What They Say:
Young Bloods – Ben and Hal try to help a young boy while out on patrol; a discovery is made during the search; Weaver is reunited with a family member.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Survival of the fittest is an amusing thing when you get down to it since fit generally implies physical prowess and ability. When taking it into the modern world, and a world like this one where the aliens have won for the most part, it’s more about survival skills themselves combined with intelligence and what you can gather. Case in point is one of the main arcs of this episode in which a lot of younger people, not exactly kids per se, have managed to survive and take out their fair share of skitters as well. The mistake they make while getting more vehicles so they can find someplace else to go is that they come across Ben and Hal and take their bikes. And with Ben’s heightened skills, it doesn’t take too much to track them down.
While Hal isn’t intent on taking them all into the camp simply because of the lack of supplies they have, he does want to help with some bike parts and brings some of them back with them to get what they can. What’s interesting is that one of the kids is actually Weaver’s daughter, Janie, and it brings about a rather good little reunion, especially after the incident that Tom was just dealing with where his youngest son was being used as Skitter bait. Willingly, but that’s pretty much beside the point as we’re seeing more of the other survivors that aren’t thinking things through clearly. Much like they wouldn’t have even if the world hadn’t pretty much ended, so in a way it’s good to see that stupidity transcends an alien invasion.
All of it leads back to the building that Ben and Hal discovered at the start of the episode where the Skitters had started it back up and put power to it. When everyone returns to the kids hideout, discovering that they’ve all disappeared, it becomes obvious that the place has been turned into a harness facility. This brings in some of the tensions between the two groups, especially the father/daughter dynamic for Weaver and Janie that doesn’t play too well since it’s all based on emotion and not actual logic of the situation. With her boyfriend putting his own thoughts into the mix, it turns bad quickly and just leads to more and more issues along the way.
We didn’t get much of a look at how the harnessing was done in the first season, more just seeing the results and how it unfolded with trying to free Ben from it. This time around we get to see the process up close and personal as the various kids that were captured at first go through the process and the others that tried to save them getting caught up in it as well. It actually is interesting to see how low-tech it is for the Skitters to do this in this situation but also just the fear and panic exhibited by the kids as the situation turns nasty for them. It has a pretty personal approach to when you consider that Matt is caught up in it and he had seen the real results of what happened to his brother.
The show deals with a few different things here and even though certain elements are certainly predictable, it handles them well. I felt some of the material when it came to Weaver and his daughters was more forced than it needed to be, but it also had a ring of truth to it as well. What I particularly liked was getting a better look at how the Skitters handle their harness process, at least when it comes to an “outpost” like this. It had the right air about it in regards to the kids reactions, which is something we hadn’t gotten before since we’d only seen kids after they were taken and put through the process. This episode adds a bit more detail to things and definitely works Ben over some more, highlighting what he’s going through and making his connection to the harness creatures all the more apparent for Hal to start questioning. Ben’s taking more of a central role here and while it was awkward in the first season, it’s becoming more interesting this season.