Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Falling Skies ends strong second season Sunday

I love science fiction as a genre.

It’s not the alien encounters, though, that thrill me. It’s the human reaction to those alien encounters.

That’s what TNT’s ‘Falling Skies’ does so well – the human aspect.

The show, which ends its second season Sunday, is a program about an alien invasion that has wiped out the majority of the human race.
It’s also about a father who is struggling to raise three sons while he gets over the death of his wife and finds himself fighting a war instead of teaching in a classroom.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the intense action scenes that pepper the ‘Falling Skies’ world.

It’s the quieter moments, though, that I love.

The first season of ‘Falling Skies’ ended on a dubious note last summer when Tom Mason (Noah Wylie) opted to go on an alien ship in an effort to save his middle son Ben (Connor Jessup) who was “harnessed” by the aliens as slave labor.

When the second season picked up, three months had passed and Tom had traversed a great distance to reunite with his family. But was he still Tom Mason? Or had the aliens done something to him?

‘Falling Skies’ is gutsy in some respects. Several characters have been killed off this season – including the beloved Jimmy and the more reviled Rick – and the show doesn’t shy away from having the characters do despicable things. Heroine Maggie, for example, recently admitted to being a former drug addict who gave birth in prison.

Will Patton’s Captain Weaver, a former military man, is also facing his past as a bad father while he tries to protect the one remaining family member he has left – his daughter Jane.

The characters of ‘Falling Skies’ aren’t all good or all bad. They’re just real people trying to survive an outrageous situation.

The bulk of this season has revolved around an alien rebellion (Fifth Column on ‘V’ anyone?) and a trip to the new capital of the United States – Charleston.

I’m less invested in the alien rebellion than I am in the trip to Charleston – but I find both stories compelling.

While Ben has fled to aid the alien rebellion, his family has moved on to Charleston – which they thought was a chance at a “normal” life.

What they’ve found is a truly “normal” life – where politics is more important than survival.

The survivors of the Second Massachusetts have learned that the old adage – be careful what you wish for – is true . . . even when the world has been taken over by aliens.

Kudos to Terry O’Quinn, though, as the new “president.” O’Quinn always brings gravitas to his roles – but his smarmy take on politics in a fallen world is interesting – to say the least.

I have no idea how the second season will end – although I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Quinn’s character is killed off. After all, we know he’s got a new ABC show this fall.

I can only hope for three things in the finale:

* That Ben Mason returns and reunites with his family.

* That Maggie finally allows herself to trust Hal.

*And that Pope manages to prove he’s not completely barren of a soul.

If you look at my list you’ll realize the irony of wishing for advances in human relationships on an action show – but that’s what ‘Falling Skies’ offers in the end: A whole lot of heart.

What do you think? Are you ready for the season finale of ‘Falling Skies’?


Blogger SelinaB said...

Although much of the finale was predictable, I enjoyed every minute of it! When I initially started watching this show with several of my girlfriends from Dish, where I work, I was expecting guns, aliens, and tons of action. We were all pleasantly surprised by Falling Skies’ emotional depth, and so we came back for more and have relished every episode of season two. I’ve saved the entire second season to my Hopper since the hard drive is so big, and I can’t wait to watch it all again before the third season starts. Part of me hopes that they start season three where two left off, but with all the changes going on with the characters, I think it’d be cool to see them after six months has passed.

August 21, 2012 at 9:45 PM 

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