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Musing Review: Terra Nova – Nightfall (S1, Ep6)

Submitted by on November 8, 2011 – 11:38 pmNo Comment | 7,750 views

From the first episode of Terra Nova I always thought it made for interesting story that they had all the power, computer equipment and luxuries of 2149.  I wondered what the show would be like without all that convenience.  This sixth installment, entitled “Nightfall,” brought us to that scenario.  A fireball streaked through the sky (it was a meteor) and when it broke up in the atmosphere it release an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) that fried every electronic circuit in Terra Nova.  It rendered all their technology (pulse guns, power, medical equipment, etc.) useless.  On top of this backdrop the writers wrote and the actors acted a pretty fantastic episode.  Each of the main characters had their little piece of the scenario and they managed to further the Sixer storyline a lot.  The special effects were especially well done as well if I do say so.  Looks like they didn’t hold back on the effects budget.

Warning: There are spoilers abound in the text below.

Each character’s story basically revolved around what happened after the EMP hit.  Toward the end of the episode they tie together.  Maddy and Reynolds were stuck outside the colony walls and had to fend for themselves in the jungle.  They had some touching moments together and you see how much they really like each other.  Elisabeth and Skye have to perform manual surgery on one of Skye’s friends who has a gigantic worm parasite living in his intestines.  They actually had to use a scalpel.  That’s so 21st century.  One of the notable parts of their story was how Skye had to deal with her growing feelings for Josh even though he still is totally in love with his girlfriend in 2149.  Even Elisabeth took a liking to her.  Jim and Zoe were trapped in room called “the eye.”  This room is where the colony’s main liquid computer core is and thankfully it was shielded from the EMP.  You wouldn’t want to lose all that knowledge.  Jim and Zoe were using it to explore the entire databank, and even go on a roller coaster ride.

Taylor and Lt. Washington were scrambling to protect and repair the colony.  As I said already all the microchips were fried.  Apparently in 2149 there is one microchip that makes other microchips but guess what, that one was fried too.  Who’s the only person who knows how to fix it.  You guessed it.  Boylan the sketchy bar owner.  Taylor forces him to fix the chip as they start to get the colony back on its feet.  This became necessary as the manual surgery ended up going awry and they needed a chip for a biobed.

Meanwhile the Sixers heard heard that Terra Nova was “dark” so Mira decided that now was the time to get her mystery box back.  They prepare for an assault on the colony and coerce a gigantic dinosaur to make its way to the colony.  Yes, more dinosaur drama!!  Thanks to Zoe Jim was able to get out the room and made it out just in time to help Taylor and Washington defend the colony from the giant dinosaur.  Thankfully its afraid of fire and they’re able to repel it.  That’s when Taylor realizes the dinosaur was a distraction from the impending Sixer invasion to get the mystery box and the “good guys” mobilize to fend off the attack.  There’s a pretty awesome fight scene with Taylor, Jim and two Sixers.  Taylor looked like quite the badass.  One of the Sixers gets away with the box and Jim can’t catch him.  Unfortunately for the other Sixer he gets shot (by a real bullet) by Boylan.  That was an interesting twist and for a second I thought he was going to shoot Taylor.  I’m guessing there’s more to come on that relationship.

So now Mira has the box back.  Turns out she doesn’t even know what’s inside it and she can’t even open it.  We learned earlier in the episode that it’s a DNA encoded lock so only one person can open it.  She ends up delivering it to her contact and they introduce this new mystery character who has authority over Mira.  Wasn’t she the leader of these rebels?  I guess everyone answers to a higher authority.  They show us the mystery man opening the box and what’s inside is a holographic projection of none other than the crazy symbols / equations we saw back in Genesis (the pilot episode).  He makes some nefarious remarks about getting the info and says he needs to get to work.  The writers do clue us in right at the end of the scene.  The mystery guy is none other than Taylor’s son, Lucas, who has been living out in the jungle for we don’t know how long.  Wow.  Can’t say I didn’t see that coming, but it was still a pretty shocking revelation to see him working with the Sixers and some devious plan from 2149.  I half expected him to have had some sort of accident and be a little cuckoo.

I thought it was a great episode.  I’ve been into the show since the beginning and I’m really starting to see them get in a groove.  I’m hoping for more good episodes like this.  We can look forward to a more intense search for the spy in the upcoming episodes.  Taylor was too upset over the Sixers knowing exactly where the box was.

Watch Terra Nova Mondays at 8:00PM on Fox.  Catch up on or Hulu.

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