Occupation & Resistance
It’s the finale “Occupation / Resistance” — in which this blogger finally realizes: Lucas is reprehensibly despicable.
Between the two-hour long stress of the “Terra Nova” season finale, and the power outages at Candlestick Park for Monday Night Football and the Pittsburgh Steelers game (don’t hate), tensions were running high for me as our time-traveling pioneers dug their heels into their prehistoric home and waged war against the future. And some of it was relatively legit.
This is not to say that the finale was a great episode, and the premiere was equally great, with simply crap in-between. Certainly not. Rather, the premiere offered a glimpse into a potentially great series that could occur, and the finale behaved like that series had happened. But of course, it hadn’t. The finale was as riddled with horrible plot holes as what had come before – why didn’t the colony prepare for the face that the invaders might use an explosive? But there were glimpses, certainly.
After the big speech to conclude last week’s episode, the entire population was prepared to fight for their new home. Unfortunately, they weren’t expecting the onslaught that came through the portal. It’s a great way to start the episode: strip your protagonists of all their advantages and have them claw their way back to freedom and safety. A far more exciting scenario than simply having Terra Nova wait for an attack for the entire first half of the episode, which I have to admit, was what I was expecting.
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Terra Nova is ramping up to what should be an exciting conclusion. “Within” resolves Skye’s spy arc while also setting the table for the two-hour finale next week. “Within” was the third straight episode in which I have more positive things to say than negative ones. Sure, that may be because the problems with each outing tend to be similar week in and week out, and nobody would want to read about that time and time again, but if Terra Nova gets a second season by FOX, I think it’s heading in a decent direction.
Even though this series is only ten episodes old, I’m already feeling completely fed up with this mole story line. After finding out the identity of the mole, it always makes you pay extra close attention to that character since you now know they have an ulterior motive, and Skye has been written very poorly in that regard. Why is it that the only time that Skye has ever acted cagey or suspicious is as soon as we know that she’s a mole? She wasn’t being all mysterious and asking Josh to lie for her before we found out she’s dirty, but now that we know about it she’s acting so incredibly obvious.
The biggest problem with this episode is that it’s basically a retread of the last outing. That one dealt entirely with Skye’s role as a spy and the majority of this episode treads that exact same ground, giving us no new information about Skye and her mother’s plight or any deeper emotional connection to the characters. All I could ask myself during this episode was why the writers decided that we had to have another full hour devoted to this story. It’s the same miscalculation the writers have made all season, they keep focusing on situations that require an emotional connection to the characters to work, but they have utterly failed to create any characters worth caring about so the stories can’t help but fall flat on their face.
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Now You See Me
Terra Nova continues toward the end of its first season order with tonight’s ninth episode “Now You See Me” and with it the Terra Nova mole is revealed while Commander Taylor and Sixer leader Mira struggle to survive together against vicious dinosaurs out in the wilderness, and young Zoe must say goodbye to the young Anklyosaurus she’s been caring for as a pet.
The decent amount of forward momentum Terra Nova generated in last week’s episode continues this week in “Now You See Me” as Taylor confronts Mira, Jim closes in on the mole and Zoe continues to prove her uselessness as a character. I’m sorry but I reached my breaking point with Zoe this week. I know the youngest Shannon child is meant to be cute and innocent but it’s that saccharine sweetness that’s made her unbearable as a character. Her wispy voice drives me crazy and it couldn’t be more obvious that the writer have no idea what to do with her.
Skye being revealed as the spy didn’t come as much of a surprise but she’s still a pretty good choice. Her relationship to Taylor gives her access to information not accessible by most and she seems to be able to get in and out of Terra Nova fairly easily. She’s also been fairly underused so it will be good to see her getting more involved in a story other than playing a potential love interest. However, it’s still a bit odd that the tree-dwelling Sixers have the upper-hand when it comes to specific tech and medicine. We’ve seen them contact someone from the future and now we learn that they are the only ones with the medicine needed to keep Skye’s mom alive. We can only assume that this is all due to the genius of Lucas and those back in 2149 spearheading the Sixers’ nefarious operation.
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Terra Nova – Vs.
It’s fairy clear at this point in the game that “Terra Nova” really isn’t interested in big questions concerning the human condition, man’s right to exist, or the ways in which large corporations use technology as a means of control. Those topics are all inherently threaded in the show’s DNA, but usually pushed aside so characters can ask more pressing questions, such as, “When will there be pie?” The joy in reviewing individual episodes of television often lies in teasing out the subtext of a given week. But “Terra Nova” is all surface, so there’s not much meat on the subtextual bone. Didn’t get a chance to watch? Well, read on for everything you need to know about Terra Nova’s “Vs.”!
A prehistoric dragonfly hovers over Terra Nova, making its way across the landscape, passing by soldiers heading out on patrol, and eventually landing in a Sixers’ camp, perching on Mira’s arm, who welcomes it with “what have you got for me today?
After his arrest last week, Boylan sits in a Terra Nova brig while Commander Taylor demands to know what information he’s given up, or the location of his son Lucas. Boylan insists he knows nothing , and Taylor leaves the bartender to get some rest to the sweet sounds of screaming alarms. Meanwhile, the Shannons prepare for the upcoming “Harvest Festival,” when Josh pulls his father aside to question Boylan’s whereabouts, and the justification of his being detained.
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Terra Nova started up “Proof” by showing Jim and Taylor partaking in Taylor’s favorite hobby: Fishing for incredibly fake looking dino fish! Jim and Commander Taylor engage in an impromptu fishing trip, one of which nearly pulls Jim into the ocean (in what had to be some of the worst effects the show has offered to date) as Taylor reminisces about fishing in the early days of Terra Nova, having brought his son there in the past. Unfortunately , talking about his son isn’t Taylor’s favorite topic.
Oddly enough, this episode did an adequate job of redeeming his character. Giving us a chance to see what he’s fighting for through a brief conversation with Kara gave much needed meaning to his cause. He’s obviously making a wrong and stupid choice but at least we can see who he’s fighting for. Having her remove the gas mask before she spoke is a reminder of how bad the conditions are in 2149. I don’t like what he’s doing, but I get it.
One of the major stories this week is a famous geologists returning to Terra Nova, which gets Maddy all excited because she’s a big fan of his. Before I get into the weird story line that took place here, I have to wonder how many of these random reappearances we’re going to get. We’ve been told before that the only time we’re going to get new people at Terra Nova is if they show up on a pilgrimage, but now this big geology expedition is returning and introduces a new character out of the blue. It’s only the eighth episode and we’re already throwing new characters into the mix, and there’s an eleventh pilgrimage coming up as well!
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In the seventh episode of Terra Nova, entitled Nightfall, something causes Terra Nova’s weapons system to go down. Looks like some kind of fireball. Maybe a meteor? It knocks down all of the colony’s communications, there’s no power and they have no defence systems. As Taylor says “The only thing we got is the fence”. But will it to be able to keep everything and everyone out?
“Nightfall” was probably the best episode since the pilot, but saying that is damning it with faint praise.
But rather than have me tell you why it’s faint praise, I chose to follow the lead of the show and lean on my inside man to tell you what went down tonight. That’s right: it’s not only the Sixers that have a double agent in their midst. Me? I got my buddy Nyko on the scene to give you all the insider perspective. Who is Nyko? He’s a nykoraptor, of course: a fictional dinosaur made up for the show in case any remaining velociraptors might sue for defamation. (OK, fine: that’s probably not the real reason. But I like the idea of velociraptors and cavemen hanging out, both complaining about stereotypes perpetrated against them by modern pop culture.)
And the Sixers are going to take advantage of Terra Nova’s weakness and lay siege to it. Of course, there’s dinosaurs involved. I’m not sure if the Sixers are bringing the dinosaurs to attack Terra Nova or it’s lucky coincidence that they’re there and help with the attack.
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