Spoiler Alert: Do not read on if you have not yet watched last night’s Falling Skies season finale, as the following discussion centers on events from the episode.
Season 3 has been quite the roller coaster ride for this TNT drama. With storylines coming to a head and one evil character getting killed, the finale left us with lots of places to go in the fourth season.
So there was nobody better to talk with about what happened and where we’re headed than outgoing Executive Producer/Showrunner Remi Aubuchon and star Noah Wyle, who answered all the tough questions about the finale’s many epic moments. Scroll down for an exclusive Q&A...
TV Fanatic: Will the Tom/Cochise relationship continue into the next season?
Remi Aubuchon: I can’t speak for David [Eick, the new showrunner for Season 4] because I haven’t been involved in the fourth season, but it was certainly our feeling that that was not only important to Tom Mason personally but also to the show itself. The Volm are down on Earth now [and] whatever the 2nd Mass is going to decide to do, the Volm presence is there…I’ve said this over and over again to you and lots of other people, Doug Jones did such a magnificent job of realizing Cochise that the character would be very hard to give up.
Noah Wyle: I’m not sure how large the Volm population is going to play [in Season 4] at this point but Cochise, more specifically Doug Jones, who is worth his weight in gold, will return.
TVF: Was there ever talk about killing Lourdes off or did you always know you were going to keep her alive? Seychelle Gabriel did such a great job in the finale.
RA: In the writers’ room, everything is discussed. All possibilities could turn out, and we went through how that would work. We had a couple scenario ideas where Lourdes is completely blown away and killed but we loved Seychelle as an actor and I think where we started to move around to the idea of her being redeemed and then the only issue is how is she redeemed, and what agent redeems her?
As often happens in the process of breaking a show, as we call it when you’re in the writers’ room and you got cards up on the wall and you’re trying to figure out how it all feels and should work, we hadn’t really anticipated that Alexis would be that agent. It just popped in one day and we all looked at each other as we often do and went, “Yes, that feels right.”
TVF: Can you talk about the decision how to shake up the Hal-Maggie relationship a little bit, right after they’d gotten back together?
RA: Well, we purposely brought Pope and [Maggie] together to kind of tease the frays of Maggie and who she is and what’s always so icky fun about Pope is that he is constantly always there to remind her of where she came from, and she hates that with a passion, but yet it weighs on her all the time.
I think what [Hal and Maggie] recognized was the heart of, at the moment of the war possibly being over or certainly shifting is the realization that they’re in very different places. They don’t have the same feelings about what their goal has been and they don’t have the same feelings on what their future will be, and they don’t have the same goal even in terms of whether they should kill Lourdes. I mean, they’re recognizing there’s a little rift there and how they’re going to deal with that and resolve that, well that’s a story for the fourth season.
TVF: Of course I’m going to not think that Karen is really dead until I see her body ripped apart or cremated or something. Granted, she got a couple bullets in her, but, ‘Yeah, there’s a lot that can happen between that and Season 4 so…”
RA: It is Falling Skies, after all.
TVF: Exactly. But did you feel like you had to give some kind of end point for Karen, even if it’s a temporary end point?
NW: There’s something very wonderful about Jessy Schram where we can have an intergalactic invasion being personified by a 5’6” blonde California girl. But it was time for Karen to go.
RA: I think there needed to be catharsis for Tom, for Hal and having her original scene, which was deemed just a little too much, where pretty much everybody unloads their weapons onto Karen because she’s made their lives hell. I wanted this cathartic moment but it was argued to me, and I think correctly, that Tom was the one that went through the worst of [it]. She put him through the worst of stuff and he just had to do it and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, whether it will weigh on his consciousness or not, I think are themes to discuss in the next season.
Since we’re talking about Hal and Maggie, where I think Maggie’s decisive, sort of cruel – or at least from Hal’s point of view – where it’s just ending Karen when she’s in the middle of basically saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ I think that what sort of set Hal off to realize, ‘Oops, this is not exactly the woman I thought I was in love with.’
TVF: Is there a chance we could see Karen or some form of Karen again?
NW: I would’ve said absolutely not other than the fact that I didn’t think we’d ever have a way to use Peter Shinkoda, who played the character of Dai again, but then we do this hallucination episode and then we hired him to play Anne Glass’s husband so who knows. She could always appear in some fashion on the show.
TVF: After initially not really embracing it, Tom really grew into his role as leader in Season Three. Is that how you see it?
NW: I do, yeah. The way I described him at the beginning of the season was he was acting like the President and making speeches but he was acting like the President instead of being President. Then there’s another hurdle that next season and that might come in the way of stripping the character down again and giving him another obstacle to get passed which perfectly fits in with his trajectory. I didn’t see it coming and it was one of the first things David said yesterday and I said ‘This is perfect.’
TVF: Does that have to do with Lexie and her little ‘gifts?’
NW: It has something to do with Lexie, yeah. It does, although not to tease too much but I think there’s going to be some separation between Tom and Lexie at the beginning of the season.
TVF: At the very end of the episode they talk about the human resistance movement and that’s kind of the next chapter for these people. Do you think that in some ways our group is going to be starting over or is it really just a continuation of where we’ve already been?
RA: I think that part of it was a little bit of getting the band back together. I think that also Tom’s gone through this journey this season where he has tried to figure out a way to end the pain as quickly as possible for the Earth, for himself, for his family, and the realization I think he comes to at the end is that, ‘No, it’s going to be a long, long battle, and we’re the ones that are going to have to do the job.’
TVF: Noah, you’ve got another showrunner change since Remi is stepping down and David Eick is taking over for Season Four. Can you talk about that?
NW: I had lunch with David yesterday and I think he’s tailor made for our show…he does come from the sci-fi sensibility and he’s very Spielberg-ian with a strong sense of character, strong sense of action defined by character and a history of working in genre but keeping it very grounded in a realistic space as much as possible.
I think that Remi is a really talented man and he and I got along quite well and worked quite well together. [Seasons] 2 and 3 had a lot of logistical obstacles and this was a tricky season to execute. And those obstacles had everything to do from varied subjects as Moon Bloodgood’s pregnancy to extreme weather conditions…that being said, the proof is in the pudding. I was sitting through these episodes going ‘as hard as it was, the season was really strong.’
Falling Skies Season 4 will premiere in the summer of 2014.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.