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Christopher Webster [Cathode Ray Mission 06.29.11] Tuvalu post apocalyptic review scifi



In the third episode of Falling Skies the human insurgents are still in full retreat mode, but have stationed in what looks like an abandoned high school. Similar to Jericho or Battlestar Galactica the civilians (who will from here on out be referred to as "eaters") are trying real hard to pretend like nothing much has changed since the aliens incinerated their world. They teach cellular biology and worry about the flavour of their food when they should be teaching survival skills that will actually be useful when their cans of Lima beans run out.

Tom is obsessed with rescuing his son Ben who has been "harnessed" by the alien overlords and is being used like zombie slave labour to scavenge scrap metal for some reason. Command tells Tom he can rescue his son, but only his son. Our small team of heroes goes on a mission to save Ben, but when one of the soldiers has some sort of mental breakdown he ruins everything by running in to get his own son instead their plan goes to s#it (this guy's obviously a terrible soldier and should be fired). Because of this, Tom's other son Hal and his GF Karen are captured. Karen is dragged off by Skitters, but Hal is forced to watch the execution of a bunch of zombie kids and is let go to send a message. Don't f' with Mechs.


Meanwhile, move over Moon Bloodgood because an overly confident new Doctor has joined the ranks. He claims to be able to remove harnesses off kids without them dying, so that's good. But he's also Tom's wife's ex-lover or something and Tom blames him for her death. And in probably the most thick-headed move yet, the supposed villain of the show and most charismatic character the show has is made the cook. That's right, the cook. For now, it rings wrong but we'll see where it goes.

The over-arching theme in this episode seems to be the issue of looking out for yourself versus standing your ground and helping the ones you love. Tom gets all sanctimonious and blames a lot of people for stuff in this episode. He blames Dr. A$$hole for leaving his wife to die, he blames the rescue party for leaving his kids.. but he also gets it from his son Hal who blames Tom for leaving him and Karen to the Skitters then their plan capped out. So there's a lot of blame being tossed around, but I think you really don't know what you'd do until the swarms of Skitters are right in front of you.

It's somewhat frustrating watching Falling Skies struggle to find the right momentum. It's simultaneously awesome and misguided at the same time. I like that some thought has been put into the culture of the invading alien army and I think the Skitters are hands down the best aliens put to television yet. And of course, the decision to start the show post-invasion was a real stroke of genius because really that's where we all want to be, but it's also risky because the writers are forced to TELL us about the characters and their relationships rather than show us for now - something we can get out of but it just takes time. We're also stuck with an Us vs. Them plot at the moment which doesn't work all that well to suck us into the show. Having a mission-of-week is okay, but the show needs dramatic tension to start building between the characters as well - something we eventually get in spades according to early reviews of the show's first seven hours. That's really why BSG worked so well.

Until next week, keep watching the skies!

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paisleybhoy (9 years ago) Reply

episode one in starting in uk tuesday 5th july on fx channel and channel 5 christmas time early 2012

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Michael Allen (9 years ago) Reply

I watched the first two episodes and I liked the show. I am not going to read too much of this article, because I want to see the episode first.:)

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8den (9 years ago) Reply

Um how about you spoiler some of this?

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Speedy (9 years ago) Reply

Hmm, download this or re-runs of Father Ted....

I think I may have a look if it ever get to Australia, and is not on at a crappy timeslot.

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Zeusdammit (9 years ago) Reply

See I think its alittle of the opposite....

"....are trying real hard to pretend like nothing much has changed since the aliens incinerated their world. They teach cellular biology and worry about the flavour of their food when they should be teaching survival skills that will actually be useful when their cans of Lima beans run out...."

If you ever seen a people with almost no hope or no morale or motivation, I could imagine that keeping the 'premise' of a sane society would help the community of the group, giving their minds something to do, and the kids taught, as they make references to biology, and how to kill the invaders.

"...are trying real hard to pretend like nothing much has changed since the aliens incinerated their world. They teach cellular biology and worry about the flavour of their food when they should be teaching survival skills that will actually be useful when their cans of Lima beans run out...." Where is he going to go? His crew is dead, under watch and no weapons. I think he is actually going to be one of those 'my life got changed around' guy, and under house arrest, he is still kept an eye on. And even though MREs aren't too bad... good cooking, even beans, is still preferred.

I think it will pick up after 5...but I think this is an awesome show so far. I would think there would be more military personnel with them though...they all look like civvies with the exception of the main cast.

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Dumbo (9 years ago) Reply

I agree with Zeusdammit. The show is good, but they seem to lack soldiers. Supposedly there's 100 right? We only ever see four or five. Also, I think they would enlist the male civilians. There's a lot of them running around it seems.

Good show though.


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