Terra Nova Watch: Episode 9 - Now You See Me
Author: Josh Raymer
published: 2011-11-29 00:00:14
At least we’re moving in the right direction. The decent amount of forward momentum Terra Nova generated in last week’s episode continues this week in “Now You See Me” as Taylor confronts Mira, Jim closes in on the mole and Zoe continues to prove her uselessness as a character. I’m sorry but I reached my breaking point with Zoe this week. I know the youngest Shannon child is meant to be cute and innocent but it’s that saccharine sweetness that’s made her unbearable as a character. Her wispy voice drives me crazy and it couldn’t be more obvious that the writer have no idea what to do with her. Her storyline this week with the pet dinosaur is a perfect example. Instead of injecting some lighthearted fun as intended, Zoe’s subplot totally dragged down what was otherwise a solid episode. I’m not saying I want Terra Nova’s little princess killed off, but she needs to be minimized almost to the point of non-existence. Now, let’s examine the rest of the episode.
Who doesn’t love fighting dinosaurs with your sworn enemy?
Taylor’s storyline was hit-and-miss this week. On the one hand, it was fascinating to see these two leaders being forced to survive together when pitted against some pissed-off dinosaurs. Previous scenes between Taylor and Mira have been more or less heated stand-offs so it was nice to see something other than macho posturing. On the other hand, their interaction was puzzling given their history. Tons of shows have featured episodes where enemies have been forced to work together so Terra Nova wasn’t exactly breaking new ground here, but it seemed (at least to me) that Mira and Taylor got along too well for people on opposite sides of the fence. It’s one thing to keep each other alive. It’s another thing entirely to begin sympathizing with someone who would kill you without batting an eyelash.
Also hampering Taylor’s storyline was the fact that Mira is still one-dimensional and underwhelming as a villain. We know she has a daughter and a criminal background, we’ve seen her act tough and we know she’ll go to great lengths to get what she wants (think Lucas’ box). All that to say: we’ve seen glimpses of a worthy nemesis throughout the season, but on the whole, Mira has some developing left to do before she can carry these scenes with Taylor. The characters on Terra Nova have underwhelmed thus far but there’s no denying that Taylor is the strongest link in this weak chain. As I mentioned last week, Stephen Lang is completely invested in his character and his performance is one of the few joys this show provides on a weekly basis.
Moley, moley, mole.
I have to compliment reader ChemE on totally nailing Skye as the mole last week in his comments on my recap. However, if you’re like me and didn’t see this coming, the first scene made it pretty obvious with Taylor gushing about the wonderful young woman Skye had become. Not only that, but he mentions her parents so we were bound to meet one of them in this episode. Turns out to be Skye’s mother, who’s being held by the Sixers and given medicine in exchange for intel from Skye on Terra Nova. This makes her betrayal understandable but it also weakens the recycled plot point we’re seeing with this show: characters behaving in nefarious ways to protect their family. Between Jim going to prison for Zoe, Mira leading the Sixers to protect her daughter and Skye betraying the colony for her mom, this justification is starting to wear a little thin. It reminds me of how every character on Lost seemed to have daddy issues…
Skye somehow manages to escape this episode unscathed but the noose around her neck is tightening. She returns to the colony and shares one final scene with Taylor but it was the moment right before that one that threw up a red flag for me. Given how heavy-handed the writers were with their first attempt at foreshadowing (Skye and Taylor’s conversation), I was looking out for anything suspicious and Jim’s comment about not wanting to wear the commander hat stuck out like a sore thumb. As much as I love Terra Nova’s leader, I’m calling it here it here and now – Taylor will die in the season finale. I suspected that he might die before tonight’s episode but this conversation sealed the deal. Killing Taylor wouldn’t make the show stronger but it sure would launch Jim’s character arc in an interesting direction.
Random thought from this episode
Jumping off a waterfall from that height would break your legs like toothpicks!
Big question we’re left to ponder
Will anyone else bite the bullet by season’s end?
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