Uh oh. The “Previously on Falling Skies” alerts us that this is probably going to be some sort of alterna-verse or dream episode. Let’s hope whomever dreamed this has the same dreams I do about Dai and Tector.
Also? Remember when Wee Matt was actually wee and had normal, adorable hair? Those were good times.
We open on blackness that lasts so long I thought my TV was broken, punctuated by the sounds of battle. A klaxon horn goes off, and becomes, yes, an alarm clock. It is going off to wake up a clean-shaven Tom Mason, asleep next to a woman that seems alarmingly human. Rebecca? Hummunah what?
They lay in bed, all lovey-dovey and such, and Tom tells her about his alien invasion dream. Rebecca is cute—blonde, fair and, most unusually, emotive. So clearly Tom doesn’t have a type. She gets up and Tom soon follows, going out to the street of their picturesque, snow laden, holiday decorated New England town. They begin their morning routine, cuter than anything, snuggling and listening to their boys rise. Finally, Rebecca asks, “Who’s Anne?” SHE’S A CYBORG AND HER DAUGHTER IS THE BREAKING DAWN BABY! I want to shout. But I restrain myself. Tom is somewhat thrown by her question.
Downstairs, morning small talk is made about the Celtics, whom I haven’t followed since the Danny Ainge/Kevin McHale/Larry Bird days. Ben wears The Glasses of Nerdery, so we know he’s no alien hybrid. There is good-natured ribbing amongst the boys, and happiness abounds. Rebecca promises to attend Hal’s game, saying “the end of the world couldn’t keep me away.” Ben dashes out for school, and is picked up by…Denny? Yep. Dream. Not alterna-verse. Hal’s dating Rita (remember that? Nice continuity, show!) Wee Matt is the “mole” finding out information on his brothers for his dad. It’s all very sweet.
Tom drives to work in the snow, and, as he checks a text (bad, bad Tom) his hood is pounded on by a homeless looking doomsdayer with a sign that is…Weaver! A cop comes to take him away that is…Not Maggie! Tom looks confused.
Tom goes to work at Boston University and the most unrealistic thing in the dream happens as we see Pope in a ponytail. He is a fellow professor, totally absent minded, who is banging his student, Lourdes. Okay. That last part tracks. Anthony comes by in a dandy bow tie. He is the Dean. Wait a minute. Pope is under Anthony? I thought this was supposed to be Tom’s dream.
Tom goes to his office, where his admin assistant, Jeeeeeaaaannnneeee Weaver hands him a message from an Anne Glass. Wow. Professors all get personal secretaries at BU? Not at state schools. I can tell you that much. Anne has called twice—it is a personal matter. But Tom doesn’t know her.
We cut to Tom, lecturing before a crowd. Some things never change. One of his students is a clean Maggie, wearing pink. Wow. She looks different. Lourdes is his student too. They are all worried he is leaving teaching, but in the dream, as in Tom’s real life, there is no way he is going to stop giving speeches. He and Maggie talk about how much he means to her. She is wearing really distracting earrings that I think I last saw when Cher made a video for “Half-Breed.” Ah, the days of musical racism. Gotta love those. Anyway, Maggie reminds Tom he is her educational hero because he taught her about women with guns. “There’s nothing sexier,” she says. Tom tells her he has no plans to leave. She is thrilled.
Tom gets back to his office, and sees a bottle of liquor with a card. “They’d be lucky to have you as Dean. Love, Anne.” Speaking of Dean, when is Supernatural back? Oh. Sorry. I digress. Tom asks Jeanne if she knows who Anne is. It must be said, Jeanne looks adorable. She teases Tom about having Alzheimer’s and saunters off, to Tom’s chagrin.
In the Faculty Lounge, Marina is there, talking to someone. She asks Tom about the relative benefits of New York, Chicago, Jacksonville and Boston—and she means golf courses, of course. Tom can’t answer. He is too busy watching Weaver and his sandwich board outside. Jeanne interrupts—there is someone there to see Tom. Tom walks into his office, and dressed in a suit, looking MEGA HOT is DAI!!! DAI!!! Swoon. Pardon me while I get myself together.
Apparently, Dai is Anne Glass’ husband. I try to stop my scowl of disappointment, but there it is. Dai is pissed at Tom for having an affair with Anne. They verbally duke it out—Tom, insists he doesn’t know her, and Dai thinks Tom is taking Anne away for the weekend. Dai has seen the brochures for the four aforementioned cities, which puzzles Tom who wonders, what are these cities all about? He asks Dai to leave, and Dai threatens to call Rebecca. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Tom warns.
Pope comes in with a low whistle. He has underestimated straight-laced Tom. He quotes philosophers, while Tom watches Weaver arrested again. Pope accuses Tom of “denial, repression, compartmentalization” and such until Tom throws him out. Clearly, Tom’s brain is having a battle.
Back at Chez Mason, the domestic bliss continues. Tom and Rebecca prattle on about a new dishwasher, and their life as collegians, and how their landlord had a thing for her. The boys do homework in the background. Later, as they ready for bed, they are playful and cute, talking about Hal. Suddenly, Tom asks, “Who is Anne Glass?” and he and Rebecca talk it out. Tom asks again about the four cities, genuinely wondering, and Rebecca is concerned about his health. Tom looks in the mirror and sees grubby, facial-haired, Second Mass Tom look back.
Tom tries to puzzle it all out on a whiteboard in his office. He hears a knock, and sees a letter under the door. From Anne Glass. She is missing him, and can’t wait to have him all to herself. Tom is flustered and frustrated. He goes to the lounge, and Pope teases him about his fling. Tom confesses he thinks he is being gaslighted, and Pope rambles on about historians and tangle of chaos and blah blah blah. Tom interrupts, but Pope talks about the Simulacrum, where you can’t tell your life from your dreams and your dreams from your life. Hint, hint. Tom looks out and sees Weaver again, as Pope mentions the four cities.
Ben goes to Tom’s office in his Glasses of Nerdery. He calls Tom on his weird behavior, and whether he is having an affair. He asks Tom which of the cities he is going to, and Tom get suspicious. He asks Ben if he is really his son. He gets a message from Anne on his phone to meet her at the coffee bar, and after telling Ben to stay away from him, he goes.
Tom goes to the coffee bar and Anne is there. She smiles, and reminds us all that when she isn’t an android, Moon Bloodgood is all kinds of lovely. Tom asks her about the cities, and she smiles again, saying the trip is his Christmas present. Tom tries to play along, until he sees Weaver. “I don’t know you,” he says, and she says he is funny. Tom insists she is haunting him, and he has no idea what she is pulling. That what she is talking about would “blow up his entire world.” Anne thinks that is the whole point.
Tom insists he doesn’t know her, and she says to take Rebecca out for the weekend instead. She just wants him to tell her where, so she doesn’t “blow up (his) entire world or anything.” Ahhhh. I think someone is in Tom’s head, panning for the gold of information. She repeats the cities over and over as Weaver pounds on the window of the coffee shop. Then Karen is there, asking too, and the world takes on a surreal edge as Anne smiles, and Weaver stalks and everyone stares and it all goes down. We cut between scenes of the dream and Tom screaming as he is penetrated by tentacles and a face hugger style mask. GROSS!
Of course, it was Karen. She tells Tom her mission, which was, of course, to find out which city held the tower that he planned to blow up with the Volm. “Go to hell,” Tom hisses. “In case you haven’t noticed, this is hell,” Karen whispers. They are interrupted by gunfire. It is Weaver and the Mason boys to the rescue. They overtake Karen and Tom SHOOTS HER IN THE HEAD! He doesn’t want to leave without Anne and Lexie, but he is knocked out and the choice is taken away.
He wakes up in the infirmary, two days later. Wee Matt is there, and he steps aside when Tom races to the war planning session in the next room. Weaver asks if Tom told Karen about the target. Tom says no, and Weaver asks him to lay out the strategy map. The four city maps are there: Boston, New York, Chicago and Jacksonville. Tom sees them and hesitates. “What’s wrong?” asks Weaver. “Everything,” says Tom, and he SHOOTS WEAVER IN THE HEAD, TOO!
We are treated to another grody face hugger withdrawal. Karen is unamused while Tom laughs. Tom knows Karen is scared. He asks her how that feels, and apparently it isn’t good because she presses on his neck and he gasps for breath, in pain. He wonders what’s next, and Karen threatens to hurt Anne and Lexie next. Tom struggles, angry, as she demands information.
Meanwhile, Maggie waits with Pope at the town limits. Pope says that the Masons are gone and she’d be dead too, if she were with him. Maggie is unamused. Lyle comes to relieve him, and Pope snarks, as usual.
Anthony is continuing his investigation into the death of President Hathaway. He tells Marina that the only one unaccounted for her during the attack is…her. Fancy that. Weaver goes to Pope to talk it through—they both think Marina just might be the mole. Weaver wishes Tom were there, but Pope thinks he’s long gone. Pope tells Weaver they are on their own.
Maggie approaches Weaver, asking what is going on. She wants to be on the first team in—the one that goes after Karen. Weaver says that if she goes in, she will be in the rear. She tries to argue with him, and as they walk, a bomb goes off, blasting them down.
Karen and a skitter lead Tom to a room where he sees Anne and Lexie in a weird gelatinous cocoon. They are clearly dead. Tom, as you would expect, pulls a nutter, freaking out and telling Karen he is going to kill her as the skitter tries to hold him back.
Lourdes cleans Weaver’s wounds. What was blown up? Their com system. The mole wants no information to go out. As Lourdes leaves, she grins. Weaver tells Maggie she likely saved his life, as he was intended to be killed in that blast. He promises to repay her by honoring her request to be on the first team. In exchange for saving me, I’mma let you get killed, I guess. Anthony says the residue of the bomb is Espheni made. Weaver details security plans, while Marina looks on.
Karen talks to Tom while he weeps for his lost ladies, telling him she liked Anne but she needed to impress the overlords. He threatens her again, and she offers to save his boys and everyone else if he tells her the plan. “Never,” he says. Then the hum lets them both know—the grid is going live. They watch, Tom calculating, and then—check this—Tom pushes the skitter over the ledge and RIDES HIS BODY TO FREEDOM LIKE A BADASS. The skitter is squished, but our hero Mason gets up and runs away. And there is nothing Not Maggie can do about it.
The grid goes live. Lourdes is impressed. Maggie is not. Weaver stands before the crowd to give…dear sweet Jesus…a motivational speech. At least it’s short. As he walks away, Marina talks with him. She tells him she knows he and Anthony think she’s the mole, but she is in with his mission. She just doesn’t want him to take over because she doesn’t want Charleston to be “ruled by the gun.” Also? Think of the ugly metal tree, for God’s sake! She wants Weaver to be her “strong right arm.” Weaver thinks that sounds promising. But then. But then! Weaver approaches Pope and says that the President is not part of the “need to know” loop. They are going forward.
At the border, Hal comes home. Maggie is thrilled. And oh yeah, Ben and Wee Matt are there, too. Not so much Tom. They all believe Tom will return and live to lecture another day.
Speaking of whom, Tom is trudging home on foot. Again. He sees his old house? Is that his old house? All this rubble is super hard to differentiate. Tom enters the house (yes, it is his) and wanders around, looking. As he goes into the kitchen, he sees the freezer door is open, and he closes it, taking a note that is pinned there. He hears movement from upstairs, and it draws him there. He sits on his old bed and then collapses on it crying. It is kind of heartbreaking, and it reminds us: Noah Wyle is a great actor.
Someone says “hi.” Tom turns to his left and sees lovely Rebecca. He whispers her name as he cries, and she holds him close, kissing him and shushing him. “You were the love of my life, Tom Mason,” she says brokenly. “The father of my beautiful boys.” She goes on to tell him how much she loved everything about their life together. She wants him to do something for her—get up, leave and don’t look back. “There is nothing for you here anymore,” she says, sadly. “Nothing.” “You’re here,” he says, crying, and they kiss, lovingly. It is exceptionally moving.
Suddenly, a cat appears in the window, startling Tom. Waking him up. Rebecca is gone. Determined, Tom Mason leaves his old house, takes to the road, and begins the long walk home.
Only two more episodes left, friends! What will happen to our rag-tag band of rebels? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. See you next week!
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a writer for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a fan of Falling Skies and snarks because she loves.