Monday, August 08, 2011

"Falling Skies" Episode 10 "Eight Hours" and What Happens Offscreen?: A Television Review

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Director: Greg Beeman.

Writer: Mark Verheiden and Robert Rodat.

Cast: Noah Wyle, Colin Cunningham, Moon Bloodgood, and Will Patton.

The final episode for "Falling Skies" debuted August 7th after "Mutiny." This latest episode was titled "Eight Hours" and in this finale, Weaver's (Will Patton) attack moves forward. As well, Ben (Connor Jessup) helps Scott (Bruce Gray) to jam the aliens' radio frequencies. An alien attack occurs at the high school, while Rick (Daniyah Ysrayl) proves himself to be a confederate for the enemy. Finally some action occurred to break up the melodrama and this last episode almost proved to be anti-climactic. If not for Tom Mason's (Noah Wyle) lucky shot on the terrordome in Boston, there would have been no actual footage shown of the 2nd Mass' attack.

Tom is left behind by Weaver to protect the civilians at the local high school. However, being behind the front lines is still risky. An alien attack occurs at this location, after Rick divulges some secrets to a local harnessed spy. Then, the new anti-mech armaments come into play and this episode shows some interesting twists. A jamming device works and finally the humans take the initiative, while winning their first battle.

The remaining civilians exit the high school and there is a romantic interlude between Tom and Anne (Moon Bloodgood). Most would have seen this one coming. As well, Tom moves up to the front to find Weaver and Pope. But, where were the battle scenes? Everything is shown after the fact. A few smoldering fires here and some blood effects there, but where were the actual battle scenes? This series seems to be holding back on the budget in favour of dialogue. Action occurring off the center stage is often a strategy seen in theatre.

The only actual excitement comes from the battle at the high school and when Tom takes a lucky shot at a passing alien space craft. And by lucky, this reviewer means like a needle in a haystack lucky. This shot and the jamming device put the aliens on the backpedal, until they offer some friendly peace negotiations. Tom takes the bait and the ending offers up a whole new world to explore in Seas. 2.

"Falling Skies" is definitely moving forward on the relationship front. More will occur between Anne and Tom, surely. As well, creator Robert Rodat really knows how to close each episode with a great ending. Despite some of the focus on dialogue, rather than action, this sci-fi series is truly one of the best on television. The only other downside to this finale is having to wait a year for Seas. 2.

Characters/believability/interpretation: 7.75 (almost all of the actors are developing in some areas).
Directing techniques/interpretation of material: 8 (nothing too fancy here, some close up shots of action sequences, delivered without problems).

Overall: 7.8 out of 10 (TNT give these guys a bigger budget, the imagination only goes so far).

More on "Falling Skies" at TNT (homepage):

"Falling Skies" Official Website

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