Terra Nova: Happy Taylorsgiving, Everyone!

Note: This is an abridged, holiday-vacation recap, as I'm swimming down the West Coast on an aquatic turkey hunt.

Knowing that it has pretty much zero chance of returning for Season 2 (spoiler alert: This show is not coming back for Season 2), Terra Nova has been a busy bee, moving its storylines along to give all 600 of its viewers a little closure before it goes the way of Firefly. The irony, of course, is that if the show had just started off at this pace to begin with, it probably would have gotten renewed for a second season. Major attack by the Ironysaurus! But as my late great grandfather always said when he showed up three hours late, "Better late than never."

Terra Nova has been daring me to start caring about it for the last handful of episodes, and I'm oh-so-close to being somewhat in the vicinity of getting near the area code of accepting the challenge. Tonight's episode, "Vs.," was the toughest to resist, as it finally addressed those pesky dangling threads that first piqued my interest in the pilot: the real purpose of Terra Nova, those etchings on the rocks, and the chances of the show starting a traveling dragonfly circus. But what really made this episode the best was Zoe wearing a fake beard.

Things started off at the pace of a stampede of angry nykosaurs! A dragonfly that was closer to the size of a dragon than a fly flew through Terra Nova and ended up at Camp Sixer on Mira's arm, because there were no falcons back then. Put that in the back of your brain, because it will come in handy later. We jumped over to Broylan in Neon Jail, where was drugged up and singing like a canary. He mumbled something about a secret of Taylor's that was buried by a tree, and Jim headed over there, dug a perfectly rectangular hole, and—being the lucky chap he is—found said secret on his first try. It was a body, and it was dead! Jim took the body to Elisabeth, who poked around and estimated that it came through on a pilgrimage between the ones the Seconders and Thirders came in on, which didn't make a lick of sense because people can't come through unless they're on a sanctioned pilgrimage. She also made the medical discovery that it only had one arm, because all dead bodies on hokey shows need some physical deformity, like one arm or the very popular six fingers. Ladies and germs, we had ourselves a mystery!

Jim headed over to Broylan to get the truth, which Broylan spilled like the Exxon Valdez: Taylor killed that man. Eventually Taylor got wind of Jim's discovery of the body thanks to the middling Malcolm, and Jim and Elisabeth told a terrible lie that hasn't been topped in 8.5 million years. You heard about the body from an anonymous note, Jim? Come on, dude. Taylor played like he wasn't suspicious, but we could tell he was because he smiled. No one here can lie! I'd clean house playing poker in Terra Nova!

Did I mention that all this was happening during the colony's preparation for Taylorsgiving, a holiday which celebrates the Commander's arrival in Terra Nova? To celebrate, the kids put on a play with Zoe playing Taylor, but it may as well have been a play incriminating Taylor for a past murder, because the story of Taylor's arrival included a man with one arm. Clues on a platter, folks. Jim put one and zero together and figured out that Taylor killed his commanding officer, who was sent back in time to take Taylor's position.

Jim was eventually framed as the spy who's been talking to Mira via some dragonfly-as-carrier-pigeon method, and Jim confronted Taylor about the one-armed man. Then Taylor took a huge exposition dump and described things so vividly we could see them in shaky flashbacks. See, it was the Sixers fault. They wanted to come back and rape and pillage prehistoric earth for resources to send back to 2149, and his son Lucas took their side. When the one-armed man came back in time, it was to replace Taylor as Commander of Terra Nova, and Taylor wouldn't have it. A scuffle ensued, the man was killed, and Taylor banished his son. An "I'm sorry" look washed over Jim's face, and he vowed to help Taylor fight to transform Terra Nova into the second chance humankind needs.

The episode finally answered a ton of questions I once cared about, but the answers barely elicited a resigned "oh." And can we really trust Taylor, anyway? Are we supposed to believe that the mean old army is actually the team looking out for the planet and the treehuggers in the forest are the ones trying to ruin it? We all saw Avatar, and we know Stephen Lang is great at playing planet-rapers—so either this show has things backward or Taylor is lying.

This was the most interesting episode of Terra Nova since the second hour of the pilot, but it was still pretty mediocre. That's all I got for this week; I'll be back at full strength for the next episode, which sees Taylor and Mira working together in the wilderness and Zoe making a huge decision about her pet Ankylosaur. Good stuff.

Happy Taylorsgiving, you guys.

Notes:
– How awesome is it that Terra Nova shoehorned in a Thanksgiving episode by creating a new holiday? What happened to Thanksgiving? Did all the turkeys and tofurkey go extinct because of horrible environmental conditions in 2149, therefore canceling Thanksgiving forever?

– If the Sixer mole is Malcolm, it will be the most obvious thing ever to happen ever.

– After a week off, Mark returned! Yay! And he totally made out with Maddy.

– Where was Skye this episode? Is she too cool for Taylorsgiving?


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

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I would rather watch shows that are actually character driven then all the reality shows we have been innundated with recently. The only reason networks are putting that on now is because they cost virtually nothing to make and people are not interested in actual writing and thought that would go into making the show.
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There are more than 600 viewers to this show try 317,786 ! I would rather see this kind of programming then the STUPID SIMPSONS ..... The Finale on this show was absolutely FANTASTIC.... I don't care if it goes with what history is about ... I like that it keeps me glued to the tv to watch it PERIOD.... Time To Start Listening to those that Watch It Instead of the Complainers that have nothing more to do then WHINE!
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Honestly, I have no idea why I keep tuning in to this show. This episode was beyond lame - and that's saying something considering how lame all the previous eps have been. Yet again no dinos and people can still wander around a supposedly dino-infested forest in the dead of night without having to worry about being eaten. Urrrggh - this show kills me. Not surprised it won't get to S2, but it's a shame as it could have been a good show.
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Stop being so negative, loads of shows take a couple of series to become good but people like you just undermine it so it never has a chance and once again we lose somthing that could become good like Firefly again. Thanks.



And if you are going to be so critical at least pay attention. In your notes at the bottom you sow your ignorance. Thanksgiving is American where most f the rest of the western world at least has a harvest festival which is what Terra Nova had. Or maybe you are like the stereotype American who thinks bless it is entirely American then it is evil. Next you ask where is Skye "Is she too cool for Taylorgiving" however just because she has no lines if you look you can see her in the crowd at the celebration more than once. Not every character needs to talk in every episode and clearly she is not "too cool" too be there.



Now either research what you are going to say or stop pretending to be an expert and give us viewing public a chance to see more. Afte all he viewing figures show that the viewing public what to see more.
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Falling Skies and Terra Nova were the most desapoiment shows for me this year!! Terra Nova first's episodes were a big disillusion.. well it still is, but this late episode I must admit was a bit more enjoyable then the previous ones! But I still think they could do much better from this show story, and if somehow they cancel it, I wont miss it at all!!!
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my neighbor's step-sister makes $71/hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her check was $7305 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site NuttyRich.com
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Man, don't you get tired of reviewing such a lousy show?

I mean, props for having the patience to do it, but come on.



Anyways, I've stopped watching after 2 episodes and I'm really glad I did when I read your review.



Grz,
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was really looking forward to this show and it totally blows. hopefully Alcatraz will be awesome

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Pretty good episode!
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The biggest disappointment ever, this show sucks
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Last episode I see. I'm done with all the rubbish and the cliches. I'm not amazed this show is cancelled. I'm angry though because this show had so much potential, the idea was brilliant ...



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So the general came to Terra Nova between 2nd and the 3th pilgrimage. Taylor's son came with the sixers right and he was working on a way of travelling back, but didn't complete it. Does that mean the general was somewhere else on the planet between 3 and 6? Terra Nova Mark 2 with a star trek like transport system or Is Taylor lying or am I over-thinking this considering the general state of writing on this show I probably am.
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The sixers came, as their nickname suggests it, with the sixth pilgrimage). Taylor's son was in Terra Nova way before that. At least that's why I understood.
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I've enjoyed this episode, but I think the producers could have done a far better job in the storyline. It gets really obvious (mole, Taylor's son etc..) .
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Lol Avatar reference!
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I hope all of them to be eaten slowly and painfully by some raptors.... including their writers!!!

Its getting boring and tiresome! Many holes on how events occur....



AND most important this Show is full of cliches!!!

Why all the sons have to have daddy issues

Why the daughter must be in love and of no real contribution to the show?

Why kids must be sooo stupid? They even believe that spiders will go away with stupid songs?

Even idiots had guessed what the sixers and their employers plan was! To steal all the natural resources of this planet as they did before in their own!



Yeah very imaginative!!! I bet that Malcom is the Sixers spy.... He has to be! Its the only one with a British accent!
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The real shame in all this is that there was no performance rider written in to any of the contacts!! What was that flushing sound???? Oh yeah....$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Skye was there she was dancing with some random dude-



Also quick query how did Taylor go from learning about the frequency to putting the transmitter in the Shannon's house in zero seconds - he must be superman aswell as the host of taylor'sgiving!!



Nb : someone claimed it was Malcolm who put it there - which if true the whole confession scene wouldn't have made sense as Taylor claimed to have put it there so he could have it out with Shannon and he wouldn't have just let him go :s
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There was time. Malcolm had to put the tracker on the dragonfly. They just didn't do a good job of showing the time lag. However, I do wonder what Taylor used to create the frequency..... You can't do that with a tuning fork ...
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No natives in Terra Nova to screw over = No thanksgiving.
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Your comment made me realize that I never understood what Thanksgiving is about. I am gonna wiki it right now.
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This episode didn't suck but I feel like the show has gone so far up the little house on the prairie creek that any attempts to turn back and actually make it a real sci-fi show just seem campy.
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I feel like the only person who likes this show....
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I like it too ! I completely understand the frustration of any viewer, but I still like it. I dunno ... maybe its just my eyes, its a fun to SEE .
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Glad the show's not getting a second season, as it doesn't deserve it, though it's a shame it didn't even come close to living up to the hype it generated. Another "Sci-Fi" bomb. I agree that it was the best episode to date, but that's not saying a lot, and the whole Sixer thing still isn't convincing at all. Taylor's got to be the one lying.
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Skye was there at the festival. She only got a cameo. I laugh that, then she would get paid for being in the episode.
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How could the mole NOT be Malcolm now. His idea about the dragonfly, his plan, him being pissed when it didnt work. He totally set up Shannon to a) avoid suspicion himself and b) make sweet love to mrs shannon.
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I think they're setting up Taylor to be the Santa Claus of Terra Nova. He's got the beard and all. Am i the only one who found it more than creepy that the colony are almost setting him up to be a God in the future.



This show must have the laziest writers in the world. There is no consistency in the world they've created. One example (only one because I would sit here nitpicking all day otherwise): the dude who is chasing Maddy comes back with cuts on his head. Taylor tells him to "go get that stitched up". But in an earlier episode we see that there is this groovy laser thing which heals cuts as if by magic. They don't do stitches anymore. Did the writers forget about the technology they invented?



That kind of thing happens over and over again and frankly appallingly careless. Especially when you consider how much these clowns must be earning AND they got six months in Queensland to boot.



AND some of the people who worked on this episode worked on 24. FFS.



Are we sure there is no second season or is that just Tim wishing for something so hard he thinks it has come true?



I don't hate the show as much as everyone else seems to. I find it deeply frustrating that something which has a superb premise has been executed so badly. This could have been a terrific show. No excuse.
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That's personality cult on Taylor is indeed disturbing. He's like a guru. The show should have been called Secta Nova...
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watching this series just makes me realize how much I miss a good stargate episode...
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to be honest, I'm sorry that there will be no second season

HAHAHAHA



I ask myself the following question: why fox didn't make all the episodes like this one?

At least we can say that this episode was decent, although there was a big decline in CGI, green screen misuse and everything else involving money.



They tried desperately to save the series by adding elements of Lost, but perhaps they did not realize that Lost was a great show, but people want to see new things.



I can't say I'm sorry that the show is canceled, because quite frankly, it was a waste of money.



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I haven't enjoyed a single episode, but for some reason every week I watch it hoping that this will magically be the episode that clicks the show into place. This was not that episode. Why is everything in this show so anti-climactic and melodramatic? What was the point of framing Jim supposed to be if it was going to be resolved so easily in a 1 minute conversation? How am I supposed to care about that? Thanks for wasting yet another hour of my life Terra Nova.
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is it official that there will be no season 2???

IF SO..:YESSSSSSSS



stuck with it just to see/learn more about "Others" ( :D )

Skye was in this episode...you can see her when Taylor is speaking of friends( shows that wo-ho-man :D and then he says family and it shows Skye. Wait are they related?!?!?...No, it wasn't obvious at first episodes,why should it be now???



only average episodes were with "Others"



rest is dumb...butterfly effect, terras(money),Taylor( I really dislike this guy...also in Avatar),Josh,Zoey,Maddy,Mark,......
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cancel this piece of ***** already
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The part where the guy went through the portal terminator style looks so cheap, I mean really? Terra Nova is a huge joke, fox couldn't make a decent show if they had a gun pointed to their face.
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this was a good episode, this along with the pilot and maybe 1 or 2 other episodes were really the only good ones. everything else has been too standalone and served no purpose. Fox really messed this up, could've been much better
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Greatest Terra Nova Moments:



- Zoe playing Commander Taylor.

- Jim Shannon performing "The Spider Song".

- The attack of the (birds) pterosaurs.

- Zoe witnessing the hatching of a Ankylosaurus egg (cue inspirational music).

- Zoe comes up with her brilliant vampire theory.

- Zoe and Jim get trapped in a room.

- Josh gets brutally eviscerated by an assortment of dinosaurs.



Okay, I made that last one up, but I can hope. Also, after compiling this list, I realized what a few of you have already said. Zoe is the best character on Terra Nova. She is pretty much the only one I don't want to get eaten by a dinosaur.
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Your obsession with Zoe is odd considering your profile picture is that of an old man. No I am joking haha.
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Haha! Hilarious! What's your picture? A weird looking gas mask - Not creepy at all.



Also: I'm 23 (hence the 88 in my username). And it astounds me you don't know who Larry David is.
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I agree with you Zoe is only likable character .
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I actually thought this was a good episode. Finally the story got moving. To bad it is a little to late.
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"Note: This is an abridged, holiday-vacation recap, as I'm swimming down the West Coast on an aquatic turkey hunt." --lol, what???



-Turkeys have existed forever; someone get these people an Encyclopedia Britannica!

-Who's Malcolm? ...oh you mean the guy Jim called bald, even though they have the same exact amount of hair? oh, that guy....

-He's a tool. and Maddie is so annoying, she makes my brain hurt.

-She realized she has a dumb name, and has gone into a deep depression... no but seriously- she made a quick cameo, chatting up with a soldier named Dingus.
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For some reason I fell asleep during this episode.....
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This show is circling the drain. However this particular episode wasn't half bad. The quick fixes to make this show better would be A. Kill off Mira, the leader of the sixers. She is horrible and I literally grown every time she is on screen. She has seen way too many Grace Jones flicks and is horrible. B. Put Taylor's son in charge of the sixers, then you can at least have the father son drama to deal with. C. Either kill off Josh (please kill him off) or send him officially over to the sixers. D. More Zoey, if you are going to go for the family drama at least use the talented kid. Because he is quintessentially the worst character on the show and drags the show down.



Fix those four and maybe it is salvageable
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Their international contingent: Scientist: British, rascal criminals=Australian. The rest=American. (a little offensive I dare say)
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I know, the Americans should be the criminals.
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Well, I think it's pretty obvious that Zoey is the spy. She has lots of experience hiding in air vents and access tunnels. A master of disguise as shown last night, and just reverts to vampire talk when questioned about anything.
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Tim we have to consider if all people inhabiting TerraNova have USA origins, otherwise I do not see why they would celebrate "Thanksgiving"...



The best thing about this episode is Zoe as commander Taylor...
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Yeah, Zoe is by far the best character....and with all things considered, that's pretty freakin' ridiculous!! Her vampire theory (from 2 episodes ago) is the best thing this show has given us to date. Yep, I said it. Second, was her portrayal of Taylor. She should get her own show, while the rest of the cast should be put in acting limbo and fed to the leviathans.
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I think it was pretty clear when the show wasn't an outstanding hit that it wouldn't get a second season. But that might be a good thing. A second season would probably see some budget cutbacks, starting with the writing.



It's likely that Jim saw and dug up a burial mound. It's likely to stand out against the rest of the dirt. But we don't see enough to tell if he tried other places or not.



It's possible that Thanksgiving could have been dropped because people in the future have nothing to be thankful for. But Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in every country and if Terra Nova is made up of an international contingent then not everyone there would be inclined to celebrate it. Thanksgiving is really only celebrated in Canada and the US, and those are on different dates. There are similar holidays in other countries but they aren't called Thanksgiving. Although it does look as if Terra Nova is made up mostly of American and English settlers, and the English don't celebrate Thanksgiving. As such it makes sense that they might want to create a new holiday.



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Australians, Irish and Scots do not celebrate Thanksgiving either and they speak English...
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Don't forget the Welsh!
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And the New Zealanders and South Africans.
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We don't have here thanks giving in Baltic states (Latvia) I really don't know any celebration close to thanks giving sure we have many other interesting to celebrate.
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Every single agricultural society in history has some sort of "thanks-for-the-good-harvest" festival, at various dates, under various names. Have done so since the Stone Age.
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Skye is one of those "mysteries" that better left unsolved..so I loved this episode!.
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