Cable television’s latest fad is nihilism.
All the cool kids and Emmy contenders fearlessly proclaim that life is meaningless, the TV hipsters declaring that the deterioration of the human race is already upon us, if we could only be clever enough to open our eyes. On The Walking Dead, the apocalypse promises that humans are the real monsters, while on Game of Thrones fathers barely blink as they burn their daughters alive.
But Falling Skies is different. Created by the team behind Saving Private Ryan, Falling Skies has Steven Spielberg’s fingerprints all over it — even if the aliens aren’t exactly of the cuddly E.T. variety. Falling Skies falls back on the idea that humanity, given the chance, will continue to choose to become the best version of itself. It’s the idea that no matter where we come from, as a collective, humanity’s instinct is to aspire to be great, to be kind, to be good.
Falling Skies isn’t optimistic about the apocalypse — when the aliens show up in season 1, they rip apart the world, leaving most of humanity dead by season 5. The survivors are few and far between, left in tiny underground pockets of the world, but despite it all, they continue to fight for their right to survive.
What Falling Skies is optimistic about then is humanity. It holds out hope that even in the darkness, we strive to hold on to what makes us human. It insists that there is something to be admired about humanity: our tenacity, our commitment to family, love, and faith amidst hopelessness.
After the aliens take over in season one destroying 90% of the world’s population, what’s left of the United States divides itself into small pockets of survivors that form a resistance movement resembling a Continental Army militia. Led by a retired U.S. Army Captain and a Boston University history professor, our heroes call themselves the Second Mass as they fight to find their way to civilized sanctuary, and eventually unite in an organized fight against the invaders themselves.
Several hundred strong in season 1, the Second Mass tries to hold on to a sense of normalcy by sending their kids to school, and setting everyone up with jobs that suit their strengths. By season 5, only a couple dozen from the Second Mass are left, with only one child among them, but in each other, they’ve found a new family. The aliens in Falling Skies prey on humanity’s ability to love as a weakness, but the Second Mass has turned this “weakness” into a strength. Their love and faith in each other is what has kept the Second Mass going amidst the horror that surrounds them, because they still believe that there’s something in the world worth fighting for.
Even in its darkest moments, Falling Skies refuses to be bleak. Colonel Weaver’s daughter gets captured and mutilated by the aliens, only to break herself free and sacrifice herself for family. John Pope starts off the series as the rogue renegade pirate, only to later risk his freedom to save the new family he’s found amongst the Second Mass. When two brothers fall into a typical love triangle trope with pretty much the last living girl around, instead of fighting over her, they choose to focus on how lucky they are to still have a family to hold onto.
Falling Skies insists that people need people. And as long as we fight for our humanity — that empathy which makes us human — humanity will be worth fighting for.
Falling Skies’ fifth and final season airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. EST on TNT.
Why do you love ‘Falling Skies’?
Between the announcement of a Birds of Prey movie and Steven Spielberg at the helm of Blackhawk, it’s been a week of good news for DC fans. So what do these movie choices mean for the future of the DCEU?
The 100 season 5 kicks off with the formidable “Eden,” in which Clarke Griffin proves, in a dozen different ways, why she is the best lead character on TV.
Director Wes Ball wraps up his Maze Runner Trilogy experience by discussing his favorite Death Cure featurette, if he’d do a Fever Code movie, and more!
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 widens the lens of Margaret Atwood’s novel — but is it worth the trip back to Gilead?
I Feel Pretty may look like a one woman show starring Amy Schumer, but the movie features another in a long line of incredible supporting performances from Michelle Williams.
It comes down to who's more stubborn, Madison or the Vultures?
Accio, exciting new role!
A Quiet Place succeeds where many movies of its kind have failed, because it knows that suspense can rely on much more than just the big monster reveal.
Hypable has an exclusive excerpt from Hiding by Henry Turner, a teen psychological thriller with a slow burn to die for.
Author Jay Kristoff introduces an action-packed excerpt from his new YA novel LIFEL1K3.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Join ReWatchable as we discuss a very harmonious Angel 5×09, “Harm’s Way,” and welcome a new hero (?) in Angel 5×10 “Soul Purpose.”
- Resistance Radio
Mikey, Kaitlin, Ben and Dan-O are back with the latest news from a galaxy far far away and we talk about this years Force Friday and the toys from Solo: A Star Wars Story!
Join ReWatchable as we discuss Angel 5×07, “Lineage,” and Angel 5×08 “Destiny.”
- Resistance Radio
Mikey and Kaitlin are back with the latest news from a galaxy far far away and we break down the new trailer from Solo: A Star Wars Story!