Falling Skies’ season three rains down its fifth episode of the year with “Search and Recover,” as Tom and Pope struggle through the wilderness to return to Charleston, while Weaver leads a search party to find the missing Anne and Alexis.

Previous ‘Falling Skies’ episode “At All Costs” saw Tom meet with surviving U.S. President Benjamin Hathaway (Stephen Collins) to defend the Volm involvement in the war, while Anne discovered a startling truth about her baby, and Hal continued to fight his alien implant, so what does the latest episode bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Falling Skies’’ newest episode, “Search and Recover”!

Tom awakens in the flaming wreckage of the plane, seeing Bressler dead before dragging Pope to safety from the craft. Meanwhile, back at Charleston, Hal watches Maggie sleep, before Ben arrives to deliver the news of Anne’s disappearance. Dr. Kadar explains the chain of events in a meeting, but Marina reminds Weaver that Charleston only has so many to spare for a search party. In leaving with the remaining Masons however, Weaver brushes off Jeannie’s suggestion that Marina has feelings for him.

Pope finally wakes, and he and Tom are forced to hide from overhead beamers. By the next morning, the pair set off on the long journey home, as Tom realizes that the Charleston mole must have put a tracking device on Pope’s plane. Meanwhile, Weaver and the search party find a deceased woman on the road, and opt to bury and eulogize her as best they can.

Tom and Pope manage to build a fire, tersely sharing stories of one another’s pasts, while back in Charleston Marina visits Dr. Kadar’s lab, and asks him for engineering input into the mysterious device the Volm have begun to build. Meanwhile, Matt worries that his mother might have died alone, like the woman they buried, but Ben comforts his brother's worried thoughts.

After a night of bonding, Pope jokingly wakes Tom with a harmless snake, but Tom soon grows agitated, and the pair come to blows. The sounds of nearby Skitters break up the fight, and the creatures chase them to a cliffside river bank. Tom pushes Pope in and follows to escape the pursuing aliens, but by the time the pair wash up on shore, Tom realizes that he injured his ankle in the effort, and can’t walk.

Still out on Anne’s trail, Weaver's group finds evidence of a human traveling with Skitters, and theorize Ann has survived. With few other options however, the group turn around and hope to use Ben’s rebel Skitters to find out any information. Meanwhile, Pope splints Tom’s leg to little benefit, and Tom goads Pope into leaving him behind and saving himself. Back at Charleston, Kadar theorizes from the Volm device photos that it assembles a disproportionate amount of power for what the Volm claim its use is, alarming Marina.

Tom dreams of his children finding him in the forest before waking to the sounds of approaching Skitters. Just when the creatures go to attack however, Pope reappears and kills the Skitters, having found a nearby truck to take them the rest of the way home. Back at Charleston, Matt hangs a bracelet from the dead woman on the Liberty Tree, as does Ben for their mother, while Hal watches the pair ominously.

Guards outside of Charleston find a wounded Tom and Pope returning, and Tom awakens two days later to find Pope waiting at his bedside. The pair set aside their rivalry for the moment, before Weaver and the Masons tell Tom of Anne’s disappearance.

Well, from an honest-to-goodness plane crash cliffhanger in the episode before, we confess to feeling a bit let down by "Search and Recover." Tom and Pope's relationship has long been one of the more fascinating components of the series, and it always endears to have Noah Wyle and Colin Cunningham play off one another, but the episode itself feels like more of an excuse to do exactly that, rather than following the story so urgently built up by the previous episode.

The same could be said of Weaver and the Mason's search for Anne, which offers a few nice moments for Ben and Matt, and even Weaver and Jeannie, but ultimately amounts to very little actual plot development. Overall, we can appreciate the need for any good TV season to devote an episode to lower-budget character exploration, but we might have appreciated one that didn't so drastically suck the air out of its previous storylines, or create conflict between characters for the sake of story.

Did you get your fill of Skitter-y ‘Falling Skies’ action? What did you think about tonight’s episode? Join the discussion in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for another recap when ‘Falling Skies’ returns with “Be Silent and Come Out” on TNT!

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