The more I watch Falling Skies, the more I’m convinced that Tom Mason: Action Professor could kick Rick Grimes’ ass.
Of course, their situations are vastly different. Mason is facing an organized, militarized invasion, while Grimes is facing a more Libertarian insurrection of individuals with an accidentally common purpose of eating living flesh. In a way, Rick Grimes has it easier because his enemy doesn’t have the capacity to work together or learn new tactics.
The only strategy Rick has to master is inflicting head injuries. Tom Mason: Action Professor has to continually assess, pull from his vast knowledge of history, and revise.
However, Mason fought his way off an alien ship and always knows where his damn kids are. He wins just by virtue of his capacity for reason and what we in education call “with-it-ness”.
“Young Bloods” opened fairly ominously, with visions of an abandoned tricycle. It’s a signal that I’m meant to see the children in this episode and think of how the Skitter invasion has robbed them of their childhood.
And I’m sure if I weren’t a nerd, if I were a mundane, that’s exactly what I would have felt. But, I am a nerd and have taken film classes. I recognize such discarded and beat-up trinkets of childhood as an indicator that I’m going to be emotionally manipulated (which Falling Skies has a history of doing – that’s how they effing opened season one).
But, then I see Wee Mason and his glee at being spattered with alien guts and think, “What kid wouldn’t think that was awesome?”
Maybe the message of “Young Bloods” is that, as a whole, we don’t give kids enough credit. Maurice Sendak famously said that children are tough, though we tend to think of them as fragile. Kids have to learn to fend for themselves in any situation, apocalyptic or otherwise, and adults have to learn to trust kids’ survival instincts. Diego, the leader of this ep’s Goonie tribe, even flat out said, “Adults get us killed.”
Meanwhile, Robert E. Lee loomed over the entire ep, with his quote about war: “It is good that war is horrible, or we might grow to like it.” Let that be a lesson to you. At least it’s far more subtle than Tom Mason: Action Professor giving viewers a lecture about it. He’s completely ruined my planned Falling Skies drinking game, BTW. The game would have been to take a drink whenever Mason gave a history lesson, with some possible variations for quotes and such. There go my dreams.
Somewhat less subtle was the product placement on behalf of the US Army:
On the patriotism note, I understand Weaver’s need to have US flags all over the place. Seriously, everywhere you turn in camp, there’s a flag hanging there. What I don’t get is the world map:
The 2nd Mass isn’t even able to contact Charleston…. why do they need a world map on their commander’s makeshift wall? Are we worried that we’ll forget where the continents are located?
I’m still very interested in the Skitters, which is a testament to the quality of the show. There’s marked affection in their interactions with human children. Even in the harnessing facility, the available Skitter showed a great deal of affection toward the kids who one can assume will be his/her charges. The way it caressed that poor boy’s head was warmly parental and, you might notice, that the Skitter continued that contact through the harnessing process – a sign of concern.
Then it got silly toward the end. It didn’t have to be that way. Really, Show. Did you have to use a Latin guitar soundtrack when the estranged daughter was running away with the Latino boyfriend?