Stars: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight, Connor Jessup, Sechelle Gabriel, Mpho Koaho, Peter Shinkoda, Colin Cunningham and Sarah Carter
Writers: Joe Weisberg (“Mutiny”)/Mark Verheiden (“Eight Hours”)
Directors: Holly Dale (“Mutiny”)/Greg Beeman (“Eight Hours”)August 7, 2011
After a strong start, a soft middle and a very cool homestretch, FALLING SKIES has proven to be the thinking man’s science-fiction TV series.
It’s more about the strategy of combat and little victories and less about full-out weekly alien/human war. After all, the series began AFTER the aliens had already wiped out most of earth with only a small group of resistance fighters left to either surrender or find a way to survive at all costs.
At the heart of the show has been Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), the everyman teacher turned resistance fighter who has bee fighting for the survival of his three sons – while also finding a way to keep the unpredictable Captain Weaver (Will Patton) in check as well.
The two-part Season 1 finale, is essentially two separate episodes crammed together into one big event.
“Mutiny” brings up the instability of Captain Weaver. We know he’s been losing his mind, but what we didn’t know is he was also on drugs too.
Aside from this out-of-left field revelation, the episode does a good job of setting up conflict between Mason and Weaver. Weaver wants to embark on a suicide mission, but is keeping key information from his troops. He feels Mason is being insubordinate and arrests him for mutiny.
Everything ends up hunky dory by episode’s end which leads us into the second episode “Eight Hours.” Here, Weaver (now doing a littler better) asks for volunteers on this suicide mission to take out one of the major alien structures.
Mason stays behind to fight for the civilians, and with the help of his formerly harnessed son Ben (Conor Jessup) who still has a connection with the aliens even though he’s been de-harnessed, this ragtag group puts a dent into the aliens opposing forces.
The end of the episode has the aliens are confused as to why they’re experiencing so much resistance from the humans – and no doubt upset that they figured out the aliens actually communicate via radio frequencies (which is what they’ve been using to jam their communications with each other).
SPOILER ALERT – DON’T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING …
The aliens want to abduct Mason – to talk to him, probe him, spank him – who the hell knows. However, it’s one hell of a mysterious ending, and one that will have you curse TNT for making audiences wait a whole 10 months before new episodes air again next summer.
One of the saving graces of FALLING SKIES has been the solid drama that has served as the backbone for all of the 10 episodes. The characters are engaging, the plights understandable and the missions exciting (for the most part).
Sure, FALLING SKIES got a little dull and mushy mid-way through, but the last two weeks have provided very solid episodes.
Wyle keeps getting better and better as Mason, and he has a good rapport with his sons, Weaver and even potential love interest Doctor Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) who he lays a big, wet one on during “Eight Hours.”
FALLING SKIES does have a few frustrating aspects to it. No doubt due to budget limitations, the big battle at the end is largely seen off screen. The FX are cool, except in some cases there isn’t enough of then and the show is sometimes unsure how complex it really wants to get.
That said, the series really delivered in Season 1. For 10 episodes, it was a nice meal – nothing too special, but more than enough to have this reviewer back for Season 2.
Ten months is a long time to wait, but it should give this ambitious series more than enough time to sort out the kinks and limitations of Season One and improve on it for what will likely be a pretty kick-ass second season chapter.
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Related: FALLING SKIES – Series Premiere – Part 1 review – “Live and Learn”
Related: FALLING SKIES – Series Premiere – Part 2 review – “The Armory”
Related: FALLING SKIES – Season 1 – “Prisoner of War” review
Related: FALLING SKIES – Season 1 – “Grace” review
Related: FALLING SKIES – Season 1 – “Silent Kill” review
Related: FALLING SKIES – Season 1 – “Sanctuary Part 1” review
Related: Exclusive Interview with FALLING SKIES star Noah Wyle
Related: Exclusive Interview with FALLING SKIES star Will Patton
Related: Exclusive photos from the Los Angeles premiere of FALLING SKIES
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Review – FALLING SKIES – Season 1 – “Mutiny” / “Eight Hours”