I’m never really sure if Falling Skies was worth the devotion I so blindly afforded it, but I can say that if Season 3’s premiere is any indication for how the rest of this season is going to go, skip the first two seasons and enjoy the wild ride that is post-alien-invasion Earth.
But first, an apology to all those who read my “Here’s what you missed on Falling Skies” piece thinking it would help understand the new season. I am so sorry. To be fair, though, how was I supposed to know they were going to add in random aliens on horses and take away Hal’s use of the legs with “oh, you missed why this happened, but don’t worry, the how isn’t really that important.”
Aliens riding horses? Well, that intitally leaves the loyal ‘Falling Skies’ fans just as confused as the casual one. Don’t worry, though, it gets explained.
It’s strange to be put in a story in media res when it’s the third season, but I’m glad they did it. It was a fresh start for a show that badly needed it, and I’m stoked for what’s to come. It’s easier to be intrigued when you have vague notions of what’s going on and what could happen. As for the alien on horses? They are the Volm, dedicated to liberating that which the Espheni (previously known as the Overlords) have taken over.
Hal losing the use of his legs? Well, that may have something to do with his ex-girlfriend, Karen, who was made his ex when she was harnessed by the Overlords and used as their mouthpiece.
There are also now new characters to deal with! Like girl’s whose name I never catch (and as far as the internet informs me, no one else knows it either) but seems to be Ben’s right hand man.
Who is she, and why are she and Ben battle buddies? Well, that’s just an intriguing question to file in the back of our minds while we deal with the meat of the new ‘Falling Skies’ plot, which is no longer so much about survival, but winning a war.
Wait. Winning a war? Weren’t the humans pretty much losing for the last two seasons? Welcome to Season Three. Apparently, we’re doing an alright job of scaring the Overlords now that we have rebel Skitters in our ranks (whom we don’t trust, naturally) and the Volm giving us advanced weaponry (also, whom we don’t trust).
Distrust of aliens, added in with a definite mole somewhere in the ranks of the Charlestown militia, and this season of ‘Falling Skies’ promises to be a lot more balanced when it comes to drama and action. Not only that, but I have lots of subplots to mull over in my head while I wait for the next big step in the war to unfold, and I find the wait oddly exhilarating.
I’d like to close this review, though, with the biggest reason why I think Season 3 is worth more than a few damns, and it’s its characters. I have made no bones about my dislike for the protagonist, Tom Mason, and his plot which drives everything else. It’s not that I really actually even hate Mason, but having a Mason-centric plot robbed me of drama that could be provided by characters I actually liked. Unfortunately, the last two seasons were so focused on the Mason family that anyone outside of it having drama seemed like a 2-dimensional in-between. This, I feel very safe in saying, is no longer the case.
Lourdes finally feels like a character and not a convenient plot device. Anthony becomes the character I always hoped he was going to be become by looking as if he’s going to branch into his own set of stories that are only tangentially related to Mason. And Pope’s crew? They are finally likable, and I honestly care about their little cadre, whereas before I saw them as Redshirts. Why bother getting attached to flat characters who are going to die anyway?
This has all changed, and I am glad to say that I am excited… No. Not excited. Completely and utterly stoked to see what next Sunday has in store for us! Finally. ‘Falling Skies’ is the show I always hoped it would be.