My previous two posts may have given the impression that I no longer like "Falling Skies." Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I'm a fan of all science fiction, and in particular when Steven Spielberg is involved I generally get quite excited about a show or movie. Warning: possible spoilers ahead for "Star Trek; The Next Generation" or "Stargate: SG1" fans who haven't seen all episodes.
Rather, I'm greatly disappointed with the very disjointed and apparently haphazard ways in which they cobbled together the season finale of Season 3. If the show runners are saying Season 4 will have 12 episodes that may explain some things, as I feel Season 3 needed at least another 2 episodes for proper exposition in order to make all the things that happened in the final two -- and especially in the final episode seem plausible. A figure of $2.5 million per episode has been bandied about. I can't confirm that on IMDB (at least not so far). But better productions have been made for far less, and I think the comparisons to both "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (and other iterations), as well as "Stargate: SG1" are quite apt in this regard.
While I know STNG had a pretty big budget, at least at the start, it nonetheless had many episodes that could have been done on much smaller budgets, and some of those were, to me, some of the best. It has to do with GOOD WRITING! Possibly my all-time favorite episode of STNG is the one where the Enterprise encounters a seemingly dormant probe floating in space that appears to be thousands of years old. Suddenly the probe locks onto Captn. PIcard and puts him in a sort of coma they can't bring him out of. In his mind, he's living on another planet, as a young man. At first, he still recalls his life as a starship captain and keeps trying to get back. But he has parents, siblings and a young lover -- and a different name and job -- and soon he grows accustomed to this new life. He marries his sweetheart and they have children of their own, even grandchildren, and he learns to play a simple wooden flute. And he becomes one of the community leaders, all while his planet's sun becomes brighter and brighter as it heads towards a nova that will wipe out his planet. In the end, as an old man, he witnesses the launch of a rocket he helped design with information about his planet and race -- a "History" of his people so they won't be forever forgotten. Then, all his friends remind him of who he really is, and what he's really doing, and he wakes up. In reality, he's been in this coma for only half an hour or so. But he lived an entire lifetime and is now THE SOLE KEEPER of the history of an entire civilization. The probe shuts down, The enterprise boards it, and all they find on it is a single little wooden flute, which he instantly knows how to play, and plays the same sweet tune he did when he "lived" there.
THAT'S great writing. I'm certainly not saying "Falling Skies" can have this sort of "quiet, reflective" episode every week. But there's much to be said for SUBTLETY, and for finding more creative ways to do things rather than making ridiculous leaps of faith, such as trips to Boston and Charleston and back in a matter of days, with no resistance -- WITH a HUGE weapon in tow on the second trip. Spielberg is better than this. Maybe it's the directors, or other producers. It could also be "network pressure." Networks often push for way too much "whiz-bang" to keep the folks who have been spoon-fed way too many "Transforme-"-type movies interested. But whatever the case, some SERIOUS thinking needs to be done before next season. They need to either replace writers, or seriously re-task them.
By the way, I could name at least a dozen OTHER subtle "Star Trek" AND "Stargate" episodes with a little time. I just named one of my very favorites (gives me goosebumps every time I think about it).
One other thing. So far as I can remember, the Volm have yet to say precisely WHAT it is the Espheni do to planets they conquer... just WHAT they want. Do they want the water, the minerals, vegetable or animal matter -- humans as slaves? NOR have they truly elaborated on what they get out of chasing them from one planet to the other, more than "revenge," nor how they afford to continue doing this, unless they, too, harvest huge resources at each planet...