Falling Skies: Claustrophobia, Arachnophobia, and Xenophobia

Falling Skies S02E07: "Molon Labe"

Falling Skies made up for last week's alien count of zero in a big way last night in "Molon Labe," a back-against-the-wall ode to human ingenuity in the face of alien onslaught. But rather than move things forward by huge leaps and bounds and craft tales of war heroics, the episode is best summed up thusly: A bunch of stuff happened.

It was the right moment for an all-or-nothing situation, and this was probably the episode of Falling Skies that gave us the greatest sense of danger, something the show forgets to include from time to time. But the hour lacked the emotional gut punch (though not for a lack of trying) and payoff that would have put the episode over the top, and I found myself just waiting too see how the 2nd Mass would get out of the situation instead of actually being invested in it. But for summer sci-fi to stuff your face to, it wasn't a bad episode.

The key to the episode was the capture of the overlord, Mr. Skinny Jeans Fish Face, by Tom. With Fish Face a trigger-squeeze away from being No Face, the alien forces ceased fire and created a standoff: 2nd Mass in the hospital and Mechs (or at least some mean spotlights) just beyond the fog, or as it's known in the business, the special effects budget-saving cloud.

This created a series of micro-stories that we would rapidly bounce around between, and in one particularly fast set of cuts, we visited all of them in a matter of minutes which was supposed to build tension but ended up just being lots of flashlights, shouting, and arm waving. Was this episode trying to be creepy or was it trying to scare off a bear? I'm not sure. But again, Falling Skies isn't trying to be top-notch television, it's just trying to keep you from changing the channel, and the action was dense enough to do just that.

The episode did do something that Falling Skies has been horrible at so far, and that's get everyone involved. You wouldn't believe this if you hadn't seen it with your own eyes, but even Dr. Anne had something to do! While the aliens had the 2nd Mass pinned down upstairs, Anne, Lourdes, and Matt ventured downstairs to gather some medical supplies and got stuck or knocked out or something when Tom blew up a random Mech that got into the base for some reason. When they woke up, they were alone. Except for a swarm of space spiders that had been conveniently out of the picture until right now.

Season 2 has introduced a pair of new alien species, the eye worm and the space spider, but their introductions were done more for the creep factor than to serve the story. You know how when you play some sort of space marine video game, there's a few kinds of aliens and it's cool and fun? And then the sequel comes out and all of a sudden, hey! The aliens have these new critters that you have you have to deal with even though they didn't appear in the first game of the series and it just feels tacked on because the game developers feel like they have to add more instead of just refocusing on what made the first game good? Yeah, well, Falling Skies is like that with the space spiders.

Not that a few dozen of them crawling out of Jamil's mouth wasn't awesome, but it just felt like something that happened. I'm not even going to ask what took them so long to crawl out or where they came from or why there weren't more down there, because those are reasonable questions that Falling Skies doesn't have reasonable answers for. Falling Skies is all about surface-level titillation. No more, no less.

With Jamil a deflated spider bag, Anne, Matt, and a very negative and newly single Lourdes had to escape their eight-legged foes on their own. If only Jim Shannon from Terra Nova was around to sing "The Spider Song!" But the group had a trick up its collective sleeve in pint-sized Matt, and you know what happens when you have a small kid around? You send him through the vents to get help! (See: every sci-fi everything with a small kid in it.) Meanwhile, Anne fashioned a flamethrower with some Aqua Velva and a match, and whipped up a batch of spider flambé just in time for Tom and Pope to find them and lead them to safety with backwards-walking shooting.

Maggie and Hal were sent downstairs to find some alternate routes out, but it was really just an excuse to pair off the two, alone, for some relationship talk. While people were in serious danger of dying upstairs, Maggie rearranged her priorities and demanded answers from Hal about whether or not he was thinking of "her." Hal said something to the effect of, "Hell nah, she's a two-faced alien-lovin' bitch," and that was good enough for Maggie to stick her tongue down his throat. Meanwhile, people were totally almost dying upstairs. And then, A BUNCH OF SPIDERS!

Upstairs, the standoff was still standing off, and I'll admit Karen makes a pretty good mouthpiece for the aliens. Jessy Schram is doing good work with the material that's been given to her, and I have a feeling she'll be up for a lot of psycho ex-girlfriend roles in the near future. To show they weren't playin', the aliens marched out one of the Berserkers and shot him in the back for all to see in what can only be described as a Spielbergian moment. It's just too bad that we didn't care about the guy at all or even really know who he was. Ditto for Jamil. It's good that Falling Skies is killing characters, but, save for my homey Jimmy, they're people who we have little emotional connection to so we have to feel the effect through the characters of the 2nd Mass, and the acting isn't up to par to successfully convey that.

But Tom was pretty emotionally connected to them, and he turned up the dial to extreme badass by walking up to the Overlord and waving a gun in his face while having a debate about their chances and sentiment. And it's what happened next that Falling Skies has to do a lot more of. Fish Face ticked Ben's spikes into seizure mode, and Tom—God bless him—put a bullet right in his neck. YEAH TOM!

With the standoff at full-on Mexican, both sides decided the best option was for the 2nd Mass to move on and let the aliens have their Overlord, allowing both sides go back to the way things were. Tom rigged a bunch of C4 around the Overlord's cell, and he promised not to detonate it as long as the aliens let the 2nd Mass leave. Problem solved, though not really a whole lot was accomplished in the bigger scope of things. Now we can finally get back to road-trippin' to Charleston, where we probably should have already been two episodes ago.

"Molon Labe" was dangerous without being tense, creepy without being scary, and fun without being great. There's a good show in here somewhere, but it's still not doing the little things to bring that out.



Notes

– That whole bit Karen said about being able to see how the universe works down to the sub-atomic level is a ridiculous twist, if it's true. I'm guessing a lot of us had the same reaction as Hal: "Wow that’s the most ridiculous load of crap I've ever heard."

– At the end of the episode, Ben finally left the group. Finally. It will be interesting to see if the show follows his journey, or if he just shows up later riding a Mech when all seems lost for the rest of the 2nd Mass.

– If I ever see my friend barf up a bunch of spiders and die, I'm probably not going to scream, "They used him as a Trojan Horse!" like Anne did. Expect a bunch of garbled profanity instead.

– We all agree that Lourdes is probably better off without Jamil, right? He's way too old for her. Alien apocalypse or not, there are still rules of decency to follow.

– I still do love the long tracking shots this show is so fond of! Those are high-pressure situations for actors. If one person messes up, the whole scene has to be shot again and sometimes they use 10 or more actors in one shot.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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"It's good that Falling Skies is killing characters, but, save for my homey Jimmy, they're people who we have little emotional connection to so we have to feel the effect through the characters of the 2nd Mass, and the acting isn't up to par to successfully convey that. "



That's just it. There is no character in this series that I really care for. And that's a shame. Like Tim says, this way it's just stuff that happens. But I do like that people get killed off now. I guess the writers have seen what happens to a sci-fi series with a too high Disney value (*ugh Terra Nova *ugh*)



P.S.

Dinosaurs > Aliens
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The title of the episode is greek, it means "Come and take it" it's what Leonidas said to Xerxes
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there is such a thing as overannualizing. all you do is find things to complain about. People enjoy the show and like every show that has ever existed, regardless of your love or hate of it, there is good and bad. People who like the show don't watch to make critical assumptions they watch to enjoy. My problem i have with critics and haters is that if youy don't like it, stop watching it, your obviously wasting your own time and even more so getting on here to complain about it. If i read articles about a show, i read them because i like the show and your obvious hatred is just a show of how much time you should spend doing better things. And i understand how its the job of the person writing the article but a article for a show like this should be about the show but also speculation and thoughts - and your constant negative thoughts and the obviousness of your not paying complete attention to the episode itself shows through. -- And to prove my point, Maggie and Hal kiss, you missed the whole point, cause like most guys, he spent time split between thinking of the girl he lost instead of focusing on what he was doing and maggie ended that with the traditional kiss now focus your brain move. It's not original, but trust me, your not going to do any better. -- As for the commenters who show up to complain when they could just change the channel, you are sad.
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We are all doom! The red ranger is dead :(
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Did anyone else notice Lourdes smacking her head on a bunk, towards the end of the episode?
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I totally agree with you about Jessy Scham. I really start to hate her, and the mere fact that i have any emotion at all toward her is a testament to her acting.

This show could so easily raise the stakes by killing characters off. They could constantly pick up new people along the road and then kill off some old ones. But, i guess, the writers ran out of cliches for new characters so they stick with the old ones. I mean, what else is there left really? You got army guy, you got Bad guy, you got good guy, you got handsome guy. There isn't a clishe left. Or maybe the writers feel we are so connected to the characters we couldn't cope if they kill off whathisface.

I am guessing that spacefaring, planet invading, generally advanced looking aliens never heard of Quantum physics. Until Heisenberg and his fellas figured this one out, the oppinion was that, theoretical, if you new every parameter of every particle in the universe, you could predict the future. Unfortunately our universe is inherently random and unpredictable. Thats, kind of, the whole point of quantum physics, wich we've got for about 60 years.
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A few thoughts:



Anne only said that about Jamil because Tom had just whispered some historical sweet nothings about slipping her his "Trojan horse" the night before. :)



I guess the writers have finally caught on to how bad their writing is, so they've saved us the agony of saying it every week by having the characters say it for us.



It felt like there were several scenes missing from the show. Has the editing gone the way of the writing now?



I'm pretty sure there's almost no one I'm emotionally invested in, so I wouldn't feel the death of any character on the show. Except Maggie. She's dreamy.



It feels like this is becoming a sci-fi version of My Three Sons, with Noah Wylie / Tom Mason in the titular patriarch role. Every Mason gets their day in a different episode. I guess it's time for the oldest son to do something important or save someone's life again?



It drove me nuts that they didn't just tell the Overlord to pull back his attack or die. And if he's the actual head honcho supreme Overlord? Kill him! Kill him now! Everyone knows you cut off the head of the snake to watch the body wither and die.



"...or if (Ben) just shows up later riding a Mech when all seems lost..." Ha! That would crazy! Yeehaw!



Tim's just glad that Jamil's out of the way so that he can finally have a shot with Lourdes. Jamil shamil....
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This show need to be cancelled.. no.. diserve to be cancelled!.. mg.. what a waste of money!... it's just senseless... dunno why i still watch it.. it's like smoking... stupid ci-fi adiction.. xD..
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Had to think of the "lonely man" when i saw the ending of this episode

http://youtu.be/rccD1EWenio

probably no one old enough to remember though ;-)
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I like the fact that there was more action; I still hate most of the writing. More specifically, I hate the writing that the writers write when not writing about the overall plot. The plot developments are pretty fun and entertaining to watch... everything in between makes me feel stupid for watching. I guess some of the acting doesn't help, either.



I laughed pretty hard when Anne made the Trojan Horse comment. I don't know if the way she said it made it worse than it was written, but man, that stunk. Way to stuff it in my face, writers. The same applies for the little shout-off between Tom and Ben... the writing seems okay, albeit predictable, but I think it was the acting that made me groan.
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Treatment "a la Heinlein" is what I meant! I keep forgetting this site is totally unfriendly to anything that is not the standard English alphabet!!!
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Gosh... I think I watch this show just because I'm a sci-fi junkie... but it is getting soooo boring.



This episode's spiders looked like a cross between Lost in Space (the movie) & an episode from SG1. The sound effects were awfully familiar...



It would be great if Ben were given a treatment la Heinlein (a hero from any of his YA novels...) but that is just dreaming...



Jamil's death was so anti-climatic... a very nice secondary character just dumped... yawn...



I find the writing absolutely dreadful...
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I fail to see the problem Tim has with Lourdes <-> Jamil. They seemed a pretty nice couple to me. Age difference??? It's the 21st Century... or was this guy born an Amish in the 1920s???
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Couldn't agree more. Seems an odd statement to make, says a lot about the reviewer.
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Age difference was really a joke. It's TV, and it's an alien invasion. Grab all the fertile women you can, I say!
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It's more the lack of chemistry really. They were just sorta together.
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You made me think of the character the actor was playing in the killing. That relation was a bit out of order wasn't it?
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Dammit, I liked Jamil. He doesn't whine like some of the characters. Ben was so naive, I'm glad he's off for a while. Pope being back is good, we need less goodie two shoes!
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I didn't buy the whole 'spiders' thing and the sudden and unjustified 'Trojan horse' comment, but otherwise this was probably one of the best episodes of the show so far. I could feel the pain of Tom having to let his son go, and I'm glad as hell he shot the alien in a fit of rage, making the show a little bit more real. The only complaint I have is why no one has put a bullet into Karen yet. The rage that led Tom to shoot the alien should have been equally expressed as such.
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I think the spiders weren't used before perhaps because it's a new weapon and the aliens hadn't developed them yet. It's possible the overlords have an active R&D department working on new solutions to make our lives just a little worse every day.



And the Trojan horse comment, well, Anne is a doctor and a scientist and she was making a cold, pragmatic comment, which provided a nice contrast to Lourdes's desperate emotional breakdown.



And no matter how they hate Karen right now, I don't think they will ever shoot her, as, no matter what, she's just a poor victim. Not that I agree with that. She poses constant danger, and to me she's lost. It would just be putting her out of her misery. I think Pope would be the best candidate to terminate her, as he's often the only one willing to do what has to be done.
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Charleston is way too good to be true. My best guess is it's that concentration camp thing the fish head told Tom about on the ship.
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I hope this show stays on long enough to explain why the OL's are messing with Earth, and why they think it's none of our business. Are the space-spiders involved in the OL's nefarious plans? And also more OL vs Skitter back-story to explain the Skitter rebellion against the Skitters.
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I don't agree we didn't feel connected to Jamil. I did. He was Lourdes's boyfriend. Speaking of which, what's the deal with the whole "rules of decency" thing? What's the problem if a woman in her early 20s and a man in his 30s become a couple? Is this a puritan American thing? Because I don't see anything wrong or weird in that, especially when the end of the world is near.
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i really hate that Karen is harnessed.
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Then you should really that harness or no harness she seems lost forever... I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, poor little Karen... On the other hand, she has become quite an interesting, creepy, badass villain, and that leaves the way free for Hal and Maggie.
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win-win
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I have to agree, her as the bad guy is really one of the best aspects of the show. And she was great over the last two episodes.
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yea i love her as a villain but i just want her to be deharnessed which will probably never happen, she'll probably get shot and die before that happens
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Falling Skies is getting very exciting. As I suspected last episode, and contrary to what some other people were thinking, Ben was taking Karen away to protect the 2nd Mass, and their plan to learn Karen's intentions worked. Some people also complained Karen was locked in the psych ward, yet the 2nd Mass trusted Ben. Well, as I said, unharnessed kids react differently. Some become lost and crazy like Rick, some regain self control unless in direct contact with an alien, and some are lost forever like Karen. This is interesting because it makes the show more unpredictable.
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I could write a big fucking page complain like the guy who wrote this or Tim did but I`m not all I`m going to say is this,you can tell by the way he wrote this he`s not a true fan and he`s writing this because he gets paid to.This was the best episode of Falling Skies,I know this because I have supported the show since the beginning and know every episode can`t be action and alien killing every second of the show.Show isn`t perfect to you then quit whining and quit watching it.
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I agree completely. This isn't in the level of Breaking Bad, but then few shows are. Falling Skies is much better than a lot of things around, and I find it very entertaining.
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Its better than the last couple of episodes. the episode had some good ideas but didn't turn to be so good due to bad execution and writing. but i like that now there's something new to look forward too (Charlston) , the story is moving again, the unbearable dwelling on a silly subject is over. which also happened in the 7th episode of last season, when pope made the cool bullets, the story moved forward. So hopefully, like last season, the last few episode reward our patience with something great.
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Last episode felt a little like ER during an alien bad ass situation. Please, don't go there. This episode, a little bit better. Other than that it's an excellent season so far.
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I love how, in defense of last week's terrible episode, people tried to claim that maybe Ben was taking Karen away so he could double-cross her...yet it didn't take even 30 seconds into this episode to realize that wasn't the case, Ben was just stupid and fell for exactly what he warned about. I was actually laughing when he was double-crossed by her. It was about as surprising as a sunrise.



As for this episode...where do I start with the inconsistencies? What did we learn this week? The writers revel in convenience. Not because it makes sense but because they can.



- The group goes after Ben and seem to find him very quickly after running away (which is amazing in itself), but they happened to take a covered army truck with them rather than follow on foot. Convenient. It's lucky Ben and Karen stayed so close to the road, yet far enough away that they couldn't hear the trucks and motorcycles coming. Heck it's almost like the group EXPECTED to capture an overlord.



- Ben talks about how lucky he was that the Overlord didn't get access to him for any longer, he didn't know how much longer he could keep him out of his brain. Then on the ride back sits in the cab of the truck while the overloard is less than five feet away in the back of the truck. It's like he can't be just close to read him, he has to be in the same room? A simple piece of glass apparently prevents the connection. Convenient.



- Yet IT GETS WORSE, later in the episode the overload actually CONTROLS BEN (despite his dad specifically telling Ben to "keep your distance" after talking about how the Overlord almost read his mind)...yet the overlord apparently doesn't bother to get any info on rebellion (or at least there is no evidence of it). Convenient.



- Several times during the episode Karen and Ben are close enough (like when he's holding her back after seeing the overlord shot) that their spikes SHOULD do that special "connected" thing that they did last episode. Only they didn't because it was only convenient for them to do that LAST episode.



Say, why DIDN'T they take Karen when they took the Overlord? Like, how did they expect to communicate with it except for using Ben? THE MIND BOGGLES.



These writers are lazy and inconsistent. Rather than having strong characters that would act as you would expect them to they make the characters act in what ever way is necessary to further the plot. It's cheap, and they're hacks.
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You're not wrong, AyeDub.
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Which doesn't necessarily mean you're saying he's right. Right?
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Um.... Yes? No? Maybe? :)
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"I don't know. Can you repeat the question?"

Remember the opening of "Malcolm in the Middle?"
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That's not the impression I got. To me it was clear that Ben took Karen away to protect the 2nd Mass. Ben was never double-crossed. He was in shock to know his worst fears had been confirmed. Then it was revealed it was all a plan of which Ben was part to learn Karen's true intentions. Ben lured Karen to where Tom and the other fighters were, the Overlord followed them, and got captured. Yeah, it was all very convenient because it was well planned.



The most important thing I'd say this was a highly entertaining episode and I was, well, entertained. I'm not the one wasting time with shows I hate. Oh, well, unless you find it entertaining to find supposed flaws in shows you dislike, in which case, good for you. Stranger things have happened.
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There's absolutely no way the writers had Ben plan all this out. He WAS tricked and double-crossed. If you couldn't see that from the scene itself, which was very clear, the conversation between Ben and Hal after they got back to their camp suggested Ben didn't plan anything of the sort. He was angry and full of guilt that he got played for a fool and that he ended up putting the whole group in danger, and he specifically says that they shouldn't have come to save him.
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No, I think he was angry because he was attracting the aliens, who were tracking him down through his spikes. this is why he left eventually. He was a locating beacon for any alien in the vicinity. had the problem been his shame of b eing double-crossed by Karen, he could've perfectly stayed because Karen was no longer in the picture and that danger had been averted.
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I think you're reading a lot into it.



I watch terrible television as a humanitarian endeavor so others don't have to. I can tell people what is bad and why. This way if people who cut out a few episodes into season 1 can rest easy knowing they made the right choice, and people who are on the fence thinking maybe they should check it out can see more than just the non detailed comments about how the show is great from fanboys that don't want to address the MANY failings it has.



You see, I'm providing a community service.
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Rewarding networks for shows "just because" it's this genre or that genre is a large part of a problem. We should reward quality television not bad television that just happens to be a tolerable genera and not lowest common denominator fare like Reality Shows, Many (but not all) Procedurals, or some Teen show.



And you're right I don't connect with the show or the poorly written characters just like I didn't connect with the equally bad characters on Terra Nova, Alcatraz or any of the other terrible shows that were cancelled like Falling Skies should have been (and would have been if it was on a low hanging fruit of a station like TNT).



What characters on the show do you like and what did they do that made you like them? They're all about a deep as a puddle.
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So you think Firefly is not good but like Grimm and Falling Skies...and you think you're an intellectual. How rich.



You haven't addressed any of my valid issues with either Falling Skies or Grimm you just say I'm wrong.



I guess there truly is nothing more to say...well other than



"But if that's not the case, gosh, now you really let me down, to resort to such a juvenile joke when you realize, well, my ideas are right. I'm so disappointed, really. You make a poor excuse for an intellectual Nemesis"

Yikes, get over yourself.
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Well, I have made the effort to educate you and have explained to you point by point why most of Falling Skies have plenty of great qualities. I could also do that with Grimm, you know I could, but you seem to have learned nothing, so I won't do it.



I didn't say a show with many characters means some will be less developed. Learn to read. I said this kind of thing happens even in great shows, like Lost. But Firefly? Come on! American western in space? Banjos and fiddles in the soundtrack? If only they had spent a decent amount of time on the Core Planets and the Alliance where they should have, this show might've had a chance. There are so many terrible issues with that show I wouldn't even know where to start. And in the so-called "good" characters you mention there were plenty of clichs to go around. But this is not the place for dead-and-buried shows.



Yes, I remember you from Grimm. It's a little trick I've learned called memory. Comes free with a high IQ. But for some reason which escapes me, you flatter yourself too easily.



No, you haven't showed me what good TV is like. You've shown me that when people don't emotionally connect with something, they get blinded and try to explain it with fallacious logic. I'm amazed at your capacity to selectively see a few of the trees, but miss the forest. To overthink things ion such a way that you miss the essential. For instance, Weaver is a great TV leader. He's the moral compass of the 2nd Mass. He keeps the group together, provides inspiration front and center, and yes, even makes right decisions. Without men like him there would be chaos and the end of human race. The fact that he made a couple bad decisions -- off-stage ones, by the way -- is a mere detail. And yes, people under extreme consitions of stress and in the brink of extinction make questionable decisions. That's completely realistic. Again, the forest and the tress, but you wouldn't understand that.



As for who wanting who, wtf? If you're looking for men to be attracted to your mustache, my suggestion is that you look for an appropriate website. Tv.com is not the place for that.



But if that's not the case, gosh, now you really let me down, to resort to such a juvenile joke when you realize, well, my ideas are right. I'm so disappointed, really. You make a poor excuse for an intellectual Nemesis...
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So there have been 2 characters I've liked during watching Falling Skies:

Pope (last year only) - has been basically absent this year doing almost nothing this year.

Weaver (until recently) - He's NOT a great leader he let them use nearly all their fuel at the hospital...and, no, being sick is not an excuse.

...oh...and I like Lourdes because I have a crush on the actress, but she's done basically nothing (outside of one good moment this past week)...but even she does stupid stuff. For example she notices the "eye bug" escaped its jar yet she doesn't warn ANYONE (that we see)? What person would do that? At the time that was a huge deal. I can only assume it's not now because the writers have all but dropped it. That whole story line made me mad.

The rest of the characters? Haven't liked any of them. They either act dumb or only as they need to to further the plot. I definitely don't agree characters like Karen that haven't done much of anything and have barely been around have improved.

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I Definitely disagree about shows with a lot characters means some will be undeveloped. I look at a classic example like Firefly. Firefly had 9 main cast and developed every single one of them. But that's because the writers were GOOD. In fact, not only did all 9 main characters get lots of development they had plenty of supporting characters that got a lot more characterization than many main cast characters on Falling Skies, people like Badger, Niska, Saphron, Early, etc...

--

As for Grimm...I figured as much. Though I confess I'm flattered that you remember my Grimm bashing. I put a lot of effort into bashing that awful show.

...but, yikes, are we talking about the same show? The show that constantly forgets what happened last week. Nick proposes to (damn, I've forgotten her name I care so little about her) and she says no, DON'T WORRY! They'll ignore that for weeks and the two of them will act like it never happened because that makes sense and would be what real people would do!

The only thing good about Grimm is Monroe and Rosalie...of course Rosalie wasn't main cast last season so there were weeks on end where she just wasn't around for no (story) reason. She didn't even rate a dialog mention most weeks to explain away her absence.

You speak of emotional investment in the series, but how can you possibly get emotionally invested if these characters don't act like human beings? They often don't remember what happened last week and things that would be BIG DEALS to a normal person doesn't affect them.

Oh, and Grimm has the worst special effects on TV.

I'm certain you will be VERY happy to know I won't be bashing Grimm this year. I've decided to go easy on the show and give it a lot of leeway.

Just Kidding.

I won't be bashing Grimm this year because it is so bad I won't be watching. I do think that is the worst insult I can give a show: To say a show is SO bad that not even *I* will watch it.

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Bottom line is, I don't think you're not worn out, I think you want me. I challenge your notions of what is good television and you like it. That or it's my handsome twirly mustache. I can't say I blame you, I'm awesome :P
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The Grimm part was to provoke you, of course. OK, I'll be expecting your reply, but personally I admit I'm worn out explaining my point. You don't have to like the show, as you obviously don't.



I'm sure you have quite a few logic points to address, but basically i'm talking about emotional involvement.



Damn it, it's not about logic, Spock! It's about human emotions!



Live long and prosper!
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Your response was...lengthy...I only had time to skim it now and no time to respond, but I guarantee I will.



ESPECIALLY ABOUT GRIMM.
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There's much more, my friend...



What characters do I like and why? Where do I start? Now you're giving me a lot of work because there's too much to say. Since the beginning there were characters I've liked, and the best part is that most of them have improved a lot. The show is really reaching a new level. Let's go character by character.





Weaver - A great leader that is keeping the group together under impossible circumstances, and he really had to overcome his demons for that to happen. In the beginning he was on the brink of an emotional and physical collapse, but found the inner strength to change that. How he improved: he has become the leader the group needs. In the beginning I thought he was going to succumb to madness, go on a power trip, and Tom would have to take over, but that changed. And Will Patton has a magnetic presence on screen.





Tom - An intellectual and a father forced to adapt and become a military leader. How he improved: he's not giving history lessons every five minutes, he's not so obsessed with his kids anymore, while still remaining a loving father. His association with the bezerkers and the interest the alines have in him have made him more of an action character. And the actor is great. By the way, I loved Noah Wyle in "Pirates of Silicon Valley."





Hal - How he improved: He really grew up in a short period of time. I liked the way he became more of a buddy than a teen son to his father. As an adult character he can participate in all the action. And he's hooked with the hottest girl in town!





Maggie - How she has improved: she hasn't, she has always been great! Tough, badass female hero, at the same time she's extremely feminine, which is something many tough badass female heros miss these days. She has the right balance between toughness and fragility. Sarah Carter is doing an amazing job.





Karen - How she improved: I admit I didn't like her as Hal's insipid girfriend in a meaningless love triangle with Hal and Lourdes, making her carry buckets of water. Wow, now she's a really creepy, scary, relentless villain, ready to sell out humankind for just a nod of approval of her overlord. Super fun to watch, perfect character we love to hate. And, as Tim pointed out, could her eyes be any bluer?





Ben - How he has improved: he went from Hal's kid brother that had been captured, to being a kind of super soldier, but a potential (unwilling) liability to the group. He's willing to sacrifice himself by leaving just to protect the group. There are still many layers in this character to be explored.





Pope - First of all, I'll watch anything with Colin Cunningham. He was amazing as the Devil in "The Collector." How he has improved: starting as an ordinary thief and comic relief (Pope the cook, and even then he was hilarious), he became a great anti-hero, the guy who is able to do what has to be done, or what we would like to do in spite of common sense, like blow up a bunch of speeling skitters. Not very realistic, I admit, because in a real-life situation I would never trust a criminal, and in real life he would be a coward and a sellout. But a very captivating fictional character nonetheless.





Matt - How he improved: Even little Matt has improved. From a scared kid missing his mother and just afraid for his brothers, he's now even carrying guns and fitting through ventillation shafts to save his friends. And he makes a totally badass bait for blowing up skitters.





Anne - Definitely underused I agree. How she improved: she made a small but significant progress in the last episode keeping her cool and wits while Lourdes had given up, and finding a way to destroy the alien spiders. And I've loved Moon Bloodgood since "Journeyman."





Lourdes - Cute as a button, adorable little thing. How can I not like her? How she improved: she stopped being a religious nuts singing Ave Maria or something at a sappy ending in season 1, and now when she says soemthing it has to do with the problem at hand. But I agree, she's underused.





Jimmy - How he improved: from the irritating kid who risked the regiment to save a dog (or was it retrieve a Teddy bear?) and who had sentimental exchanges with Lourdes, he turned out to be a useful soldier and had a really epic death. R.I.P., Jimmy, you did have your moment.





Jamil - How he improved: he was just a human fixture, but became Lourdes's boyfriend, and was getting better lines. His trajectory was unfortunately aborted. Shit happens.





Characters I don't like or simply don't know:





Shows with too many characters have this problem: many get to be underdeveloped. Even a great show like Lost had characters we barely knew and never really justified their presence.





I never liked Rick, obnoxious harnessed kid, who looked eternally constipated. His father too. He's gone and I barely remember he ever existed. (How they improved: they died.) Kai: what's the deal with that Asian? He's like Walking Dead's T-Dog, just there for the ride, but he doesn't do or say anything. The other bezerkers: just exchangeable faces; even that lady who was in BSG has zero development.





OK, better stop here. I think you get my point. Now shall we go through the characters of Grimm, when I should show you why they are great and pointing out what you've missed in your negativity and hurry to criticize?





Ha, ha, just kidding. I love discussing things with you. If I ever write fiction in English, I'd love to have you as a critic because you're a relentless nit-picker, and that's essential for good writing.

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I hear you, I confess that I'm watching Perception as well, but that's because I've always had a crush on Rachel Leigh Cook...and, hey, there's a nostalgia factor whenever I see LeVar Burton.



As for Terra Nova vs Alcatraz vs Falling Skies...they're all about equal, while I agree with the same problems you had with Alcatraz it at least had Jorge Garcia who is better than the entire cast of Falling Skies combined (Noah Wyle who could be better is just phoning it in) and Garcia's love interest with the coroner was more interesting than any plotline on Falling Skies...as for Terra Nova, I would say it was too family oriented (which also meant too teen oriented), but that's almost exactly the same as Falling Skies only the writing was (slightly) better on Terra Nova. I found myself not enjoying episodes of Terra Nova but I didn't find problems every single week to the same degree as Falling Skies.
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OK, you address many issues, let me try to explain my point. First there are kinds of shows I don't watch. I don't watch reality shows at all, no teen shows, period, and try to avoid procedurals the most I can (even though I'm enjoying Perception). So, yes, a show gets extra points with me if it's science fiction and I believe that should be automatically rewarded. That doesn't mean I don't find sicence fiction shows bad occasionally. I agree with you Alcatraz and Terra Nova were bad. Alcatraz focused too much at the boring procedural aspect and I didn't buy Sarah Jones as a tough streetwise detective, and I never even tried Terra Nova because of Tim's reviews saying it had too many silly teen stories. I find Falling Skies much better than those, by the way, and I don't agree it should've been cancelled, as the second season is even better than the first. Just because you use adjectives such as bad, terrible and poor, it doesn't make things this way, it just shows your personal reaction. Mine is obviously different.
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All right. Wow, I feel you're a man with a purpose. It's too much of a burden to place upon one's humble shoulders. I wonder how you do it.



Seriously now, calling anyone who likes the show a fanboy is using a simplistic derisive label. For starters, I'm not a boy. And if people just say they like something, it means they emotionally connect with it. Sometimes that's all it takes and no great explanations are necessary. You may think it's the logic flaws you believe you see that distract you, but the bottom line is that you don't connect.



I'm glad we have the option of a show about alien invasion. We could have another reality show instead, or a boring procedural with impeccable logic, or even another show glorifying teenagers with and including vampires and werewolves because, well, that's the fad young people are supposed to be into, and everybody is milking that undead cow.



And, by the way, you wouldn't see me commenting on those.
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I may be seeing more than what is actually there but during that REALLY long single shot scene with the Weaver/Jamil/Tom walk-n-talk Weaver tells somebody to go off and check "the west wing". Writers throwing in a little gag there? Also the scene where Hal is struggling to open the whatever-it-was while Maggie stands there doing nothing (holding a torch) reminded me of the scene in Empire Strikes Back where Leia is doing a very similar action (rotating a thing in the wall) while Han Solo looks on.
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I think Weaver says something like: "They went to commandeer our supplies from the basement in the west wing."
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Oooh! Nice catch, I'll check that out. (re: West Wing) That's all I can think about during those long shots.
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Last night's episode was great. I have to wonder, if you don't like the show, why do you write about it?
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J-O-B. I actually enjoyed it for the popcorn factor, and I think I said so in the review.
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perhaps you could ask to write for a show you find a bit less painful.. Just hate to see you so unhappy.
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Someone will still have to write about it :)

Actually the show got a lot better after I started reading these reviews. It's kind of a package deal - you watch the show, read the review, laugh about the show, read the comments, laugh more. Plus, as Tim said, the popcorn factor. I would have probably quit the show long time ago if not for the reviews.
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what I react about is that Ben doesnt seem to have any feelings except when Jimmy died. Would have been more fun if thye invested more in Bens caracter.
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Nice review, though a bit to nice perhaps this time ;) No rants about this weeks most stupid moments?



Well, if nobody else does it:

You get the alien overlord right into your camp, nice catch, probably worth some ransom. But you'd probably want to get him as far away from people as possible, since this show always makes such a big deal of how these guys are telepathic or something. They can communicate with each other without nifty smartphones!

And what is the first thing Weaver does when he sees Mr. Fishhead? He complains that he doesn't need this sh*t because he wants to go to Charleston. Remember, we go to that SECRET human base in CHARLESTON! Yes, he said it twice. Right in front of the Overlord.

Ahh, this show.



Later Tom showed some more sense when he instructed Ben to keep away from Mr. Fish so he didn't get another chance to wriggle some information out of Bens head via spike-cast. Good idea Tom. Up to the point you let Ben follow you right into Mr. Fishs cell, so that he could use him as a pawn and probably extract every bit o info that Weaver didn't scream in his face...

BTW, the way Mr. Fish shed those chains one might get the idea that he liked it in his cell, because what use is a door when you can rip apart chains like well cooked noodles?

Yes, this show...
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Ha ha, thanks for taking care of this for me.
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Weaver probably guest the overlords know about Charlson, no one said it was a secret and the OL were more than capable of tracking the 2nd Mass and a couple of hundred people, Charleston is probably know by the aliens and Weaver probably guest that the Aliens know about Charleston, even may be even expecting Charleston to be a trap of some sort. But I seriously doubt anyone in the 2nd expect Charleston to turn out to be perfect, it just no possible given what we know of the enemy capabilities. Of cause Red Eyes might be protecting it or it might be part of the OL plans for our planet.
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I think that if a secuel of a game where there is aliens, monsters, or whatever creature you want, down't include new monsters, is getting lazy in the job. I mean, is just putting the same thing in a diferent place, that's not a new game that's just using the same game and putting a different name to it.



And about the aliens of Falling Skies, i think it's ok that they bring up new aliens that brings up some strategy to the show. They use the Spiders to enter through smaller places and attacks from the back. I think it was a nice change to the Overlords, i mean, all they are doing it's shooting whit mechs and harnnessing kids. Now they show us they have some intelligent. But i don't like Anne saying that line about the Troyan Horse... Come on!



I'm from Argentina, sorry if my english it's not too good. Let me know if there is some mistakes.
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secuel is spelled sequel

down't is spelled don't

whit is spelled with (whit is a different word no one uses)

harnnessing is spelled harnessing

Troyan is spelled Trojan

"there is some mistakes" should be "there are some mistakes"
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thanks man! jajaja a lot of mistakes!
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As for Karen, that isn't entirely ridiculous. Theoretically it could happen. A civilization would have to master quantum physics in order to do so. And if they could that would give that civilization access to a near infinite amount of power. They would be so much further than a level 3 society in the Kardashev scale. If they could not only know what a sub atomic particle is going to do but where it is going to do that. It would be astounding.



But I doubt a civilization so advanced would have problems with little ol us.



One of the things that annoyed me the most of this episode was that the Alien was in Ben's head and he shared his thoughts with Ben. So what is the big freaking secret Ben. The Alien said it had plans for Earth and us but it was none of our concern why they were really here. Come on Ben inquiring minds want to know.



And no I don't think anyone would said Oh they Trojan Horsed him. It would be like AH! alien spiders, run!
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Quantum physics is what says that isn't possible. Heisenberg uncertainty principle and all that. Not just that we don't know enough to predict, but by the very nature of subatomic interactions it is impossible to predict. That's why things are described with probability waves.
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As we as humans understand Quantum Physics, yes. And many things in science were perceived as impossible until it was possible. However, she is claiming that the Aliens potentially have mastered that. And who knows maybe a more advanced society could master that, even the uncertainty principle. Meaning that they can both precisely know the position of a particle and simultaneously know its momentum, which Heisenberg and subsequent tests have proven theoretically impossible. But that is entirely based on our current knowledge of math. Which far exceeds the math that was known when Heisenberg developed the Uncertainty Principle. Take just last year a group of physicists from Spain exceeded a limit that Heisenberg thought was impossible. Through a process they were able to further measure atomic spin. Which will lead to further our technology and understanding. They didn't break the principle by any means, but it might lead to one day invalidating the Uncertainty Principle. One thing I always remember in studying science, especially physics, and that is even Einstein if I recall correctly, said that the randomness of which we see things, which can be applied to Quantum Physics, might not be random, and that we might just be missing or simply ignorant of some fundamental natural process.







We are limited by what we know and what we can observe. Which might not even be close to a level that a advanced civilization feels as standard knowledge. Our smartest person alive has an IQ of 230. The largest ever alleged was 275 and lets say that theoretically, that is a drop in their IQ bucket. And their IQs and capacity to understand might be so far ahead of ours that we would't even be able to out think their equivalent of toddlers.









Which is why I mentioned the Kardashev tiered societal scale. Which in his three tiers in the third that civilization could potentially capture the power of a black hole and even a quasar. Which for us is equally as impossible right now as mastering Quantum Physics. A Civilization that can travel the universe I would think has probably mastered a lot of things that we may have thought we knew but didn't, perhaps didn't even come close to. And with Science in general, no theory is really absolute because we might one day realize we were all wrong.





Sorry for the length, reading about this stuff is a hobby and I love discussing it.
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It's pretty fundamental. No matter how much science advances you can't have a round square, you can't have something be both oxygen and gold at the same time, and you can't know position and momentum at the same time. It's a matter of definition. In this case, the definition is an equation (well, actually an inequality). This idea is junk science. It's all well and good to say our understanding of science changes, but there are limits. We will never discover that the "dark-sucker" theory is true, light bulbs really do emit photons. I can't prove this to you here on this page, but the math is pretty convincing. This is so far wrong that it is no longer science fiction, but fantasy.
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Probably waves can vary by strength (poor choice of words there) an extreme is that a probability wave for you to see a flying pig is low (nothing is impossible, just very unlikely) and this is a weak wave, the probability wave for you to see a flying aircraft is far stronger, so far more likely to happen. If you could assign a value to the likely hood of each probability and then you could eliminate the least likely waves and focus on the most likely ones, other probabilities would grow and decrease depending on out comes of other probability waves. Of cause probability waves probably contain many variables, and any universe/systems could contain an almost infinite amount of waves and variables.



Of cause the Aliens could just have Heisenberg compensator like they do in the Star trek universe, which is why teleporters can function.
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I am of mixed feelings of this episode. They keep trying to balance the action with the touchy feely. And when that happens they both lack. (See Terra Nova for best example.) We see action, then we see Lourdes and Jamil, action, then Maggie and Hal, Action, then Tom and Anne. It would be better served if they did it in episodes, an action episode and then a heavily drama episode. Both of which can further the story in their own way, without it feeling overly muddled. The old saying too many cooks spoil the soup, apply in that too many story lines and contrary plots spoil the episode. And the over all story arc because while trying to fit both in you leave out certain essential things like quality background of people who are about to die so that we can care for them and feel bad for their death. And also things that further the overall plot.



To be honest at this point I didn't care about Jamil and actually wanted him dead, the whole Mr. Fixit vibe was annoying and in no way gave off their intended idea that they are in an alien apocalypse and life is precious and we need to figure things out. Contrast this between The Walking Dead and them trying to figure out the RV, that was done well, this wasn't. Now I know that it is a larger group with a military structure in Falling Skies and there was bound to be a mechanic in there. But a fix it all is kind of a bad plot device. Especially when the previous episode he used all of their fuel without question. And the love story between him and Lourdes was stupid. It was unnecessary and most importantly we learned nothing deeper from either of the characters. That is what makes this show frustrating. You want to like it, and you do, but without liking the characters, without the apprehension that something might happened to the core characters, there is no tension. I knew nothing was going to happen to Matt when he went in the vent. He is a core character. I knew nothing was going to happen to Ben, because he is a core character. etc etc. Without any consequences for the group, for example the fuel thing. There is no tension. And tension brings people back for the next episode. It makes them want to come back, it drives them to comeback. How many people that watch Person of Interest, can't freaking wait for the premier. How many for the next episode of The Walking Dead. etc. That is the difference between good shows and great shows. This is a good show. It could be a great show. But it needs to focus on one thing at a time in the episodes. Or a few things.
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Totally agree with you about the Lourdes-Jamil story never being really developed... I think it was introduced just to leave space to the all Maggie and Hal thing since in the first season Jamil wasn't even "born" yet and Lourdes having hearth shaped eyes for Hal could have actually lead to the possibility of her ends up with Tom Mason's oldest son. I believe the authors will take advantage from Jamil's dead to use this angry side of Lourdes and to show that she might not be just all heart and home... she might even try to handle a gun at some point! lol
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As long as it is anger. And not emo sullenness about how life is futile and we're all going to die. I think they were teetering between the two in how they wrote her reaction to it.



I think another strong female like Maggie and for at least this episode with Anne would be a good thing. Hand Lourdes a gun and make her a badass for the rest of the season, part of next season. Get us to care about her and then kill her. That is good TV.
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Make her a bad ass, then crush like a bug emotionally and physically, may be some OL torture session or two, and then we can have Lourdes and Maggie bonding scene where Maggie tries to help Lourdes rebuild herself after the 2nd Mass rescue her.

Their nothing better than seeing the rise an fall an then rise of a character and it something Spielberg does often enough to.
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Or what could be going even further. Make her a student of Pope. Who Pope even starts to worry about. It is true, the death doesn't need to be literal, she could just be the tragic character over and over again.
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I felt like I stumbled onto a cheesy horror movie in the middle of this episode. Two ladies and a child are trapped in a scary basement, here's this injured guy and disgusting spider aliens everywhere! How will they survive!?!



Still my favorite summer show though, mostly because of the cast.
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I'm hoping that Jamil's death will mean that the 2nd mass has actually has to deal with life-threatening tech issues now instead of "Hey Jamil, we need X to do Y. Make it happen."
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RAMIREZ! SHOOT DOWN THAT HELICOPTER WITH YOUR THROWING KNIFE!
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good episode but I wish they would explain more about the aliens
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Getting sick of these reviewers clearly favoring shows & you can see it in their writing. This episode was awesome, but I guess not as good as Teen Wolf.
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totally agree with you. I don't think Tim really likes any show he reviews. He skewered this year's Being Human and it was great.
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I respectfully disagree, smorbie. Being Human's 2nd season started out great in it's first few episodes, then took a left turn off a cliff before coming back to us at the very end. Tim's reviews accurately reflected all of that.
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Eeeeek! This year's Being Human was only okay. Don't worry, I think someone else will take that show next season. And I like a lot of shows that I review, but Falling Skies definitely has its problems. Just because it's sci-fi doesn't give it an automatic pass. Good sci-fi is hard to do.
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IDK. Maybe it's because I don't have to watch TV for a living. I have the freedom only to watch what I enjoy. There are very few shows I do watch, and here you are, dumping on two of them. What kind of shows do you really like?
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Two different people review/recap Teen Wolf and Falling Skies, so I'm not sure what you're trying to get at there.



Anyway, Tim's reviews of Falling Skies are fair.
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I realise they are different reviewers, but Falling Skies is always being bashed, whereas Teen Wolf (Which I like) is always being praised, even though they are about the same. Breaking Bad as good as it is, is always over praised.
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Teen Wolf keeps getting praise because Price loves the show, but he usually mentions the nonsensical parts of the episodes too. He doesn't love ALL of it. Plus, the type of show it is is clearly in his wheelhouse - he thinks The Vampire Diaries should win an Emmy for best drama.



Tim keeps criticizing Falling Skies because, like a lot of us, we WANT to like the show but it makes it very hard for us to do so.



The two shows are VERY different. The three biggest things Teen Wolf has going for it is the very fast pacing of the episodes, the pretty high level of humor, and their characters are interesting. Falling Skies is never funny (intentionally); they have plenty of episodes where nothing really happens; and every single one of Teen Wolf's characters are more interesting or entertaining than ANY of Falling Skies'.
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I like your reply, making really great points. I get that the show has problems, but no need to hack it to death.
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They are nothing like the same. Falling Skies would have been cancelled if it were created by anyone else. It is just slightly above the likes of The Event and Terra Nova.
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Couple things to clarify to the comment below this one: Falling Skies' audience is dropping, down to about 3.5 mil an episode. Walking Dead's audience has increased dramatically, with the s2 finale almost hitting 9 million. They're not even close to being in the same class. Falling Skies is also doing worse than most other TNT shows.
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I has not been cancelled for the simple fact it is pulling in huge numbers for a cable show, around the same as Walking Dead. That why it got a third season and if it maintains those ratings it will get a fourth and a fifth and given their love of killing people off, their will be no problem with actor wage inflation.
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