Entertainment Magazine

Review #2350: Falling Skies 1.9: “Mutiny”

Posted on the 10 August 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: J.M.

After coming to the end of the first hour of the two-part season finale, I couldn’t help but look back on the episode and come to the conclusion that for whatever reason the writers of “Falling Skies” write the aliens on this show, who so far haven’t spoken a word except through a human host, better than the human characters. The episode failed to convince in the portrayal of pretty much every human character, and the intended emotional resonance falls flat because of predictability of the whole scenario. The truly disappointing part about the episode is how it ignored the previous episode’s characterization of Weaver and wrote to plot rather than substance.

Review #2350: Falling Skies 1.9: “Mutiny”

One of the more galling things about this episode is the sudden discovery of a combat-experienced veteran officer within the 2nd Mass. As much as Tom’s character is heroic and decent and upstanding, anyone with a military background would have been at a premium and likely been the commander or executive officer. To simply have his character introduced suddenly and without reference, and then only to have him be a Weaver yes-man complete with a scowling tale about leaders who think too much getting their men killed, it was ridiculous and went beyond even some of the worst writing offences so far.

Weaver doesn’t get much better treatment this episode. His paranoia certainly wasn’t in line with the revelation about his wife, particularly his express desire to live for something other than simple revenge. It doesn’t make any sense to embrace a suicidal mission against all odds when he has been explicated characterized as cautious, by the book, and very loyal to Colonel Porter. It was even more frustrating because the writers spent the first half of the season undermining his stereotype as the gruff, unfeeling and insensitive military commander who won’t listen to reason. The last couple of episodes have abandoned what little nuanced character development he had, instead embracing him as the villain for Tom to fight against.

All the more frustrating because there was a lot of potential in the episode had it been set up right. The civilian/military plot thread hadn’t been exploited to its fullest at all, particularly given the potential fallout from the fact that Weaver had given the children over to a man that was going to give them to the Skitters. Civilian unrest would have been a lot more convincing and far more in line with the rest of the season. Another wasted plot element was Jimmy’s involvement. Jimmy has been a way for Weaver to show his fatherly characteristics and brought out some very positive elements of his character. It would have been interesting it see more of Jimmy’s reaction to Weaver and vice versa.

All in all it was an extremely disappointing episode. The wooden characters and predictable plot made it difficult to sit through, and another example of some of the most glaring flaws that the writers have failed to address throughout the season. I hope that they will be able to fix some of this in the second season and they will be able to grow into the show that we saw at the beginning of the season.

Writing: 1/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Rating: 6/10

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