Falling Skies Season 4 brings more sci-fi elements, bigger roles for women

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Apr 26, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT (Updated)

The fourth season of Falling Skies opens up with skitters hitting the fan. It's a few months after the events of the season-three finale and the Espheni invasion; the new season opens with Tom Mason's (Noah Wyle) group of survivors having been abandoned by the Volm, before becoming separated in captivity and eventually reuniting in different pairings than we've seen before.

It's an extreme and aggressive beginning to the season, but fear not, Cochise (Doug Jones) remains an ally, a source of technical jargon and the calming voice of the series. The show's fifth showrunner, David Eick, has been applauded by the cast for the amplification of science-fiction elements and fresh spin, but the military theme still exists as all of the tactics are instilled in each character, especially with the youth camp. Despite the changes on the surface, though, the series will still be an exploration on humanity's ability to survive and thrive when they are at their most depleted state. Falling Skies will continue to feature Tom Mason and his sons, but there will also be some marvelous storylines for the women in the cast.

Some would say that it's about time for the women to step up and assume these roles. Maggie (Sarah Carter), for example, vaults into a leadership role. She will emerge as a political player and will no longer be just a love interest or a toy for Pope. "We know Maggie to stand in the back and assess the situation and take action when she wants to make a political move," said Carter. "Now she can stand on her own two feet and affect change. It's definitely her wildest season."

However, what's in store for Maggie on the relationship front will surprise longtime fans. Gone is the love triangle with Hal and Karen, but a new one will develop with Maggie, Hal and Ben. If you're perplexed by that notion, Carter shared your concerns when she read the script and made a teary phone call to Eick: "I trust you, David, but are you sure?"

"When Ben sees Maggie in that role, he falls in love and wants to be around her," Carter continued. "I had a very strong reaction. I genuinely loved working with Drew on the Hal and Maggie relationship, which has been complicated. I must admit, though, it is making for incredible drama. Now I'm the center of attention in a huge way. Poor Hal. There's a major piece that I can't tell you, which is the reason for all of this, so it's justified, but it's still hard [to wrap around]."

The other main relationship, between Tom and Anne (Moon Bloodgood), is tested as well. They will come into conflict about Lexi, since she is a human-alien hybrid and there's doubt about where her allegiances lie. "I'm going to defend my daughter," said Bloodgood. "We go toe to toe a lot about the innocence of our daughter, because we just don't know how much of her is human. There's an episode directed by Jonathan Frakes where you see what happened to Anne when Lexi was in the womb and how involved Karen was. You'll also get to see part of Anne's past. Tom's not bonded to Lexi as much as Anne is. He doesn't completely accept her, so his alliances are questioned, a lot of pointing fingers. Can he be objective, and is he giving special treatment?

"Lexi is our focal point," stressed Bloodgood. "We don't know if she's good/bad, but Anne is convinced she's good and just being influenced by her alien side." Lexi's white hair signifies that something is off, and you can bet she'll have some extra abilities. "Lexi exploits our love for her; Scarlett is our superstar." Meanwhile, Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) rediscovers her religious center, but Gabriel says it's in a much more extreme way. "It's not so Orthodox, Catholic or whatever as she started out as. She's very fanatical, and it's a direct reaction of what happened to her last season.

"Lourdes is become obsessed, not being that extremely violent, harmful influence person in her community. She's trying a bit too hard to be the opposite of that. We've all seen that person who takes that religious crusade a little too serious." Lourdes will also have a bond with Lexi, who appears to be the common thread in season four.

Let's not forget Karen, who we saw bite the dust last season, or so we thought. Jessy Schram returns to play Karen, though in what capacity is still a mystery. "She's forever going to be the reason for a lot of the things that happen on the show," said Carter. She's the reason for everything -- the separation and coming together."

There's a lot of promise for the new season, with characters put in new places and roles, and their interactions with different characters should create a fresh feel. All of the different roles the women are taking and have grown into since season one should be of great interest. Hopefully Eick will stabilize the writers' room as we wait eagerly until June 22 to look to the skies.