By Sara Toth
10:25 PM EST, December 12, 2011
The countdown to the season finale has begun on “Terra Nova,” and God help me, at this point, I am invested in this outcome.
Gosh, where to begin. Well, Lucas is back, with his CrazySexyMath, insane blue eyes and -- unexpectedly -- some pretty prominent pectorals. The 11th pilgrimage is days away, putting the entirety of Terra Nova on high alert, with good reason. Lucas has finally perfected his calculations, which would allow him to travel forward in time, as well as backward. Only thing is, he needs the help of the mole -- Skye -- to get things jump-started on Terra Nova’s computers.
Skye of course obliges -- what with her mother being under Sixer care and all -- but Jim and Taylor have finally figured out that she’s the spy (only took them three-four episodes). In the meantime, Lucas has adopted Skye’s mother’s nickname for her -- “Bucket” -- which is every kind of adorable. Skye’s nickname stuck as a result of her wearing a bucket on her head to mimic her father, a member of the military. This prompts Lucas to muse that while everyone seems to secretly want to become their father, all he wants to do is destroy his.
Lucas’ animosity toward his father seems to spring from an incident in August 2138, when Taylor failed to save the life of his wife, Lucas’ mother. Everything went to hell in a handbasket after that, father-son dynamic concerned, but it’s not enough for me in the way of character development. All I know, and all the audience knows, is that this battle of past vs. future is epitomized in Lucas vs. Taylor -- and Lucas wants to see Taylor rot. As his calculations are finished and functional, this means that with the 11th pilgrimage come Lucas’ employers -- the Sixer employers, by association -- who plan to raid Terra Nova for all it’s worth. In short, if Lucas and his future-friends have their way, Terra Nova is going to burn, and a lot of innocent people will perish in the process.
All of this seems lost on Lucas, who is obsessed with making Taylor pay for whatever sins the latter may have committed in the past/future. Lucas tells Skye he’s been waiting to see Taylor get his fair share of karma since the son was 14 (quick CrazySexyMath of my own: if Lucas was 14 in 2138, that would put him in his mid-20s in the present/past day in Terra Nova; now, I’m 23, so … when can I sign up for the next pilgrimage?), and his discourse with Taylor as he stood before the event horizon of the time portal did more than make me miss “Stargate: SG-1.” It seriously compelled me.
Basically, this entire episode was a set-up for the two-hour season finale next week, in which outright war is waged between the past and future. Existential undertones aside, this looks absolutely brilliant. Taylor has called upon the good, unassuming people of Terra Nova to stand next to him in battle -- the impending battle he knows about only because Skye’s mother set her straight and implored her to return to Taylor and tell him everything (so points to Sick-Mom). It looks as if there are dinosaurs involved in said battle, so I’m fastening my seatbelt and hoping for the best. Over the course of several months, I’ve developed a crippling love/hate relationship with this show, and I want this to be good.
Side plot masquerading as a story line: Let’s talk about the fact that the show used Maddy wanting to study as an episodic plotline. Maddy’s future/past version of an iPad has gone kaput, and she’s scrambling to find a back-up battery for her iPad (for lack of a recollection of what it was actually called). She does some wheeling and dealing with a trader, Casey, for a replacement (the phrase “wheeling and dealing” is funny because she actually offers a wheel for the guy’s wheelchair as a bartering tool). She eventually gets one from Boylan, who just gives it to her after learning she’s Jim’s daughter, but that’s beside the point. The point is, Maddy’s tied all up in knots because she can’t study, and she can’t keep her diary. Oh, my goodness. This throws into stark relief my severe contempt for technology – KEEP A DAMN NOTEBOOK WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. What happened to honest pen-and-paper writing? You’re living in prehistoric times. Journalize your hopes and dreams on a cave wall, gosh. Maddy initially wants to trade an abacus (YUP) for the battery, but Casey scoffs at that offer. What’s wrong with an abacus? I’d trade for an abacus any day! Everyone needs a good abacus, in the same way they need a good antique typewriter or grandfather clock. No? That’s just me? Oh, well … moving on to …
Another charming, archaic tradition that is NOT scoffed at: Chess. Skye tells Josh to cover for her by saying she was teaching him how to play chess. (Moment of irony: Guess who does play chess with Skye this episode? Taylor.) Now, honestly, my love for the antiquated aside, who plays chess anymore?
Adorable Zoe moment of the night: Sadly, wholly lacking, which -- in addition to a stark absolute absence of dinosaurs -- makes this episode one big ol’ suckfest.
New plan: Let’s see Skye and Lucas get together. Why is this a good plan? I’ll tell you: It clears the way for Josh and Future-Girlfriend to ride off together into the prehistoric sunset, and alleviates Skye of all that friend-zone guilt in regards to Hunter (again, Skye, I feel you -- residual friend-zone guilt is the most crippling guilt of them all). Plus, the audience gets to see pretty rebels being pretty together, and that’s a win for everyone.
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