‘FALLING SKIES’ REVIEW: Season One, Episode Three

Review of “Grace” (01:03)

Falling Skies, the new TNT sci-fi series, is proving to be quite an enjoyable show. The premiere was good, but not great. The characters felt like archetypes and the plot meandered a bit. Now, with the show’s third episode, the ragtag group of survivors known as the 2nd Mass. has found its rhythym.

In “Grace,” we come to learn a lot about the character of John Pope (Colin Cunningham), a bandit who was caught by the 2nd Mass. in a previous episode and made into an unwilling prisoner. In episode three, Pope needs to step up and help his captors. Teaming with a reluctant Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and with the blessings of Captain Weaver (Will Patton), Pope leads an expedition to find some motorcycles in a nearby shop.

"Falling Skies" — Photo courtesy of TNT

When the skitters attack, as they undoubtedly had to, Tom relies on his calmer, quieter ways, while Pope is a vigilante looking for some violent outbursts.

Meanwhile, Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) and Dr. Harris (Steven Weber) have a difference of opinion on how to treat the skitter alien that Tom captured in the last episode. Anne is more of an educator, like a sci-fi Jane Goodall, while Harris is much harsher with the spidery creature. One thing seems to be certain: The skitter is a lot more than what first meets the eye.

Anne is becoming a pivotal character. Besides her obvious love interests with Tom, she is also the de-facto mother of the bunch, and she shows her kind ways when treating the little boy who was once harnessed by the aliens. The boy’s father, Mike (Martin Roach, swears that his child suffers from cystic fibrosis, but Anne thinks the harness may have cured him of the ailment.

Another interesting character that is emerging is Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel), a pre-med student who finds the value of prayer. With a name like Lourdes, I’m wondering whether the show’s creators are going to amp up the Christian undertones of the show.

Probably the most important development in “Grace” is that there seems to be a connection between the skitters and radio signals. When the “prisoner of war” becomes agitated, a nearby radio starts squawking as if the alien were in control of the equipment. Also, the young boy who was harnessed now seems to have a deep connection to the captured skitter. Are they one and the same?

Falling Skies is still not a perfect television show. I’m not sold on all of the actors or their characters. Patton, in particular, is too annoyingly gruff. He needs to get knocked down a few pegs before the audience believes he is a real character. Once that happens, he’ll join the ranks of the other humans in the 2nd Mass., and Falling Skies will be top-tier television. Right now, he is standing in the way of completely accepting this series.

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com
  • Falling Skies

  • TNT, Sundays at 10 p.m.

  • Created by Robert Rodat

  • Starring Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Colin Cunningham, Maxim Knight, Steven Weber, Drew Roy, Will Patton and Dale Dye

  • Rating: ★★★☆

  • Click here for more information.

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

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