In its first season finale, the heroic resistance fighters of “Falling Skies” face a foe more -lethal than the alien “skitters”: A basic cable TV production budget.
TNT lumps together the last two episodes in a move that suspiciously seems like an attempt to burn them off before viewers get wind of the stink.
The series looks as if it is running shockingly low on both funds and imagination, and as a booster of the show since it premiered, I am loathe to say that.
In the first hour, “Mutiny,” as the 2nd Mass. Regiment is about to make an assault on that alien structure in Boston, the season-long conflict between Tom (Noah Wyle) and Weaver (Will Patton) comes to a head. Tom learns another secret about the resistance leader and fears he is sending them out on a suicide mission. The ultimate fate of those harnessed teenagers becomes apparent.
In “Eight Hours,” the -resistance fighters head to Boston, but a betrayal from one of their own reveals their plans to the skitters and jeopardizes everyone. Tom and Anne (Moon Bloodgood) share a -moment.
Executive producer -Steven Spielberg’s influence coats this post-apocalyptic show in a candy paste, lowering the dramatic stakes. As these two hours prove, much of the supporting cast would be better suited to a community access production of “The Cat in the Hat.”
The confrontation -between the Mechs and the humans in the second hour borders on silly. After all the build-up to Mount Alien, the guerrilla assault takes place off-camera. Tom plays cleanup. Why build a show around a war if you can’t -begin to stage it?
The final moments echo Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” — and more ludicrously, the closing of the “Dynasty” spin-off “The Colbys,” in which Fallon (Emma Samms) took a fateful ride out into the desert. I’ve -already spoiled enough.
As cliffhangers go, it is so underwhelming, it suggests the writers have been harnessed themselves by the muses of mediocrity. The series, already renewed for a second season, is going to have to do a lot to win back this viewer. “Falling Skies” has already dropped off my radar.