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TERRA NOVA: “Vs.” – RECAP
Well would you get a look at that. Terra Nova took some major steps forward in becoming the type of show that might actually be worth watching from week to week. In terms of the show’s mythology, we get let in on basically everything. It’s a bit much all at once, but that’s what happens when you string your audience along for this long without giving them anything except cryptic claims that “Terra Nova has a secret purpose!” The big revelation that Terra Nova is just a means to harvest fresh resources for the future wasn’t the mind bending plot twist I was hoping for, but at this point I’ll take anything to move things forward.
Finding out Taylor murdered someone wasn’t as big of a deal as “Vs.” made it out to be. First of all, Taylor has been nothing but a beacon of hope for the people of Terra Nova, so obviously if it turned out he did kill someone, he would have had a solid reason for doing it. Even Jim says he believes Taylor would do anything to protect the colony. His own words should have tipped him off that Taylor is only guilty of being a good man seeking to protect his people. And ultimately that’s what it turns out to be. If Taylor had not acted as swiftly as he had, everything he had struggled to build in the past would just become surplus to requirements. I think most of the time I like Jim, but as the lead of the show he doesn’t carry the nobility and morally grey determination of Taylor. I want to follow him on his adventures over Jim and his family’s any day of the week. He can get carried away, evidenced by his harsh treatment of Boylan, but that’s true of any person with a passion. And did he not let Boylan go as soon as it became clear he wasn’t the leak? His heart has always been in the right place.
I was very thankful the majority of the Shannon family was sidelined. Trying to involve everyone has weighed the show down previously. The best thing Terra Nova can do is pick a couple of characters from its cast and focus on those, relying on everyone else as support. Sometimes it’s perfectly alright for Josh or Zoe to just have a normal day without having to deal with whatever the Sixers are up to, or some murder. By giving Jim and Elisabeth the time to do their thing away from the kids gave the necessary breathing room to sell what was otherwise a pretty hokey murder investigation. It would have felt completely mundane if not for the twist that the body didn’t come from any of the documented pilgrimages. That got my attention pretty quick. From that moment on momentum was building and was carried through to the end of the episode where Lucas watched Terra Nova’s fireworks from his camp.
With that final shot of Lucas, I find myself hoping the momentum carries through to the next episode and beyond. If Lucas is the big bad for Terra Nova then its time he became more involved. The brief scuffle with the Sixers was a great demonstration of their skill leaving me ready for more confrontations. I’m looking at “Vs.” as a promise for the remainder of the season, that there will be more drive, more of the main plot, and for goodness sakes for action.