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YMMV / Falling Skies

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  • Actor/Role Confusion: In the beginning it took an episode or so for viewers who had watched a lot of ER to stop wondering why "Carter" wasn't the doctor.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Yes, she killed Lourdes, and she tried to brainwash Ben into having a Face–Heel Turn. But Lexi eventually realized what the Espheni were doing and teamed up with the 2nd Mass to strike a critical blow against them, and she lost her life in the process.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Considering how ruthlessly devoted Karen becomes towards the Espheni cause, it makes you wonder whether she was really brainwashed or she has always harbored misanthropic tendencies and the Espheni just provided her with an outlet.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The "final" clash between Pope's turncoats and the 2nd Mass is nothing more than a shootout that lasts about two minutes, and ends with Pope supposedly dying while hiding near barrels containing flammable fluids.
    • The Espheni Queen. After she and Tom talk to each other briefly, the Queen starts sucking on Tom's blood while he's stuck to a wall. Then Tom grabs the Dornian weapon, allows it to poison his blood, and after the Queen consumed the poisoned blood, she combusts.
    • Pope's true final confrontation with Tom in the finale. Fatally wounded, he begs Tom to kill him with his gun. He doesn't, and then Pope succumbs to his wounds.
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  • Broken Base: The finale. No one can agree on how they felt about the show's ending. Some say it was satisfying, and that they were pleased with the relatively happy ending. Some say that it was rushed and should've been longer, but was still quite satisfying given what the creators had to work with. Some say it was a terrible episode filled with a horrible Anti-Climax Boss, a Deus ex Machina, and only showed the deaths of a couple of Mauve Shirts. Some people liked the episode, but will fully admit that Pope's death was pointless, that Anne should've stayed dead, and that the Espheni Queen's Freudian Excuse was terrible. Some people found the finale dull and forgettable, and so on and so forth...
  • Critical Dissonance: Season 5. Several critics have showered the season with praise, and it currently holds an 80% rating over on Rotten Tomatoes. A portion of the fans, however, believe that the season is filled with way too much Filler, atrocious writing (especially with the way Pope's character was handled), new characters who keep getting introduced, and a blatantly obvious rushed plot. However, both fans and critics agree that the series finale was a huge letdown, even for those who enjoyed Season 5.
  • Fanon:
    • For the first two seasons (before the harnesses got dropped for other plots) there there were a lot of fans who thought that the harnesses turn humans into skitters. Admittedly harnessed humans have been shown in various states of gray-green skin creeping across their faces, and the harnesses have some absolute effect on their wearers, however there has never been any solid evidence that skitters are changed humans. Karen has been harnessed and heavily used by an Overlord for a very long time yet she still maintains a human skin tone and doesn't show any signs of sprouting extra limbs. As a matter of fact in season 2 the red-eye skitter says that skitters are an enslaved race from another planet. However this has not stopped fans from insisting on the "harnesses turn their wearers into skitters". While the writers continue to leave this ambiguous, the fanon continues.
    • The Espheni introduce a system of turning adult humans into creatures in season 4, but this is different from the harnessing children seen in earlier seasons.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Most of the alien characters, really.
  • Fridge Horror: When Anne and Lourdes dissect the Skitter and realize that the Skitters are harnessed.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Almost no one believes that Pope died after his brief shootout with Mason in the penultimate episode. And as it turns out, he wasn't dead.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In an 2013 interview for Season 4, Doug Jones joked that he hoped Cochise would get a love interest that season, even if it was a human woman. Just wait four years, Doug.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Weaver. After we find out what happened to his family, it's hard not to forgive him for his Jerkass tendencies.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • We all knew that Pope wouldn't leave Mason to die in the forest.
    • And that Hal would survive his "surgery" and would be rid of the bug inside him forever.
    • And that Hal and Maggie wouldn't suffocate to death after being trapped in a room after Lourdes blew up the Charleston HQ.
    • And that Anne and Alexis weren't really dead.
    • Subverted with Pope in Season 5. He didn't die in the penultimate episode, but when he shows up in the series finale, we find out that he was gravely wounded from the explosion. And then he dies anyway.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The 2014 licensed video game unfortunately is an XCOM: Enemy Unknown clone with bad enemy artificial intelligence and poor graphics.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Most of the relationships involving the Mason family qualify, but by far the worst is the Hal/Maggie/Ben Love Triangle in later seasons. This ended up evolving into a love square in Season 5 when Isabella showed up.
  • Scifi Ghetto: An odd case. Whole episodes seem to go by where the whole "invaded by aliens" plot is just in the background as character development takes place, causing a Broken Base. Some fans love the story arcs that focus only on the characters in the show, but the scifi fans get frustrated at the lack of actual science fiction going on in a show with already short (10-episode) seasons. For two episodes straight in season 3, the only aliens seen (skitters, all) only show up as antagonists in very short (thus cheap) CGI scenes as antagonists, and one skitter in a short scene mostly there to hand over the Applied Phlebotinum.
  • The Scrappy: Lexi Mason. Moral Myopia abounds to the point of hypocrisy. She's definitely some kind of sue with alien powers and everyone on the human side either wanting to understand her or unable to stop her.
  • Seasonal Rot: The odd directions of season 3-4 make people wonder if this show is just going with the flow instead of leading somewhere. Season 5 only exacerbates this — see Broken Base.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Skitter Rebellion is indicated to have been completely smashed in Season 4, despite being played up as a large plot point in Seasons 2 and 3, and offering a new dynamic with eh aliens the series otherwise did not show.
    • Everything regarding Caitlin and Brian in Season 5. Both were siblings who survived for months on their own, and the latter of whom was part Skitter. They easily could've been the center of a subplot focusing on how the 2nd Mass would deal with Brian, or even attempting to use Brian as an ally against the Espheni, similar to Red-Eyes. Instead, Caitlin is accidentally shot by Brian, and Brian turns the gun on himself. Both of these characters are quickly forgotten about.
    • Pope losing his mind and declaring war on the Mason family in Season 5. With the Espheni crippled, it looks to be the main source of danger throughout the season and could have been the perfect culmination of five years of Character Development for Tom and Pope. Instead, Pope vanishes after one standout episode, reappears in the penultimate episode for a two minute firefight that severely wounds him, and turns up at the end of the series finale simply to say a few words and perish anticlimactically from his wounds. The whole arc results in nothing of consequence and almost seems like an afterthought after a while.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions:
    • Nearly every subplot involving the Mason family. Many seem to think that in a world with humans fighting a war against a technologically superior alien force, the Mason family drama (as well as general hero worship of the Masons) is the least interesting part of the show.
    • Near the end of Season 5, the Mason family is put on trail in a Kangaroo Court situation that lasts two whole episodes and ignores the main plot entirely. This occurred right after a Filler episode where Tom was stuck on a farm.
  • The Un-Twist: Not too many people believed that Karen really killed Anne and Alexis, so when it was revealed that they were alive in the Season 3 finale, even less people were surprised. It really didn't help that Moon Bloodgood, the actress portraying Anne, was listed in the credits at the beginning of the episode. Also it is worth noting that to kill a major character for real offscreen and simply having it mentioned would have been simply bad writing in averting the Rule of Drama.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For a cable television series, the special effects are very good.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • In "Hatchlings", the third episode of the final season, Sara (who has become Pope's love interest) is stuck in Espheni fog, so Pope runs 10 kilometers back to camp for a flamethrower instead of making a fire on the spot (Evidently lighters or flint and tinder aren't a part of the standard issue 2nd Mass scout teams). When he arrives and finds out that Tom and the group are going to take out an Espheni base and will help her when they are done, Pope gets a flame thrower and runs back with it by himself, not enlisting any of the Ghost Extras (which they didn't take with them in the first place, either), and leading to Sara's death. Tropes Are Tools, though - the incident causes the Pope/Mason rivalry, which has been a foundation of the show since the first season, to blow into all-out war as Pope becomes the new Big Bad.
    • Also, Tom for not just shooting Pope in Season 1. When your only hope is people cooperating, a self-centered thug with Starscream tendencies is not the person you want around. This comes back to bite big time in the final season.
    • Regular military types tend to hit this trope. They either try to repel alien and human alike, thus damaging their chances, or they get eaten up with paranoia (like Marshall's group) and do more harm than good. Not to mention they tend to play defense, which a historian like Mason could tell them never works.
    • The Espheni Queen. When she's sucking on Tom's blood in the finale, she can clearly see that Tom is trying to reach for something, yet she does nothing to stop him. He ends up grabbing the Dornian weapon, uses it to poison his blood (which the Queen is still drinking), and then she dies.


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