Okay, folks, time for another update on "Falling Skies". Man, everything is now getting even more tense for the human resistance of Charleston as the latest episode, "Be Silent and Come Out", reveals. The Rebel Skitter Intelligence leader tells Tom via Ben that yes, Anne has been taken hostage by the Espheni, and he decides to set out to find her despite Secretary Perlata urging him otherwise. Suddenly, Hal appears out of nowhere and takes Tom hostage, much to Perlata's horror. Hal, now open about the bug controlling his mind, tries to drive Tom off in a Humvee to take him hostage as well, but it gets blown out thanks to Maggie's quick thinking when she takes a machine gun and blasts the vehicle, but Hal still persists and drags his own father to an abandoned building. He leaves Tom a hostage throughout the night and into the morning, when Maggie admits to Col. Weaver and Perlata as well as Pope that she knew about the bug but Hal wouldn't let her talk about it or she wouldn't believe him. This enrages Pope specially and Perlata is now worried that Hal will have to be killed, ordering Tector to do it just in case. Pope meanwhile also brings all the Berserkers in their makeshift cantina and a round of holliganism commences in which Pope discusses via a chalkboard to the misfits (gangsters, prostitutes, etc.) how he thinks that Hal, who's now clearly A mole if not THE mole who infiltrated Charleston, will be indicted for espionage and the murder for Arthur Manchester AND be executed by a court martial if he isn't shot dead at the abandoned building. Ultimately, however, it's up to Maggie, Ben and Matt to sneak in the other side of the building, undetected, and rescue Tom, who is telling Hal about how he's sorry he's missed all of Hal's lacrosse games that took place before the Espheni attacked due to his work as a professor and how his mom hoped he'd join the Air Force and be a fighter pilot. This brings Hal to tears and he can't kill his own father, but he tries to kill himself just before Maggie and his! brothers pummel him, but not before he pulls the trigger... In the end, however, Hal survives trying to kill himself, and Pope demands in his cantina that he be instantly indicted for capital murder and espionage, that is until Col. Weaver arrives and drinks 2 shots of whiskey poured by Pope's lieutenant Boone, which brings Pope over to him. Weaver seizes Pope and warns him that if he ever even THINKS about fantasizing about killing Hal, he will personally make sure that Pope's head ends up on one of the cantina's walls. He then leaves as onlookers are stunned in silence. Meanwhile, Hal is strapped to a table, and it's learned that although his brain is somewhat damaged it's not fatal. The Rebel Skitter leader also tells Tom that he and his fellow rebel Skitters have devised a bio-mechanical medicine that could easily kill the eye-bug in Hal, even though Lourdes cannot find it, suggesting it may have passed out of Hal's system. The Skitter leader warns Tom that if the medicine does not find the bug it coul easily kill Hal, so it basically has been engineered to kill. Tom decides to just administer it since he's desperate, and the Skitter hands him a glowing yellow sapphire stone containing the device that administers the medicine. Despite Hal's protests and his thinking that he will die thanks to the medicine (which isn't helped when Tom reveals to him that he no longer considers him his "son" but someone else like the eye-bug in human form), the medicine is administered. Lourdes and her team drill a hole into the sapphire stone to get the device out, and then open it. Rather, however, it is a creature that, when freed from the stone (which is basically like an egg of some kind), opens its top (or rather "mouth") and releases a "saliva" that appears to be the medicine. In truth, however, this is a microscopic life-form that enters its target's eyes. Hal enters into a deep pain as his skin appears to either pulsate or actually start to crack, which it appears to actually do. Then he falls silent, and j! ust as th! at happens the liquified remnant of what used to be the eye-bug cascades out of his left ear. The Skitter "medicine" has rapidly spread out in all directions similar to an electromagnetic pulse bomb going off, thus killing the eye-bug and causing so much heat that it liquefies. Several other medicines are entered into him to revive him, but then he goes into cardiac arrest and Lourdes administers that device that real-world doctors use to send an electric shock to revive their patient. It doesn't look good for Hal, though... But in the end Hal is alive, and thankfully free of the influence of the eye-bug. Tom tells him they don't think he is the mole, but rather a decoy whom Karen used to ultimately make everyone THINK he was the mole. At the end of the episode it is revealed that Tom has temporarily resigned from the post of president of Charleston just so he can lead a search party for Anne and baby Alexis. He relinquishes authority to Secretary Perlata, whom it's revealed is also the Vice President in th aftermath of Manchester's assassination. Perlata has also received the complete files of "Project Orange", the name of the Volm superlaser. As it turns out, she and Dr. Kadar had only relied on the photographs of the weapon in their analysis of it. However, there's potentially more information. Hal, Matt and Ben are all in the search party as well as Pope (it appears) and Col. Weaver. Maggie, however, isn't in this party. So now I think the story's really going to get real interesting... Now, just to let everyone know, Wikipedia accidentally leaked the details of the next few episodes. The next episodes to be titled are "The Picket Line", "The Strange Brew", "The Journey to Xibaba", and "Brazil". They mention in "The Picket Line" that there will be some outlaws encountered in the episode, and I have a feeling that the episode entitled "The Strange Brew" will involve Tom waking up in what appears to be an alternate universe where apparently the Espheni never attacked Earth. But the last 2 episodes wi! ll involv! e Tom rescuing his wife and baby daughter, even though it looks like Karen, being the puppet ruler of North America, is going to try and torture him. It also appears that the Volm's intentions will not be what they appear. Oh, AND at the end of the last episode, it appears that a THIRD alien race is going to arrive on Earth. I wonder whom they can be... Alright, now to the other topic at hand: Man, I am so tired of A&E TV and "Beyond Scared Straight". Isn't it bad enough, folks, that they have to show it on weekends during the school year instead of just school days alone? Why, look, folks. The show glorifies the abuses of the "Steered Straight" prison visit program, in which at-risk youth are shown what life is like for convicted criminals in prison. And the abuses the show glorifies? Why, prisoners being allowed to physically assault the youth who visit and the guards not doing a thing about it! And yet here is the show being aired on Thursdays in the Summer now! I mean, when it's a Saturday or Sunday thee are teens taking a day off from school, and that means no programming that glorifies anti-child sentiment should be allowed to air! Same thing when it's summer, and teens have the season off from school! Now, I'm sure that this isn't the case with all "Steered Straight" visits. I'm sure there are instances where abuse doesn't happen and if it does the guards make sure to use their tasers on the prisoners who are being physically violent. So what do I think, folks? I think the producers of "Beyond Scared Straight" are paying off the guards and maybe the prisoners too, in violation of Federal law, to ensure prisoner abuse of visiting youth. For my Dad used to bring his classes to the DeKalb County Jail when he was still teaching at Decatur High School, but this was mainly to interest the youth in learning how prisons work in order to study the criminal justice system and the law. And I also think the "BSS" producers are also paying off executives at A&E TV to ensure that the show continues to be rene! wed every! year despite poor ratings AND to ensure that the show has no disclaimer on it saying how these abuses should not reflect A&E TV's views, AND ESPECIALLY to ensure that the show is rated "TV-14" and not "TV-MA", like I think it should! I think all TV shows that glorify child abuse such as "King of the Hill" (reruns), "Raising Hope", "Yes, Dear" (reruns), "World's Strictest Parents" (of course) and ultimately "Beyond Scared Straight" should all receive "TV-MA" ratings and air late at night when children are asleep and ONLY on weekdays during the school year (except for major holidays)! But since Fox Broadcasting (which aired "King of the Hill" and currently airs "Raising Hope", also during the summer) and CBS (which aired "Yes, Dear") are both cable channels that can NOT air any "TV-MA" rated programming when it comes to TV shows, and since the Ayeah, right, with "WSP" and the "Dog the Bounty Hunter" revival, which is called "Dog and Beth: The Next Chapter"), there's just no hope, folks. If you think these shws are bad, think again: They are going to get worser and worser in content. Parents, do yourselves a favor and make sure certain channels are blocked off from the viewing of kids, maybe with the exception of cable channels on weekends due to Saturday morning kids' shows airing. You can do this if you have a digital cable or satellite TV provider by choosing channels to block and activate them with account names and identities. That's what needs to happen to ensure your kids do not view any programming that would obviously upset them and would clearly not be quality family entertainment! And this is railwayman, AKA Wilson Billingsley, STILL stirring the pudding. That's all I have to say for today and this weekend, folks. By the way, I got a special "Pearls Before Swine" book today, neither a collection nor a treasury. The book is called "Beginning Pearls", and it's part of Andrews McMeel Publishing's "AMP!" line of comic books for kids related to comics not marketed to children. There are strips supp! osedly se! lected by Rat, Pig, Goat, Zebra and the idiot crocodiles I love so much ("Hulllloooo, zeeba neighba!") that have been selected to ensure no profanity, adult humor, violence, drug references, tobacco references, or references to current events all while retaining certain pun strips and dark humor. "Pearls Before Swine", by Stephan Pastis (who is also writing a series of children's comic novels about a clueless young detective named Timmy Failure; the first book, "Mistakes Were Made", came out earlier this year), is the best modern comic ever made, with other, more classic, comics I like being "Mutts" (gotta like this since I'm a dog owner), "Garfield" (a true kid's favorite), "Lio" (which deals with the paranormal, including aliens), "Kevin and Kell" (I think an idiot croc made a guest appearance in this strip once), "Get Fuzzy" (poor Satchel), "Beetle Bailey" (gotta love it since I support the troops and it takes place here in my home state, always on my mind), "Blondie" (a classic), "Brewster Rocket: SpaceGuy" (gotta like this since it deals with science fiction and especially loves parodying "Star Wars"), "Dilbert" (a conservative's best), and of course that true comic strip favorite, "Peanuts" (gotta love Charlie Brown and Snoopy). I'll begin exploring the strips in this book as soon as I can. That concludes today's post, folks. See you next week.