Falling Skies Season 3 Review “Brazil”

Falling Skies Season 3 Episode 10 Brazil (3)

Well, they certainly didn’t waste any time getting down to business on the season finale of “Falling Skies,” which was cryptically-titled “Brazil.” It kind of made me wished I’d binge-watched the entire season on Netflix or the like, in fact, as the action was practically over as soon as it begun. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that it was unsatisfying- it just seemed a bit abrupt. But then, I suppose that was somewhat by design, as they had a lot to get to, making this a particularly overstuffed finale in many ways.

We hit the ground running with the Charleston gang seemingly train-bound to Chicago, with Colonel Weaver leading the charge, complete with Pope and Lourdes to use as Esphemi bait to draw them in. It worked almost too well, as they rode right into the line of fire and were engaged in battle nearly immediately.

Meanwhile, the secondary team, led by Tom, with Cochise and Dr. Kadar assisting with the Volm weapon, prepared things on their end, which actually turned out to be Boston, thought they shot it in such a way as to lead the viewer to believe it was actually on the same train as Weaver and company. I’m not sure why, but I never bought into the ruse, but that was probably because it didn’t make sense, so I assumed they had to be somewhere else. Still, it was a reasonably clever fake-out, I suppose.

Things I liked about the ensuing battles: Pope’s Spielberg-referencing battle cry (he’s a producer on the show, so I recognized the “Jaws”-baiting “Smile, you son of a bitch!” immediately); Maggie’s anti-picket fence dismissal of Hal’s post-war plans; the fact that the Volm weapon seemed to not work effectively at first, leading to an exciting attack by Esphemi guards via flying, dive-bombing ships; and, of course, the collapse of the tower.

Things I didn’t: The fact that it was all over in one fell swoop, ending with the first commercial break; that we didn’t see more of the battle between Weaver and the Esphemi on that end; and the confusion of that other ship landing over the Esphemi wreckage, and the fact that they just bypassed all of that and went straight to the other stuff, rendering things a bit anticlimactic in the process.

I mean, I get that they had a lot to get to, but they could have come back from the break showing that the ship was, in fact, the Volm, instead of the way they did handle it, which was actually more confusing than the bait-and-switch of Weaver and Tom’s respective teams. The sad thing was, the latter bit could have been easily done with a single shot of Waschak Cha’ab (hope I got that spelling right, as that’s what the captions said!) emerging from the ship, at which point we would have gotten what was going on immediately, instead of thinking that it was a “cut off the head of the beast and another grows in its place” situation. I mean, why shoot it like that if you were just going to gloss over the fact that it was the ally and not the enemy?

Moving on…we discovered that Weaver and Co. had help from the Volm in getting through their battle, and that the Esphemi were firmly in retreat, according to the Volm, at least. Tom and Weaver met with the Volm commander, the aforementioned Waschak, who turned out to be Cochise’s dad. That was a neat twist, as was the fact that the Volm intended to ship off the humans to Brazil for safekeeping- hence the title- and that “their part in the war was done” and the Volm would be handling things from there on out. I found myself thinking of one of those cop shows where the FBI shows up and says to the locals: “We’ll take it from here.”

Needless to say, the Charleston crew weren’t thrilled, although, personally, I would have been, like “Hell to the yeah! Send my happy ass to the beaches of Brazil and away from all this fighting!” I mean, they’ve kind of earned it, you know? Still, I get it: “America! F_ _ _ yeah!” and all that. I just felt like there should have been a vote or something. You know, like, people who want to keep fighting in the military go to regroup in Charleston; and those who don’t (i.e. kids or some of the lesser-equipped-for-battle women and men) go to Brazil. I mean, some people might have actually wanted that option, you know? Maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, there was a bit of bristling at the turn of events from everyone before Weaver reluctantly told everyone to lay down their weapons, and Tom got himself temporarily detained by laying hands on the Volm and freaking out a bit on them. Not that I blame him, mind you. It was pretty condescending on Waschack’s part. But Tom appealed to Waschack’s more understanding side, and it ultimately worked, as the Volm let the Charleston crew go and gave them back their weapons, telling them to hightail it out of Boston, or, in effect: “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”

I loved Pope’s reaction to all of this, especially when Hal started up his “white house and picket fence” spiel again, causing Maggie to admonish him, which led Pope to hilariously chime in: “Compared to the quiet desperation of the suburbs, I’d say an alien apocalypse is paradise on earth.” LOL. Pope really is the best.

No sooner was the gang on the road when the Esphemi came a calling, having tailed them via Lourdes. You’d think that they would have at least asked the Volm if they could debug her, but I guess it was somewhat established they couldn’t on previous episodes, when Hal was infected- though Anne did manage to get that bug out. I suppose that, as Lourdes was the only other one able to work that machine, though, that they couldn’t exactly get anyone else to do it on the fly.

So, then we got a confrontation with Karen, who said she had a “gift” for Tom and that the Volm weren’t who they thought they were, which they already knew, so Tom gave Karen a gift of his own, and shot her. A mini-battle ensued and Karen’s crew was taken out, along with Karen herself when Maggie understandably finished the job when Hal got a little too touchy-feely for her tastes.

After that, we got the revelation we all probably suspected was coming: Anne was alive, and so was Alexis. Vaguely surprising was the revelation that the latter was now looking more like a six-year-old. I mean, between “The 4400” and “True Blood,” the whole notion of a rapidly-aging baby/creature has been done more than a few times elsewhere, but I get why they did it. That was pretty neat how she de-bugged Lourdes, though. That should come in handy later on, if any other moles emerge.

That was about it, I suppose. All in all, it was pretty satisfying, I’d say, if the way it was cut was a bit confusing for the aforementioned reasons (which would be the fault of the director and the editor). I didn’t dislike the way things went down on the whole, but I do think that an additional half-hour or so might have made the various transitions a bit smoother overall. But maybe that’s just me.

I do like the notion that the battle will ensue on multiple fronts from here on out, and that there’s still a lot to learn about the motives of both the Esphemi and the Volm. I just hope they plan things a bit better next season. If I were the show-runner, I would make sure that the entire season was planned out from the jump, so that we didn’t end up with these place-holder type episodes that cropped up all over this season, which reminded me of similar issues over on “The Walking Dead.” I mean, “Falling Skies” only has ten episodes to contend with. That’s not that bad compared to other shows.

I would start with fleshing out the mythology of the Volm and the Esphemi and making sure I knew exactly where each was respectively headed in the grand scheme of things. Then I would move on to the Charleston crew and the rest of the people scattered over the United States and decide what to do there. Finally, I would break each episode down to make sure that the action was reasonably consistent and spread out over the entire season, instead of in short, small bursts here and there. I would definitely want to come up with an end game first, and work my way towards it over the course of the season as well.

That’s my two cents on the subject, anyway. As to what exactly they want to happen, obviously that would be up to the writers, who one would hope have a reasonable grasp on the situation. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to figure out exactly how they want to end the show, period, and start working their way towards it accordingly.

“Lost” didn’t, and look what happened there. I mean, “Lost” had an emotional ending in mind, but they left the intellectual elements hanging, which ticked a lot of fans off. I don’t want to see that happen here as well. I think they need to have both the emotional and intellectual endings in place here moving forward, just to be safe. After all, you never know if the next season could be your last these days.

What do you think? What would you like to see happen next season? What direction do you think things will go in? Any predictions on what will happen in the next season of “Falling Skies”? Sound off on this and any other aspects of the show below, and hopefully, I’ll see you next season!