TV Review: 'Falling Skies' Season 1 Finale


Falling Skies Episodes 1.8 and 1.9

"Mutiny" and "Eight Hours"

Written By: Joe Weisberg (pt. 1) and Mark Verhieden (pt. 2)

Directed By: Holly Dale (pt. 1) and Greg Beeman (pt. 2)

Original Airdate: 7 August 2011

In This Episode...

Dai comes back badly injured from his rendezvous with Porter's group. Even still, Weaver moves forwards with the plans for the attack. He is agitated and relegates Tom to basic jobs like sentry. When Tom finds out Weaver has been on a steady diet of barbiturates and amphetamines, questions Weaver's judgement. Weaver disarms Tom and locks him up in the boiler room. Jimmy helps him escape, and Tom finally finds out the truth from Dai, now strong enough to speak. He made it to Porter's camp, but once there Porter revealed that he had not heard from 3rd or 4th Mass. An hour later, skitters attacked. Dai made it out, but he isn't sure if Porter survived.

Tom is concerned because Weaver is still planning on going through with the attack plan, even though it seems that 2nd Mass is the only group still alive. Weaver and Tom have a standoff in the clinic, but Tom eventually talks some sense into Weaver, and they bring a vote to the fighters: abort the mission, or continue on with the plan? The decision is to give it a go.

While the soldiers prep, Ben helps Scott with his radio. Scott is still determined to find the skitters frequency to jam. As he scans the channels, Ben doubles over in pain. He is picking up the same frequencies as the skitters, and just like that, Ben becomes their secret weapon. But Rick, desperate to be taken back into the alien fold, attacks Scott to steal the transistor, and runs. In the woods, a harnessed girl on her way to becoming a skitter, meets with Rick and promises the aliens will take him back if he tells them everything he knows. He does, but the aliens just leave him there. He is crying when Tom comes upon him. Even though Rick admits he told the skitters everything, he takes the kid back with him to the school.

Now that they know where they are, the mechs attack. It is just one at first, which the resistance takes down with relative ease. Their celebration is short-lived when a dozen more march down the street. Nearly out of bullets, the resistance does what they can. They don't make a dent, but Scott, Ben, and their magic transistor radio of doom scramble the aliens' communications, and sends them fleeing.

Tom takes the transistor show on the road and meets up with the fighters at the big alien structure. He finds a few fighters, including Pope, alive but injured. Weaver is okay, but he hasn't heard from any of the other teams, and they are presumed dead. It seems as though the alien ships are returning to the structure, scared off by the radio waves. Tom has a mech-armored rocket launcher, and decides what the hell, he's going to take a shot. He hits a ship, which carries fire into the structure, setting off a chain reaction of small explosions.

On their way back to the school, Tom and Weaver are stopped by Karen. Still harnessed, she speaks for lanky alien, who has just emerged from a ship that landed behind her. The aliens were impressed - they didn't expect resistance. They want to talk to Tom. He refuses, so the aliens try again: come with us willingly, or they will call Ben back to them. Against Weaver's objections, Tom goes with them.

Dig It or Bury It?

For the most part, it was a solid season finale. I liked that Tom left with the aliens, but I hated  that he got one lucky shot that took out a ship, yet somehow allowed the ship to continue on its flightpath, carry fire into the structure, and set off a chain reaction. Give me a break! The first hour kind of dragged - a lot of set-up, a lot of strife and anger that seemed to spring up out of nowhere and dissipate just as quickly. Also, Weaver had a new #2 for a while, career Army private Danner. I don't remember him being introduced previously, and he was dead by the end of the episode, but he was given a lot of importance for his 38 minutes of screen time.

Alien Logic

If Rick was so desperately unhappy this whole time, why didn't he try to leave sooner?

Alien Nation

Tom clues us in, briefly, on what life was like just after the aliens landed. Everyone was on their own, scavenging and just trying to survive.

Alien Humor

Matt (helping out Pope in the munitions room): "I am staying away from you. Just not that far."

Pope: "You sound like one of my lawyers."


Tom is in for a long 10 months of anal probing.