We enter with Maggie and Hal returning to Camp Second Mass with a whole lot of drugs, thanks to Maggie's knowledge of where the local dealer lived. Everyone else is way too pure and square to even know what drugs look like, except for Dr. Anne who has seen them on TV. Tom is gearing up to go rescue Ben, and Anne reminds him that they're still not sure that everything has worked perfectly with Rick's de-harnessization. I mean, no shit, given that he put that thing on again himself last week and basically named the alien as his favored stepdad.
The Skitters are still using an abandoned hospital as a home base, and we learn that one group of the harnessed kids didn't make it back there, though Ben's group did. Time is of the essence, so Tom has devised a rescue mission plan. Weaver isn't keen on it, and points out that their success depends on keeping the Skitters asleep as long as possible. Hal suggests breaking in very quietly and killing the sleeping Skitter, and Weaver likes his thinking. Meanwhile, there's a pregnant lady who isn't so keen about Hermie the Skitter P.O.W. remaining alive in their facility. She's got a point, there. Uncle Scott has found a record player and listens to Jimmy Cliff, which makes Weaver very sad. I think it's because his kids are dead. He takes the record away, and tells Scott that he can play anything else, but "Many Rivers to Cross" is off limits. Weaver gets much less squinty when he's sad, probably because he doesn't want to squeeze the tears down his cheeks.
Hal and Maggie have crossbow practice and she kind of gets on his jock as she's training him. In spite or because of that, he is unable to shoot straight. Maggie tells him that she knows the Skitter hospital well, because she used to visit her aunt there a lot. She is seriously the Second Mass MVP. Meanwhile, Dr. Anne continues to treat Hermie the P.O.W. Skitter humanely, as Dr. Wings is a dickwad per usual. With Anne out of the room, Hermie starts to make some different noises, and is also blinking a lot. Dr. Wings opens the giant cage door and shines a flashlight right into the Skitter's face. And then it happens! We cut to a scene with Uncle Scott encouraging Anne to deal with her feelings about her dead kid, and then they hear a ruckus, and then we cut back to Hermie choking the shit out of Dr. Wings! He is DEAD! And really, he kind of had that one coming, along with anyone who thought that giant door was a good idea. Weaver wants to kill the Skitter, knowing that civilians will panic and also it wasn't a terrific idea to have it there in the first place. Anne argues for keeping Hermie alive, since she was making progress in communicating with him. Weaver gives her 24 hours, after which he is going to kill Hermie himself.
And then there's Rick. He's still alive, and even is out and about, but is a total weirdo. Hal pumps him for info about life with the Skitters, and learns that all the harnessed kids sleep together. Hal asks if the harnesses ever break, and Ricky takes this opportunity to bid Hal well on his Ben-rescuing mission with the encouraging words, "They'll kill you all." Additionally, since Dr. Wings is dead, Anne is going to have to be the one to conduct the de-harnessing operations. Tom is fine with this prospect, since Anne actually cares and also isn't a total dickwad. He also thinks that she should put a picture of her dead kid on the board, since every male within a 100-foot radius seems intent on telling her how to deal with her grief.
Meanwhile, Hal wants to go undercover! He plans to strap on Rick's harness, enter the hospital, and pretend to be a harnessed kid. Weaver (who pops some mysterious pills) is all for the plan, but Tom doesn't want Hal to put himself in that much danger. Plus, he says, they still don't know how to kill the Skitters without making any noise. Anne notes the soft palate / concussion connection, and then proceeds to taser the Skitter, open the cage door proper, walk right in and stick a scalpel in the Skitter's maw. It's pretty hot. Also, RIP Hermie. Anne has freaked herself out but good, which can't be helped by the fact that she has Skitter slime-blood all over. She tells Tom that it was easy to stab the Skitter when she pictured her family. She also says that she doesn't even HAVE a picture of her kids to put on the stupid board, and so makes a big bloody handprint up there instead.
Tom & Co. head to the hospital. Hal has the harness on his back, and is going in as the others evade the Mech on guard and wait for his signals. Hal slinks in the hospital as quietly as he can, and I think he's even put dirt all over his face so he'll fit in. He sees a Skitter roaming the hallways, followed by a parade of harnessed kids. Hal joins the line, and all of the kids wind up in a room. The Skitter gives Hal a once-over, but doesn't do anything about it. The kids all lay down together in a pile, and then in the greatest and creepiest thing that has happened on this show to date, the Skitter sits on top of them like a bird on a nest and starts stroking their hair with its creepy fingers. It's so awesome, and also makes me want to vomit!
Tom is getting antsy outside, and so wants to check on Ben. Anthony and Dai wait outside as Tom and Maggie -- who knows of another entrance -- head in. Back in Skitter Dreamland, Hal grabs his switchblade. Ben wakes up and looks at Hal, and then the Skitter takes note, and then Hal jumps into action, plunging the knife into the Skitter's mouth. There's a face-off as the other kids gently try to tear Hal away. Tom and Maggie arrive just in time to throw a crossbow into the mix, but ultimately it's Hal's knife that finally kills the Skitter. Dai and Anthony respond to Hal's signal, and everyone grabs the kids to bring them back to the school.
The de-harnessing surgeries have to be done very quickly, one right after the other. Dr. Anne works her hardest, with Lourdes as sous-surgeon. The kids' blood pressure and pulses are dropping, and one of them dies. Anne is very upset about it. Tom points out that she saved five kids, but Anne is apparently a glass half empty person when it comes to emergency surgery on zombie children. Meanwhile, Hal is curious about Maggie's hospital knowledge, and she finally tells him that when she was 16 she had cancer. So she was in the hospital quite a bit, and also learned of the local dealer when her doctor suggested she smoke pot for nausea. She had a 50/50 chance of survival. Hal is glad that she made it. Meanwhile, Tom commends Hal on his bravery, and is proud that he's a man now or whatever. And then there's a baby shower for the pregnant lady, because life goes on and hope and whatever. That lady sure picked a bad time to get knocked up.
Matt, Hal and Tom hang out with unconscious Ben while Weaver looks on, teary-eyed. He retreats into the empty lab and listens to Jimmy Cliff, because this is the episode where everyone deals with their emotions. Anne cleans off the gunk from her hands just in time for Tom to grasp them meaningfully! It's in the guise of comfort, but he's really trying to get into her pants. But then there is no opportunity for a romantic interlude because Ben wakes up! And he recognizes Tom as his dad, meaning that Rick is solitary in his Skitter-loving weirdness.
Previously on Falling Skies: Alien overlords! Ben was alive! Dr. Harris de-harnessed Ricky, who then re-harnessed himself and spoke for the captive alien Skitter! Also, this show tried to convert us all to being religious and thankful and shit. Nice try, Spielberg!
It is night, and Maggie and Hal come racing back to Camp 2nd Mass on their motorcycles, bearing large backpacks. Hal points out that he thought Maggie was going to leave him in the dust on the last turn, and she says she paid attention when Pope taught her how to ride since she figured she'd have to outrun him some day. Though Pope and his crew did things so nefarious to Maggie that they can't even be mentioned, they also really did teach her some handy post-apocalyptic life skills. Hal tells Anthony and a couple of other guys that they discovered an untapped water tower. I guess somewhere deep inside I was wondering why these people haven't died of thirst yet. Thanks, writers.
It turns out that Maggie and Hal are carrying lots of drugs in their backpacks. Hal asks Maggie if she's ever going to tell him how she knew where they were. She points out that, as a senior in high school, he might have had some idea where the local dealer kept his stash. Oh no, not Hal! He was too busy at lacrosse practice and polishing his biceps and keeping his teeth perfectly white. Maggie says, "That explains a lot." Deep down, though, like every living woman under 70, she still wants to bone him.
Maggie and Hal unpack in the lab with Dr. Anne Glass, noting that they have Percocet, Demerol, oxy, and heroin. Tom comes walking in just in time to say that he's never even seen heroin before. I always did take him for more of a meth guy. Anne says it looks like cocaine, which she ONLY knows because she watches a lot of late-night cop shows. This prompts Tom to say that he once had a student who wrote a thesis on the history of the American police drama. Tom graded him down because he didn't mention Miami Vice. Maggie looks on like, how can you bunch of squares turn a backpack full of heroin into the most boring mating ritual ever? It's almost impressive in its commitment to dullness.
Hal and Maggie (who really goes by Margaret now) leave, and Dr. Anne says that they need to work the drugs into a usable form. Tom asks if it will all be ready by tomorrow night, which is presumably the night that he's once again going to try to rescue Ben. The other times were all just good practice! Anne tells Tom that harness removal isn't her area of expertise, and that he should talk to Dr. Wings. She also wants Tom to understand how risky the de-harnessing is. Tom says that it worked on Rick, because obviously he didn't see how Rick put the harness back on and then tried to let Hermie the captive Skitter out of his cage. Dr. Anne doesn't get into that whole mess, and simply says that the operation seems to have worked, but they're not sure yet. Tom understands that Ben could die, and realizes that Anne can't perform miracles. He notes that he put a picture of Ben on the bulletin board of missing kiddos -- all the other kids there are missing, but he knows exactly where Ben is. He's going to go get him, and they'll take it from there. Tom exits the room while Dr. Anne looks like, "Dear Abby: I just met this really great guy...will it ruin our burgeoning relationship if I kill his kid while trying to remove an alien tentacle from his back? What should I do? Sincerely, Post-Apoc Doc in Acton, Mass."