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Falling-skies

Falling Skies Review: Mass Attacks

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Falling Skies was juggling a great many balls on its Season 2 finale, "A More Perfect Union." And I'm not sure the series caught many of them successfully.

After last Sunday's arrival in Charleston, the drama set us up with a military coup and a looming Skitter attack. Early on in the finale, meanwhile, Ben returned, Tom was placed in custody alongside his former professor, only for the Second Mass to voluntarily go after the alien Overlord... which followed an Army-led attack against the Skitters and, oh, right, we learned Anne was pregnant.

A lot was thrown at the viewer in the course of just a few minutes; too much in my opinion. It made for a frenzied final episode of what's been a mostly focused, terrific season for Falling Skies.

Falling Skies Season 2 Finale Scene

The battle itself was impressive. The special effects team has been on its game from the premiere and it was no different here, as we witnessed Red Eye going after the Overlord and Karen deftly climbing up a wall.

She warned that the war was far from over and then proved to be prophetic when the episode concluded with the arrival of a new creature. My reaction to what the show intended as a significant, fascinating cliffhanger? Meh.

It's clearly impossible to actually judge until next season, but for now it feels like we've been here, seen this, done that. That's the problem with a series based around an alien invasion: where can it actually go? You either defeat the aliens and the show is over... or you don't and new ones simply continue to touch down.

It's an anticlimactic cycle of invade... retreat... attack... scramble... attack again.

Perhaps I'll be proven wrong. Maybe this new being has an agenda outside of ending the human race. But I can only react to what I just saw and it didn't make me especially anxious for next summer. We've spent two seasons watching the Second Mass go at it with their enemies. The tease of more enemies to encounter isn't one that leaves me wanting more.

I am intrigued by whatever is literally bugging Hal, however. Is he remaining human, yet going dark? Is there an alien presence inside of him, as opposed to one harnessed on his back for all to see?

Still, overall the final two episodes were a letdown. They were too scattered, with both the Army General and Arthur Manchester not really painted as good or evil or even anything in between. It wasn't clear what the viewer was supposed to be rooting for or thinking of the entire Charleston community. Ben went from abandoning his family in favor of the Skitter one moment... to eagerly sticking around and playing Monopoly the next. All in one episode.

It was all a bit rushed and jammed together. Let's hope TNT gives the series 12 episodes, as opposed to 10, next summer in order to let some of these storylines breathe.

Despite my criticism of the finale, I'll most definitely be back for Season 3. The good - Noah Wyle's performance, strong effects and action, unexpected alliances and pivots - far outweighs the bad.

What did everyone else think of the finale and season in general?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (92 Votes)

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

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This is such a stupid show

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Good show I reconed that the new alian will
Talk but will be tuff tigger then mechs But they should do nothing because the
Overlord controls all attack units on
That region but good show

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The comment on this board is very telling. The critics seem to actually understand drama and characters and put though into their posts. They do a great job of pointing out character, plot and story flaws, while the fans just seem to get defensive. Fans either reply by saying "don't watch if you don't like it it," or by blindly defend the writing with non sequiturs and/or circular reasoning. I am thinking this show must be geared for and watched mostly by kids with little life experience and undeveloped critical thinking abilities.

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When defending the talking on the mission someone wrote: "Maybe that is their way of coping with the danger they are about to face?" If that is so, they shouldn't be on a mission. Doctors don't talk during emergency surgery except to ask for the right tools, etc. The military doesn't talk on a mission except about changes to mission plans. If I was on a life or death mission with the stakes of all human life on my shoulders I'd knock the person talking shit out. Especially if they were talking about something that wasn't mission related, like their relationships or how humid it was. Any military person will tell you the talk stops when the mission starts because they are focused on the task, on staying alive and keeping their friends alive. This wasn't just stupid, it was disrespectful.

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Man I was so sad to see Dai go. I mean he was that one Asian guy who would be seen sometimes in some scenes and would even sometimes say a line or two. Man it was sad he died. Yeah, I mean they maybe could have made his character a bit more real, like maybe actually giving him something to do besides be Asian and carry a gun and pass in front of the camera every once in a while. I can't say anything about the writing that hasn't already been said except to confirm it is terrible. Nothing about this show is strong or even average. I guess enough people like vapid, cliche riddled stories that they tune in. Fair enough. The message unfortunately to network execs is that they don't have to create something exceptional because marginal sells. We get what we pay for.

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Am I the only one who thought of Alien vs Predator when the new aliens arrived?? Not surprising that it happened, after all that big weapon they blew up looked like a big gun pointed at the sky. There was def a lot happening in this episode. The pregnancy is a bit cliche, but this show is strong enough that I have faith it will work in nicely. I think Ben's choice was natural to stay with his family and in no way came out of nowhere, it is where he is needed. I am also very curious as to how long Hal will be under the bug's control. Overall a fantastic season 2 and I will be anxiously awaiting for season 3.

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Continued.... Seriously? Is this the best these writers can do, with a full 10 months in between seasons to think about this? This is where it ends for me.

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Utter nonsense. Prego doctor happily goes on the most dangerous mission yet. Charleston General loses objectivity and decides to kill off skitters that are there to help him fight the fish head because he has a grudge against skitters that killed his own people. Matt, the little piss ant, begs Daddy once again to go on a suicide mission. Ben tells dad he belongs with the rebels only to watch him a half hour later tell his little bro he's staying. Hal is non responsive but alive so let's just leave him there on the bed even though we know that harnessed ex-girlfriend gave him a weird kiss "she had been waiting to do for a very long time." Let's marginalize Pope further and reduce him to a nonsensical babbling idiot. Hal has gotten stronger but still a wuss to be a leader. Let's land a new alien right in front of the rebel hideout and give him some big puppy eyes to make him look friendly. Well I hope he knows English when it's time to talk next season. Seriously? Is this the best these writers can do, with a full 10 months in between seasons to think about this? This is where it ends for me.

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@Dale, you'd make a perfect leader on that show. "...She didnt tell Tom she was pregnant. Well hes about to go on a mission why give him some news that would distract him. A distraction could get him killed. Its logical." So telling him she is pregnant is a distraction, but going on a mission with no training isn't? Tom sends his sons on deadly (supposedly) missions all the time but a bit of news - I'm pregnant - is so distracting it could kill him. That's about as logical as putting shoes on the Curiosity Rover. Has the doctor ever gone on a mission before? Nope. Is there an abundance of doctors left in the invaded world? Nope. Who besides farmers and engineers in that world hold more value than doctors? No one. The writers sent the doctor so they could create bullshit drama. But now that I see how low the bar is among the fans of the show, I get why the writers do this. It's easy as hell and why put effort into creating something filling, when people will shovel whatever drivel is presented into their minds.

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Finally, i was upset to see Dai go. Yes he has never had particularly many lines but he was a constant presence throughout the series. I hope next series they develop these character, like Dai, more instead of introducing us to new characters who i just couldnt care less about, such as the general and Manchester (i care so little i had to go back and discover their names) Overall i can see why some of the decisions the character makes were made, even if others cant and just complain about them. Also dont tell the complainers to stop watching the show. They keep watching and it helps keep the show on air so they just making it worse for themselves :)

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