Welcome back Terra Nova fans!
“I used to be pretty down on this place, but now it’s kind of grown on me.”
Josh Shannon, (Landon Liboiron), has had an interesting few months in his new life on Terra Nova, not the most of which is getting attacked by Slashers and getting caught up with the Sixers in order to bring his long-lost love to the brave new (old?) world.
It seems like the arrival of Kara with the Eleventh Pilgrimage, (whenever that takes place), will bring some significantly exciting changes to his life. The question is, will they be good or bad?
“His name is Boxer.”
We include the extended sneak peek of the exciting two hour season one finale courtesy of FOX Broadcasting. We here at WHR hope that a season two of Terra Nova is approved.
Before my review I would like to reflect on one of my favorite characters, Zoe Shannon, (Alana Mansour). As many cute young ladies do, has taken to the baby Ankylosaurus and adopted him as an unofficial pet.
She has experienced a pretty curious run of it too, especially with that incident with the birds right at the beginning of the series. But she as well continues to be a bright little beacon of interest and craftiness, and gets an unfortunate lesson in separation when forced to give up her pet and return it to it’s mother at the episodes conclusion.
Now You see Me:
Let’s take a look at what Terra Nova’s creators have whipped up for us this week. As always, MAJOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW:
This week we open with Nathan Taylor, (Stephen Lang) as he offered to walk Skye (Allison Miller) to Memorial Hill in respect to her parents, who were killed during a fever that came during a harsh winter.
Skye agrees to go after Nathan returns from a 24-hour leave he is taking off of the base. At first he is almost refused passage through the gates due to his own lockdown protocols, but after leaving Jim Shannon, (Jason O’Mara) in charge, Nathan takes off.
Nathan is trekking across the waterfall we saw in the pilot, and stops to investigate the symbols Skye pointed out to Josh long ago.
Nathan sees a campfire and inspects it, then runs into Mira, (Christine Adams), who finds him vulnerable and quickly takes him captive.
Back at home, Zoe is still trying to name the baby Ankylosaurus while Jim gets used to being in charge of Terra Nova for the day. Surprisingly, he is met with little resistance, even from the proper but slightly intimidating Mark Reynolds, (Dean Geyer).
Not surprisingly, an alarm goes off shortly after Nathan disappears out of earshot. There is a Sixer signaling someone inside Terra Nova – and someone is signaling back. Jim and Reynolds take off to find out who it is – and while they do not see her, we do. It is Skye.
Mira stalks Nathan through the forest, pushing him towards her lair. She reveals a bit more of her plans to him, saying she intends to go back ‘rich’ to 2149, and mocks him, pointing out that Lucas is the one figuring out how to open the portal back and keeping Nathan informed through the symbols. Nathan, not liking his captivity, attempts to escape. He fails.
In Terra Nova, Josh tracks down Skye to apologize for his earlier behavior about the Sixers. She quickly and anxiously forgives him before taking off to the infirmary to seal her wound that she sustained trying to get away from Jim and Reynolds.
The exchange between the two is quite bitter reflecting their past encounters and conflict on Terra Nova.
Skye has gotten herself out of Terra Nova and sneaks off to meet a Sixer who has the proper medication for the cure of the fever mentioned at the start of the episode.
Skye’s true motivations are finally revealed as we see her kneeling to comfort her mother, who is in fact alive and has been held by the Sixers who are blackmailing her.
When the Slashers reappear, Mira shoots them with arrows while Nathan impales them with a stick on fire. The Slashers retreat and Mira and Nathan part ways, having gained a new respect for each other.
In a bittersweet ending, Zoe is forced to return her Ankylosaurus to the wild. She watches with sadness, then joy, as Mummysaurus reunites with her baby.
Last week, we got a harsh, dark look into Nathaniel Taylor’s duality and a pressing question of the lengths he is willing to go to in order to protect Terra Nova. This week, we get yet another glimpse at him from a warrior’s perspective – as well as a father’s.
The dynamic between Nathaniel and Mira, that popped up in this week’s episode had me riveted to my seat – something, I admit, the series has not done for me yet. Maybe, like Josh, I’m a late bloomer to the wonder of Terra Nova. But regardless, I was hooked.
The biggest surprise this episode, however, was the revelation of the Sixers spy holed up in Terra Nova. We have been asking questions about him – ahem, her – since the show started. Hands up: who saw this one coming? I had my suspicions but I have to say the show pleasantly surprised me. I admit, Skye has always had my radar up.
She has always been overconfident but also a voice of warning and of course there remains the tension between her and Josh. Miller does an admirable job of portraying that she has something to hide even when she is appearing completely normal. Finally, we see that she does indeed have something to hide. She is helping out the Sixers in exchange for their keeping her mother alive. But is that really it – is that really all?
One overarching theme for this entire season – appropriately so – is that of family. The Shannon family in and of itself of course is the embodiment and central part of this theme as they work to patch themselves back together from Jim Shannon’s absence, (and they are well on their way to doing so). An outside to this theme can be found in Mark Reynolds, especially with this week’s revelation.
Jumping the gun in general is not really appropriate, especially if you are a soldier or a suitor. Reynolds, in a rather bold but equally inappropriate (timing-wise), officially declared his intentions for the beautiful Maddy Shannon, (Naomi Scott). In a new world, the concept of making families is just as central to survival as anything else, and Reynolds clearly embodies the protector role in this case. He has not shown himself to be foolish or cowardly, and his chivalrous actions blend nicely with a forward-thinking mind. He may still be a little naive, but he is also confident: a very likable blend. I think if he goes off and proposes to Maddy now that would be a huge mistake, but I am definitely liking the two of them together, (or I am totally suckered in by the ‘knight in uniform’ – either way, it works)!
Continuing the theme of family, of course, is Mira’s central reason for her ongoing fight: her daughter Sienna. Sienna is still a child, (Mira points out that she turned ‘seven in July’), which leaves us wondering what the heck kind of care she is getting in 2149 while her ex-con mother fights to get her back. Why was Sienna left behind while Mira came through? We are almost afraid to find out the answer because all we know is that Mira will do anything for her daughter – include threaten all of Terra Nova (and consequently all of humanity). We come back of course to the question of the season: What is the secret of Terra Nova that drives everyone to do what they do?
On the traitorous side, we have the beautiful, confident Skye finally showing herself to be a potentially hesitant spy for the Sixers. She appears to be the one we have been waiting for all season. Curiously, she appears more like Josh in her interactions with the Sixers. It is unclear if she supports their cause or not, because the only reason we are given for her betrayal is that the Sixers are keeping her mother alive from a deadly fever.
The Sixers protect her mother; she works for them. Is this a potential foreshadowing for Josh if he goes back to working for the Sixers? Is Skye’s sole reason for helping the Sixers and causing all the problems for Terra Nova just to keep her own mother alive? It certainly did not look like much of a life, lying on a crude bed in the dark day in and day out. Skye is either obsessively devoted to her mother or there is something bigger going on. Perhaps we will find out.
Finally, we have one of the most painful family ties of all: Nathaniel and Lucas (Ashley Zukerman), Taylor. Despite the two of them barely speaking, the hatred from Lucas and the love from Nathan are both clearly felt. Lucas, according to Mira, is ‘crazy’, and the one who is going to figure out how to open the portal to have it go both ways, but that does not stop Nathan from asking Mira how his son is doing.
The only clue we have as to the source of their estrangement comes from one word: Somalia. What was it? What happened? We know Nathan is a dual character, embodying both dark and light for the series, and last week we got a taste of just how far he will go when he needs to. Price is something he is willing to pay – he alienated his son from the sound of it.
In a world 85 million years in the past, family ties are one of the strongest bonds anyone has. They provide trust, people to turn to, and backup. When things hit the fan in the season finale, it is clear that many of those bonds will be tested – as well as be the reason why some relationships, confrontations, and possibly lives will survive or fail.
We got a good look at Mira this week as well. The dynamic between her and Nathan had me riveted through the entire episode. Near the end, Nathan confesses to her that he thinks they would make a good team, and I am inclined to agree – a heck of a dangerous one. Both are cool under pressure, solid in a fight, and almost frighteningly resourceful, having stayed over 1,000 days (cumulative) in the wild between the two of them. Mira has revealed that she is an ex-convict, (an interesting link to Jim Shannon there), and lived on the streets.
That she is tough is not the question. How she became the leader of the Sixers and who are the people they answer to is. She also tells Nathan that they intend to return to 2149 “rich” – likely with resources that are unheard of in that time, (which raises another question: how are people living 85 million years ago not affecting the future)?
At first Nathan mocks her, but later as the tables are turned he shows more of an understanding. The overall plan – one of them dragging the other to their ‘lair’ seems to be completely thrown out the window as they come under attack from Slashers. They form an uneasy alliance to survive, and express their respect for each other. They are warriors, and the code between them changes just a little as they fight through the night.
Despite their differences they have an understanding, and though I am sure they will still wind up on the opposing sides, there is something honorable about their treatment of each other. In the season finale, it will be exciting to see how they line up! We will include a detailed review of “Within” with our season finale analysis.
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I and the WHR team look forward to and will be Seeing You on The Other Side“!