Well here we are, the final 2 hours of ‘Falling Skies’ Season 1. Tonight’s episodes, ‘Mutiny’ and ‘Eight Hours’ close out what has been one wild science fiction alien invasion ride. Before getting to far into the recap, I wanted to mention ‘Falling Skies’ and the way TNT and the producers have really utilized social media to garner hype and feedback for this show. I already follow the ‘Falling Skies’ team on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook, so I will be excited to see what they have in store to keep our interests peaked until the start of Season 2.
As Hal, Ben and Matt Mason watch a movie in the auditorium with most of the 2nd Mass and their families, Dr. Anne shows Tom the results of her Skitter autopsy. Tom is understandably upset to learn about Ben’s continued physical changes. Just the idea he’ll lose his son all over again obviously terrifies Tom Mason. Adding to Tom’s worries, Weaver has began shutting him out of the military planning in favor of an all new character to ‘Falling Skies,’ Lt. Danner. Tom reiterates his concern about Weaver’s mental state, but the leader of the 2nd Mass brushes him off. Shortly thereafter, Dai (the 2nd Mass’s version of a human pin cushion, seriously how many times is this guy gonna get hurt?) arrives at the camp badly wounded with orders from Porter about the upcoming attack.
The majority of the first hour was spent exploring the human drama of the show; Weaver’s spiral after last week’s psuedo-breakdown; Mason’s concern for the men, women and children of the 2nd Mass; discovering new and creative ways to break down or disable the Skitters (i.e. radio waves… how very low tech of them); and you can’t have human drama without Pope – that guy just loves to stir the pot.
In hour 1 of the 2 hour Season 1 Finale I really liked how ‘Falling Skies’ avoided the cliche of having the humans turn against each other just as they are about to go into battle. I appreciated how cooler heads prevailed, and Weaver and Mason putting differences aside and doing what is best for the 2nd Mass and humanity as a whole.
The alien threat also takes hold right at the closing moments of the hour as Rick embraces his inner Spider-Man. He is called back to the Skitters, but not before he sabotages Scott’s Skitter-jamming radio.
Even though there wasn’t a lot action in the first hour, it was certainly an exciting way to kick off the 2 hour event. The second hour kicks off with with the planning of the final attack. Short on hope and bullets the 2nd Mass will not be deterred.
When 50 of the 2nd Mass’s bravest and boldest volunteer to move out, even though the plan has been all shot to hell; it falls on Mason’s shoulders to protect the school and the rest of the civilians. This is what this group has trained to do over the course of the season; live as a family to survive only until it is time to go to war. Only this time both groups are armed with munitions created by Pope designed to level the playing field.
We also pick up with Scott’s attack, while Rick’s attack didn’t kill him, it sure put a hamper on the jamming plan. Rick decides to run and after a nice parkour chase, he escapes to a field meeting up with a Skitter-ette already in the process of transformation. Mason chases him down in order to get the needed transistor back to the school. By the time Mason catches up to Rick, he is still alone, pondering his place in the Universe. He’s not exactly a human and not yet a Skitter… what is a part boy, part alien spider to do?
As the school evacuation continues, we get some of those slice of life moments that ‘Falling Skies’ has done so well this season. The talk between Tom and Matt Mason shows just how much Tom loves his boys and how far he will go to protect them. The other big slice of life moment… Tom and Dr. Anne have their first kiss. It was a sweet and spontaneous moment shared by two characters looking to hold on to the last bit of humanity and hope in the face of some pretty long odds.
‘Eight Hours’, was filled with the most battle we have seen in the show thus far. The defense of the school against the first lone Mech showed they could take down an alien threat. However, that joy was quickly replaced with terror when the street was suddenly filled with Mechs out for human blood. The Skitter-jamming radio worked to perfection and shooed the advancing Mechs away, giving the remaining soldier and civilians at the school a chance to escape.
After getting everything at the school figured out, Tom Mason takes a ride out in a newly enhanced El Camino to check on the status of the rest of the 2nd Mass and their attack on the Skitter ship over Boston. Of course, the first person he finds is Pope nursing an injured 2nd Mass soldier. Mason gives Pope the El Camino to take the injured soldier back to the school. This move didn’t really make sense, because the car was a mobile Skitter-jammer. In return for the car; Mason got a bright shiny new RPG from Pope.
As Mason makes his way to the target, not knowing if Weaver or the rest of the 2nd Mass are alive, luckily he finds Weaver. I really like Will Patton’s portrayal of Weaver in this scene; he’d obviously had his bell rung by the attack and he did a really good job. Weaver and Mason (armed with the Mech Metal RPG) make their way to the ship, at least close enough to take a shot, and boy does Mason make that one shot count! He hits one of the scout ships just as it is docking causing a major chain reaction of explosions in the landing bay of the ship.
The episode and the season end with a very dramatic cliffhanger as poor harnessed Karen reappears. Karen shares, the news about the Skitters not expecting so much resistance from the human race. She then offers up a deal. If Tom Mason goes with her and her bi-ped Skitter pal, the Skitters will leave Ben alone. Doing what any father wanting to protect his child would do, Mason heads off into the light and the season ends.
Well, that’s it for season 1 of ‘Falling Skies’, it has been a great summer show. The first season had some lows, but they were far outweighed by the many highs. This cast did an excellent job all season long. Noah Wyle is excellent in the lead of this show and I look forward to seeing more from him in the season to come. When will that season come? Why not until Summer 2012, of course. If one season of ‘Falling Skies’ wasn’t enough, make sure to follow, like or plus 1 them to keep up to date on the mystery throughout the rest of 2011 and into next summer.