Fox’s Terra Nova wrapped up its maiden voyage on Monday night with back-to-back hours titled, fittingly, “Occupation” and “Resistance.” But while the show pulled out all the stops with its finale, was it enough to make you scream for a Season 2?
“Occupation” kicked off with Terra Nova awaiting-slash-dreading the arrival of the 11th pilgrimage, which would either be 100 new friendlies or the Phoenix Group private army en route to enforce Lucas and Mira’s takeover of the colony and thus the prehistoric world’s natural riches. And indeed, the seventh or so person to pass through was a suicide bomber whose explosive vest destroyed the portal, thus allowing the army to arrive under cover elsewhere and promptly overthrow Taylor’s regime.
Jim learned all this upon waking from the blast three days later, where he found a trampled, torched and tattered Terra Nova, with Taylor nowhere to be found. Soon enough, thanks to a (somewhat improbably discovered) clue, Jim tracked down Taylor, and with ample help from Wash, began to plan to fight back.
While Mira was sent to scout out the presumed barren Badlands area of the territory, Lucas attempted to bond with his “sister,” Skye, with whom he obviously hoped to get… closer, like on a Deb/Dex level. The Taylor punk’s interest would pay off later when Josh came thisclose to getting the tar completely beat out of him at Boylan’s bar. Instead, Skye begged him not to, so instead Lucas tortured Jim for his father’s whereabouts, after a rash of ambushes on Phoenix troops began to take their toll. Crafty Elisabeth, though, used the threat of a parasitic infection to compel the Phoenix Group point man, Weaver, into getting Jim sprung. (As Josh aptly nailed it: “Mom, that was awesome.”) Then, thanks to Walsh pinching an access card off a drunk soldier — and then her own sacrifice of life (tear) — the Shannons were able to escape the colony and rendezvous with Taylor, Reynolds et al in the forest, to plot the final strike.
The plan: Smuggle Jim back to 2149 in one of the Phoenix group’s cargo bins, where he would then plant an explosive to blow up Hope Plaza, thus cutting off Lucas and Mira from further reinforcements — though at the same time cutting the good guys off from new pilgrimages and supplies of meds and technology. To get Jim through, Skye helped Lucas’ transport get ambushed, though he later got the upper hand on her (boo) and headed for a final showdown with his dad.
Jim got through to Hope Plaza, where he set up Weaver to spring on his bosses another piece of unexpected cargo — a Carno, and an angry and hungry one at that. While the dino dined on greedy baddies, Jim set the bomb, then sprinted for the portal before he became dessert and before Hope Plaza want kaboom. Meanwhile, Taylor found and wailed on his boy, only to let a misplaced and horribly timed bit of sentimentality render him vulnerable to a stabbing. But before Lucas could dispatch with his dad completely, Skye got off two presumably fatal shots at “brother” dearest.
Coda: Jim made it through, and promptly reunited with Elisabeth. Mira seems mighty miffed that the portal is shut down, probably because she was itching to reunite with her daughter. Taylor survived the stabbing, though Lucas’ body (of course) went missing. And in the final non-treacly scene, Taylor, Jim, Elisabeth and Malcolm popped open the cargo bin containing Mira’s Badlands discovery — an aged, weathered ornamental prow from
the Black Rock an 18th-century ship. How it got to their prehistoric world — and why the remaining Phoenix troops made a beeline to the area where it was found — nobody knows.
What did you think of Terra Nova? Did the show’s stronger episodes outweigh the weaker links? And did the finale’s twists make you curious enough to hope for a Season 2 renewal of this OK-rated and very expensive series? (And if it were to come back, what changed would you like to see?)