4. Lourdes and Anne dissect a skitter (season 1, episode 8: “What Hides Beneath”)
The scene when Lourdes and Anne dissect the captured, dead skitter presented a shocking turning point for the series that set things up for the impending skitter rebellion.
Plus, this moment gave us the gross factor of a medical drama operation scene – except instead of human blood and guts filling our screen, it was the gooey innards of an alien. Lourdes and Anne saw, cut, and finger their way through the skitter’s exoskeleton, sinews, and veins to discover that, beneath it all, is a harness just like the ones that have imprisoned so many human children.
Then viewers got psyched out with the possibility “that maybe they weren’t always skitters… that this thing might have been something else,” as Anne theorizes – a chilling omen for what may become of Ben. But recently Aubuchon cleared up the mystery for EW, clarifying that the skitters actually have always looked like the six-legged creatures as we know them. So no humans morphing into skitters in season 3 – but we can look forward to the sure-to-be-creepy image of exoskeleton-growing “crusty kids.”
Drew Roy’s take: “There had already been a little talk on the set that that’s what was going on with the skitters. When one of producers first told me about it, it was a huge shock for me, but then when I read it in the script, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I know that,’ and I just kept going. So it didn’t have that big of an effect on me until I saw it when it aired, and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I forgot that this is it, this is the moment when we find a harness in a skitter,’ and that sort of opens up this whole door to what these skitters might be.”
3. Crawlies attack the 2nd Mass (season 2, episode 7: “Molon Labe”)
Oh, Falling Skies, how you like to toy with us. You give us a long-waited-for romantic moment, then rapidly switch gears to creep-out mode.
“Molon Labe” (that’s Greek for “Come and take them,” made famous by the Spartans’ invasion of Thermopylae) featured a new alien, but it wasn’t a tall, looming creature like the overlords. These new little critters took arachnophobia to a new level. Just after fans were treated to some Hal/Maggie smooching, the crawlies start invading the 2nd Mass’ hospital sanctuary-turned-prison. The majorly squirm-inducing, spider-like creatures didn’t just haunt our nightmares with their ability to bore through metal walls with their rows of little teeth – they also harkened back to the fears implanted in us by films like Alien, the fear of being eaten from the inside out by slimy, extraterrestrial creatures. The image of crawlies climbing out of the mouth of a bloodied Jamil certainly sticks with Lourdes, utterly breaking her and her will to hold onto hope for survival and victory.
Drew Roy’s take: “Before we shot the scene, they told us [the crawlies] were going to be sort of spider-like, and they showed us about how big they were going to be, but as far as exactly what they were going to look like, we didn’t know. All I needed to hear was, ‘They look kind of like spiders,’ and I thought, ‘Well, I hate spiders, so we’ll go from there.’”