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
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”
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