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'Falling Skies' postmortem: Noah Wyle on losing [spoiler] and the final scene

'Falling Skies' season 4 finale part 2 "Shoot the Moon"
'Falling Skies' season 4 finale part 2 "Shoot the Moon"
James Dittiger, used with permission

We know you're still a bit dazed after watching the Sunday, Aug. 31 season 4 finale of "Falling Skies." That's why we talked to series star Noah Wyle to get some answers. (If you haven't watched the finale yet, stop reading until you do because there are spoilers ahead.)

As we previously reported, Wyle explained that Tom "keeps his eye on [Lexi] until she proves herself," and now that the finale has aired, we can share what else he had to say about how Tom felt about his daughter after she returned to the 2nd Mass in episode 10: "She proves herself in the most significant way. She sacrifices herself so everybody else can live, and in doing so, she earns her father's love and respect, and it's somewhat tragic that at the moment that they're the closest to each other is the moment they have to say goodbye to each other."

Read on to find out what else he had to say about the finale and how he wants "Falling Skies" to end.

Examiner.com: This is quite a tough finale for Tom, emotionally, physically, psychologically. Where is he mentally when he's alone in the beamer after Lexi sacrifices herself?

Noah Wyle: "He's resigned himself to death. He knows he's dead. He knows that there's no chance of escape or rescue, and I think that he's making peace with himself. He's making peace with what he was able to accomplish, what he wasn't able to accomplish. The way that I played it was to play it as if I was literally saying goodbye to everything."

Is there any hope for him?

Oh, definitely. You can't count Tom Mason out. He's like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going.

What can you say about that final scene? Talk about leaving Tom in quite the place to start the final season. You have touches of history, you have aliens…

Yeah, you know, we tend to write ourselves into a corner every year to challenge ourselves for when we come back and this is no exception. David Eick wrote a very, very specific ending where I'm looking at something very, very specific, and I'm saying that whatever it is, looks beautiful, and we never get a chance to see what that is, but we will in season 5. And I was as curious and as incredulous as anybody that's going to watch it will be, but all I can tell you that is the payoff for it next year will be worth it. It really is a great idea.

What would you like to see for Tom in the final season?

I'd like to see him succeed. I'd like to see the ultimate success. I'd like to see them kick the aliens off the planet, and then I'd love to see an episode or two of them trying to figure out what kind of world they want to live in and what kind of government they want to have and what we've learned from all of this and if we're going to be better people for it.

Can you talk about Tom and Pope's dynamic? They do seem to be coming from the same place now, and we've seen Pope softening up a bit this season with Sara.

Yeah, I don't buy it. I don't buy that he's softening up. I don't want a soft Pope. I want a mean, bastard Pope. I want Pope as bad as he could possibly be. I like having him as the heavy – it doesn't do us any good creatively to make him a softer character, and I think we're going to figure that out next season. I don't think Tom likes Pope. I think he ultimately respects him because he's got a skill set that's necessary, but they're very different men and I always felt like the clock was ticking on how long they would let each other live.

So do you think it has to end with one of them killing the other?

I think it's got to, yeah. The final showdown.

That would be a cool series finale. But then for that, you would think all the aliens would have to be gone because they're going to be united in that regard.

Exactly. But you take the threat away and suddenly, everything that's been suppressed could come right out to the surface again.

"Falling Skies" returns next summer for its fifth and final season on TNT.