Falling Skies' Season 2 Finale: The Skies Are Falling!

Falling Skies S02E10: "A More Perfect Union"

We all tune into finales for fireworks, and the best series light their fuses at least a couple episodes in advance, creating an air of tension that fills the audience with nervous anticipation in the weeks leading up to the final hour. This did not happen during Falling Skies' second season. In fact, the show didn't even go to the fireworks store until the after the opening credits tonight, and by that point the only thing left on the shelf were those little black tablets that turn into ash snakes. Thanks to a pair of dull episodes with no forward thinking leading up to the "A More Perfect Union," tension had to be artificially created and the result was sloppier than a 'sploding Skitter head.

As you may recall, I called last week's penultimate episode a big misstep for the series as it headed into the finale because there was such a lack of focus, and that's even more apparent now we know that everything that happened in "The Price of Greatness" was inconsequential. We ended the last episode with Tom and the 2nd Mass caught in the middle of a military coup as General Max Headroom (real name Bressler) assumed power of the Charleston Mall, and this swap of megalomaniacs proved to be completely pointless. I'm still trying to understand why the power struggle needed to happen or why Arthur Manchester (Terry O'Quinn, who's no doubt pretty pissed off at his agent) ever needed to exist if he was just going to get thrown in Mall Prison and released on house arrest to lend Tom an ear and give the same advice anyone else could have given.

Meanwhile, Bressler ascended to the role of spineless villain, rolling over multiple times when Weaver disobeyed his oh-so strict orders. Bressler: "You can't go meet with the alien resistance!" Weaver: "Sorry, bro. We're going to do it." Bressler: "Hmmph. Fine, but just this time." Later... Bressler: "Hey you can't go on that mission to blow up the Super Laser Space Cannon!" Weaver: "Sorry, bro. We're going to do it." Bressler: "Okay fine. But make sure you take plenty of our guns first." Tough guy! Now that's what I call martial law. Charleston was the show's Mecca, and it ended up being the biggest dud of the summer.

And about that Super Laser Space Cannon: It became the main goal/target/plot of the finale (and therefore the season, one can argue) and we just found out about it now? This really goes back to what I said at the beginning of this review: One surefire way to sabotage a season finale is to create the big battle and expose the enemy's master plan IN THE FINALE instead of using previous episodes to set it up. As viewers, we should be saying, "OMG OMG OMG IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING!" instead of what we were saying during "A More Perfect Union," which was, "Oh, this is what we're doing now?" I've said this before, but it bears repeating: That's just poor storytelling. (← potential new catchphrase!)

So all our favorite 2nd Massers followed Ben to the Super Laser Space Cannon to blow it up, even though they didn't know what it does. All they had was the intel that the same overlord they previously held captive would be there, and this time they weren't letting him go. But after they planted a bunch of C4, they were ambushed by, oh I don't know, five Skitters and a blonde teenage girl? And they were instantly and completely overwhelmed by a squad that couldn't fulfill the minimum requirements for a game of full-court basketball. It seems like poor tactical strategy to engage in a mission that infiltrates the enemy's stronghold if you can't even take on half-a-dozen grunts, but what do I know, I'm no military strategist!

Cut to some of our heroes caught up in the Super Laser Space Cannon's electrical-wiring tentacles (???) while Anthony, Tector, and others were sitting up against a wall (???) while Karen delivered one heck of a smug speech. That was interrupted by a sneak attack from some of the alien resistance because the writers needed something to move the story along. And then it was ON. I may not have been a fan of the episode, but I sure was a fan of seeing Red-Eye bitch slap the Overlord (even though the scene looked like it was rendered by a PlayStation 2) and Tom Mason bludgeoning in the head of the Overlord with the blunt end of the Super-Tazer. Now we know what the aliens' weakness is: multiple crushing blows to the face! However, I would have paid $50 to have actually SEEN the action instead of an effects-saving close-up of Tom accompanied by the sounds of a mango being squished providing the aural imagery. Meanwhile, Karen got away by skittering up the wall because no one thought to shoot her during the hours and hours that she was vulnerable. Sure, whatever. It wasn't a bad fight, but does anyone remember the fight that opened the second season? That was legitimately badass. This was... not.

But that wasn't the end! Tom and company blew the Super Laser Space Cannon to smithereens almost as an afterthought (great job, guys), and the 2nd Mass returned to the Mall of New America as heroes while Bressler reinstated civil rule. But hey, Falling Skies is coming back for Season 3, so it was time to cram in some things to think about during the off-season. Hal got knocked out in the assault on Super Laser Space Cannon and woke up with a space worm in his eye and an evil grin on his face, which felt totally tacked-on. Maybe the eye worm will bring Tom, Ben, and Hal closer together since they've all been penetrated by aliens now. How long before Matt gets probed so the aliens can say they've had their way with all the Mason males?

And in the final minutes, the ones that TNT had been touting as THE MOST AMAZING MINUTES OF YOUR LIFE, lightning crashed and strange pods dropped out of the sky. Out of one of these pods popped an alien that looked kind of like the comic character Spawn, because when Falling Skies needs to take things to the next level, it does so by introducing a new species of alien instead of writing compelling stories. But by the time he (or she!) stepped out of the pod, so much had happened at a pace that was so jagged and sloppy that I'm not sure too many people cared. And just to keep things completely open, we got no information on the new species at all. Are they friend or foe? Was that Super Laser Space Cannon pointed skyward to keep these guys off Earth? We have about 10 months to ponder that question before Season 3, and the writers have about nine months to come up with an answer. I'm not sure it's enough time.

I actually enjoyed the Season 1 finale of Falling Skies because it felt like the story was finally opening up and a plan was in place. I can't say the same about "A More Perfect Union," which panicked when it realized that it was the last episode of Season 2 and tried to squeeze in everything it could. Did someone in the writers' room forget how to count?

If Falling Skies was a collection of standalone episodes, "A More Perfect Union" might have fared better. But this show is as serialized as anything out there, and the final three pieces—"Death March," "The Price of Greatness," and "A More Perfect Union"—fit together like a foot and a glove and a watermelon. After a promising start, Season 2 totally collapsed.



NOTES

– Which of these is NOT a quote from Captain Weaver in this episode: a) "The Skitter talks through a human, don't ask me how." b) "... or this stylish, rugged size 11 boot will commence to kicking some ass!" c) We've been living at the razor's edge of death for so long we don't know any different, and besides, you know we're just going to be a thorn in your backside as long as we're here." d) "Yarrr... shiver me timbers!" e) "Let's roll, don't want to be late for our date with that Fish Head!"

– Is it just me or did the new alien have a grandpa face?

– When Hal got knocked out and was back at Charleston, Anne told Maggie," I promise we will keep an eye on him." And right after that they all left the room. That's Obamacare for ya!

– R.I.P. Dai, but way to live up to your name. You will always be the Asian T-Dog (The Walking Dead) to me. A man of few words, and even lesser importance, but somehow still a character in a show.

– R.I.P. Red-Eye. You were a very special Skitter because you were the only one we could really recognize due to your horrible disfigurement. Now that I think about it, how did the 2nd Massers know which Skitters were resistance and which were alien loyalists?

– We finally got a name for the fish heads, but I don't know how it's spelled. Ysfenni? Ifshenny? Eef-shen-nay? Spell check, you're no help!

– How far back did your eyes roll when Anne announced she was pregnant? It's a finale plot twist so classic that it's horrible!

– This show needs to spend less time on people trying to convince other people that they should be allowed to fight in battle. We expect this from Matt, but Weaver's daughter? Really?

– Ummm... how safe is Charleston if dozens of Skitters can simply walk into the middle of the food court without meeting any resistance? Bressler's army is THE WORST. And how hilarious was it that Ben just popped up from behind one of them like a jack-in-thee-box?

– So what happened to the story from early in the season about Tom possibly being bugged by aliens? Falling Skies Season 2 loved to make a big deal out o' nothing.


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

Comments (178)
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The first season of this show was initally pretty bad, but then it pick up the pace and got better, however, the second was in it's entirely a piece of mediocre writing, artificial dialogues, clichs everywhere, not to mention that even with some decent actors, the performances have been almost unanimously subpar, this season was one big *roll eyes* moment.



The ending was ridiculous, they enter some crazy weapon that nobody hear before, get ambush, then when other forces attack, somehow they get loose and then kill the most unprotected overlord you will ever meet, don't even get me started in Charleston.
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I watch the show because it's sci-fi and has some decent lead actors in it. But the writing seems to be getting more wretched by the minute. The talent, budget, and premise is being squandered.
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There are over 150 comments!



TV.Com Staff: Can you do one of your clever graphic info studies??????



(seriously)



Is there a connection between volume of comments (good and/or bad) and a TV shows renewal?



I don't mean a direct connection as in the execs say "hey looky here!" I mean an indirect correlation.
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If there is, TSC is a pretty significant outlier.
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What is TSC?
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Tim Surette Cronie?
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So is Whitney.
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I just read Falling Skies just began production of season 3. That's great news! Looks like quite a few people here will will have lots of reasons to feel annoyed. Or will love the chance of one more season of hate-watching...



I don't know, no matter how strange that can be, people make use of their TV-watching time the way that pleases them most., I guess.
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I gave this show a fair show. It was terrible.



Then it got worse. I know I won't be tuning in to another awful season, just like I can't bring my self to watch anymore Grimm.
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I enjoyed the second season and there were more revelations about the aliens but it did seem a little rushed and crammed and the lack of attention to detail is starting to make me worry about the future of this show. I love whats happening but we need to see more of the aliens and learn more about them too. This could be the best series ever if the writers do a little more planning and write more efficient episodes. I wish the season was longer, what happened to the 20-22 episode seasons of the past?
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I agree maybe its because they are making a 10 episode series that they had to cram everything up.
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Cram everything up? Half the time nothing is happening, at least nothing that's directly related to the fight against the aliens. It's like they're deliberately stalling, so that they won't have to use expensive special effects too often. This would be tolerable if they could at least write some good dialogue and character development, but that's what they're doing worst of all.
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good point
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I thought it was an okay finale. Some parts I skipped over. What is it with some of these shows and talking so much? All the personal talks and stuff bore me. There was about 15 minutes action, the rest was talking.

The pregnancy was kind of predictable. It's not like condoms and such are in abundance once you have an alien invasion. You have to keep up the numbers too, even though we reproduce painfully slow. Made me wonder how we managed to survive in the first place. However, I wouldn't have gone to battle in Anne's place. Pregnant, with humanity in jeopardy, and waving a gun around is more important.

I think in the action part, the gun wasn't important. It was more about the rebel Skitters and fish-face, which was really the theme of the season. In that regards, the gun was a side plot. However, it was interesting how they then made the gun and it being pointed up the plot for the next season. It was stupid how they asked if the ones coming down were ally or foe. Of course ally. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, after all.
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I've thought a good deal about the pregnancy. I saw a show on NatGeo about how we would survive an alien attack. The documentary opined that the number one job of all humans would be to procreate. Now, I know that Anne and Tom weren't planning a child, but it does make sense that having babies would be a big deal in a depopulated society. Also, as someone else mentioned, prophylactics would be in short supply, so nature would tend to take its course.



That said, the ways in which the announcement was made,both to the audience and to Tom, were dumb.
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well, since Terry has another show to start on ABC. Apt. 666 Sundays at Nine central. Likely do not want to build his character up too much unless ABC bails on his new one. lol Smart to keep a toe hold just in case and then strengthen his TNT character . Why did nobody kill Karen yet? Typhoid Mary is what I call her after the Hal worm incident. lol
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She has a part in Last Resort, so I sort of expected her to get killed off here.
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Honestly, I just don't understand why it is important to comment on the reviewers and get all hostile. I myself skim through these reviews for the tidbit of information and their opinions as such don't interest me. I would rather respond to a comment or offer some insight that I think might encourage discussion.

We are obviously all individuals and I am glad that we don't see the tv shows we comment upon in the same way.If by any chance I systematically dislike some commentator or reviewer, it's my privilege to ignore them, as I am sure I am being ignored by many. At the end of the day,I do feel that I got more insight when I leave the site than when I logged in, and if the day comes this will not be the case I'll seek another tv shows forum .
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I live in Denmark and we get shows later than they air in the states.



I read this and other tv forums to get an idea if a show is worth investing my limited free time in.

Therefore it does get frustrating to read reviews that have the reviewer clearly not liking the show, and spending a large portion of it, making rather un-funny punchlines.

That works better when you can tell the reviewer actually enjoys the show, when they don't it comes off as patronizing and below average. I'd rather they used a more serious tone and explain which parts they didn't like and why.
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It's too bad these reviews don't meet your needs, but then you're using them for a purpose other than the one they were intended to meet. That's not a flaw in the reviewing process, and I don't think the process should be changed to meet your different requirements.
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I didn't demand it should be, I pointed out my reasons for disliking the form.

Other than that, I have a hard time pinpointing what the idea and intentions of this sort of review is. There is little to get from it in terms of appreciating the show. Should the focus be on the episode and not the reviewer?
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Couldn't agree more. it is tiresome when the reviewer wastes most of the column inches slagging off everything about the show rather than doing an unbiased account. Pity really.
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Thanks. agree. tired of hostility , it happens on Glue also and irksome. It is just TV. And I watch alot but it is not my entire life. I also knit. lol
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Bravo.
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i disagree with is review i enjoy this show n look forward to it every week, it had me on the end of my seat each n every week , cant wait for its return.
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Staff
I would like to wish all human survivors (especially 2nd Mass) a Happy Harnessing! The worst finale I have seen in a while.



Anne just surpassed Lori Grimes as the worst female character on TV. Lourdes gets honorable mention.
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Fact: No one is worse than Lori. She is the WORST.
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Couldn't understand why all the fan reviews on the other page were so negative until I came here and read the site's review on this page.



Why a web site would pay somebody to write reviews that are entirely negative and seem to be written only to serve the purpose of allowing the reviewer to enjoy his own lame jokes and cater to the hateful, 12-year-old (emotionally) trolls that clearly flock to this site is beyond me.



If your reviewer and his fans hate a show so much, stop watching it and stop reviewing it. Not everybody in this world thinks being jaded, cynical, and unfoundedly critical makes you cool.
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Please counter the review, and tell us how all of the ways we've pointed out it's bad are inaccurate.



Catering to haters is just as legitimate as catering to mindless fanboys...only in this case I 100% believe that Tim BELIEVES everything he writes about this show. It's not sugar coated and fake. It's real.
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Please read the recent article on hate-watching, as well as all the comments. kthxbye
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That has been my point with Tim for a long time, not only over this show, but also Being Human. He obviously doesn't like either show, so he has a bias against them to start with.



That said, he was right about the finale, even when I disagree with him, which is almost all the time, I think he's quite funny.
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So reviews should only be positive?!?

Tim's giving his educated opinion and has reviewed this show from its start. He has written positive and negatively about this show, this just so happens to be a negative review, and after watching the last 2 episodes (which should be a shows highlight) he is absolutely justified in his view.
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Well put. I am done hate watching this show. This was my Falling Skies series finale.
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Great review about what was missing in the season finale; I hope the writers come to your site and take notes for the next season. But I still enjoyed the season since we learned Charleston isn't the hidden paradise the 2nd Mass expected and there are some loose strings that we would like to see develop next year. I'm sad I didn't see the Sunday airing so I could talk more about the finally, but I'm glad I recorded it on my Hopper. I've had more than enough hard drive space on my DVR for Falling Skies and other shows I missed this weekend. My coworkers at Dish told me to expect a few surprises near the end and for the most part they were what I expected. I'm just hoping the new aliens are allies because I don't think the human race can handle another hostile force!
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have to admit



this was the article I've read by Tim ... the analysis was mostly right, in my opinion, and the jokes were funny. I would quibble with some of his punctuation choices, but that's just me.



See. It's not easy being funny.
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Am I the only one who see a spin-off chronicling the adventures of the kids of Falling Skies?
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Only if it's animated and airs between Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragonball Z Kai.
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wow, u can be really funny:

" Maybe the eye worm will bring Tom, Ben, and Hal closer together since they've all been penetrated by aliens now. How long before Matt gets probed so the aliens can say they've had their way with all the Mason males?"...hahaha...

but then how does brainjacking by eye-worm works?

hacking into human neural network by intricate harness appears more plausible than some eye-worm who would have to move into brain and trigger certain neurons to control behaviour to the extent shown in Hal's case...

got to add another show to hate to watch category now....
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i agree... enough with the possessed by alien stuff ... not so much lame as lazy writing
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i think the only reason why they had the storyline of Tom possibly being bugged by the aliens was so we knew what was happening when the same thing happened to Hal in the season finale. What I want to know is why he just let it go from his eye to his ear. He had more than enough time to swipe it away. Temporary paralysis is what I'm going with.
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I think it had possessed him from the time it was inserted into his eye (by a kiss, no less. That must have been one sloppy kiss!). Obviously it was a different type of bug from the tracker that had been inserted into Tom's eye.

I still maintain it traveled from his eye to his ear to lay its eggs.
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Just thought ( maybe the writters will read this and not mess up again), if im not hugely mistaken by what i understood from Season 1 and some episodes of Season 2 the harnesses not only allow the overlords to control the children but also genetically change them into skitters over time. Right? I know their world kinda went down the toilet and all, but they still love the children right? So shouldn't that part of the storyline be one the MAJOR concerns of the series. They spend more time arguing about fighting, than actually doing something about it.
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I KNEW I remembered that correctly. Yes, the skitters were children who transformed into skitters through harness control.

However, I don't think they can concentrate on that because experience with Rick and Karen shows that many of the harnessed children come to love and long to be with their overlords.
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Many hos come to love their pimps. If the ho was forced into ho-itude, does the relationship magically become okay once she loves her pimp? I really don't think the children loving their overlords makes the situation less awful at all.
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I didn't say it made it less awful, just that it makes it too hard for them to attempt. If Rick and Karen taught us anything it's that once their loyalty is turned, it's too hard to get through to them.

Remember these people are at the end of civilization, running for their lives and fighting a losing battle against huge odds. They just don't have time to undertake the therapy needed, once the harness is safely removed, to win the children's allegiance. And while the children remain loyal to the aliens, they are a constant threat to the safety of the group.

These are hard, bad times, and there are harsh realities to be faced. One of those is that children who are turned into skitters have to be dealt with at face value.
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You have a point, a very rational point. The kids are not low-hanging fruit. Parents are not rational when it comes to their kids, though.
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wow that's a really creepy analogy...



you could have just said "Stockholm syndrome"
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Thank you, I try. Yes, I could have.
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I dont think there will be a 3rd Season on Falling Skies because Tim my friend... YOU JUST RIPPED A NEW ONE on the writters. LOLOLOLOL I agree with you, they completly messed up the whole season. Being a military man the thing i hate most is all the argument about fighting, not fighting, hide and cower in fear. People: the world got its behind kicked by aliens, they put giant bugs in your kids backs and turn them into zombie slaves how can you not go and beat the crap out of them? Its WAR go kill some aliens!!
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It long ago was renewed for season 3.
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I agree, that was a poor episode. I was like: what the Hell ? Things happen that have nothing to do not fit in the story. The attack of the canon: only one metallic robot, then they arrive inside like entering your grand-ma house. Then, they are quickly beaten, tortured, then back on their feat and killed the overlord. And finally, this new alien, which looks like he is a grand-pa looking at his beloved descendance. Again, this show has so much potential, it is sad to see the level of the story. I don't know if I'll be watching season 3, I don't like to be fooled ....
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i didnt love the finale either



but I don't feel fooled at all...mostly let down



I did like the final few seconds with the new species of Aliens, so it's still all good as far as I'm concerned



Perfect should not be the enemy of mediocre....especially in post-apocalyptic shows which aren't easy to pull off, especially on a TV budget
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Because its a summer time show i dont expect too much from falling skies - its not spectacular, but the 2nd series has improved on the first. The finale is a decent set up for the next series
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Breaking Bad is Summer programming...
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Can't believe that FS got to stay on for a THIRD (!!!) season, when a show like Firefly got cancelled after one (I know that was 10 years ago, but still, just taking it as an example). There's a special level of hell reserved for child molesters and TV executives.
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i dont really get how the first two things or the second to things are connected...



but whatevs
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Okay, for you and anyone else who can't piece it together:

1) FS is a mediocre show at best. It's getting a 3rd season. Firefly was an awesome show that was actually original, and it got only 1. This is a certifiably unjust situation that we sci-fi geeks mourn and bemoan. Firefly deserves the season that FS will get.

2) Both TV execs and child molesters despoil that which is defenseless, and those of us who, as previously mentioned, are mourning and bemoaning, believe that the universe will eventually right the wrong and condemn the despoilers to a more extreme level of hell.
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Is there hyperbole in Hell?



I loves Firefly, the TV show.



But the movie killed my favorite character in a lame attempt to create a "final moment".



I digress...but have you noticed that fantasy/scifi shows that feature lesbian character arcs are often canceled very quickly?



Anybody else noticed that?
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Falling Kisses



My kids have been joking all season that "skies" is an anagram for "kises (kisses)".



We call the show Falling Kisses. Because every episode MUST contain a romantic moment.



So it was funny for us when one of the main set ups for next season happened when the Blonde Alien Sympathizer chick kissed the oldest son and is now going to be an evil character (I guess).
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Great review... Exactly what I (guess most of us) was thinking... I think I can add some funny momments that you didn't talk about :

From the first scene of this episode you can see how bad the "army" is. Only 5 seconds after the orders to "lock 'em up" all the solders were running upstairs with the "prisoners" beside them and nobody even thought of anything like... I don't know... staying downstairs to lock and guard the PRISONERS?! That's how you follow orders, YEAH!

Now to the Super Laser Space Cannon mission at the end... Remember why the people had to do it and not the Skitters ? As the Red-Eyed said, the bad aliens would sense their presence because of the harnesses... And yet the rebellion skitters managed to crash the Alien-Super_Taser-Party in a full surprise and no harness sensing ever occurred. NONE.
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Little wonder so many sci-fi shows with potential never get past a season or two - there always seems to be an endless conga-line of critics ready to nit-pick their way through plot lines continuity and character development. The scale of the underlying premise of the show is epic and it has to be told in 45 minute grabs. Give the writers a chance - they are still finding their way. Falling Skies has an excellent cast with some really strong characters. I'm confident that given a chance it will really succeed but I still remember those with limited imagination cancelling the original Star Trek series. How wrong they were!
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Nope. Your argument won't fly. First, "still finding their way" is something you say in the middle of the rookie season, not after the second season ends. Second, this show isn't breaking new ground like Star Trek was; there's over 50 years of paved road now, which means that unlike ST, this show has a ready-made audience waiting. And third, Battlestar Galactica had all the same hurdles.



The critics aren't nitpicking. They're rightly pointing out huge incompetencies in the production of the show. FS has already been "given a chance" for 2 years now, and it's NOT getting better.
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As I said, the scale of the show is huge and they are trying a variety of plot-lines. I know there are holes and they can do better but I just get sick of people knocking stuff all the time. They are only very short seasons, meaning development opportunities are limited. As for breaking new ground, that's irrelevant - they still have to start with an idea and build it from scratch. If anything, it's harder now because the bar has been set so high in sic-fi movies. You can choose not to watch it if you don't like it but I'm prepared to give it more time.
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Keep in mind though that each season has only been 10 episodes for a total of 20. Normally, as in the past, that 20 would be one season.



To me, too many shows seem to have an idea written on a napkin, presented to networks, and given a go ahead without any real development to begin with and made up as they go along. I can't for the life of me understand why someone doesn't create a show, write at least 13 scripts to really flesh it out, know what's needed, characters to cast, etc. Then proof-read to make sure it all makes sense and you follow through on whatever precedents you've established and close plot holes. The only real adjustments have to come from what the budget will allow and creators need to make clear to networks what they should budget for to make it all work and creators need to make some allowances or be able to trim down their show should the budget not be enough. Think big to start, as you can edit it down, if need be, but maintain the core plot and necessary cast, including supporting and recurring, to tell your story. Shows should be in development by their creators at least a year before going to networks with it. I also believe shows need to have an end in sight now and plan for a series that lasts as long as needed to tell that story.
More +
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Someone did! Babylon 5 by creator J. Michael Straczynski - he mapped the whole 5 season story arc long before it got picked up.
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Yeah, yeah, fewer eps per season, but we're still over a year, more like two, since initial conception and development. If you haven't figured out where you want to go and how to get there by now, more eps just means more missteps.
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BLASPHEEEEMER!!! DO NOT! I REPEAT: DO NOT!!! Bad mouth Galactica or Caprica. They where good ( ok some episodes were crappy but all series have a black sheep or two ). And i wished they had explored Caprica a bit more specially to the rebellion that led to the 1st Cylon War.
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BSG was terrible after the episode "Pegasus".
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BLASPHEEEEEEMER! Launch the nukes on him!
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Wait a second, I just realized you implied Caprica was of the same quality as BSG. Caprica had exactly two good episodes, the mid-season finale and the series finale. Even the two hour premiere only had enough material to be half of a decent episode. I wish they had explored Caprica more too, but that was their problem, shitty pacing. It would have taken them twenty seasons to tell the story we all wanted to see. There is no better example of potential unrealized than Caprica (unless its Terra Nova).
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Oscar, I'm not badmouthing BSG. Like FS, BSG is a story about humanity fighting aliens for its very survival, with only a remnant left and the government in shambles. Unlike FS, BSG consistently knocked it out of the park.
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excellent point about Star Trek!
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This series has jumped the shark, to be quite honestly.



First the skitters were the threat, but then nooooo, the skitters were just manipulated by another alien race, now there is this other new aliens... who could be a bigger threat than the second alien, and the second alien race was just trying to save humanity in the first place, after all! gasp!



I mean, come on!! it feels a lot like DragonBall already! when u dont know what you are doing, just introduce a new and more powerful villain. Then send Goku/Tom Mason to fix the problem.
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Excellent review!

I feel the same way, this season started out like it could be really good, and then the writers just spaced out. Learn how to build tension, not just throw random things at your audience for no reason. And, be consistent. When Tom came back from being captive by the aliens everyone freaked out, and for good reason, he had a bug in his eye! Some of them wanted to lock him up or kill him. Now, in the finale Hal has a makeout session with alien Karen, is now in a comatose state, and all the characters gather around and say they will keep an eye on him. And then they all leave him completely alone. Did they not think to maybe keep an eye on him because he might have an alien bug in his eye too?

Even though the show is sometimes all over the place and really needs to get better writers, I still watch it. There are some very entertaining bits, like Ben jumping out behind the skitters 'like a jack in the box' :P
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Some good pints in review and in comments below. A couple of other notes:



When watching the group being held captive and the tentacled wires, what were those wires, exactly? Did anyone get a clear idea? Were they organic and from where?



Watching Karen was painful. I couldn't tell if she was badly acting, badly written, or both. Her shinnying up the wall was the final straw of that whole section of the show. I half expected to see the wires lifting and pulling her up.



Has anyone ever thought they should have made Ben the alien's bad guy mouthpiece instead of Karen? Tom and family are too sappily one-sided. Having Ben to deal with would have given an opportunity for more conflict and depth. I would prefer Karen with the group having Maggie getting Hal's attention for girlfriend or killed off or even partnered with Ben so that Hal loses his girlfriend to him, so to speak.



Tom's eye bug went back to Red Eye and into his eye. His death never explained what that was about? I was expecting it to crawl back out surprising Tom and everyone and then it goes somewhere - maybe into Ben? Back into Tom? What was the point, if not addressed?



I liked the end. It was the best scene. Those alien eyes seemed to say, "It's OK. We're here now". I hope they are unique and not Skitters. I doubt those of you saying you will not continue to watch can't say you won't tune in to see who or what they are before fully tuning out. I, for one will, but not sure I'll continue.
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Oh, I'm totally going to keep watching. Just because I was disappointed with the ending doesn't mean I'm giving up on the show. I still love Falling Skies, flaws and all.
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Ugh so-so finale. Not what I had hoped in clashing with the aliens. The new alien race looks intriguing, maybe they jump start the story out of the gate and get some real action going. Disappointed to end the season with no great one-liners by Pope.
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I seriously don't know what's wrong with people nowadays. I mean c'omon! People keep hating TV shows, you keep expecting all the time blowing something up / shooting, expecting to see aliens or zombies all the time. You are missing the point.



Seriously, you need a TV show where there will be no story, just shooting and killing. Terra Nova was the same, Falling Skies is the same, Stargate Universe was the same.... If we were to create a list, there would be almost no show which wouldn't be on the list.



This is also about the situation, not just going around and killing, seeing non-stop special effects etc.. It is also about people and how they are trying to survive.



I really much enjoyed the show both with season 1 and season 2. I didn't watch any promo or any teaser so I was surprised when a new alien race was introduced.



What you think? Human kind will go Rambo on aliens and kick them out of our planet? They couldn't even deal with one continent... They are far too superior just about anything (numbers, technology, you name it!). Do you think second mass would kick all the aliens asses out of our planet? Seriously? What kind of ridiculous story that would be? 100 humans with rocks and stones kicking a race which traveled between solar systems if not galaxies?



New aliens are obviously enemy of the old ones. Considering human race are like bugs to our old aliens, they wouldn't need to bother themselves to build a weapon!



The questions are;

1. New aliens are going to deal with human race first or after dealing with their enemies?

2. New aliens are going to help humans to kick old aliens small butts?

3. Use humans as much as they can against their enemies?



I just can't wait for Season 3...

P.S. try to enjoy the shows without expecting action non-stop / special effects with such shows.
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I too get annoyed when people complain that there's not enough fights with aliens on this show, not enough zombies on the walking dead, etc. But that's not what most of us are complaining about here. Our complaints are mainly about poor storytelling. Read Tim's review and you'll see.
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I don't mind the non shooting. I really don't mind episodes where there are no aliens at all, because the show is about humans fighting and adapting to new circumstances. The aliens are the device being used to show the new normal. My problem with the finale was not the shoot-em-up parts. My mind tends to wander during action scenes. My problem was the general silliness of the rest of the episode.

But having said that, I'm still going to look forward to next year. And I'm still going to watch. I love the show.
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Seriously? you are comparing SGU to this?
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I don't think the episode was that bad, however, bringing a new species of alien, that bothered me, if the show could get to 5 season, that means there are two more species to come???

I have to agree that season 1 finale and cliffhanger was so much better, but even with all that, it still is my best summer serie, so let's start working on new theories for 2013...
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I think we can be quite sure the new aliens are allies. Considering how human kind has been almost obliterated in the show, there's no way humans can win without outside help from other aliens, an idea which would lessen the impact of a human victory. But at least the human society that would emerge after that would have a better understanding of aliens, friendly and unfriendly ones. And this shows Falling Skies still has potential for interesting developments.
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Season 2 finale was so much better than S1 it's unreal, I was ready to give up on the show, but after last night I cant wait until S3!!!
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also what made me mad is that TNT said "the last 5 minutes" will leave you you wondering or whatever, but it lasted like 2 minutes...those 3 extra minutes could have been used for a little better closure to the season
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Glad we haven't had the show broadcast in my country yet because i tend to stay away from episode promo for this very reason.



However i have already watched S2 and waiting to see what falls from the sky again :P next season.



If you can, don't watch episode promos, you can thank me later.
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That's a really good idea. I normally watch promos and then wait with baited breath, only to disappointed when I watch the shows. I'm going to give that a try. Thank you.
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2 things will happen: the weapon they blew up was really the thing that called these new aliens to help the overlords fight. OR the new weapon was made to kill those new aliens as they came to fight the overlords. they were able to land because they blew up this weapon. whatever it is, i feel this may be the final season of falling skies
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Wow. Just wow. If these people are the last chance for human existence, I hope the aliens win. This was so bad, even the people who were flaming Tim last week can no longer deny it.



As much as I panned Terra Nova for their bad writing, ripped-off stories, lack of dinosaurs, pandering to small children, etc - it actually ended the season on a high note with a fairly exciting finale. THIS was not THAT.



On to the show:



Maybe it's just me, but I've gotta ask - when you're standing over a sink looking in a mirror and you see something super creepy crawl out of your eye, do you just stand there and watch it slowly crawl around your face for 10 seconds or so until it finally makes it's way into your ear and takes over your mind? Or do you, I don't know, freak the f@ck out, swat at it, grab it, chuck it AT the general vicinity of the sink, turn on both water taps, hoping to hell the hot will scald it to death, trying desperately to flush it down the drain while not burning yourself, frantically look around for anything you can grab and start smashing the holy sh!t out of it until the sink is shattered into 50 million pieces all over the floor and the room is flooded from all of the water spraying uncontrollably from the pipes in the wall? I'm sure it's just me.



ALLY OR ENEMY? That's your cliffhanger? Let's see, they spend the whole episode trying to justify risking mutiny and everything else under the sun to destroy a big alien space gun for no other reason than they just found out about it. Turns out it's pointed at the sky, not at the people on the ground, to which Ben makes sure to point out to those viewers without a brain, "Maybe it's not meant for us." Rebel leader Red Eye gives his life making sure the gang could finish this now seemingly unimportant mission. Once it's destroyed, hundreds of alien ships land, but wait - it's yet another new species of alien. One of the ships opens to reveal none other than... Koko, the lovable sign-language gorilla. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess ALLY. Call me crazy.



It's a really good thing Dai just so happened to randomly build something called a "door-buster" this week, you know, just in case they'd ever need it one day. And to think of bringing it with you before Ben has had the chance to share any details about where you're going? So smart! And then to carry that heavy ass thing through cavern tunnels, because surely there will be some heretofore unknown door that needs to be busted open? Sheer GENIUS! Oh Dai, you poor, underused bastard. Your loss will be felt for seconds, if not.... oh look, cute, cuddly aliens!



And speaking of those new aliens, if you can't afford the CGI for the first two types of aliens and their mech robots over a whole season, how in the heck are you going to pay to CGI this 3rd race of aliens? Talk about painting yourself into a corner. Maybe they can find an untouched dealership and all start driving Hyundai Genesis Coupes to generate some much needed product placement revenue (ala Burn Notice)?



I now hate myself for watching this show for two seasons and painstakingly waiting for it to get better. Hoping against all hope that it would get better - when the evidence of horrible writing was there from the very beginning. Hindsight's a mofo. My hate-watching is over.

I'm casting a vote with my remote.
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Yeah the scene with the bug WAS really weird...it made it seem like he was already mind controlled before it went in his ear...so then why have the bug go to his ear? Well so the dumb people in to audience will know for sure I guess?
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maybe it went into his ear to lay its eggs.
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There was obviously only one reason: The writers wanted us to know that he was "bugged", and that this bug had a different effect on him than the first bug had on Tom. I'm sure the writers could come up with some semi-plausible reason why it needed to move from his eye to his ear (e.g. to rewire another part of his brain with minimal brain damage), but they obviously don't care about details, so they're not going to bother.
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"...when you're standing over a sink looking in a mirror and you see something super creepy crawl out of your eye, do you just stand there..."



You obviously don't, if your brain is working properly. So the scene just told us that his wasn't, presumably because the bug had changed it somehow.
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My theory is that the 'bug' has basically transferred the consciousness of the alien the 2nd mass was trying to kill into Hal. That would then explain the evil grin. How FS would make that work as a story line I'm not sure but to me that's the most logical explanation.



I also think it is safe to assume a post-it note fell off the storyboard wall which explains why the writers went from the skitters being 'transformed' kids as a result of the harness to the skitters being enslaved aliens.
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At no pint on the show was it ever confirmed that the harnesses had changed the skitters into their current physiology from a previous form. That was just the obvious speculation, but still only speculation.
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I get that, but it was the exact same type of bug that was in his father's eye with zero adverse affects. Also, he didn't start evil grinning at himself in the mirror until after it went in his ear.
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It could just be programmed differently. The previous one was implanted by Red Eye, who only wanted to keep track of where they were. This one was implanted by Karen.



Regarding the move to the ear, see my comment above. (Right now it's three posts above this one).
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The new aliens should need way less special effects to render than the Skitters so I guess we will see them more than the Skitters if there is a season 3.



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I agree inasmuch as the new aliens are humans wearing alien suits...I means, er.... humanoid.
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Also I want a tap dancing Skitter as a screen saver, plz someone make that happen.
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LOL I don't watch that show, but the comments here are killing me. XD
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Deus Ex Machina. An old trick in Greek theatre where 'miraculously' the gods would perform a miracle completely changing the major plot lines. I agree, the last 2 eps left a lot to be desired and these seemingly impromptu plot elements thrown in for good measure don't build a sense of wonder in the audience.
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Poor finale, cancel the show its getting boring.
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Then may I politely suggest, you stop watching it. I don't generally watch shows I find to be boring or stupid.
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I choose to watch this show coz I like sci-fi, and there's not a whole lot of good sci-fi about really.



That said, this finale was poor. The rest of the season was ok, but I rolled my eyes so many times I needed an aspirin.



Worst FX moment - when Karen crawled up the wall. Baaaaad.
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Maybe they should just marry True Blood, The Walking Dead and Falling Skies into one giant mashup of freaky. At the rate all these current seasons of the 3 shows are gazing slowly, 21 Dec 2012 seems a better finale for our species!
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When that pod with the new alien landed, I could swear a Vulcan was going to step out of it and say, "Live long and prosper." The scene was just like Star Trek First Contact.
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It was also just like the end of Falling Skies season 1!
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No, Falling Skies season 1 finale was, "big alien ship comes and guys comes in" = Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Falling Skies season 2 finale was, "Skinny ship comes with one alien and he says hello" = Star Trek First Contact. (If you've watched that scene when Zefram Cochrane meets the first Vulcan). Big difference!
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Ok, I think Falling Skies has turned into one of those hate love shows. Because to be honest after watching the finale a I kind of hated myself a little bit, to think that it would be good. Last season's finale was great. This was lame. LAME. I am still annoyed at the misuse of Terry O'Quinn. Whomever thought to get him for a part on the show was genius, whomever wrote his part was a moron. If there was ever a guy that could have pulled off having a deal with the aliens to leave his little Mall alone it would be Terry. For crying out loud writers what the hell is wrong with you? The man plays a great double agent type. And you wasted him. And you lessened the show, even more so than the season already did.



This season had some great action aspect. Even the final fight was all right for a show with not that big of a budget. But your drama sucks. You predictability sucks. Who freaking lets Anne on a mission? I can understand the pregnancy, alien apocalypse and condoms are scarce and the rhythm method is BS. So I can understand the baby. But to just admit that to Lourdes and then go on a mission. In what reality does that happen. It led to the big reveal to Tom being about as predictable as The blonde girl infecting Hal with one of those little bugs.



Speaking of the bugs. Exactly how long was it supposed to swim around in the sclera of Tom before it migrated to his ear to take him over. If you are going to do something like that. Which the idea of it is pretty good. Be consistent for crying out loud.



Dai was dead the moment we saw him on screen in the first season. The core cast is safe and everyone else has a timer over there head. Time after time the core cast has been in grave peril and time after time the escape. Nothing is going to happen to them. And with that it takes about 99.9% of the tension out of the plot. The Walking dead does this as well. Except they will actually kill a likable cast member.



The new aliens were again predictable. If they are building a weapon pointed at the sky. Do you think anyone with an IQ over 90 would have thought. Hmm why is it pointed at the sky. Maybe we should figure out why before we blow it up. And the new aliens are cool. It will be interesting to see what they are and how they will impact the poorly written drama that permeates the rest of the show.



This show, like Terra Nova, like Alcatraz had so much potential. It freaking aliens from outer space. You can literally write any number of plots, good plots. But they are trying to walk that likable line between family friendliness and a good show. And are not succeeding at either. Now they aren't outright failing like Terra Nova and Alcatraz. But pick a side and stick to it.



But that aside. They didn't lose me as a viewer. Because heck it is better than True Blood right now.
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As for the bug: they're probably serving 2 different purposes.

Tom's was probably just a locator so RedEye could find him and coordinate a rebellion.

This new one... probably planted by bad guys and turning him into a remote control zombie.
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That is a good point and it makes a lot of sense. However. If they can do that. If the bugs are controlled by both the Skitters and the big guys. Then why not send those into the hospital instead of the little spiders. I am getting nit picky.
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I've been wondering about the bugs. What you're saying makes a lot of sense.
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I'd say the finale was entertaining and fun, regardless of the inconsistencies you may find. Is it true the show's already been renewed for a 3rd season? I hope it is. I'm eager to see what happens next. And I really don't care about the bad press it is getting here, as long as it gets renewed.
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Then they must only be writing this show for you.
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Ha, very cute. They are writing this for anybody who's watching it. That includes you, apparently. If the producers are expecting the show to be renewed, then a lot more people must be watching. But you don't like it? Hey, here's an idea: don't watch it! Simple.
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Is it right to criticize something you don't know anything about? Would you prefer people pass uneducated judgement on other things? I, like others on this board, have watched this show in hope for something to pick up and get better, after having invested ourselves in the first season. I'll be honest, I avoided the second season up 'til the second-to-last episode and re-watched out of boredom. But it's true, the show clearly doesn't care about plot holes and inconsistencies. It's almost as though it has a very specific demographic it's catering to.
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"but I make up my mind rather quickly and don't watch again. Why waste my time?"



I told ya, I stopped watching after season 1. I read Tim's review of the penultimate episode on a day I was already bored. I didn't say the show was boring. As it's been said a few times by others, it's like a train wreck.
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I think there are many interesting aspects of the story despite a few inconsistencies, and that motivates me to watch. It is the role of a TV show to be entertaining, and, well, I feel entertained. Mission accomplished.



I don't watch shows I hate. I may watch a couple episodes, but I make up my mind rather quickly and don't watch again. Why waste my time? just don't get why you watch it if you feel so bored. Now, that's something of an inconsistency I don't understand.
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I don't think they're "new" aliens... I think they're from the Skitters' home planet. Once the face mask went up, that face looked a lot like a Skitter just without the dreads. So... perhaps they're what the skitters would look with armor and withOUT any green skin-growth on top from the harness.

Or, perhaps the aliens have been playing a lot of XBox and decided to adopt power-armor for their skitters... a-la Halo.
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But didn't we learn in the first season that skitters are kids who have been harnessed, and the harness slowly turns them into skitters?
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I think I've said enough about this show in the reviews for previous episodes. It was basically just more of the same.



I tried to give this show a legit shot -- two seasons worth! -- because of the interesting premise and the potential that follows it, but I am officially not going to watch any future episodes. The excuse that I tend to give: "Hey, it's a summer show," just isn't going to cut it anymore... something as simple as taking a nap would be a much better way to spend the hour.
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Oh my goodness, had to make a separate comment for this..... At the very end, with the bright light shining against the barrels of the guns, you can actually see that they're fake barrels - only running an inch or so & meeting with the rest of the 'gun'. Please, that's a little too much lol. xD
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And of course it's always smart to run covert insurgent missions with bright flashlights.
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One comment on the last note since this was something that was irking me all season. Tom's implanted "bug" was intented to crawl out of his eye and into is ear so that he could be mind controlled like his son was at the end of Season 2. Since they spotted the bug early on and ripped it out, the bug had to flea (hehe) before completing it's mission.

Season 2 finale was a little scattered and hokey, but it was still an enjoyable episode of the best Scifi series on television.
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Alphas.
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You just lowered the bar for all of television.
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The best part of this show is the "Previously on Falling Skies...". The recaps with the epic build up music always gets me excited for the new episode. Then I watch the episode and think to myself, "Why the F$%k am I watching this garbage!" Then the next week it starts all over again. I think this show should be 5 minute webisodes with that suspenseful music throughout.
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Haha my thoughts exactly!..:)
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I thought this moment was pretty funny:



Tom gets tortured. Maggie says nothing.

Karen shifts her attention to Hal. She walks over to him with the pain stick pointed at him, apparently to torture him too. Maggie says nothing.

Karen lowers the pain stick and kisses Hal instead of torturing him. Maggie starts screaming hysterically, "Get away from him!" "Get away from him!".
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You know what, this shows rocks! I watch it, come here and read the review and together it becomes fantastic entertainment. It's has potential (had probably) but the way it keeps falling down is just hilarious. It's full of plotholes and ridiculousness and absurdity that it's become terrific. Well at least for me, can't wait for season 3 :D



You will always be the Asian T-Dog (The Walking Dead) to me. A man of few words, and even lesser importance, but somehow still a character in a show." - Can't stop laughing :D Tim, amazing as always.
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Yeah! Let's keeping watching bad television and giving them the ratings they need to keep producing crap!
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You got a point there. Well, me watching is not included in any ratings numbers (don't live in the US), so I don't add to the support of crappy TV. But as someone posted here, it's like a car crash - horrible but can't my eyes off of it.



Anyway, for the sake of all of us and good TV - I hope after the third season it gets canned and replaced by a new Sci-Fi show.
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I really liked those words too. :)
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Again a series that promises a bigger and better 2nd season and doesn't deliver. The 2nd season of Game of Thrones was very good but not better than season 1. Season 1 of Falling Skies was enteraining en this season started out okay but got very bad as the season progressed. And the finale? How can the season finale be one of the worst episodes of a show? I'm so disappointed!
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