Falling Skies Delivers Its Best Scene Yet: Chicks with Guns, Learning How to Fight Back
If the past is prologue to the future, Rick Moran's worries about the TNT sci-fi series Falling Skies will eventually come true and it will go politically correct.
I hate that. That's how Hollywood typically ruins perfectly good entertainment. Battlestar Galactica, anyone?
Thankfully, Falling Skies is still a long way away from dying that needless death.
For me, Falling Skies started off a bit uneven. The pilot opened with the story of an alien invasion of earth, several months after the fact. Noah Wyle's character, Tom Mason, seemed to be the typical enlightened professor type, and in that first episode none of the characters really stood out and and the story just didn't grab me. It seemed a little hokey. But as the episodes have rolled by, Falling Skies has gotten stronger. It turns out the prof specialized in the American Revolution, and from a few of his remarks, he seems to openly admire the Founding Fathers. That's not politically correct. And he's a solid military leader, as is the group's commander. The human survivors have organized themselves into military units that sound both patriotic and pulled out of history. The surrounding characters manage to surprise in their complexity. One story arc turns on a young boy who has lost his family and is growing into a man and a freedom fighter, shades of Red Dawn and the novel April Morning. And while the aliens and their tactics make little sense so far, their behavior has shown a consistency that suggests the producers do know where the story is going, and they're being patient in getting us there. So far, so good.
The sixth episode, which aired Sunday and I just got around to watching last night, featured what may be the series' best scene yet. It was a short scene that said quite a lot. Two characters, Margaret and Anne, have both been victims of human violence since the alien invasion. Margaret was found a few episodes back with a band of degenerates who were holed up in a theater and threatening to rape a young woman. Anne, the doctor in the main human group and whose entire family was killed in the alien invasion, found herself in the sixth episode staring down the barrel of a gun held by a man who robbed her of the group's antibiotics. Anne is no wallflower; in an earlier episode she showed a gutsy side and ended up making a major discovery about how the aliens can be killed. I'm trying not to give too many spoilers away here, but Anne and Margaret end up friends united in their victimhood. But they don't just wallow in woe is me or decide that all men are eeevil.
Margaret showed in an earlier episode that being armed and knowing how to use a weapon can save your life and earn your freedom. She befriends Anne after the antibiotic hold-up, and the two end up out on a makeshift gun range.
The interesting thing about the scene was how the characters played it. Anne had never fired a gun before, so Margaret coached her through it. And when Anne pulls the trigger for the first time, you can see in her eyes that feeling of instant empowerment. And Margaret is happy to have shown Anne how it's done. The show could have gone the feminist route here, but the fact is that feminist groups hate guns. They're leftist on that point, even though women protect themselves with guns all the time. This scene was anything but a product of leftist thinking. It was about self-defense, both the right to it and the feeling of strength being able to defend oneself imparts. It was good, and surprising, TV, and not a bit politically correct.
Yeah, it doesn't hurt that both actresses are knockouts. You got a problem with that?
Falling Skies is showing promise. I hope the producers don't blow it.