Tonight brings us to the season - and possibly series - finale for Terra Nova, a frustrating little show that never had all that much potential, and yet still somehow never managed to come even remotely close to realizing it. Small targets are harder to hit, I guess. Ratings place this show on the bubble. It quite literally all comes down to tonight’s two-parter. If good, you’ll get another season. If not, well then this is our last view of the Shannon family.
So how does it end?
Actually, not badly:
PLAY BY PLAY
We start off freakin’ *great,* which is not anything I’ve *Ever* said about this show, with Taylor and the Terra Nova Forces (TNF hereafter) guarding the time portal, awaiting the bad guys. People start coming through normally, including Josh’s girlfriend Kara. Then one of the Pilgrims comes through with bombs strapped to him, and explodes. This destroys the time portal, kills Kara (Most. Anticlimactic. Subplot. In. History.), and Jim blacks out.
Jim comes to in the hospital three days later to find that the colony has been taken over by the bad guys in a battle that took place entirely offscreen (Boo! Hiss! I can NOT believe you guys have $4 million/episode to play with, and you’re CONTINUALLY pulling this crap!) in a well-filmed sequence that emphasizes his confusion and damaged hearing (A bomb went off in his face, after all). The destruction and ruins are kinda’ interesting since they let us know how much of the down town set was real, and how much of it was CGI.
Taken home, we’re told (BUT NOT SHOWN!) that the Bad Guy Army (BGA hereafter) blew up the gate so the time rift would be “Untethered” and would drop them in some random location within a mile and a half of where the gate *used* to be. They attacked the colony before Taylor’s people could re-assemble (They were badly messed up by the blast), and Washington surrendered after 29 people were killed. Taylor’s in hiding, while Lucas, Mira, and some new Strawman we’ve never seen before, run the place. Strawman is the head of the Bad Guy Army, or so it would seem, but he’s really badly written, and played like a blithering idiot. Impossible to take him seriously as a villain, lacks all gravitas, so clearly he’s just there to further the plot, right? Dead by noon.
The colonists themselves are hostages, as Lucas and the BGA know Taylor would never risk their lives by attacking. Jim, meanwhile, manages to avoid reprisals from Mira by pretending to be brain damaged, crippled, and deaf from the blast. This is actually pretty clever. Despite all his talk of working for someone higher up - clearly not Strawman, though - Lucas is the guy in charge. He has Skye brought too him, and says - I paraphrase - “I should kill you for betraying me to your father, but you’re really hot, so you get one more chance. Also, because I’m really over-playing the crazy and telegraphing every thought that goes on in my head, I’m going to call you ‘sister’ in creepy fashion. It’s a little pointless affectation the writers thought up. I think you’ll like it.” Unimpressed, Skye goes home.
The Resistance begins, with Jim rallying the various characters: Wash, Boylin, the Legless Guy, Malcolm, etc. Most were already working independently (Excepting Wash, who was just drinking) but Jim coordinates them, and even has Josh work at Boylin’s bar, hoping for some occasional information. Jim sneaks out of town and contacts Taylor, and they’re able to give him information about troop movements and whatnot. Malcom is building the return gate for the BGA, but he’s going as slow as he can.
All goes well until Lucas tries to force himself on Skye, and then Josh punches him.
WHAT? They’re in a bar, he’s got the home field advantage *And* surprise, *and* access to any number of sharp and/or jagged objects, and he just *punches* the guy? He coulda’ cut his frackin’ head off! Of course Josh is immediately captured and beat half to death. Skye runs and calls Jim, who blows his cover, but takes out half the bar.
WHAT? We got an ex-cop who was in a coma for three days, only got better “A couple of days” ago, and somehow he’s able to hold off an entire bar full of trained and heavily armed mercinaries for like a three minute fight sequence? Unlikely. *AND* he had the element of surprise,