Ask and you shall receive. That’s pretty much the first thing that came to mind after watching the Falling Skies season 3 finale. Every question that had been raised throughout the course of the season was finally answered and some new and intriguing ones were brought to light for season 4. Everything you want out of a finale. I’m here to give a score for the season as a whole as Trey and Josh have already gone over the beginning and the end of the season with you and I’m in agreement with what they had to say. The beginning was great and refreshingly new but lost a lot of focus and momentum during the mid-season. I am happy to report that the show more than found it’s way again and ended with a bang.
Ending the Mason’s family rescue mission to save Anne and the baby was a good movie. That whole story angle felt out of place and forced. What it did allow for was to separate Tom and let him get captured by Karen and the Espheni and for us to get a refreshing change of pace episode. Seeing an episode inside of Tom’s mind gave us something new when it was needed the most. It was interesting to see Tom clean shaven and before the war. It reminded me very much of the flash sideways episodes from the final season of Lost.
The reveal of the mole was a season long angle and I have to say that I was quite happy with the payoff. I liked that while nobody ever truly believed the mole was Hal, they still went down that road. The scope of what the mole was able to accomplish was quite impressive. When the reveal finally came, I have to admit that I never saw it coming. It also led to one of the more disturbing, yet really cool scenes that we have seen. Multiple eye worms is all I’m saying. I thought it was brilliant of the directors to reveal who the mole was to the audience a good ways before they let the characters find out who it was. A great way to renew excitement in the show.
In the end, it all came down to the final battle that the whole season had been leading to. I have to say that the battle climax was a bit underwhelming but the season finale as a whole was amazing. It all comes down to the human spirit and Tom’s military history knowledge as always plays a huge part. The Volm’s true intentions are finally revealed and I was quite satisfied with the answer when I truly believed that I wasn’t going to like any direction that they chose for the story arc.
When it comes to acting, Falling Skies continues to cover the full spectrum for me. There are the terrific ones in Noah Wyle, Will Patton, and Colin Cunningham. (Tom, Weaver, and Pope) They play their roles like they were born to be those characters. Every bit of emotion is worn on their sleeves. It seems like every line they deliver, especially Cunningham, is delivered perfectly.
Then there are the middle grounders. Seychelle Gabriel, Moon Bloodgood, Connor Jessup, and Jessy Schram (Lourdes, Anne, Ben, and Karen) all do just fine in their roles. I’m just never blown away by any of their performances. All of them have a tendency to over act at times, but nothing egregious. Certainly they all have their moments, but I really think that if they ever had to replace any of them, I don’t think they show would suffer or even miss a beat.
Then there is the bad end of the spectrum. I have to list Drew Roy (Hal) here. I haven’t cared for his character all that much throughout the entire show, but for some reason all of his lines in this season just felt so forced and over dramatized. I do have to say that the scene when he is having the bug removed was brilliant. He did an amazing job, so I know he has it in him. I wonder sometimes whether this was the best role for him. But really, if we are talking about bad acting, the list begins and ends with Maxim Knight (Matt). Even his real life name annoys me. I know that I have a tendency to be hard on child actors, but this kid just flat out can’t act. They don’t have any way for him to be relevant to the story so they force him to over act childhood mischief scenes. It’s absolutely unbearable. I kid you not, I actually checked to see if this was Famke Janssen’s kid. I will dance the day they get rid of this kid.
And that brings me to one of my final points. Will they get rid of Matt? Will they get rid of anybody? This show is getting dangerously close to getting into Heroes territory, where the show suffers because they are truly afraid to kill off any major characters. Certain characters go away and then they inevitably will be back. They have done a masterful job of making a story about an alien invasion remain realistic. But if they continue to keep every single major character around, the realism is going to continue to slip away. The only characters they we had any emotional attachment to have been Dai and Jimmy, who both died in season 2. Yet in the grand scheme of things they were still ancillary characters. I need to believe than Tom or Hal or Weaver can die, and right now I just don’t.
If I was rating just the season finale, I do want you guys to know that it truly was amazing. It was a solid 9.5 to me. But looking at the season as a whole, I do have to dock it a few points. Josh made the point that in a ten episode format, a bad episode has much more of a negative impact, and I could not agree more. The middle of this season had some truly uncharacteristically bad and sometimes just plain boring episodes. Don’t get me wrong though, I still loved this season. I loved how it ended, and I really believe that the show is back on the right track. Without spoiling too much, I do have to say that the 2nd Mass is back on the road and that is truly where they should be. The story never grew stale until the group became stationary. I’m really looking forward to where the story goes now. Nobody benefits from the 2nd Mass being back on the road more than Weaver. His role as the military leader and motivator of the group is perfect. It felt that when they were stationary, his character was just sort of withering away. Only showing life when they were out on an attack. I truly look forward to him taking the fight on the road once more. And for the love of God can we please get some more Tector?!?!?!? Where the heck has he been? While not a major character, he has always been one of my favorites. I spotted him a few times, but he seems to have just disappeared!
I really believe that the producers have the show back on track and know where they are taking the show now. They have raised just enough new questions for the next season, while at the same time they have returned it to it’s roots. Next season has been confirmed to be twelve episodes long, which I believe will really help the show with its story development. If there are a few less than stellar episodes they won’t be felt as strongly, although I of course hope that I love them all! I can’t wait till next summer when I can once again look to the skies!