Welcome back Falling Skies Resistance members and Alien sympathizer rats!
This reviewer’s grade for the first two episodes of Falling Skies?
In one word; BRAVO! An absolute “A PLUS”
The reception by fans on Twitter and Facebook was palpable, heartfelt and gleeful as millions upon millions celebrated a thirteen episode season three featuring the heroes of the Mason family, father Tom (Noah Wyle) and his faithful sons Hal (Drew Roy), Ben (Connor Jessup) and Matt (Maxim Knight).
As was announced last year at Comic-Con 2012 that a third season renewal was reality, the entire science fiction fandom has literally been all a Twitter over the anticipated return of one of the greatest television dramas revolving around the time honored alien invasion, and subsequent enslavement of our fair planet Earth!
Was there anything about the return of Falling Skies this reviewer did not enjoy or fill my geek heart with joy and sheer delight?
In a word; No!
Was there much to be grateful for outside of the addition of three episodes over the ten episode seasons one and two that have built an edifice in the science fiction television drama genre?
In a word; Yes!
However, beyond a simple yes answer, there is so much more! Falling Skies, once decried in 2010 and 2011 as a series that would never be accepted by families and science fiction lovers by some critics, has beyond any doubt now assumed it’s rightful place as a legendary series imparting important human interest messages, often via metaphor, that resonates with millions upon millions of today’s viewers worldwide, each of whom who can relate to the stories of life incorporated therein!
Although not featured in Pope’s bar scene or in the the two season three opening episodes, this reviewer felt that “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys is a perfect song to describe the twisted “harnessed” love triangle relationship between Hal Mason (Drew Roy), Karen Nadler (Jessy Schram) and Maggie (Sarah Sanguine Carter).
When viewing the love triangle within the season three episodes, especially during the dream scape forest sequences where Karen has a hankering for “a love that keeps me waiting”, much like the Falling Skies series itself, “a love that keeps me waiting!” .
Enjoy the metaphorical messages via the great music of The Black Keys!
To this reviewers own delight, rejoining the strong ensemble main cast of Noah Wyle, Colin Cunningham, Moon Bloodgood, Jessy Schram, Mpho Koaho, Will Patton, Sarah Sanguine Carter, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight, Connor Jessup, Seychelle Gabriel, Ryan Robbins, Luciana Carro, Laci J. Mailey, and Brad Kelly are veteran actors Dale Dye, Matt Frewer, and Terry O’Quinn.
Season three sports with new characters named Cochise portrayed by Doug Jones recently seen in The Neighbors, and gorgeous Marina Peralta (Gloria Reuben), as President Tom Mason’s new Chief of Staff, and Megan Danso as Ben’s Skitterized buddy .
A job well done by casting supervisor Alexis Booth!
While the new characters of season three are introduced and smoothly woven into the exciting story arc of season three by the superb and well oiled writing talents of Robert Rodat (series creator), and science fiction veteran Remi Aubuchon, many other beloved characters returned in the third season of Falling Skies to grace our screens.
This includes four of our favorite characters and actors, Skitter Fighter and Detective Anthony (Mpho Koaho), Berserkers Tector (Ryan Robbin), Crazy Lee (Luciano Carro), and the erstwhile young medical assistant Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel).
Each of these talented young thespians have pleasantly assumed larger roles with greater on screen time in the season three story arc of Falling Skies when compared with the previous two seasons.
This reviewer was quite happy for all of these actors, looking forward in eager anticipation to seeing more of their characters interacting in the compelling post apocalyptic science fiction adventures brought to life by the genius of Steven Speilberg and his fantastic team over at Dreamworks Studios!
The advanced technology, weapons include sharing Volm methods to defeat the fishhead freaks, the Espheni.
We also will learn that the Volm have been following the conquest driven Espheni from planet to planet fighting their enslavement of other civiization’s throughout the galaxy.
Anthony is observed revealing more of his back story as a former police officer and detective in the now overrun and conquered city of Boston. Tector and Crazy Lee are seen frequently, both in battle scenes and in a new drinking facility and Berserker party hangout, named after none other than John Pope (Colin Cunningham).
As with John Pope, the Lourdes character plays a larger role in assisting Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) in medical emergencies including utilization of new technology from the recently arrived allied aliens, the Volm, well represented by the new arrival, in the portrayal of the Cochise (Doug Jones) character.
Of course, we are saddened at the loss of favorite characters Dai (Peter Shinkoda), Jimmy (Dylan Authors), and Rick (Daniyah Ysrayl), who were all lost during the 2012 second season in the fight for freedom from alien invasion and suppression of the human race.
To make up for the loss of beloved characters, another hero returns in season three of Falling Skies; “Red Eye”, the leader of the Rebel Skitter faction who has befriended Ben Mason in the fight against Karen, traitor to all humanity!
This reviewer looks forward to able, yet mysterious Red Eye supporting the Second Mass Freedom Fighters in their struggle for freedom and an end to slavery during season three!
Kicking up the drama and overall realism of Falling Skies in season three are exotic new location sets and visual effects by Michael Cliett, special effects by Rob Sanderson, and outstanding digital effects by the great team at Zoic Studios including superb underground VFX shoots with the cast offset in the distance.
The first two episodes of season three effectively demonstrate a well oiled crew of make up artists, costumers, camera people, location shooting staff, featuring wonderful cinematography, cool camera angles and smooth editing for scene transitions that make the viewer want to invest in the superb story arc by Robert Rodat and Remi Aubuchon in an episode excellently directed by Greg Beeman.
On Thin Ice:
Some seven months have passed in series time. We begin the episode observing harnessed children at work in a mine. The evil Skitters and their Mechanical servants are supervising the enslaved kids who are in the drug like state seemingly happy to be performing the mining operations for their alien masters.
Captain Weaver, soon to be known as Colonel Weaver (Will Patton) his daughter Jeanne (Laci J. Mailey) , and Matt Mason (Maxim Knight) survey the situation from the edges of the mine. They are on a mission to rescue Jeanne’s enslaved harnessed boyfriend Diego (Hector Bucio).
They detonate the bombs apparently catching the Skitters by complete surprise!
In an extremely exciting sequence, Ben Mason (Connor Jessup) and another teen rappel down the cliff side to the mine entrance to engage a large cadre of Espheni Skitters slave masters of children!
John Pope (Colin Cunningham) and his band of Berserkers burst upon the scene on his favorite vehicle, motorcycles, blasting their weapons at the evil Skitter slavers. Even Weaver (begrudgingly) has learned that Pope is an asset to the Second mass in the fight for freedom against the alien invaders!
Our favorite female hero Maggie (Sarah Sanguine Carter) and “Lonely Boy” Hal Mason (Drew Roy) are approaching the location in Jeeps with fully automatic top mounted fifty caliber weapons blazing as Maggie sprays the area with a neat hand held model!
The effort by the Second Mass is full bore assault on the Skitter slave master alien Espheni mining operation, victorious in the initial foray to save the poor harnessed teenagers who are being controlled by narcotic haze inducing drugs we have observed previously.
The Second mass thinks they have won the battle outright when suddenly two new adversaries appear!
These are a previously unseen enemy in the Falling Skies series, humongous Mega Mech’s, whom rise up from behind a series of nearby rock boulder “ambush blinds” in an attempt to thwart the Second Mass victory, and block their escape!
This reviewer and many admirers of Falling Skies One immediately think the aliens have been tipped off by Hal (Drew Roy). As we all recall, we witnessed Hal’s skull being invaded by alien “bug” technology at the conclusion of season two. The narcotic like smirk observed on his face tells us that Hal is not unaware he has been “bugged” . Viewers would be correct in this regard, but more on that later in this analysis.
The Second Mass rebels scramble for cover, but little exists except a few vehicles. The Second Mass are easy pickings, like fish in a barrel! Things go from bad to worse as a wave of Skitter reinforcements dashes out of the mine and proceeds to attack Ben (Connor Jessup), who fights for his life after being knocked to the ground!
From above, after a cool scene when Ben’s harness spikes light up to call Red Eye, the rebel Skitter Leader and his cohorts race down to turn the tide of battle aiding their human rebel allies. Tom Mason, like the cavalry comes to the rescue on horseback with the new Volm alien named Cochise (Doug Jones) at his side and they help end the fighting.
The members of the Second Mass head home after a hard won victory freeing the enslaved teens. Upon return to the base, Tom Mason is greeted by General Bressler (Matt Frewer), who calls him Mr. President. Bressler is accompanied by Marina Perlata (Gloria Reuben), Chief of Staff of Tom’s Presidential aides.
Marina implores Tom not to go out fighting the aliens any longer. Tom will not listen to Marina’s pleas of moderation that he should be a leader from a far. Fortunately for the Falling Skies viewers, Tom Mason has other plans!
We learn that Hal, although observed firing a fifty caliber automatic is crippled from his body being invaded by the Espheni alien “bugging” device.
As Hal is placed into his wheelchair, we are left to wonder if his lack of ambulatory status is permanent and why he has been affected. These and other reveals come later in the first two episodes.
We find ourselves with Jeanne, who is helping bring her boyfriend Diego to Anne Glass to remove his Skitter harness. We know from last season, when Tom and Anne finally “got a room” after two seasons of romance, that Anne is expecting, and is now quite pregnant.
Despite small moans from Diego, the process is far superior to the torch removal method seen in previous seasons.
Apparently only Lourdes and Anne are only members of Second Mass that have been taught by the Volm to utilize the device.
As President, Tom convenes a “post mortum” Cabinet Level debriefing about the latest mission. The gathering is attended by Colonel Weaver, General Bressler, Tom’s three sons and Cochise, their new alien Volm ally.
Cochise politely weighs in, saying they are unnerving the Espheni (the formal name for the evil fish head alien slaver masters) and forcing them to reveal their strategy.
With Hal looking a bit uncomfortable during the briefing, at least on a subconscious level, perfectly acted by Drew Roy. Hal should be uncomfortable, and with good reason.
To viewers who have seen the Espheni “bug” that is in Hal’s head from last season, the answer is clear, Hal is a unwitting spy do the bidding of the Espheni. We then observe Hal asleep that night.
While Hal has become the lover of Maggie (Sarah Sanguine Carter), whom shares a bed with, all is not well. One can only conclude that Hal’s “bug” is transmitting data to corrupt Karen and her gang of Skitter minions!
Hal is apparently having nightmares that he is walking alone through a forest. This reviewer believes these nightmares are the method the “bug” transmits information to turncoat Karen, his old girlfriend now allied with the alien Espheni.
In the dream sequence, the two are kissing passionately, when suddenly Tom wakes up in a cold sweat!
Hal fibs, informing Maggie that he does not recall what the “nightmare” dream was all about. Could it be that the nightmares are actually real? It seems possible but unlikely at this juncture since Hal is scheduled the following day to be in physical therapy with Maggie, Lourdes and Anne.
The rebel aliens are reluctant to come into the base town because of the prejudiced feelings about the Skitters despite their loyalty of the rebel faction to the Second Mass.
Here in the Falling Skies story arc the human failing of race hatred is more than effectively illustrated.
After giving Hal a big smooch of encouragement assuring him that he will eventually overcome his debilitating condition, Maggie shares her concerns with Lourdes about what Karen might have done to affect Hal.
Lourdes assures her they checked him out thoroughly after his alien encounter and found nothing physically wrong, even though his legs do not appear to work any longer.
Arthur is attempting to recruit the always helpful Anthony to help with his investigation into the spy matter, due in part to the fact that Anthony was a former police officer and detective.
Manchester has a list of at least fifty likely suspects and requests Anthony’s assistance to winnow down the list to ascertain just who the real Espheni spy is.
The rebel Skitter leader informs Weaver and Tom that they have determined another major attack on Charleston is being readied to demonstrate the Espheni power, to hide their recent setbacks.
Red Eye says the new alien allies, the Volm are targeting the Espheni. He also informs them that a new non alien has risen in the ranks of the Esphani, now operating .
Naturally all in the group, as well as the audience immediately knows the new non human “hostile” is none other than the brainwashed, yet nonetheless ruthless, evil and totally corrupted Karen Nadler, Fish Head Slave Queen!
The scene moves back to the Second Mass base. Arthur Manchester is informing Tom he has narrowed the list of suspects down to a dozen main people.
Suddenly, Anne Glass goes into labor with Tom rushing off before he learns the vital information from Manchester.
This is a convenient, but not unexpected plot twist to leave Manchester alone so the human spy of the Espheni can get access to kill him. My bet is that there may be more than one, although Hal is the most likely suspect of being a “mole” for the evil Espheni, “Fish Head Slave Masters!”.
The scene is fun bearing a striking resemblance to towns in the old West from American and Canadian history.
John Pope, clearly in charge of “Pope Town” is observed squelching any anti-alien talk among his cadre.
It would appear that Pope has begun to overcome his own prejudice of Skitters after help received from Chochise the Volm, and Red Eye the rebel Skitter Leader.
In a revealing scene, Manchester is apparently not surprised to see them, asking if “is it that time already”.
A gun is brandished by one of the visitors. Manchester, now shocked, says “So it’s you?” Whoever it is shoots Manchester with a silenced Volm looking weapon and there ends Terry O’Quinn’s guest starring role in Falling Skies.
However, the situation portends opportunity for our helpful detective Skitter Fighter, Anthony. Subsequently investigating Manchester’s murder, Anthony closely examines the fatal wound that killed Arthur Manchester.
Anthony concludes that the fatal wound may be from some sort of modified Volm technology effectively planting the suggestion that someone could be setting them up, or that The Volm motives are themselves suspect..
President and Commander in Chief Tom asks Anthony to pursue the investigation to determine precisely who the spy, or spy’s are that are working for the Espheni.
President becomes Mid-Wife, as soon to be Father Tom rushes to his lover Anne’s side assisting her as she gives birth to a healthy baby girl!
Now be truthful ladies and gentlemen, is not Noah Wyle. Lover, President, Mid-Wife, Skitter and Alien Fighter, AND great Father precisely the type of man who comes in handy once in a while?
While President Mason is delivering the pep talk, a rally the troop’s type of speech. John Pope and his Berserkers are pounding down a few cold ones on a nearby terrace of sorts while watching the entire town rally sequence.
It is more than apparent John Pope is none too pleased by the speech from President Tom Mason. Downright annoyed, John Pope says to his gang; “I have a plan.”
Yikes is what I say! Seriously though, Colin Cunningham does a fantastic bit of acting with the Pope character. Dovetailed by the Tector, Crazy Lee and Lyle “icing on the cake”, each of the scenes with the Pope Gang are a delight to watch!
However, in (series) “reality”, in the opinion of this reviewer, I think they are not dreams. This reviewer believes Tom has been doing a little sleep walking, nudged along by the Espheni “bug” technology.
Evil Karen shares about her terrific “transformation” to become one of the Espheni admitting that it was she who implanted a probe in his brain so that they would be “connected” once again with Karen as Hal’s Skitterized girlfriend.
In a steamy scene, much like Battlestar Galactica, Karen disrobes climbing on top of Hal. As Karen does so, her alien spine is glowing as she seduces poor bug implanted Hal!
Maggie finds Hal after his latest undisclosed expedition in the forest. Hal cannot locate his boots. Maggie finds the boot covered in mud asking what has happened? Hal in a daze is uncertain as always cautious Maggie gives Hal a suspicious look.
It is also obvious Hal has been compelled into the meetings with Karen the traitor, in secret, at night, in the forest, on a fairly regular basis.
The late night sessions not only include a little canoodling, butr Karen’s extraction of espionage knowledge about the Second Mass from Hal’s “bug” that is not operating at full effectiveness (because he has fought it subconsciously).
It is during their chat when Weaver finally admits his prejudice to Tom over a belt of booze; he does not fully trust The Volm.
However, and knowingly, Tom shares with his old pal Weaver that The Volm aliens in general, Cochise in specific, are the primary reason the Second Mass are winning so many battles against the evil Espheni and have remained free from enslavement like so many other poor souls on planet Earth.
In the final moments, a blissful mother Anne wakes up in the middle of the night. She glows as any mother should when she sees her newborn baby Alexis sitting up in her crib smiling at her.
Using a secret underground tunnel that only they know about, they come upon an Espheni technology center that prevents more Volm ships from leaving orbit and entering the Earth’s atmosphere to reinforce the humans.
As the screen fades to black, Tom is showing Weaver a giant weapon the size of a building that is being constructed underground, likely powerful enough to The Volm reinforcements arriving on Earth.
Just where is where is the power plant for this facility and what type of weapons does it produce?
The second wonderful episode of Falling Skies season three cements the foundation from the seeds planted in “On Thin Ice”.
We discover the power plant is nuclear and the compound has been fortified against attack by an army of Mega Mech’s!
We open on a beautiful mountain top. Ben and his sidekick Dani (Megan Danso) are overlooking the Espeheni nuclear power plant that powers their weapons and technology to help them dominate the entire region.
Cochise and The Volm, after discovering the nuclear power plant is the source for Espheni weapons platform found in the first hour of the two part episode, now encourage President Tom Mason to seek its timely destruction.
A plan is devised with Ben and Dani, both enhanced beings from being Skitterized, to scout the premises to look for weaknesses and bring back details to ultimately destroy the facility.
This ultimately ends up leading to the discovery that Hal is not crippled after all, simply horribly manipulated by Karen.
The loyalty of The Volm is severely questioned among the Second Mass fostered by John Pope and other doubters as prejudice once again raises it’s ugly head.
The team confirms that their worst fear has come true when they discover the mole is among them.
Each must grapple with the fact that evil Espheni, although left with a bloody nose, are suppressing and enslaving a nearly prostrate humanity around the globe.
After finding Hal’s boots in the closet covered with mud in the first hour of the two part episode, at the conclusion of the two hour season three opener, Maggie then follows and finds him in the forest with evil Karen looking on!
The Falling Skies creators have artfully introduced the additional elements of The Volm, a “mole” like spy or spy’s amongst the humans, added new life in the form of baby Alexis, while enhancing the existing characters rather nicely.
This reviewer waits in eager anticipation for the ongoing saga of Falling Skies that is being unfolded delightfully before our eyes and imaginations each week!
Thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency and reading our theories, history back story and significance of the historical reference material imparted for our pleasure by the creators of Falling Skies!
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