Of all the Mason children featured on TNT’s hit alien series Falling Skies, none are as hot headed as Hal. The shoot first, ask questions later perfect soldier of the family has experienced his fair share of suffering over the last three seasons – we all remember when he got an Espheni bug in his brain – and, according to actor Drew Roy, that suffering isn’t going to be lightening up in the new season.
Nerdist: Hal kinda went through hell last season. He was infected by the Espheni. Do you think that’s something he’ll be able to get over this season?
Drew Roy: Hal is a strong guy. I think that he will use what happened to him as the tool to be able to relate with other people. To an extent, it might give him a little residence to act as quickly as he has before. But, at the same time, I always say Hal thinks with his heart, not his brain. Whatever is his gut feeling is what he is going to go and do and he’s going to go and do it instantly. He’s going to keep on plowing forward just like he always has.
N: As for his relationship with Maggie – Maggie killed Karen last season, it kinda took away the whole love triangle situation. How do you think he’s going to react to that going into this season?
DR: That’s going to play a big part. We’re going to see that as soon as the credits pop up in the beginning of the episode. Hal’s trying to put it behind him. Yeah, he’s definitely hurt by Maggie doing that, even though it didn’t make a whole lot of sense where his frustration came from. It was just an inner relationship that he had with Karen. It just seemed kinda brutal how she just stepped out and shot her in cold blood, even though she was already dying.
But when the episode starts, you’ll see Hal trying to sympathize with Maggie and really just talk about it just to get some words out and just sorta start working through that process. But Maggie doesn’t want anything to do with it and gives the cold shoulder and literally walks off. A minute or two after that, the invasion happens again, or an attack happens and everyone is split up, including Hal and Maggie. So, for the first time, we’re not going to see the two of them having each other to lean on, to go on missions with.
Later on in the season when they finally do get back together or are in the same proximity, a lot has changed and a new triangle has developed, and it’s between Maggie and Ben. The two of them have somehow found a kindred spirit. We’re really going to see Hal have to struggle. It’s possibly going to be one of the strongest struggles Hal has ever had to deal with onscreen because it seems so intrusive to what he had, for his brother to jump in there and now be trying to make something happen with his girlfriend.
N: You kinda touched on another question I have, which is how is his relationship with his brother going to be more strained this season?
DR: It’s going to be real strained. [laughs] He’s walking on the property. [laughs]
When that story-line was pitched to each of us, I was very skeptical of it. I couldn’t really wrap my brain around how this was going to benefit any of the characters. I thought this was going to leave all three of us in a very ugly light. Because of that, I think we all took special care to think these scenes through as much as we could and play them as well as we could, the dynamics of them. With that being said, I think that it’s actually turned out to be really interesting, this triangle. I think it might take a little getting used to for some people to see the two of them interacting, but the way it’s done really allows the viewer to side with any one of us. And there’s justification to be on any of our sides and, at the same time, hate another person.
N: You mentioned the attack and how everyone gets split up so, is Hal going to start thinking more independently this season, less orders, less of a soldier, more of a commander situation? Is that what we’re going to see in Season 4?
DR: Yeah, to a certain extent. We’ve always seen Hal… he has a leader quality in him, but we’ve never actually seen him in front of people giving commands and being the guy who people look to. But we will see that this season. It’s mostly because Tom is locked up in isolation at the beginning of the season, and Hal’s having to be the guy on the ground who is helping things out.
Over the following few episodes we see him grow even more into a position and literally having to lead people on the ground because he gets split up from his father again.
N: So if he’s going to start leading people, are you saying that perhaps he is finally going to start… I mean he doesn’t have to live up to his father’s potential. His father never set that out for him. But he himself believes he needs to live up to his father’s potential. Do you think this will allow him to finally do that?
DR: Yeah, to a certain extent. Hal does think in those kinds of terms. He’s the kind of guy that will see the challenge and he is always going to try to be better than whatever is in front of him. He’s just a competitive guy. But, at the same time, the reason he’s a good leader is because Tom’s a good leader and his whole life he’s learned from Tom and seen how Tom interacts. We’ll get to see Hal using those skills but, at the same time, still having that frustrated edge to him, that Hal can lose his temper, and how that affects other people when he’s doing that in a leadership position.
N: We’re at what kind of feels like the halfway point of the series. I was curious how you hope to grow Hal as we enter the second half of the show.
DR: This season, moving more into that leadership position was quite fun, but I’m really excited for the next season as to what will happen, because the way the character ends this year is really in a very unsteady place. So I’m curious to see where things will go in seasons to come. But as far as this year goes, we see a man on a mission to find his woman and save her and to be back in her presence. As soon as that happens, there’s a lot that comes along with it.
Falling Skies premieres Sunday at 10/9c on TNT.