Falling Skies: Season 5
With the astronomical increase in distribution methods the long-held traditional paradigm for television series has been broken. The networks no longer expect a popular series to continue on ad nauseam. It is now not only acceptable but fully expected by the fans that the words ‘final season’ will eventually be associated to show that still is capable of providing quality entertainment. A new way of thinking has taken hold both the network executives and the fans; it’s better to conclude a story and go out on top then jump the proverbial shark. Latest series to embrace this way of thinking is ‘Falling Skies’. It was one of the most realistic alien invasion stories to come around in a long while. It is taking the basic premise of ‘V’ and infused it with guerrilla warfare and political intrigue. Steven Spielberg is one of the executive producers there is a man in charge who is one of the best storytellers of his generation and a man who has grown up loving the genre and has built his career by making movies and television shows specifically targeted to entertaining like-minded fans. Under the old paradigm a series based upon the premise of the ragtag group of survivors desperately trying to retake their world from invading aliens, would eventually have to run out of steam and become exceptionally tedious. After all there are only so many ways you can show skirmishes and climactic battles before even the most easily a feasible member of the audience is going to balk at the repetition. Rather than allow that to happen to the series the producers and writers decided on concluding the story in the way that would satisfy the audience’s needs to pull together the strengths and surpassed the requisite anticipation for an exceptionally exciting conclusion. As much as I hate to see you show this merit gone from programming lineup is far better than washing it to send into the quagmire of mediocrity.
At the end of the last season we retreated to one of the most thrilling cliffhangers television has seen in many years. The true heart and mind of the human resistance and former history professor, Tom Mason (Noah Wiley) has taken an alien spaceship, a beamer to the moon with his daughter Lexi (Scarlett Byrne). Although born of human parents she was genetically altered to include alien DNA in her genome. This is provided the young woman with a powerful array of extraordinary abilities. With her father they are on a mission to destroy the primary power source of the invading race, the Espheni, which would result in a ripple effect disabling most of their Earth-based defenses. At the last minute when it appeared that the mission was to be a failure Lexi convinced her father to take another beamer while she uses her ship on a suicide mission to ram the learner based power source. At the loss of her life a mission was successful as a father ship drifts off. Just as things seemed hopeless Tom is visited by an apparition in the form of his late wife, Rebecca Mason (Jennifer Ferrin). Urging him to tap into the strength of his inner warrior she manages to get Tom focused on returning back to earth. As it turns out the apparition was one of the last members of an ancient race, the Dornia, or as the Espheni referred to them, ‘The Great Enemy’. Although in possession of advanced biological technology the Dornia one of the first races enslaved by the Espheni and used as the basis for this slave soldiers commonly referred to as Skitter. After witnessing Tom’s devastating blow against the Espheni the Dornia humanity defeat their common foe. Now influence to show actually no mercy to the enemy, immediately leads the 2nd Mass forces against critical Espheni strongholds in an effort to completely disrupt their ability to fight.
The most successful elements of the series have always been how seamlessly they were able to interweave the fundamental aspects of the soap opera into an action driven story of guerrilla warfare. Despite fighting an enemy with superior weapons and bioengineered slave races, this seems to be always time for little assignation with some actually turning into romantic relationships. One of these relationships are between John Pope (Colin Cunningham), a self-serving opportunist but also a seasons warrior and a woman he found trying to survive on your own, Sara (Mira Sorvino). The bond they formed between each other does evolve into something quite strong and especially genuine. When Sara is immobilized and slowly being devoured by insects mutated by the Espheni called Waspers. Help us intervene and save the woman he loves Pope directs his anger at Tom who would not give them the back of they requested because he was allocating forces to destroy a key enemy location. Paul has always been an outsider and troublemaker
Tom is once again contacted Dornia who provide him with a biological weapon designed to completely destroy the Espheni. At this point in the war it looks as though the climactic battle was going to be held in Washington DC for most of the resistance fighters, including the 2nd Mass begin to convene upon that location. The Espheni have two genders, the males called Overlords and a dominant female referred to as the Queen. The one that moved over the current invasion forces would have to be destroyed in order to completely end the war. The existence of such a Queen was generally dismissed as myth and rumor by humanities alien allies, the Volm. During the season some surprising twists are revealed including the reason why the current Queen as a vendetta against mankind that originated the prior invasion thousands of years ago.
Final season certainly did not disappoint. He represented some of the best names ever found in science fiction including the indomitable spirit of humanity as a species and the unstoppable strength of will that can be mustered by individuals such as Tom. There’s a danger in a story such as this the main protagonist become too powerful into idealized resulting in the complete undermining of credibility. This was never permitted to happen throughout the entire five season run of the series. Tom began as a history professor who leveraged his understanding of colonial guerrilla tactics to mount the first successful forays against a far superior, extraterrestrial enemy. He was always reluctant to be the leader willing to accept such a burden for the good of others. This characteristic did more than just remain consistent as a personality trait throughout the series it becomes a powerful focal point during the last episode. Tom also made mistakes about the tactical and strategic levels and had a few bad judgment calls particularly when it came to interpersonal relationships of his family. The series highlighted the fact that it’s difficult enough for a man to watch his sons grow up becoming their own man natural and necessary transformation happens during such unusual circumstances as this war provided the series did a remarkable job of showing how ultimately resilient Tom could be even when he disagreed with his sons he never stopped for a single instance loving them. The tendency to keep the younger numbers of the cast almost the same age never interfered with the story told here. They grew up under the most harsh conditions imaginable and although this made them into exceptionally hard and men and never lost sight that they had inherited the kindness of their father’s heart. One is said that the series is over the feeling you’re left with is the same as finishing a sizable novel, well-crafted with every page bringing you closer to the most satisfying conclusion possible.