2. Tom’s parasite (season 2, episode 2: “Shall We Gather at the River”)
It is very rare that I will turn my head away from the TV for a single second of Falling Skies. There isn’t much that makes me really, truly squeamish, but I have to confess, the way to mess with me is to make a mess of eyeballs. This scene had me hiding behind my hands, timidly getting an occasional peek at the screen from between my fingers.
This scene foreshadows the finale’s scene of another Mason’s encounter with an alien parasite. That one leans more toward creepy. This one, though, is just disgusting.
The tiny parasite slithers not beneath Tom’s eye, but actually within his eyeball. “Take it out!” Tom yells, to which Anne responds, “Hold on. You don’t know what this involves. If I get this wrong, you could lose sight in your eye.” So the stakes are high for one of the 2nd Mass’ best marksmen, but the skilled Dr. Glass succeeds in her emergency extraction procedure, though not before we were thrust a close look at the parasite being pried out of Tom’s eye, as Anne tweezed it out from just beneath the iris.
Drew Roy’s take: “I showed up on set the scene after they shot that. Everybody just had this look in their eye, and I knew that they had just shot the scene, so I asked a couple people how it went, and everybody kept commenting on how Noah’s scream was so excruciating that everyone was just cringing. No CGI yet, nothing – just Noah’s scream alone had people’s stomachs churning.”
1. Hal’s parasite (season 2, episode 10: “A More Perfect Union”)
In last weekend’s season finale, fans were left with a cliffhanger for the eldest Mason brother – one final frightening image of Hal that’s sure to stay with us through the long wait to season 3.
When that parasite crawled across Hal’s face, I was yelling at the screen, “Swat it off! Swat it off! What are you doing just standing there?!” And then it cut to that look on his face, and I thought, “Oh. Ohh nooo.”
As if it wasn’t enough to gross us out with a parasite alien crawling underneath Hal’s skin, plus an extreme close-up of a parasite alien crawling out of Hal’s eye and across his face, with its black tail swishing back and forth and its six tiny legs, then we had to get chilled to the bone by this series of looks on his face: First, pleasure, as if he’s getting some kind of soothing massage, and then a slight nod of the head like he’s listening to whatever that slithering creature is saying in his brain (Nooo! Don’t listen to it, Hal!), and then that creepy, creepy smile (I never thought the adorable smile of our favorite high school jock-turned-alien resistance warrior could look so evil, verging on manic), and finally, a stony, ominous look of determination to accomplish whatever horrific mission this parasite has set out for him. Creeepy!
Drew Roy’s take: “They actually gave me quite a bit of artistic freedom on this one because when they wrote it, they had ideas of where they could take it, but truthfully, we didn’t know the exact direction it was gonna go… Since it was Karen who had planted this bug in me, I wanted to sort of go for a sensual kind of feel with this thing going into his brain, kind of like an endorphin explosion.”
As for what the future holds for parasite-infested Hal, Roy told EW that his prep for the shift in the role has included watching The Shining and Take Shelter.
Beyond that, he teased only this: “There’s gonna be a very blatant shock as to something that has happened to Hal, but it won’t be in a dark, creepy way that you might be thinking. That’s gonna unveil itself in the first episode. Then this second thing that’s revealed will just have you scratching your head and thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, how are we gonna get Hal back?’”
So, Falling Skies fans, what moments from the series gave you the heebie jeebies for days after you first watched them on TNT? Freaked out by Tom’s ascent into the overlord’s ship in the season 1 finale? Still haunted by the first time Ben stretched out his arms to communicate with the skitters? Still battling conflicting feelings about the bat-faced new alien in last weekend’s episode? Head on down to the comments section below, and tell us about your favorite gross, creepy and shocking scenes in Falling Skies.
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