As you probably saw from my last post on Falling Skies (and probably assumed from my lack of posts since), I’m more than a little disappointed with the show as of late. I hate to be so negative on it. I used to be such a fan of the show. I was enthralled with its early seasons. I love Hal, Maggie, Anne, Matt — even Pope. And yet, in a season that should be pushing the limits and dramatically leading to the end of the 2nd Mass (in one way or another), it’s just falling flat. We’re getting more of the same, episode after episode, which is quite frankly odd, considering that we’ve added a new race of alien into the mix.
Take, for example, last night’s episode. Here, we have Tom desperately trying to find Hal and Pope, while the rest of the 2nd Mass is in a standoff with a random stranger who, we discover, has lost his family. This is a middle-of-the-road, one-off plotline, which should have appeared somewhere in the third season. A random attack on the side of the road by an individual, discovering the loss he’s experienced? We’re way beyond that. Introducing new characters, like the gal Pope brought on as his “nurse”? What are we? Mad Men?
If that doesn’t convince you, consider Cochise from the previous episode. Suddenly he’s dying and needs a transplant? Even his father’s death didn’t change anything for the 2nd Mass, even though he was head of their ally alien race. Ultimately, all of these B-plots aren’t advancing the story.
The season is advertised as “the final battle,” and I suppose that’s the problem. What battle? We’re still facing the same ol’ war on the same ol’ turf with the same ol’ enemies. Sure, now they can be bugs (which we know nothing about). And there’s also a third alien race in the mix, courtesy of Tom (which we also know nothing about — and don’t seem to care to look into). There’s no indication of where this season is headed, and we’re only five episodes away from a finale. Sure, True Detective might be able to fit the drama, tension, and plot in the last two episodes of their second season, but Falling Skies isn’t quite that contained. We need to know that there’s an end point. And if there isn’t — if we find out in the finale that the humans can’t win and their way of life is to fight on — we still need tension to build until we get there.
What’s worse is that our favorite characters are suffering. Hal has nothing to do except occasionally declare his love for Maggie, but they’ve barely put them in scenes together. Ben and Maggie supposedly have this sexual tension, but beyond a forced declaration of “feelings” as their spikes were glowing in the last episode, we haven’t seen it. Tom is, quite possibly, unbearable. Pope is so one-dimensional it hurts. Heck, Sarah didn’t even get a good death scene because you could see her boots in the mud (seriously, go back and watch; you can see her kneeling where her legs are supposed to be underground). Where did the quality go?
I’m going to try to stick it out to the end. If Falling Skies has done anything well, it’s their finales. But I’m really finding it hard to get excited about the show, especially considering how amped I was about it when it premiered.
I would just hate to see the 2nd Mass drag their feet the end of the series. It’s one thing to win a war for Earth, but I’d hate to see them lose their fans in the process.
*Photo by TNT