Reviews: Falling Skies - Season Five Episode Six - Respite

Falling Skies ends in just a few weeks. Read our review of the latest episode, Respite.

"Dude. What happened to your face?"
Falling Skies has always been a love/hate affair for me as it is with many other fans. The show has seen some ups, some downs, and a fourth season that forced the show into cancellation status with one final season to try and quickly wrap things up while viewership continues to dwindle as it enters its final and mildly disappointing finale.  

After two solid weeks of forward momentum that was building towards a conclusion for the characters of Falling Skies, episode six comes along and wipes the slate clean with an episode that felt like it was a Walking Dead throwaway. Nothing is done towards a resolution of story while Tom Mason runs into Falling Skies' version of Hershel and his protected farmhouse. Once again, the series that has never had its own personality falls back on typical tropes and a formulaic episode that does nothing to advance the story towards the ending that is now only four episodes away. Respite felt far too casual for characters that know the days of alien rule are numbered. 

Respite was the exact definition of why so many viewers bailed on this show after season three. They just can't stick to a story line while holding any central focus or formative story arc. With last week's showdown between Pope and Mason and the final battle lingering right around the corner, there is absolutely no reason to be centering off kilter episodes on characters we may never see again. Yes, Tom's little ray of sunshine speech towards the end is their ham fisted, melodramatic way of trying to make this week matter, but it doesn't. Between the writing staff, producers, and upgrades in the directorial department this year, Respite should have never happened so close to the end. 

This week should have been preparing viewership for the final few weeks. Instead, we're given more open plot threads, unneeded characters, barely any action, and no mention of the Colonel Walter E. Kurtz inspired, bat shit crazy John Pope. With the last two weeks being a vast improvement in so many areas, it's a little disconcerting to think this show may have no way out of the holes they keep digging story wise. For the next few episodes to succeed, they need to be sharp, to the point, action-centric, and Tom Mason needs to stay close to his dedicated troops. The Mason goes missing story lines had run their course a long time ago.



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