TV REVIEW: Falling Skies: Series 1, Ep 5: Silent Kill

OK, this is more like it. After last week criticisng that Falling Skies had good on-going plot but weak characters and choppy pacing, we got a week with strong character moments, some good shocks and spot-on structure. Yay!

So for the first time in the whole run, an episode with next to no dead space, and a couple of geniunely unexpected moments. The first was our first character death – sure not one of the leads but a character I expected to be around for a while and killed in a pretty brutal and strking manner. It sets the tone for the episode, and one it manages to maintain without; its obligatory “moment of heartwarming” towards the end comming over as bittersweet rather than schmaltzy for possibly the first time this series.

So, this week Tom and his team are finally off to rescue his son from the Skitters. They have the intel, a decent if risky plan, and thanks to both last weeks “attack of the distraut fathers” and a pretty bold and brutal experiment from Anne, a way of taking down Skitters at close range. Hals inflitration of the Hospital where the kids are being held is a great sequence, and gives a lot more hints about the strange relationship between the Skitters and the Harnessed, as well as being bookended by some strong father-son scenes with Tom.

In some ways I’ve spent the last few weeks almost apologising for the character moments on this show but this week its what makes the episode. Anne, for the first time, really stands out both for actually doing something useful (as opposed to her usual role of “being talked to by other people”) and with a pretty powerful scene that puts across the weight of loss that so many of these characters are carrying.

There is nothing in this episode that isn’t in any of the earlier ones, but this week the blend feels right, which makes for a solidly great hour of television. I’d like to hope, in the spirit of the show, that this really is a sign of a smoother future.

GS Score: 4.5/5
GS Reviewer: Matt

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