For the longest time, the TNT television series, Falling Skies was without a doubt my very favorite TV show. My siblings and I used to gather every Sunday night to watch the first airing of each episode. We never missed one. For five seasons we stayed true to this series, believing even after the plot started to sink that, at the end, it would redeem itself in some way. Unfortunately, our trust was misplaced.
I, like many others, was disgusted with how the series ended. The final episode was...well, for lack of a better word, lame. Especially since the beginning of the episode was so promising; it was almost deceiving. Starting out the same way the very first episode in season 1 did, theories and speculation struck me like lightning. Three minutes into the last war, and I had a brilliant ending building up in my head, one that I was almost positive had to be the explanation for the entire storyline. After the episode ended in the horrendous way that it did, I was pretty much heartbroken and, I'll admit it, furious that the creators of the show didn't see the potential in the way Falling Skies could've ended the way I did.
My ending, my version of the closing chapter was mind blowing! It was an ending that could've made up for the last two sinking seasons and saved the series. Forget spider queens and military overrides and freaky, blue light spawns, my alternative ending was epic in a way that put all those alien bugs to shame! Here's what I had in mind:
Like I said, it was the first scene in the last episode that inspired this idea. It's the drawings again, with Matt's voice narrating. My sister was the one who reminded me that this was the same way the first episode had started, with pictures of alien horror in the form of colorful crayons. I nodded once to myself, my mind immediately working to decode this fact that couldn't be coincidence. It wasn't a coincidence; however, it wasn't significant either. It was just another opportunity the writers had to make the final episode amazing and totally passed up.
My thought was... what if this whole story was just that; a story? What if none of it were real at all? I'm not suggesting a dream of one of the characters (Tom Mason probably) because movies and TV shows do that all the time and quite honestly, it's just unsatisfying. No, not a dream, but a story. What if the whole five seasons of Falling Skies were only a story that Matt was writing? Here are my estimated theories that would prove this fan-fic accurate.
Out of sight, out of mind, right?
As the series pressed on, Matt, the youngest of the three Mason boys, became a smaller and smaller part of the show. Unlike his brothers, nothing horrid ever happened to him. Ben was captured at the very beginning of the show by the aliens and spends the rest of the series with spikes in the back of his neck, making him a constant target for danger. Hal gets bugged at one point, turning him into a seriously terrifying character and the main focus for an entire series, not to mention the wheelchair and being kidnapped by Pope. Overall, the two older boys were consistently in trouble, but not Matt. Matt was always safe and sound under his father's watchful eye and because of that his character whittled down to almost nothing. Maybe that was the point? After all, they could've easily killed him off if his part in the story became useless. They didn't though and that seemed odd to me. Perhaps they had bigger intentions for young Matt Mason, plans no one was supposed to be suspicious of.
Thinking out loud for a moment here, if you were writing a story about your family in the midst of an alien invasion that wipes out half the Earth's population, how often would you include yourself in the story? If it were me writing Falling Skies, I'd probably center the scene around my family more so than myself. I'd turn my dad into a righteous leader and my brothers into kick-butt alien slayers too, because, why not?
Somewhere in season 3, logical and realistic was thrown out the window.
At the beginning of the series, this alien invasion was incredibly realistic. Everything that happened was understandable and made sense. Basically, if aliens ever did take over the Earth, Falling Skies is what our world would turn into. However, somewhere in season 3, logical was tossed aside and some kind of sci-fi thriller, fantasy, scared-silly mess was left in its place. After a while, everything just started getting extremely weird and freaky. We're talking bugs in people's eyes and mutant babies and poisonous beef-alien-jerky. It was very strange and nightmarish. I didn't sleep for days after watching bugs get sucked out of Hal's face.
So, again, in my mind, I thought maybe there was something more behind all that too. It would make a lot more sense if all this was happening in a story written by a teenage boy than it would actually happening. In other words, if the last episode had ended with Matt typing out the words, "The End" I probably would've walked away from the TV thinking, "Man, that was a great series."
The mom/wife is dead, and nobody cares until now.
I don't think I'm the only one who noticed how Tom Mason's first wife, the mother of his boys, was mentioned constantly in this last season. Like, she became her own character. She's brought up maybe twice in each of the past seasons, but now she's a major part of the plot, a being bringing Tom information. Not just that, he kisses his dead wife several times while sleepwalking in their old bedroom! It's just weird, especially since he has a new wife now.
While I understand that his dead wife was actually just an alien taking human form to speak with Tom, to deliver information, it seems like the form could've been anybody. It could've been some random person Tom had never seen before. Why his wife? How would the alien know about Hal's kidnapping in Tom's imagination? The whole thing was strange, but again, it would've made more sense if it were Matt telling the story. Of course, he would've had to add his mom in there somewhere. After all, he did kill her off at the beginning and had his dad remarry a different woman. He would've had a lot of explaining to do after letting his parents read the book.
It would've been simple and astonishing if given more time and attention.
At the end of the episode, after they put together an awesome battle that didn't include a giant, talking spider, there could've been a scene where we see Matt in his bedroom, writing out the last chapter of his novel. If the writers had wrote the series to end this way all along, like part of me truly believed, they could've filmed this scene years before when the series first started. Matt could've been a little kid again. That would've been gasp worthy. However, if they'd filmed it then, with Matt a teenager, that would've been cool too. Then Tom, Hal, Ben, and the whole family could've walked in, maybe asked him how the ending was coming along, or something like that. Something to show that the whole show was Matt's imagination.
Movies do this all the time; whip the whole end of the world scenario around to reveal that none of it had actually happened, that it was all a dream of a character's. It's never that surprising and never fulfilling, but this would've been different because this series had been airing for years (five seasons) and no one would've expected it. It definitely would've saved the series, in my opinion, and it would've been a much more touching closure than what we got.
I was confident while watching the last episode that they would close out the show with a bang but sadly, I got less of a bang than I did watching the end of Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. I'm forever reminded of how horribly my favorite TV series ended when I think about all the ways it could've been saved. Who am I to blame for this injustice? It doesn't matter, because nobody can save it now. Its name will be added to the long list of TV shows that started out great and finished off a disaster...Rats!