2011-12-20

Terra Nova – The End? I Hope Not

by Yo Snyder

[We’re talking about the finale here, people. Expect spoilers to abound.]

I must admit, I’m sad to see this show go. I don’t have a lot of
hope for another season, but I think it would be well worth the effort.
The show had a lot of growth in its short, 13-epsidoe first season, and I
think a lot more of its potential could be reached with another
opportunity. In fact, this finale (season or series, we won’t know which
until January) showed just how awesome this show can be. It was by far
the best episode yet, daring to be a little less kid friendly, a little
more intense, but still a show with a warm heart and one that’s always a
lot of fun.

First, I just have to say that one of the final
scenes with Jim running out of a futuristic facility designed to
transport people to the past via a time portal as it explodes while
being chased by a dinosaur; well, that’s the kind of crazy fun
that I tune in for. Silly and contrived? You bet. All-out awesome?
Absolutely. Plus, one of the main, sleezy villains get eaten, just as he
should. There was simply no better way for some scummy company man
who’s only interested in strip-mining the past to get rich the future to
meet his well-deserved end than to have a dinosaur transported to the
future and have it literally bite his head. Thank you Terra Nova for knowing exactly what I wanted to see. 

Aside
from the dino-fun, there were also some remarkably moving moments as
well. Seeing Wash so bravely and defiantly sacrifice herself to save the
Shannons was one of the season’s most touching and epic moments. Her
line to the obviously crazy Lucas Taylor, “You have your father’s eyes”,
was amazing. It was also kind of shocking to see Terra Nova go
this dark, although the show admittedly needed a little edge to keep it
from feeling like Saturday morning fare. The follow-up to that moment,
however, was by far one of my favorite in the entire series. As our
tough-guy, manly, bad-a hero stoically mourns the loss of his friend and
comrade all alone, precious little Zoe Shannon comes and sits by the
fire with him. She talks a little about all that Wash taught her, and
then, she wraps her arms around Taylor’s neck. His surprise quickly
gives way to the acknowledgment that that was exactly what he needed. 
You see it on his face and in his eyes; all this tough-guy needed was a
kind hug to help him come to peace with his grief. And then, as if the
scene couldn’t get any sweeter, Zoe tells him, “If you ever need another
hug, all you need to do is ask.” It’s that heart of kindness,
tenderness, optimism, love and family that made this show special.Well,
the dinosaurs were pretty awesome too, but it was moments like this that
really made the show enjoyable for me. 

And that’s also what this
Christmas season is all about. God came down to our world in the flesh
as the baby Jesus. He lived and grew and walked among us. He died but
then rose from the dead and lives still today. Why? So we can get a hug
from God anytime we need one; all we have to do is ask. Jesus repaired
the damage sin did to our relationship with God. He removed any all
barriers, provided all the grace and forgiveness we need, and now he
sits with us around the camp fire of our grief, ready and willing to
comfort and console; even if all that it takes is a little time in his
warm embrace. Sometimes even the toughest and strongest of us just need a
little hug to give us the strength to carry on. And so God says, “Come
to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28)

Terra Nova obviously knew this might be the
only shot it got, so it wisely wrapped up the storylines it introduced
for this season. It’s nice to get closure on that and not be left
wondering about any of it. However, it also gave us some intriguing
possibilities for another season. Completely cut-off from the future
with no possibility of getting fresh meds, supplies or new technology,
how will the colonists of Terra Nova fare? I’d like to see that show.
More intriguing, however, is whether or not they really are completely
cut off from the future. After all, the prow of an 18th century sailing
vessel was found in the badlands; how and why it was there, well, that
is also something I’d like to see. Are these colonists really in the
past, or are they somehow actually in the future; the very distant
future. Please, please come back for another season and tell me.

I’m
also glad that they didn’t quite kill off Lucas. No, don't go!He’s a great villain
and while it was nice to see him get his comeuppance, I’m glad they
didn’t kill him outright just in case they need him for another season.
That being said, there were a few inconsistencies with Lucas. Chief
among them being if he’s such a smart guy, then why did he ever fall for
Skye’s little “I’m ready to betray Taylor” schtick. Really? Couldn’t
see through that one, huh? Maybe he’s not as smart as we thought. Of
course, this show has always had it’s odd little quirks like that, such
as daddy Taylor being able to exactly locate where in the jungle his son
would be running for their big confrontation, or everyone just leaving
Skye alone with a high value captive like Lucas, or Lucas doing the
usual villain monologueing thing while the good guy is left alive and in
a convenient locale to be rescued. But hey, this show is supposed to
just be fun, so I don’t mind that stuff as much as some. 

Although it got off to a slow start, Terra Nova did
find its footing and finally did the things it needed to do. It didn’t
constantly tease out its main storylines, it pushed them along and
resolved them in the end. The finale gave the show just the right amount
of edge without sacrificing any of the fun and sweetness and focus on
family that was at the heart of this show. Best of all, this was a great
show about family. It showed a family that genuinely cared and loved
each other. A family that was willing to stick together and be there for
each other in the tough times (the scene with Josh and his dad Jim was
also a really touching one and demonstrated what the heart of this show
as about). How often do we see shows that portray marriage as a good
thing; as fun and exciting and romantic? Or family as something
positive, as they type of people you’d want to hang out with? Not nearly
enough, but I’m glad this show did. It was a solid finale that showed
just how good and fun this show can be and set up some intriguing ideas
for a follow-up season. Here’s hoping that Fox and the powers-that-be
can see the potential and are willing to give it another shot.