Monday, October 31, 2011

Terra Nova: Season 1 Episode 6 - Bylaw

Seems like ages since we've visited Terra Nova, hasn't it?  We'll, we're back and for the most anti-climatic murder mystery of the ages!  One big misdirection after another and then a random resolution!  But that's not all!  More teen angst and the story of getting a pet Dino!  (I was a few episodes off on my Flintstones prediction which I don't remember if I made vocal then)   Don't get me wrong, it wasn't an awful episode, but it was far from fantastic.  And the worst part?  There weren't many memorable cheesy lines to talk about either!  But I'll figure out something for currently the only redeeming part of this weekly recap!  The show is still entertaining as a Family Sci-Fi action romp.  But, for anyone looking for more meaty mythological brain dumps, it's still just scratching the surface.  There are promises that it's coming though!   But for now, let's work with what we got this week!

Murder Mystery
Now folks, I consider myself a fairly intelligent person.  But if any of you can assemble any sense of logic to how this mystery played out,  well kudos to you!   The cold open of the episode was dedicated to random red shirt Terra Nova Trooper going to check out some power grid.  There was supposed to be some dude in this station but he wouldn't respond to Red Shirt's trash talking.  So Red Shirt opened door and BAM....SHARK-O-SAUR  (yep, I'm still refusing to call them by these randomly made up names they keep coming up with each week).   

So, if Jim wasn't on board with the Terra Novians, they would have chalked this whole thing up to the Shark-o-saur craving human flesh instead of the local endangered Egg-O-Saurs.  (get it? Because they were still unhatched!)  But things just didn't add up for Jim.  There were scratches on the inside of the door and that spelled murder!!  Taylor decides to let Jim investigate this.  Jim and Wash go to the local pub (or as we like to refer to it...COCKTAILS AND DREAMS: Nova Edition) to question Red Shirt's fellow watering hole soldiers, including Maddie's courting boyfriend Reynolds.  They said that Red Shirt was always checking out his "TAG" where he stashed illegal pictures of the girl he loves on there.   

Cue, ridiculous chase for the Shark-o-saur that ate Red Shirt guy's tag (which naturally had a GPS trace on it).  Did I mention this Shark-like Dino can climb trees?  Pretty nifty!   No matter, Taylor still gets his shot and the gut the crazy Dino!  This leads them to Mess Hall Lady.  And here is where we spend a majority of the episode following Mess Hall Lady and her Green Card relationship with Average Joe Husband who won the 7th Pilgrimage lottery and a girl to go with.  Average Joe knew Mess Hall Lady was screwing around on him and so he admitted to killing Red Shirt Guy.   (Can you tell I didn't care to learn anyone's names?)   Of course, we knew it really couldn't be Average Joe because the episode wasn't even halfway over yet but we played along anyway.  We played along with Taylor getting all conflicted about sending someone out into the wilderness to fend for themselves (as it says in the "By-Law" of Terra Nova).   But they sent him out there anyway.  Fortunately for Average Joe, Elisabeth argued with Jim about bringing a bit of civilized justice to this prehistoric Western.  She thought that maybe he was taking the fall for Mess Hall Lady.  And so there was the big production of sending Average Joe out into the wilderness for 5 minutes.  But Jim went out and got him.  And of course, he admits to talking the fall for Mess Hall Lady.   He sneaks him back into Terra Nova, and she says that she did not kill Red Shirt guy.  And naturally, they take her word for it.  And she freely talks about her affair but that she was glad it was over.  And now she's all in love with Average Joe for taking the fall for her when he thought she did it.  REALLY!?!?!?   


So, the bar scene followed by the dino chase for a tag that led them to a woman which led to a man falsely testifying led to a broken marriage reconciling and leading to ANOTHER lead that eventually led to the real murderer.   Yep, I didn't make that up.  Mess Hall Lady mentions in passing that Red Shirt guy was getting too much into gambling lately.  Gambling at "COCKTAILS AND DREAMS!!!?  So then they pretend to the audience and to the real murderer that Boylan, the bartender, is the man who is guilty of the murder.  He allows this illegal gambling to take place and they stage this ridiculous arrest and question him in front of Taylor, Jim and Wash and 2 soldiers at attention. (Reynolds and 1st episode solider: Curren)

So, there's another scene were they go back to try and find the books to see who owes money and they bring the troops with them.  There is a sub-plot here with Josh getting caught working in the bar, but we'll get there.  Curren claims that the ledger definitely isn't there.  And right on cue, Reynolds shows up pretending that Boylan has broken free (Kudos to Reynolds to getting all bloodied up for the show!) and fled Terra Nova.   But really it was all staged to get Jim, Taylor and Trooper Curren out in the open.  Yep, they found their man, complete with the ledgers (showing his gambling debt) hidden in his jacket.  The ruse finally turned up the right guy.  He put up a big fight for awhile saying it wasn't him and then he tried to shoot Jim and Taylor.  Of course, his gun wasn't active!!  Duh, textbook move.  So, he had no choice but to go fend for himself in the wilderness,  of course only after Taylor gets a few good shots in.   And Taylor was going to rest easy that night knowing that they made the right move. 

Bizarre, right? bizarre.  I guess there's always a chance that this Curren guy could end up with the Sixers, but it seemed like a one-off story to me.  And it just seemed ALL over the place. But whatever!!  Let's move on to the other stuff.      

Save the Dinosaurs
So at the site of the murder, Malcolm did recover one of the unhatched "egg-o-saurs".   Naturally, Zoe just happened to be there to see it and immediately grew attached.  Now, I did think in that first non-pilot episode with the killer bird-o-saurs that the Shannon family would eventually end up with a pet dinosaur just like Fred and Wilma had.  So, I was just a few episodes too late.  

We do see Malcolm and Elisabeth spending some time together and Malcolm trying to flirt with her as she surgically fixes the dino in the broken egg.  Long story short, the baby dino hatches and Zoe wants to keep him!   And there you go.  Pet Dino! 

Josh and the Girlfriend(s) Plot
So Boylan started putting his "master plan" into action with Josh this episode.  He told Josh that he would need to leave Terra Nova to have a meeting with Mira if he ever wanted his girl to come to Terra Nova.  Naturally, Skye thinks this is a ridiculous idea and he needs to give it up.  Josh starts going into his friends committing suicide because of how bad 2149 is.  He needs to get that girl out of there!  So, in a moment that we all could have written into the scrip, Skye volunteers to come along.  I would have went with "Okay, but I'm going with you" but she opted for "Okay, but you're not going alone".   I feel these can be interchanged in any "you're in over your head" TV Mission.  

But the "meet" almost didn't happen because Josh got caught working at the Peach Pit After Dark when Jim's case brought him to the club.  Jim tries to make him quit which gets into some more Teenage Rebellion.  We'll get into specifics in the Cheesy Lines category.  But by the end of the episode, Jim is wooed by Josh's mad skills on the 6 string.  First Skye, now Jim?  That boy can play, can't he!?  Anyway, he lets him return to the job but asks Josh to not keep any secrets in the Shannon family.  And with that Josh keeps the biggest secret of all about his venture out of the Terra Nova borders! 

Boylan isn't too thrilled that Josh brought Skye along for the trip but is convinced it's for the best.  They get surrounded by Mira's Sixer crew.  (Thank God he had Skye there to steer them away from that ambush!)  Basically, all of this drama of going outside of the gates was all for Mira to tell him one thing.  She'll get the girl to Terra Nova, but in return he has to agree to do something she asks of him at a later time.  Woa, how ominous!  Obviously, this will be something that will be in direct conflict with Jim, Taylor and the popular opinions of Terra Nova.   Skye shakes her head giving Josh the advice he should take.  But Josh stutters a Yes in agreement.  And there you go!  He is bound to the laws of the land to do Mira's bidding!   But no fear, he'll have bigger issues with his love triangle anyway! 

Cheesy Lines/Moments of the Week
  • The whole Average Joe/Mess Hall Lady reconciliation ranks up there with the best of them.  But Taylor and Jim's conversation about it pretty much put the cherry on top.  "If that ain't love!"  

  • Josh arguing with Jim about trying to make something of himself and when he goes out there and gets a job he is told he's doing the wrong thing.  His big walk off statement?  "Better get your stories straight!"    Hey, I told you it was a rough episode for classic lines! 
  • In that final sequence with Mira.  "So, you're the cop's kid?"  "Or Josh, but cop's kid works."  Ouch. 
  • When Jim comes to join Elisabeth and Zoe for the hatching, Elisabeth shushes him to keep it down.  Did anyone else see that silly tip-toe strut he did?   

  • And if that wasn't enough, to show his manly jealousy he asked where Elisabeth's ex-boyfriend was by saying, "Where's Malcolmus??"   And that, my friends was probably the winner of the week! 
So, that's all I got kids!  Like I said, the episode was entertaining but for recapping purposes, it's really hard to take it too seriously as of now.  I think we're halfway through this first season's run, so things should be amping up pretty soon.  The ratings are pretty decent, so we'll see what comes in the 2nd half!

I wrote this next paragraph on The Walking Dead post this morning, but it's still an important reminder about some upcoming posts!   Just a heads up, I will be recapping next week's episode but I'll be out of town on "baby business" the weekend after.  I did warn you all that this was coming!  Anyway, there's a chance I may miss out on ALL recaps for the 11/11-11/14 timeframe (Fringe, Terra Nova, Walking Dead).  Maybe I'll try to post something quick about all 3 episodes in one post when I return. But, I'm sure this is just one of many roadblocks I'll soon be facing.   I'll try my best to keep the commentary going though!

And that's it!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 

End Credits
  • This season I will be recapping FringeTerra NovaThe Walking Dead and Alcatraz. If one of these new shows ends up not doing well, I may bail on it quickly. This could make room for a show that DOES end up doing well!
  • The Walking Dead season 1 is a quick 6 episode watch. It is now available on Netflix streaming, at Redbox. I highly recommend the view!
  • See trailers for the Mid-Season shows I'm looking forward to: Alcatraz, Awake and Touch. I doubt I'll have time to recap them all but they will most likely be discussed on this blog!
  • As always, there are other shows that I watch as well and would be happy to discuss with all of you. For a complete list by day, you can check out my "FALL TV" post.


Kelly said...

Hey Mike! I half-watched the first part of the episode since I was making dinner at the time. I do remember a cheesy exchange with that no-legged guy. When Taylor banished Average Joe, No-Legs said something about the guy having to fend for himself. I don't remember his exact words (darn), but I remember it being very cheesy, lol!
This show doesn't hold a candle to the other shows I've been watching this season. But you're right, it's not one to take seriously, so as long as I have nothing to do on Monday nights I'll watch. Jeez, I need to get a hobby!
Peach Pit After Dark? YES!! Hilarious!
I thought it was a very "blah" episode. Did they really have to go through that convoluted scheme to get the soldier guy to confess? I mean, come on! I'm with you- I'm a smart person, but that was a weird series of events that didn't make much sense to me.
Ok, so dinos are reptiles, right? Don't reptiles have soft, leathery eggs? Or was my 3rd grade teacher lying to me? Anyhoo, not a big gripe, I just love to poke holes in shows like this. It takes itself too seriously most of the time, therefore I make it a mission to make fun of it, lol. Once Upon a Time takes itself too seriously, too.. except for Emma's character. She is the cynic that we all need to have in that show!
So I'm sure we'll be posting and all that jazz before you do yo' baby business, but in case I don't- GOOD LUCK!!

Leslie said...

I agree it wasn't the best episode and was kinda "blah" like Kelly said. I confirmed that thought when reading your recap was more interesting than the show which seemed like it could have been done in 30 minutes, and we wouldn't have missed much! My favorite...Cocktails and Dreams! Ah, good times!

Mike V. said...

@Kelly/Leslie - Thanks for loving my cheesy movie/TV bar name humor! lol And as I've mentioned previously...sometimes it's kinda fun to recap these types of shows because I can pretty much write whatever I want! Whereas LOST...we had to dissect every scene and question everything! (fun as well in a different respect...and very time consuming!! lol)

I think I remember the scene you're referring to Kelly with the crippled guy. He essentially challenged Taylor's decision. I guess that could have made the all-time cheese list too! lol Interesting call with the Leathery eggs! I don't really remember that but you're probably right. lol

I think for the most part Terra Nova has NOT taken itself so seriously...maybe this was the first time when it was "more" of a serious-type plot. ONCE - yeah....I dunno about that one either...but I do agree that the show needs a cynic. It's the same strategy the LOST crew took with Sawyer during the time travel season. As long as there is one character that doesn't totally buy into the mumbo jumbo...the fans can grasp the idea too! I wonder where Eddie/Adam got THAT idea!! :-) lol

Anyway...thanks for the luck on the Baby business! Just to be's just back to back showers this weekend and next weekend. (next weekend is out of town with my wife's family/friends which is why recapping would be tough lol) Baby isn't due until the end of the year/early next year. But it's definitely creeping up!!

MJ said...

The only good thing I can say is that the special effects on the dino-surgery were cool. That's it.

Like - teach your kid this is a donosaur and dino = bad, not cute.

There was a show quite awhile ago that had some kid in fla find some alien lizard thing that he was hiding and keeping as a pet. It was really lame and now this is going there.

Mike V. said...

The Dino Surgery effects were pretty cool, I'll give you that. Well...I guess they're thinking a pet dinosaur can be trained to be good from birth maybe? lol Then again, Elisabeth did say "for now" I guess they're setting up a story where they eventually have to let it go into the wild. I could see the dinosaur always being loyal to Zoe even if it is set free or something. Regardless, of course it's totally cheesy!! I don't remember the alien lizard show!! lol

Kelly said...

MJ, do you mean Denver the Last Dinosaur? LOL, j/k!

Mike V. said...

LOL that's fantastic. I may be dating myself but anyone remember this one?

Ahhh Saturday Mornings didn't get much better back then!

BTW, Kelly we have started our SOA conversation in the latest TWD post. lol

MJ said...

No Kelly I don't remember that one ! LOL

OMG ! We need to talk AHS. I'll go over to TWD to see if you have started AHS over there !

Kelly said...

hmm... Dinosaucers sounds sooo familiar, but that intro didn't bring any memories back. But I'm sure I watched it- I was the queen of Saturday morning TV!

I'll head on over to the other discussion to chat about my other obsessions, lol