TV Review - TERRA NOVA Episode 1.12 - 1.13



Here we are at the two-hour Season 1 finale of the much hyped Terra Nova. What will happen in the war between Terra Nova and the evil company trying to stripmine the Land Before Time? There's a lot to cover, so let’s find out!

We first see both sides prepping for war--Lucas Taylor back in 2149 talking strategy with a member of the Phoenix Group, the evil company coming to strip Terra Nova clean of its natural resources. Looks like they got their own private army full of elite mercenaries to back them up.

Meanwhile, in the past Commander Taylor and Jim are making their own war preparations. It looks like Taylor’s crew will have a sizeable force at the terminus gate just to make sure that only the 11th Pilgrimage (remember how that’s been slated to show up?) comes through from 2149. Both Jim and Elisabeth come with Commander Taylor’s forces. Josh is itching to go and meet with his girlfriend Kara. But Jim says he needs to watch his younger sisters. Taylor leaves Lt. Washington in charge of security at Terra Nova.

Soon, the 11th Pilgrimage starts coming through, with Taylor’s forces at the ready. So far, so good. And we finally see Josh’s girl Kara againas she exits the terminus gate. Jim goes and personally greets her …right before a suicide bomber appears through the gate and blows the whole thing to hell. Jim is down and out!

When Jim comes to, he is back at Terra Nova…except that its now being occupied by Lucas and the Phoenix Group. Jim had been out for three days so Elisabeth gives her hubby the skinny:

  • After the terminus gate got destroyed, a new time fracture opened up very close to Terra Nova, allowing the Phoenix Group to attack with next to no resistance.
  • Washington fended the invaders off as best as she could, until they started shelling the colony and about 26 civilians died. Then she surrendered. 
  • Taylor won’t risk a direct assault to take back Terra Nova as Lucas’s buddies are holding all the colonists as hostages/human shields.
  • Oh, and Josh’s girl Kara got killed by the suicide bomber blast. Ooph. 
  • The Phoenix Group is now rebuilding the terminus gate and is forcing Malcolm to do so under the threat of death.

Also, Lucas forgives Skye for betraying him but warns her not to do it again. We find out also that the official news story is that Hope Plaza has been contaminated with a radiation leak that will take years to clean up. This means the Phoenix Group wll be able to move stuff in and out of Hope Plaza with no one thinking the wiser.

Once Jim is healed completely, he starts up a resistance within the colony and wants to get in touch with Taylor and his forces. He also reaches out to Washington, who has been drowning in self-pity and sauce at Boylan’s pub. Boylan himself is not liking these Phoenix Group soldiers as they don't pay for anything!

While Jim is starting to mount his resistance, he has to pretend to be deaf, half-crippled, and properly concussed in order to make Lucas and Mira believe he is no longer a threat.

Through a rather smart way, Taylor reveals his coordinates to Jim and Elisabeth on the bullets his men used to wound the Phoenix Group soldiers they tangled with. So after some distractions from the Terra Nova locales, Jim sneaks out of Terra Nova hiding in a Phoenix transport.

Jim reaches the coordinates of Commander Taylor’s location and let's him know the status of the colony. Another small wrinkle, its seems that the Phoenix Group wants to start scorching the landscape of flora an fauna using a pyrosonic charge so they can start stripmining without interferrence, starting with the valley Taylor and his men are in. Luckily, one of Taylor’s soldier’s disables the bomb in the nick of time.

Jim and the rest of the Terra Nova resistance begin planning tracers on any of the Phoenix Group transports, allowing Taylor to find and take out all of them. Lucas, being a stereotypical bad guy, flips out and throws things a lot.

Lucas, in Boylan’s Pub at one point, starts to harass Skye verbally and physically, which prompts Josh to start beating Lucas’s ass. As cool as that is, Lucas has like ten Phoenix Group guards with him, so then Josh starts getting the stuffing beat out of him. Now Jim has to blow his cover to save Josh, and then he gets captured. Wow, that kid's an idiot!

Lucas then proceeds to torture Jim to find out where Taylor is hiding. Jim doesn’t crack, but he does finally find out why Lucas hates his dad so much. Apparently back in Somalia circa 2138, a bunch of rebels captured Taylor and his men’s families, giving them the choice to save only one member. Taylor chose his son Lucas over his wife, and since then Lucas believed his dad never forgave him for that. I’m guessing that drove little Taylor insane.

Elisabeth uses some medical trickery to force Lucas’s main contact in the Phoenix Group to help free Jim.

After Jim is freed, the Shannon family realizes that staying in Terra Nova means death. So Washington contacts Taylor for all of them to flee. Unfortunately, Washington sacrifices herself for that to happen. And by sacrifice I mean, she distracts the Phoenix Group soldiers with an explosion so that the Shannons can flee. Lucas then puts a bullet to her head, all while Taylor watches helplessly from afar. That sucks, as there was much more that could have been done with that character.

Meanwhile, Skye tells Lucas that she is on his side now since she believes Taylor will never forgive her. I smell a trap.

In Commander Taylor’s camp, the plan now is to go back to 2149 and blow up Hope Plaza, which is where the time fracture appears on the future side of things. If that’s destroyed, then the Phoenix Group will be cut off from the past, but Terra Nova will also be cut off from the future. Which means no more Pilgrimages will be coming through. Taylor is willing to do it if this means stopping the Phoenix Group from stripmining Terra Nova.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Group finds something out in the Badlands that is apparently very valuable. What is it? We have no clue. Also, Mira is growing impatient with the Phoenix Group over being able to go back to 2149 to her daughter.

Of course Jim is the one to head back in time to destroy Hope Plaza, using the reactivated pyrosonic charge from earlier. But if he can make it back through the portal before the explosion, he should reappear in the past just a few clicks away from the original terminus gate.

Malcolm has gotten the new terminus gate working for the Phoenix Group to start its two-way travels between 2149 and Terra Nova. Skye is riding with Lucas in the transport carrying the Badlands cargo, but of course doublecrosses him and the Terra Nova crew switches transports that will be taken into the future. Jim stows away on the switched transport with the Phoenix Group contact.

In the future, the Phoenix Group baddie is showing off pieces of meteor ore from the past that will make his backers very rich. He then shows them whatever the Phoenix Group found in the Badlands. Except since the transports were switched, the cargo that Taylor’s crew replaced it with is instead a gigantic carnotaur that eats everyone in its path! After a shootout with some Phoenix Group lackeys, Jim is able to set the charge and jump through the time fracture right before the explosion. Lucky for him, he shows up in the past much to Elisabeth’s relief.

Skye, while trying to jumpstart the transport she was in, gets overpowered by Lucas. But as he is trying to get to the terminus gate to stop the Terra Nova group from destroying Hope Plaza, Taylor intercepts him. Taylor is kicking his son’s ass. But when Lucas uses the “forgive me dad” routine, Taylor embraces his son…only to get a knife to the gut. Lucas is truly irredeemable at this point. But luckily Skye arrives and shoots Lucas twice before he can finish his dad off. And when she checks on Taylor, Lucas escaped right under their noses. Predictable!

Mira is rather horrified after finding out she will never see her daughter again. Now that there is no backup coming, the Phoenix Group actually abandons Terra Nova for the Badlands.  Why the Badlands? No idea. Taylor and the Shannons make their triumphant return to the colony and start rebuilding.

Taylor, Jim, Elisabeth and Malcolm then find out what exactly the Phoenix Group found in the Badlands. It’s the bow of an 18th century ship that somehow made it back 85 million years in the past. What does that mean?! Guess we'll have to wait until Season 2 to find out. That is, if there will be a Season 2!

My thoughts:
That was one of their best episodes in the series, hands down. Lots of action, and some cool prolonged dino goodness. Plus, the whole time travel element is still alive with whatever the Phoenix Group found in the Badlands. Yes, there was more cheese than you could imagine, including eye-roll worthy moments of love-declaring between Jim and Elisabeth. Plus, the scene where Jim was sprinting through Hope Plaza while explosions ripped behind him was straight out of a bad 90s action flick. However, I was properly entertained.

I would have personally rather Lucas been killed because the character sucks, but I get the whole need to keep him alive as a perpetual thorn in Taylor’s side.

Along with that, I like how the Phoenix Group, while weakened, is still out and still a threat.

Will this be enough to warrant a Season 2? I actually hope so. The show really started to find its stride in the late goings, and maybe there is hope for it yet. Either way, its been a fun challenge doing these recaps and I hope you all have enjoyed reading them. Til next time folks!


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