Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Terra Nova "Proof"

Non Spoiler Review:
This week the focus is on Maddie, who is a nerdy fan of a geologist returning to Terra Nova after a six month expedition, which leads to her becoming his assistant. Things are not as they seem, however, and Maddie must become a prehistoric Nancy Drew to figure it out. In other happenings, Mira abruptly calls in her favor to Josh, and he's forced steal some stuff. Finally, Taylor and Jim are on a weird non-gay fishing trip together.

Maddie's plot was just ridiculous and really did nothing at all for the greater storylines at all. Who cares about these characters of the week who come in and out to drive the plot and we never see again? Meanwhile, Lucas is talked about a lot, but not seen at all, and Josh's arc regarding his divided alliances comes to a really unexpected resolution, which leads me to believe there really is no direction for this series right now.

Spoilers Now!
Taylor and Jim are enjoying some bromance time fishing, which allows Jim to ask about Lucas, and Taylor to respond that he doesn't like much talking about that. Jim gets a catch and nearly gets pulled over the cliff but is saved by Taylor (frowny face).

Back at the ever-exciting Shannon family household, Liz announces that a six month expedition with a famous geologist, Ken Horton, is about to return, which excites Maddie as she's such a nerd. Malcolm greets the man as he returns but gets no respect, whereas Maddie gets a job as his intern.

Horton has had a stroke and appears to be suffering memory problems, so Maddie starts investigating and finds his signatures no longer match some old correspondence. Then Horton pretends to have lost her letter, so Maddie takes it upon herself to rifle through his office, finding her letter burned. Hiding under the table, she sees Horton return, only he seems to walk fine without the aid of his cane.

At the bar, Boylen tells Josh Mira is calling in her favor. The Sixers need medicine for some kind of sickness in their camp, a substance that is tightly controlled. Which means stealing his mother's access card. But Josh wants assurances Mira will actually get him what he wants. So Mira shows him some two-way communication with Kara in the future, which makes absolutely no sense.

Taylor and Jim come upon an encampment a few days old. They assume it's Curran, so Taylor wants to go investigate and send Jim home. After tracking him though the night, he comes upon Curran, who is suffering a leg wound from a venomous reptile. Taylor helps him, though, and scares away the dinosaur that comes back for him.

Taylor likes a good redemption, and tells him if he plays his cards right, he might let him back into Terra Nova. He wants him to infiltrate the Sixer camp and find out who in Terra Nova is supplying Mira information. If he doesn't do it, he'll kill him the next time he sees him.

Josh breaks into the lab and steals all the medicine. But he used a sonic gun which had quite a kickback. Investigating the robbery, Jim feels it was someone trying to steal street drugs and will certainly be hurting from the sonics.

Josh has to listen to Liz and Jim bitch about the stolen drugs. Liz needs the drugs for a patient, but will have to wait for the Eleventh Pilgrimage to even requisition it. Josh storms out in a huff saying they need a way to communicate with the future.

Maddie thinks someone has impersonated Horton, so needs to get a sample of his DNA to see if it matches the real Horton. Malcolm catches her analyzing DNA, so she comes clean about her suspicions. He's eager to help. However the samples match. Unfortunately, Horton's overheard their conversation.

Once Mira gets her meds, they'll let Boylen contact his future contacts and Kara will be on the Eleventh Pilgrimage. Josh tells him Jim won't stop until he finds out the truth. So Boylen gets an idea to frame someone else (a guy who owes him money). He gets him high on the drug and shoots him with a sonic, so when he shows up in the hospital Jim at first suspects he's the robber. But Jim doesn't believe his story and thinks he wants them to arrest him.

Detective Maddie concludes that Horton had an assistant who stole his identity to get to Terra Nova. She uses Terra Nova's library computer and figures out his assistant killed the real Horton. Unfortunately, Horton shows up. Unfortunately for him, they're interrupted, so she leaves. 

But Horton picks up Zoe at school so Maddie takes off in pursuit and finds them at the apple orchard. Horton plays innocent, though, and tells them they need to chat alone. So Maddie sends Zoe home with a message about dinner, which apparently warns Jim of trouble.

Horton attempts to kill Maddie with a  poisonous spider but Jim shows up and saves her in ten seconds. As they chill after that, Josh comes forward and gives his mother one of the vials and confesses to stealing the drugs. He tells them about his conversations with Mira and Boylen. Jim's enraged, and goes to Boylen, who admits Mira can talk to the future, but Taylor insists that's impossible because the portal must be open to communicate. Unless...Lucas might have figured out a way, because that was the reason Lucas was recruited in the first place. 

The Verdict:
The big surprise this week was how suddenly Josh's betrayal was resolved. Excuse me, but what? I was under the impression this was a seasons long storyline dealing with Josh's torn loyalties to get Kara to the past. So Mira wastes her big favor to get meds, rather than, say, help in assassinating Taylor? Then he comes clean to his parents about the whole thing, with no repercussions, and Boylen is turned in. What was the point of all this?

On to Taylor's odd behaviour. Was he planning all along to have Curran be his spy among the Sixers? That's quite a gamble, given Curran is already a murderer and will likely throw in with the much saner Mira.

The idea that people would do anything to get back to the past, even identity theft, is actually a decent idea, but who really cares about these one-shot characters. Bylaw gave us a whole bunch of murder suspects we just didn't care about, and this time another new scientist we'll never see again (did he get banished?). Meanwhile, every series regular, from Reynolds to Washington, remain static. I'm still scratching my head over this one.

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