‘Terra Nova’ 1.07 Recap: “It’s About to Get Ugly”

You know what the worst part of this week’s episode of ‘Terra Nova’ is? I couldn’t even find a decent quote to use in the headline for this post. The dialogue is so mundane that the clichéd line I eventually chose was really the best I could do. Ugh. Remind me why I’m still watching this.

Oh, right, because I enjoy mocking it. At least there’s some entertainment value to be gotten from the thing. All the money Fox has dumped into this must be good for something.

So, in ‘Nightfall’, a meteor zips by overhead and explodes in the sky above the colony. This causes an EMP blast that destroys all of the electronics in the area. (Is it really scientifically feasible for a meteor to cause an EMP? I have no idea.) The lack of power pretty much sucks for Jim and his young daughter Zoey, who get trapped in a sealed room called “The Eye” that contains a databank of all of the colony’s cumulative knowledge, accessible via a Holodeck-like VR interface. Fortunately, the Eye itself isn’t destroyed by the EMP, because it’s “shielded” and has its own backup power supply. But if that’s the case, why does it shut off during the blast, huh? And why doesn’t the colony shield any other critical backup systems that might be useful? Sloppy writing abounds here.

The situation also sucks for Jim’s older daughter Maddie, who has snuck outside the colony to have a picnic with her boyfriend, and now has no working jeep to drive back in. The kids’ll have to hike through the dinosaur-infested jungle, and cover themselves in “stink leaves” to avoid becoming dino chow.

And it also sucks for annoying teenage douchegag Josh’s almost-girlfriend Skye, whose BFF has a nasty tapeworm parasite that would normally be easy for Elisabeth to remove – if only her medical equipment was working. As it is, she’ll have to get it out the old fashioned way, by slowly winding it around a spool and pulling it out of the kid’s gut. Actually, Elisabeth gets kind of busy, so Skye has to do the icky worm removal herself.

The colony is basically in shambles. Aside from convenient “chem lamps” that provide enough non-electrical illumination for everyone who needs it, nothing else works. And because all of the Nerf guns have electronic firing pins, weapons are useless too. (More great planning, there.) The colonists have only the fence to protect them from dinosaurs, or from devious Sixer leader Mira, who decides that this would be the perfect time to launch an invasion on the colony so that she can get her special box back.

Fortunately, the colony has a wonderful computer chip replicator doodad that can fix everything – except its own chip, which is of course broken. The only man who can repair that? Conniving bar owner and black marketeer Boylan – the one man Commander Taylor trusts least of all.

Needless to say, Boylan gets the replicator fixed in time to save the kid with the tapeworm. (Skye does a pretty lousy job and nearly kills her friend.) And Taylor comes up with a clever solution to ward off a big dinosaur that Mira wrangles in the colony’s direction. He’s not able to stop Mira from stealing her box back, however. Later, we learn that the box was sent to her from the future, and is intended for Taylor’s AWOL son, Lucas, who comes out of hiding to claim it. Inside are technical plans for whatever secret project he’s been working on.

While ‘Nightfall’ isn’t quite as lame as the previous week’s dumb murder mystery episode, it’s still pretty damn lame on the whole. The dinosaur effects during the big raid are also some of the worst and cheesiest of the show’s run so far.

I’m getting pretty bored with the series. But since the short 13-episode season is already halfway over, I suppose that I might as well stick it out to see how it ends. I think it’s unlikely for renewal, but stranger things have happened.


  1. I’ve been wondering with Terra Nova… do you think it’s some kind of tax dodge/insurance fraud scheme, like The Producers? 😉

    It’s so formulaic and clichéd, so full of plot holes and logic gaps… But they’re also shockingly obvious and in your face, like someone literally sat down with a selection of “1001 plot clichés” and mixed ’em up each week? It’s like nobody wanted to make an effort. Even the effects guys.

    I think I could be on to something… 😉

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