Terra Nova: S1, E13 “Resistance”

Going into this final episode of the first and only season of Terra Nova I have a lot on my mind about the show. I’ve enjoyed the show quite a bit up to this point and I’m a little bit sad that I don’t get any more episodes beyond this one. I feel like the network made a sizable mistake in canceling the show and I wish another network had picked it up.

Terra Nova

Upon getting thrown into the brig by Lucas at the end of the last episode, Jim and Josh are left to their thoughts for a little while. Soon enough Lucas arrives to set Josh free and keeps Jim so he can torture the location of Commander Taylor out of him. Jim holds out incredibly well though and Lucas is left with no answer as to where his father is hiding in the jungle. Of course, Jim is left in pretty rough condition after the torture. In order to free him, Elisabeth dupes the corporate handler in charge of overseeing Lucas’ activities into thinking he’s been injected with a deadly parasite. She forces him to get Jim out of the brig and bring him back to their home.

Commander Taylor has arranged with Lieutenant Washington to get the Shannons out of Terra Nova and into his camp as a family. Lieutenant Washington is supposed to make the escape with them, but at the last-minute she realizes that they are going to need a bigger distraction in order for the family to make it out. She sacrifices herself to keep Lucas occupied while Jim and his family make their bolt for the tree line where Commander Taylor is waiting. When Jim tells Commander Taylor about Washington he is devastated, but he does his best to keep his eye on the prize.

As Commander Taylor and Jim try to devise a plan on how to stop Lucas from they come up with a pretty spectacular one. They decide that if they can cut 2149 off from Terra Nova by destroying Hope Plaza then Lucas’ remaining mercenaries will not be able to get any further support from the future. That means everyone currently in Terra Nova will be trapped there, but it also means no further mercenaries can arrive. Commander Taylor sends Jim Shannon back through the new portal established by Lucas and tasks him with destroying 2149’s link with the past.

Jim barely makes it back to Terra Nova alive as the portal complex in Hope Nation blows up around him. He does make it back though and the Sixer camp, along with Lucas and his mercenaries, make a run for an area known as The Badlands. Terra Nova belongs to Commander Taylor once again, and the credits roll.

Terra Nova was a quality television show. It had some interesting characters, a decent enough storyline, and a few other things going for it. Not every episode was full of meat and potatoes, some were a bit fluffy compared to others, but overall they were solid. The ending to the first season finale opened up so many interesting doors for where the story and/or characters could go in subsequent seasons that it’s really disappointing none of those ideas are going to get realized.

If you haven’t watched Terra Nova and you are a fan of science fiction mixed with a little bit of time travel, give the show a try. I think it’s a lot better than some of the other science fiction shows on television, but it obviously isn’t going to please everyone.

Next week, we’ll start in on a new show, Continuum. I know only the basics about the show, that it involves time travel and some rogue convicts trying to influence the future by altering the past, but it seems like it might be decent. I’m only going to commit myself to the first season of ten episodes though, just in case.

Terra Nova: S1, E12 “Occupation”

Occupation is the second-to-last episode of the season so I’m expecting there to be a decent number of big moments by the time I’m done watching. The mysterious group from 2149 is going to launch its attack on Terra Nova which I think is going to bring with it some very interesting plot developments.

Terra Nova

This episode launches right away from where the episode last week left off. There are two days until the 11th pilgrimage arrives and Commander Taylor is trying to be prepared for two different contingencies: one where the pilgrimage arrives without any funny business and one where it is replaced by an invading army. I think all of us can agree that one of those two options is much more likely to happen than the other.

A staging area for new colonists is set up like normal, but Elisabeth is also tasked with setting up a triage staging ground in case there is a fight and she has to deal with casualties of any type. As the 11th pilgrimage begins, Commander Taylor is somewhat relieved to see the first three or four colonists come through with no trouble. One of them is even Josh’s girlfriend. Jim is there at the portal when she walks through so he goes forward to help get her situated with a breather. Unfortunately for him, the next colonist through the portal has been strapped with a bomb and he blows up almost immediately upon trying to ask for help from Commander Taylor’s assembled forces.

The bomb knocks Jim Shannon across the clearing and clearly does some serious damage in a concussion sort of way. He quickly fades to unconsciousness and the next thing we see is Jim waking up three days later in the Terra Nova infirmary. As he gets his bearings, Jim realizes that the colony has been ransacked by a mercenary army and that he has no idea where anyone is or what has happened over the past three days.

Soon enough Jim gets found by Elisabeth and taken back to their home where the children are all safe. He discovers that the portal was blown to bits in the blast which meant when it was reopened it showed up at a new location where Commander Taylor could not resist the mercenary army’s arrival. Lieutenant Washington tried to keep Terra Nova out of the hands of the enemy but after the army began shelling the innocent colonists she was forced to surrender. Commander Taylor and most of the Terra Nova security troops are hiding in the jungle, and everyone inside the colony both friend and foe alike are desperately trying to track him down.

With Terra Nova occupied by the enemy, Jim begins working to find a solution to the problem. He wants to regain control of the colony, but he knows he can’t do that without the help of Commander Taylor. Malcolm happens to know where Commander Taylor is hiding so Jim sneaks out of the colony to meet up. Commander Taylor then provides Jim with an encrypted communication device as well as some transponders to use so that Commander Taylor can track convoys and raid them for supplies.

Jim pretends that he has serious ill effects from the bomb blast and that he must use crutches to get around so that Lucas and his army consider him a non-threat and he can move freely around Terra Nova without being impeded by mercenaries at every turn. By the end of the episode Jim and Commander Taylor have done some serious damage to Lucas’ efforts and all seems to be going well. However, Josh is working at Boylen’s bar again to listen for information from the mercenary soldiers when he loses his cool at Lucas. A brawl breaks out and Jim has to give up his charade of being a cripple to save his son. Both Jim and Josh wind up confined in the brig and Lucas hasn’t decided if he’s going to kill them for the trouble they’ve caused or not.

And then… credits roll with a lovely “to be continued” on the screen. I wasn’t exactly expecting that for some reason, but it does make a lot of sense in hindsight. There was a lot going on in this episode and the story it is trying to tell is pretty big. I’m excited to see how everything ends up with the season finale.

Next week is the season finale, Resistance. The Netflix description is:

As the Phoenix Group continues its devastation, Jim concocts a daring scheme to destroy its connection to the future and drive it from Terra Nova.

Terra Nova: S1, E11 “Within”

This is the episode where things are going to start getting really serious. Skye is revealed as the Sixers mole to Commander Taylor and Jim Shannon, the eleventh pilgrimage is imminent and along with it comes a surprise attack, and there are only two more episodes left in the season after this one, so things need to really get moving.

Terra Nova

The show starts with an interesting tidbit about how the portal did not have a fixed location for the first couple of pilgrimages. Now they have a device that fixes the location in one spot so that the colony can be better prepared for the arrival of each group of future colonists as they arrive.

Shannon is given orders by Commander Taylor to find the Sixer mole before the 11th pilgrimage arrives in a few days, so Shannon has to individually question all 47 women on the list of suspects he wound up with at the end of last week’s episode. He questions Skye, who the viewer knows to be the mole, and she lies about being with Josh during the time frame Jim is asking about. When she tries to get Josh to go along with telling his father that he was with her as a favor he starts asking all sorts of questions and she has to get creative with her answers.

I’m on the fence with being sympathetic for Skye as a character at the moment. She seems to only be working for the Sixers because they have access to a drug that will keep her mother alive while everyone in Terra Nova believes Skye’s mother died a long time ago, but sometimes I think her motivations go beyond just trying to keep her mother alive in secret. If she was really just worried about her mother she would have brought Commander Taylor into the fold and he would have used the opportunity to feed the Sixers false information while at the same time letting Skye help her mother.

This is the first episode where Lucas plays an integral part of the plot. During one of Skye’s visits to her mother Lucas threatens to kill Skye’s mother if she doesn’t use the super computer inside Terra Nova to finalize his equation for the portal. She does what he asks, but she isn’t very happy about it. As she sneaks back out to take the equation back to Lucas she’s caught on a new security camera that Jim had installed. Jim now knows that she’s the Sixer mole and he informs Commander Taylor who then baits Skye into confirming Jim’s suspicions.

When Lucas puts the final touches on the equation he reveals to Skye that his employers from 2149 will be arriving with the 11th pilgrimage to destroy Terra Nova and begin strip mining the entire ecosystem for profit in the future. Skye then pours out all of her regrets to her sick mother and her mother tells her it’s time for all of this to end. She order Skye to go back and tell Commander Taylor about the invasion and it’s clear that her mother wants to let herself die so her daughter can be free.

But, as it turns out, Commander Taylor does still have a mole of his own inside the Sixer camp that nobody but himself knew about that he calls upon to get Skye’s mother out of the camp before the invasion begins as well as bring a sample of the medicine she was being given to keep her alive.

Commander Taylor and Lucas have a showdown at the portal as Lucas prepares it to be a two-way street. Commander Taylor tries to stop Lucas, but doesn’t act in time and Lucas steps through the portal back to 2149.

Next week is the twelfth episode of the season, entitled Occupation:

As the 11th pilgrimage commences a vicious Phoenix Group army overruns Terra Nova and begins devastating the colony and the surrounding landscape.

Terra Nova: S1, E10 “Now You See Me”

Going into Now You See Me I still have my strong desire to discover who the actual Sixer spy inside Terra Nova is and how they have manage to stay hidden for so long. Finally, finally I get my wish and their identity is revealed, although they are not captured by Commander Taylor and Jim Shannon as they manage to keep their identity secret from them for at least a little longer.

Terra Nova

This episode was a little different from most. Almost the entire thing was centered around Commander Taylor and Mira as they find themselves trying to survive an overnight stay outside of the Terra Nova gates. Mira is used to being outside the gates, and Commander Taylor spent the first 118 days of his time on Terra Nova alone in the jungle so the general idea of staying alive out in the wilderness is not new to either of them, but adding in their intense animosity for each other really makes it a different experience altogether.

Commander Taylor originally heads outside the colony to check in on the equations his son Lucas has been leaving on the rock walls next to a nearby waterfall. He wants to check on Lucas’ progress on turning the portal into a two-way street and discovers that Lucas is getting very, very close to finishing his research. While examining the equations, Commander Taylor is jumped by Mira who takes him captive. As they head back to the Sixer camp Commander Taylor turns the tables on Mira, but it ends up being a moot point because soon enough they are cornered by a pair of slashers looking to make the area their new home.

Throughout the ordeal Mira and Commander Taylor settle a few differences, but they still do not like each other very much. After making it through the night the two of them agree to go their separate ways back to their camps knowing that the next time they see each other they will likely try to capture each other once again.

In the small pieces of the episode back in Terra Nova the action is devoted to tracking down the identity of the Sixer spy. With a bit of stellar luck Jim manages to see a flashing signal being sent into and then out of Terra Nova that he then tracks down to a construction site for new housing. Upon further investigation he discovers a DNA sample, but the viewer is shown that the mole is actually Skye as she flees the scene. In my mind I was almost positive Skye was the mole from the very first few episodes, but I was worried the writers and producers might pull a fast one on my somehow.

The DNA that Jim finds looks promising, but Skye knows he and Elisabeth have the sample and she makes sure to destroy it before the analysis is complete. All Jim is able to do is narrow down the list of suspects to 47 women who visited or worked at the clinic that day. It’s not a short list, but it is a lot closer than he has been to finding the mole as of yet. According to the episode notes, it looks like they will join viewers in knowing about Skye in the next episode, so I’m interested to see what the fallout ends up being for her.

Next week is the eleventh episode, entitled Within. The Netflix description:

The Sixers mole is unveiled, and the colony learns that the imminent 11th pilgrimage from 2149 will be accompanied by a surprise attack.

Terra Nova: S1, E9 “Vs”

In this episode we’ve got suspicious dead bodies, a revelation about the true nature of Terra Nova, and a viewer who really just wants to know who the Sixer mole is inside of the camp. Why won’t they show me, I say! Perhaps this will be the episode, but I’m not holding out much hope given the description on Netflix.

Terra Nova

The cold opening for this episode is a little different from previous ones. First, it opens with a montage in the Sixer camp which is highly unusual, and secondly, it features what appears to be a giant trained dragonfly of Mira’s. I never thought one could have a trained dragonfly so that is pretty unique.

Commander Taylor has Boylen in custody after the events of the last episode. Boylen was working an underground system that helped provide the Sixers with supplies such as ammunition and medicine, but it’s pretty clear that he isn’t the mole. Commander Taylor seems to think Boylen knows a lot more than he’s letting on, so after taking him into custody he’s keeping him imprisoned and using classic interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation and the like to break him into revealing his secrets. It seems like Commander Taylor thinks Boylen might have some idea as to the whereabouts of his estranged and believed dead/missing son, Lucas.

The bar run by Boylen has been shut down entirely, which I’m guessing could lead to a few unhappy Terra Nova residents, but that remains to be seen. Josh is worried about the fact that nobody has seen or heard from Boylen in several days, so he asks his father to check in on what Commander Taylor is doing. Jim doesn’t completely agree with Commander Taylor’s tactics, but he also understands the necessity of making sure they get all the information Boylen may or may not be hiding. After Commander Taylor leaves with Lieutenant Washington to see to other business Boylen unexpectedly announces to Jim (whom he thinks is Commander Taylor in his delirium) something about an item buried beneath “pilgrim’s tree.”

What does Jim find at the tree? A dead body of course, because anything short of that wouldn’t be very exciting now would it? He brings the body back to Elisabeth and tells her to quietly try to determine who it is if possible. What Elisabeth discovers is that the body belongs to someone who did not arrive in Terra Nova during an official pilgrimage, rather he arrived sometime between the second and third pilgrimages.

In the meantime, Reynolds is leading a caravan through the jungle when it’s attacked by a large group of Sixers looking to steal all of the supplies. Because Lieutenant Washington organized and assigned the caravan after Commander Taylor arrested Boylen it becomes clear that Boylen is not the spy and Commander Taylor is forced to release him back into everyday life.

Remember that trained dragonfly from the cold opening? Turns out it is the ancient equivalent of a carrier pigeon that Mira has been using with her spy to pass information back and forth between Terra Nova and her camp. I find that to be a little bit of a stretch when it comes to realism, but I was willing to forgive it. Malcolm manages to figure out how the dragonfly is doing its tracking and they set it free to track down the mole. But, the dragonfly winds up in Jim Shannon’s house and Commander Taylor puts Jim under arrest despite knowing he isn’t really the spy. Soon it’s revealed that Commander Taylor set Jim up to get him to stop investigating the body he found under the tree.

Commander Taylor reveals that Hope Plaza has never been in charge of Terra Nova, but rather it’s overseen by a mysterious, evil organization looking to use it to line their own pockets with wealth. His son Lucas was working for that organization and was trying to make the portal work both directions instead of only one. The reason his son is outside the gates is because Commander Taylor couldn’t kill him when he discovered he was a traitor. The body Jim discovered belongs to a corrupt general that Commander Taylor had to kill when the general tried to stage a coup and take over Terra Nova.

Next week is episode ten, entitled Now You See Me. The Netflix description:

When slashers attack in the jungle, Taylor and Mira must team up to survive. Meanwhile, the Sixers mole barely eludes capture.