‘Falling Skies’ Review: “Compass”
‘Falling Skies’ season 2 finds direction in its third episode of the year "Compass," as a Skitter hunt gone badly leads to a life-or-death situation for a member of the 2nd Massachusetts, while Tom has himself assigned to the Berserkers in order to quell Pope's distrust of him.
Last episode’s ‘Falling Skies’ premiere “Shall We Gather at the River” saw the 2nd Massachusetts finding a way to cross a destroyed bridge and take out a Skitter antenna, while a disturbing discovery about Tom led him to question whether or not he can be trusted within the group. So, how does “Compass” keep things moving?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Falling Skies’ season 2 episode 3, “Compass!”
Late one night, Jimmy and Ben snipe Skitters together, while the 2nd Massachusetts sets up in its temporary new location at the airplane hangar. Tom checks on Matt and Hal, before checking in with Anne, and Weaver to remind him that they need a better plan. The hangar will do for now, but retreating north into the Catskills will take them out of the fight, doing exactly as the Skitters want. Weaver notes Tom’s concerns, when walking back through camp, Pope and the other Berserkers silently kidnap Tom!
The Berserkers drag Tom out into the woods, giving him the option to leave the 2nd Massachusetts rather than be killed, as most of the camp remains suspicious of Tom’s “miraculous” return from the Skitter spaceship. Just then, Ben breaks up the group and trains Pope in a headlock, while Jimmy provides cover fire from a distance, turning the tables on the conflict! After locking up the Berserkers, Anthony insists he had no knowledge of Pope’s insurrection, but insists that Pope might have a point about the unknown extent of Tom’s condition. Agreeing both he and Pope need an eye kept on them, Tom comes up with the best solution of assigning him to the Berserkers under Pope! Pope predictably scoffs, but soon finds he has no choice but to accept Weaver’s rule.
Out once more hunting Skitters, Jimmy and Ben break up a mysterious meeting by sniping two of them, but Ben’s attempt to overpower the Red-Eye Skitter quickly fails. Red-Eye sends Jimmy flying backward into a tree, while a simple wave of his hand immobilizes Ben, lighting up the spikes on his spine with an eerie blue glow. Once Red-Eye departs, Ben comes too and realizes that Jimmy’s been impaled on the tree!
The group back at the hangar does their best to patch up Jimmy, while Tom and Weaver scold Ben for seeking out confrontations with the enemy. Weaver sends Tom and the Berserkers to sweep the area, making certain they weren’t followed. When Tom finds Jimmy’s compass in the grass. More Skitters arrive on the scene to collect their dead, but Tom insists they hide rather than follow Pope’s plan to attack. A mech strolls up to help carry the Skitter bodies, validating Tom’s decision.
Back at camp, Tom and Hal worry about Ben’s mental state, when all of a sudden a biplane flies overhead and lands on the runway! Out pops a woman named Avery Churchill, who claims to have been looking for the 2nd Massachusetts,’ representing the Continental Congress holed up in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston represents the most organized group of militias to date, including connections in Europe, though Weaver remains apprehensive about the woman’s all-too-perfect-claims.
Tom returns Jimmy’s compass to Ben, once again insisting what happened wasn’t Ben’s fault, as Avery continues explaining to the crowds of the benefits of Charleston. She’s even heard of Tom Mason, and presses that Charleston would need him. Back in the med-bus, Ben rushes in to announce that Jimmy’s stopped breathing, and despite their best efforts, the young soldier’s body finally gives out. Later, Weaver begins digging the grave, while Avery pays her respects and again presses to Weaver that the 2nd Massachusetts would follow him anywhere, if he chose to go to Charleston.
Tom and Ben prepare Jimmy to be buried, before Ben notices the compass to be missing. Tom then pays a visit to the Berserkers noting that they should be preparing to move out, when he sees Jimmy’s compass on Pope. Pope insists on “finders keepers,” and the effort to retrieve the item leads to an all-out brawl between the professor and Pope! Tom eventually gets the upper hand, and retrieves the compass, leaving Pope with nothint to do but complain to Weaver. Weaver insists that Tom was justified in his actions, and if Pope doesn’t like it, he can leave anytime. Pope then orders the other Berserkers to follow, but they elect to remain with the 2nd Massachusetts. The only one to agree to follow Pope is Anthony, who insists he’ll keep an eye on the rogue fighter.
Tom stitches himself up after the fight, when Anne enters to check up on him. Everything gets all sweetie-pies with a kiss until Anne remembers that having kept track of all the days in a calendar, today would have been her late son’s birthday. All she wanted was for no one to die on her son’s birthday. Nice timing, Tom.
At Jimmy’s funeral, Weaver delivers the eulogy, praying that the next world will be kinder to Jimmy, as everyone lines up to pile dirt on the body. Later, Weaver stands over the grave alone, and watches Avery depart in her plane, when Bet arrives to give back the compass and cry on his shoulder.
The next day, the 2nd Massachusetts prepares to move out to Charleston, Weaver having decided to honor Jimmy’s memory as such by staying close to the fight against the Skitters. Elsewhere, Ben visits Jimmy’s grave alone, when the Red-Eye Skitter appears, once again immobilizing him with that glowy spine-trick! Hal’s approach scares off Red-Eye, and Ben doesn’t mention the encounter as the two drive off together.
The mystery deepens! We're liking that this Red-Eye gives the Skitters a more tangible menace, even if we have no idea what he's up to just yet. It's certainly refreshing to see that characters don't waste time voicing their concerns either, as Pope and Tom continue to be at odds. Some shows (cough, 'The Walking Dead,' cough) might take three episodes to get as much done. And what's the truth about Charleston, you think? Color us excited.
Did you get your fill of Skitter-y ‘Falling Skies’ action? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for another all-new episode recap of ‘Falling Skies’ season 2 episode “Young Bloods” on TNT!