After last week’s badass season premiere, “Compass” was a little disappointing. However, I think it was mainly suffering from set-up-itis in an effort to solve some dramatic problems for Show.
Problem: Show needed a goal for the survivors other than just surviving day to day. Wandering around, evading Skitter patrols and searching for canned food isn’t enough to carry Falling Skies through it’s second season.
Set-Up: Enter Churchill and her shiny story about a new American upstart government in Charleston. Which is sounding pretty inviting when compared to a miserable winter in the Catskills. Of course, there’s also the possibility that it’s bait to lure survivors into a concentration camp/ mass murder situation.
Problem: Show needed to give the survivors a negative human element to fight. The break down of human civilization is the most interesting part of any post-apocalyptic story and we haven’t seen that so far with Falling Skies. We’ve seen a malevolent, but small, biker gang and a desperate group of families trading with the Skitters to survive.
Set-Up: Weaver and Tom Mason (Action Professor) pissed off Pope then exiled him from the 2nd Mass. I suspect he’ll pop up again three or four episodes from now with an army of his own and will play into the season finale somehow.
Problem: Falling Skies needed to put a face to the dead and create a real sense that no one is safe. Weaver said at the end that the 2nd Mass had 176 people after starting out with 300. But, they may as well be faceless since none of them were main characters and only one that I can think of was a recurring character (Mike in season 1).
Set-Up: Kill Jimmy (which also solved the problem of that child actor growing up faster than his character. Death is the new Awkward Tween Island!).
His death didn’t have much impact for me, as he never had much development and seemed to only exist as an illustration of how dire things are: so dire that one of Weaver’s most trusted fighters was an orphaned 13 year old boy.
So, overall, “Compass” was a fairly tiresome episode. But, as the title suggests, it was a tool to get events moving in the right direction for the rest of the season.