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1-3: "Prisoner of War" 2011.06.26 (recap)


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#1

TWoP Howard

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Posted Jun 25, 2011 @ 6:20 PM

From ZAP2it:

Tom encounters an alien skitter during a rescue mission; a doctor may have a way to save harnessed children.

Since iMDB lists last week’s pilot as two episodes, I’m following them in calling this one Episode 3.

Just one reminder: the only thing on topic here is the current episode. If you want to talk about previews or spoilers, or speculate on where the show is going, please take it to the appropriate thread. Thanks!

Edited by TWoP Howard, Jul 2, 2011 @ 2:52 PM.


#2

AimingforYoko

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 10:06 PM

I was not expecting the execution scene. I didn't think the skitters were into psyops.
Pretty dark episode except for Masterchef Pope.

#3

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 10:09 PM

I thought this was a more interesting episode than the first two. I didn't find myself looking at the clock the whole time. In fact, I was pretty surprised when it ended that the hour went that fast.

That execution scene was pretty awful.

It was a little freaky at the end, too, when the skitter opened it's eyes and seemed to make a psychic connection with the un-harnessed kid. Like he was seeing through the kid's eyes. Interesting.

#4

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 10:11 PM

Another meh, but still enough to have me give it one more shot next week. Pope's racism ("wice") really isn't cute, and the writers really need to stop throwing it in there and leaving it. He'd have said that around me and I'm standing behind him with an automatic weapon and he'd gotten at least a rifle butt.

Of course the woman knocks over the tile and alerts the mechs. Of course the one guy does something completely out of character and runs out yelling his kid's name and goes to get him. It was understandable when it was a 13-year-old, but this is stupid. Then, his kid is possibly dying, a scene ago he was the only family you have, but he's getting surgery and you don't show up til the end?

And then next week looks even worse.

#5

bbell

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 10:23 PM

Yeah these people are to stupid to be alive. Or perhaps that is why they are alive. I will not be checking back in. I will check out the forum from time to time to see if this show becomes worth watching.

Things this show needs to purchase.
1. Miltary experts in weapons and tactics.
2. Some one who understands modern technology. And the effect of emps no matter how strong they are.
3. One good survival guide.
4. An anti cliche script supervisor.

#6

AimingforYoko

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 10:26 PM

Miltary experts in weapons and tactics.

You mean like this guy?

#7

Auntie Anxiety

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 10:41 PM

For a few seconds there, I thought that Dr. Carter was going to assist with the surgery to remove the harness. Yeah, old habits die hard.

#8

bbell

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 10:45 PM

You mean like this guy?

Let him write please let him write.

#9

tpel

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 11:00 PM

I liked the new doctor -- interesting mix of arrogance, cowardice, and self-loathing. Hoping he sticks around a while, though I'm guessing he won't. When they grabbed the other kid instead of Ben, I assumed that was so he could die on the operating table, as it is too soon to be bumping off the children of major characters. So, I was pleasantly surprised that he survived, at least for now.

#10

KMInfinity

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 11:21 PM

Generally good episode, with limited cliche hackiness.

To the good:

*Steven Weber, new doc in town. Nicely cynical. When Tom gives the rah rah up-with-humans speech, the doc walks away and nearly snickers.... Really undercut the speech and suggested a subtle dynamic for future development.

*Skitterbug smackdown in the tunnel. (Any Dr. Who fans? The skitter faces are very Ood-like, right?)

*Pope rocks, racism notwithstanding. I really like Colin Cunningham. Liked him as Colonel Davis in Stargate. Almost didn't recognize him last week.

*Good closing cliffhanger scene.

#11

taiko

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 11:31 PM

Miltary experts in weapons and tactics.

You mean like this guy?


I still give them a pass since the General is not with the 2nd Massachusetts. In the pilot there was the scene of the fighters correcting themselves since they were calling a magazine a "clip" so there is a drill master just like the colonials and General Washington had in Baron Friedrich von Steuben. Having assault weapons from the US, the UK, Russia, Germany, China, Switzerland and Israel doesn't make you a soldier. It seemed they survived because they managed to avoid skitter/mech teams which garrison supermarkets, drug stores and National Guard armories and traveled in groups to small to be a priority target

#12

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Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 11:55 PM

Nice to see Noah Wyle can still act his ass off. I thought he was splendid tonight.

Good backstory with Tom, Rebecca and Dr. Weber. I figured there was an element of guilt Tom was carrying but I didn't realize it ran that deep.

#13

thuganomics85

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:09 AM

Hey, Steven Weber! That was a fun surprise. And the history between him and Tom was interesting to say the least. Curious to see more about what those two were like during the strikes. Of course, since he is only a guest star, I wouldn't be surprised if his character is being set up to leave soon, and have Anne take over in the whole "trying to free the kids from being controlled" plot.

Overall, I enjoyed the episode and will stick with the show, even though there are still a few things that bug me. Some of the characters do act like idiots, I really am bored with Tom's youngest son, and you can see the cliches coming a mile away (is Weaver always going to be at odds with Tom?) But I like a good amount of the actors (Noah, Moon, Sarah, Will, and Colin), and I'm curious to find out what the aliens actually want.

Besides the ill-advised racist comment, I find Pope to be one of more interesting characters. And him knowing how to cook was a fun twist and I like how it helps him have a role with the survivors now (even if he's understandably still locked away and guarded.) And with the looks he and Maggie were giving each other, I'm have a feeling their issues are far from over and I'm curious to see where it will go.

Ending was a good cliffhanger. And the execution scene was surprising and brutal. Thankfully, we didn't see the actual killings, but Hal reaction said it all. Good job on that actor's part.

#14

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:30 AM

I don't see anything interesting about Pope. He's no Sawyer to me. I think the writers thought let's dial 11 on the racist asshole scale and give him long stringy hair. No thanks.

I basically like the rest of the show.

#15

henriPootel

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:57 AM

Yeah these people are to stupid to be alive. Or perhaps that is why they are alive.

This speaks to what I think is the central problem with this show (exception: if I see another heart-warming embrace between father and son, I'm gonna throw up): no real tension. Seems to me that, were the aliens actually serious about dealing with their human problem, the 2nd Massachusetts would be pathetically easy to find and overwhelm. I do better op-sec than this on camping trips.

I'm kinda doubting that this show is gonna get much better. I'll pick one nit of many from tonight - why would the aliens execute prisoners to 'send a message'? What message? The nazis (and others before them, back to Alexander at least) did this because they wanted everyone to behave and show them the terrible cost of not doing so. What message could the aliens possibly be sending that they didn't already send by exterminating 90% of humanity? Seems to me like this shiz be on - no peaceful coexistence possible.

#16

free7694

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 1:59 AM

What message could the aliens possibly be sending that they didn't already send by exterminating 90% of humanity? Seems to me like this shiz be on - no peaceful coexistence possible.

What message are they sending?

DO NOT. FUCK. WITH US.

I'm pretty sure that was the message they sent, or at least reinforced.

Edited by TWoP Howard, Jun 27, 2011 @ 2:14 AM.


#17

TWoP Howard

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 2:30 AM

Of course the woman knocks over the tile and alerts the mechs.

Of course. And apparently wimmen can’t even cook as well as a racist ex-con outlaw (and I can’t say I’ve ever heard any one extol prison food before, but whatever). Thanks, show.

For a few seconds there, I thought that Dr. Carter was going to assist with the surgery to remove the harness. Yeah, old habits die hard.

So did I. In fact, it occurred to me that that might be part of the reason they had him hit all the historical comparisons so hard last week. "Yes, viewers who haven’t seen him since ER, he’s not a doctor in this one. Really."

Both Steven Weber and Noah Wyle did a great job with the scene where Tom confronted the doctor about ditching his wife and leaving her to die. Harsh, but believable. Lots of survivor’s guilt to go around.

I can believe that the aliens aren’t interested in total extermination—why bother as long as they can collect their metal freely? But get in their way and interfere with their work crew, and they’ll put the fear of them into you and your little resistance.

And with the looks he and Maggie were giving each other, I'm have a feeling their issues are far from over and I'm curious to see where it will go.

And I don’t think he was involved in raping her, since she didn’t say anything about it when she shot the other two guys. However, he didn’t stop it, either, and I find it hard to believe it happened without him hearing about it, even after the fact.

I thought the episode title was going to refer to Pope, so that was an interesting twist. Getting Mike’s son instead of Ben, and not having him die during the procedure, surprised me, too.

#18

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 5:01 AM

Anyone find the story of how the wife died kind of strange. Why was she clutching a bag too heavy for her instead of running as the doctor did? Unless she died instantly, in which case, the doctor didn't really ditch her.

I do like how in the first episode the kid said she went to the store, and here we find it was more scavenging.

I must have a cold evil heart because I thought Ben was one of the murdered kids, and my first thoughts were basically, "Poor Ben. Well, that ends that storyline."

Edited by Meushell, Jun 27, 2011 @ 5:05 AM.


#19

Danny Franks

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 5:32 AM

This was a decent episode, again. Some silly, cliched bits, but not too many.

I'm hoping that Karen makes a reappearance, though. I quite liked her character in the first two episodes, and it doesn't hurt that she's ridiculously pretty. Though I suspect that Hal will be 'comforted' by Catholic Girl at some point in the near future.

Mike suddenly losing his shit and running and screaming for his son was annoying. The guy was calmness personified last week, and suddenly freaks out now? Didn't feel real to me, even if it was his son.

I wasn't too clear on who Rebecca was, though. At first I thought it was Tom's sister, and the doctor was his brother-in-law, from all the mentions of him being with her. But it seems like Rebecca was actually Tom's wife, and the doctor was with her collecting supplies.
I'm not sure the doctor was feeling all that guilty, really. He seemed almost blasé about the whole thing, about his decision to run and leave her. But he managed to hit Tom right in the guilt, and I'm sure it won't be the last time it happens. Tom seems to be carrying around plenty of that, and with probably a lot more to be loaded on, what with Hal's girlfriend being harnessed, and when Matt becomes a pyromaniac or something to try getting dad's attention. Because he wants to play catch instead of letting dad save the world.

Not sure about Pope, super chef. Perhaps they should have had him mention food last week, to set up his sudden culinary abilities. But if it gives him chance to snark at people, then fair enough. I'm not really interested in seeing the inevitable betrayal, though. And out of those 400 people, not one of them knows how to cook a chicken? Really? And in all those books they were burning last week, they didn't find a single cook book?

I must have a cold evil heart because I thought Ben was one of the murdered kids, and my first thoughts were basically, "Poor Ben. Well, that ends that storyline."


Heh, that's what I was thinking too, but then realised that the one taller kid there was just some random extra. But yes, this constant search for Ben will drag the show down some overly-sentimental and melodramatic paths. I'd much prefer it if they focused more on the people who have actually survived. Building new families, forging new friendships. I'd actually prefer it if Matt wasn't Tom's kid at all, but some boy they picked up along the way, who lost his whole family, and now he's basically a replacement for the lost Ben.

I'm already tired of the couple of scenes each episode with Matt, and the twinkly music of 'dad loves his sad little son' that accompanies them.

Anyway, I liked that the Skitters executed all the kids that Mike's son had been with. A nice touch of brutality, and a nice answer to the question, 'why not just run up and grab your kid when the aliens aren't looking?' Because that would have worked without a problem if Mike hadn't been shouting his head off at the same time.

As to the questions of why the aliens are allowing these resistance movements to survive, I would hope that there is a reason for it that eventually becomes clear. Like this is all an experiment of some kind, by the aliens, or they're setting up a human hunting reserve. Anything that excuses the fact that armed groups numbering in the hundreds are allowed to go about un-nuked.

#20

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 7:10 AM

I can see the aliens ignoring the resistance, even if they number in the hundreds, because they seem pretty ineffectual right now, but it does seem like they could be crushed immediately if the aliens wanted to put some effort into it. Structuring the show where so much of humanity is wiped out seems a potentially flawed concept. It seems the route this will have to go is either the typical discovering the aliens "fatal weakness", or being able to liberate huge masses of kids to screw with the work program.

#21

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 8:10 AM

Didn't they mention something in the pilot about having to split up into smaller groups because the aliens were starting to hunt down groups of humans that were as big as their original group? From that remark I got the impression that the aliens are working their way down from large groups of humans to smaller groups. So the resistance is relatively safe as long as there are still larger groups of humans around.

#22

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 8:28 AM

Last episode, Pope's brother was killed. His biggest outrage this episode? Chicken cooked with paprika.
This type of 'comedy shtick' took the show down to a lower level for me.
Also - Pope's gang killed one of Tom's team, but since the dead guy wasn't a main cast member, it's easily dismissed and Pope can continue on his road to rehabilitation.

This show has potential, but the tone seems very inconsistent.

Not sure why the aliens need to scrounge for scrap metal. Seems they could take any metal they wanted with the resources available to them.

Edited by Homo_Sapien, Jun 27, 2011 @ 10:14 AM.


#23

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 8:55 AM

Or why little bits of scrap when there is nobody around to protect tons of bulk. It only serves to show us zombie slaves, it might as well have been a New England cotton plantation.

I give Pope a break as he has seen violence before the invasion and for him civilization being crushed is the best thing that ever happened. As for cooking "the women folk" may have cooked for two or four he has the knowledge of how to cook for hundreds.

It seems as if they are going to homestead at JFK High? Well......

#24

ChickenLatte9

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 10:15 AM

If Tom hugs Matt one more time, I may have to stop watching. I'm really over that little kid. Ugh

#25

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

If Tom hugs Matt one more time, I may have to stop watching. I'm really over that little kid. Ugh


Yes that kid is annoying and so unnecessary for the show. Our only hope is that he gets kidnapped by the Others.

#26

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 10:34 AM

Maybe this is yet another take on the "Day the Earth Stood Still" formula -- since humanity refuses to recycle on its own, the aliens will force us to recycle. In that case, Tom can probably talk the aliens into leaving, using uplifting stories of people who learned important lessons from conquering armies. OK, maybe not.

Two things that really stuck out to me: Tom tells the Doctor that Hal blames himself for losing the girl. Er, actually, Tom, he blamed you. And Doctor Prick says he abandoned Tom's wife because he thought as a doctor he should live... come on, why be such an ass about it? You panicked. It's natural. I can't believe someone is so self-deluded that they think it's better to rationalize leaving someone to die than just admit you acted on instinct.

Edited by TheGreaterFool, Jun 27, 2011 @ 10:35 AM.


#27

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 10:46 AM

It would make a good drinking game : take a shot every time a father hugs his son...
(Women folk need not apply (apparently) ).

#28

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

Too much time spent between Tom and the new doctor, they could have developed more of it next episode rather than shoving it all into this episode and they didn't need to go on and on. We get it, there's a story about how he abandoned your wife.

I would have liked to see what happened when they took Karen away, is she harnessed? It would have been great to get a feel for that situation, what they go through. Where is she? I assume (hope) she's alive.

I really don't need nearly as much of the younger son.

#29

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 11:32 AM

So, this ep was good enough to make me come back another week. Liked the creepy ending. I also like that we're getting more Skitter close-ups. I'm all for the human drama, but I like my alien shows to be...alien.

Complaints:
Writers: The insipid dialogue! I beg of them to please hire some better writers. I'm not asking for technobabble or the like, but when the meat of an episode's dialogue from the main character is "The Skitters won't win", that speaks volumes about the quality (or lack thereof) of the writing, imo.

Is the food really that bad that 2nd Mass has to entrust their cooking to a criminal whom they've just overthrown and have in their prison and whose brother has just been killed by one of their new members who has left his gang? Sorry for the run-on sentence, but really, show? If he doesn't find a way to escape or poison half the camp now, I'll really have to suspend my disbelief.

I wonder why the Mechs and Skitters don't seem to have any instant communication with one another? Whenever the humans were engaging one or a few of them, I expected a swarm of backup to be informed. But nope.

I don't understand why the Skitter would kill the kids to send a message and let Hal go, either. Why would they need to resort to such tactics? So far they've pretty much been about search and destroy (and enslave) - no need for V-style intrigue at this point. I don't get it, show.

It was awfully convenient that they get Ricky back and not Ben. Now they can play guinea pig with him with the Dr.'s theory. And reap the ensuing consequences. At least it won't be Tom's son!

I guess Karen's parasite food, now. Can't see why else the aliens would take her. Maybe they'll have Lourdes help to save her!

I really want to like this show, but it looks like they're going to run out of ideas real fast if the eps keep going in this direction.

Edited by Make It So, Jun 27, 2011 @ 11:41 AM.


#30

bbell

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Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:04 PM

Yeah these people are to stupid to be alive. Or perhaps that is why they are alive.

This speaks to what I think is the central problem with this show (exception: if I see another heart-warming embrace between father and son, I'm gonna throw up): no real tension. Seems to me that, were the aliens actually serious about dealing with their human problem, the 2nd Massachusetts would be pathetically easy to find and overwhelm. I do better op-sec than this on camping trips.



Maybe the aliens do not attack during the day. But these idiots had fighters on top of the building as look outs. Right out in the open. You only do that if you can actually defend your position. Otherwise your lookouts should be stealth as should your location.