The episode starts out with what one might assume is a dream, or more to the point a nightmare. Matt is seen riding his ripstick through deserted streets while some skitters are following him. He ends up at a dead end and 2 skitter close in to take their prize. Just as the one skitter reaches for an anxious Matt, a shot rings out and its head is blown off. The same thing happens to the next one shortly after.
We see who was firing and it was Boon and Tector with the big gun. And it appears Matt was in on the attack, used to lure the skitters into a place they could be killed. My question is, didn’t they learn from Jimmy’s death due to Ben and Jimmy being reckless? The truth is Boon and Tector were assigned to go out looking for skitters and kill them if needed but somehow I don’t think Tom knows Matt is being used to lure in skitters.
Out on patrol Ben and Hal spot a lot of mechs covering a sugar factory near by and notice the building has power. Hal brushes it off as not their concern. Ben is very quiet and Hal calls him out on it saying he eats by himself and barely sleeps. Ben and Hal turn around to find their bikes stolen by a bunch of kids. Ben uses a new ability, that Hal is just finding out about to hear the engines and know which way they are headed. First time we see Ben smile in awhile.
Back at camp, Tom and Anne have a light hearted moment of joking and talking with each other in the med bus. The 2nd mass found a food store that has given them enough food for weeks. It didn’t take long for them to get into a close embrace and kiss, and then Lourdes walks in on them….AWKWARD.
Ben and Hal track down the bike thief’s and Hal decides to go in the front while Ben tracks around the high ground to keep him covered. Inside they find a large group of kids hiding out. They all pull out their guns at Hal, but Ben gets the drop on them, and Hal counts down to Ben shooting them if needed. Hal notices the kids are starving and in need of some food and offers to take them back to the 2nd mass for food, water and supplies to fix up their bikes.
At camp Matt, Boon and Tector are having some fun over the kills they just had and Tom walks up. Tom finds out Matt was used to lure skitters and he is pissed. Tom sends Boon and Tector to the sanitation crew and take them off sniper duty. Matt is very upset that Tom ruined his fun. Hal and Ben show up with the kids and it turns out the girl with Diego is Weavers daughter.
Weaver and his daughter talk about what happen to her Mom, she died of a heart attack. She thought her father was dead. The kids are all outside playing skitter ball (soccer) and Diego talks to Hal about skitter patrols near by. Diego sees it but Hal doesn’t, that Maggie is into Hal. Is Hal the only person who doesn’t see it?
Matt and Tom talk again and Tom tries to explain to him that what he did wasn’t smart and he could have gotten himself killed. Matt, having the same quick wit as his brother Ben, quips back ‘and neither was getting on an alien ship dad’. Ouch, burn. As the kids and Diego get ready to leave, Lourdes asks him if he knows what happen in Mexico where her family is and he gives her the bad news.
Hal, Ben, Maggie go with Diego and the others to take the supplies back and come back to find the rest of the kids they left behind missing and an apparent skitter attack had occurred. One of the kids survived and was hiding. He explained the skitters came and took all the kids. The look on Bens face is one of horror and a bit of fear, as he knows all too well where they were taken. They were taken to be harnessed.
Weaver and the others quiz Ben on what he remembers about being harnessed. Ben explains they first took him into a holding chamber, where they kept the kids. Then some time later, he was taken into a harnessing chamber to be harnessed and he doesn’t remember anything after that. This is a very uncomfortable spot for Ben. The one thing he refuses to let happen, is let another kid get harnessed. Not unlike Popes distain for humans who deal with the skitters.
Tom tells Ben he doesn’t need to go with them, and Ben questions why. Tom thinks it will bring back too many bad memories for Ben, being back at a harnessing facility. Ben says “are you worried ill freak out?” Tom says no, and Ben says great because I’m going. As Weaver and the other prepare to head out to find the kids, they learn that Diego and the others left without them to save their people and Weaver discovers that Matt went with them. The team arrives at the factory and heads in.
We see Matt, but only his head through a hole on a flat board. We find out he is strapped down to the board, unable to move his arms or feet. He looks to his left and sees another boy harnessed, and to his right one of the boys from Deigos group, Johnny in the same situation as him. A skitter comes up and starts petting Matt as he struggles to get free but can’t. The skitter moves on to Johnny as Weavers daughter, who was also taken, trys to calm him down. We see the harnesses in some kind of water tank swimming around. A sound is made and a harness is pushed out onto a ramp and starts to slither its way to Johnny.
The restraints are improved it would seem. In the comic that discusses Karens harnessing, the aliens comment that the harness doesn’t always take and that the subject must remain still to avoid losing the harness and the kid. So they said a better restraint system was need. It appears they have one. The harness lands on Johnnys back and he start to scream, as the skitter continues to pet his head and hold him still. Matt looks on in horror as the harness gets to his neck and stands up. Out of its mouth comes a large bundle of tentacles that borrow directly into the brain steam. Johnny is not slient and we see the blood veins nearly pop out of his head. The harness than lifts up its back and spikes come out that then impail themselves into the rest of Johnnys back. At this point, he is being pumped fully of opiates and the harness takes shape and settles on the boy as it continues to pump its solution into him.
By far this has got to top last years creepy ‘cuddle’ scene with the skitter by 100x. Now Matt is next, as the skitter comes back over to him and holds his head down as he screams for his dad. Little does he know in the nearby holding chamber, Maggie finds the kids who had not been taken into the harness chamber and begins to free them. The harness lands on Matts back and prepares to attach to his back when Tom storms in and starts shooting the skitter and kills it. Just as the harness is about to latch on his back Tom grabs it, throws it to the ground and shots it.
With Matt saved and Weavers daughter, Bens attention is caught by the harness pool that the creatures are in and he walks up to. Just as he gets close, his spikes light up again. It appears Ben is connected not just to Red-Eye but all the aliens, including the harnesses themselves. You hear them communicate with him just like Red-Eye and Ben puts his hand up on the glass and one of the harnesses swims up to his hand and responds to Ben. The worst part for Ben, is Hal sees his glowing spikes. Bens secret has been found out by Hal. But what is Hal going to do with this information. Once Bens spike go out, he starts to shot the glass, causing a torrent of water to pour out and he begins shooting every last harness he can find.
A rouge harness crawls its way to Weaver and bites him in the leg. Somehow I think Weaver will end up getting sick or poisoned as a result of this bite. They leave taking everyone they can back to camp. Weaver is given antibiotics and has an emotional talk with his daughter. Diego and his daughter end up leaving without him knowing, leaving only a note. On sentry duty, Hal confronts Ben about his spikes. Ben says he is mistaken about and Hal asks if that is how he is going to play it. Ben says yes, he is going to not tell anyone. Who would understand glowing spikes? Half of the 2nd mass still think he killed Jimmy. He tells him he can rat him out if he wants, but he is not going to sign his own death warrant. Hal says he is his brother and all he wants to do is help. Ben says ‘I know but you need to back off’.
This episode was truly about the youngest of the 2nd mass, the young bloods. In fact it wasn’t just about the humans young, but the aliens young as well: harnesses. Young Matt really wants to help but makes the same mistake Ben did in putting himself in harms way more than once. It nearly resulted in Matt getting harnessed. All of the children found hiding out on their own, thinking they were safer without adults, found themselves taken by the skitters and losing some of their own. This episode brings back to the forefront the key reason why humanity is fighting back: to save their children.
This episode also helped push another story arc into the public eye. We knew from Compass that Ben has a growing connection with the aliens but we thought it was limited to red-eye, the first distinct skitter we have seen. However, after Young Bloods we understand this connection is with all of the aliens, from the harnesses, skitters and likely the overlords too. What made this point most important to revisit in Young Bloods was before now only Ben knew about this. Now Hal has seen it and its only a matter of time before someone else does and word gets out. How long can Ben survive with the 2nd mass if they find out he has a growing connection with the aliens that causes him to lose control of himself. How long before someone betrays him?