Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Terra Nova "Now You See Me"

Non Spoiler Review:
Now You See Me was a meandering mess, coming off the reveals of last week. Taylor and Jim continue to search for the Sixers' contact on the inside with Terra Nova on lock down. Meanwhile, the commander embarks on his own mission to see what he can find of Lucas, only to encounter Mira. And he leaves Jim in charge (shivers).

So boring. I've decided any episode with a dinosaur attack mean there's really nothing much going on in the story. And we get those. Plus Zoe's little pet dinosaur that serves no purpose whatsoever except to eat up ten minutes of story time, because the writers obviously can't use that on character development.

In fact Now You See Me exhibited all the mistakes of bad science fiction writing—the team up between enemies, the techno fix to a problem that takes precisely the length of the episode, and throwaway CGI action. Given how little I care about any of these characters, I'm pretty much certain the show has slipped off the rails completely for me at this point.

Spoilers Now!
Taylor heads outside the gate and consoles Skye as it's the anniversary of her parents' deaths from fever several years before. The colony is on lock down given the ongoing search for the spy, and Taylor puts Jim (nooooo!!!) in charge until he gets back.

Taylor goes to see the rock carvings and starts recording them until Mira finds him. She's looking for Lucas, too. She ties him up and heads back to the Sixer camp with him, though he tries to escape on the way and she blows him off his feet with sonics (all a clever ruse to grab something sharp to cut his bonds, though).

Had things gone as planned, she explains, she would be back in 2149 with her daughter. She had an opportunity for a better life for them and took it, so Taylor should just stop judging her. Taylor abruptly gets free and turns the tables on her. 

Now tied up, Mira taunts him by saying Lucas told her to ask him about Somalia, which gives him pause (ooh, another big secret that won't amount to much). She does believe Lucas is crazy now, though, and it's him that controls Mira, not the other way around. They're interrupted by a dinosaur attack. 

The lookout towers detect signals being flashed to the colony. Eagle-eyed Reynolds spots similar response flashes from a construction site inside the walls. Jim and Reynolds head off in that direction, while it's Skye who's the spy, and manages to cut herself with a shard of the broken mirror (because she can't find an actual non-dangerous unbroken mirror to signal the Sixers). She runs off (except she dropped some blood in some paint solvent).

The dynamic duo arrive, and Jim finds the incriminating blood, but messes up as he attempts to extract it intact, so has to take it to Malcolm to analyze which is going to be difficult (and take the entire episode). Malcolm refuses, given the chemical neutralizes red blood cells. Jim behaves as his usual ass self and threatens to break everything in the lab, so Malcolm agrees to help. 

Remember the dinosaur baby we haven't seen in weeks? Well, Zoe is just getting around to naming it. Malcolm tells Liz he thinks the dinosaur should be released soon in order to interact with its own kind. Liz admits Zoe will be heartbroken but oh, well. So that leads to Zoe making an attempt to sneak out with the dinosaur. She's caught and shot Liz and Jim have a heart-to-heart talk with her and Zoe is her usual pouty self about it all.

The Sixers are waiting for Skye after her communication was cut off, so she decides to use Josh to get outside the gate given he's digging a water main on a work team. She gets put on the detail and easily slips away to rendezvous with her contact. She delivers her intel and is taken to see her mother, who remains alive with a steady supply of meds courtesy of the Sixers. They're the only ones with a cure. 

Malcolm extracts the blood sample and passes it to Liz who says it will take a day to run through the computer. Skye shows up that night to help at the hospital and sees her sample. She later destroys it, so Jim assumes someone must have access to the building (wow!). Liz prepares a list of everyone who could have come to the hospital. Computer does say that the spy is a female, which narrows down the search to about 40.

Taylor and Mira are attacked again and have to jump over a waterfall, losing their weapons. He offers her a knife to help fight the creatures tracking them, meaning they will have to (gasps!) work together. By nightfall they're attacked again and manage to defend themselves with arrows and spears, leading Taylor to comment they make a helluva team.

As they walk the next day Mira tells him Lucas is close to making the portal work so it's almost over. They'll find out how it all ends soon enough. That seems to be good enough for Taylor and he lets her go back to the Sixers.

Despite his search for the spy Jim finds time to be with Zoe when she releases the dinosaur. Luckily, one of its kind is right there behind a tree, and comes out of the jungle and eats it adopts it.

Taylor returns to Terra Nova and is debriefed by Jim, who says they still have a list of 40 people to check through to find the spy. Taylor offers up his usual "Get on it, Jim!" He neglects to mention he just freed the Sixer leader. Skye shows up to say hi and she and Taylor go for a walk through memorial field, but she seems to have something on her mind.

The Verdict:
This week reached new levels of tedium. I would like to know what the point of the baby dinosaur was to Zoe's *cough cough* character arc, given it appeared twice. It served absolutely no purpose to anything on the show.

Jim remains an unlikable bastard and putting him in charge of the colony didn't help his ego at all. If anyone is set up to become a ruthless dictator, it's him. In fact, that would actually be an interesting storyline for him.

And *gasp* Skye is the spy! She has gifts of super-speed, as well, considering she virtually teleported to the Sixer camp and back without being missed on the work crew, then got inside the hospital (which, with 2149 technology, can't manage any security cameras). And for all his police work, Jim doesn't even post a guard to protect his precious evidence.

Taylor's dalliance with Mira made no sense, either. They seem resolved to just let Lucas get to the end of his mission and deal with the fallout from there. And yet he lets her go? At least there's no shortage of humour in this series with Jim and Taylor in charge. No doubt the populace will be welcoming their future overlords on the Eleventh Pilgrimage.

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