August 22, 2012


More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Since FALLING SKIES wants to be on the air for years to come (it’s already been renewed for a 3rd season), its story can’t ever end, unless it reaches an official final valedictory year.  So in the Season 2 finale, written by Executive Producer Remi Aubochon and Co-Executive Producers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson, and directed by Greg Beeman, a lot happened but none of it really took the show anywhere but to its next narrative stop.

The finale resolved the main storyline of the season, in that we now know that there genuinely are rebel aliens trying to overthrow their own overlords, proven by a rebel attack and the death of the “good” alien with one red eye.  One of the “fishhead” alien commanders was killed, but this only took us to the introduction of still another sort of alien baddie in the episode’s final minute, who will presumably be the villain of next season.  Similarly, having spent most of this season wondering about the loyalty of hero Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and his middle son Ben (Conor Jessup), since they’d been infected one way or another by alien technology, their loyalty was made clear just in time to offer up older son Hal (Drew Roy) as the Mason with an alien presence in his brain.  This will also presumably affect his now-official romance with Margaret (Sarah Carter).   And in case there’s any worry that Mason may run out of children to be afflicted, next season we’ll have his new baby that doctor Anne (Moon Bloodgood) is carrying.

Falling Skies is a hokey but moderately engaging piece of summer entertainnment, and it improved from Season 1 by making Mason more of a partner than an adversary for Weaver (Will Patton), and putting the emphasis on the war with the aliens rather than Tom trying to keep his family together.  It also turned out to be a risky but good idea to humanize Weaver by giving him a daughter.  The journey to Charleston was well staged (and better paced than the similar journey of the Walking Dead protagonists), even if the arrival episodes turned out to be anti-climactic.  The show continues to benefit from having Wyle and Patton in the leads, and this season Moon Bloodgood was also given a more meaty storyline.  On the downside, the show couldn’t seem to figure out what to do with Pope (Colin Cunningham), whose character wavered regularly from mean to reluctantly heroic.   The producers do a very creditable job of maximizing the impact of their limited CG budget, and there were a few genuinely harrowing sequences, notably Weaver’s near-death infection.

The series is TNT’s biggest hit, so Tom and his cohorts will likely be continuing their flight across the post-Apocalyptic United States for some time to come.  Viewers just shouldn’t expect them to get somewhere that’s meaningful any time soon.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."