"Live and Learn"
Season 1, Episode 1
Episode 1
Air date June 19th, 2011
Written by Robert Rodat
Directed by Carl Franklin
US Viewers 5.91M
Episode Guide
The Armory
Cast Guide
Noah Wyle as Tom Mason
Moon Bloodgood as Anne Glass
Drew Roy as Hal Mason
Jessy Schram as Karen Nadler
Maxim Knight as Matt Mason
Seychelle Gabriel as Lourdes Delgado
Peter Shinkoda as Dai
Mpho Koaho as Anthony
Connor Jessup as Ben Mason
Will Patton as Daniel F. Weaver
Also Starring
Bruce Gray as Uncle Scott
Dale Dye as Jim Porter

"Live and Learn" is the first episode of Season 1, and overall the first episode of Falling Skies. It was written by Robert Rodat and directed by Carl Franklin. It first aired on TNT on June 19 and drew 5.91 million US viewers.

Plot SynopsisEdit

The world is left in tatters after a sudden, unprovoked and unexplained invasion by aliens, leaving the planet’s remaining human population to fight for survival against the occupiers. History professor Tom Mason has been named second in command for the 2nd Mass, but his real focus is on his three sons, one of whom has been captured by the aliens and is used as a mindless slave, controlled by a mysterious harness.


In the opening scene, young children tell their versions of the invasion. They draw pictures of their families, kids with harnesses and the alien airships. Tom Mason's son, Matt, tells Anne Glass that his mother died during the attacks and his older brother, Ben, was kidnapped. He then shows her a picture of his father and older brother, Hal. Matt informs Anne that they are fighting. In a dark street, Tom and Hal look for food. They grab a food kart, but are ambushed by robotic aliens, known as "Mechs", which destroy the food. As Tom and Hal run away, soldiers fire guns at the aliens behind barricades. The aliens destroy the barricade and kill the soldiers. Tom and Hal hide in an empty store. They exit, finding Weaver and other soldiers armed with guns. An airship flies overhead and fires, causing a bright light to consume the atmosphere around them. The group runs away back to their base.

Upon arrival, Tom sees his son Matt asleep and picks him up. He talks to his friend, Anne who tells him about his son's drawings. Tom is then called by Col. Porter for a meeting. There, Porter discusses his plan to leave the city and break off into groups. The alien air ships can detect groups of humans over 600 persons so he splits his brigade into smaller groups consisting of 100 fighters and 200 civilians. He puts Weaver in charge of the 2nd Mass and Tom as his second-in-command.

The following day, the fighters and civilians begin to move. They search for food in stores but find no luck. Weaver tells Tom that they can't go back looking for more food as the numbers are too large. Tom volunteers to go back. Weaver gives him six fighters and a pickup truck. Hal, Karen, Dai, AnthonyClick and Jimmy join Tom in the hunt for food. Hal and Karen leave the group to search for aliens. Hal sees Mechs and harnessed kids with them. It is there that he sees his brother, Ben. He immediately returns to tell his father. They are both overjoyed, yet Tom insists that they stick with the mission at hand. Hal disagrees and tries to go and find his brother, but Tom wrestles him to the ground and convinces him to do the job the "right way".

The group finds a supply store with food and scout the area for aliens. Finding none, they load the food into the truck. Hal is attacked by a Skitter. Tom fires at it and his son runs away. A Mech is alerted and comes after Tom. Hal stops it by firing at it. It then runs after Hal. Tom puts C-4 in a shopping kart and wheels it next to the Mech, killing it. The Skitter comes after Tom, but Dai shoots it. The alien dies slowly due to its gunshot wound and the group observes it before it dies.

The six fighters return and Tom informs Weaver of their success. He then tells Weaver that he and Hal must go looking for Ben. Weaver declines and says they must raid the armory for weapons. Tom agrees, but tells him after that, they will go and find him. Before the 2nd Mass leave the city, Hal gives his brother his birthday gift, a Ripstick that he acts like is from Tom. The children of the 2nd Mass play with it as the adults watch. Weaver tells Tom it is time to leave and they all mount out on foot.

Other CastEdit





  • This episode marks the beginning of Falling Skies.
  • The pilot was filmed in 2009 in Oshawa, Ontario.
  • In the United States, the two-hour series premiere achieved a viewership of 5.91 million, making it the most-watched series premiere of 2011.