I watched the 5th episode of terra nova today, The 4th to air, but since the pilot was 2 hours that counts as 2 episodes I suppose. As I mentioned in my last post about the pilot, I was really happy with the pilot, despite the annoyance of Josh Shannon, who was the most annoying teenager I’ve ever seen on television. Despite that, there seemed to be enough mystery and big questions for the show to answer to keep me hooked and interested. But then the next two episodes just fell flat and did absolutely nothing to touch on the stuff I liked about the pilot. Seriously the last two episodes were so bad, that I almost didn’t even watch this week’s episode. But then I read a quick summary of the plot, and it sounded like it was going to get back to the story arch of the show, unlike the last two throwaway stand-alone episodes. This week’s episode was an even bigger disappointment.
The story centered around a sixer spy infiltrating the camp to retrieve something for Mira, the leader of the sixers. Unfortunately the spy was a girl the same age as the youngest shannon daughter, so a lot of stuff with her was dressed up in more of the annoying cutesiness that the show has been suffering from. She is welcomed in to terra nova after they find her lost in the woods thinking she unknowingly came through the portal. It turns out that she is a “runaway” sixer. Mira orchestrates some whole song and dance where she kidnaps Wash and another officer as collateral in a fake negotiation to get the girl back, seemingly to convince them that the girl is there of her own free will and not a spy. Only to find out that she was really sent there to steal a box, that we don’t know what is inside of, because Mira threatened to hurt her brother. Naturally, Jim Shannon sets out on his own to find the girl’s brother only to get captured in a sixer trap, and nearly get attacked by a dinosaur while he’s helplessly hanging from a tree. This scene felt pretty pointless, and only really seemed to be there because the producers promised dinosaurs in every episode, and this was the only dinosaur appearance in the episode. The sixers blow the dinosaur away with some sort of pulse gun, and take him to Mira. Mira tries to convince Jim that Taylor is bad, and that he shouldn’t trust him, and he should get his family and join the sixers because he doesn’t want “to be on the wrong side of history”. He starts asking questions about why she thinks these things, and what she knows, and going against all logic for the scene, she just gives him the cryptic answer of “you’ll see”. If she was trying to convince him to join her, why wouldn’t she be telling him everything she knows about Taylor instead of just saying, figure it out for yourself? It’s stupid and it doesn’t make sense. Meanwhile, others in Terra Nova are starting to question the authoritarian rule of Taylor.
Basically my problem with the episode is that even though it jumped back into the story line with the sixers, and the overall mystery arch of the show, it did absolutely nothing to further it. This is why I’m more let down by this episode than the last two that didn’t even feature the story arch at all. There was no story development at all in this episode. The things I did like though, are that it seems as though there is some tension building up within terra nova, and people are starting to question and stand up to Taylor. I feel like more needs to be revealed about the past of Terra nova, more needs to be revealed about Taylor’s past, and the story arch about his son, the sixers, who sent them, etc needs to actually be furthered more. Right now they just seem like a really crappy ripoff of The Others from LOST. Think about how long it took for a big reveal about who The Others were to happen on LOST. That actually worked out fine because they furthered the mystery more and more with each episode that featured them. There weren’t useless episodes that did nothing for the story, each episode gave you a little bit of what you needed to stay interested. This episode of Terra Nova was completely useless, they could have made it so much more satisfying by even just giving us a very small amount of answer to the mystery, like LOST did with The others. Instead they gave us a pointless rejection to an answer. I keep giving this show credit and more chances because I feel like it has what it needs to get good, and to become a great show. But they just need to make it get there with the story. Stop focusing so much on the stupid family drama, and cutesy crap.
I have liked that they seem to have dropped the whole whiny teenager crap with Josh Shannon’s character, but seeing how next week’s episode focuses on him meeting the sixers to try and get his girlfriend from back in the future through the portal, It seems like it’s going to lead to more whininess from him. Hopefully I’m wrong, and hopefully this leads to some furthering of the story arch that I am desperate for as a viewer, and Terra Nova is desperate for if it wants to continue past this season. If we get another episode that is as useless and forgettable as these last few, it might just be the nail in the coffin for me.