Monday, July 08, 2013

"Falling Skies" and Journeying Onwards: A Television Review ("Be Silent and Come Out")

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*there are spoilers here.

Director: Adam Kane.

Writers: David Weddle, Bradley Thompson, Robert Rodat and John Wirth.

Epis. 6 of Seas. 3 of "Falling Skies" was titled "Be Silent and Come Out." This latest title was released by TNT July 6th. And, the story focused on Hal, played by Drew Roy and on Karen's (Jessy Schram) alien influence over him. The extraterrestrials are only showing their presence through subterfuge, now. As well, the conflicts in this showing continue to revolve around the Mason family and Pope, played by Colin Cunningham. The aliens are still making their presence known, but just barely. The plot in this story remained small in scope and hopefully, this season develops some rising tension by the end of the season; the story here seemed to keep events, mostly, static again.

In "Be Silent and Come Out," Hal abducts his father, Tom Mason (Noah Wyle). Hal, under the influence of another - through a super bug, is incited to kidnapping, armed conflict and the devious manipulation of others. Karen, is pulling his strings from afar, with some alien technology. At this point, the show seemed to turn into a strange family intervention. There were no drugs or alcohol problems to overcome, however. Instead, Hal needs to free himself of an alien influence, to return to his previous role of Charleston's Golden Boy. The intervention was successful. On the sidelines, Pope continues to aggravate situations. He places bets on whether Hal will live or die and thereby, influences the results. It is a wonder that Pope has not been given his walking papers long ago. Events resolve a little too cleanly, with the alien spy, possibly, discovered and outed.

This viewer believes that the writers are not pushing this series ahead with any impetus. The episode here appears static, if you look at "Be Silent and Come Out" in the greater context of the series. The human survivors of an alien war on Earth are no closer to ridding the alien threat as they were in Seas. 1. This show appears in no hurry to bring events to a head, in order to keep the show going indefinitely. The stories come across as one-offs, with the plot not moving ahead. Instead, the show focuses on a different character, or several characters in each episode, with conflict created as needed. The alien presence has eased since Seas. 2 and this watcher would like to see more interactions between the Mason family and the Overlords. On a sidenote, this viewer would not mind viewing the invasion through the alien's point-of-view, just to switch things up a bit. Have they given up on taking over Earth?

The conflicts here were more natural, compared to Epis. 5, "Search and Recover." The dialogue between Hal and Tom over family issues was well acted and written. Tom appears as a realistic and flawed hero when he laments on his poor fathering of Hal and his neglect. Hal appears to fight with himself, while trying to overpower Karen's hold over him. Roy delivers a solid performance here as he shows both characters within. The conflicts in "Search and Recover" were more forced and awkward, with Pope and Tom fighting over nothing. On another front, the anti-hero and mini-despot Pope continues to antagonize everyone around him. A reckoning is needed to bring Pope to his knees. His presence on the show is that of foil for Tom, but a new one is needed and soon.

"Be Silent and Come Out" was a much better episode compared to the one before. The conflict here was not forced and the writing was more complex. However, the larger story in the show seems mostly neglected, with the alien invasion put on hold as needed. "Falling Skies" continues to be both an intriguing and sometimes disappointing endeavour for this viewer. If upcoming episodes increase the show's tension and excitement, then this season might become something more compelling.

Overall: 6.75 out of 10 (solid acting, a side story in the alien invasion, the resolution of this episode is much too clean).

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Falling Skies' Official Website

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