This week we had the investigation of an accident, the confession of a murderer and the banishment of a colonist, with a side of egg surgery to go.
I enjoyed this episode; for all its plot stretches the scripts were delightful, although a little short when dealing with the big issues - like the lack of evidence and a trial.
But, I don't think this episode was trying to address the judicial situation in TN. I think this episode was yet another 'setup' - a gentle sway toward larger arcs where issues can unfold organically.
On its own Bylaw delivers the message that TN is a tiny beacon of civilisation in a vast wilderness - this is the wild west, Taylor is the Governor and Jim the new sheriff in town. Fair and practical laws are well known and accepted - and it's Jim's job to catch the right bad-guy.
The main story is Jim's investigation, cleverly connecting an assortment of characters throughout the Colony, making this a fun story as all the layers peel back.
It's the first murder in town and Banishment is the sentence Taylor must deliver, along with his credibility. As the sentence most likely means death for the accused sentiment within the community fractures - and this may be the event which summons social change.
Elisabeth challenges Jim about false confessions and whilst people may criticize the length of the scene, it's more than adequate to establish doubt, which is a corner stone in modern judicial proceedings.
When Jim reveals his mistake to Taylor i was surprised at the honesty in the writing and the power of the scene, this is TN at its best (so far).
However, some may be irritated that a despot runs TN and that due process was completely absent.
And this brings me back to why things are the way they are in Terra Nova. The colonists have vowed to "start over" and that isn't just about overpopulation & pollution, but also the chance to start from scratch, possibly avoiding the mistakes of the society they just left, in all aspects of life - legal, social, ethical, technological and so on.
Now that a murder has occurred, the door opens for legal communities to form, civil libertarian groups to muster and suffrage movements to begin. Props to the writers - this opens up a multitude of dramatic possibilities, particularly since Taylor's reputation will suffer Jim's mistake.
Lastly, Zoe and the Jurassic Turkey - i don't think this was just thrown in for fun - it suggests possible dino domestication - and that could be really cool.
A great installment.