The second episode of Fox’s new series Terra Nova aired tonight. While tonight’s episode wasn’t as exciting as last week, it still had plenty of action to hold your attention. The excitement focused more on the characters and the drama between them than hostility inside Terra Nova, but that hostility was certainly not absent. It turns out that Terra Nova is not only surrounded by a treacherous jungle full of prehistoric and downright terrifying creatures, but it is also the breeding ground for one of these creatures, one with wings. Despite everything happening with these winged monsters, personal drama still took the main focus of the episode.
Alright one thing I don’t get right away, in the beginning of the episode when they go out in the field to investigate the disappearance of two patrol guards, who were attacked before the opening credits, why is Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) the only one not wearing any type of body armor like everyone else. Not only is he not wearing any protection, but he is also armed with only a pistol while everyone else seems to be holding assault rifles. If he’s part of Nathaniel Taylor’s (Stephen Lang), team then why do they not even bother to give him the proper equipment? By the end of the episode he did have full armor but it still doesn’t make sense that he’s the only one wearing street clothes and has less firepower. Maybe that was done so that he would stand out among the other soldiers and Commander Taylor does say while they are still in the woods that “[he] is just a soldier while [Jim] is a man of the law.”
One thing that I really enjoyed with this episode was we got to see a whole lot more of the relationship between Jim Shannon and his wife Elisabeth (Shelley Conn), as well as her relationship with her colleague Dr. Malcolm Wallace (Rod Hallett). There is obviously tension between Elisabeth and Malcolm, and while both of them seem to be pretending to be oblivious especially towards Jim, he is no fool. His police instincts tell him right away that the tension he was feeling was a sexual one and gets Elisabeth to admit that she and Malcolm dated while they were in college together. Elisabeth seems to be the one the least bothered by all of this and blows all of it off as if it is nothing. Jim does seem to trust her, but clearly does not trust Malcolm. Once Commander Taylor informs him that Malcolm was the one who wrote the request to bring Elisabeth over Jim gets an idea in his head and runs with it. He seems convinced that Malcolm knew that Jim was in prison and tried to bring Elisabeth to Terra Nova without him. He could be right, but this episode certainly didn’t tell us. Maybe it was Malcolm who informed the authorities that the Shannon family had one child too many and was hiding her. I guess we just don’t know for now.
Many things that seemed like they would make an appearance were absent from this episode. The drawings were never touched on, and the Sixers were mentioned but never actually seen. The only problems that needed to be addressed were those nasty flying reptiles who were causing havoc all over the inside of Terra Nova. Once that problem was solved the show ended which kind of made me feel like this was a filler episode. The only thing we really gained from this was the introduction of Malcolm and tension he brings between Jim and Elisabeth. Other than that, the story just barely progressed which was just kind of disappointing to me. The episode was exciting and definitely held my attention but when it was all said and done I felt like I hadn’t really watched anything. There was a problem and they fixed it permanently so it really had nothing to add to the main story line. Hopefully next week we will see some progression.