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Falling Skies Review: All Coup-Ed Up

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Well, that was awfully quick and awfully interesting.

A great deal went down on the penultimate episode of Falling Skies Season 2, as the Second Mass arrived in Charleston... discovered just how inviting a mall food court could actually be... took classes... fired guns... learned about the society's attempt at self-government... were introduced to politicians and military men... met another harnessed boy.... received a message from Red Eye... and helped stage a coup.

No, seriously, a great deal went down on "The Price of Greatness."

Tom & His Mentor

It's hard to complain after last week's especially slow episode, and even harder when acting heavyweights such as Noah Wyle and Terry O'Quinn are squaring off, but the show may have been better served if events on this installment were spread out over the course of two weeks.

Instead, we both met O'Quinn's Arthur Manchester and were turned against him in a matter of minutes.

From the moment the Mass descended that elevator, life in Charleston was clearly amiss. It was almost too obvious and too neatly depicted. Maggie was arrested. Matty hated school. Anne was disrespected. Everything was spelled out as overtly as possible: things aren't right here.

One more complaint before we get to the good stuff: Why do the Berserkers always want to go elsewhere? What else could possibly be out there?

I get they are a rebellious bunch obviously, but it would help to learn why. Why would Pope and company be so intent on leaving Charleston in their rearview mirror? At this point, we're just meant to accept the rebels as rebels, acting contrary to whatever situation they find themselves in simply... because. I could use some more.

But we did get more in terms of the overall picture. There's a lot to ponder heading into next Sunday's finale. Can Red Eye really be trusted? Is Arthur simply power-hungry or might he have a point about laying low? Where is Ben? What is the alien plan of attack?

Between Hal and Maggie's relationship (they shared a sweet moment this week), Pope being Pope and Weaver's reunion with Jane, Falling Skies has done a solid job tying personal connections into the greater narrative of creatures trying to destroy all of mankind. I feel invested this season, not just anxious for the next action-packed Skitter shootout.

There is a finale on the way, though, and with Tom leading the latest American Revolution, there are many storylines coalescing, pitting not just alien against human, but human against human. Did this episode feel a bit rushed and jammed together? Yes.

But did it get me excited and curious for how a strong season would wrap up? Oh heck yes.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (44 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Charleston is toast. The writers continually hit us over the head with Revolutionary War references and Charleston fell to the British at the start of their campaign to shift the war to the south. I even suspect the scene where Hal is told the Charleston troops haven't fired in battle is a setup to a battle of Cowpens reenactment (poorly trained militia fired at British, fell back as if in retreat and the charging British are torn apart by the seasoned regular army who hid behind the militia).

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Manchester is _so_ in with Overlords. It's pretty obvious that he's one of the ones who the Overlord convinced to herd the survivors to one place. Charleston is exactly what the Overlord described, and what Tom then imagined would be the reality. I wouldn't be surprised if the aliens don't take too kindly to the 2nd Mass coming back out. The biggest clue? A de-harnessed child comes in and tells them Red Eye wants to talk. That means that at least one skitter knows where they are... And there is no panic in the reaction from Manchester - no immediate jump for significant defence or scouting parties. Charleston is a concentration camp. Full stop.

Fortyseven

Pacing, plotting, writing are all poor on FS. They picked the worst possibility for Charleston. This episode was rushed but last episode was excruciatingly slow and boring. Hal/Maggie is ridiculous. Maggie's all right. Magiie needs to get to fire her Colts more often. Pope is one of the few saving graces.

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The writing on this show is so fucking bad it's insulting. The only thing worse than the writing is the casting. Everyone is wrong for their role... well, except one bright spot. The kid who plays the middle son is somehow actually capable of taking his character beyond the puerile writing and deliver something watchable and believable. This kid has some serious talent. Most of the others are obviously just painting by the numbers and collecting their 6-figure weekly checks.

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The berserkers should change their name to the whiners. All they do is complain about things then pout like four year olds. They are just as scarey. No one I know would follow such idiotic leaders as Tom and the military guy whose name I don't care to remember. Hal and Maggie? Sure the ex heroine addict, jail bird, multiple brain tumored/brain surgeried and gang rape victim is finding a cute high school crush with the idiotic son. Ridiculous as this sounds... she is one of the better drawn characters in this show! I can't wait for the upcoming episodes where she reveals she was also abused, orphaned, homeless, has a false eye, suffers from chronic hemorrhoids and her pet doggie ran away when she was 7.

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Pope's twist on being offered the opportunity to burn Tom was nicely done.

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Perhaps I am a bit paranoid but after everything they went through to get to Charleston, the evil aliens still out there, one of the first things the Second Mass is told is surrender your weapons. A communal armory doesn't cut it with me, if the crap hits the fan with another alien attack I wouldn't want to have to go to a armory to get a weapon. That is what told me that something was rotten in Denmark, I mean Charleston.

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I liked the episode; yeah it was a bit rushed, but I think it did a good job of explaining why we don't like Manchester and why we do like the 2nd Mass. Like others, I can't wait to find out if ol'red eye is to be trusted...something in me says yes he will but like others I'm already overly curious about those lights we saw descending on Charleston in the previews....were they the bad aliens or the resistenance landing to make Charleston the focus point for the revolution??? Only, time will tell. Carol

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Also did anyone see the sneak peek for next week? I only caught a glimpse but to me it seemed like Mason was watching Charleston been bombed. I suppose that could be 1 way in which the writers could leave us guessing who will survive, whilst also giving them the option to include some new characters next series, the survivors from Charlstone that were not in 2nd mass.

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I was a bit disappointed with this episode. I am not a viewer who wants the show to be all about action, i love the fact that this show focuses on the characters and their development. Unfortunately we didnt learn anything new about the characters we already had. I felt like this episode was devoted entirely to introducing us to 2 new characters, Manchester and the general, and to show that Charleston really was just a pipe dream. Having said that i am really looking forward to next weeks episode and finding out whether or not red eye can be trusted. My suspicions are yes he can but i think he might be killed during the episode.

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