After the aliens invaded on TNT’s Falling Skies, the majority of the characters faced mortality in a way they never imagined. But one who had already been through the wringer pre-invasion found her fight for life in a whole new way. Though still guarded and not entirely trusting, Maggie (Sarah Sanguin Carter) found herself falling for Hal Mason (Drew Roy), and against the survival rate odds in a world where aliens not only used their own superior technology, but also humanity’s own youths against them, she managed to both survive and evolve as a woman. The one who had once pushed everyone away who was nice to her, because she didn’t want pity as “the girl with cancer,” is now in a serious and committed relationship, living in close quarters with a guy who unbeknownst to her has been corrupted by the aliens and may not be entirely trustworthy. Season three is certainly going to send Maggie on yet another roller coaster.
“She’s totally out of her comfort zone. She’s now in quarters, sharing quarters with Hal, who’s ill. She’s a caretaker. She’s facing all of the things she wanted to run away from in her life before the invasion,” Carter said when LA TV Insider Examiner sat down with her on set in Vancouver* last fall.
“I think the main thing for Maggie is that this season Charleston represents getting back to normalcy, and for Maggie, normalcy is totally foreign and actually terrifying…The last time she was in quarters, it was in a prison/rehabilitation institution, and she’s dealing with somebody who’s under the influence of a force he has no power over, which is similar.”
The former 2nd Mass has settled down, at least for the time being, in Charleston, South Carolina, where Tom (Noah Wyle) has risen to the ranks of President of the new United States, while Maggie’s former riding buddy Pope (Colin Cunningham) has set up his own “Pope Town” complete with a market of sorts and a bar that he can run. Maggie and Hal are still fighting alongside the troops as usual, but Hal is paralyzed from the waist down, leaving Maggie to pick up a lot of slack in their home, personal, and family life. This is brand new, scary territory for her and something Carter called the biggest character challenge for her this season.
“Being integrated into the Mason family, as well—she doesn’t trust the family unit; she doesn’t understand the family unit; she wants to be a part of it [but] it’s only a fantasy to her. And then when she actually finds herself caring for the Mason brothers and respecting Tom and appreciating the way that this community all works, and playing her part in it, it’s all new, and I think in her weakest moments, she probably wants to run and hang out with Pope,” Carter said.
“[Being apart of the Mason family] is just mind-blowing, and she absolutely does it with grace. It’s a quiet struggle…She’s changing. She is. She’s becoming domesticated, but she could easily go back to having that edge. That’s what makes it interesting to play Maggie. She’s a great character to work with because you never know which way she’s going to swing.”
But outwardly, there are inherent challenges for Maggie now that she is so focused on Hal and their relationship. The last real time she was so deeply entangled with someone was pre-invasion and pre-prison, when she fell in with someone shady and started doing drugs. Though she doesn’t run the same exact risks here, there are equally dangerous elements to being with someone like Hal, who isn’t in control of himself half of the time, and the side of herself that comes out when she’s with someone who not only can flip hot and cold but also who may be more dependent on her than she is on him.
“Maggie is vulnerable in a way that she’s never been in her life, and even though Hal is incapacitated, in a way it makes her feel safer to fall in love more deeply. And she understands her place with him: Hal needs her,” Carter said, noting that their relationship is still a “sexy storyline” both from a character perspective, but also as an attractively complex piece for an actor to portray.
“I think she feels scared but she also feels safe to love him fully and give herself completely to this relationship, and then it gets really exciting. The reason it gets sexy is because when Evil Hal comes in, it gets hot again. I think she gets turned on by this edge that he has, and she’s reignited and reminded of who she was before this invasion.
“They hadn’t been intimate before this season, and it gets intimate, honey! And then it gets rough because she has that and then it’s taken away from her, and you don’t know if he remembers it or not. It’s everything that you can possibly imagine facing in a relationship that’s a nightmare…I think she’s truly confused at one point in the middle of the season. She doesn’t know who to trust and what’s real, but when she feels into her heart, she trusts Hal, and she does not have it in her to trust the aliens. She’s starting to really understand what it is to be human and the power of that, and that is what means more to her than anything, so whatever threatens that is a threat, straight up.”
Falling Skies returns to TNT on June 9 2013.
* Travel and accommodations provided by TNT
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