There are three points that need to be taken away from this week’s episode of “Terra Nova.”
One: Like Tolstoy wrote, “Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” and I counted no fewer than three unhappy/messed-up families this week.
Two: Plot development has also apparently been affected by the time travel, because it’s moving about as slowly as prehistoric molasses. I feel like a mosquito about to be trapped in amber.
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Three, and most important: It is freakin’ awesome to watch dinosaurs burn to death.
I feel like I write this every week, but FOR REAL, Jim and Taylor are getting closer and closer to discovering the Sixer mole in Terra Nova. By the end of the episode, Jim has his suspect list narrowed down to 47 people (crack detective work, there); we the lucky audience are clued in to the mole’s identity early in the evening. My heart sank a little when the camera focused on the spy’s body -- not her head -- and I recognized the Urban Outfitters bracelets. Oh, Skye. Don’t you remember that friend-zone empathy I felt for you a few episodes ago? I thought we were gals! Why do you do this to me?
A rather good reason, actually. She’s feeding the Sixers information, as they’re taking care of her mother in one of their wicked-awesome treehouses. Family Drama, nice of you to show up.
And nice of you, also, Family Drama, to make repeated appearances throughout the night. Taylor goes over the gate to study up on Lucas’ CrazySexyMath and is promptly taken hostage by Mira. Eh, then he takes her hostage. (And Mira, what the hell are you doing, looking all morose and defeated? Humanizing elements? I don’t like this Mira!) Then no one’s being held hostage.
Yeah, as a friend put it, this week was tragically bad (seriously, “Terra Nova” writers, your attempts at dialogue are deplorable) and amusingly awesome. We got some pretty stiff character development and over-acting as Mira and Taylor discuss their children -- a 7-year-old daughter left back in the future, and Lucas of the Insane Blue Eyes and CrazySexyMath, respectively. (Family Drama, please leave. You’re killing me.) After a night in the jungle, the two warriors split amicably. Nearly anti-climatic -- nearly.
I say nearly, because we do have Taylor and Mira partaking in the obligatory cliff-dive into a river to escape some dinosaurs, and then setting aside their differences to fend off said dinosaurs. With flaming arrows. Guys, we got to watch dinosaurs burn to death tonight. I think everyone wins in this situation.
Unnecessary Plot Re-Hashing: As Solider-Beau Mark approaches Jim to inform him of Mark’s “intentions” for Maddy, my skin crawled again at that archaic phrase. Again, because, oh hey, we’ve dealt with this already. Everyone knows you want to wife Maddy, Mark. And no one cares.
Inexplicable Character Reversal of the Night: Taylor asks Mira how Lucas is, i.e., how does he look? (The code phrase concerned parents and friends have for estranged loved ones; it’s a doozy.) Wait, what does he care? Last episode he was threatening his son with banishment and/or death. And now he’s wistfully asking, “How does my son look?” Something smells rotten. Oh, wait, that’s just the burning dinosaur flesh.
And now, my favorite portion of the evening’s blogging experience, The Adorable Zoe Moment of the Night: The dino-baby Zoe and Elisabeth helped hatch and nurse to health rears its precious little head this episode, with the sad news that Zoe can no longer keep it as a pet; the dinosaur must return to the wild. (In my notes, I was referring to the dino-baby as a dino-puppy, until I realized it was making the same purring sounds my cat does, making it a dino-kitty? But, does the dino sound like my cat, or does my cat sound like a dino? These are the post-grad existential problems we all must grapple with.) Which cute moment shall I pick? Zoe trying to smuggle the dino-baby out of the infirmary in her coat? The pitiful crying sound dino-baby makes as Zoe walks away from it for the last time? The dino-reunion between the baby and a (huge) dino-grownup? All of them. All the moments.
Ominous preview for next episode: The Countdown to the Season Finale is upon us! In two weeks, it looks as if the Sixers will be welcoming a whole damn army to help take down Terra Nova. Battle lines are drawn. Allegiances are formed and tested. It looks like people get hurt. More dinosaurs need to be involved.
My thoughts on the season’s impending finale (other than, “Please dear God, let’s quicken this pace up a smidge”) are best summed up through a conversation between Mira and Taylor, as she tells him “This really is almost over.” Taylor fires back: “The question is, how does it end?” Mira’s response: “We’ll find out soon enough.” No, seriously, this cannot end soon enough. END THIS. I need to know where my loyalties should lie! With (possibly bad-intentioned) Mira and CrazySexyMath Lucas? Or with (possibly good-intentioned) militant Taylor? I was Team Sixer from the beginning, but now I worry. Maybe the stilted dialogue is affecting my reasoning abilities.