As with all first pastimes, of course, there is a learning curve. Using a simple fishing pole to try and hook what looks like an eight-foot swordfish? Yeah, that is going to work.
Welcome to Terra Nova!
Before beginning my review, we include the promotional trailer below for the season one finale “Versus” courtesy of FOX Broadcasting. Enjoy!
This was a fairly explosive week for our friends 85 million years in the past. On the one hand, Maddy Shannon, (Naomi Scott), proved she might have some detective instincts from her father, even though it landed both her and her sister Zoe, (Alana Mansour) at the mercy of a killer.
On the other, Josh Shannon, (Landon Liboiron) finally gets in over his head with the Sixers – and loses almost everything in the process. But on the upside his Juliet, (by which I mean Kara [Romy Poulier]), gets to come on the Eleventh Pilgrimage, (maybe). Finally, one of the most well-kept secrets of the series so far comes to blinding light: that the Sixers can talk to the future. Surprise!
While Taylor is busy saving Shannon from the various dangers of fishing in prehistoric times, Josh is approached by the Frenemy Boylan, (Damien Garvey), with a devil’s deal. In order to get the dearly cherished Kara through the Portal, Josh must steal a controlled substance known as azermeth from the stores of the infirmary to treat an illness that has ravaged the Sixers.
Josh is forced to turn the deal down as he has no access code, but a significant look from Boylan reveals a more sickening twist: Josh’s mother does have an access code. Suddenly the cost of getting Kara has gone way up.
In the infirmary and blissfully unaware of the dangerous temptation her son is dangling over, Elisabeth Shannon, (Shelley Conn), is preparing to discharge a legend: Doctor Ken Horton, (Robert Coleby), a geologist who wrote a book that Maddy treasures. Just as she is about to let him go, she spots that the good doctor had a stroke shortly after coming to Terra Nova. She wants to run a test, but Horton begs her for freedom. Elisabeth agrees in exchange for him meeting Maddy.
Maddy is a starstruck fangirl at first, eyes bright, wide smile, and gushing about how his book changed her life. Horton goes along with it like any kind-faced actor, warm and modest, and then extends an invitation for her to accompany him to his lab. Maddy eagerly agrees.
Once in the lab and after a couple sentences of reminiscence, Horton offers for Maddy to become his intern, helping him categorize all the things in his lab that he has not seen in some time. Maddy, overly eager, agrees, and quips a line from his book. Horton, however, does not remember that he wrote the line. Maddy is disappointed that his memory is fading. Stars are never quite how we dream them – and ultimately they are men and women just like us.
Josh has let Skye, (Allison Miller), in on his secret, and as he stares mournfully over Terra Nova, he muses his options. For Skye, (who is still making her “this one or that one?” decision when it comes to male consorts), the answer is a simple “no”. For Josh, it is breaking a promise to his star-crossed lover back, (forward?) in 2149.
As Josh makes this point, Skye comes to a brutal decision. ”I’m done,” she says, and stalks away. For Josh’s sake, we better hope the Sixers are telling the truth, because it looks like he has lost his chance to woo the prehistoric girl. Future girl it is. Maybe. Josh returns to Boylan, demanding assurances that Kara will be on the Eleventh Pilgrimage. Boylan, of course, can’t give them to him. But he can find someone who can.
Elisabeth and Zoe return home to a worried Maddy. While Zoe is frustrated about Elisabeth not doing the voices right for her bedtime story, Maddy has deeper concerns. Horton’s memory loss has stuck with her – and so has the rather frightening fact that his handwriting does not match between her autograph and his book. Elisabeth chalks it up to his having a stroke. Maddy is not convinced.
Josh and Boylan arrive at the Sixer camp and Josh is hoisted up into the treeline where he receives his assurance from Mira, (Christine Adams) – a mysteriously generated hologram of Kara stands before him, delirious with joy at being chosen to come through on the Eleventh Pilgrimage. The overall cost of getting her must be monumentous at this point – there is no way the Sixers would be doing this just for young love. What is still to come?
Returning from their fishing trip, Taylor and Shannon stumble upon a quickly-abandoned camp. After deducing it belongs to the banished Curran, (Jay Ryan), Taylor decides to go after him. Shannon reluctantly heads back to Terra Nova.
In the destroyed orchard, Maddy laments the loss of the apples and Zoe’s chance at apple pie. Horton changes the subject by asking for the fan letter Maddy wrote him. Maddy hands it over, then attempts to test Horton’s memory by questioning him about his past. He is unable to answer any of the questions, an distracts Maddy right back by having her release a group of beetles into the orchard that will feed on the damaged plants. That evening, Maddy expresses her worries to Zoe, who says simply: “Maybe he wants your blood.” Oh dear, she has discovered vampires.
Josh breaks into the infirmary and steals the precious drugs. He is shaken as he does so, and forced to use a sonic pistol which has some agonizing side effects.
While he does so, Taylor locates the exiled Curran. He is not done with the man. Taylor stays with Curran all night, and offers him help while refusing to answer his question of: “Are you going to kill me?”
The next morning, Jim Shannon begins to investigate the break-in of the infirmary while Maddy continues her investigation of Horton.
Trying to sneak into his lab in order to steal back her fan letter, Maddy is surprised by Horton himself. Hiding under a table, she watches as he takes a bag of trash out – a bag containing the burned remains of her letter. Later, she postulates a theory that Horton is not only hiding something, but he is not Horton at all. DNA testing ensues, and a quick result comes in: it’s Horton all right.
Josh is now wracked with guilt upon hearing that there is a patient in the infirmary who will die without azermeth – all of which he stole the previous night. Turning the drugs over to Boylan, he gets his confirmation. He then confesses his worries to Boylan about his father finding out. After a panicked sentence, Boylan suddenly calms, and tells Josh to go home with assurances that no one will suspect he is the one who stole the drugs. Once Josh leaves, Boylan turns to another customer and asks him if he would like pay off the money he owes.
The man shows up in the next scene high on azermeth, bearing a sonic pistol discharge wound, and claiming he fell down the stairs the night of the break in. Case closed. Or is it?
Back in the woods, Taylor displays a protective side as he faces down a prehistoric Komodo.
Watching Stephen Lang get awesome is pretty much the best moment of the episode, and really solidified my opinion of his character. He is iron-hard and no-holds-barred. We may get more proof every week of how tough this guy is, but truth be told it never gets old. He then turns and offers Curran his own devil’ deal: become a spy for Terra Nova, much like the angelic Lea Marcos, (Morgana Davies), of a few weeks ago!
In Terra Nova, Maddy finally stumbles on the truth – the DNA testing was flawed. Ken Horton is indeed, not Ken Horton. Rather he bears the name of Andrea Fickett. Further research uncovers that Fickett murdered Horton and took his place on the Ninth Pilgrimage. The moment she realizes this, Fickett himself catches her. Maddy makes a hasty escape and takes off to find Zoe.
Fickett beats her to the little girl, kidnapping her to the orchard. Maddy talks Fickett into letting Zoe go with message: “I’ll be home to make the asparagus.” The message is clear, and as Fickett pins Maddy to the ground for death by spider bite, (rendering this writer nearly ill with terror….arachnophobia stinks), Jim Shannon shows up.
Under pressure, the man who has been framed for stealing the azermeth confesses that Boylan attacked him. Josh confesses to stealing the azermeth and giving it to the Sixers.
Shannon goes after Boylan, who then reveals that the Sixers can talk to the future. While Josh is likely to be in a lot of trouble for a long time, the revelation of the link to 2149 is immediately communicated to Taylor. Taylor realizes that Lucas may be the reason why they can open the Portal to talk. At first, it seems hopeful that Taylor can be reunited with his son. But that dies a quick death as Taylor says: “Maybe you should be grateful that the worst you have to worry about is your boy getting in over his head because of a girl.”
The title of this week’s episode, “Proof”, was well-shown in the overall plot lines of two mysteries going on at once. Maddy, despite trying various internships around Terra Nova, seems to have a knack for piecing together puzzles and taking the steps to solve problems. She also has a powerful gut instinct.
It seems that she may be more inclined to follow in her father’s footsteps or, at the very least, find a way to become a forensics detective or investigator, (or at least the Terra Nova equivalent). She also is quite capable of taking care of herself, keeping a calm enough head to get the message to her father and even attempting an escape from capture.
Josh’s revelations about the Sixers and his stealing the azermeth brought proof to the table in a whole other way; by exposing Boylan as a connection to the Sixers and further discovering the mole on the inside feeding Mira. With all of the hyperawareness and tension beginning to circulate among this circle of Terranovans, what sort of repercussions are going to come from this?
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I and the WHR team look forward to and will be Seeing You on The Other Side“!