The Prisoner of War Skitter has woken up in a new cage, and is feeling a bit surly. There is a plan is to try to figure out how to communicate with it, and indeed the Skitter communicates plenty as it freaks the heck out upon seeing Tom. They really should have killed that thing. Tom is ready to go get Ben, but Weaver has gotten a tip from Pope about a motorcycle shop near Somerville, and wants Tom to raid it. He then wants Tom to find some heavy drugs (necessary for harness removal), since they're almost out, and then he can get Ben. Pope makes a bid for joining the team, since he knows the mean streets of Somerville, and Tom agrees as long as Pope shuts up and isn't armed.
Meanwhile, Rick previously had cystic fibrosis and could barely breathe, but now his lungs are totally clear. Anne and Mike wonder if the Skitter harness could have cured him. Maggie returns from a recon mission and reports that the group of harnessed kids do indeed spend their nights in a hospital off of route 2. There have been no signs of Karen. Weaver has had his fighters keeping an eye on Maggie, which doesn't go unnoticed by her. He remains highly suspicious, because a) she shot the dudes she was with before; b) she took an awfully long time to do it.
Tom and Pope have a disagreement about postapocalyptic child rearing when Matt asks to come on their mission, and then en route to the motorcycle shop Pope is racist all over the place. Anthony, who is a former Boston PD officer, does not care for being the target of multiple gang banger remarks. Back at Camp Second Mass, Lourdes says prayers for the missing while touching their photos, explaining to Jimmy that it's just something she likes to do. Let me repeat. Prayers for the missing: just something I like to do! Jimmy quizzes Lourdes about her Boston cred, since she's originally from Mexico City and lived there until she was ten. We also learn that she was a freshman premed student at Wellesley before the attacks, and probably was just as annoying as she is now.
Dr. Anne shows the Skitter some pictures of outer space as a communication tool, and it just sort of breathes heavily in response. Dr. Wings continues to be a dick as Anne wonders what's in the mind of the Skitter. Uncle Scott fashions a radio out of spare parts, and assigns Matt to be the radio monitor / communications officer. It's about time that kid got a job. Meanwhile, back on the motorcycle journey, Pope and his keen sense of smell discover a pack of Skitters hanging upside down from under a bridge, sleeping like bats. It's kind of cute, actually. Pope wants to kill them, but Tom points out that open firing on them will bring about the wrath of the Mechs. He moves the team along, but you can tell that the wheels are turning in Pope's greasy little mind.
Back at the school, Dr. Anne offers the Skitter some water, which she places in the cage through the largest opening ever. As Chekhov always said, if you show a giant Skitter cage opening in the first act, someone is going to get his head eaten in the third. The Skitter remains relatively calm until Dr. Wings brings in the body of a dead Skitter specifically as an agent of agitation. It predictably freaks the fuck out. So much for interspecies relations. As the Skitter goes nuts, there is static on Uncle Scott's radio.
Tom & Co. make it to the motorcycle store, where Tom gives Pope some shit about his criminal past and Hal misses Karen a bunch. Tom gives Hal some lame parental advice, but does convince him to take a pink keychain for her in the event that they ever get her back. Meanwhile, back in the lab, Dr. Wings wants to cut into the Skitter and make it scream, while Dr. Anne wants to treat it humanely and try to communicate with it, as they were instructed to do. Dr. Wings continues to be a dick, and the Skitter looks as if it has some plans for him. Ricky wakes up, and doesn't recognize Mike. He seems to scoff at the idea that Mike is his father, while looking to the Skitter for guidance. Mike is not so happy about this situation, and goes to the Skitter to attempt to communicate with it and get it to explain itself. Oh, dude, just sit down.
When talking doesn't work, Mike brings a gun into the situation. He opens the giant cage door, because all of these people are idiots. Mike gets all ragey and sticks a gun into the Skitter's mouth, and there is plentiful static on the radio. He doesn't shoot, but the Skitter keels over and the static stops. It turns out that the Skitter is fine, but there's a nerve bundle across its soft palate that could be a pressure point connected to the brain. Basically, the Skitter has a concussion. Dr. Wings suggests that, if you get close enough to stick a gun in a Skitter's mouth, you should pull the trigger. It's seriously the wisest thing he's said yet. Anne and Scott put together the Skitter/radio static connection, and Dr. Wings mocks her theory that the Skitters have radios in their heads, even though it's all clearly related.
Meanwhile, Pope clubs Dai and escapes on a motorcycle. In fairness, we all knew that this was not going to go well. Anthony is totally not sad that he's gone. Pope heads back to the bridge where the Skitters are napping and torches them. That can't be good. Back at Camp Second Mass, the captured Skitter wakes up and so does Rick. They make eye contact for a moment, and THEN Rick totally grabs his harness and reattaches it! NO WAY! And then of course he goes to let the Skitter out of the cage and no one is there to stop him because everyone seemed to think it was a good idea to leave the two of them alone in there, like what the fuck. There's static on the radio, and everyone rushes in before Rick has gotten the cage door open. The Skitter talks through Rick, and asks to be let go, adding that Rick is one of theirs. Emancipation is not going to happen, so the Skitter asks for them to help it by killing it. Or maybe it means Rick? Maybe both. Mike runs over and rips the harness off of Rick, who collapses on the floor. Mike is obviously feeling conflicted about the fact that his son is angling to become a mind-controlled alien slave again.
Back at the motorcycle shop, an army of harnessed kids are heading toward Tom & Co. And they have weapons! They shoot, and Dai gets it in the leg. Anthony just wants to shoot the kids but Tom won't allow it. He throws a flaming bottle filled with gasoline out of the window and in the direction of the truck, and the kids start shooting at it instead. Hal and Anthony use this diversion to fly through the glass door of the bike shop on motorcycles like they're Miss Piggy. Tom stays behind to help Dai, and encounters a Skitter in the shop. He blasts it in the head, and then escapes without saving the harnessed kids. Again! In good news, Weaver is now all about getting the kids back, and Tom feels that they're closer to understanding the Skitters.
Meanwhile, Tom and Hal talk about Ben's love for Harry Potter. Hal says that Ben might be a little different now that he's a mind-controlled alien zombie slave. Tom, the eternal optimist, says that it's all going to be fine. And then everyone finds that Pope has left a parting gift -- fresh baked bread. Oh Lord, and then fucking Lourdes is saying grace all over the place and everyone becomes inspired to talk about what they're thankful for. Perhaps I'm overly cynical, but it makes me want to cockpunch everyone at the table. Dr. Anne is the worst, because she turns to Lourdes and goes, "You should say something again." AGAIN! Thankfully, we cut off before everyone starts singing "Amazing Grace."
Previously on Falling Skies: There were harnessed kids galore! Tom was instructed to go get Ben, but through a series of shenanigans he and his crew wound up with Mike's son, Ricky, instead. Through a related series of shenanigans, the Skitters took Karen and also made Hal watch as they blasted a half-dozen harnessed kids. It was revealed that Dr. Wings left Tom's wife for dead, and Tom got pretty peeved about it. Tom also managed to bring back a live Skitter P.O.W., which appeared to have a connection with the de-harnessed Rick. All this and we learned that Pope has a degree in culinary arts!
We enter with the P.O.W. Skitter being escorted through the 2nd Mass HQ in a brand new cage, and apparently not feeling so positive about his new digs. He waves his tusks around and Crazy Weaver is on hand to tell him that he never was much to look at. Dr. Wings pipes in to say that in fact this Skitter is an exemplary specimen -- the Brad Pitt of the Skitter world. Back on their home planet, I'm sure the Jennifer Aniston of the Skitter world is cackling with satisfaction at his current plight. We learn that Porter has ordered Dr. Wings et al to try to communicate with the captive Skitter -- if they can figure out how it thinks, they can figure out how to beat it. My preferred method would be to show the Skitter a 24-hour loop of The Real Housewives franchise until it comes to the conclusion that it doesn't want anything to do with our sordid planet. Putting it in a room with NeNe Leakes would have the same effect.
Weaver is skeptical about the plan to communicate with the Skitter, but Dr. Wings says that it's possible -- it all depends on what's under the "hood." Dr. Anne Glass sneaks up behind the men, as is her wont, and says that she wouldn't underestimate the Skitters. She points out that the Skitter is studying them as much as they are studying him. I think for the purposes of recapping, it makes sense to give the Skitter a name. Let's go with "Hermie." Dr. Wings says that Skitter vocalizations could extend beyond the range of human hearing, and that for all they know Hermie could be cussing them out right now. I mean, I think that's a given. I also think that teaching Hermie cuss words is the best way to engage him. Isn't that the first thing you do when learning a foreign language?
And then! Tom walks in and assures everyone that Hermie the Skitter is indeed cussing them out. When Hermie sees Tom, he goes crazy. Tom bashes the side of the cage some, just for effect, and then someone gets Hermie with a taser. He calms down a little, and then kind of flares his lip folds at Tom. Tom says, "I remember you too." And that, my friends, is the beginning of what will improbably become a great love story! They'll meet again at the ruins of the Empire State Building. If both of them survive this intergalactic war, their babies are going to be so cute and drippy.