This review contains SPOILERS
Starring: Noah Wylie as Tom Mason, Moon Bloodgood as Anne Glass, Will Patton as Captain Daniel Weaver, Colin Cunnigham as Pope, Drew Roy as Hal Mason, Connor Jessup as Ben Mason, Maxim Night as Matt Mason, Sarah Sanguin Carter as Margaret, Seychelle Gabriel as Lourdes, Doug Jones as Cochise.
Series created by: Robert Rodat
Episode Directed by: Greg Beeman / Written by: Remi Aubuchon / aired in the UK: 17/09/13
What’s this episode about?
The 2nd Mass prepares to bring down the Espheni defence grid and meet with the Volm commander…
Successfully powering up the Volm weapon (presumably dug up between episodes) and triumphant in bringing down the Espheni’s defence grid, all seems well for Tom Mason and the characters of Falling Skies. But, this is a season finale and not a series finale and from the early scenes of “Brazil”, despite the celebrations (together with rallying camp fire speeches and characters contemplating what they’ll do after the war) I found myself instilled with the overriding sense that things weren’t going to turn out as rosy as we’d be led to believe.
Falling Skies delivered strong finales in its first two seasons and this year is, thankfully, no different. With the Espheni grid down, the Volm reinforcements land (it’s strange that the Volm ship was ready and waiting, doesn’t it seem odd that they must have approached orbit just as the defence grid went up? Maybe I missed something, or am I just being a tad too nerdy here?) and along with them hope for the human race. The morning after, Tom, Weaver and Cochise head to the Volm ship to meet with the Volm commander, Waschak-Cha’ab (John H. Mayer) who turns out to also be Cochise’s father. Mason and Weaver are quickly deflated as the Volm commander reveals their true intentions, the human resistance is to be relocated to Brazil and kept out of the fighting as the Volm continue their centuries-long conflict with the Espheni. Not as sinister as earlier episodes would have suggested but ultimately makes sense as we’ve been given no reason to distrust Cochise these last few episodes.
Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with Weaver and Mason and after arguing with the Volm commander, Mason is detained leaving Weaver to return to camp. As expected, Pope isn’t happy about the situation and we see that the war is taking its toll on Weaver, he’s been taking heart medication for the last few months – less than subtle hints at a future storyline?
Back on the Volm ship there’s an exchange between Mason and Waschak-Cha’ab (try and say that without slurring) which conveys some of the central themes of the series – the strength and tenacity of the human spirit. It might seem cheesy and clichéd but certainly relevant in these often dark times and Noah Wylie delivers the points with reliable passion. As often seen in science fiction the aliens are confused by this sort of reaction and don’t understand why the human race wishes to go on fighting when the Volm have offered them comfort and security. Ultimately, Cochise delivers the news that the humans are free to go but they must leave Boston as soon as possible.
With the 2nd Mass back on the road the series goes back to its roots but not before some final set-up for next season, a run in with Karen (Jessy Schram) leads to her being shot by Mason (and a couple more times by Maggie to finish her off once and for all) and being reunited with Anne…with a six-year old Lexi! Although Tom is obviously disturbed, Dr. Kadar (Robert Sean Leonard, hopefully we’ll continue to see more of his character in season four) isn’t surprised given his studies of her alien DNA. What’s even more surprising is that Lexi is able to ‘cure’ Lourdes (having spent the majority of the episode chained up and delirious like scenes from The Exorcist, but non-the-less allowing some intense and unnerving turns from Seychelle Gabriel).
So all in all an eventful finale with some good drama and action scenes, it seems that a sizeable chunk of this season’s VFX budget was rightfully reserved for this episode – from the destruction of the Espheni tower and the arrival of the Volm to the final face off with Karen (skitters and Mechs included), no expense is spared. But it’s also the storytelling, which continues to improve as the series grows and develops. With Battlestar Galactica’s David Eick due to head up the writing staff next season, I look forward to seeing what’s in store next for the 2nd Mass.
The bottom line: A strong finale caps off a strong season of Falling Skies and provides tantalising hints of things to come.
Falling Skies returns in 2014.