Recap

'Terra Nova' Recap: Within

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Dec 12, 2011 | 7:39pm EST

SkyeS1E10: In its own way, tonight’s episode of Terra Nova is actually a pretty interesting story about the evolution of the Terra Nova governing system and the man who upholds it—Nathaniel Taylor. The two entities are one and the same; while anyone in his or her right mind understands that one man having near-absolute power over a society of dozens (hundreds? It can’t be more than a couple hundred) is wholly uncivilized and entirely idiotic. However, the only person on Terra Nova who seems to recognize this flaw is Lucas, Taylor’s banished son who is working on his own two-way portal to head back to the future…where, as we’ve seen—unfortunately—they actually still do need roads.

“The two of us suffer from a Shakespearean relationship that borders on Greek tragedy.” – Lucas

Taylor and Jim are on the hunt for the mole, and they’re zeroing in on Skye. We learned a few weeks back that Taylor has a special place in his heart for Skye, and that he believes her parents are dead. We also learned that Skye is providing intel to the Sixers in return for them treating her very sick (but not dead) mother with their special non-Terra Novian medicine.

Developments this week: Lucas takes over the interactions with Skye, cutting out the middleman of Mira. Lucas is still working on his two-way portal, and needs Skye to use TN’s “The Eye” to pinpoint a specific coordinate or something that seemed like a whole lot of meaningless last-minute pseudo sci-fi in order to put the finishing touches on his device. And she gets him his special piece of data. And everything works out hunky dory. For the “bad guy,” that is.

“He’s a man. Not a god. But don’t tell him that, you’ll hurt his feelings.” – Lucas

Beneath the surface of Terra Nova, the Taylor/Taylor’s missing son storyline has been a pretty hot driving force. We never knew exactly what happened between them—although we find out this week that Lucas always blamed his father’s for his mother’s death back in Somalia—and little by little, we’d find out exactly what led up to their current state of separation. Tonight, we finally see present-day Taylor face off with present-day Lucas. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as dramatic or emotionally amplified as we might have hoped. There are stare downs. There are dramatic speeches. But none of it rings as true as it should, considering the fact that this is the primary enmity in the series.

As for Skye, Taylor and Jim find out why she has been acting as mole this whole time: the Sixers have her mother. Jim seems to instantly “forgive” Skye, understanding (or at least suggesting that he understands with his drastic change in facial expression) that the girl did what she had to in order to keep her mother alive and safe. The begrudging Taylor is less willing to forgive, although he does resist the banishment of Skye. Additionally, Taylor welcomes back the murderous soldier he expelled into the woods a few weeks back—during Taylor’s recent wilderness trek, he reconnected with the soldier, and employed him as his own mole in the Sixers operation. He managed to bring Skye’s mother to the safety of Terra Nova, where the brilliant Elisabeth so conveniently figured out how to duplicate the Sixers’ meds in order to save her. To me, this kind of seems like a huge plot hole. If this procedure was always available, then why didn’t Skye (who works in the hospital and should know about it) just alert TN to the whereabouts of her mother? If it just became available…then, well, that’s also silly. Either way, the more forgiving, less erratic side of Taylor shows a growth in both the man and a beneficial evolution of the Terra Nova law system: no more throwing people out because you’re in a bad mood.

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“Control the past, control the future.” – Lucas

(Was it just me, or did anyone else think of “Save the cheerleader, save the world” when Lucas said that?)

So, Lucas has managed to develop the two-way time traveler. And, as many of us suspected, the rationale behind it is far more sinister than just “mining for resources.” Lucas ominously tells Skye, “Control the past, control the future,” before completing his device, and shouts to his father, “The next time we meet, I won’t be alone!” right before shooting way back to the 2100s. Next week is the season finale, which means we’ll be seeing more epic showdowns, heightened stakes, and probably a team-up between rivals Jim and Malcolm.

But here are the things I’m really wondering: What, beyond the mining of resources, does the future want with the past? How can changing the past effect the future in the reality of this series—if at all? They mentioned in the pilot some theory that averts the well-preserved belief (in sci-fi films) that going back in time and changing anything can be catastrophic. But this can’t be foolproof, if at all accurate. Further, will we see the Sixers team with Terra Nova, like the Mia/Taylor bond we saw a couple of episodes back might have foreshadowed? And, most importantly, will there FINALLY BE SOME DINOSAURS ON THE SHOW FOR MORE THAN, LIKE, A SECOND?
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