Falling Skies season 2 episode 10 review: A More Perfect Union

Review Ron Hogan 20 Aug 2012 - 07:56

Ron checks out the finale of Falling Skies' second season. Here's his review of A More Perfect Union...

This review contains spoilers.

2.10 A More Perfect Union

Here's something that blindsided me: General Bressler, the guy who led the coup that overthrew Terry O'Quinn in Charleston, is Matt “Max Headroom” Frewer and I had no idea. I guess because he's wearing a cap and fatigues and not Moloch's pointy ears. He's front and centre this week; moments after throwing elected leader Arthur Manchester into lock-up, he's agitating the 2nd Mass about actively fighting back. Tom agrees that Arthur is wrong about trying to hide, but adds that a military dictatorship isn't exactly the best way to start a new country.

Hence, they get locked up right alongside Arthur... or not, as the fighting forces of the 2nd Mass get the serious run-around in this week's episode. Are they freed to go off and aid the skitter rebellion, or are they being used as bait to draw the skitters out for an ambush at the hands of General Bressler? They're all of these things at various points in the episode, from conquering heroes to unwanted pariahs and back again, and the inconsistency plays havoc this week with the crew's morale and their place in Charleston.

As it turns out, the skitter rebellion has information about a new super weapon being developed by the Overlords. They turn to the humans of the 2nd Mass for help; the Overlords can feel the harnessed skitters (and human kids) and they need the uncontrolled fighters from the 2nd Mass to pull it off, but Bressler isn't convinced, nor does he forgive the skitters for the atrocities they have committed against the humans. Hence, he orders his soldiers to gun down most of the skitters, yet despite killing off most of the manpower, he still allows Weaver and Mason to go off on their suicide mission.

This is really two episodes pushed together in one. You get the awkward status of the 2nd Mass within Charleston, and then you get a really good action movie outbreak towards the end of the episode. The sneaking and infiltration scenes at the end of the episode are very well shot by director Greg Beeman, as is the walk-and-talk preparation scene featuring the Mass crew getting ready for their suicide mission. Ditto the skitter-on-skitter violence that leads the show to not one but two deaths of major characters: the Redeye skitter rebel boss and dear ol' Dai.

Weirdly, I care more about a dead skitter than I do about Dai, who was wasted after the first season. It's kind of a disappointment, honestly, because a) I liked the idea of a skitter rebellion working side-by-side with the human resistance, and c) I liked Dai in the brief scenes he was given in the first season and would have liked to see the actor get more lines and the character get more action. Of course, of all the people that could die, it'd be him. I guess his name was also foreshadowing.

It seems weird to wait until the last episode to kill off characters, especially considering how many characters the show could have killed off logically at this point. After all, they killed a lot of people off-screen (and added more) via the Fitchburg scenario played out in the Falling Skies web comic and saved a lot of other characters this season who would could have died in Dai's place. That's the thing about Falling Skies: there aren't a lot of drastic changes in the cast in mid-season, unlike The Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones. I kind of have an idea of who is going to survive and who is a potential death risk, and that saps a lot of the suspense that could have been milked from the skitter terrorist strike.

Speaking of suspense, the next season looks to have some interesting prospects. Namely, there's yet another alien species coming to get involved in the conflict on earth via Terminator time-travel lightning, earthquakes, and flying pods of some sort. The aliens, who look like the Predator but are benevolent-looking and wear Master Chief uniforms, look like they could turn the tide of the war against the Fishheads but good. Or, perhaps, they want humanity for themselves...

Read Ron's review of last week's episode, The Price Of Greatness, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is glad to have a few weeks' layoff from episodic television to get his strength back and grab some extra shuteye. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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