Saturday, October 15, 2011

Terra Nova: Attacks by Dinosaur & Disease

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I'm rather divided over Terra Nova. I like the concept. I like some of the things they're setting up. I like the dinosaurs. I don't like any of the three kids on the show. I don't like how much they're building now if it doesn't last. I don't like that there are currently only 13 episodes and that we'll likely wait a year for more. I don't like the Skye character. I don't like the Sixers, but not in the way that they want me not to like them. I like watching the show, but I don't like writing about the show. I don't like thinking about the show... and that may be its greatest downfall... what are you thinking about it thus far?

Terra Nova "Instinct" (S01E03): The kids are taught survival skills like building fires, finding North, and eating bugs. [sensible skills for this environment.] Josh is doing work as punishment for breaking the rules in the pilot. Zoe is having trouble adjusting to sleeping in her own bed, as she had shared with her mother for so long. Elisabeth and Jim start making out, but the sounds of dinosaurs freak her out. He goes to check it out and sees some bird-like dinos (later identified as pterosaurs) on the fence near the hut. When he gets back, Zoe has moved into the bedroom, and Elisabeth let her. [it could be interesting to see how long the sexual tension lasts for the Shannons...]

The next day, Elisabeth runs into Malcolm, with whom she attended University and dated for a short period of time. He came to Terra Nova on the fifth pilgrimage. Soldiers find three dead, armed guards, and Elisabeth tries to determine what happened to them. [interesting to watch Jim try to manage the household for the evening.] The wounds don't match any known species in the database, so there must be something out there that nobody has seen before... That evening, Jim and Elisabeth are alone, but there are extra pterosaurs up on the fence, making a ton of noise. Jim gets bitten by one trying to scare them away. After Malcolm looks at the bite, he suggests that a team be put together to study the animals. Taylor is too concerned about the people and orders most everyone inside instead.

There's a flea market of sorts going on, and Josh looks at a guitar-like instrument. Josh tries to make a swap with the guy with the guitar, but he wants a necklace with which Josh isn't willing to part. Skye and Josh see a bunch of the pterosaurs, and dozens (hundreds?) attack moments later. Malcolm finds one to look at more closely, and suggests that more and more will come, as it seems to be a migration of sorts. After some thought, Taylor realizes that they found thousands of eggshell fragments years before, which made the ground fertile. It now appears that the birds have returned to spawn in the area where they were born. [this looks like it could be a big problem... maybe this won't be solved in the same episode, even...] Malcolm gives Jim some tips on how to hunt down the pterosaurs, and he takes off. With Elisabeth in the lab with Malcolm, the kids are left at home... with Skye and Reynolds (on whom Maddy has a crush). The pterosaurs attack some more, and Jim sees that there are a TON of them. They then get into the house, causing everyone to hide in one room. Elisabeth and Malcolm figure out the pheromone of the pterosaurs and Taylor and Jim drive out carrying 50 liters of it so that the birds follow... which works. Skye gives Josh the 60 terros to buy the guitar, since she bet him that they wouldn't make it through the attack. [really? really?!? they were THAT worried?] Malcolm names the creatures after himself in a very egotistic move. Oh, and speaking of Malcolm, Jim had asked Taylor about the recruitment process, which reveals that Elisabeth was on a list given to him by Malcolm, so it was no "coincidence." [oh good, so Malcolm's a liar, too. figures.] Jim even confronts Malcolm about it.

What else did we learn this episode?
  Taylor's convinced that someone is feeding the Sixers information, and he asks Jim to look into it. Maddy, who we find out is 16, asks Jim how to know if a boy likes her. [so the Reynolds thing is about to pick up...]

Terra Nova
"What Remains" (S01E04):
In a lab, a guy plays with an insect. He follows it outside and gets eaten by a dinosaur. [not a bright guy... or maybe he has a mental disability?] Elisabeth and Taylor head out to go see what's going on, as they've lost contact with anyone in that compound. The traveling group hit a gate that is supposed to be closed, so dinosaurs are likely out and about. [so much seems to happen here... so fast! It's kind of stupid and a little unbelievable.] They find a bunch of people in the compound suffering from something... after talking to one of them, it seems that they've lost their memories. [really? pulling a stunt like this in the FOURTH EPISODE??] Elisabeth video-chats with Jim, but it seems that she can't remember who Zoe is already! [so it's very contagious, whatever it is...]

Maddy was asked to take Zoe out of class because she has a cold. [perhaps Jim caring for a sick child will prove to be interesting?] Reynolds comes over to the Shannon house and has a mini-date with Maddy. [do we have the slightest idea how old he is? He looks 20-something to me...] Jim tells Maddy the story of how his first date with Elisabeth went - poorly.

Cr: Brook Rushton/FOX
Jim tells Malcolm that the "third outpost " is under quarantine, and they both head out there, against orders. When they arrive, Elisabeth doesn't recognize Jim but remembers Malcolm. Malcolm figures out what's going on, but they have to work quickly to find a cure. [see, with the whole "quickly" thing, you'd think that they'll finish up this storyline in a single episode... but the clock is ticking fast...] Jim goes looking around when the power goes out and runs into Taylor, who thinks he's in Somalia. Malcolm is starting to show symptoms, but Jim isn't. [curious... reminds me of Contagion a little bit. but we never found out why Matt Damon didn't contract it there, so that doesn't count.] Jim and Malcolm go to bring Taylor to the infirmary but a dinosaur comes inside so they have to get creative and bust open some cables because the dinosaurs like the copper/nickel in them. Elisabeth figures out that it wasn't a pathogen, it was a guy trying to do gene therapy. [you know, because when you're in a remote outpost, you always start doing your own stuff instead of the work with which you've been entrusted.] After a little hacking, Jim and Elisabeth figure out that it's likely a virus designed to deliver a possible cure for Gorman's disease. Taylor gets back to the main compound but doesn't know what's going on. Elisabeth realizes who Jim is, though she doesn't remember him.

Reynolds comes to check on Maddy and her family, and she just starts ranting about how her parents are missing, etc. [is this family supposed to be super high-profile? Their parents are always on missions and they're left on their own with some side-protection by the Terra Nova guards.] After a while, Maddy and Reynolds go to talk to the temporary director, but Taylor is there and still wondering what is going on. We learn that Taylor's wife died, but he doesn't remember that. [this guy is just getting the short end of the stick everywhere with his family... but has a potential son out there somewhere. Um, Falling Skies, anyone? Reminds me a lot of how the leader there lost his family but finds out there's hope later...]

Turns out, Jim's virus (contracted from Zoe) is counteracting the memory-loss illness, so they kiss to infect Elisabeth. It works, she solves the problem, and everyone gets better. [I really thought we'd have a carrying-over storyline... this is a drama, right?? oh well, maybe next week...]

What else happened this episode? Josh and Skye kiss, but he's very jumpy. She tells him that she knows someone who can get people and goods through the portal. She takes him to the guy (who turns out to be the Sixers' inside contact), who worries about how quiet Josh could be, as it's clearly illegal and he's a cop's son. He hires Josh anyway. [hopefully this will turn out to be ongoing and interesting?]
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