Season One, Episode One – “Live and Learn”
Season One, Episode Two – “The Armory”
On Sunday, June 19, Falling Skies premiered on TNT to a very impressive rating of about 5.6 million viewers. So obviously, this show has been getting hyped up plenty and all of its marketing has paid off. The question is, is Falling Skies worth all that hype?
My answer: it is worth the hype, so far.
We’re introduced to a group of survivors six months after a devastating alien invasion that wiped out 90% of the human race. These are the Second Massachusetts and our hero of the series is Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a history teacher who seems to know a few things about survival and wielding a rifle. He has three sons, but one has been captured by the Skitters (their term for the aliens).
During the first episode, the group tries to locate more supplies and food for the rest of the people. Tom and his small group of soldiers run into trouble with a Skitter and we see for the first time what they’re up against. While the Skitters are six-legged alien soldiers, they operate inside of a mechanical robot with plenty of fire-power to take on a small army.
After the group takes down the Skitter and retrieves all the resources they could find, they run into a small rogue group of soldiers, led by a man named John Pope (Colin Cunningham), who take them captive. In exchange for their safety, this rogue group wants all of their food, their truck and their strongest gun. The leader of the Second Massachusetts, Weaver, doesn’t seem to have a choice but give them what they want. But that is when Mason and his team ambush Pope and his men. In the end, Pope is now their captive and Weaver stayed true to his word of allowing Mason and his friends to search for his son, Ben.
So far, the show works for me. It’s impossible not to be a bit skeptical about Falling Skies, because at the surface it looks similar to those alien invasion shows that I either had no interest in (V), or that disappointed me (The Event). But yes, I did enjoy the first two episodes as it introduced us to the state of the world and showed us the dynamic of the characters in this situation. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Pope, because he was arguably my favorite character in the early running.
There are a lot of things that worked within the season premiere. I loved the scene when Mason and friends celebrate his son’s birthday with a cupcake and a skateboard. Even though their sole purpose is to survive, everyone needs to simply have fun and remember how life used to be before the invasion. Every person’s smile was heightened with the purpose of enjoying to live life. How do you not think about your own life during that scene?
The potential of the series really displayed itself during the second episode when Mason and his soldiers realize there are other things to worry about than the Skitters. It tapped into the different mindsets that people have about everything. Is this the end of the world? To Pope, it is and he might as well have fun during it. To Mason, he’s hopeful to find his son and reunite his family together. He’s hopeful for the future of mankind and will fight for it. Right now, Mason is too much of a hero for the show’s own good. Let’s see what kind of flaws and dirt will be dug up in future episodes.
Overall, the premiere was a success because I still want to keep watching. Since The Killing and Game of Thrones have completed their first seasons, and because I don’t watch True Blood, my Sunday nights are free for Falling Skies. Please don’t let me down.