Outside the camp, Mason and Hal train with crossbows - a 'silent' weapon for their covert mission - and Maggie continues to flirt with the eldest Mason child as she gives him a few pointers. Helpfully, it turns out that Maggie is familiar with the hospital where Ben and the harnessed kids are being held, so she offers to join the Masons on their mission. Meanwhile, Moon Bloodgood's Anne finally gets some emotional development - it's revealed that she has a missing son, but mysteriously refuses to put a photo of her offspring up on the camp's notice-board of hope.
Back in the lab, Dr. Harris is intrigued when the captured Skitter begins to behave oddly, but the creature is smarter than it appears - it's all a ploy and the alien swiftly dispatches Harris. Weaver is understandably pissed and gives Anne 24 hours to get the answers she needs from the creature, before he kills it himself. Elsewhere in the camp, Hal attempts to converse with the recently de-harnessed Rick, but the emotionally stunted teenager is far from talkative. Hal tries to enquire about the harnessed kids, but Robot-Rick is not playing ball, and warns him "They'll kill you all".
In the lab, Anne preps Hal and Mason for the mission, explaining that the aliens' "soft spot" is in its mouth, which links directly to the brain. It's now clear that Anne has some issues, as she shocks the Skitter with a taser and then brutally slaughters it as a 'demonstration'. Emotionally fraught, Anne finally explains to Mason that she can't put a picture of her son on the board, as she doesn't have a single photo left of her family. It's been a bad day for Anne, but it's about to get worse…
As they prepare to break into the hospital, Mason and Hal share another emotional father-and-son moment, but luckily Noah Wyle's a good actor and his performance helps skip over any mawkishness. Hal sneaks into the hospital with Rick's harness strapped to his back and joins a line of zombie kids, but the children soon fall down to sleep, while a 'mother' Skitter strokes their faces. As Hal gets his own immensely creepy hair tussle, he spots his brother Ben among the group. Outside, Mason becomes worried for his son, and is led into the building by the ever-knowledgeable Maggie. As Mama Skitter sleeps, Hal prepares to stab it, but Ben wakes and telepathically warns the creature. Mason arrives just in time to put his newly-developed crossbow skills to good use, and Hal finishes the alien off. Who says family activities can't be fun?
As the episode concludes, it's time for a traditional 'happy campers' moment - this time round, it's pregnant Sarah's baby shower. Anne broods a while - and who can blame her - but eventually joins in the fun. That night, the Mason family gather around the sleeping Ben, observed by Weaver, who shares a manly nod of mutual respect with Tom Mason. Weaver retires to embrace his stifled emotions, listening to the song that had upset him earlier in the day. But there's one last shock in store - Ben wakes up and it seems he's a lot more switched on than Rick, recognising his Dad almost immediately. With Ben recovered and on the mend, what's next for Mason and co.?
WATCHING THE SKIES…
* We've complained about Moon Bloodgood being underused, so it's great to see Anne finally get a decent emotional arc this time round.
* However, it's a shame to see Harris - one of the show's more interesting characters - killed off, and in such a perfunctory manner. His relationship with Mason had a lot more mileage in it.
* It's a smart move on the writers' part to to wrap up the 'hunt for Ben' arc as the first season of Falling Skies reaches its mid-point. We're intrigued to see where the story goes from here…
* Best line this week: When Mason dismisses Hal's new rescue plan as crazy, Weaver replies: "I don't know what's crazy anymore - we're fighting aliens from outer space." Fair point, Weaver, fair point.