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With the first seven episodes of FALLING SKIES under our belts, we’ve learned the basics of what our post-invasion world has become. Civilians gathered in camps, forming our own resistance forces and constantly looking over our shoulders for signs of skitters and their devastating mechs lurking nearby. It’s a dangerous new way of life, one based solely on survival, but we’ve also learned that some things may not be quite what they seem.

On Sunday, July 31st, FALLING SKIES continues with its eighth episode — What Hides Beneath — of ten in the series’ first season. Up to this point, I’ve enjoyed the ride, the popcorn thrill of the show that combines human drama with science-fiction and suspense. The development of the main characters now nearly complete, the truth and the fate of the harnessed children is now suspect as Anne and Lourdes make a shocking discovery while dissecting a dead skitter.

Weaver is showing signs of stress and sleeplessness, forcing Tom to question his ability to lead the 2nd Mass. Along with Hal, the three men set out on a recon mission in preparation for an offensive strike on the alien structure being build in the city. In the process, the stumble upon a woman surviving near the hot zone, played by guest star Blair Brown (FRINGE). The mystery continues to build around Ben, Rick and the woman, leading Weaver, Tom and Hal to another new discovery about the aliens, one we’ve not seen before now.

I still contend that Pope is my favorite character; the only source of what little comic relief exists in FALLING SKIES, but also the only truly convincing human badass of the series so far. In “What Hides Beneath,” Pope steps up and contributes a major breakthrough for the human resistance effort, potentially giving the 2nd Mass a significant upper hand in the coming offensive strike.

With Mike dead, Rick’s progress of physical recovery is overshadowed by the appearance of emotional regression, quiet and hollow, he has Anne worried, while Hal continues to notice signs that Ben is not the same kid he was before having been harnessed. All signs point to Ben and Rick being central characters to this story, but what does it all mean?

What Hides Beneath delivers new story arcs, new surprises and clues toward the ever-lingering question of “what the aliens want?” The special effects take on a another level of importance in DreamWorks’ and Spielberg’s vision, as we’re introduced to a new element of the alien enemy, one I shall not spoil by revealing any detail, other than to say the design is vaguely familiar to another of Spielberg’s visions which garnered divided opinions.

We know the characters and we understand what’s at stake, now the story begins to amp up the adrenaline as we presumably approach the first major battle depicted on screen. Over the past seven episodes, the pace has been decidedly comfortable and the danger factor has been kept relatively mild, but I have a feeling that’s all about to change.

FALLING SKIES hasn’t yet completely sold me as a series worthy of a long and fruitful run on television, but it has captured my imagination and set it hooks nears my gills. With even the slightest tug of an unexpected and exciting plot twist, Spielberg can have the hook set deep and begin to reel me in, but I’m not the type of fish to go down without a fight. With so much competition on television with outstanding dramatic series, I for one am picky with where my loyalties lie, but FALLING SKIES certainly still has a place on my DVR for the time being.

Hopeless film enthusiast; reborn comic book geek; artist; collector; cookie connoisseur; curious to no end


  1. Falling Skies

    July 29, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Waw looks like a lot will happen this week. I am totally looking forward to it. A lot of people think the harnessed kids are gonna become Skitters… maybe we’ll find out his week.

  2. Pingback: FALLING SKIES: WHAT HIDES BENEATH – The TV Review – We Are Movie Geeks · Top Trends Daily

  3. Jim

    July 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

    So far, basically OK…but not compelling. Too many freakin’ commercials; impossible to watch ijn real time because of this.


    • Chief

      July 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      Jim’s right…….

    • Sam

      July 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      Jim hit that one on the head. Love the show but TNT & the producers are ruining it by running 30 min of commercials in a 1 hour show. Taking away those extra 10 min of show time disrupts the flow and makes it nearly impossible to watch live. Have to DVR and skip the commercials–so, you know, way to go. Make the commercials so frequent and repetitious that no one is willing to sit through them. Feel bad for people without DVRs, cause they have to be missing a great show.

      • Evilnut

        August 1, 2011 at 8:06 am

        I totally agree. I DVR the episodes too & start watching them about 25 mins in. I end up finishing at the time the episode would have ended. I can tolerate some commercials but not this many. I realize they have to fund this show, but don’t do it at the expense of your viewers. We are smart enough to see what is going on & adapt with our DVR’s.

        I liked this episode. I am a bit skeptical about the this upcoming last episode though. I am hoping they do not start this great battle offensive and just as they push the button on the explosion it ends & you don’t get to see what happened until next season. We really need to see a larger scale human victory of some sort, hasn’t really been one yet.

  4. DJX

    August 2, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Nicely summarized, Travis. I agree about Pope, but also think the most interesting character is his former prisoner, Margaret (Sarah Carter). She has shown a dark, cold-blooded streak that leaves no doubt she’ll do just about anything to be a survivor. I also think the Anne doctor character (Moon Bloodgood) provides some humor, but in a more subtle, sarcastic way.
    I believe the show has been renewed (the most recent ratings have it at #21 among all cable shows), which is good news, because unlike yourself, I am already hooked.

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    June 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

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