Falling Skies season 3 picked up seven months after Cochise - a leader from the alien race Volm - landed in Charleston. While the show's world hasn't changed, the time jump introduced in "On Thin Ice" allowed for advancement and a bigger picture of the story.
Tom Mason has been elected President and leader of Charleston. However, Tom just wants to be known as Tom and not called President. He refuses to sit in an office to lead and instead continues to go out on missions and fight against the aliens. He's remained true to himself and the cause.
The conflict with his leadership comes with his trust in Cochise and the Volms as allies. Tom trusted Red Eye and now has put his faith in the assistance of the Volm. He has attributed their victories and the shift in the war to their alliance. Tom is a man of history and isn't naive. He openly compared the Volm to the American and British's alliance with Stalin during World War II.
Pope is one of the most vocal in his opposition to the alliance, but at the same time he kept the discord in check. He allowed his men to voice their opinions, while he maintained control. And, they continued to assist on missions.
The opening fight sequence, as well as, the attack at the nuclear plant were well done with the appropriate explosions, injuries, and killings. With the unknown mole at play and after Arthur's death, Tom's fake out was brilliantly executed. It led to deaths, especially within the diversion force, but it was necessary in order to complete the mission.
Tom's committed to saving and protecting the innocents, which includes his men and the harnessed kids. Though, even Tom with his gentle heart realized that sacrifices have to be made in order to win the war. In "Collateral Damage," that included both his own fighters and kids that were fighting against them.
Cochise was only briefly introduced, so his intentions are difficult to figure out at this point, but the technology that the Volm have provided has helped the rebellion immensely. Anne was able to remove a harness without any trouble. And their superior weapon won the opening fight to free the harnessed kids. Without that technology, the rebellion wouldn't be making nearly the dent in the alien's force.
And with Kadar's help, they were able to bring down the nuclear plant and disrupt the alien force and power supply. Tom's decision to have Kadar look into the supposed new weapon that Cochise is building will help determine if the Volm have a secret ulterior motive for helping them or not. It seems likely that there is more to their appearance on earth than just benevolent assistance in killing the alien invaders.
The mole isn't the only threat to the rebellion. The aliens have recruited a human, Karen, as their Overlord, which complicates the situation. She has gained control over Hal through the eye worm.
His paralysis provides an intriguing look into the control. While Karen's connected to him, he's able to fully function. Could he be the mole? While he definitely is being used by Karen, he doesn't seem to be the mole that killed Arthur or took the photos of the nuclear plant attack. He was with his family during the first and preparing for the fight during the later.
Hal loved Karen before she was taken by the aliens, but does he still love her? He's with Maggie now, but he must still have some feelings for Karen too. This love triangle is odd, but was a highlight of the premiere. It's unclear where it's going, which makes it an engaging and compelling story. As much as Hal and Maggie are great together, is it possible that he can bring the old human Karen back? Or, is he destined to be used by her to hurt those he loves?
The two-hour premiere set up the new world well, though it probably wasn't necessary to remind the viewers so many times that it had been seven months. The rebels finally have an upper hand on the aliens and the fixed location in Charleston provides a better base for the fight. The traveling of the 2nd Mass was great in the beginning, but now they have a real compound from which to fight from. The community of Charleston will also allow the show to highlight the human cost of the fight and provide some semblance of normalcy if only slight.
With the threat from the aliens, the search for the mole, and the new questionable alliance with the Volm, the remaining eight episodes are sure to be filled with drama, fighting and heartache.
Odds and Ends
- Tom's speech as President was inspirational and motivated the fighters, but it felt too much like a rip-off of Bill Pullman's epic speech from Independence Day.
- The baby! What is going on with her? She's definitely developing much too quick. She's a week old and saying "Mommy?" It's creepy!
- Monopoly! The Mason family game makes a return. A little bit of normalcy in their crazy world.
- Matt's actions as a normal kid were refreshing to see. He's just a kid even though it's a dangerous world. He acted like a kid. Tom's reaction was nice to see too. Instead of getting mad, he punished his son and took some responsibility for Matt's actions.
- Matt telling Anne she's not his mother seemed normal. It was then surprising when he asked if he could call her "Mom." That seemed out of place, but another sign of people looking for normalcy in their life. Is that the theme of the season?
- Kadar is such an intriguing character. He remained in the catacombs for years and now is coming out. How will the scientist be able to help the rebellion? He'll be in 7 of the remaining 8 episodes, so there's plenty of time for him to make a difference in the fight.