TERRA NOVA: No Proof of Performance Yet

banner_recapTERRA NOVA
Season 1, episode 7: “Proof”

Watch out for those SPOILERS!

[All photos: FOX]

Let’s go fishing! Giant prehistoric marlin fishing, that is. On TERRA NOVA it’s time for a little R&R and male bonding between Commander Taylor and Jim. Taylor begins talking about his son Lucas, Jim picks up the thread, and then Taylor announces that he doesn’t want to talk about his son. (Talk about your mixed messages. This “missing rebel son” plotline has been so drawn out and so badly written that I don’t even care why the guy might have left anymore.)

Taylor (Stephen Lang, L) and Jim (Jason O’Mara, R) enjoy some much needed R&R. I hope they remembered the beer. © 2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jasin Boland/FOX

Black Market Bad Guy Bar Owner Boylan (the only guy in this show who warrants an interesting backstory IMHO and the only one that we will probably never learn anything about) tells Josh that the Sixers need “medicine” and wants him to rob his mom’s infirmary for it. Skye is opposed to the idea of theft, and doubts Boylan’s honesty (wise, wise girl).

Doc Liz takes Maddy along to meet one of Terra Nova’s top scientists and the author of Maddy’s favorite book, “Atlas of the Long Forgotten World”, Professor Kenneth Horton, who has just returned from some extended research excursion OTG. (We’re supposed to know that he’s a “really smart guy” because he has a British accent, you see. All the Brits on this show are the geniuses and all the Aussies are the bad guys. Geez, let’s hear it for ridiculous stereotype perpetuation!) Maddy oozes fangirliness on him and just like that Horton decides to make her one of his interns. Because you can’t have too many fawning sycophants around, I guess. Later she even quotes some of his first book back to him, but when he doesn’t recognize the quote she immediately begins to wonder if he is who he says he is. Because a 15-year-old girl is the only one who can detect that something is wrong with this guy. (You know how this is going to end up, don’t you? Yes, you do.)

Josh goes OTG AGAIN (which everyone on this show seems to do at the drop of a hat although we keep getting told they’re never supposed to do that) and confronts Sixer leader Mira for some proof that she can truly contact his girlfriend Kara in 2149. (For folks who want to stay hidden, these Sixers sure have a lot of people knowing the location of their “secret camp”. Even I think I could find it by now.) He finally gets to talk to Kara for a few moments via some mysterious communication device that isn’t supposed to exist, and is sufficiently convinced Mira can do what she says she can, so he agrees to steal the drugs (Stupid, stupid kid).

On the way back from their fishing trip, Sheriff Taylor and Opie, oh I mean Taylor and Jim come across a smoldering campfire and some Terra Nova MREs and deduce that ex-TN soldier Curran who was exiled for murder a couple of eps ago is somewhere in the vicinity. (Told ya he’d be back!)

Maddy (Naomi Scott, L) interns with the colony’s greatest scientist (guest star Robert Coleby, R). Or not. ©Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Brook Rushton/FOX

Maddy and Horton inspect a moldy apple orchard and she tries heavy-handed cross-questioning on him in an effort to trip him up and discover his “secret”. Dodging her queries about his past work with “I don’t remember” answers, Hunter moves off to release some prehistoric beetles so they can eat the mold covering the apples. Then some very slow-moving CGI beetles which must have been designed by people who have probably never seen a real beetle flying like I have, go at it. Maddy starts confiding her suspicions about Horton to little sister Zoe, which seems pretty stupid, if you ask me. In my experience, six-year-olds rarely have all the answers.

Josh steals his mum’s ID badge for Boylan to magically clone, then goes off to rob the infirmary armed with a sonic pistol gun. The ID ends up not opening the med cabinet lock after all, so Josh blasts it, getting badly bruised in the process, and grabs all the Azimeth drug (it has meth in the name so you know it can’t be a nice drug, right?).

Josh (Landon Liboiron) steals (and inexplicably dons completely unnecessary headgear) in order to bring his girlfriend to Terra Nova. ©Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Brook Rushton/FOX

Jim and Taylor find the injured Curran out in the wild. He has been bitten and so poisoned by an “Ancestral Komodo Dragon”, which Taylor says is still tracking him. Taylor sends Jim back to Terra Nova and stays behind (because he wants something from Curran, of course). That night Taylor fights off the hungry Green-Screen Komodo Dragon with a just a flaming torch and a big knife (really, I could not make this stuff up! Oh, Stephen Lang, I feel so, so sorry for you right now. I really hope your next TV series is better than this pap.)

Taylor (Stephen Lang) fights a Komodo Dragon (and the death of his serious acting career).  ©Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Brook Rushton/FOX

You see, Taylor wants to save Curran because he needs him to infiltrate the Sixers group and thereby get his own little spy into their camp. Poor Curran gets threatened with more bodily harm if he doesn’t comply, so he agrees. (Now if I were Curran, who has already been ridiculed, beaten up a couple of times and exiled for murder by Taylor, and has absolutely nothing left to lose, I would go straight to Mira and tell him Taylor’s plan and become a double agent. But that’s just me.)

Maddy, still suspecting that Horton is not the real Horton, and may have even used a “Facer” (plastic surgeon) to impersonate the professor, decides to test his DNA. Malcolm catches her using the DNA scanner illegally and instead of yelling at her, assists her (A little professional jealousy there? Terra Nova not big enough for two Brit smartypants?) But the DNA shows that Horton is Horton after all. Or at least the DNA matches what they have on file. But Maddy still thinks he’s an imposter.

Boylan tells Josh that his GF Kara will be coming to Terra Nova in the 11th Pilgrimage, and sets up a drug-addled stooge to take the rap for the meds robbery that Josh committed. But the stooge immediately caves due to some finger-bending torture by Jim and admits Boylan made him lie. (Yes, Jim is such a good role model there, let’s beat the truth out of all of our suspects.)

Maddy goes to the EYE Library to secretly research Horton and figures out that “Horton” is really Horton’s assistant and that he had killed the real Professor and stolen his identity. The fake “Horton” catches her there but is interrupted, and so swipes little sister Zoe after school and takes her to the orchard in a successful effort to lure the his suspicious intern there and try to do away with her. But Maddy has sent Zoe off with a coded message for Dad Jim who immediately comes to her rescue. So, no poison spider bite death for you, Maddy! (You can almost hear Horton saying, “I might have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for that meddling kid!”) Oh, and Jim pops him one, because he hits everybody on this show.

Later Josh walks in on mom and dad’s little “we should have listened to you in the first place” Afterschool Special moment with Maddy, sets a vial of Azimeth on the table and admits to the robbery, ratting out Boylan in the process. Cut to a little more Boylan-beating and he readily admits that Mira can talk to 2149 despite the fact that TPTB say that is impossible. Taylor lets drop that his genius son Lucas was originally recruited for TN in order to find a way to communicate with Hope Plaza (home of future Earth’s leaders) back in 2149. Jim wonders out loud if the Sixers have Lucas, and could this be “a chance to bring him back home?” Taylor doubts this, darkly admitting that he and Lucas aren’t on the best of terms, and adds, “Maybe you should be grateful that the worst you have to worry about is your boy getting in over his head because of a girl.”

The mold-eating beetles in that apple orchard have done their work well, and we end with Maddy picking a now tasty-looking apple and smiling. Since this is the place where she was almost just offed by a killer I find it odd that she hangs out there now for the happy memories, but hey, I don’t write these scripts, do I?

My take?  This show is getting even more juvenile by the moment. It seemed ludicrous to me that Maddy should be the person who suspected and proved that the scientist was not who he said he was just because he couldn’t remember his own books word for word. And by stealing all of those drugs, misguided son Josh has in effect committed an act of treason, yet will probably only get a slap on the wrist next week, when he really deserves prison. Who is writing these stories? 12-year-olds?

[Official Show Site on FOX]

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