This review contains SPOILERS
Starring: Noah Wylie as Tom Mason, Moon Bloodgood as Anne Glass, Will Patton as Dan Weaver, Colin Cunnigham as Pope, Drew Roy as Hal Mason, Connor Jessup as Ben Mason, Maxim Night as Matt Mason, Sarah Carter as Maggie, Doug Jones as Cochise.
Series created by: Robert Rodat
Episode Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi / Written by: David Eick / aired in the UK: 01/09/15
What’s this episode about?
Tom Mason and the 2nd Mass head for Washington DC and their final battle with the Espheni…
After five seasons and fifty two episodes, the Steven Spielberg produced alien invasion saga Falling Skies has concluded its run with, sadly, more of a fizzle than the resounding bang viewers would have hoped for. The series was arguably at its height during the second and third seasons and although former Battlestar Galactica exec David Eick took over the reins for seasons four and five, the show, although still entertaining, began to ‘level out’ creatively.
After a protracted (and all too often sidestepped) build up towards the series finale, “Reborn” felt a little rushed and Eick’s script too convenient in resolving the show’s storylines. Season four benefitted from an ever-so-slightly extended run of twelve episodes and what was really needed here was similar treatment and a double-length finale that could’ve allowed more time to focus on those final characters moments. It’s unfortunate that what little moments there are in “Reborn” are not fully developed and reduced to throwaway dialogue – Hal’s proposal to Maggie in the heat of battle springs to mind as a primary example. It’s also a shame that a ragged biker group of ‘Mason militias’ lead by Jeff Fahey (Lost’s Frank Lapidus) were introduced, only to become quickly side-lined and no doubt due to time and budget we didn’t get to see the overall battle as the final push to Washington DC was made.
To be fair, there’s a decent amount of tension as Tom Mason and his team navigate the egg-filled underground service tunnels (with plenty of not so subtle riffing off of Alien and Aliens) in an effort to reach the Lincoln Memorial. Tom’s fateful encounter with the Espheni queen (voiced by Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer) proved equally exciting, despite the shoe-horned and contrived (even unnecessary?) reasoning for the Espheni invasion and the all too easy defeat of the alien forces that literally went ‘poof’ once the queen fell.
Yet, the real drama of the episode falls a little flat with the ‘death’ of Anne quickly reversed thanks to Tom’s pleas to the Dornia (the intriguing new alien creature now seeming like nothing more than a MacGuffin) and an all too brief final stand-off with Pope a disservice to the ever-excellent Colin Cunningham. All this said, the closing scenes of “Reborn” (and the series itself) left us with a hopeful outcome that evoked the spirit of Gene Rodenberry and lessons to be learned in these times of conflict, distrust and intolerance. Many would criticise Falling Skies for it’s perceived over sentimentality but for this viewer at least it was a fitting close to an otherwise flawed series finale.
The bottom line: Falling Skies goes out with less of a bang than one would hope for in a flawed series finale that still delivers some entertaining moments.
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