OK, so first single episode recap! This is for 2×03 “Compass”, which aired last Sunday, and I should have the recap for 2×04 “Young Bloods” up today too, and with that we’ll be all caught up and ready to go with the rest of the season. If you want to catch up on the show so far (and you should), you can read the summary of Season 1 and the Season 2 premiere episodes, although honestly it might just be quicker for you to go watch the episodes yourself. Either way, we’re pressing on. Skitter ho!
This episode cements the idea that this season is going to be going at a much more intense and dramatic pace than the first. Rather than dinking around with pointless missions, we get a specific goal right away, and underlying tensions within the group come to a head within the hour instead of dragging on and on. Hopefully they continue to push on at the same pace all season.
This propulsion comes from a pretty badass lady who flies into the airport, claiming that there’s a big group of survivors in the “new capitol” of Charleston, South Carolina and that – since apparently everyone still alive in the country has the same Revolutionary War boner as Tom Mason – they’ve elected what they’re calling a ‘Continental Congress’. Weaver wanted to go to the Catskills to hide (and dirty dance) through the winter, and is significantly more skeptical of this Churchhill lady’s story than of Tom’s (of the alien ship), but ultimately they decide to head south.
The rest of the episode’s action comes from Ben and Jimmy off in the woods. They’re supposed to be on patrol, but because they’re boys and they’re stupid, they’re actively hunting Skitters. The first time, it goes pretty good; Jimmy makes a shotgun headshot and then Ben finishes it off with a knife. Second time out, they rescue Tom from having been kidnapped by Pope’s gang.
Oh, yeah, by the way: for some idiotic reason, during the hiatus Weaver let Pope basically re-assemble his own mini-gang within the 2nd Mass, called the Berserkers (brilliant name). Basically they are all batshit and do the super dangerous stuff that no one else in the group is willing to do, which means that everyone else has to put up with them. So Pope, still (logically) believing that Tom is under alien influence, kidnaps him and them gives him the opportunity to ‘remove himself’ from the rest of the group, which is when Ben and Jimmy come by during their Skitter hunt and shut it down.
Third hunting trip is not the charm, however. They manage to BBQ one Skitter, but another comes along (the one with the red eye, who also was the one who had the worm crawl into its eye, so I guess he’s special?), throws Jimmy against a tree and then mind-melds with Ben, making his harness spines glow blue. When he comes to, he sees Jimmy wasn’t just thrown against the tree; he was impaled on a tree branch. He might’ve been okay if they didn’t use all the magic life-saving drugs on Tom in the premiere, or if Weaver didn’t need motivation to go to Charleston (because Jimmy is pretty much Weaver’s adopted son), but yeah, he croaks. Which, again, whoa. 10 year olds with machine guns and pre-teens getting impaled? This show ain’t fucking around anymore.
After being kidnapped, Tom decides the best way to keep tabs on Pope is to join his gang, but then he freaks out when Pope randomly steals the compass Weaver gave to Jimmy and Tom beats Pope to a pulp. That and the fact that Pope seems to be the only one who remembers that Tom had an alien “chip (worm) in his head (eye)” and that “his freak-show son got Jimmy killed” (none of which is untrue, or unimportant), causes Pope to peace the fuck out. Only, when he expects the rest of his gang to back him up, they don’t, except for Anthony, who believes he owes Pope his life (see: season finale), even though Pope killed his BFF (see Season 1 premiere). It’s complicated.
Then there’s Jimmy’s funeral, and everybody cries. Ben and Weaver are especially sad (see above gif). The group head out to Charleston, but not before Ben spends some time alone angsting in the woods so the Skitter Red Eye can come and spine meld with him again.
- Is Ben aware of his contact with Skitter Red Eye and is lying about it to the rest of the group, or he not conscious of the spine-meld experience?
- Tom kissed Dr. Anne (again? I think they may have kissed last season before Tom went out on his presumable suicide mission?), but whoops, it’s her dead son’s birthday. Awkward…
- Are Pope and Anthony also headed south to Charleston? Because they’ll travel much faster than the rest of the group, and if the aliens know the location of the new capitol from Ben and they attack, then Pope and Anthony will be able to double back and warn the rest of the 2nd Mass.
- Of course, that assumes that Lady Churchill was telling the truth about Charleston at all. On the other hand, what would she gain by lying? We’ve already encountered two different alien collaborators last season; it would seem a little redundant if she was more of the same.
So what do y’all think? Is Pope gone for good? Are you going to miss his snark (I am)? Are you happy this show realized it was on cable and could do sort of crazy things like impale pre-teens on trees and then actually let them die? Let’s get our nerd discussion on!