Falling Skies Season 3 Premiere Review: Cowboys and Aliens

Falling Skies S03E01 & S03E02: "On Thin Ice""Collateral Damage"


Near the end of the second half of Falling Skies' Season 3 premiere, the newly promoted Colonel Weaver questioned the motives of the newest addition to the show's endless parade of menacing alien invaders—the Volm—by pointing out how asinine their story is. Cochise, the noseless wonder and apparent leader of the not-quite-fish-heads-not-quite-skitters Volm, claimed that they were intergalactic freedom fighters who were once invaded by the Espheni and now follow their former overlords across the galaxy, liberating the planets and peoples that they invade and generally just making it their prime directive to dick around with them at every possible opportunity.

Lol. Okay.

Weaver asked whether Tom had ever considered the possibility that the Volm were lying, or that maybe they were simply teaming up with the humans to oust the Espheni so they could be our new masters... and Tom replied that he hadn't and that was a good point. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the New United States. 

Personally, I don't know which option is better with regard to the Volm. It's true that their sweeping—er, dropping—in at just the right time with a slew of handy-dandy alien technology and insight into the Espheni way of life is a terribly contrived way to hand the humans a few honest-to-goodness victories and to quickly shift their priorities from scavenging for food and spare bullets between skirmishes to orchestrating actual, tactically relevant battles with goals beyond "don't die." However, throwing yet another big baddie onto the pile of Falling Skies villains would have been equally lame and frankly, I'm already over the whole Hal-is-implanted storyline. 

Are the Volm just using the humans? I don't know. Maybe. I don't really care. If they turn out to be sincere allies, then that was a seriously lazy way to write the Mall dwellers to victory. But if the Volm end up being their own brand of evil, I really don't think anyone here will be surprised. Either way, they're a kind of meh addition to the series, so I'm happy just to ride out the storyline, see where it goes, and oogle all the new toys.

However: I would like to point out that I at least entertained the idea that the Volm might not be the saviors they're claiming themselves to be and the fact that Tom didn't makes Tom look really dumb. Dumb, Tom. DUMB. 


Anyway, when we returned to Charleston, it was many months after the Season 2 finale and Anne was super-preggo and about to pop—and then she did, and the baby, Alexis, was super creepy and super-mobile (and articulate) for a newborn because what Falling Skies needs now that Ben is a definite good guy and Matt has made the full transition from precocious adolescent to bitchy teenager is an unsettling child. What is it with this show and the freaky childrens?

The Mall Brigade liberated Jeannie Weaver's boyfriend in a mission that two seasons ago would have been considered high-stakes, but nowadays qualifies as little more than a step outside for some air... except this time, the Espheni and the non-friendly Skitters knew they were coming because battles are boring when stuff doesn't get blown up. Also, the rebel skitters have super convenient facepaint now so that we (and the 2nd Mass) can tell them apart from the toolbag ones. It's too bad that there isn't a huge market for Falling Skies action figures, because I'm so jaded by Star Wars' endless variations on the same freaking things that my first thought upon seeing the paint wasn't "cool," it was "action figures." Idk. The paint was cool, though, and like Tim pointed out when he reviewed the Season 2 finale, something had to be done to differentiate the rebels from the non-rebels. 

Rather than chalk up the ambush to some random fluke, el presidente and the gang immediately jumped to ESPIONAGE... which was 100 percent correct. They rode back to the city on their horses (because they have horses now) and Tom put Ex-President Manchester in charge of finding the mole. For whatever reason (probably because playing nice is better than being locked in the brig), Manchester decided to fully support the administration that disgraced and then defeated him at the end of last season. That's fine... though I'm not sure why he had to be reduced to a bumbling doofus. Because once you put his shaky methodology aside, Manchester built something really impressive out of the remains of Charleston before the 2nd Mass arrived: a functional (if flawed) government, a (relatively) safe haven, and a society that wasn't just barely surviving, but flourishing, if only on a very small level (it's important to stress the small part). Doing so required a lot of questionable decision-making, but it also required cunning and insight—which kindly Old Man Manchester seemed to be inexplicably lacking seven months later. 

Whatever, he's dead, Jim!


You'd think that Manchester's murder would have panicked someone—anyone—in Charleston, but the teeming masses and their fearless leaders actually took the news rather well. Tom made tracking down the killer a priority... but not more of a priority than blowing up the local nuclear reactor so as to put a halt on the Espheni fuel supply. Also: radioactive mutant harnessed children, because again with the monster babies! 

It's not that the mission wasn't a worthy one, and I can appreciate the effort to make Tom's presidency a difficult one. It certainly puts Manchester's mindset into perspective. The assault on the power plant just seemed like a sharp change of pace after the first half of the premiere, with its emphasis on the mole. I think it would've been less jarring if the "two-hour premiere" had been aired as a true two-hour episode, rather than a back-to-back two-parter. "On Thin Ice" left us hanging with Maggie discovering the supposedly paralyzed Hal's muddy boots and Tom, Weaver, and Cochise kicking around a potential attack on the Esphemi defenses, only for "Collateral Damage" to throw us into a random mission-of-the-week with a very self-contained story of its own. Yes, we saw more of the spy in action, and yes, we learned that Tom is pretty much the only dude in Charleston who wholeheartedly believed the Volm's story—but mostly the episode was about hot-wiring a power plant so it could be destroyed without killing half the Eastern Seaboard. Go team!

Tom's decision to send Weaver's men out as bait so that he and Dr. Strangelove could complete the real mission themselves was ballsy, and even though Weaver seemed to "get it" after the fact, his men are a different story; even Weaver, for all of his understanding, didn't seem to appreciate being the bait, but who would?

Falling Skies' two-episode Season 3 premiere wasn't perfect, but it did attempt to correct some of the flaws of the much-maligned second season, and nitpicks aside, what the episodes did well, they did very well. Words cannot fully express how delighted I was that Anne's pregnancy wasn't this huge drawn-out thing and even Alien Baby's birth was relatively mellow. As much as the Hal stuff makes me groan, the Maggie stuff that goes along with it is solid, and while I can see the inevitable Weaver/Tom divide forming on the horizon, "On Thin Ice" and "Collateral Damage" set us up for a slow burn, which actually shows both characters quite a bit of respect. Tom has proven that he's not incapable of making tough calls and maybe even being a little bit dispassionate for the sake of survival. And Weaver, for as much as he may personally dislike some of Tom's ideas, is not yet ready to stage a straight-up coup because he's not a moron and he realizes that splitting the humans has never really worked out for the humans on this show.

So all in all, I'm excited for the rest of the season. Really! Not in a gripping, edge-of-the-sofa, not-gonna-make-it-to-next-week kind of way, but in a respectable way. I genuinely enjoyed the premiere... when I didn't have to think too hard about it. 


NOTES


– "Human logic is to be discarded when at war with extraterrestrial beings." Spoken like a true human, alien savior. 

– I really like the communal feel of New Charleston, with its bar and its school and stuff. It feels like a logical progression from Season 1's group of rag-tag survivors living out of cars to, as their situation feels less hopeless, a band of people who are ready to live again. 

– Super glad the back of the plant wasn't actually undefended because REALLY? I can't believe Weaver bought that, though. I mean, really

– Of course the village nerd broke his glasses. Of course he did. 

– So... even though we know that Hal has been sleep-meeting and sleep-sexing (WTF) with Evil Karen in the woods, he was hanging out waiting for his creepy demonic stepsister to be born, so he couldn't have wasted Manchester. Who do you think did it with the alien ray gun in the underground bunker?

– What'd you think of the premiere overall? How would you describe your level of excitement (or lack thereof) for the rest of the season?

Comments (145)
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With a group like the 22nd Mass. running around I think I'd rather be dead after an alien invasion than to be rescued by them and be invited to join their troop. I've been reading, and watching Sci-Fi since I was able to read at the age of four in about 1945. This is about the worst written program that has incredible and fantastically impossible situations with ham acting performers. I only watch it for kicks and giggles to see how bad it can get. Although Falling Skies has great makeup, and other do-dads, my idea of quality sci-fi is 1956's Forbidden Planet. It had up to date visuals for that era, which are now antique and outdated, but the story line and visuals, for that time, were great and I watch it every few years. By the way Lourdes is pronounces "Lords", not Lour-dess. Another irritating bit from this program that grates on my eardrums.


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The episode seemed to drag...I have given up on Falling Skies.
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wait, are they building a "matrix" device??? that's what I could catch from next episode promo
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The Dialog on this show is horrible, I can stand the acting, and the story to a degree, but whoever is doing the writing needs to be replaced, some of the cheesiest dialog I've hear in a long time, and the person who mentioned that the characters kept referencing the time jump, just in case the audience didn't get it, was spot on
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I thought the season premiere was solid, certainly better than any of the episodes from season 2. I'm looking forward to watching this season play out; in my opinion, this is one of the few shows that's doing solid (though not brilliant) science fiction. Considering how bitterly disappointed I've been with the major networks' lackluster offerings in the sci-fi genre (in particular, a certain kilowatt-challenged clusterfoulup), solid-but-not-brilliant science fiction is more than satisfactory.

My biggest complaint about the premiere: if I'd been taking a drink every time a character ham-handedly referenced "these past seven months...", I'd have had alcohol poisoning in the first 20 minutes. Apparently, post-apocalypse, everyone will be carrying rolling calendars in their heads to track the time from significant events. Good thing nothing important happened between the season 2 finale and the season 3 premiere.
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have we watched the same show? It didn't seem to me it had never occurred to Tom the Volm could be plotting against humans. The impression I got was that he considered the Volm the lesser evil, that he'll do anything to beat the Espheni, even if that took taking a leap of faith and trusting these new aliens.

Cochise? What kind of name is that for an alien? How can the humans call him that with a straight face? Who are Cochise's friends, Geronimo and Sitting Bull?

I don't trust Cochise because he sounds like Darth Vader, obviously.

"Human logic is to be discarded when at war with extraterrestrial beings."
You and your damned Volm logic, Mr. Spock!

OK, why is Karen so evil of a sudden? So, she's being controlled, right? But why do the aliens need an overlord that is being controlled? Isn't the one who's controlling her the real overlord? Or does she make evil decisions on her own evil free will now? How can she be controlled and free at the same time? I'm confused.

How come everybody has electricity now? Oh, wait, that's another show.

I hope Charleston has good lens-making technology because I was wondering where Robert Sean Leonard's character is going to get new glasses.

Stupid Matt. When are they going to use mathematics in a war? Come on, of all useless things people do learn in college, math is one of the easiest to prove its use.

Manchester's method of investigation was confusing and apparently ineffective. It seemed to me more like he had drawn twelve names from a hat and decided those were the prime suspects, because without any hard evidence, it's all guessing. Besides, he seemed to be completely surprised the killer was the mole. "Uh... So it was YOU? I'll be damned" Aaaaaaargh..." It would be nice if they had shown him asking inquisitive questions around instead, collecting evidence, discussing his conclusions with Anthony so we'd get the impression he was actually getting somewhere.

Tom should strongly request the Volm to provide some volunteers to die along with the humans in suicide missions, at least for morale purposes. So far, the humans are dying, the rebel skitters are dying, and Cochise is giving pep talks.

I read some comments saying they wanted the story to develop from the end of last season to know what happened with that alien race, not the Volm. Well, to me, even though that alien was quite different, that was a Volm, but they changed the alien CGI design and just hoped we wouldn't notice the difference.

Moon Bloodgood must have been really pregnant, in real life, because she is chubby now.
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I agree Tom did say that working with the new Aliens was like world war 2 and the allies pact with Stalin.
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I thought the premiere was just a little bit less than okay. I used to get excited to see the next episode during the first season but this episode at some parts wished it would just end. The best thing in this episode was the newborn mason staring at his mother while she's asleep, and saying "Mama!" after coming down from the bed and going under it! what i didn't like was his mother's reaction to this "hehe maybe its just my imagination" if it were my child i'd run out of the house screaming and leave him there.. very likely never to come back. also, i really hate noticing details or negative things cause they tend to ruin the enjoyment of a show, but at sometimes it feels as if the show is begging the viewer to notice. but even with all of its flaws, Falling Skies still is quiet enjoyable. hopefully the story of this season will better than the previous one.
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Well I'd say I'm a huge fan of the series since it started, but if there's one thing I feared when known was the 7 month time jump... and so it happened, there are too many holes int he story line now, we were settled in a new start point within 40 minutes and to be honest there's quite a lot that could've happen between those seven months... Falling Skies is going in a new direction, and though I can understand the production decision it seems to me that a sci fi well written show with lots of action might start to change into a political sci fi show based in more events storyline than a development of the core itself...
I like the premiere and won't say I didn't enjoy seeing my favorite characters back, but somehow from year 1 to now it's a lot to take in...
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I don´t have any hope about Falling Skies. It looks old. I didn´t like also the 7 months jump and all the storytellings are very weak. For me it was a boring and frustated oppening but I´ll be following because, even remenbering Defiance, I love Sci-Fi. Let´s see...
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Well, the first episode was entertaining.
I did not like the jump of seven months ahead, but ok, let's go for it.
The superbaby story is creepy but interesting: will it be a super fast growing kid with powers like in the first V series ? She'll save the world. I wonder how it will turn out.
I think this show is still too much into family values, but it has reached Season 3 and it is opening up, not like Defiance which remains enclosed in its little world (for the moment since still in Season 1). I will continue to follow the show hoping for more improvement.
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I haven't read through all of the comment yet, so I apologize if this has been stated already: Tom didn't say that he hadn't thought that the Volm could be another enemy - in fact he points out specifically the alliance with Stalin in WWII as necessary despite him being a lunatic. I think you're thinking on when Tom talks with Weaver and Weaver asks if Tom had thought the "big bad gun" possibly wasn't the weapon they thought it was, and *that's* when Tom says he hadn't thought of that - which is still highly disturbing from the President of the New United States as you noted. However, Tom making the connection between the Volm and Stalin shows that he definitely realizes that the Volm could in the end be their enemy.
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One: are you Tim's sister or wife? You don't have to criticize everything to be a critic.
Two: The super crazy baby was the most out outrageous part from what I watched.
Three: Props to the crazy doctor guy, he was great.
Four: I enjoyed it, so what the hell. A show like this can't be logical to be fun to watch.
(glad you are not Tim, ty for the review)
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A good season premiere. Let's hope it's not going downhill from here.

With the black and white clothes, Noah Wyle looks like Abraham Lincoln.
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Yes, and I kept wondering if next he would shave his mustache and leave his beard on.
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I thought of Lincoln too. Did you notice there was a bust of Lincoln in the not-so-oval office?
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No, i missed that. I'll look for it in the next episodes.
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Did that scientist really just become Thelma from Scooby Do? Really? My glasses?

Overall I have to say that it is better than the previous seasons, but not by a lot. Skippy 7 months ahead was a smart thing to do because they can reboot everything. But it still has to be linked to the previous episodes. This whole introducing new and convenient technology like the little spy robot is just too convenient. And then you have the same dynamic that they did. Pope is still Pope, but now it is conspiracy Pope. Which is all right, because he is likely right. The new aliens are probably working their own angle. And they haven't really given them any great technology to help them with their battle. They have the parasite remover and some mines and that is it.

The baby is odd. Not just the fact that it is a enhanced baby. But how is it advanced? Did something else get into Tom when he was taken by the aliens. And why isn't Ann talking about it to Tom. I doubt he would doubt her, it is the alien apocalypse and their family has a connection to the aliens. It is entirely believable and she isn't one to make something up.

Hal, ugh Hal. First, psychosomatic paralyzation? Will someone stab him in the leg a lá Ricky Bobby already. Why hasn't Maggie done that yet? She seems like the badass type that would do that. Also why can't the Alien figure out that Hal is being controlled. He seems to know things, why can't he pick that out.

I will likely stay with the season. Mostly for Maggie.
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Possibly not psycho-somatic.

It could be that fighting the insect thing was literally disabling some nerves. After all, if you can buy a metal bug in his skull that is literally re-wiring his brain... it messing up while being "resisted" isn't much of a stretch.

Though, how do you "resist" someone tampering with your mind without you knowing about it?
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True, it could be the bug literally disabling the nerves. But considering the dreams and such, my guess is that it just convinces him that they don't work. Either way, Maggie should stab him in the leg
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This is just a very frustrating show to watch because the writing is just bad. For instance, the incredibly obvious product placement scene with the heresy bar. I get product placement. I am used to it by now. But the use of this one just felt awkward and lame. Here is a scene trying to expose the audience to the underside of Charleston. Where the adults go to gamble, drink, and use anti-alien slurs, essentially the rebels/outkasts of the society. And we see the "tough" guys gambling with chocolate? Really? Not more booze? Not cigarettes? Not illicit drugs? Not illicit drugs brought by the aliens? They are gambling heresy kisses and heresy bars? Oooooof

The whole show is filled with this force fed, unimaginative, simpleton writing. Examples: "You'te not my mom, I don't have to listen to you" scene, "muddy boots big reveal" scene, "spy person walking around facility dressed in all black and face mask" scene, "boyfriend/girlfriend jealousy nonsense" scene, "but what about the kids mad scientist" scene, etc.
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Ugh, this show. I didn't see a single thing that peaked my interest. As far as the Ann/anti-christ child goes, I get why she wouldn't tell anyone what she saw. What I don't get is why she sees that and then holds it like a loving mother without any reservations. If I had a baby and it creeped me out like that I would stick it in its crib and then sit at the far end of the room and watch it like a hawk while holding a baseball bat or tennis racket just in case it attacked.
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- Does SHE believe what she saw? Maybe it was a hallucination.
- Will others believe what she saw? Maybe THEY will think it's a hallucination. Or some post-partem depression type of thing. Maybe they think she's crazy and she loses her position. Maybe Tom's position as President is threatened due to a "crazy wife"
- What if people (even just a few) DO believe her (whether or not it really happened)? Many will want to kill and/or dissect the kid because he's "obviously" some evil alien thing. The town is a powder-keg of anti-alien sentiment.

Personally, I'd tell my significant other. And maybe another doctor/scientist I REALLY REALLY trusted to help me run some tests. Like a DNA test and MRI.

During the Salem Witch Trials... people actually thought there were witches. Magical evil witches. It was a tense time and a powder-keg of anti-witch sentiment.

Now let's say you saw your newborn baby do something weird. Do you tell someone? If you do, chances are both you and the baby will be burned and/or drowned. And what if you just imagined things?

The only difference here, is that there really are witches that might have messed with the Baby or Tom's Baby-Maker.
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Reading this is like reading the first page of James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, except crazier. You way over thought what I wrote. I'm saying Ann should squash the little fucker like a bug before it kills her rather than suckling it at her teat.
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Cut me some slack, I hadn't had my coffee yet :-)

Still, valid thoughts. If she was hallucinating, then killing the baby (or scaring the populace into killing it) is beyond a sad thing. Like "Star Wars: Ep 3 where Padme was so sad she died" sad.

So I was just streaming various thoughts I could imagine going through my head if I were in a position like that.
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Stayin for this season just cuz Robert Leonard is in it, just missin Hugh laurie now
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Really?? Dr Wilson's going to be in this season?? Brilliant!
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Dr Wilson was the Energy Scientist with the glasses... I didn't realize it till half way through. I thought he was great .. Love the show, I'll take it for what it is _ an ALIEN INVASION TV SHOW !!! Yes please!
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I recognized his voice immediately probably wouldn't have noticed by looking at him first. kinda is hard to tell haha
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Season 2 ended with anew alien showing up--friend or foe? And season 3 starts out with nothing from the end of season 2--not like walking dead thats for sure--whoever put this season 3 premiere together did a shit job if u ask me, left me lost as to what the hell was going on,whose all these new people, wheres the alien guy that landed at the end of season 2,it should have started from there---it sucked and pisses me off--start up where u left off,its like they fast forwarded and we missed a whole season!
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Nothing from the end of season 2? I'd say you are mistaken.

The people were looking to elect Tom the President, but he and the 2nd Mass were about to move out until the Volm appeared. Now the group has stayed in Charleston, and as a result Tom is the President, but his condition on becoming such was that they would continue to fight and that they would work with the Rebel Skitters. Last time I checked him becoming President and the Rebel Skitters were both introduced in season 2.

The entire Hal is paralyzed because of the kiss from Karen is clearly from season 2. We saw the (for lack of a better word) drone crawl into his ear at the end of season 2. Now is is controlling his mind and making him think he is paralyzed while going to Karen at night. It's making him forget the events that occur at night as well.

How about the entire pregnancy story and the ordaining of a new Overlord? How about Diego having been captured (which we got reference to in episode 9 of seasn 2) and then being set free in the season premiere? These events were also set up in the season 2.

Needless to say there's plenty of tie-ins to what happened in season 2 so far for the fans that are actually looking. But keep in mind this is supposed to be 9 months later as well, and there would have been plenty of battles during those 9 months, which is what we see at the beginning of the season. Their battles have caused the Esphemi to pull out the Mega Mechs ad go to their greatest weapons.
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<-- Doesn't watches TV shows to find out plot holes and ridicule the TV show.... rather just for entertainment.. Haters begin..3...2..1... Go !
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Depends on the show. Breaking Bad couldn't afford episodes full of plot holes, Falling Skies ( as it's a bit more action - adventure ) isn't in the same league and doesn't pretend to be, either... so they can get away with it.

This has a limit though, some shows become unwatchable because of lack of attention to detail ( Terra Nova and Revolution are like this for me )
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Yeah.. depends on the genre of the show.. but all I am saying is reviews should be a bit more forgiving.. small mistakes can be overlooked.. I agree with your 2nd para completely..
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Yeah, not every show is Breaking Bad or The Wire, have fun and be happy this is on instead of Honey Boo-boo re-runs...
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I agree. There too much ridiculing and unnecessary sarcasm in the reviews of the shows on this site.
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It's not that I did not like it, but I was expecting something to continue where they left at Season 2.
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Well I had a hard time focusing on the first hour so I saved the second for after work today. I agree it is totally a perfect summer Sunday night show I just do not have to think at all. I don't think Hal is actually the spy because I think everyone was on the way to mission when the spy checked on the plan. I keep wondering if Ben or his new buddy just ask their skitter buddies about the volm or the spy. I think it will be more interesting if Karen has something more interesting in mind for Hal like trying for some sort of hybrid baby to counter whatever the hell Alexis is.
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It was very entertaining and I agree that they did answer some of the issues from the last season but I was overly annoyed by the overwhelming sci-fi stereotypes ( the bitchy teen, the bitchy handicapped,the blind leader AND a starchild!) If they are not careful they will follow the reasons for the downfall of TerraNova and The original V (starchild, seriously?!!).
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mole sub plot ? wow how many times have we seen this now ? TOO MUCH.

hal's brain bug is somehow undetectable, but him getting out of bed to sleep walk n fuck karen 'for more creepy babe time' is some how unnoticed by everyone.. including the hawt chick is 'with' surely with all the guards he'd be spotted...leaving a town with no woods near it... seriously..

we know tom was kidnapped and had stuff done to him so are they really going down the road of his swimmers where juiced ? mind fuck..litteraly ?

suddenly they unveil the mega mechs... which or apparantly of existed for big offensives... but the power plant was one of many.. shocker !! NOT.. so charleston is ripe for ownage.. in ep2 i might add... premature maybe ?

Now here's my spanner in this grand scheme... it's all fake it's an illusion... tom is still with the aliens maybe some of the few close to him NEVER LEFT that odd chamber...with those tentacles...
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If you don't expect too much from it, the show can be enjoyable. It's decent summer fare, although it would never work during the fall.
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I think children are writing this show.
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Yeah, it was cheesy, yeah, some of the cgi was downright amateur-hour, but I found it entertaining as hell, and that's what Falling Skies has been for me the last 2 seasons; not the greatest show on television, not the show that keeps me awake because of 'this weeks cliffhanger', but a fun and entertaining hour of tv to end the weekend.
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Someone really should do a count as to how many times they said "7 months" was getting so annoying! i get it seven months passed between season 2 and season 3
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This show is in its third season and they still have the same boring speechifying throughout every episode. The President's speech to the people was so full of narrative fluff and cliches - just awful writing- they aren't even trying. I realize there are a lot of 'Battlestar' people that work on this show in front of and behind the camera but there is no Adama in any of these characters so they have to stop giving these people speeches. (Noah Wiley suuuuucks at it.) And now they are just stealing from 'Galactica' with Karen apparently a Cylon now. Give up show, you have never been and will never be 'Battlestar Galactica'- stop trying.

Stay away from strange babies is Science fiction 101 - "Mork and Mindy" taught us that. (No offense to the late great Jonathan Winters) When you aren't telling the story great anyway why even veer near that trap? .

I wanted this show to be good but I think with Anne's baby they've already thrown in the towel. This show is unmitigated crap and deserves to not be watched anymore.
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THANK YOU!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed the rip-off of BSG with her red-glowing back. uggggh
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While at first I wasn't happy with the Hal story line, I kind of like the idea that it is his subconscious turmoil that is making him paralyzed . With what Karen said to him about the problem being that he is fighting the probe, you know that when he starts walking again (not in his sleep) he has lost the battle within his own body.

Also, sure you can use your people as bait, but why don't they have souped up weapons? Are the Volm so busy with their super weapon they can't spare anyone to make extra alien blasters? The bait doesn't have to needlessly die, they can sucker in the enemy and still kick them where it hurts as well.
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John Locke dies again.
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Just over half way through, I went looking for some drying paint to watch. :(
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Karen is a cylon!!??
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No, of course not. But she is the new leader of the bad aliens. I can't imagine why. I guess they ran out of fish head slender men.
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the next over lord hasn't taken the bait yet... or his ship is a bit slow to get the memo..
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It was really clear to me Hal wasn't the mole. That would have been to obvious. When Manchester was killed he was with his family and with the attack on the power plant, he was aware of the trick, so if he was the mole, they would have been attacked at both sides. Also with the mystery-girl (pretty sure of that btw) using that alien device thing to show the placed touched on the map, nobody on the two teams attacking the plant, were the mole.
As said, I'm pretty sure is was a female human and it wouldn't surprise me if it was Lourdes. Wasn't she invaded by one of those bugs in the last episode of season 2?

When the first episode of season 3 started I felt like I missed an episode or two. Everything changed a lot and the Volm were explained little piece by piece.
I expect somewhere later on we will see an episode that goes back in time to the moment season 2 ended?

One thing I didn't understand was when they attacked the plant, why didn't they use the new alien beam weapons? If they had used those, there wouldn't have so many been killed, wouldn't it?
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The mole was apparently somebody Manchester had a (regular) appointment with since he said 'Is it that time already?'. Besides if Hal had walked into his office I think his reaction would have been slightly different. Something along the lines of 'HOLY F*** YOU CAN WALK!!'
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it was one of the alien "allies" he's been having intercourse w/ one and that's why he expected "her"
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We must be watching different shows....
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The mole is the assistant/secretary hanging around Tom and Manchester. She was in both strategy meetings. And when the door opened for the assassin to kill Manchester, he said something like "oh, hi, is it already time for....it's you!" Bang.
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she's dark skinned the mole looked white to me.. yes it was blurry..and trying not to be racist.

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I was thrilled by the 30 first minutes.
The rest was ok.
The family-fun time sucked a bit... (I guess we need to make compromises for those housewives watching the show)

but I was FURIOUS at the season's preview. I can't believe they're pulling the "alternate-world-this-is-all-in-your-mind" crap!! I hate those kind of time-wasting tricks.
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Huh? What alternate world?
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That was shown in the scenes for upcoming episodes in the new season. In fact, the scenes from that episode constituted a sizeable portion of the ad.

I don't look forward to seeing that one, either. Whether real or imagined (most likely an hallucination induced by the aliens) in Tom's mind, it'll essentially be a throwaway episode and a waste of an hour.
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Oh, yeah, I remember that.
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So true... They've got a solid(?) storyline and they're serving us the same crap SG-1 did after years of shows
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I loved seeing the Mega Mechs right away. They are a nice change of pace and certainly help develop the war story that is forming.

I'm not so sure I enjoy this Karen as an overlord story. Exactly what makes her an Overlord? Does this mean multiple species can be Overlords? It just seems like they decides to pull a page out of Animorphs.

I'm not enjoying the Hal paralyzed story, and the last thing we need to see is Karen continually going after him.

While I loved the rebel skitters bombarding their fellow kind with a bull rush, who is leading the Rebel Skitters now? Their leader was killed at the end of season 2. Obviously Matt is staying with them, but who is the actual leader and all? And how exactly are the Volm learning of all these plans in advance? That alone would put me on the defensive.
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Here is my theory (and it´s based on basically nothing): The Volm are actually the original bad guys. They tried to wipe out the Espheni for some reason (probably religious) but some of them managed to escape. So they traveled through space asking other civilizations for help but nobody wanted to get involved. So at some point the Espheni realized that in order to survive they had to force other civilizations to help. They started invading other planets, taking whatever resources they could find, replenishing their troops with the harnesses and leaving behind some orbital weapons in case the Volm managed to track them down. Once done they moved on to the next planet, always trying to stay one step ahead in order to survive. They are basically the same way the humans were at the start of the show: willing to do whatever is necessary to survive.
And now the advance guard of the Volm has finally tracked the Espheni down. Since the humans actually put up a fight and slowed them down the Espheni are now behind schedule. The Volm are helping the humans to slow the Espheni down even more until their main fleet arrives and finally wipes them out. After which they will turn on the humans.
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Maybe...I can't believe the Volm's cover story of just wandering around helping others fight the Espheni (or whatever) out of the kindness of their hearts.
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So, Falling Skies and I got on quite well for the majority of that double bill... And then Matt asked Anne if 'it was ok to call her mum?' and I proverbially shot myself in the head.
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So you were OK with the talking newborn?
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I could just about stomach the newborn; only because I was hoping it would be scurrying up the wall on to the ceiling before turning it's head 180 degrees.
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Oh man, that scene gave me nightmares. I prefer her leaning in her crib and talking to her mother, thank you.
Kinda wonder, though, why she's that way, and why she's sharing her tricks only with her mom. We know Tom is taking care of her while Ann is at work, and he's clueless as to her abilities.
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I kept wondering whether anyone besides me had seen Children of the Damned.
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I laughed out loud when Tom's youngest son asked what was the point of going to school, how would learning historic names + dates + events help them.

Meanwhile, the underlining plot (and/or theme) is how Tom used his knowledge of past wars and battles to help them live, fight back, start winning, and become the (kind of) President of the United States.

It's like asking what's the point of learning Algebra... when you literally just spent the last x months/years watching your father use Algebra to save your life.
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People always malign algebra as something pointless to learn, yet it ends up being one of the few areas of math that remains [occasionally] useful throughout your lifetime, even for the non-technical and non-scientific types.
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I use Algebra constantly at my work. So I definitely see it as important.

I was just trying to pick another school topic with real-world implications. Something that might save your life.

For example, as much as I think having decent writing schools is vita... I couldn't talk about how having writing skills saving your life during an alien invasion. But higher math will definitely save your skin. Even if it's just ballistics.
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Ever notice how often statistics comes up? Perhaps trigonometry and calculus should be replaced in high schools with statistics and a course called "every day applications of all of the things we've been teaching you for years".
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In my high school and middle school, we obviously touched on prob stat as well as trigg. After that it was mostly algebra and pre-calc.

EXCEPT... our high school also had an optional Probability and Statistics class. It was quite a mix of students. I forget if it was a Junior or Senior level class (3rd or 4th year).

The population of the class contrasted greatly. The people that took the optional class were either A) nerds (like myself) that wanted as much math as possible for college and B) the jocks that wanted to take that *instead of* pre-calc.

So it was split down the middle: people that liked math, and people that just didn't want to take the hard course.

Ultimately, it was a great class. We had a great teacher and he tried to drill down the practicality of what we were learning so those that weren't interested in math very much would get a lot out of it. The jocks even started to dig it.

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Yeah, but he's a prepubescent kid. They're not big on respecting anything their parents do. So he probably thinks his dad's historical tactics are stupid.
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The much maligned Season 2? Actually, it got positive reviews overall. In your rush to be negative and dole out sarcastic quips, you might want to try being accurate next time. Tom said it was a good point that they didn't know how the new Volm weapon works. He never said he hadn't considered that they could be lying about being allies/saviors. Also, Weaver was in on the bait-and-switch plan and that was pretty obvious by their conversation afterwards.
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You are correct. I rewatched the show after initially reading the comments. Tom said that Churchhill and Roosevelt hadn't trusted the Russians, but they worked with them because they needed them to win WWII. Weaver didn't like that rationale, but I can see the wisdom of it.
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Meh, a lot of viewers and tv-forum-posters haven't liked either season. I think part of it is that it failed to live up to their expectation: it had all of the ingredients for an epic sci-fi series but didn't quite use them as people would have liked.

Personally I'm OK with the show, seasons 1 AND 2. It's not my favorite show out there, but it's decent.

I don't need constant-mech-battles or whatever... I'm fine with the sci-fi elements being a back-drop to larger social questions and commentary. After all, that's what sci-fi is *often* used for (not always). Break down classic Star Trek, and just about every episode was really about a social issue from back then... gift-wrapped with aliens instead of Russians/Germans/Nazis/Hippies/BirthControl/etc.
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Weird mysteries, at moments ridiculous, sometimes a little stupid in order to move the plot, but quite solid and entertaining nevertheless. And bad mechs CGI.

These things mean Falling Skies for me. Glad it's back.
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I've got a strange suspicion that the mole is Lourdes and I'm not entirely sure why...
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It was solid and unspectacular - the usual description for Falling Skies
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This show has taken a turn from the bizarre to the downright illogical. First, the skitters managed to wipe out all but a few of the human race and yet they are not able to nuke about 20 blocks of downtown Charleston? How is it that the President's son, supposedly crippled, simply walks in and out of a heavily defended fortress without anyone noticing? Also, as being pointed below, the plot draws heavy references to the American Revolution. Think of it as American Revolution-21st century style.
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That exact question came up in Season 1, from one of the characters no-less.

Unfortunately, I forget what the response was. I *think* they had some theories why they didn't continue with the whole scorched earth thing but I don't recall what they were.
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This show is nothing more then American Revolution with Aliens instead of British... The Volm are playing the role of the French and they have an ax to grind with the Espheni and they are willing to help out the other beings to prevent a Espheni Galactic take over. How flimsy you find this premise to be is going to be dependent on how much you believe in the possibility of an alien race willing to use another an alien race in a proxy war against their larger enemy??? If you want a more modern example think: Soviet Afghanistan War 1979-1989 and the US involvement with Mujahedin. I think your analysis of the motives is a little flawed. There are far more troubling concerns with the overall plot from a military perspective. I.e why is it that Charleston isn't just nuked again like every other city was in the past? In fact this war should be fought totally from a mobile Guerrilla perspective. And they glossed over way too much in the series. The time jumping between seasons makes it feel like the universe is always running but some how you just stepped out of it. I don't like that much.
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Actually, up until the end of last season. The did NOT gloss over the fact that it should be fought from mobile guerilla tactics. That is (kind of) what they were doing. Fighting and running, using small surprise attacks.

The only problem was, because they had so many civilians they still had to have a semi-permanent base of operations until the aliens were starting to get close. And they staid too long at the school as a result.

And I guess they answered the "why haven't they been nuked yet" piece. The Volm (or whatever) are apparently providing defenses for them. So perhaps they have a counter to the Esphen WMD's.
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You wouldn't have any civis... you would just have front line combatants and rear guard combatants. In a Guerrilla war you never have ever ever have a base of operations that you cannot leave in a heart beat.
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True, but they addressed that in the pilot. The military wanted to wage guerilla tactics and leave the civilians behind. But Tom was against it. So they had to form a hybrid.

They're kind of not wrong. This isn't NationX vs NationY. This is the survival of humanity. Who cares if the military wipes out the aliens... if the only survivors are a few hundred human soldiers. For mankind to survive, the civilians need to survive as well. And with that many people, being 100% mobile is difficult.
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That was one of the interesting things about Season1, the military trying to fight and having to worry about the "eaters", as they called the civilians. By now the civilians have all learned how to fight and help the rebels.
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I do get it. But there were a LOT of children in season 1 and the nukes/invasion happened only weeks/months prior. So they were still mostly "running away" in season 1 with as many people as they can save.

And while some cultures are OK with arming 10yo kids with AK47's, they didn't want it to come to that. Heck, that was a story-arch for a good chunk of S1 with Tom's youngest.

Obviously... any adult should be taking up arms against the invaders or at the least providing necessary services (medical, repairs, making ammo, etc.). There shouldn't be any civilians waiting in their tents, reading books, and hoping their soldiers are doing their jobs.

And from what it sounds like, they at least now have everyone working towards the war effort in one way or another.

However, they've gone from being on-the-move to sitting in a mall. Which was a plot-point at the end of last season: leave and be on the run, or stay here. At least now they have alien protection but apparently it's debatable how well that would wor.d
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You don't get it... EVERYONE WOULD BE FIGHTING AGAINST THE INVADERS... there wouldn't be a civilian aspect in this society.
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I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the past two season but I think this was a pretty solid start to season three.
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First of all Tom didn't say that it didn't occur to him that the Volm may be lying, he basically compared them to Stalin for God's sake. Anne said to Tom that the baby is advanced then decided it was too crazy to be true. A lot of people prefer to doubt what they saw or heard than deal with a unpleasant situation. Does what's happening to the baby have to do with what was done to Tom when he was in the ship with the fish-heads?

I like the time jump, we don't have to see Anne being pregnant the whole season, it makes the mole & the Hal story work (I adore Hal as most people do) I love Ben's transformation & learning little things about what happened during the 7 months, it just works.

Karen is even more despicable than ever, the Die Karen Die club (my friends & I call ourselves that cuz we really want her dead) is in a frenzy , Marina is soooo the mole (thought it might of been Hal without knowing due to probe but the timing of Manchester's murder disproved that theory)

I did expect Weaver to go ballistic on Tom when he learned he was the bait. What I don't find interesting is Weaver's daughter's story with the boyfriend. I think it was long overdue that they showed some harnessed kids that were starting to change. Also that big gun, it might take out the Espheni but what else will it do to the planet??
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Which begs the question if Tom relies that Volm may be Stalin, We should start to see him laying down the ground works for take them on once the overlords have been defeated.
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Agreed: I think the reviewer is either trying to be funny and use hyperbole, or is just against all parts of the show.

The only part he said that he hadn't thought of... is what if this big "gun" they're building is not what they said it was. Which is a valid point from the soldier, but a valid assumption by Tom. It's obvious that these enemies are against the Esphen so it only makes sense that said device is a weapon. *BUT!*... he should also be wary that said device might screw over the humans as well as the Esphen.

For example: maybe the "good" aliens want the Esphen to launch their full-scale attack on the humans so they can detonate some gigantic bomb and wipe out most of their remaining forces... and the human city.
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This wasn't bad but this show always leaves you wondering how stupid the people on it are. I am going to assume that people had computers before the aliens came. They have power in Charleston. So, why didn't someone have a webcam on that map when the spy came in to photograph it since they obviously knew that he would.
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FIRST, if this was my operation... I would have still put the map room under surveillance afterwards.

However they assumed that the mole would find out via people or perhaps some live audio surveillance on the room, not from some super-advanced CSI fingerprint reader examining the map.

It's not like they circled the locations with a red sharpie. That advanced-fingerprint-scanner was kind of out of left field.
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Also to play devil's advocate.

My understanding was the aliens used EMPs in their opening salvo. Hence the lack of most tech. An EMP can destroy even a powered-down MODERN device due to the low-voltage nature of the circuits. The resulting induction fries the low-voltage circuits even if the device isn't plugged in.

Meanwhile older / simpler stuff might survive. As well as some military-grade devices with built-in faraday cages. So my guess is there are not a lot of computers and webcams lying around.
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Even using EMP'S, they would have to completely blanket Earth. Do you know how many computers are out there in the world and how many chips there would be to work with to build new computers. and an EMP would not hurt a webcam unless it was powered.
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The same formulaic family friendly hero safe bullshit. only thing that changed is +1 tech level for both sides. Instead of running and being occasionally attacked they are stuck in place and occasionally attack. The characters haven't changed. Pope is still pope. Weaver is still weaver. the Mason are as boring as ever. If you have seen any wartime family adventure then you can predict every episode.
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Pretty much...
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I thought the premiere was great. Obviously this show needs to adapt from a timely basis, unlike a movie like Independence Day where the humans beat the alien invaders in a span of several days.

I like the introduction of more than one alien species, it creates a huge sub-plot around who the aliens really are and what there plans are unlike the Walking Dead, where Zombies are no longer even a sub-plot.

I like that they introduce history into this show, Spielberg's influence is heavily present and this whole "New United States" has a revolutionary aspect to it that I enjoy, the writers can go crazy with this show and I know Spielberg's always wanted some kind of Star Trek / Star Wars fanbase to a show. I think this show has the potential to get there if they work out the kinks.
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good start to a new season i will be hoping the next episodes are as great the first ones and they make like 999 more seasons
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