Terra Nova Watch: Episode 8 - Proof

We had to know an episode of Terra Nova like “Proof” was looming. Uninspired writing, contrived plotlines, sloppy direction and lackluster performances – this episode was a misfire of epic proportions. But since every show misfires during its first season, I’m willing to forgive Terra Nova this once. The showrunners have to be careful, though, because an excess of duds will dwindle their viewership in a hurry. You know what else makes fans want to stop watching? Dinosaur animations that would look terrible even in those cheesy “Sharktopus” type movies. You know, like that sweeping shot of dinosaurs that kicked off the episode in stunningly terrible fashion. Or the swordfish Jim caught that made me utter an expletive because it looked so terrible. (I'm going to have nightmares about that God-awful fish). Terra Nova, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s time to lose the CGI dinosaurs. They look atrocious and remind the viewer that they’re watching a show, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to get them invested in the story you’re telling. Develop your characters, save some money and unleash some better looking dinos in the finale. Please, we're begging you.

It wouldn’t be an episode of Terra Nova if a Shannon family member wasn’t in trouble.

Of the three storylines that unfolded in “Proof,” Maddy’s internship with Horton was easily the weakest. Having never met this character, the revelation that he was an impostor – turns out his research assistant stole his identity and came to Terra Nova in his place – fell flat. There was no depth to Horton’s character and his motivations were explained (in typical bad guy fashion) right before he tried to kill Maddy for discovering the truth. The whole storyline felt rushed, sloppy and silly. Jim even capped off the madness by spinning Horton around and socking him in the jaw like a 1950s version of Superman. I would say it was cool to see The Eye used again but the way Maddy figured out fake-Horton’s crime in approximately 43 seconds only added to the storyline’s sloppiness.

Taylor is itching to cut someone’s head off.

After his man-date with Jim, Taylor decided to track down Curran, the soldier he’d exiled for murder. This storyline also felt extraneous but at least paid dividends when Taylor revealed that he wanted Curran to infiltrate the Sixers’ camp and discover the mole’s identity. Oh, and Taylor also squared off with an enormous komodo dragon that was hell-bent on having Curran for dinner, so we got our "badass Taylor moment" of the week. Not so badass was when Taylor threatened to kill Curran if he didn’t find out the mole’s identity. How exactly does Terra Nova’s leader plan to do that? Stroll right up to the Sixers’ front door and shoot his former soldier in the face? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

I know I want the dinosaurs gone, but can they eat Josh before they go?

Given that there aren’t a lot of Joshes in movies or television shows, I was pretty pumped to learn the Shannon son shared my name. Once I got to know the character a little better…well, let’s just say he’s made me consider using my middle name from now on. Josh’s tour of stupidity continued in “Proof” when Mira decided to cash in her favor by asking for vials of medicine needed to heal the sick Sixers. Josh obliged by stealing his mom’s pass, leaving a messy crime scene and then confessing to his parents when his mom laid an unintended guilt trip on him. Wow, this kid sucks big time. I want to like Josh but he’s done nothing thus far to prove he’s anything more than a lovesick, whiny kid. Even Skye turned on him in this episode due to the sheer volume of his stupidity, for crying out loud. What a disgrace to Joshes everywhere.

I see future people.

For all its flaws, “Proof” set some things in motion that might ultimately prove entertaining. With the shady Boylan in custody we might actually find out a little more about how the Sixers operate. The two separate mentions of Lucas in this episode have me thinking that we’ll be seeing Taylor’s son soon and discover more about his plans and connections to 2149. Then we have the medicine Josh stole for the Sixers. I’m not buying that the Sixers were sick. What if (and this is purely speculation) they’re creating a biochemical weapon to use against Terra Nova and that medicine is the only cure? Elisabeth said that the colony would be without the stolen meds until the 11th Pilgrimage arrived, so as long as the Sixers attacked before that, the colonists would be screwed. That’s just my idea, though. I’d love to hear yours.

Random thought from this episode

Is Terra Nova meant to look like a peace sign when viewed from above?

Big question we’re left to ponder

Why did Mira want that medicine from Terra Nova?