The Monday, Oct. 17 episode of “Terra Nova” started by providing viewers exactly what they’ve been getting used to finding on the show: predictability. However, by the time the show ended, there were finally enough questions left unanswered to hold my attention more than a CGI dinosaur could.
Another recycled plot…with some twists
The season’s fourth episode, “The Runaway,” began with Lt. Riley and her soldiers capturing an intruder just outside of Terra Nova. The intruder turns out to be a young girl who appears to be almost feral, but eventually she calms down enough for Elisabeth to find out her name, Leah Markos.
We later find out that the Sixers’ leader, Mira, has sent Leah to Terra Nova to retrieve a box of hers. Does any of this sound familiar? It probably should to science fiction fans out there because it’s a plotline often used…and re-used by television shows as far back as I can remember. The runaway appeals to our heroes for aid, but we later find out she has an ulterior motive for being there. I knew the plot from the moment Leah told Taylor and Mira that she wished to stay at Terra Nova.
However, the show makes up for the storyline by adding its own twists. We find out that Mira has threatened to harm Leah’s younger brother if the child doesn’t find and return her box. When Jim disobeys Taylor’s orders and goes after the child, he’s captured by the Sixers, who not only release him, but also allow Leah’s younger brother to go with him.
Before Jim leaves the camp, Mira tells him that Taylor has enemies in 2149 and that the idea of “starting over” in Terra Nova is a lie. This is the first of quite a few mysteries unveiled in this episode. Yes, we learn a little more about Mira and the Sixers: we know how the renegade group lives (in the trees), and we find out that Mira has a daughter in 2149. Yet those answers yield more questions.
When the episode ends, we’re left to ponder some new developments. Are the Sixers really as bad as we’ve been led to believe? We have to wonder about Taylor, especially after watching him try to manipulate Leah for information about the Sixers’ location. Mira also hints at Taylor’s less-than-honorable side. We also don’t know who in 2149 has promised Mira her daughter in exchange for bringing down Taylor.
All of these questions keep the show interesting while the characters are fleshed out and the foundation is laid for the rest of the series. Yet I’m looking for more character development. We still don’t know much about the Shannons, and they are the main characters of the show. Why is this family so important?
Other plot lines of note
What’s in Mira’s box? I think it could be anything ranging from a memento of Mira’s daughter to something left in her safekeeping from her boss in 2149.
Reynolds is a bit old for Maddy, don’t you think? Anyways, are his intentions towards her honorable, or is there something else going with him?
Overall, the episode was the series’ best since the pilot. If “Terra Nova” continues to improve like this each episode, the show is going to build a strong fan base. If you haven’t seen the show yet, the next episode will be televised on Oct. 31 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox.