‘Falling Skies’ Season 1 Finale Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by

falling skies finale alien Falling Skies Season 1 Finale Review & Discussion

Despite the continuous dialogue problems wrapped in marginally acceptable acting, drawn out storylines and enough deus ex machina for an instructional video on convenient plot progression, the Falling Skies season 1 finale finally highlighted the sometimes overreaching charm that millions tune in for week after week.

With an animated film from the ’70s presented to an auditorium full of Falling Skies characters looking to take their minds off of the less than encouraging events, the double-length Falling Skies season 1 finale begins with a hint at the convolution that’s yet to come. In the first half of the feature length episode, viewers are presented with an artificially-lengthened storyline mulled within a stagnate episode that takes twice as long to accomplish even the most menial task (15 minutes of story packed into 45 minutes of “drama”).

As the previous episodes in Falling Skies’ first season have shown, many barriers – both proverbial and literal – are not only quickly resolved, but are done so without any visual penance to those that were impacted by it. The first episode, entitled “Mutiny”, presents Tom Mason’s attempt at overthrowing the suspected drug-riddled Captain Weaver’s control over the 2nd Mass. After a short imprisonment and flavorless “gun show,” the episode closes with grins of misunderstanding (he stopped taking those drugs a while ago – silly), and a returned focus to the task at hand: bringing down the Skitters’ structure.

Continuing into its concluding half, the Falling Skies season 1 finale undoubtedly shines in as many ways as it falters. The long-awaited showdown between the Mechs and the few awaiting members of the 2nd Mass. was interesting at best, but was not at all as fulfilling as any typical purveyor of television would have wanted. That being said, the showdown presents itself in such a way (literally integrating so many characters) that it becomes almost impossible not to simply enjoy it.

falling skies mech showdown Falling Skies Season 1 Finale Review & Discussion

Providing even more fuel to the proverbial Falling Skies fire is the lack of reasonable executions and reality-based repercussions. The symbolic sight that has served as the driving force of this season – the Skitters’ structure – was easily destroyed by a well-fired bazooka shot, which caused a crashing spaceship to set-off a series of explosions within the massive towers. Even if one would simply ignore the literal one-minute timespan that it took for all of the scene to awkwardly unfold, this quick moment of revolution hardly felt like underdogs finally asserting against Earth’s newfound overlords. And, with that, one must mention the events that close the Falling Skies season 1 finale.

If a general interest in following the story of Tom Mason and then 2nd Mass. wasn’t enough to entice you to watch next year’s Falling Skies season 2, the jaw-dropping cliffhanger surely will. No matter how laughable or awkward the season 1 finale closure appears to be when looked at under close inspection, the notion that the producers are willing to introduce a storyline that brings the aliens together with one character’s arc must certainly be applauded.

After blowing up their towering structure, a harnessed Karen serves as the vocal chords for the landing space shuttle. As the lanky alien waddles his way out, he quickly begins to speak about the impressive resistance that the 2nd Mass. has shown. This resistance was so impressive that the aliens would like to discuss it with Tom Mason – and help for his son Ben was certainly implied.

falling skies mason gun Falling Skies Season 1 Finale Review & Discussion

As Mason and Weaver stare down their alien foe, their tune quickly turns – as it usually does in Falling Skies – from that of anger to understanding and acceptance. As Tom joins the alien aboard his space craft, the first season of Falling Skies comes to an end.

The signs of a Roman pantomime, whether intentional or not, are overwhelming – and, yet again, this is all part of the charm that Falling Skies brings to the television landscape. For all of the series’ glaring inadequacies, Falling Skies presents a new form of captivating televisual preposterousness that has only been presented in the US on BBC America (or on PBS in the late ’80s, early ’90s).

American television is riddled with a sort of narrative conservatism that prevents us from exploring additional avenues of storytelling. Compared to the rest of the world, we have stunted ourselves within familiar genres that produce television series much more similar than they are divergent and original. While it’s a bit specious to say that Falling Skies will serve to shift the ] level of narrative diversity in television, one has to admit that for the 4 million viewers that tune in each week, it certainly has.

falling skies finale tom mason Falling Skies Season 1 Finale Review & Discussion

Yes, Tom Mason walking into the spaceship of the creatures that he’s been trying to destroy is ridiculous. Yes, the alien coming to them after getting their structure blown up is preposterous. But why not?  Thanks to Independence Day and a myriad of other alien invasion stories, we’ve seen what the story of the revolutionary humans typically leads-to. Falling Skies was definitely not typical in the execution of its finale.

Even if the level of convolution continues to rise, there’s something to be said about Falling Skies wanting to tell this story. And, as a self-described fanatic of television, I can honestly say that I’m interested in watching what comes next.

…whether I’ll enjoy it is a completely different question.


Falling Skies season 2 airs summer 2012 on TNT

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. While I’m not going to call this the best Sci-Fi show I have ever seen, it HAS been entertaining despite it’s flaws and really that’s all that counts for me. I admit I found the drawn out focus of getting the kids back to be a bit boring (they could have done it more efficiently) I do see where they were going now and why the focus was necessary.

    I will be looking forward to the next season although this new “10 episodes = a season” format all the networks seem to be adopting is getting stupid. I understand caution but IF a show gets renewed it should be for TWENTY+ episodes, not another measly ten. Waiting another 10 months for 2 1/2 months of new content is just too long to wait imho.

  2. This drivel of a show stinks. You people here who pretend to like this crap are coming up with more interesting and entertaining speculation about what certain aspects of the show MAY have meant that what was actually delivered by the show itself (RPG may have been fitted with a guidance system, REALLY?). This series was a giant WOMFT. Undoubtedly, one of you geeks are gonna show up at next year’s Comic Con wearing a Biped alien costume from the show. Too bad you’ll be mistaken for the Creature from the Black Lagoon!

    • Wow. You are really (REALLY?) quite the critic. Attacking the show and those who like it. All while showcasing tragic hipsterness with the Urban Dictionary up-to-the-minute cooool acronym drop. WOMFT. What? Are you 13 years old and thumbing this in? Back under the rock trog.

  3. I don’t usually take shots at bloggers, because really it’s a bit tactless. You’re on their site, reading their stuff. ScreenRant is a bit different, though, in that there are a variety of different Bloggers making posts, and most of them have insightful viewpoints, and do a decent job of at least trying to see both sides of the coin. With that said, I found this Review to be unscrupulous at times and condescending throughout. I mean, you pointed out yourself that 4 million people are tuning in EVERY WEEK. Obviously, despite it’s flaws, people enjoy the show. Why alienate so many people just so you can… what? Get a kick out of yourself? Show how witty you are? As much as you overused the word convolution, I find it quite ironic that in your attempt to seem more intelligent than the writers of the show you’re insulting, you’ve managed to cross the line into convoluted yourself.

    And just so we’re clear, before I go, I wasn’t a fan of this show and had never watched an episode before Sunday. I finally did see a few, and though it has flaws from start to finish, it finds a way to be entertaining, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. You see, despite it’s “convolution” (quotes because I found the show quite easy to understand and follow) Falling Skies managed to do one thing that you did not: add me to their following. :)

    • Thanks for the kind words. Really wasn’t trying to slam the show. Actually complimented it many times. Many people enjoy Falling Skies; many people don’t. The series has a certain charm that you don’t often find on American television. Wasn’t trying to appear “smarter than those who write the show”… just trying explain my reasoning for pointing out its many flaws while also giving it a positive review.

  4. Different ending — mean while back in the Spaceship! Let me introduce myself, I’m supreme commander Tyco of the Thin Being race. Tyco – I was impressed with your downing of one of our scout ships. Tom – it was a golden BB shot, really nothing. Tyco — I guess you have some questions for me. Tom – where are you from? Tyco – we are from a galaxy far far away that is unknown to you. Tom – why have you come to our planet? Tyco – we trashed our last planet and yours was next on our route to make our home. Tom – who are the Skitter’s? Tyco – they are inhabitants of other worlds we have conquered and enslaved. Tom – The harness change them into the six-legged creatures? Tyco — Yes, but when we downsized your population to 20 percent we found that the harnesses only work on your children 6 – 19 years of age before they die. Tyco – so Tom that brings me to you. I will restore your son Ben from the effects of the harness. You and your family will lead your people to a new home so they can make children to be our slaves. You and your family will survive unharmed from this war. Tom – this is my “box of tea”. Tyco leans into the face of Tom and ask if he has any questions. Tom – nice ship, how big is the crew. Tyco – no crew! Tom — good! At which time Tom pulls out his semi automatic pistol he always carries and did not give to Weaver before entering the ship. Tom then shoot’s Tyco in the head killing him. Tom then walked to the entry door and hits the open button walking out. Capt Weaver is standing there still in bewilderment. Tom – to Weaver, now we have a spaceship. Season 2. Now is everyone happy and can we all just get along!

    • DoOVER…

      I wish we could get along, but we can’t… cause that wass just awful. Really, I love when viewers need a conversation to happen that literally, word for word, explains every little detail… instead of looking for clues and watching things play out… it’s the end of the first season, just wait, pay attention, and connect the dots as the story progresses… that’s our job as viewers. And it’s ridiculous when viewers try to re-write shows how they would have done it… your not the writers for a reason, just watch the damn thing and try to figure it out. That’s what they are expecting from you.

      Why would all that information be given up so quickly in the finale? Where’s the mystery in that? What will the viewers come back for season 2 for? Think of what your ending would look like in the writers room… “okay guys, instead of giving our viewers credit and creatively divulging information while hoping they have the intelligence to piece a simple story together, we’ll just blurt it all out at the end of season 1. We’ll give them no reasons to watch the second season and they’ll have nothing to ponder… let’s just flat out have a super lame convo between an alien and Mason.” Shows over.

      … it’s the end of the first freaking season… have some patience… and much of that info we already know… we don’t need an alien to lamely tell us and give validation to much of what we’ve already been shown.

      … funny thing is your scenario could very well happen… in the season 2 opener!!! It’s called a cliffhanger – that’s what this ending was.

    • Do Over,

      I like the part where the alien gets double tapped. LOL..

  5. It took me a minute to get used to this show. The episode where Park and crew were introduced turned me off. Well, actually the preview for the episode AFTER.. turned me off.
    I really had streatch my imagination in order to believe that this guy would, not only be allowed to live, but join the team after the lives he took.
    Now, he’s the only one who can think outside the box???

    • @Nate…

      Yet another example of people complaining about a show that they don’t pay attention to… if you’re going to make negative remarks about something have your facts straight. HIS NAME IS POPE.

      And his injunction into the show is great because of the character building opportunity it gives the story. Pope is arguably the most interesting character on the show. And they let him live because… I’ll say again… the theme of the show is survival. “FIRST RULE OF COMBAT… SURVIVE”. This means not only individually but as a race as well. The more humans alive the better. The wise know not to fight each other… Tom saw early on that Pope was useful as well.

      Oh and it’s a TV show. All you fans trying to be writers, go do it if you don’t like the stories current entertainment has to offer… let’s see how good you do.

        • Nate…

          You entirely missed my point. You are allowed to voice your opinion… that’s a privilage and one you should respect by at least checking your facts before sounding ignorant. I want other to voice their thoughts, your opinion is welcome but it is completely discredited when you can’t even proper name the thing you’re complaining about. As I stated earlier I could care less whether someone likes a tv show or not… it’s not about that… that’s not what irratates me. It’s the lack of creditablilty that these so called ranters show when all their facts and details are incorrect. It ruins the valitity of the discussion and makes people look, well, stupid… and that get under my skin. Don’t complain about something if your not educated on the issue… it doesn’t matter the subject matter.

          And my “crazy comment about survival” was regarding the narative of the show. Your comment is not relavent.

          You say you don’t give a “flugg” and that’s my issue. It’s appearant you didn’t watch the show so why come here and show any interest at all? You don’t care enough to referenece a proper name of a character but you care enough to complain? It makes little sense.

          • Also… It’s clear that your assumption of my survival comment is based on (once again) your lack of knowledge of the subject matter discussed in this thread. “First rule of combat… Survive” is a direct quote from the show. Mason says it while surrendering himself. You’d know this if you watched the show you’re complaining about… which is further proof of my point… it’s irritating when people boast uneducated opinions. You once again made yourself look foolish thinking that I was claiming that I myself know anything about combat… when in fact I was simply quoting the show… for those that watched it… those that are the ones who should be here giving there opinions.

          • Hey thanks Travis the Screen Rant Po po.. It’s fugg, not Flugg… Flying Fugg to be exact. see what happened right there.. Watch this:

            “You don’t care enough to referenece a proper name of a character but you care enough to complain? It makes little sense.”

            I’ll add to your stupid statement with “if you don’t care enough to get the f’n qoute right, don’t quote at all”

            Again, thanks for the comments kid. Go bother someone else now and let the grown ups have a conversatiion.
            I’m not debating you about a TV show.

            • My dearest Nate…

              That’s the best you have? Really?

              Once again you fail to miss my initial point. We’re not debating about a TV show pal. I called you out on being one of the ranters that post absolute dribble. It’s so incredibly annoying when people complain/talk/comment on something they obviously know nothing about. Like your lack of knowledge of the survival quote… your reply to that was just nonsense because you didn’t know anything about the source material. Likewise putting your foot in your mouth by calling me “kid”… I’m far from it but you couldn’t possibly know that so once again you comment without any knowledge on the subject matter. You were simply the last straw on this particular post. I wasn’t insulting you. I was saying, “if you’re going to comment on something… know something about it. If you don’t know enough, yet still want to share, then compose your thoughts in a manner that is less deliberate and try to make sense.” Hopefully, you will in the future and that will be one less mindless comment that someone wasted time reading.

              Your comment is a smaller example of a greater scale problem. It’s like voting on something before you even hear the issue. It’s an epidemic of stupidity that needs to stop. I’m not talking about TV here, I never was. I’m talking about everyone in any situation thinking first before they open their mouths, take a stand, choose a side, or just make a statement that doesn’t make sense.

              • Nate failed to miss your initial point?

                • Hey Jack,

                  Not a big deal, but thanks for replying.

                  • Travis is wright , pay attention while watching the show!

  6. I loved the cliffhanger ending. I can’t wait to see inside the alien aircraft and find out why the aliens are here.

  7. While this program does have its flaws, at least it is telling a story, unlike so much of what is on television today (like Jersey Shore and trash like that).

    Yes it drags a little in places, but I watched every episode and for the most part enjoyed them.

    Could it improve? Yes.

    Is it the worst thing on TV? No, by far better than all that fake reality show garbage that is all over every network almost 24/7.

    I will take someone trying to tell me a story anytime over the reality show garbage. Even it it is slightly flawed.

  8. And everyone has to wait untill summer 2012 for Falling Skies to continue ?
    Why ?

  9. I took the aliens as coming to talk not because they where surprised at the amount of resistance, but there was any resistance at all. This is going to turn in to an eco-disaster series. The aliens saw that our planet was about dead so they stepped in to save what they could, the children. Just my thoughts on it…These skitters care about the kids that get harnessed, almost like pets and they recycle everything, even our bullets. The aliens are just going to show this to Mason “see we came here to help, why can’t you see that?” and the series will wrap up after next year. I like it but only because there is nothing better on.

    • Cody the show is on TNT. Not on FX.

  10. I watch this show from the UK and i must admit iv fallen in love with it. Yes it does take awhile for alot to happen but i feel connected to the story. All the comments about the acting but myself i couldnt notice any flaws? maybe it was the accent but still, i think noah fits the roll perfectly.

    Im very excited for series 2 and i will watch it avidly again.

    To all those who dont like it, my solution is simple. STOP WATCHING TV SHOWS YOUR DONT LIKE!?!?!
    To all those who do, keep watching to it dont go the same way as SGU lol.

  11. Didn’t read all the posts here, they seemed to go on forever but I like the show. Yes its not likely that what happens works in real life but it’s a science fiction show, not reality. But in replie to one comment about Eco-friendly aliens you bring up an interesting point to discuss. I think they were simply using our supplies/materials because it’s more efficient than bringing it all from wherever they’re from but who really knows? I’ll for one be watching the second series to find out though I hope it ends there or gets extended to atleast 20eps. waiting this long between series I find to be too long, I’ll probably just forget it’s even airing by then.

  12. Just out of curiosity I timed several episodes to see their length without counting commercials. Average was “39” minutes, but let’s up it to “40 minutes”. Not only did we get ripped off by the writers, actors (except for Pope), CGI and now time. Cannot wait until next year when we get to see the Fish heads again. Maybe we can Water Board them for information. Ha Ha.

  13. Here’s the thing Author, I really enjoyed Falling Skies. You sound like a smartass who won’t admit he likes something, and is instead searching for flaws out of some sense of superiority.

    Whatever makes you happy, ROFL.

  14. how about we just make our own ending the way it should have happened such as have a real f@#$%* battle and where people actually know how to fire a gun, also it would not have hurt if they had better actors for the series.

  15. Interesting story, although it suffers much from the same problem of “budget-itis” which plagued Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, namely, the writers would spend many episodes building up suspense for an upcoming event, only when said event took place, it happened offscreen. The mechs are an interesting item, but for some reason, they often don’t seem to visually mesh with the RL backgrounds. Also, the issue of trust among the characters is never really developed, especially since they seem to spend more time killing each other than they do the aliens. Since the writers are drawing many parallels to the American Revolution, I’m wondering if the following season will see the introduction of a third alien race whoi will balance out the invader’s firepower, much like the French did in our revolution.

  16. Well i loved it , thought it was a blinding series , im now looking forward to the next one , cheers

  17. It was extremely hard to get through the first 4 episodes of this series but after the 5th I was hooked. I watched all 4 week after week but decided this show wasn’t for me. I took a month or 2 hiatus then one night bored I decided to watch ep 5 and the remaining episodes were watched within a week. Now I can’t wait for season 2. What a great turn around and a surprisingly wonderful show (despite all it’s so-called convoluted content)

  18. I like how the makeshift field hospital was stocked with a supply of amphetamine. Either that or someone’s been cooking meth in the high school chem lab… Lourdes!

  19. why only 10 episodes? the series rocks! please on season 2 make more episodes not just 10… btw really nice work to everybody! one of the best series ever! keep it up..

  20. To tell the truth, I had read reviews like this one before watching season 1. I started watchingit and realized that all of the things they were saying about it were true. The mechs suck, most of the effects do also, the acting isn’t great, the pace is slow at times (especially in the beginning of the season), the cliches are everywhere. And guess what? IT DOESN’T FREAKIN’ MATTER. I have a strong dislike for people who watch cinema/tv, read books, listen to music and ALWAYS forget that these industries are all about entertainment. And Falling Skies is amazingly entertaining. One day these guys might understand what entertainment actually means and that when it comes to entertainment, 2 + 2 isn’t 4. Stop analyzing the details you freaks, entertainment isn’t science, you keep on dissecting the body and totally miss the soul. You think you’ll ever become a Spielberg by taking out every piece of the puzzle and talking about it? It’s all about HUMAN EMOTIONS and how to induce and manipulate them. While you waste your time trying to understand while your lives suck I’ll be having fun and allowing myself to actually be entertained. Have a nice day!

  21. I had high hopes for this show. I am starting to think I was wrong. Does every episode have to be about Mason chasing after his kid? I guess I was expecting more aliens and less petty drama. last episode a new creature was introduced, but barely. They give you glimpses of the different aliens, but not enough for me. Those little crawlie things got just a few minutes of screen time (between the multitude of bloated commercial breaks) and not much is said about them. I’m sorry to say that the special effects are along the lines of Doctor Who’s level. Is that the best they could do? I am grumpy about all this because I think the show has promise, but I think it’s being smothered by the 5 or 6 minutes of show time (mostly interpersonal drama) and then more commercials. Now and then we get to see a Mech, or a fish head, but it’s too little action. Even the mechs are looking laughable, like some wind up toy, because it doesn’t seem as though their effects are up to snuff, especially for a super hyped show that bombards the viewer with more commercials than the super bowl.