Falling Skies Season 3 Review “Strange Brew”

Tom, Matt, Hal, Ben, Anne, Weaver - Falling Skies

In a bizarre but reasonably effective episode of “Falling Skies,” we got a look at what Tom and his son’s lives must have been like before the alien apocalypse in “Strange Brew.” Granted, it turned out to be a “Matrix”-like fantasy version of the truth, but it was undeniably neat seeing what that must have been like, as well as an extended glimpse of Tom’s lovely late wife, Rebecca.

I liked the neat little touches, like the book that Tom’s son Ben was reading- “War of the Worlds,” but of course- and the ways various characters popped up in different guises, such as Weaver as a homeless man, Karen as a cop, and- be still my heart- Pope as a Philosophy professor!

My undeniable favorite though, had to be a cameo by Doug Jones, aka Cochise, as a colleague of Tom’s. Obviously, as that character is an alien, we never get to see Jones out of make-up, and as fans know, that is par for the course for his characters in general, so it was neat seeing him play a “normal” person for once.

Eventually, Tom figured out what was going on and Karen pulled him out of it, leading to a dream-within-a-dream type scenario in which Tom shockingly killed her and ended up back home, only to realize he’d been duped yet again. After that, he finally was released, and Karen then claimed his baby and Anne were dead, showing him the two wrapped up in a cocoon-like thing. I’m not sure I bought that entirely, so I think they might just be in a sort of hibernation. After all, while I can see them killing Anne, I can’t imagine why they would kill the baby, as it’s part-alien after all, and that could come in handy on down the line. So, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them.

Tom did manage to escape, though at that point I was still wondering if it was still a dream or not. He visited his old house, nabbing a note from the fridge to take back to Charleston with him. I couldn’t help but think of a similar scene in a recent “Walking Dead,” while a friend of mine said it reminded him heavily of “Jericho” as well, which is another show that I find myself thinking of when watching this show. That’s not to say it’s a complete rip-off, but all of these post-apocalyptic shows do tend to have a similar feel to them, like it or not.

We never saw Tom make his way back home, but his sons did, just in time to find everyone preparing for the inevitable showdown with the aliens. Peralta also remains the chief suspect for being the mole, while the real one, Dr. Lourdes, rigs a bomb in the radio room, which should have taken out both the radio and Colonel Weaver. Luckily, Maggie stopped him to request a place on the front lines, which Weaver eventually grants, as she effectively saved his life by keeping him from the radio room.

Weaver decides to move forward with the assault after the laser-like grid goes up; indicating that the Espheni are stepping up their game and time is limited. However, he keeps Peralta in the cold about what exactly they are attacking, still not trusting her. She thinks they should stick with the Volm plan, which I’m inclined to agree with, as the thing about the grid did seem to be true, although we don’t yet know if it is indeed deadly to humans as Cochise claimed. Karen seemed pretty smug about it, though, so I’m thinking it’s true.

That was about it, making this a another bit of a stalling tactic on the part of the show before the final big battle, but I didn’t mind it so much, all told. Even though I knew from the jump it was all a big fake-out, the show didn’t really try to lead us to believe otherwise, and it was all done in a pretty tongue-in-cheek sort of way. It was fun seeing cast favorites in a new context, and it was amusing seeing who would pop up in what way next. (I also liked Maggie cropping up as a student of Tom’s that was particularly enthused about gun-carrying ladies in the war.)

Granted, the show has done a little too much stalling this season, and I can only hope they will map out the entire season a bit better next time around so it doesn’t just feel like they’re marking time between battles, but at least these last few episodes served to remind viewers of what the show is really about: the importance of family and sticking together, even in “adopted” families, as it were, i.e. Charleston. I like that back-to-basics approach, but I’ll expect a bit more forward momentum next season in general if I’m going to stick with the show.

More needs to happen here, or else the show is just going to get stuck in a rut and everything will seem like a stall to get to the next alien face-off. I do like the addition of new characters- I just wished they did more with them, especially the one played by Robert Sean Leonard, Dr. Kadar; and of course, the aforementioned Doug Jones, aka Cochise. Maybe that’s one way they can move forward in the future, by using those characters more effectively.

That said, a pretty good episode, all in all. What did you think of “Falling Skies” this week? Did you enjoy the “dream” sequences? How about seeing everyone in new guises? Do you like where things seem to be headed? How do you think things will play out over the rest of the season? Sound off on these things and more below in the comments section and I’ll see you next week!