Reviews: Falling Skies - Season Five Episode Two - Hunger Pains

Is episode two of the final season as good as last week's kick off?

"Have you seen my
oh shit face lately?"

Simply put. No.

Last week's episode definitely started the season in the right direction. With a directorial change and some tighter writing, Find Your Warrior was a nearly perfect way to start out this last season. After a fourth season that just couldn't get anything right, fans were hopeful that the show might finally find a direct path to a series finale that wouldn't be hampered by non-essential plot points and a constant string of poor creative choices. Season four was only consistent in its dreadful mish-mash of sci-fi tropes and a finale that left a lot to be desired.

Well, sadly enough, Hunger Pains seems to be sending Falling Skies right back to the problematic areas that have hindered the last couple seasons. This episode sees the writing staff moving backwards into the same old territory. Instead of going forward and taking us to the final send off of the Mason clan, Hunger Pains is a sad reminder of old, bad habits that just don't want to die. The show should be finding a way to close out its story. There aren't too many episodes left. But, just like before, as soon as the show starts moving towards something greater, audiences are given a newer, deadlier enemy that makes Tom Mason make his "Oh shit!" face. 

The forty two minute story starts out strong with a barrage of action but ends up leaning too heavily on a narrative that feels ripped right from The Walking Dead as several of our characters are deployed on a supply run. Like we haven't seen this a million times before, right? Just like usual, Falling Skies fails miserably at creating its own personality just when its reaching an integral part of its story.  The show has relied too heavily for too long on other, better tv series for its core ideas, and this episode continues to capitalize on those reminiscent story elements right after a nearly brilliant season opener. 

"We're so wasted.
We found booze on
our supply run."
On the other hand, the string of action sequences and the bombed out environmental scheme feels like its ripped right from an old WWII movie. And the often times bad looking effects finally seem to fall in line with a consistency not felt since season one. With Hunger Pains, the Skitter visuals looked awesome and the fighting sequences have a more realistic feel and tone. However, this would be a lot better if the story didn't feel so rushed and sadly underwhelming. 

With only eight more episodes to go, I really hope that they can pull this thing together and go out with a bang. If Hunger Pains is any sign of how the rest of this season might go, I'm a little let down. 

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