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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Dai died... I never saw that one coming.

Death from being thrown at a wall? What a lame way to kill him off as well.

I never liked the actor or the script they gave him, so I just feel as someone who watches alot of film and (good) television that this was a cop-out.

For someone who's name makes you think hes a red-shirt (startrek ref) you'd think there would atleast be some blood or atleast a phaser blast (another ST ref).

I am not surprise there a third or technically 4 alien species, presuming the harnesses are not a species themselves that been genetically changes or the mechs, that would make them 5 or 6 and I am going to predict that these third aliens were working with our Red Eye friend and gave him the eye plant he put into Tom.

Are they good are they evil, I just hoping they are not as two dimensional as that.

1) the new species seem to be the reason the Overlord needed a weapon pointing at the sky.
2) they could be the original skitter race
3) I strongly believe they want the Overlords dead... for now...

Am I the only one who thought this episode was basically a riff on 'Return of the Jedi'? Rag-tag group of rebels get the secret plans to a super weapon, and time their attack to coincide with a visit to said weapon by the Overlord/Emperor. It turns out to be a bit of a trap and somebody gets zapped by weird electricity stuff.

That eye bug thing can't be from the third aliens because Hal has one in him.

I don't think they are the original skitter race because the overlords pretty much had them all harnessed and they seemed pretty powerful causing all that fuss in the sky. They probably are enemies with the overlords but I don't think they care to much about humans wouldn't they have come earlier.

So they couldn't take any skitters or harnessed kids... but they take Ben.

They overlord has previously been shown to read Ben's mind, but doesn't do that here to find out what he wants. Not are the 2nd Mass worried about getting his mind read and giving away Charleston.

The rebel skitters manage to sneek in anyway.

Karen went utterly nuts when Tom shot the Overlord before. Here she doesn't really seem to care when he dies. She just scampers up the wall (in a way that made me laugh out loud - not the greatest effects scene right there). A shame because Karen has turned into a villain that is a lot of fun to hate, and she is even scarier when she is upset.

Other than those doozies, it wasn't a half bad finale. Are we going to get a new alien in every season finale I wonder?

The fish-heads have had lots of chances to make enemies elsewhere in the galaxy, and to tangle with other intergalactic powers.

My speculation from a few weeks ago that the parallels to the American Revolution included the analogue to a French intervention still stands. And perhaps, like the French, this power required evidence of a victory by the Earthers before they got involved.

Now to wait until next summer, see if there's a Treaty of Brussels or a Louisiana Purchase in the works.

Unless Red Eye was engaging in secret diplomacy with the other intergalactic power?

I was thinking that Red Eyes was working for the third aliens and been spreading them around as a spying network for the third aliens.

Here's my take on things... Regarding the 'super' weapon, they state that it wasn't aimed at the Earth but instead into space. I guess this weapon was to be used to fight and/or destroy the new species that arrived at the end of the episode. If true, they will be our new allies as we (or to be more precise the 2nd Mass), destroyed the threat to them.

I'm definitely looking forward to the 3rd season now, especially if we do indeed see an interplanetary/alien alliance formed to fight the 'fish-head' overlords and their minions.

Seems like an interesting concept to have the fish head's conciousness inside the robotic bug but when the 2nd mass were tied up they were told they are like mosquitoes to the fish head and were going to die, so if fish head and his soldiers were expecting to kill the 2nd mass, why would they bother with inserting the bug into Hal at all, maybe it was put there by someone else, the rebels?

I hope the new aliens are friend and not foe, seems obvious the super weapon was intended for them, so they must be the fish head's enemies. But will they care much about the humans, guess we'll have to wait a year to find out.

So basically the fishheads are Britain, the Master Chiefs are France, the Skitters are Scots, and America is still America.

I hope they're not the original skitter race, as they obviously stand on more equal footing with the overlords than humans do and therefore makes their position as skitters in the first place a somewhat unbelievable position for human rebels to have survived at all...
They arrive in drop pods and badass suits of armour and we have what? Iron Man 3? um...

I'll let you in on some information that only myself and the shows writers were privy to.
The new aliens are in fact here to help the humans reclaim planet Earth. They would have been here earlier if it wasn't for a very, very long traffic jam at the Oort Clouds Mc Donalds drive through. Even badass terminator, predator, master chief hybrids can't pass up an opportunity for Burger, chips & cola...

More multidimensional alien character development, exactly. They're not just good, they're not just bad, they are just here for a good time, so pucker up your tea cups lads cause they weren't making glad eye with the female variety, LOL...

WTF?

Couldn't have said it better. WTF...

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