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Falling Skies: Overlords meet (TNT)

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'Falling Skies' recap: Quick on the draw

Season 4 | Episode 10 | “Drawing Straws” | Aired Aug 23, 2014

We start off this week with Lexi who’s having an identity crisis, as you do when you’re the Adam and Eve of a new human–alien hybrid species. Still in her red robe, which admittedly is beautiful, she wanders around the creepy warehouse and stumbles across Ben. He holds up bloody hands and screams that she’s done “this” to him. Terrified, Lexi wakes from her nightmare. Why is there always a wind blowing this girl’s hair? That would get super-annoying fast.

At the demolished Chinatown, Han and Chewie work on the Millennium Falcon. Check that. Weaver, Cochise, Matt and Tom stand around and watch Dingaan tinker with the beamer. He can’t find the steering mechanism. Falling Skies: beamer (TNT)Cochise posits that since the beamers are remote controlled, they should be looking for how to take over the clicker. Matt almost touches the non-Lexicoon and uncharacteristically talks back when Tom warns him not to touch anything. As they follow the others outside, Matt notices something wonky and glowing in the floor.

beamers in skyOutside, a swarm of beamers can be seen following the homing beacon to the moon base. Cochise wants to use the subspace communicator to mimic the homing beacon and trick the beamer into flying home. Then all they have to do is hitch a ride, provided Dingaan can locate the steering wheel. Matt takes advantage of their distraction to go back inside the beamer. He presses the glowing dots in the stair and that brings up a column of ligaments. Matt randomly pulls at one or two, which successfully tilts the beamer on its wing.

The others rush in, Tom in full angry-father mode. “Why’d you always have to be so mad?” Matt replies guilelessly. You can save humanity from aliens, but you’ll still get schooled by a teenager. Dingaan and Cochise geek out over the mechanics; they now know how to control pitch. Cochise uses the communicator to hack into the Espheni frequency masked inside the beamer’s controls. Someone on the frequency is speaking Spanish. Anthony conveniently appears out of nowhere to claim he speaks Spanish.

matt and tom in shipLexi gets a physics lesson from Sensei Overlord about gravity and her power. Say, did you know she’s the Bringer of Peace? He wants her to blow up an oak tree. Doing so drains her. Sensei Overlord promises her potential power will be divine. Behind some as-yet-not-destroyed trees, Burned Overlord spies on them.

The core group listens to Anthony’s translation of the Spanish message: All the ghettos are being emptied for processing. There is a new, horrific weapon being used against human fugitives against which there is no defense. Anyone hearing this message is likely a last pocket of humanity. “Do not attempt to fight back…Survive. Or this is The End.” Well, that’s comforting.

Tom notes it was broadcast on a 1776 megahertz frequency, “as in American Independence,” Weaver adds in case we all forgot why the office is closed on the Fourth of July. Pope is ready to go out and kill him a few aliens. Tom thinks they need something more aggressive, and Pope snarks that he forgot about Tom’s master plan, “hijack the Millennium Falcon out there and fly it to the moon.” I get a residual for that, right? Tom defends his plan as basically better than the nothing. Pope wonders who would be foolish enough to pilot the beamer to the moon. Tom: “Me.” I’m sorry, was that in question?

In their room, Anne is giving Tom crap for making yet another unilateral decision. He thinks he can’t drive the plan if he’s not actually driving the plane. She wonders what happens after he destroys the power core that’s powering the beamer. Good point. Cochise believes the beamer will have enough stored power to get them home. Better bring spare batteries all the same. Tom explains it’s a two-man job: Cochise navigates while Tom deploys the bomb. Anthony interrupts them because they need Tom at the beamer. Before he leaves, Tom thanks Anne for keeping him from being a self-centered noob with a destructive hero complex. I think.

anne drinksHooking up the Volm communicator to the Espheni beamer has fried its circuits. Cochise worries this means the ship will reject any Volm presence, including Cochise. Tom realizes Cochise isn’t his copilot which scrubs their entire plan. But wait! Cochise has an idea! If they get the beamer above the Earth’s atmosphere, chances are it’ll lock onto the moon base’s homing beacon and fly itself home! Wait, hang on. Wasn’t that the plan in the first place? I am so confused. Tom realizes that makes the beamer more an airplane than a magic carpet. What?

Thanks to Matt, they already know two of the four components needed for flight: pitch and yawl. They decide to figure out thrust and roll via trial and error. It goes about as well as you’d expect. Meanwhile, Hal’s making the bombs so it’s the perfect time for some sorry-I-snogged-your-lady from Ben. He explains it away as having to do with the spikes and swears he never would’ve done it otherwise out of loyalty and love for Hal. Hal doesn’t buy it.

More discussion about the beamer and flying to the moon. Tom repeats that he’ll be the pilot—because a college history professor automatically knows how to fly an alien spacecraft—and this time it’s Weaver who questions if that’s been definitively decided. Dingaan thinks that there should be a fair process to determine who’s going to drive the whole “We go to the moon!” thing. The majority of the crowd agrees and Matt suggests they draw straws.

cochise tom and weaver in shipIncredulous, Tom thinks they should just pick the best person for the job. Dingaan gently announces he’s logged 13 hours as a pilot and wonders if Tom can say the same. Tom, super twitchy in the face of public opposition, can only insist the choice shouldn’t be left to chance. Anne calls for a count in favor of drawing straws. Everyone but Tom raises their hand in approval…including all of the Masons and Weaver. Tom insists the participants be volunteers given the danger. Weaver tells those potential volunteers to write their names on a piece of paper and put it in The Goblet of Fire a hollowed out skitter skull.

Anne and Tom have yet another conversation—it’s constant post-alien-apocalypse marital counseling with these two. Anne is proud of him for going along with the drawing. Tom thinks they should go with the person who has the biggest chance of being successful, meaning himself naturally. He’s worried what happens should Hal or Ben get picked. Don’t forget Matt. “You’re not the only one who can save the world, Tom,” she reminds him. Blasphemy! Matt arrives to tell his dad he wants to put his name in the draw. He plays the “Joan of Arc was 13” card to his history professor father. Still pissed, Matt started the whole “let’s draw straws” thing, Tom snarks that Matt has to be 15 to pilot an alien spaceship, and he doesn’t have his learner’s permit yet. Heh.

Sensei Overlord uses the volcanic-rock communicator to Skype with Burned Overlord who’s concerned about Sensei’s sway over Lexi. Sensei doesn’t notice Lexi listening in on the extension. He blithely assures that even if she does rebel, he has a secret means of controlling her. Burned Overlord doesn’t care. He wants Sensei to kill Lexi.

Hal is still making bombs when Maggie finds him. He confronts her about making out with Ben. She sincerely apologizes and again deflects it as a purely physical response due to the spikes. He wonders if maybe Maggie and Ben are just meant to be together, but Maggie flat out says she doesn’t want to be with Ben. Hal admits that basically, she just really hurt him.

Weaver catches Pope taking a name out of the skull and stops just short of outright calling him a coward. Pope grouses about the hopelessness of Tom’s go-to-the-moon plan and makes a snide comment about the hybrids and Jeanne in particular. Weaver decks him. They brawl dirty. Weaver’s about to cave his head in when Pope shouts he took Weaver and Tom’s names out of the skull. The survivors need Tom and Weaver; Pope is expendable. He wants to do something worth remembering: “Let me be the hero.”

The group gathers for the drawing. Tom wants to do the honors (big mistake!) and draws Ben’s name first. He makes a show of digging deep for the second name, but pulls his own paper out of his sleeve. Pope knows he rigged it given he took Tom’s name out. Later, Anne calls Tom on fixing the draw. He insists he’s meant to go on this mission and has the gall to tell Anne it’s like her unfounded belief in Lexi.

Lexi is training again. Sensei reaches out to break her neck. Lexi uses her powers to immobilize him. the Winds of Power kick up as she confronts him. Turns out, she’s not the Bringer of Peace at all: “I’m the Bringer of Death.” She admits he was right about one thing: “Power perfected is divine.” Smiling, she blows him up.

Tom and Hal confab about going to the moon. Ben’s told Tom about The Maggie Situation and that it wouldn’t have happened if not for the spikes. Tom reminds Hal that ultimately the choice is up to Maggie (who’s already made her choice plain) and that Hal should go see his brother given he might not get another chance.

Tom apologizes to Anne for not being upfront with her about everything, but isn’t sorry for fixing the draw. Anne realizes she should’ve known he’d find some way of getting exactly what he wants. He promises to come back. She gives him a present, a book of Epictetus, one of Tom’s favorite Greek philosophers.

Maggie finds Ben prepping the bombs in the beamer. She wants to say goodbye even though they both know she shouldn’t be there. They hug it out. The spikes light up. They mack. Hal arrives to accept Ben’s apology, sees them and walks out in disgust. Ben runs after him to no avail.

Falling-Skies-4x10-PromoIn the morning, Ben and Tom say their goodbyes and get ready to leave. Tom has emotional goodbyes with Weaver, Matt and Anne. Ben finds Hal in the ship. He’s decided to forgive his brother. Ben thanks Hal for not hitting him. Hal admits he’s not one to tell Maggie what she can or can’t do, and it’s totally up to her: “Who knows? Next couple years, Matt’ll end up marrying her anyway.” Snort. They hug it out just as Tom arrives to see them make up. Hal exits, but just as he and Weaver pull the ladder back, Dingaan runs up yelling that he hears something coming. A squad of beamers has arrived. But before the ships can fire on the remains of Chinatown, each one spontaneously explodes midair. Amidst the confusion, Lexi calmly walks past all the cowering humans to reach Tom. “Hello Father.”

And we’re off! Or are we? Will they ever actually get to the moon? Will Lexi kill them all once they get there? Sound off in the comments!

Falling Skies airs on Sundays at 10/9C on TNT.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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