No real preamble this week except to say that on the heels of losing Prime Suspect and probably losing Pan Am (its been cut from ABC’s mid-season schedule), I am really hoping Fox comes through and renews this show. There is a good story to tell here and it can feasibly continue for a few seasons while this new world is fleshed out. Do the right thing here Fox.
Anyway, let’s unpack this week’s episode …
Welcome … to Jurassic Park. Wait, sorry, wrong show. You’ll forgive me for the confusion given the beautifully sweeping cliff side view we are treated to as the episode opens. Seems Taylor and Jim are doing some hardcore “bromance” bonding; arrow hunting pterodactyls and fishing off a hundred foot cliff with the largest poles (not euphemistically) I’ve ever seen. A relaxed as we’ve ever seen him Taylor is reminiscing about his early time at Terra Nova. When he first arrive, the fish were the only thing he could hunt that didn’t hunt him back (if that’s true, I hope he appreciated what a horrible career choice he made). To Jim’s surprise, Taylor misses those days and even mentions Lucas who we have scarcely heard about since the beginning of the show. Jim, being as surprised at the reference as we were, presses him on Lucas but Taylor, remembering he’s a closed off human being, clams up. The poignant moment is interrupted when a prehistoric swordfish catches Jim’s line and almost drags him off the cliff. Now THAT would have been a storyline!
Back at home, the colony is abuzz with
our A plot the return of Dr. Ken Horton. A certifiable rock star in the geologist field, Dr. Horton is returning to Terra Nova after being in the field for six months. Maddy wets herself at the thought that he might sign her eBook copy of his geeky work. Elisabeth invites her along to meet him since the good doctor has to give him a welcome home physical. Dr. Horton returns like a conquering hero; he also calls Malcolm “Marcus” and makes him a bag boy. I instantly like Dr. Horton!! We’ll be spending the majority of the episode with Dr. Horton so lets move on for a second to our B plot.
B Plot. Josh and Boylan are in the bar when Boylan relates that Mira is calling in her favor to Josh. A sickness has swept through the Sixers camp and they need Josh to appropriate some tightly controlled meds from the infirmary lock up, specifically, Azameth (a Schedule 2 level drug). Josh, being slow on top of a general douchebag, tells Boylan that he dosesn’t have an access card for the infirmary locker. We wait 3 hours for josh to catch up to the rest of us and realize that they are asking him to steal his mother’s ID. When he protests, Boylan lays it out for him: Mira is the only one that can get your precious girlfriend here and this is the price. Cannot wait to see how Josh reasons out this decision.
At Horton’s physical, we learn that he had a stroke four years ago, soon after arriving in Terra Nova as a matter of fact. Elisabeth wants to check up on this but agrees to schedule (this is the second instance of the British pronunciation of schedule (without the c sound at the beginning) in the last 3 minutes, this show is secret British propaganda) it next week IF he’ll talk to her daughter Maddy. Horton does her one better and offers Maddy a trip to his lab to check on his specimens. At the lab, she’s gushing to Horton about what his book meant to her. When he offers her a chance to help him sort through his findings, she readily accepts.
Back to tonight’s episode of “moral decisions by douchebag sons”, Skye is the sensible voice when she makes clear the ramifications that will come down from Taylor if Josh gets caught. Well, then duh, Josh says he won’t get caught; since he’s on a roll, he full on rationalizes that he’s just getting meds not weapons. Skye calls bullshit on this moral equivalence nonsense and says she’s done (Which, girlfriend? About time. Really.). She leaves him with the though that he could be walking into world of hurt and doesn’t even know if Mira and Boylan can deliver on their promises.
The Horton lab. Horton explains that the work of cataloguing the results will suck. Maddy references a (horribly geeky sounding) Horton joke from one of his books back to Dr. Horton but he doesn’t recall it at all. He says his memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be. As he’s signing her book, she asks him about his current pursuits in some field he mentioned in a letter he wrote to her years ago. Again, he gives a response contradictory to what he wrote in the letter but Maddy, blinded by hero worship, chalks it up to the quantity of fan mail he must receive and that he’s got more important stuff going on than paying attention to letters from Maddy. I though am suspicious and will now put “Horton” in quotation marks in order to visually describe those suspicions. “Horton” asks Maddy to bring him the letter so he can
destroy it make a copy for his archives (and yes “Horton”, of course she still has it, its one of her most prized possessions).
Back in the Bar of Thieves and Thuggery, Boylan is putting the screws to a guy who owes him money. The guy, who’s name is Willy, has produced some collateral for payment but Boylan says its worthless and to bring him something else. Of course, as soon as the guy leaves, Boylan is clearly happy with the find. What a weird throwaway scene, I hope Will doesn’t become important to the plot later. Josh wants proof that Boylan and Mira can deliver on their promises before he starts burning his personal bridges.
Back in the Shannon home, Jim is still away on his Bromancation with Taylor and so Elisabeth has to tuck Zoe in for the night except, it seems that Elisabeth sucks at reading bedtime stories. When a puzzled Maddy walks in wanting to talking about Bizzarro Horton, Elisabeth is totally not interested at all. Maddy’s suspicions grow when she notices that his signatures from the old letter and today’s book signing don’t match. Elisabeth says the stroke could account for the differences and leaves her to deal with Zoe.
At the Sixer camp, Boylan and Josh arrive all hooded up (and seriously, the Sixers are nomadic thieves living in the woods; how easy could it be to find their camp again even without the hoods? I feel like Mira maybe is trying to make herself seem more important than she is with all the cloak and dagger nonsense). and Josh ascends the Tree Fort to meet with Mira. For her part, Mira is offended that he’s asking her for proof when they specifically discussed no questions at the time of their deal. But whatevs so Mira brings up a 3D picture phone chat with Kara 9the girlfriend). She talks to Josh and is kind of shocked that he was able to keep his promise. The holographic quality is pretty good on the phone to the future. Verizon should get on that. Mira ends the call and Josh is totally in. They’ll get their meds.
The Bromancation Fishing trip. As the men are walking back to the colony, they spy a recently abandoned campsite. Taylor is certain that its the banished Red Shirt Curran (the Sixers would never be so careless to leave their junk behind) and tells Jim to head back to the colony and alert Lt. Wash that he’ll be out another day or so. Taylor? Yeah, he’s going to look around for him and .. . deal with him. He tells Jim that Outpost 5 is only a couple of clicks away and he’ll borrow a rover as soon as he’s done. I have to admit that I thought Taylor was totally going to look for Lucas but I was wrong.
“Horton” and Maddy are walking and she’s starting to aggressively question his past. He gets testy but reels himself in quickly enough. Also, he is super interested in the letter she brought. He plays his moodiness off on being an old curmudgeon. They are walking through an apple orchard in which all of the apples are inedible because of a mold. Eww. Mold is gross. “Horton” has a fix though and releases a swarm of beetles out into the orchard; these beetles will counteract the apple blight mold (they like to nom nom on the mold spores) and “Horton” assures Maddy that Zoe, who is an apple freak, can have her apple pie in just a few weeks. Maddy is impressed despite herself.
Manhunter Taylor is man tracking. he discovers animal droppings. Riveting scene.
Maddy is relating the “Horton” flare up to maybe the only person who will listen, Zoe. She says that maybe she was expecting too much from “Horton”. I am not sure Zoe is the best advice giver that Zoe could turn to but at least she’s listening and pitching in with ideas; like this gem, perhaps “Horton” is a vampire. Still, I’d rather talk to Zoe than Josh. About anything. Speaking of the turd, Josh is currently sneaking around stealing his mom’s ID. Elisabeth comes home and notices Josh is being weird (er than usual *rim shot*) but doesn’t press him too much about it because let’s face it, he’s a moody douchebag almost always and who really wants to talk to him any longer than absolutely necessary.
At the Bar of Thieves and Thuggery, Josh has Boylan make a copy of the badge and also fix it so its use is not traceable back to Elisabeth. Boylan finishes his work and then gives Josh a low level stun gun … just in case.
The Infirmary Break-In. Master criminal Josh bashes in the window of the infirmary and once at the meds lock-up, finds that the rejiggered badge doesn’t work. Being a complete idiot, Josh shoots his sonic blaster gun at point blank range into the lock-up’s door. This has the intended affect of opening the door but also throws him across the room … which makes it totally worth it for me. He recovers himself and gets to stealing the Azameth.
Taylor finds Curran. Curran is asleep and also, is rocking a nasty, festering leg wound.
Wash is lightly chastising Jim for leaving Taylor OTG and they ponder what he’ll do to Curran. Wash is glad Jim is back in any case because there was a break-in at the infirmary, go check it out. At the crime scene, Jim “the Master Detective” Shannon deduces that the criminal came in through the window. Did the broken shards of glass and gaping hole tip you off Captain Obvious? He also makes the leap that this was a targeted attack since they knew right where to go and what to take. Elisabeth exposits that every bottle of Azameth was taken (I’m not sure you needed to take EVERY bottle of the stuff Josh, geez!) Jim’s not surprised at this news given the drug’s “high street value.” I’m sorry, are we in inner city Baltimore or an idyllic new world? Is there a big narcotic drug ring in Terra Nova because if so, Taylor needs to get his house in order stat? Elisabeth, hearing me mock her husband, makes my point for me. Jim says that whoever committed the break-in is hurting this morning (and is maybe also an idiot, douchebag) because the blowback from a sonic pistol in an enclosed area at close range would mess you up. Also, using a sonic pistol in this manner is a sign of being “high, drunk or desperate.” Or an idiot douchebag, don’t forget that choice Jim!! We cut to Josh checking out his gnarly bruises.
Malcolm is snotting about “Horton” not having turned in his preliminary report. How can Malcolm allocate his resources without a report dummy! Horton completely dismisses him but Malcolm snits that if “Horton” doesn’t have his report in by Monday, Malcolm will cut his funding. He then says “nanny, nanny, poo poo.” After he leaves Maddy asks “Horton” for her letter back. “Horton” pretends to have lost it and Maddy plays it cool. As she walks Zoe to school, she is talking out loud about why “Horton” would lie about losing the letter? She continues to reason it out, if the signatures don’t match because of his stroke, then what’s the big fucking deal, you know? The good advice train keeps on coming when Zoe thinks Maddy should trick “Horton” into eating garlic … you, know, the whole vampire thing.
Taylor is sharpening a futuristic knife (you’d think technology would have made knife sharpening obsolete) and gives Curran a drink for his leg infection. Because he’s the badass leader of a prehistoric yet futuristic colony of warriors and such, Taylor knows exactly what ate Curran. For our benefit then, Curran confirms that an ancestral kimodo dragon took one bite of him and then left (Curran was trying to set a trap; how’d that work out for your dummy?). Taylor informs Curran that the kimodo didn’t leave him, he is simply tracking Curran. You see, kimodo is a coward; its waiting for Curran to be sufficiently weak from the infection it administered to Curran when it bit him (via special ducts under its tongue that release a special bacteria) and then it will come kill him. Thanks for the info gloomy gus.
Having changed into Spy Maddy mode, the middle Shannon child breaks into “Horton’s” lab after he leaves and begins tossing the place. She starts going through his garbage and finds burnt shreds of her letter. When of course, “Horton” returns. Maddy ducks under neath a desk and spies the action from knee level. We see “Horton” put down his cane and resume a very normal walk. “Horton” finds whatever he was looking for and this time on his way out, remembers to grab his trash. Maddy watches him grab his cane and transform back into the slow shuffling gait character. Maddy looks pretty terrified.
Jim and Elisabeth and Josh are gardening and the adults are talking about what kind of douchebag steals meds from people that need them. Elisabeth really hopes they find some of the Azameth left over because she has a patient who will die without a small dosage of the stuff. Josh loses it and snits away complaining about how its stupid that they don’t have a way of talking to 2149 (this is after Elisabeth tells him that she’ll have to wait for the 11th Pilgrimage just to requisition the drug, let alone get a new supply). Understanding he’s a douchebag, they don’t really worry when he stomps off. And again, a Josh walking away from you is a Josh heading in the right direction, amI right?!?
Maddy is still bouncing ideas off Zoe. She had now moved on to the stroke being a cover for his continuity mistakes (maybe that was Pan Am‘s problem?). She has figured out that someone stole Horton’s identity and paid a “facer” to make him look like Horton. Zoe likes this idea because it explains how he got rid of his fangs. Yeah, its all coming together. Maddy tells Zoe she sounds crazy and please just don’t embarrass the family when you’re in school by talking the crazy talk. But then she calls herself out for being crazy (i.e., the facer/stolen identity scenario … except she’s probably right). Her final piece of investigation sleuthing for this scene involves figuring out she can compare the real Horton’s DNA from the envelope he licked when he sent her the response letter years ago, against a sample from new “Horton.”
The next day out in the field, Horton comes up with the identity of the scientist he couldn’t remember the day before and Maddy plays it off like she can’t remember why she was asking in the first place. Having received her next work task she takes her leave of “Horton” (and swipes his mug at the same time). In Malcolm’s lab, Maddy is running a DNA comparison when Malcolm catches her right in the act. Sure Malcolm, the teenager has a viable reason for using this highly sensitive machine. Obviously she is doing something wrong dummy! She stammers a bit in face of his “this is a major privacy violation you’re committing” and then comes clean on her theory that “Horton” is a fake. This is all Malcolm needs to hear before shoving her aside to take over the testing himself.
Josh is stealing back some of the Azameth when Boylan comes to give him the final details on the girlfriend smuggling plan. By the way, good idea keeping the stolen medicine in a bag in an unlocked cabinet under the bar at the Bar of Thieves and Thuggery. Buit I digress. Boylan is dropping the meds off with Mira and then she’ll let Boylan speak to his people in 2149 and Kara will officially come over on the 11th Pilgrimage. Josh is visibly relieved. But then turns serious and tells Boylan that Jim won’t stop until he gets an answer to the Azameth theft. Boylan reminds him the truth would be very bad for business and but then gets an idea. Boylan cuts Josh loose fore the night so he can go home and play the dutiful son. Once he’s gone, Boylan turns to Willy (the deadbet from earlier) and offers him a chance to square his debt. Owing money together with the loaded sonic pistol will make a formidable offer I think.
Back at Malcolm’s lab, he tells Maddy that the DNA samples match. Malcolm is bummed that he’ll have to keep being “Horton’s” bitch. “Horton” is eavesdropping on this entire conversation.
Willy is being looked at by Elisabeth who has called Jim over to interview him. Seems Willy has bruising consistent with a sonic blast and says he fell down some stairs on the same night as the robbery. He’s also high on Azameth. Case solved! She tells him that if he funds any leftover Azameth at Willy’s place, please bring it to her because her patient is due for another treatment soon.
Out in the C Plot Forest, Taylor gets in the kimodo’s face when it creeps in for the Curran kill and they literally yell at each other for an hour. The kimodo is flexing its skin mane and Taylor is tossing fire torches back and forth between his hands. Its probably a mating ritual. The kimodo backs down.
Curran wakes up and Taylor tells him that the kimodo is a coward and you face down cowards. By the way, Taylor totally has a nefarious plan for Curran, which is why he has been working to save him all episode. Taylor gives Curran the coordinates for a place near the Sixer camp. They’ll find him. Taylor wants Curran to infiltrate their group and find out the identity of Mira’s Terra Nova spy. Taylor thinks they’ll accept him because Curran killed a Terra Novan and they’ll know that. The alternative to this plan, Curran, is that Taylor will find you again and kill you. Easy peezy!
Maddy and Zoe. Maddy is near the end of her sleuthing journey and puts together that Horton’s assistant would have mailed the Horton letter (and therefore licked the envelope). If the assistant was impersonating Horton, it would explain why the DNA matches but not the signatures. Conclusion: The assistant stole Horton’s identity to get to Terra Nova. From Zoe’s Point of View, this makes them both vampires. In The Eye, Maddy is researching Horton’s assistant, Andrew Fickett. She estimates they are of the same height, age, and build. Fickett’s whereabouts are unknown and his activity in the world fell off right before Horton’s pilgrimage. Maddy looks at crimes around that same time and finds a man was killed and all avenues of identification were stripped from his body. Eeek. Not only did Fickett steal Horton’s identity, but he killed him also. Which of course is when “Horton” makes his presence known. Luckily a guy walks in for his The Eye reservation thereby giving Maddy a chance to escape. Once she is back above ground, she hightails it out of there.
At Willy’s Abode, Jim and Wash report that they only found one empty bottle so where is the stash Willy? After saying he used all of it (you’d be in a coma), he switches his story he sold all of it (to a guy who’s name he doesn’t remember). Also, Will seems to be looking forward to being arrested and Jim picks up on this strange behavior. Jim asks Willy who he’s covering for and pokes him with a stick a few times. Willy gives up Boylan.
Maddy goes to Zoe’s school to find out that “Horton” picked her up. She deduces they went to the apple orchards. Once there, “Horton” makes Maddy give Zoe a task so that they can have a chance to talk privately. Maddy tells Zoe to run home and give their dad an important message, “that she’ll be home in plenty of time to make the asparagus. “ Man, that sentence and its delivery smacks of codewords. Zoe runs off to do as she’s told. She returns to the house just as Jim is headed off to arrest Boylan, but stops to hear her out when he realizes
primary caregiver Maddy is not with Zoe. Back in the orchard of death, Maddy throws an elbow into “Horton’s”stomach and takes off running. Running through the orchard, running through the orchard, running through the orchard. Until she trips over a root. When she rolls over, “Horton” pins her down with his stick (not a euphemism) and says he can’t let her go.
When we return, Horton has moved Maddy up against a tree and is binding her up. She is empathizing with him; that she understands living in the shadows, not getting any credit for doing “Horton’s” work. She promises to keep his secret since Terra Nova is all about starting over but “Horton” realizes that Horton was her hero and she’d never let it go. No, sorry, “Horton” needs to have this super deadly spider bite Maddy. Jim shows up and decks “Horton” just in the nick of time.
Wrap Ups! Elisabeth and Jim are discussing his awesome paranoia and how his panic words saved their daughter’s life today. “Asparagus” was the codeword. Elisabeth asks Maddy what she was thinking and why didn’t she say anything. Um, Maddy says she did say something (the “idiot” is implied) but Elisabeth didn’t listen. Elisabeth turns it back on her that she has to make Elisabeth listen or go to her father. For his part, Jim’s proud of Maddy for sticking to her gut. Josh comes in and puts an Azameth bottle on the table. Maddy hightails it out of there to resume being Zoe’s
primary caregiver sister and the Josh Inquisition begins. Elisabeth asks if (a) he used the drug?; (b) Sell the drug? Josh’s answer that he gave it to the Sixers blows them away. Jim flips out and Josh confesses that they promised to bring Kara through the portal. When Jim says he’s a dumbass, Josh gives up Boylan as having told him the Sixers can do this.
At the Bar of Thieves and Thuggery, Jim is roughing Boylan up for getting Josh caught up with the Sixers and with this bullshit story about talking to the future. Boylan says he’s a man of many thing but he’s not a liar (except for the whole lie to Willy on the insufficiency of payment earlier). He tells Jim that Mira can talk to the future (also, your dipshit son came to me and I helped solve his problem).
Taylor is telling Jim that the portal has to be open to talk with 2149. Jim lays some knowledge on Taylor that the Sixers have gotten around that problem. Taylor says it must be Lucas that solved the issue. He’s a genius and the sole reason he was recruited to Terra Nova was to come up with a way to speak with Hope Plaza between Pilgrimages. Jim thinks maybe the Sixers forced Lucas to work for them but Taylor clearly thinks this is a voluntary act on his part. Jim thinks at least this means Lucas is probably still alive and maybe you can get him out and bring him back home. Taylor says there is no nce of that, no chance at all. When Jim asks how he knows this so certainly, Taylor responds with a question, “how are things with Jim and Josh. “ Jim admits they could be better. Taylor responds with “fathers and sons … Let me put it this way, be grateful that the worse you have to worry about is Josh getting in over his head over a girl.” I am very much looking forward to the Taylor/Lucas backstory. Its going to be epic!
Final scene, the apple orchard has come back to life. Maddy picks a giant red apple and looks about wistfully as beetles fly all around.