July 31st, 2009 23:52 EST
Earth: Final Conflict S5 DVD Review
In the 21st century, an alien species known as the Taelons came to Earth with the promise of peace. They lied. Their true agenda was to dominate us. After years of struggle, the Taelons have perished ... leaving us with more aggressive beings in their wake: the Atavus. My name is Renee Palmer. My mission is to stop this new species from dominating our planet. This is Earth`s Final Conflict.
It is the final stand, the final battle -- the final season of Gene Roddenberry`s Earth: Final Conflict. The writers and producers have done a real 180 for season five: shifting away from the original purpose of the series.
Like the third season, the fifth season began with a two-parter, as Renee Palmer (Jayne Heitmeyer) quit her job with Doors to began a search-and-rescue mission of her partner and best friend Liam Kincaid (Robert Leeshock), who sacrificed his life to save not only the Taelons and the Jardians, but Earth as well. However, what she "Unearthed" was the Atavus, the predecessor of Taelon and Jardian that has been in stasis since the beginning of time. The Atavus, led by Howlyn (Alan Van Sprang), are bloodthirsty, sexually aroused, vampire-like aliens with an appetite for destruction -- and for humans, with the purpose to dominate our planet. They found an ally within Ronald Sandoval (Von Flores), who believes that he was working for humanity undercover but now feels betrayed by those he claimed to protect, and decides to help the Atavus by creating an army of human-Atavus hybrids to ruled Earth. Sandoval has gone from a complex villain/anti-hero to an complete super bad-guy.
Where Liam has been chosen to lead humanity into its darkest hour, Renee is now chosen to lead humanity to the light, as she and computer genius J Street (Melinda Deines) are all that`s left in the Resistance -- and all that stands between us and the Atavus in what is now "the final conflict".
Season five is similar to cult sci-fi shows The Invaders and First Wave, when Renee and Street are trying to convince the world that the Atavus exist, while Sandoval has been reinstated into the FBI. The writers resurrected the return of original Resistance leader Willam Boone (Kevin Kilner), who briefly helped Renee in her war with the Atavus. The ruthless Taelon Zo`or (Anita La Selva) was also resurrected in season five and became a female Atavus to seek her revenge against Boone and Palmer, but got her comeuppance -- just like Sandoval in the series finale.
This season has marked a complete transformation for Renee Palmer, who has gone from corporate CEO/double agent into a warrior woman with a heart -- like Xena. However, she found love and an ally in the second half of season five with Capt. Brent Michaels (Dean McDermott, who played the "original" Liam Kincaid in an season two episode).
One of the things that would`ve made season five better is not killing off Liam; would`ve love to see an romance between him and Renee while fighting to save the world in the process. Another is keeping the Taelons and the Jardians, whose interwined backstories should`ve been explored, and how they`re connected to the people of Earth -- even the future. Had the writers done that as well as explore more into the Atavus, the series probably would`ve gone on for another season.
The "Final Conflict" marks the surprising return of Liam, who was presumed dead at the end of season four during the joining between the Taelons and Jardians, as he helped Renee embrace her destiny. The finale would have been better with the return of Augur, who was mentioned a bit this season; Street, whose backstory was revealed a little more in "Street Wise". Most of all, Willam Boone should`ve never been killed off-screen in the penultimate episode "The Journey".
The writers should have kept Boone around more for season five -- especially for the 100th episode and the series finale, because he was what EFC was all about: one man searching for the truth.
As always, no interviews from cast and crew, no audio commentaries, and not even retrospects about the series; just ADV previews of Mutant X, Beastmaster, Andromeda, and Farscape.
Fans stated the series was at its best in the first season because it had Gene Roddenberry`s vision, but "jumped the shark" with the introduction of Liam as Boone`s replacement, with sci-fi and action-centric episodes rather than character-driven arcs mixed with social and political commentaries that involves human-alien relationships. Someway in the middle and the end, Earth: Final Conflict became for V and The Matrix for the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Face The Horizon with the final season of Earth: Final Conflict available on DVD.