Falling Skies has been running for four years now and humanity is still struggling along against the might of the Espheni invaders. However after the introduction of the Volm and the apparent turnaround of season 3 things were looking up for the 2nd Mass, so how did season 4 go? Only one way to find out by reading on. Spoilers are included.
I often find that the sign of a poor show is one which can’t decide on where it is going. A show which from season to season seems to have a new direction which is totally in contrast to the one which preceded it. Falling Skies is this type of show. At the end of season 3 we had the Volm being introduced in a big way to fight the Espheni and all things were looking up, it felt like the 2nd Mass would continue to be a guerrilla force which would work alongside the Volm to crush the Espheni going forward. Instead what we received was a total change in plot direction as all of a sudden there is a split in the camp due to an attack and some sort of ghetto set up has been created. I wouldn’t have actually had a problem with this if it was how the 3rd season had finished because it would have shown that they had a sense of the direction which they were heading in, instead we received this scene at the start of the season and a four month flash forward., it shows a lack of planning in the show and writing on the fly which is very worrying for [Falling Skies](series:755885) going forward.
The start of the season was generally a mess. I find it hard to believe that the Espheni would place the humans into mass ghettos and police them in that manner, why didn’t they either kill them or use them for their experiments? I also find it hard to believe that Anne would become the leader in a group over more experienced combat veterans like Anthony, also why did it take them four months to find anyone despite the fact there were two massive camps of people? The whole Lexi idea in theory wasn’t atrocious but in practice it made little to no sense. I like how her aging accelerates to the extent that she gets to be in her early twenties but then never seems to age any further, how handy... Also is it realistic that Lourdes would be so thoroughly accepted back into the fold that she would become a spiritual leader after she was at fault (granted possessed in a manner) for killing and sabotaging people only a year prior? I highly doubt it and I also highly doubt that everyone would be so upset with the manner in which Lexi killed her because as I said she had only recently killed and sabotaged a number of their allies. The whole Matt is in a new Hitler Youth thing was so on the nose it was ridiculous and worse than that it made no sense at all. Why would aliens with far superior technology really need to use brainwashed kids to round up their parents? They wouldn’t hence it doesn’t make sense. So many issues and we’re about one episode in, it is fair to say the start was a bit of a mess.
Often when a show splits its main group of characters up like this it allows for greater story telling for each individual group because they no longer get lost in the shuffle and although I would say that this did happen here, the only story which was really able to hold its own was the ghetto camp one, which isn’t really surprising seeing as they lumped the best characters together in that area. I actually think it would have worked better if they had split the group in two and worked on it from there because characters like Matt (I’ll get on to him later) aren’t strong enough to carry a story.
The story progressed and Lexi moved over to the dark side which could have been interesting in giving us a different side to the Espheni movement but naturally she saw they were super meanies and the story turned out to be a waste of time in the end. The rest of the reunited gang had to defend itself from a massive Espheni attack which killed lots of major characters who everyone loved had heard of; thankfully all of the Mason family were wearing their plot armour... We also received an awkward and incredibly forced love triangle between Hal, Ben and Maggie which was…well…awkward and forced. Fair dos to Ben though, might as well go for it and impregnate her with your spikes to gain a greater togetherness. Although I wasn’t a fan of these things the second half of the season was generally much stronger than the first thanks to a more precise and less fractured storyline.
Speaking of things in Falling Skies which don’t make sense and are generally annoying, Matt Mason is the worst character in the show by a country mile. My god is this kid annoying, which is made even worse by the fact that the character is so poorly acted. It isn’t uncommon to see a TV show struggle to write for a teenage character and they often struggle with the move from child to rebellious teenager but Falling Skies is having major growing pains with Matt. What makes it all the worse is that he gets shoved down our throats so often with his stupid threats and general ‘dad you suck but still I love you!’ attitude. Easily the worst character in the show and needless to say I wouldn’t be disappointed if he re-joined the Espheni Youth or volunteered himself for harnessing.
I know it all seems doom and gloom about Falling Skies and you may be asking if you dislike it so much why do you bother to watch it? And that’s a fair question because I have criticised the show quite a lot, but it isn’t all bad. The Majority of the main cast are likable and the family ethos of the show is one of its strengths (guys like Pope, Hal, Tom and Weaver stick out and Dingaan was a nice addition). I love the concept of the show, it is quite excellent and they have spent a lot of time developing Skitters, Mechs and the Overlords (who seem to die a bit too easy) and the Volm are a great addition to the show as well (plus Cochise is awesome). Falling Skies is a show which has loads of potential but hasn’t quite been able to live up to that potential yet.
Looking forward to next season, it looks as though Tom has bumped into some other kind of alien race which could throw a whole new spanner into the works. Maybe I’m wrong but it looked to me as if the alien which we saw an outline of in the mirror was projecting itself as Tom’s dead wife, so who knows where that is going and let’s be honest they’ll probably have changed their mind by the time we get to next season anyway. I also have doubts over Lexi’s death, yes she in theory should be dead because she just kamikazed herself into the moon but the girl has all sorts of magical shit going on and it seemed a little suspicious that we never received a definitive she’s dead moment. Maybe I’m wrong but it wouldn’t be beyond Falling Skies to pull it out.
I do like Falling Skies, it is a nice show but it could be so much better if it became more cut throat and didn’t end every single season with the good guys winning out and a pseudo happy ending. It is close though and it could take that next step by creating a greater deal of uncertainty by removing some of the plot armour of our main characters. So what did you think of Falling Skies season 4? Do you agree that it had a number of silly storylines but generally did better in the second half of the season? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the internet peoples! Plus if you are that way inclined you can also find more of my work by checking out bm23tvreviews.com or by going to the Facebook and Twitter pages. Thanks for reading.