The second season finale of Falling Skies brought several arcs to an end while creating a big question for the next season – thankfully the show received the pick-up order prior to San Diego Comic-Con this year. Otherwise, with a cliffhanger like that, I’m sure many fans would be picketing TNT’s headquarters and working out some inexpensive item to mail in to the offices in support of the show (My pick? Bags of Skittles, which is kinda like Skitters, but only kinda-sorta).
Last season’s cliffhanger was tough to beat; it isn’t like Tom can find another alien ship to walk on to; I’m not sure he’d volunteer for that duty again, and considering he beat the Overlord to death, I doubt the invitation would be offered. But this season’s last minute introduction of a new alien – one that looks like a cross of Samus from the Metroid games and Spawn – has the potential to change the face of the war. The question on everyone’s minds – mainly because the TNT marketing machine has already laid the groundwork – is whether or not the new aliens are friend or foe.
My instant reaction is that the new aliens (whom I will not be giving a nickname after my attempt at calling the Fishheads “Pencils” when they first showed up failed so miserably) will be more friend than foe. At the very least, they’ll be enemies of the Fishheads. Otherwise, why show up in the first place? They have come to Earth with a role to play, and that role will put them in conflict with the existing occupiers.
The only problem with a cliffhanger like this is that it has a way of lessening some of the previous storylines. There were several large beats that had nothing to do with the appearance of the new aliens. The biggest shocker had to be Karen’s implanting Hal with the same alien “bug” that Tom had previously. This bug seemed to have a much greater effect on the younger Mason, as its path into the ear canal Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn-style and the incredibly creepy look on Hal’s face don’t look good for the home team. It figures; now that he and Maggie have finally found a happy place, an obstacle is thrown in their path. Did Joss Whedon quietly replace Remi Aubuchon as show runner when I wasn’t paying attention?
Of course Hal’s bug and the new alien were not the only goings on. Anne’s pregnancy came a bit out of left field, but I like the twist. I especially enjoyed the moment they shared discussing things. Her questioning how reasonable it is to bring a child into their world is a valid point, and one that makes sense coming from someone who has already lost children. Yet Tom’s response was spot on, and exactly what one would expect from someone who manages to be a realist and an idealist at the same time. On a very basic level, a resistance that has lost its hope to survive also loses its will to live.
Weaver and Tom’s decision to leave Charleston makes a great deal of sense, but I’m still a little worried about how different next season will be. I wrote about it last week, so I won’t rehash any more than I need to, but I am curious what the make up of 2nd Mass will be post-Charleston. How does taking the civilians – including Matt Mason – make any type of sense? Will Jeanne stay and get into the politics of the new government or go with her father? Oddly, I’m more curious about these decisions than I am about the motivations of the new alien force. In these cases, whatever happens has much more to do with character than story; the new aliens are just something our heroes have to react to, but how they see their lives and how that viewpoint affects their decision making is much more fascinating to me.
Notes & Quotes