Anne Glass-Mason (Moon Bloodgood) uses a new technique to completely de-harness the harnessed kids. This is another piece of Volm technology, which resembles a cat-scan device. She and her assistant Lourdes (Seychelle Gabrielle) work their hands into the device and introduce gasses that are poisonous to the harness-creature. As it turns out, the harness is still alive even after it has bitten into its victim's back. By putting her hands through the machine in a small opening on the side, Dr. Glass-Mason introduces poisonous gasses that cause the harness to be burned alive from the inside and kill it. The gasses also destroy the spikes, so the harnessed kids, including Jeanne's former boyfriend Diego, are completely de-harnessed. Problem solved. It is also revealed here that Tom Mason, as President, now has his own secretary, Marina Perlata (Gloria Reuben of "ER" fame; Noah Wyle also starred in "ER" as his first TV show). In the war room, everyone is debriefed by Tom and Cochise, with Tom's m! ilitary l! eadership still not knowing if they can trust the Volm or even the Skitters. (Indeed, the rebel Skitters can no longer afford to visit the human fortress simply because there is still some feeling of distrust between both peoples, as Red-Eye Jr. reveals through Ben and Danielle to Tom and Dan when they visit the Skitter Rebellion fortress.) It is revealed here that Weaver's commanding officer Jim Porter (Dale Dye) has now been promoted to full 4-star general with his predecessor Bressler now being the defense secretary. Then we get a glimpse into Hal and his nightmares that he's having because of the fact that the eye-bug has been introduced into his system and is acting like a mini-harness (it can bite into Hal's spine, hence why he's been wheelchair-bound but is making a good recovery and learning to walk again). These "nightmares" are really Hal sleepwalking into a forest nearby where he has contact with Karen Nadler (Jessy Schram), his ex-girlfriend who was harnessed. As it turns out her harness has nowcompletely been absorbed into her back, although she still hasn't even changed. Hal is reluctant to be a traitor to humanity (and indeed everyone knows there's a traitor in their midst since Cochise has pointed out that the Aspheni are getting more aggressive due to the chaos and fear instilled in them now that their enemies have arrived on Earth, and later Tom's mentor and former President Dr. Arthur Manchester, "Lost"'s Terry O'Quinn, is found murdered, having been killed by someone with an illegal Volm blaster, as he and former drug-cop Anthony, played by Mpho Kaho, are investigating who is doing it), but Karen continues to get aggressive to him. She is a young woman who has been scorned (remember that Hal is an 18-year-old now so Karen also is probably 18), and is desperate to get her ex-boyfriend back. In fact in the first nightmare we view, Hal actually ends up (I kid you not) losing his virginity when Karen gets completely naked and forces him to have sex with her. The nightmares also cause co! ncern for! his current girlfriend and Berserker, Maggie (Sarah Carter), who notices his boots have mud on them. Dr. Glass also delivers her baby, a girl, near the end of the episode, but she gradually begins to notice that the girl is advancing somehow in development beyond her years and she rightly suspects that Karen did something to it. (Remember? When the 2nd Mass was taken hostage when they tried to blow up the Aspheni weapon, Karen felt Anne's abdomen and announced her pregnancy. Remember, of course, that it was thanks to the quick-thinking of the Skitter Rebellion that the 2nd Mass got freed and blew the facility up.) The girl smiles more and cries less. She also knows how to speak a little bit, and also knows how to trace out looks. This gradually begins being noticed in the second episode, "Collateral Damage". Oh, and the Berserkers have also opened up a magnificent saloon-styled bar complete with a gambling club and Pope also makes his drinks on the house, AND Cochise later takes Tom and Weaver down to the olm fortress where he shows them a massive ion cannon designed to help the Volm's ships land under construction. Dan, who is understandably suspicious of the Volm and thinks they're really here to build up their own galactic empire (I wonder if Palpatine's going to use Sith lightning on me for saying this), is nevertheless interested to see how this weapon works and what it does. Tom understand's Dan's suspicions, but reminds him that sometimes questionable alliances have to be made in war (such as FDR and Churchill allying with Stalin to end WWII). So, now for the second episode. Ben and girlfriend Danielle have found thanks to Skitter intelligence where the Aspheni's main manufacturing center for droid starfighters (known as "beamers") and mechs (including the new mega-mech), just as in the previous season he also found the main harness-farming plant and harnessing facility for North America. Just as the harnessing facility was converted from an office building, this manufacturing center has been c! onverted ! from a nuclear power plant. We also learn that the human resistance has gotten into farming in order to feed its masses (so horses aren't the only farm animals they're using). It's got goats for dairy products and has chickens for eggs and even meats. (There is also of course enough green stuff and even grain-type foods as well.) And we even learn that poor Matt has become somewhat a hothead for the fact that he's allowing himself to work for the military when he and some "friends" (yeah, right) use a stick of dynamite to blow up an abandoned home, which makes Anne, his new mom, mad since he's skipped school (including homework) just to be a hothead. She orders him back into the classroom, but not before he insults her. (At episode's end he does apologize and it's revealed the house he blew up was being rebuilt, along with all houses in the greater Charleston area, in order to rebuild the city and relocate the refugees, especially those with families.) Meanwhile, Tom and Dan and other military leaders alongwith Perlata come up with an ambitious plan to destroy the Aspheni droid-manufacturing facility without nuclear fallout. They enlist the help of the agoraphobic power foreman Dr. Roger Kadar (Robert Sean Leonard of "House" fame) and he says that the facility will have to be shut down in order to prevent fallout, and will also have 2 sets of teams to do this. Tom, Dr. Kadar, and Maggie will go into the facility and plant charges and shut it down while Weaver and other soldiers will distract the Skitters and mechs at the facility. It works: The Skitters and mechs are kept at bay while Tom and Dr. Kadar (who loses his glasses and almost can't see in the process) shut the facility down and Maggie plants charges along with Anthony to destroy the place. There are, however, complications. It is here that we now learn what happens to harnessed children: They become exactly like Skitters with scales (and their skin becoming an exoskeleton and their internal organs completely destroyed) and a skeletal-like hea! d, and ev! en act like Skitters with their growls and powerful abilities, but otherwise retain their human form and can still speak like humans. In fact, a Skitter also fatally bites on of the soldiers as well and it kills him. Amazingly, this plan has also managed to work despite Hal, now revealed to be the traitor, giving information away to the Aspheni by using the eye-bug, which in its curled-up "pill bug" ball-like form can be used as a scanner. Thus the day is saved once again, and the episode ends with Maggie rescuing Hal and telling him he can walk again, and that she suspects that the eye-bug does exist and is within Hal. Dr. Glass's and Tom's daughter also continues to act weird, suggesting she too is an unknowing spy within the human resistance. And Cochise warns Tom and Weaver that even though the Aspheni have really been dealt a lethal blow, they will continue to try and attack with whatever it is they have left. (Kind of like the Japanese in WWII, fighting to the last man and even using their own civilias no matter how much lives are costed.) After the episode ends, a preview showing scenes that will appear in every remaining episode this season airs. Alright, folks, there you have it. A quick summary of last night's season premiere for "Falling Skies", which will now air at 10 at night instead of 9 at night. As a result, I will instead watch each episode on my computer the Monday after each episode airs from now on to preserve my sleep. It is good that we now have an alien who can speak directly, as well as their technology being given as gifts. I hope they are there to help humanity, but is it possible that they are really there for their own interests? They say their world was also attacked by the Aspheni, and that they have been able to liberate many star systems the Aspheni have invaded, but is it really because they want to build up their own empire and thus cut out their competition across the galaxy? We don't know yet, but we'll get more information as the season goes. So, that's it for this! week. I ! need to go exercise right now, so I'm ending the post now. Goodbye to all of you and I hope to see you all again this coming week with continuing "Falling Skies" developments.
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