Terra Nova: Enemy Mine

Wow, couldn't you just cut the tension in last night's episode of Terra Nova, "Now You See Me," with a wooden spoon? The show went for dessert first, giving us one of the series' biggest reveals thus far in the first few minutes of the episode, but castrated any power the secret had by unveiling it in the most unspectacular way possible. The mole who's been giving intel to the Sixers is: Skye!

And she's some sort of superspy, because she outsmarted Terra Nova's head of security and the colony's porous defense with all the tact of a two-year-old on a sugar high. Things started off with Jim closing in on the identity of the traitor, so obviously it was the perfect time for Commander Taylor to leave the colony for a little R&R;&SpyingOnHisLunaticSon; and put Jim in charge. After Jim ordered that all communications be sent over secure lines as a way to smoke out the perp, he noticed the old reflecting-light-from-a-mirror communication trick, which could only mean one thing: spy-jinx!

Usually shows like this would try to keep us guessing at the spy's identity until the very last moment, but not Terra Nova. Instead, the show revealed who it was early on and never caught her because... oh hell, I don't know. Perhaps the writers thought it would be too intense for children and people in hospital beds who can't change the channel. So that story was a lot of Skye messing up Jim's investigation through such elaborate plans as pretending to volunteer for ditch-digging duty, destroying unprotected evidence, and wearing a suspicious face all the time. I'm not saying Jim is a bad cop, I'm saying he's a terrible cop. (Remember when Jason O'Mara was on Life On Mars? He was a satisfactory cop back then. That series is worth checking out, btw; just don't watch the finale. You'll be much happier not knowing the mystery.)

But why would anyone ever turncoat on Terra Nova? Because of Contrived Plot #27: Skye's mom is sick (she's not dead!), and the only people who have medicine for the illness are the Sixers. In return for keeping mom alive, they demand intel. Just one of many conveniences used to move the plot along.

Jim never caught Skye, so the moral of the story was that Terra Nova's security team is so incredibly incompetent that a teenage girl can routinely steal secrets and hand them over the colony's mortal enemies. I have no idea why the show chose to reveal Skye as the spy so early if it wasn't going to add anything to the conversation later. It was like reading a book backward. And why would Skye, a spy and a traitor, pursue a friendship with the head of security's son? Why would Boylan, the shady bartender who steals for the Sixers, hire the head of security's son? I know Josh has a really cool haircut and can shred on the guitar, but come on, people! Use your noodles just a tiny bit! It's like everyone on this show is playing a game of chicken to see how stupid they can be.

As I've already noted, while the investigation of the century was going on, Taylor decided it was the perfect time to leave the colony. Yep, the guy who runs Terra Nova and is responsible for protecting it took off while the spy was oh-so-close to being identified. Let that sink in for half a second. Taylor set out on his own to check on the progress of his estranged son Lucas, who's been devising a way to make a portal go both ways, so people can return to 2149. To keep his dad updated on how he's doing, Lucas sketches complicated schematics on rocks where Taylor can find them. If he had as much drive to get his project done as he did saying to Taylor, "Nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo-doo," he'd be portaling back to 2149 by now.

Taylor arrived at the rocks only to be caught off guard by Mira, who was also checking on Lucas's sketches, and thus began Contrived Storyline #14, seen in the excellent Dennis Quaid/Louis Gossett Jr. film Enemy Mine and an episode of G.I. Joe: Two enemies must work together when stranded in the wilderness! They had some slap fights as they swapped the upper hand, but ultimately they teamed up to fight a couple dinosaurs and I swear Taylor even hit on Mira at one point. Aside from that, we didn't learn much except for Contrived Character Backstory #53: Mira is an ex-con with a sick daughter, and she's just doing what she can to show her kid a better life. Personally, I liked you better when you were a jungle psycho living in the trees, Mira. Can't anyone on this show just be a jerk?

Of course the best story of the episode involved Zoe (as always!). Her recuperating pet Ankylosaur Hank/Orville/Boxer got too big for the lab and had to be set free in the wild. So it was set free in the wild. Awww! I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Ankylosaurs are my favorite dinosaur, so in that sense, this was the best episode of Terra Nova ever. They're like the echidnas of the prehistoric world! Great, now I'm going to spend the rest of the day doing Google Image searches for baby echidnas.

All in all, a pretty horrible episode of Terra Nova, but a perfect lesson in "How To Suck All Suspense and Tension Out of an Episode of Television."

Notes:
– Maddy and Josh sat on the sidelines for the most part in this episode, and I never thought I'd say this, but I miss them both. Especially Josh. That guy does the most entertaining stupid things.

– I thought it was a real manly thing for Mark to tell Jim about his intentions for Maddy until I remembered she was 16. Mark, at least check out what the 12th Pilgrimage Facebook page looks like, first.

Star Trek reference! Elisabeth: "Jim, I'm a doctor not a chemist!" Now THAT may be the best thing Terra Nova has done since Josh's massive fail when he broke into the infirmary to steal stuff.

– Which glasses were better: Taylor's black motorcycle sunglasses or the neon green binoculars Jim and Mark used?

– The Asshole of the Episode Award goes to Jim, who convinced Malcolm to help him out with DNA testing by unnecessarily trashing his lab and breaking stuff. Jim, you can't just go to the local chemistry store and buy a new Bunsen burner! Jerk.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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KenneySills



this show needs time to fly.all I see is a bunch of "arm-chair warriors" haveing a good time picking it apart;looking for flaws.you can do that with anything you watch and if you paid attention,you would see the exellent "things of the heart" and humanity working to live to a higher code..but just like this world we live in,destructive people want to destroy mankinds only chance...maybe YOU should move to 2149 with the rest of yer' homies???
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this show needs time to fly.all I see is a bunch of "arm-chair warriors" haveing a good time picking it apart;looking for flaws.you can do that with anything you watch and if you paid attention,you would see the exellent "things of the heart" and humanity working to live to a higher code..but just like this world we live in,destructive people want to destroy mankinds only chance...maybe YOU should move to 2149 with the rest of yer' homies???
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Wouldn't it be an amazing move if the writers decided to change this into an sci-fi comedy? The bad writing is not bad...it's intentionally bad to make everyone laugh.
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Well Maddy IS pretty hot. Anyway there is something I really don't get about this show. Why do the two daughters have the same skin color as the mother, while the son is white like the father? When did humans become cats where the males get color patterns like the fathers and females the mothers?
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Of course the real reason Skye is the mole is because, having begun a tentative romance between her and whatsisname, which was never going anywhere because he's focused on getting his girlfriend out to TN, and with the imminent arrival of said girlfriend, they needed an excuse to get rid of Skye.
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the episode did suck......
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Tim, you are not knowledgeable and your critiques are childish at best. Stick to shows your better suited for like Glee and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. If I wanted to read a smarmy bitter hatchet job I'd read my ex-wife's blog.
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You know what I am super surprised about? This show is still in production and it might actually get picked up for a second season.
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Ok, so I google-imaged it, and clearly I was thinking of another dinosaur cuz stegosaurus looks totally different.....all those dinosaur books I used to read (errr, look at the pictures of) when I was a kid, and I can't tell my ankys from my stegys. For shame....
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I personally think this is a awesome show, why does there need to be a bad guy? it has dinosaurs, hot chicks and a military colony. what more do you guys need?
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This is by far the most boring thing I have ever seen . So after 2 episodes it is closing time for me . Just tried it cause I saw Steven Spielberg on the list.

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I bow before your greatness, Tim. This text was spot on, and also hilarious. Exactly what I wanted to say, but couldn't articulate.
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This show has some good points, but its negatives are starting to make it hard to watch. And the title sequence needs to be changed. i wont be too surprised if it gets canceled - its expensive, its not exactly getting amazing ratings and its on fox.
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I think it was necessary to reveal Skye as the spy at this point, because.....well, i guess the writers wrote this episode originaly keeping the identity of the mischief a secret but later realized they had only 20 minutes worth of story. So in lacking any tools to come up with something remotely original their only option was to add some scenes with Skye being mischievous thus completing the circle and coming back to my point. It was necessary to reveal Skye as the Spy. (kind of has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Skye as the Spy)
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I think this is a very good show, hope they will keep producing this!!!
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A nice-to-look-at-show from lobotomized producers with a good cast. I defended this show(sry I had fun), but I also have to admitt : it has to go because maybe then producers with TASTE and BRAINS can create beautiful and truly timeless scifi sparkling our fantasies worldwide. And for the actors it might hard but in the longrun for the best - not including Stephen Lang, of course.
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I want to love this show so much, that I just can not stop watching every week. It is really painful, that the writers and producers wasted away such a cool idea!! The Bunsen burner! Come on!! There are so many details that would be sooo easy to just leave out - because they just dont go with the era/technical advance!! Less is more, dudes!!!!!! Of course it is important to develop characters, but the main topic is about survival of a spoiled, far from nature human race in a world ruled by an almost unknown environment. There is so much potential!!! Details matter!! arrgh - I have to stop - I am sad. :(
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I said it is Skye from the very first day we were "told" there is a mole..
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Yeah it was pretty obvious. What with her sneaking out, knowing people with connections to the sixers, and being a character we're "supposed" to like. The only thing that was really a mystery was what her motivations would be.
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Now this is a show I don't mind being cancelled. I watch it, but more to show a little moral support in its inevitable doom and because.... well, dinosaurs. Not that you see much of them. Everything is so predictable it makes me want to hurl. And how about Contrived Plot To Bond With New Surroundings #whatever: if you portray dinosaurs as regular wild animals, be accurate and reject/kill the babt dinosaur by the adult, when it has threatening and unfamiliar human smell all over them. Like watching a Hallmark card in action. I really did not care for this episode at all, even though I dare say Taylor and Mira did have some chemistry. I'd like to see them as more face to face frenemies ;)
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my buddy's mother makes $78 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her paycheck was $8696 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site... chilp.it/0b1390

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Your Buddy's mother must be a writer on Terra Nova.
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Terra Nova is an awful show that basically gives a bad reputation to all science fiction. But at least one good thing came out of it, these hilarious reviews. Seriously, I was laughing out loud at this, keep on writing 'em! :)
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TV.com please write on your home page that you are not subjective at all so visitors

can be warned
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Granted, this show isn't the best, but it's OK and I look forward to watching it with my daughter every week. I don't like the way this site decides to put down shows so out-rightly when different people have different tastes. Just because this site slates a show it doesn't meant that it's bad!
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As I've said before, I'm 100% with Tim. The show sucks. At least through some less than clever exposition we know that Taylor is not lying, but how can anyone honestly buy the whole sixers thing? It's like a bad joke that makes awful writing worse. The only thing this episode had going for it, from a personal standpoint, is that everyone who knows the show is not getting a second season probably felt bad for the actors who are soon to be out of work.
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Its painfully obvious that Tim Surette never liked this show even before it started.

I was under the impression that TV.COM was an impartial site. Guess i was wrong. It seems to be just a venue for Tim to shove his narrow minded opinion down our throats.

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I was always under the impression that all the columnists here are a little bit of everything for everyone. I never got the impression that it was ever impartial (and that's a good thing), because as readers we all disagree about what makes good TV, and more often than not they disagree about what makes good TV here themselves. Bottom line? Tera Nova IS bad television. You're offended like he was talking about Firefly or something. (I miss you Firefly!)
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And yet the man is correct. Or could it possibly be that he is being open-minded and certain commentators are not?



Nah. But seriously, I don't remember reading that the site was unbias and/or objective, but I will say it is more or less so for the most part. The fact of the matter is this show sucks... big time... and the writers on this site are allowed to express their opinions.
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Well, it is a TV reviews site. Reviews cannot, by nature, be objective. If they were objective, they'd just be "here's what happened in that tv episode" rather than "here's what I thought of the quality of that tv episode." Although Tim clearly dislikes the show, he's obviously explained his reasons pretty well (the show is RIDDLED with cliches and contrivances, for one thing).
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Call me twisted, but this show would have been awesome if Taylor and Mira woulda hooked up after they chased off the dinosaurs. It wouldn't have been that big of a stretch, since Hollywood often have people hook up after defeating death.
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You seem to be as twisted as me - I think Mira is hot, she needs to fight a dino naked or something. Maybe this would save the series.
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The show is alright but it would be better if we had some better known dinosaurs and less of those "human" things.
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I know right! It's exactly like what happened in Transformers. Quit trying to shove in humans for no apparent reason when we're obviously watching this to see the dinosaurs, robots, etc... They aren't needed and it just takes away from the experience.
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I mean besides Josh's gf, and Skye being Taylor's adopted daughter. It was a funny one.... my memory sucks sometimes.
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-I thought that's a Stegosaurus?

-She's 16 dude!!!!!

-I was just about to list another contrived plotline, and then I forgot it. Damn!
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TO EVERYBODY WHO ENJOYS FAMILY FRIENDLY PROGRAMMING:



I realize there are a few people out there who like this show because they can watch it with their kids. I get that. You look past the horrible writing, gaping plot holes, laughable acting, and at times shameful CGI because there really isn't many shows an entire family can watch together. Since we all know Terra Nova doesn't stand a chance in a raging swarm of pterosaurs to get renewed, I have a suggestion for you:



WATCH ONCE UPON A TIME!



This is a vastly superior show that, like Terra Nova, everyone can watch. So once Terra Nova breathes its last Cretaceous breath, give Once Upon a Time a chance. You won't be disappointed.
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Supernatural is a proper family show!
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Yeah I was expecting the last episode of OUAT to be bad from the preview, and I watched it last night, and starting crying at the end..... ok maybe not, but you tell me that Jiminy Cricket didn't get to you!
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Haha! It got me alright. And when you found out the little boy was Gepetto I couldn't help but smile.
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I agree about the US-version of Life On Mars. The series was good and worth watching, except for that weird, nutty finale.



Star Trek references are always fun!
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(spoiler)

P.S. Terra Nova will be wiped out by the meteor that killed the dinosaurs.



=)
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Though I agree that would probably do the show a favour, I do have to point out that it was explained early on that Terra Nova is supposedly on a whole different time line and as such we may not necessarily get to see such a happy ending.
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That would be the best series finale, watching Josh and the others die instantly.
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The show is set 20 million years before that meteor hits Earth. If people are still around, there's a chance they might be technologically advanced enough (starting from 2149 scientific knowledge) to divert or blow up the meteor before it hits Earth.
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You seem to forget that could it be a million years until that happens. Dinos were around a hell of a long time!
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Yes! That is exactly what I said a couple of weeks ago. How are they planning to defeat the giant meteor that will blot out the sun for thousands of years?
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Says who? there is not proof that they went back in time, in fact, without the use of telescopes and space craft there is no way for them to know that they are in the same universe. they only said they went back in time, to attract the dumb people.
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Brilliant! The whole thing is a plot of the future earth to weed out their population so that only the smart ones remain! Love it!!!
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welcome to FRINGE TERRA NOVA
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While the writing of this episode was not that great, I thought the concept was good. Finally, the episode felt like the world of dinosaurs, it has been so caught up in terra nova life that it resembled a bunch of people living alone on a deserted island, this episode at least brought it back to the correct reality of the era. Stronger writing and some more logic in the plot points would have actually made this a pretty good episode.
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don't forget the CGI... in 2011 we can make look real Optimus Prime and some Robot in a boxing fight, but somehow we can't make dinos look real... Denver, the Last Dinosaur (cartoon) looked more real than the dinos of TN.
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Robots / Mechanical stuff is far easier to make look "good" to the human eye. This is even more true for making a CG human. (not defending the CG in the show, just pointing this out)
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True, but the original Jurassic Park has better CGI than this show does and it came out nearly 20 years ago. This show has some of the worst CGI work I have ever seen.
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Primeval was similar but had a far smaller budget and was massively more entertaining!
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Love your comments on Terra Nova! Keep em coming!!!
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I should say before anything else: I like Terra Nova, it makes me LAUGH although I'm not sure it means to. This despite the fact that it really is utter tosh - and I'm not sure the Producers know it is. I also like Josh. He might do one stupid thing after another but the guy has balls. He could have just snuck a vial of the asimeth into his mother's coat pocket and Elizabeth would never have known where it came from but no, he comes clean. He realised he did wrong when someone's life was put at risk and tried to make amends. That's pretty decent given he might have been banished for working with the Sixers. (Given that Josh did provide the asimeth does that mean the Sixers will still deliver Kara on the 11th pilgrimage? They should since he kept up his side of the bargain. So the guy should be deliriously happy and not give a sh*t about being grounded.)



And on the subject of asimeth. Why is it that the Sixers have access to medicine which can cure a disease which wiped out a significant portion of the Terra nova Population (although the meds don't seem to be doing Sky's mother much good if she's been ill for three years) but they can't get hold of asimeth? Why can't they get the stuff sent to them from 2149 since they are being backed by such powerful people? Also, if I had the head of security's son over a barrell I would get him to do something more useful than steal medicine I should be able to get myself. Why not get him to steal Jim's security card for e.g instead of Elizabeth's. They'd be able to take down the colony in no time. Mira is not much chop as a leader.



I submit further evidence of Jim's rubbishness as a policeman - instead of arresting Boylan, he should have made Josh set up another meeting with the Sixers and then followed him. Honestly. That is "how to arrest someone 101." I don't even watch the Closer and I know that.







I'm impressed that Sky apparently knows Morse Code. The girl's a genius.
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After last week's episode, I thought, well at least they're trying to do the last few episodes less painful. But. Like magic, they decided to ruin everything with this episode.

I think they do it on purpose, there is no other explanation.



The problem with this series is that they've tried to do too many types of viewers happy. Dinosaurs, a typical family, Sci-Fi shooting, drama, comedy ....

And here lies the error.
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Best show shown on a Monday.
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How I Met Your Mother, House, and Castle are all far better shows.
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You can't leave Hawaii 5-O off that list. 100 times better than Terra Nova. At least the plot makes sense most of the time.
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HIMYM was a repeat and I don't watch Murder he Wrote.
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oh com'on... House M.D.?!?
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House hasn't been good in years. About time Hugh Laurie went back to comedy.
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Is this show done or can they somehow improve it? Has it been picked up for a full season?
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I find it hard to believe that a show like this would be canceled. Its more likely they would change things (like writers, actors etc.) in order to improve ratings.
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i think 2 more episodes... no second season. Sorry (no I'm not sorry)
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I don't car what people say I like Terra Nova. Skye being the sixer spy wasn't a big shock for me because I knew it had to be someone everyone knew. Too bad its her, Taylor is going to be pissed but he may forgive her given the circumstances. Though next weeks episode looks it will be awesome.
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I totally agree Jaden; I've read that the show wont be returning which is a shame if it's true. As for the spy being Skye;well I'm just glad it wasn't malcolm. I also can't understand why everyone is going nuts that it's skye; as you say, it had to be someone who had access to Taylor's room. They would also have to know when he was there or not;they would also have to be privy to his intel - that would be Malcolm or Wash as far as the adults went or Skye as she seemed to be his surrogate daughter. There were many people who said they didn't care who the spy was so long as it wasn't Malcolm - well it isn't and yet they're still moaning; there's no pleasing some people. I hope the gossip pages are wrong and Terra Nova comes back; I think a lot of the problems with this season are just teething troubles that can be dealt with for next season. So long as Taylor stays I'd be happy anyway. lol.
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You didn't mention the other Star Trek reference. Elisabeth mentions a Nurse Ogawa. Could it be the same one from ST:TNG? :)
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I want a pet ankylosaur.

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despite how bad it is, I still kind of like it. when they aren't doing stupid random standalone episodes that are never discussed again and actually add to the story, it's kind of good



if only they'd find better CGI people
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The people who did Stargate were quite good, perhaps they could hire them.
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Which glasses were better: Taylor's black motorcycle sunglasses or the neon green binoculars Jim and Mark used?



hahahahahahaahhahahaha
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This show is a nightmare, but the reviews are entertaining and funny. Thanks for making me laugh! ;-)
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How come ever time they try to make a family friendly tv show it`s so full of nauseating happy family moments that you can catch diabetes just by watching it? Not to mention ridicilously boring story lines, usually ending with some moral answer to right and wrong.



Disappointed and bored. Can`t see this show lasting for more than 1 season...

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Why would Jim leave the most important evidence without surveillance?! Doesn't make any sense.

There were so many moments I thought that was it, that I would stop watching. But I'm still watching, mainly in fast forward but watching nonetheless. A couple of episodes left, might as well stick with it until the bitter end. Maybe something will happen...a butterfly invasion perhaps
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Why all these awful comments ? Anyway we dont care, just to let you know my son and me love Terra Nova :P
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They try to gear the series towards families and try to please too many which makes it kind of uninteresting.

Wonder what makes it so hard to give this a real story worth watching, the setting is very interesting and has a lot of potential, even I could make something of it.

Also the dinosaurs behave pretty odd ... I see no reason why the 2 dinos in this episode would want to drive their food (the 2 humans) out of the territory ... just makes no sense :D Kind of interesting, too that they would - like a young couple - move into their apartment together ... do you know any animal that behaves like that? Considering the have a dino consultant who is helping to create authentic dinos and behaviour I'd say he is overpaid ... at first dinos clawing up armored vehicles, fighting with humans even though there should be easier prey ... and now in this episode ... the baby dino that crawls out of the egg, has no mother ... and they release it at the end and the "mother" sniffs at it (they had it for a month+?) and accepts it right away? Seriously ...

I tune in each week to see if they improve but end up disappointed.
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You failed to mention the highly believable scene at the end when the massive, adult ankylosaur miraculously appeared from the bushes just a few feet away, where it had been hiding so stealthily (and did not make an instant snack out of Hankorvilleboxer). I bet there was a Flintstones-esque battleship somewhere in those same bushes, too.



If this show gets a second season, I'll be further convinced that our society will never make it to 2149.

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It's so hard to watch this show.. Oh well, two more episodes, and then its done forever.
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Its better than that awful Bones rubbish!
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