2011-12-13

Terra Nova – "Within" – Finding A Second Chance

by Yo Snyder

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve checked in with the residents of
Terra Nova. The holidays and a desire to play Battlefield 3 with some
friends (who typically are available Monday night), has drawn my
attention away in recent weeks. Still, it was nice to come back and feel
pretty comfortable knowing not much has changed. Now, by that I mean
that the characters are still pretty much who they’ve always been, the
show still has family at its center and is more about fun than being
“dark” and “edgy”, and it has that charming, cheesy innocence about it
that’s lacking in so many shows today. That being said, there’s also a
whole lot that’s changed, and much of that is for the better.

It
looks like Terra Nova finally decided to get its rear in gear to tell
its story. Many of those key plot points that were introduced in the
pilot but developed sparingly in the next few episodes have apparently
been front and center for some time now. We know all about (mostly)
Taylor’s son and what he’s up to (making the portal to 2149 go both ways
so he can bring people back to strip mine the past for its riches in
order to control the future, and at the same time defeat and humiliate
his dad). Skye turns out to be the Sixer spy everyone’s been looking
for. I have to admit, I kind of wish she would have just turned out to
be a simple traitor, or at least an evil one, but she has a very
justifiable reason for what she’s done. Having her truly be a bad guy
would have given the show a darker edge, but as I said, the show has
stayed true to what it is, and dark and edgy isn’t it. So, the more
weepy, heartfelt motivation for her betrayal worked just fine even if it
wasn’t quite as interesting as other options. 

Yes, there have
been many developments since I last checked in, and I think they’ve all
been good for the show. I also liked, again per the show’s MO, how there
were some positive “lessons” in this episode. I thought it especially
interesting that Taylor was willing to give a traitor and murder a
second chance. No, not Skye, although it is apparent that she’ll also
get a chance to redeem herself, but rather that guy that murdered
someone way back at the beginning. He’s been working as Taylor’s inside
man in the Sixer’s camp, and he played a key role in resolving Skye’s
situation; hence, Taylor is giving him a second chance. Of course, these
characters have to earn their redemption whereas in real life,
redemption is given to us. Yes, we can have a second chance, we can have
redemption for the mistakes that we’ve made, but that’s not something
we’ll ever attain via our own efforts. True redemption only comes
through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our admission
that we can’t do it on our own and need a loving savior to forgive and
redeem us. The amazing thing is there’s nothing we can do that puts us
beyond the reach of that redemption; no matter how bad it may be. God’s
love and grace will grant us that second chance, he’s paid the price for
our redemption, all we have to do is accept it and be free. 

I do
have to say that Maddie’s side story, while kind of entertaining, felt
completely pointless, but other than that, this was a really good
episode that pushed the mythology forward and was a whole lot of fun.
The promo for next week, “see how it all ends”, has me a little nervous.
I don’t want Terra Nova to end. It’s never been a profoundly good show,
but it’s been good enough. Plus, considering the budget that’s needed
for it, I’d be happy if it got a few seasons of just twelve episodes.
That would help keep the costs down and keep the plot from wandering too
far afield. There’s a lot of good material here, and while I’m excited
for the season/series finale next week, and I do hope I’ll get to come
back to Terra Nova next year.