Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2011-06-27 10:05pm

You're right, Mek's can't shoot at a high rate of fire, but they don't seem to NEED to. Your hypothesis about the targeting being necessary to 'set up' the shot is as good as any.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Ahriman238 » 2011-06-28 01:46am

Oh come ON! No one got that joke? "Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart!" Nit and I were giggling over the Bruce Campbell reference. We also got into a discussion comparing Pope to Vid-game baddies like the Khans from Fallout. Pope wants to be Caeser, but he was stuck with common Raiders.
BTW: I also expected Pope to brag about taking down a ship with the bazooka. I think it says more that the ship dodged so easily than anything else.
:facepalm: How did I not catch that?

So Pope is the bandit leader? I don't think I ever caught his name. And yeah, if the ships were that easy to take down, they wouldn't have won without massive casulties.
Now, as for the Mek's "goofy obvious targeting system", Nit and I have an idea why it's like that as well. DARPA was doing research into plasma weapons, and got a little success using a targeting laser to cut a path to the target that the plasma follows. Think of water flowing down the least resistance.
Four lasers, making a square, would not only give the plasma a path, but contain it within that path to further focus it. Plasma would also explain the overly large explosions generated by the Mek's weapon. The color change as the lasers lock on may be a simple visual cue for the pilot, or it might be a result of the lasers charging up to channel the plasma. However, because of this lock and charge, humans can dodge if they are quick enough. The lock and charge also seems to limit the time between firing, or am I the only one who noticed that the Mek needed several seconds between shots?
So, kind of like a Hellebore from Bolo? They didn't particularly strike me as plasma weapons, I kind of expect those to appear as bolts of energy now, but I'll admit it's possible. From the dust, divots, and splintering they kicked up I was thinking projectile, maybe a railgun or a pulser of some sort. I sort of figured the big shoulder 'wings' contained four independant guns and each got it's own targeting laser. I swear in the Shop Smart a mech fired when only two of it's lasers locked and changed color.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2011-06-28 02:48am

I'll ask again, did they clearly say how Noah Wylie knew the doctor guy? I think I missed it.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by TOSDOC » 2011-06-28 08:21am

CaptainChewbacca wrote:I'll ask again, did they clearly say how Noah Wylie knew the doctor guy? I think I missed it.
I don't think you did, they didn't say it clearly. Nicole and I went over it twice--her first impression was that the doctor was sleeping with Tom's wife before the attack, but I just think he's either family (the alcoholic brother-in-law maybe?) or someone they hooked up with to survive after the first wave. I never would've let the guy try to hug me hello if he'd been porking my wife, so he seemed more like distant family to me.

I think the mechs have both projectile weapons and the plasma beam, they just seem to need half as many lasers to track the projectiles. Nice analysis by Lady Tevar.

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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2011-06-28 08:45am

Yeah, the way Noah Wylie talked about the guy's wife, I got the sense that the man was his brother-in-law. AFAIK the main guy was happily married, though 'wife's new husband' could easily fit in. I hope they explain it further.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Ahriman238 » 2011-06-28 02:55pm

Well, that last shot makes me believe the extraction process didn't work all that well.

Of all the show openings they could have taken notes on, did it have to be SGU?

I was actually thinking the 'Rebecca' mentioned was Tom's wife, could be wrong through.

While I hated the whole, oddly cultured criminal bit, Pope is actually pretty entertaining. You notice he doesn't just try and barter his skills, he insults them and demonstrates.

And I'm with the girl on this, for a species that can clearly make robots easily, manual slave labor seems sort of overrated. And is anyone keeping track of how many times our heroes would have died if the aliens gave guns to their soldiers rather than solely to the mechs?

That said, a single raid on their slave group and they kill the slaves as a warning, these guys are either very quick studies or they've done this before.
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Re: Falling Skies: Pilot (1x01)

Post by Nuts! » 2011-06-28 07:33pm

Vympel wrote:The pilot was meh. I can't take the "mechs" seriously, with their goofy obvious targeting system.
A couple possibilities r.e. the mechs and their "goofy targeting systems:"

1. The aliens don't see human-visible light. As an example, we use laser sights because they're invisible to our own eyes until they 'strike' a target. However, if a creature that can see infrared light was being hunted by humans with laser sights on their guns, they'd wonder why the silly humans were broadcasting where they're shooting with the giant red beams. If the aliens don't see human-normal light then their targeting beams are invisible to their own eyesight, which would explain why we humans see them.

2. Underestimation and overconfidence: To quote Stargate, "This is a weapon of terror. It's designed to frighten the enemy." The aliens are currently still unknown, so visible targeting systems and large mechs may be part of a general attitude of "scaring the primitive apes." After all, if you've decapitated the major military sources of resistance, you're bound to be facing scared civilians, and if the aliens are a predator species then they probably understand the value of frightening enemies.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Ahriman238 » 2011-06-28 10:31pm

Oh, and I have to nitpick. They said they sent sent a runner to make contact with a resistance in Chicago. From eastern Massachusetts to northern Illinois is a thousand mile journey give or take, so I hope they gave him a car, even then it's moderatly impressive that he made it there and back in just a few days, unless the aliens aren't patrolling the area between major cities at all.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by loomer » 2011-06-28 10:55pm

I got the impression they met up with the Illinois resistance midway, not actually in Chicago.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by loomer » 2011-07-04 04:00am

So Skitters broadcast in the radio spectrum, and Mr. Doctor is a jackass (big surprise, right?). The child slave soldiers are going to fuck up the Resistance though. Since these aren't trained soldiers, they're going to have some serious trouble killing children (especially if they see their own).
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Re: Falling Skies: Pilot (1x01)

Post by Darwin » 2011-07-05 02:17am

Vympel wrote:The pilot was meh. I can't take the "mechs" seriously, with their goofy obvious targeting system.
Nuts! wrote: 1. The aliens don't see human-visible light. As an example, we use laser sights because they're invisible to our own eyes until they 'strike' a target. However, if a creature that can see infrared light was being hunted by humans with laser sights on their guns, they'd wonder why the silly humans were broadcasting where they're shooting with the giant red beams. If the aliens don't see human-normal light then their targeting beams are invisible to their own eyesight, which would explain why we humans see them.
Obvious to us. Maybe the aliens can't see into the blue side of the spectrum. They'd consider our infrared targeting lasers equally as stupid. *nods*

The show seems to be smart in a lot of ways (The characters wondering openly why the skitters need slave labor and are harvesting scrap metal) and totally dumb in others.

I'll give it a full season at any rate.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Ahriman238 » 2011-07-06 03:21pm

Geography again, it pleased me when the girl I refer to as MLSLI:2 (Male Lead's Son's Love Interest: Secondary) told her story about living in Jamaica Plain.

So the aliens communicate and control harnessed people via radio waves? So, most likely all the aliens around the harnessed groups were controllers, with the mechs providing security. While the aliens don't seem shy about entering combat, I'm thinking they're really not meant to be soldiers or warriors, just overseers. The mechs and the ships seem to be all the military force they need.

And, the aliens really are quick studies. The day they learned the harnessed kids are important to the resistance, they execute a number of them as a demonstration. A couple of days (at most) later, they're using the harnessed kids as shock troops. At least this also betrayed the weakness of that approach, without an alien giving orders the kids freeze.

The aliens can get a concussion from a firm poke to the roof of the mouth? Odd, but probably not that useful.

I get the doctor guy is suppossed to be a colossal dick, but why are they even talking about a live vivesection when they have a dead specimen? In the same room, even.

I told you so! I said Rebecca was Tom's wife!

Whoever left the harness with the kid, left the kid alone after removing a mind control device, left the alien prisoner unguarded for even a moment and left all three in the same room fails basic security forever. Demote to private and assign him permanent duty picking through suburban garages and basements for useful knicknacks.

Pope is still incredibly entertaining. I'm a bit sorry to see him go now.

Tom may be optimistic about the progress they're making, but from my couch it seems they still know just slightly more than absolutely nothing. That part of the series, at least, is highly realistic.

I get that people under stress aren't always the most reasonable, but every attempt to tear or cut a harness off has ended in the death of the child. Except the one time, with about twenty minutes of careful surgery and a day or more on a morphine drip. What, precisely, did the father think was going to happen when he just yanked the harness off?

And he managed to singlehandedly kill the first actual conversation between human and alien :banghead: granted, the discussion didn't seem like it was going anywhere quickly. Did no one think to call for help, either to restrain him or because they've finally opened up a dialogue?

I'm waiting for the cries of 'prayer in a semi-hard sci-fi show? RUINED!' that came up as early as the pilot in SGU. It doesn't really bug me that the girl (MLSLI:2) still prays, or that she manages to get everyone into a sort-of communal prayer at the end, but I'm sure someone is going to get all offended.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Darwin » 2011-07-07 01:10am

Ahriman238 wrote: I get the doctor guy is suppossed to be a colossal dick, but why are they even talking about a live vivesection when they have a dead specimen? In the same room, even.
The dead specimen was explicitly too far gone: its insides were rotten goo.

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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by loomer » 2011-07-07 02:08am

They didn't hack into the dead one until after he proposed vivisection, so there wasn't any attempt to learn from the dead specimen first. Frankly, the motive is pretty clear - he doesn't really think they'll learn much more than what (roughly) makes it tick, he mostly just wants to figure out how to better kill the damn thing and make it suffer in the process.

Hell, his entire approach to questioning it was basically "Here's your dead buddy. Now, we're going to cut you - a sentient and highly intelligent being, by all indications - open without anesthetic."
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2011-07-07 11:07pm

I'm pretty sure Pope is going to be back. I've seen him in commercials doing things that havn't happened yet. Smart money is he comes back next episode with some stolen Skitter guns.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by TOSDOC » 2011-07-08 09:06am

I'm sure Pope'll be back, and he had all the great lines this episode. I'm glad Dai made it, he's a great supporting character.

I think the vivisection was just a threat, but the doctor was way too cynical at the start to be in charge of communicating with the alien. They should have had a team of the Colonel's scientists delivered as soon as the capture was made, and more security than just a dad with a gun who's upset about his son already. The necropsy should have been performed on the dead one immediately, maybe at least find out what ranges their senses operate in first as well as looking for weaknesses, so you know what kind of images to show them when you actually start to communicate. Why not try some mathematical concepts as well as pictures, too? The interrogation with the kid reminded me of The Puppet Masters, but was conveniently way too short.

The aliens sleeping out in the daytime open implies a horrifying confidence in their security of the planet.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Ahriman238 » 2011-07-08 10:52am

The aliens sleeping out in the daytime open implies a horrifying confidence in their security of the planet.
That or it's a small patrol doing something dumb that their superior-aliens would yell at them for. Heck, they may be naturally nocturnal with the ones we've seen in daylight doing the equivalent of a night shift.

Or maybe it's no big deal to them if they lose a patrol every now and then. The pilot mentioned "thousands" of the aliens in Boston, so I doubt losing four or five is going to be enough for them to pack up and go home.


I read the comic book they released. Very little new information, but I'll pass on what I can. It's a prequel of sorts taking place after the end of the world, showing how they lost Ben, met up and joined the 2nd Mass. Bit of backstory, Dai was some sort of financial manager, but his father was a VCR scout who made sure his son had some useful skills.

Tom got to be on the planning level of the regiment because he a.) littered Boston with posters containing imagery and language associated with Paul Revere and telling survivors to meet up and join "At Paul's House." Cute. Even if the alien's can read English, they're unlikely to get the reference. and B.) because one of his friends and colleagues, Alex Vlensi was a gun nut and they got most of their weaponry off him. Vlensi himself tired and failed to kill a ship with an AT weapon. The ship was hit and damaged, can't really tell how badly. It then swung around and kamikazed the building. Dozen's of aliens and mechs storm the area, establishing one of the few things we do know about the aliens: small arms are fine, but once you start using HE they're going to take you as a serious threat.

Vlensi stayed behind to cover the group's escape. When it became clear the alien's couldn't storm his position without large numbers of casulties, they pulled out and called an airtrike down on his ass.

The aliens turned the Hanscom Air Force Base into a crater. As far as anyone can tell, they opened with simuletaneous attacks on every military base in the country.

The mechs have stun weapons for capturing children.

The aliens also use a harnessed little girl as bait to draw in sympathetic souls. Hal very nearly gets nabbed in just such a trap.

Don't know if any of this can be considered proper cannon with the show. They seemed with the show's writers on it.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Skgoa » 2011-07-10 08:11am

Ahriman238 wrote: I get that people under stress aren't always the most reasonable, but every attempt to tear or cut a harness off has ended in the death of the child. Except the one time, with about twenty minutes of careful surgery and a day or more on a morphine drip. What, precisely, did the father think was going to happen when he just yanked the harness off?

And he managed to singlehandedly kill the first actual conversation between human and alien :banghead: granted, the discussion didn't seem like it was going anywhere quickly. Did no one think to call for help, either to restrain him or because they've finally opened up a dialogue?
I think he was pushed over the edge. He didn't want his son to live if he couldn't have him back completely RIGHT NOW. Yeah, thats stupid... but real life parents have done worse things to their children that they felt was "the best" for them.

Ahriman238 wrote:I'm waiting for the cries of 'prayer in a semi-hard sci-fi show? RUINED!' that came up as early as the pilot in SGU. It doesn't really bug me that the girl (MLSLI:2) still prays, or that she manages to get everyone into a sort-of communal prayer at the end, but I'm sure someone is going to get all offended.
Actually, SGU (and BSG) had the problem of being americans IN SPACE, when they had promised to be escapist science fiction. This show promised to be americans in modern day america. It would be strange to NOT adress the question of religion. IMHO its alctually a great human moment, showing the survivor's return to faith and a sense of normal life. (And I'm a rabid atheist. :D)
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2011-07-11 05:42am

Tonight's episode was good, it'll be interesting to see what happens when larger numbers of 'harness kids' start being a part of the population.

Also, how could they STILL not have an armed guard inside the room with the skitter prisoner?
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by TOSDOC » 2011-07-11 11:00am

CaptainChewbacca wrote:Tonight's episode was good, it'll be interesting to see what happens when larger numbers of 'harness kids' start being a part of the population.

Also, how could they STILL not have an armed guard inside the room with the skitter prisoner?
Very foolish, although I think they just ran out of Weber's funding. I thought for sure the kid had died in the last episode, though.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by Skgoa » 2011-07-11 05:11pm

So he is alive? Wait what? :wtf: Yeah, lets retcon all emotional impact from last episode...
And a skitter is showing compassion and gets killed for it. :lol: IMO overall this was the weakest episeode, yet.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2011-07-11 11:55pm

I didn't think the kid died last week, I guess I was the only one to notice but he looked like he was gasping after his father took the harness off.

Also, according to ratings 'Skies' has had the smallest falloff of any new show this summer.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by TOSDOC » 2011-07-12 07:42am

I honestly didn't think they would get Ben this quickly in the game. My DVR cut off the end, just after he woke up and said "Dad", so Nicole and I missed what happened after that and the previews for next week. She thinks that the rest of the series will be about him trying to get back to the hospital and rejoin the aliens.

Was anyone else reminded of a bird sitting on a nest with that scene in the hospital?
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2011-07-12 08:15am

Yeah, bird-in-a-nest was the vibe I got. I don't think Ben will be trying go back to the hospital because:

1. His 'controller' is dead.
2. The first kid they rescued isn't trying to get back.
3. They rescued the rest of Ben's 'harness team'.

Next week looks like there will be a 'large' battle against a sizable skitter force, should be good.
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Re: Falling Skies: A Discussion (Spoilers)

Post by TOSDOC » 2011-07-12 08:29am

CaptainChewbacca wrote:Yeah, bird-in-a-nest was the vibe I got. I don't think Ben will be trying go back to the hospital because:

1. His 'controller' is dead.
2. The first kid they rescued isn't trying to get back.
3. They rescued the rest of Ben's 'harness team'.

Next week looks like there will be a 'large' battle against a sizable skitter force, should be good.
Yeah, I noticed that too. The first kid's closest 'controller' was likely the one that Tom captured, just due to proximity, so this kid was the easiest to wake up as the controller was still alive. The other kids began to expire soon after Hal killed their controller, I wonder if that means they're linked in some way. The harnesses don't seem to be alive, or I'd think they're the real babies.
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