Season 4 | Episode 5 | “Mind Wars” | Aired July 20, 2014
Out in the brush, Tom and Matt hunt for dinner. “We must be wery qwiet when hunting wabbits,” Tom tells his son. OK, he doesn’t say that, but it would’ve been priceless if he had. They haven’t eaten in three days, but Matt still scares the bunny away before Tom can kill it. They arrive back at the Volm safe house to find Hal’s graffiti with Chinatown’s coordinates. Matt plays with the radio, and when Lourdes’ voice comes through on the automated message, it alerts a skitter and its overlord to Tom and Matt’s presence. They barely managed to escape.
Hal and the others dodge track mechs’ patrols that block their route to Chinatown. Dingaan and Pope haven’t had any luck with their scouting trip either. “Mech, mechs and more mechs,” Pope says. Hal decides he needs to see the Volm about a map.
Cochise is surprised to hear the Overlord Tom burned in the ghetto is pursuing them personally. Cochise has to break off to find his own reconnaissance team and promises to rejoin his BFF as soon as he can.
In Chinatown, Anne interrogates the Overlord prisoner, who insists via Ben that he’s acting on his own to protect Lexi. He begs Anne to believe that Lexi is something unique, a link between human and Espheni. Ben struggles against his connection to the Overlord. Maggie demands Ben be given a break, and Anne menaces the Overlord that the interrogation is far from over.
On the road, the guys find the tracks of Hal’s trucks. Weaver spots a pair of men camping out. Tom checks it out and the two men he finds change their suspicious tune when they hear Tom’s name, claiming they heard all about the Ghost of the Ghetto, but not saying from whom they heard it. They introduce themselves as Nick and Cooper Phillips, who are played by Aaron Douglas and Gil Bellows, so something bad is sure to go down. The Brothers Phillips mi casa su casa the situation, and Tom whistles for Matt and Weaver to join him.
Lexi freaks out over her mother interrogating the her Espheni playmate. She claims it saved her when the walls came down, but Anne still refuses to let him go. Lexi pulls the “I don’t need your permission” card, which is a lot more effective coming from an alien-hybrid than from a normal teenager. The Winds of Power rile up as Lexi stamps her foot and, in an echoing voice, screams that she needs the Espheni Overlord and Anne can’t keep him from her. This all is eerily similar to a fight between my 14-year-old self and my mother over a guy named Rob in a leather jacket—except for the whole apocalyptic alien invasion thing. Lexi starts to choke Anne and, though she seems horrified by her actions, she doesn’t let up until she passes out from the power surge.
Over the campfire, Tom watches Cooper tutor Matt in knife-throwing. Nick says Tom Cooper was a sous chef while Nick worked Wall Street at Goldman Sachs. Tom wonders how the Brothers Phillips are so well supplied, and Nick admits they found an abandoned Mormon farmhouse with seven years of food stored up. Turns out Nick and Cooper escaped a skitter farm where the aliens were harnessing adults. He tells a horrible story of what those who were taken were turned into, which Weaver takes to heart as what Jeanne probably endured. “Beta-testing, I guess,” Nick says. The Brothers Phillips escaped, but all the others in his group except Cooper didn’t make it. Tom and Weaver exchange loaded looks, uneasy about the Brothers Phillips, and Tom tells the colonel to play it safe as he takes first watch.
Hal wants to use the drones to track the mech troop movements. Shaq denies the request, as all the drones are deployed to find the new Espheni power source—but he does have an alternative if highly irregular idea.
Nick joins Tom on watch, all hail fellow, well met. Nick claims to have come across some of the people Tom liberated who told them about Tom’s stint as the Ghost. Tom isn’t quite buying the fully stocked Mormon farmhouse story: “It’s almost too good to be true.” A gunshot from the camp’s direction grabs Tom’s attention, and Nick uses the distraction to knock Tom out. Back at the camp, Cooper cries as he fires his pistol into the sleeping bags where Matt and Weaver are supposed to be sleeping.
At the now-deserted camp, Weaver pokes around while Matt hides in the woods.
Nick tells Tom there’s a big price on his head from the Espheni. Once Nick escaped from the skitter farm, he and Cooper traded teams to survive. Tom demands to know what Cooper did to Weaver and his son, and Cooper coldly relates how he shot them in their sleeping bags. Feigning outrage, Tom confirms Cooper didn’t even look them in the face before he shot them. Tom drags his foot to leave a trail.
In Chinatown, Anne keeps watch at Lexi’s bedside. Doctor Kadar rushes in. Lourdes chides Anne for angering Lexi so much that she lost control of her powers. Doctor Kadar admits knowing Lexi has had a profound effect on him. Uh-oh. Someone’s been drinking the Kool-Aid. Lexi’s temperature taps out at 118, high enough that her organs should be shutting down already.
Hal watches the mechs march past on schedule. He and the others set their trap under Shaq’s oversight. Sara knocks on the truck door where Pope waits and watches, and asks for some pointers in “taking the fight to the enemy.” She really is a pointless addition, isn’t she? Hal plays bait and draws the mech to the tripwire trap. But the mech stops just before the trip rope, requiring Pope and Sara to ram it from behind with the truck and take its legs out. Shaq runs up to the floundering mech and removes its power source.
Weaver and Matt follow Tom’s breadcrumb trail and plan an ambush with their lone rifle. Matt is pissed and wants to punish the Brothers Phillips for messing with his family. Weaver counsels him against the crazy, but Matt still wants to make the Phillips brothers pay.
Tom points out that once the Brothers Phillips turn him over, they’ll have nothing left with which to bargain. He taunts Cooper about always doing what his brother wants, and when Cooper gets in his face, Tom head-butts him. Cooper beats him back, but strife is successfully sown. They make camp and Tom works on Cooper’s guilt for “killing” Matt, sussing out that Cooper himself had kids and working the parent angle. Cooper tearfully shares that his kids are now dead. Weaver has a bead on Cooper, but at the last minute, Matt stops him from firing. Unlike with the bunny, this time it’s because Matt wants to take the shot. When he can’t pull the trigger, Weaver moves in closer to get a better shot, leaving Matt alone in the brush.
In Chinatown, Anne begs the now-silent Overlord help Lexi, whose fever is now over 120 degrees. Ben tells Maggie that Lourdes is calming Lexi down. She’s worried about his recovery, but he assures her that part of being a freak is that pain doesn’t hold him down for long. She softly chides that he’s not a freak, but is incredibly brave. Anne shouts at the Overlord and when he still doesn’t reply, she beats him with a pole—but it’s Ben who’s being injured by her blows. Maggie runs screaming into the interrogation room to stop Anne: “Ben keeps saying something about a flower!” Anne knows what it means.
Nick returns to camp and tells Cooper they’re going to stay put, as they’re already at the rendezvous point. Nick thinks it’ll be a simple trade, and Tom wonders if that was also the case when he and Cooper “escaped” from the skitter camp. Cooper realizes Nick traded all their friends and family for the brothers’ freedom, including Cooper’s children. Cooper kills Nick and is ready to pull the trigger on Tom when Weaver shoots him from behind. “I was playing it safe,” he quips without humor.
Shaq explains he’s using the transmitter array he pulled from the mech to link to the Espheni remote frequency. This allows him to patch into the Espheni command broadcast, which lets him pinpoint all the enemy patrols in the area. Hal realizes there aren’t any Espheni troops in Lourdes’ safe zone. They chart a route that will get them to Chinatown in a couple of hours.
Anne has made tea from the flower Lexi showed her. When Lexi rises, she sends Lourdes away so she and Anne can talk. She asks her mother to promise not to hurt the Overlord again, but Anne refuses. Lexi warns that she never wanted to choose between Anne and the Overlord.
Dingaan and Hal look out over the safety zone, amazed that it seems safe.
Matt asks Tom why Cooper killed his brother. As Tom talks about the qualities that make someone a true brother, Weaver returns from gathering firewood in time to overhear. As Tom lights the campfire, the two men share a look of brotherly bonding.
Maggie slams through the doors into Lexi’s room to tell Anne someone knocked out Anthony and freed the Overlord. “He’s gone.” Lexi doesn’t even deny she arranged it, and tells a disbelieving Anne that she had no right to hold the Overlord captive: “I told you, I need him.” Anne wants to know why. Lexi: “Because … he is also my father.”
Falling Skies airs Sundays at 10/9C on TNT.