Falling Skies – Sanctuary Part 1 Review

Lt. Terry Clayton of the 7th Mass arrives at the high school with disturbing news that Skitters and Mechs are on their way to attack the 2nd Mass headquarters, Clayton claims to have a plan approved by Porter to lead the children to safety while the adults remain to fend off the attack, but his plan is met with strong resistance by all the parents, including Tom.

Falling Skies - Sanctuary Part 1
Falling Skies has been a very hit and miss show from the start, and this episode is no different. While there is a lot of great character interaction on display here, it is punctuated with moments that don’t feel real, and a lack of direction.

The episode opens with a demonstration of how things are falling apart for the 2nd Mass. People are starting to turn on each other, and everyone else is to blame for what’s going wrong. This was a nice opening, and the desperate civilian characters felt very believable given the circumstances, but it seemed odd that they were able to get away with it at all. It’s been established throughout the show that there are military patrols throughout the school, and I would think that the medical area would be of high importance. This is one of those moments where Falling Skies asks the audience to just go with it, but I think that it could have been done far more effectively.

Story seems to be where the show is falling down. I can buy into a lot of the characters, but they are continually undermined by the silly story beats that the show seems to throw out there. What this show does well is character interactions. One really good illustration of this strength is the relationship between Weaver and Jimmy in this episode. I won’t spoil exactly what happens, but there are a number of moments here that expose what lies beneath the tough mask of these two characters. These character moments save the show from being boring, but they aren’t enough to make it really interesting.

Not Interesting

Sure we have some good conversations, but what do we actually do?

Even the setup for the cliffhanger of this episode was obvious from the beginning. I actually found myself surprised by what happened at the end, not because it was an amazing plot moment, but because I thought the writers were going to throw a twist in there and that all the really obvious clues along the way were just to throw me off the scent. No such luck.

Overall, while there were a lot of good things about this episode, it didn’t get me excited about the show.  Falling Skies really needs to pick up its game in the plotting department or things are going to burn out very quickly. Given the show’s track record, I’m fairly sure that all cliffhanger related storylines will be wrapped up neatly in the next episode. But you never know, it might surprise me.

What I Liked – The interaction between Jimmy and Weaver. Tom and Anne’s relationship is progressing at a nice pace.

What I Didn’t Like – The situation still feels fairly unbelievable. Some silly story beats.

Rating – 3 out of 5 (Average)

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