Cliffhangers are both a delirious, intoxicating blessing, and a patience-sapping curse.
We crave the tension and sense of anticipation they bring us but loathe the long wait till a hopefully satisfying resolution.
Falling Skies, which tells the story of an Earth plunged into apocalyptic madness by an alien invasion and the fight back by those that survive it, left us with a doozy of a cliffhanger at the end of the season.
As if they weren’t beset by enough aliens, the dizzyingly climactic end to season 2 saw the arrival of another heavily armoured alien (to be played by Doug Jones) whose motivations for entering the fray aren’t entirely clear.
Are they simply joining in the fight as opportunistic mercenaries bent on carving themselves up a slice of the Earth pie? Do-gooders come to rescue humanity? (Highly unlikely if intergalactic politics is anything like our own.) Or enemies of our invaders who see humanity as their situational “friends” by virtue of their shared enmity towards the overlords?
I am tending towards the latter – the giant guns pointing towards the sky would suggest the invaders are getting ready to repel unwanted visitors – since that would open up a whole new front in the story and potentially give what’s left of humanity a whole of new worrying scenarios to contemplate since their new allies, assuming they are in fact that, could quickly turn foe once the overlords are vanquished.
And on a more personal level, Hal (Drew Roy) is being controlled by one of the alien’s eye-bugs which could cause real problems for his dad, the hero-of-the-day Tom Mason (Noah Wylie) as season 3 rolls on.
He, of course, will have to contend with the ongoing politics of New Charleston, in all its underground glory, but he will have some help in the form of Gloria Reuben who will play Tom’s whippet-smart, politically savvy new aide (reuniting them from their ER days).
And the emergence of the pre-invasion President of the old United States who is interested in meeting Tom, whose reputation is growing by leaps and bounds with each victory over the interloping aliens.
But any victory, if it comes, won’t be achieved by braun alone, and so we also get to meet the “Rat King”, a brilliant scientist with all manner of presumably alien-zapping gizmos, who lives far below the others with, yes, pet rats.
Naturally of course all of the regulars will be back in force including Tom’s other sons, Ben (Connor Jessup) and Matt (Maxim Knight), his partner in love and fighting Anne (Moon Bloodgood) and now close friend and commanding officer, Captain Weaver (Will Patton), all of whom are trying to forge a life in a world that is largely inimitable to that.
It looks like it’s going to be another dramatic season of fighting aliens, political intrigue among the survivors, and the small, personal stories of survival that have become the hallmark of this finely-wrought apocalyptic tale.
* Falling Skies season 3 premieres June 9 at 9 /10C on TNT, and you can catch snippets of the action to come via TBT’s official trailer for its summer 2013 slate of shows …
POSTSCRIPT Monday 1 April: Here’s the just-released trailer for Falling Skies season 3 …