Note: Episode review contains substantial spoilers.
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Persian Poetess here – taking over for Aidy on this second to last episode of Falling Skies season 1 produced by Hollywood wizard Steven Spielberg. The resistance against the Skitters are looking to tear through the alien ranks with a big batch of explosives. Those who are unfamiliar with the series can read Aidy’s introduction to it here. Did this episode manage to drum up big booms and great action? Well…
If you have been ruffling through our reviews of the series – you may have noticed the constant use of the word “potential” in regards to Falling Skies. Oncemore, this episode falls short of the potential that the show’s Skitter-filled universe can have. Even the anchor characters of Mason (Noah Wyle) and Captain Weaver (Will Patton) weaken rather than strengthen the plot. I understand that this was suppose to be a moment to be intimate with the worries and thoughts of Captain Weaver but it feels more akin to melodrama. Weaver also strikes me as stereotypically “grizzled” and I would prefer a fresh twist on such a repetitive stock type. Oh and did I mention the fact of how hard it is to believe that Weaver happened to know about breached childbirths and the construction business? Its like he is a sage of knowledge on everything at precisely the right moments. I’m finding that pattern too predictable.
The show’s ray of hope is ironically the Skitter-compromised Rick (Daniyah Ysrayl). It is beyond unsettling the manner in which he condemns the human race despite being a member of it himself. The reason for this is revealed by Dr. Anne’s autopsy of a Skitter that revealed a harness eerily similar to the one that the enslaved children have. This raises the level of suspense and actually piqued my interest to continue watching. This intriguing plot detail is shortlived in a rather stale episode.
Jumping back to Mason and gang – we discover along with them elements of human life dangerously nearby a Skitter base. Before I cover that can I have a moment to say how utterly disappointed I am at how they portrayed the construction abilities of the Skitters. C’mon aliens have vastly better technology and architecture than us dim humans GRRR…maybe I’m looking too much into it. Moving along, Mason and Weaver question the residents of a certain building who seem to be hiding knowledge regarding the alien visitors. The actress portraying the lady in the richly decorated apartment was good in conveying her shiftiness and I did pick up that she was up to something not-too-kosher. I loved the irony that she turned in human resisters for a mere box of tea and other goodies.
The show tries to end with a bang by showing Pope (Colin Cunningham) delivering a pep talk to a weary group of alien fighters about some new weaponry at their disposal. He cocks his pistol and fires off a bullet donated by you guessed it – the aliens themselves! Funny isn’t it that the aliens can manage to create bullets that are tank-busting grade but can’t, as Captain Weaver pointed out, build structures beyond the level of “Architecture 101”? Falling Skies is really falling off the precipice of being mediocre down to the depths of being nonredeemable. The action at times does pick up and there are moments where I find Spielberg’s vision interesting. Perhaps what needs to be done is throwing the current plot direction in the shredder and starting from scratch. There is still the season finale left so I doubt it will happen now…season 2 may tell a different a story.
[xrr label= “‘Falling Skies Ep. 8 ‘What Hides Beneath'” rating=2.5/5]
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