This episode of “Terra Nova” starts with two problems: the compound has lost touch with an outpost, and Jim has a cold. The latter is important, I swear.
Outpost life has taken a turn for the weird — your mind starts to scramble a bit when you’re out there, it seems, as evidenced by cryptic notes and several quarantined settlers talking about the Red Cross and snow. In the opening scene, one out-poster chases a beetle outside, is awed by his surroundings and is promptly dino-eaten. (YES! Om-nom-nom.)
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It’s actually a brutal case of amnesia — those in the outpost have been exposed to some sort of pathogen genetic alteration that causes memory loss.
It hits quickly, too, with just minutes passing before Elisabeth forgets the name of her youngest daughter, and just a day before she forgets her husband entirely, instead rushing into the arms of her ex, Malcolm, after he and Jim attempt a poorly planned rescue mission.
The awkward dynamic between Jim, Malcolm and Elisabeth — as the latter two’s memories revert to their college dating days — was at times just that, awkward. Painful. Groan-inducing.
But, the best — or least forced — interpersonal moment between the characters came as Elisabeth asks questions about his life — children? Married?
“It’s complicated,” he tells his wife.
“Isn’t it always?” she replies.
Yep, it is. Problems compound, as they always do, as dinosaurs start creeping into the compound, and G.I. Joe action figure Taylor, also exposed to the pathogens genetic alterations, returns to Terra Nova and starts wreaking all kinds of Rambo-like havoc.
Jim’s the only one not affected. He’s also the only one suffering from a cold. A stuffy nose doesn’t just keep out air — it keeps out the memory loss.
Solution? Get everyone sick.
I’ve never seen people so happy to get infected with a cold.
Best line relating to time (time-line?) — In the midst of their blooming hipster romance (now complete with hammocks, flannels, guitars and unnecessary ski-caps), Skye promises Josh she can get his girlfriend to Terra Nova, with the help of a merchant in league with the Sixers, who has experience with “bringing things back.” “I’ve done so in the past,” he says, “or future, I should say.” FINALLY, someone else gets the conundrum and makes the appropriate observations.