Season 3: Have the Writers Learned Anything?

Sorry for the lack of updates the past few days guys, we have all been hard at work trying to come up with ways to keep the blog going! Contributing Author BethTX returns to share some of her fears, and suggestions, for Season 3!

Some casting news was released yesterday and it may signal a snoozefest for Season 3 of Falling Skies. The Three If By Space website announced that Robert Sean Leonard (James Wilson from “House”) would star in a 5-episode story arc as the eccentric who keeps Charleston’s power grid running and that Gloria Reuben (Noah Wyle’s “ER” costar) will be joining the cast as Tom’s assistant, a woman skilled in politics.

I really like both of these actors, but “a 5-episode arc” means we’re stuck in Charleston for at least half a season. One of the good things about the Season 2 finale is that the 2nd Mass had decided to move on, and the road is where the danger and excitement is. Staying in one place means less action and more opportunities for soap opera BS where the characters sit around whining about their feelings and the dreaded pregnancy cliché can be milked for all it’s worth (which is not much).

Robert Sean Leonard’s character seems like he might be amusing, but the real problem is the description of Gloria Reuben’s character: Tom’s assistant. Why does Tom Mason of the 2nd Mass need an assistant with political experience? Answer: he doesn’t, but President Mason of Charleston does. This indicates that the writers will be sticking Tom behind a desk for half the season. It’s very plausible that Tom would eventually retire from fighting; after all, he was a professor who was forced into combat by circumstances, but it’s too early in the game to ground him.

The stay-in-one-place-and-talk-about-our-feelings ruined season 2 of The Walking Dead. The FS writers have already dumped the “surprise” pregnancy plot on us a la Lori, and now they may be gluing the 2nd Mass in Charleston for at least half a season. A side question is what is the justification for staying when Tom was so adamant about leaving? Does it have to do with something the new alien reveals or does Tom pull a Rick Grimes and decide that his knocked-up girlfriend would be better off in Charleston regardless of what is best for the group?

For the first season and most of the second the writers completely avoided the plot traps of The Walking Dead. Now they seem to be cheerfully walking right into them. They’ve dragged the pregnancy plot into the mix, the group may be settled in one place for the majority of the season, and we have Possessed Hal as possible Shane-style loose cannon.

The season is still being written, so it’s still possible to sidestep the large mound of dog poo they’re about to tread in. Start by terminating the pregnancy in whatever way possible. The writers have painted themselves into a corner with this because we’re all expecting that the spawn will be mutated in some way due to Tom’s time on the alien ship. If the baby is altered we all say “Yeah. Expected that. Next.” And if it’s just a plain human baby it feels like a cheat. Worse, if the child lives, I see Tom and Anne spending the rest of the series wringing their hands and wondering when possible mutations will show themselves (or worrying over the ones that do). We already have Ben for that. Better to get rid of it altogether and avoid further cliché.

Sitting around Charleston is season death, and wasting 5 out of ten episodes is a bad idea, but it may not come to pass. They could have Robert Sean Leonard’s engineer character join the 2nd Mass on the road as Jamil’s replacement, for example. If they’re determined to leave us in Charleston, they can at least minimize the damage by having frequent battles, hopefully culminating in a destroyed Charleston that ends the “safe haven” forever.

The important part of this is that Season 3 is still being written. Enough feedback on what is NOT working could save the show for those of us who want and expect more than rehashed soap opera, Email TNT, join every Falling Skies Facebook page and post your opinions where they reach the people who matter.

 BethTX is  a Contributing Author here on the Falling Skies Blog, just as sarcastic as me (not an easy accomplishment), and she read my mind because I expressed the same fears that Robert Leonard’s released character bio meant we were getting the FS equivalent of The Farm.

Keep the Resistance Strong!

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~ by The Falling Skies Blog on August 24, 2012.

3 Responses to “Season 3: Have the Writers Learned Anything?”

  1. I want to take a step back and say that I think I’ve been a little unfair by blaming the writers for everything. They make a convenient target, but we still need to remember that they write in the fashion they’re told to and what they write has to be approved by the powers that be.

  2. The good side about Charleston and potentially staying put there is: it is not a remote farm. It is a place where survivors from all over the country gather. This always leaves the door open for shaking things up, i.e. a not-so-friendly larger survivor group appears. There’s the chance it will be a coming-and-going, to carefully adjust the group, leave boring characters behind (Anne and her alien spawn, for example), pick up someone more interesting (sewer-dwelling dude) and then have an improved 2nd Mass hit the road.
    Also, hey writers, if you wanna follow trends from other shows… why only look what TWD does? In case you haven’t heard, the 2nd season was deemed horrible. Turn to some other shows, it’s highly likely you find *something* better.

  3. They could get through a stay in Charleston if they make sure to keep the action going. Too many scenes of Tom behind his desk signing paperwork and the season tanks. Daddy Mason should be out there fighting with the rest of the 2nd Mass, but it doesn’t seem logical that President Mason would.

    I would love for them to ditch or kill Anne. So much Tom angst potential, but not like Shane angst, as Tom has three sons that he would hopefully remember. I doubt they will, but you never know. They may be going for the big shock death and who better to bite the big green weenie than the group’s one doctor?

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