The 2nd mass had 2 unexpected guests in Compass, one from above and our alien friend. The real question is who can we trust? The Charleston idea sounds good, almost too good. If they do go there, will they fall into another trap like before?
Ben had a run in with our Red-Eyed skitter friend and that has left a lot of questions about his connection with the skitter and how much he is able to communicate with the aliens. This story arc will continue in unfold next week with Young Bloods. Ben has very little respect for himself and those of the 2nd mass also distrust him greatly.
Ben and Jimmy went hunting skitters and Jimmy ended up getting killed as a result. In Greg Beemans recent blog post, he talked about what it was like to have to break the news to a cast member that their character was going to die.
One of the saddest and most difficult things about this episode, both behind the scenes and in the show is the death of Jimmy. Dylan Authors plays Jimmy, and has been in FALLING SKIES since the pilot. He is a lovely, funny kid who is incredibly happy to be on the show. Dylan is from Toronto where his father is one of the top assistant directors in town. So he comes from a show-biz family and is pretty savvy about how things work. Because we relocated the show to Vancouver this season, Dylan and his Mom (as well as Mpho Koaho) had to take the long cross continental trip to the west coast.
Well, I don’t know when the god’s of filmmaking made a rule that the show’s Producer-Director is the one who has to tell actors they’re going to be killed… But many years I have been the one that has to either take an actor out to dinner, or into my office, or on a walk away from set – to let them know that they’re character is not coming back to the show. The first actor I ever did this with was Eric Johnson, who played “Whitney,” Lana Lang’s quarterback boyfriend on the first season of SMALLVILLE. In that case the writer’s felt that the Lana-Clark story couldn’t progress if Whitney stayed around, Eric took it well and so did Dylan.
I’ve learned that as soon as I say, “Hey can we talk privately” to an actor, or any crew member – they get nervous. So it’s best just to sit them down, not beat around the bush and say what’s what. I brought Dylan in and told him straight up. “The script for episode 3 is going to come out tomorrow, and before it does, I want you to know that, in that script your character is going to die.’ Then I told him how much we loved him personally and as an actor, but that the cool thing about our show is that people that we and the fans love actually have to die from time-to-time, in order to keep the stakes high and the world we’re telling stories about real. I also told him that the writer’s were largely doing it because of the direction they wanted to take both Weaver’s character and Ben’s character. They felt they needed a strong inciting incident to push both of their stories along.
I could tell it was tough on him, but Dylan took it well. There’s not much to say guess. Then the next thing he asked me is, “How do I die.”
“Well, it’s pretty good…” I said, “You get picked up by a skitter, thrown 20 feet and impaled on a tree.”
He smiled, “cool!”
I had told Noah Wyle about Jimmy’s impending death, and Noah had asked me if, to let him know as soon as I told Dylan. Noah took Dylan on a walk around the production offices. I’m not sure what he said, but he definitely cheered him up. The cast rallied around Dylan. They took him out to a big dinner one night. I’m not sure if ya’ll know this but Collin Cunningham is a masterful magician. Dylan had become Collin’s protégé and had learned a number of impressive magic tricks from him. At the dinner both Collin and Dylan put on an impressive display of magic to loud applause. Later, at the script read-through (which we do just a day before we begin shooting) and again on his last day of shooting, Dylan was again given a standing ovation.
Checkout this video: Unanswered Questions for the episode Compass and more BTS pictures from Greg Beeman.