While on their mission to save Ben, Professor Tom and his crew spy about a dozen harnessed kids collecting scrap metal under alien supervision. It turns out they're some kind of slave labor for what is frankly a pretty lame reason to blow up a whole planet. Copper wiring? Really, Skitters? Tom and co. are ready to grab as many kids as they can, but have to retreat when Karen accidentally sends a loose brick on their rooftop vantage point crashing to the ground, thus drawing the attention of the Mechs in charge. Meanwhile, back at the new Camp Mass HQ at JFK High School, everyone is anxious to find out if their missing kids have been seen. With no milk cartons available, Dr. Anne Glass suggests that they post photos and stats on a school message board. How much easier it would be if they still had Facebook and could just start a "Zombie Slave Labor Kids" group.
Colonel Porter is back with some news. It turns out his people have discovered other resistance groups from cities across the country, which means there's a growing insurgency. He's also learned that these other major cities all have a big alien high rise planted in them, just like Boston does. No one knows what they're for. Porter instructs his people to break into small teams and 1) do more recon on the aliens; 2) collect useful military paraphernalia, like motorcycles and camouflage. The latter is so they'll at least look more bad-ass to the aliens. Porter also has a request specifically for Tom. His chief surgeon has killed some more kids trying to remove their harnesses, but now has a new theory about how to de-harness successfully. He needs a kid upon which to test his theory, and Porter wants to use Ben. Tom argues that they should rescue all of the harnessed kids, but Porter orders him to just grab Ben, since only one guinea pig is necessary at this point.
In lighter fare, it turns out that Pope has a degree in culinary arts from prison. After some spirited back-and-forth, he agrees to serve as chef for the Second Mass, on the condition that he gets some damn olive oil. He would make kind of a great Top Chef contestant, wouldn't he?
Tom checks in with Anne, who has had some interface with the hotshot chief surgeon who is going to slice up and probably kill his kid. It turns out that this surgeon is one Dr. Michael Harris, whom you may also know as your very own Steven Weber from Wings! The doctor and the professor already know each other, and Tom is a little surprised to see that Dr. Wings is alive. As it turns out, Dr. Wings was with Tom's wife, Rebecca, on the day of the attacks. No, not like that. Or maybe, who knows. But anyway, they were foraging for food together, and at some point decided to split up since things were relatively peaceful. At that moment, of course, there was an alien air ship attack. Dr. Wings says that he tried to get to Rebecca, but the second wave of the attack started and so he hid in a collapsed house and passed out until some fighters found him the next day and he became the chief medical officer for the resistance. Tom is super suspicious of this guy's story for a few reasons, one of which being that he is pretty clearly a total cocksucker.
Tom and co. go on their second mission to get Ben, but while they're at scrap metal summer camp Mike sees his son, Rick, and freaks out. He runs right into the crowd of zombie children and grabs him, which brings on some unwanted Mech attention. Tom blows up one Mech, but then is knocked unconscious by another. Dai and Mike drag him into the getaway truck, along with Ricky, but poor Hal and Karen are left behind. When Tom comes to, he is not happy about multiple aspects of this situation. He stomps off to go back and save Hal and Karen, but en route he comes face to face with a Skitter. They duke it out, and eventually Tom takes a page from Pope's book and shoots off a few legs. He then beats it in the head a bunch. The whole thing is very gross yet kind of awesome. Tom drags the Skitter back to Camp Second Mass as a prisoner of war (it's unconscious, not dead), and gets so much slime on the floor in the process, I can't even tell you. He also seems to finally have earned the respect of Weaver, who upgrades his weapon in preparation for him going back out to get Ben, Hal and Karen. Meanwhile, some of the zombie kids including Ben drag off Karen, while a Skitter-Mech dream team lines up about six other kids in front of Hal, and then shoots them. That's so fucked up! They leave Hal alive to share this story of horrors with his friends.
Back at Camp Second Mass, Dr. Wings prepares to operate on Rick with an assist from Anne, who notes that he has cystic fibrosis. Dr. Wings swings his dick all over the place, and also has devised a theory of deharnessification that involves cutting the harness off with a blowtorch instead of pulling it out, thus leaving the needle nubs in the back. He also theorizes that the harness synthesizes opium. The kids are totally drugged up! Suddenly being slave labor for the aliens sounds kind of fun. Anyway, if you cut off the needles you cut off the drug, and the kid goes into shock, which equals death. He's set up a morphine drip, pumping the kid full of junk now as a bridge with a plan to wean him off of it later. As he is explaining all of this the harness removal is happening and it is so drippy, oh my God. A while after the harness is removed, Rick has a seizure, but an injection of some junk calms him down and Dr. Wings is all, "I totally expected that to happen."
Meanwhile, Tom goes back and finds Hal, who tells him what's happened with unfortunate Karen and the six unfortunate now dead harnessed kids. Hal is pissed that the others left him, but mostly glad that Tom came back. He's also kind of traumatized about the whole killed kids situation, and surprised that the Skitters let him go. Tom points out (using a historical parallel, natch) that Hal is a messenger. The message is, "Take one, we'll kill the rest." Tom redoubles his conviction to leave no harnessed child behind.
Back at Camp Second Mass, the Skitter POW is being kept in like the most unsecure giant cage you've ever seen. Porter announces that Dr. Wings will be sticking around for three weeks to study it, which Weaver is not so excited about. In other news, Pope makes a delicious soup!
Tom and Dr. Wings have a tete-a-tete, in which we learn that Dr. Wings actually left Tom's wife Rebecca when the attacks started. Like, left her for dead to save himself. Tom decks him something good, and then Dr. Wings is all, "You're the one who slept in while she foraged for food during an alien attack, so it's your fault too." Seriously, he's such an ass. Tom gets really sad about it all, as you do when you have a dead wife and a harnessed kid. But forget this human drama! The POW Skitter huffs and puffs and opens his eyes, and Rick opens his eyes simultaneously! Oh, shit!
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Previously on Falling Skies: So much shit went down, I can't possibly collapse it into one pithy sentence. Check out the highly detailed recap for specifics.
We enter on harnessed kids, including Tom's son Ben, walking zombie-like with the dirtiest faces (my GOD Skitter captors, give these kids access to some basic hygiene here!) beside and on top of what appears to be an abandoned warehouse or factory. There are huge piles of scrap metal on the ground, and copper wire, metal coils and the like on the roof. The zombie kids are gathering it and piling it up with their signature glazed look, tentacle harnesses poking out of their shirts all the while. Tom & Co. are on a rooftop across the way, checking out the action with binoculars. Hal and Tom agree that the kids are scavenging scrap metal, and we see a Skitter skittering about on the ground and checking out the haul. Maggie speaks for all of us when she says, "They came here in spaceships and turned kids into slaves just to collect old toasters and copper wire?" Lame, Skitters. Really lame. As they continue to gaze upon the Skitter and Mech below, Tom says that there must be a reason for it. If they need metal so badly, why don't they just melt down the Mechs? How sad to know that even on other planets the entire budget goes straight to the military. The Skitter HammerHead Start programs are really suffering, I bet.
Anthony asks how many kids they should prepare to grab and Tom says that they're going to get as many as they can. They diddle around with their weapons and look more closely at what they're up against. There are two Mechs patrolling the front of the building and one in the back, as well as two Skitters -- one outside and one inside. Tom says, "Six of us, five of them. I like those odds." When you're going up against one creature that has six legs and tusks and another that can blow your head from your torso with a giant laser pointer, I don't think you should ever like your odds. Anthony points out that they're low on ammo and supplies and are also really tired and will only get one shot at this. The kids are going to be in this location tomorrow and the day after that, he says (apparently he's a soldier and ALSO a soothsayer!), noting that they've already lost Click. Tom is all, "That's my son over there," and while they're discussing it, Karen peeks over the side of the roof and accidentally pushes a loose brick, which goes careening to the ground, right near a Mech. It starts shooting at them and they retreat, with Tom promising Hal that they'll come back later. FYI, Tom is like zero for a million in his missions, and it's only the second episode. Not that I would do much better being second-in-command of a post-apocalyptic human resistance, I guess.