2011-10-19

Terra Nova – Episode 4: "The Runaway"

by Yo Snyder

Jim: “What’s Terra Nova really about?”

Mira (with a mysterious, ominous tone): “You’ll see.”

Will we? Will we really get that chance? I’m not so sure, and I’m worried that Terra Nova‘s
insistence on stringing us along slowly is only going to end in
frustration. I’m worried that I’ll invest all this time in an admittedly
very cool premise only to see it end prematurely and leave me without
any closure. There are a myriad of different ways that Mira could have
answered that question that would have moved things forward without
giving away too much, but her generic, cliche and boringly vague
response really shook my confidence in what this show is trying to do.
It’s too bad, because otherwise, this was probably one of the better
episodes so far.

Aside from the obvious parallels to Aliens
and the character Newt, the runaway girl that gets welcomed by the
Shannon family was a nice story. Again, we see the power a loving family
can have and although I’ve mentioned it before, I will again: I love
the fact that a strong, loving family is at the core of this show. Their
generosity, kindness, and willingness to open their home and help
someone in need was truly touching. Of course the big question was
whether or not Leah really needs their help or if she’s nothing more
than a spy for the Sixers. There were some unexpected twists here that
were a lot of fun, which were only ruined by the whole “we have answers
but we aren’t going to talk about them…yet” ending.

I also loved
Jim’s concern over whether or not there was another child out there
that needed help. Nothing else really mattered; if there was a kid in
trouble, he felt like something needed to be done, no matter what. It
was cool to see that fatherly side of him coupled with his general,
tough guy motif.  It reminded me of Jesus’ parable of the Shepherd and
the lost sheep. If he loses even one, the Good Shepherd will leave the
ninety-nine to search for the lost one in order to bring it back safely
into the fold. Jesus concludes by saying “I tell you that in the same
way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
(Luke 15:7) God is that same kind of loving father; if there’s a child
in trouble, hurting and in need of rescuing (maybe even you), he won’t
rest until he can save that child. That’s God’s love for you. However,
we have to want to be rescued. Yet even when we reject his help, know
that God is always there, anxiously waiting for the moment when we’ll
turn to him and ask for his aide. 

It was nice to get an episode of Terra Nova
that moved things forward a bit. Actually, I suppose it would be better
said that things inched forward a bit. Still, we got some intriguing
new information about who Taylor may be, who the Sixers may be, and that
there’s more going on than we know. Unfortunately, it was all so vague
and parceled out with a “you’ll see” attitude that it was a little
frustrating. Just get on with it already. Plus, the episode introduced
another new mystery and told us “you’ll see” as we wondered what that
was all about. I really did like this episode; I love the characters, I
like this world that’s been created (I really liked the small sub-plot
of the soldiers are told by Commander Taylor that they have to properly
“court” the girls they’re interested in. Corny, perhaps, but I like the
honor, nobility and respect that’s represented in approaching romance
that way). The writing is solid, the performances are great, and
everything feels like it’s settling in, and then the “Lost
syndrome hits; tantalizing hints that don’t provide any real answers.
Again, why waste time? Just get on with the awesomeness you keep hinting
at. The fact that we have to wait two weeks for another new episode
certainly doesn’t help things either.