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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Thoughts Regarding Ben from Falling Skies

You know, one of the most consistently interesting characters on Falling Skies is Ben. While I do love all of the characters, Ben is by far the most interesting character. For me there are a couple of reasons for this:

[1] Unlike most teenage characters on TV, he is not whiny or completely self-involved. I think this has alot to do with the fact that he had to grow up entirely too quickly given the invasion and the fact that he was harnessed; neither of which is particularly conducive to childhood innocence. While there is a certain amount of self-involvement (he is an adolescent after all!), it is well restrained by his desire to serve and protect.

[2] I have always been fascinated by characters with special abilities/traits. When I was younger, I loved watching Escape to Witch Mountain and (especially) Return from Witch Mountain. I loved watching the 90s X-Men series and other similar shows. Even as a grownup, some of my favorite shows have had enhanced characters in them (Roswell, Buffy, Angel, Teen Wolf, etc.). Ben is a character like one of these. His enhancements come as a result of the harnessing (presumably), but they are still pretty cool.

[3] Ben is at the center of a seismic shift in the show. Up to this point, it has been aliens v. humans. Now, with Red Eye's claim that there is a civil war brewing between some of the Skitters and the Overlords, everything could change. So here is the million dollar question: Is the shift real? In my mind there are three possibilities:

         {a} Red Eye and Ben are telling the truth and the shift is there. How long it will last is uncertain, but the potential shift in power is amazing. Getting access to the alien's technology, possible new weapons against the mechs, instantaneous passage of information via Ben, and more. Will it be enough to bring down the Overlords? Possibly.

         {b} Red Eye is lying and Ben is telling the truth. Ben could be being lied to in order to manipulate him and Tom in order to confuse the remaining resistance.  If this is true, then the "battle" between the Skitters and Mechs at the beginning of the last episode was one hell of a setup.

         {c} Both Red Eye and Ben are lying. If this is true, then Ben is either being controlled directly or is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. I regard this as the least likely option, but it does bear mentioning.

Regardless of which option is true; or even if it is an option I am not seeing; the show has now taken an interesting turn. Things which were previously black-and-white now bear shades of grey. It will be interesting to see how it develops.