The 4400

Season 3 Episode 3

Being Tom Baldwin

Aired Unknown Jun 18, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

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out of 10
336 votes
  • Being Tom Baldwin

    Being Tom Baldwin was a perfect episode of The 4400 because it jumps right in with the action, had suspensful drama, and was very character driven. Tom appears to have shot TJ Kim and when Diana confronts him he takes off to prove his innocence. This was great because it is exactly what I would expect him to do, and what I would do in those circumstances. I really enjoy watching Isabelle's development as she tries to learn all she can, and experience things she missed from her absent childhood and teenage years. I find her character rather intriguing, as Richard said, most see a beautiful woman forgetting she is only a little girl on the inside. Shawn did the right thing, but Isabelle is a girl who is difficult to say no to. Matthew continues to weave his web around Isabelle, and I look forward to seeing how that works out!!!!!!!
  • one if the best episods of the season

    when i wrote my revew i didnt expect this episod will have this low rating,believe me 8.6 is low for this amazing episod,the idea in this episod is not the first i know , but it was put in an amazing dramatic ingot .....i mean connecting between drama and adventure without leaving the spectators bored infront of their tv general i consider the 4400 one of the best drama,science fiction shows ever......and i think it wont be ended until the sixth season.....because its improving from a season to another.....though their is some blemishes in the fourth season i hope they will avoid next season.
  • A 4400 version of the doppelgänger theme.

    Sooner or later, a shape-shifting ability had to come up and using it for a doppelgänger episode is the logical choice. Making Tom the double was a good choice, as he's one of the team, thus making it doubly (sorry) difficult to track him down.

    While it wasn't a very original storyline, it was well-executed and fun to watch. I liked that Diana stuck by Tom and that Alana did figure out who was the real one.

    I'm not sure about the Shawn-Isabele storyline. It was something we all saw coming, but the fall-out of it may disrupt the story. I loved that they gave Richard time to say a proper goodbye to Lily, excellent decision and writing!
  • a classic episode with a plot that everyone has seen

    Tom finds himself under arrest for killing t.j kim. The ony member of the novas group they have. It is a story line that everyone has seen as a 4400 who can change into who ever they wanty tries to destroy ntacs reputation.

    It is a good episode that holds a good plot and is well lais out. However the unoriginallity of the episode takes away from the show. Though seems vital for the rest of the season. It is a good episode over all.

    Just random things so i can reach one hundered words. No need to keep reading. Go out and get some fresh air.
  • Tom vs. Tom

    Diana: "Your tissue is healing itself from trauma that quickly! Kevin, you've developed a 4400 ability!"

    After the great New World, this episode is a bit of a let-down a its predictable, and doesn't really go anywhere much in terms of plot. Still, there are some good scenes, with the two Toms, and Shawn and Isobelle. No Maia though...
  • I guess you can said i felt bored for once...

    I absoutly love the 4400... but this episode was actually boring to me! It was extreamly predictable... Once you began watching the show you already knew it wasn't Tom who really shot TJ Kim...
    Later in the show when he chased the guy impersonating him you instantly knew it was that kid... but somehow he didnt even think of it untill the kid walked away (Tv show!)
    It was a good ability to go into and make an episode about it, but there was something missing... there was no mistery behind it!
    We already knew that Allana would pick the right one and if they didn't change the camera angels while editing you would have been able to tell them apart easily... you could untill they started adding editing effects to confuse you...

    To me it was just... nothing important and nothing new
  • Episode should be called the Tom Show!!

    Tom is accused of murder and tries to clear his
    Name before he gets charged by the DA with a crime
    He never, ever committed. Again this episode should be called the Tom show.
    It wouldn't be my favorite storyline but the great acting and writing really make up this show.
    The show should really focus on the "4400" and not just one person IMO!
  • The secondary plotlines ruined it for me.

    Ok, as far as the main plot line goes, I could take it or leave it. It didn\'t \'wow\' me, but it wasn\'t terrible. It moved the plot along nicely and gave us another perspective on the upcoming war.
    The side stories are what really bothered me.
    First of all, the whole thing with the Doctor injecting himself is just plain scary. I don\'t understand what would make Diana want to help him.
    The Shawn and Isabelle thing, really upset me. Shawn has struck me as reckless in the past, but never stupid. At first, I thought their bonding together was sweet. I laughed over his reaction to her driving.
    But his ineloquence when Isabelle asked him to have sex really bugged me and then the fact that he then slept with her right after that conversation with her father really struck me as unnatural. Why didn\'t someone explain to her all the connotations involved in sex?
    To me the whole thing seemed really contrived, like the writers needed him to have sex with her for a later plot point so they made him have sex with her.
  • We coudl have gone w/o this episode and missed nothing.

    It may just be me but I hate filler episodes. They do nothng for the story. Thi fits the bill. We didn\'t learn anything new. There was no additional character development. It was 100% predictable. One of the questions I came away from this episode with was why didn\'t Tom\'s wife use her ability on this kid? Another was how did this person slip a gun past the guards let alone into the are where this one chick was? Sorry but no way they wouldn\'t have had metal detectors and other things to make sure no weapon of any kind kind was on the person of anyone setting foot into that room. Bad writing. Period! I hope we don\'t have any more episodes like this but I fear we will.
  • They say "filler episode" like it was a bad thing.

    As filler episodes go, this one was what a filler episode should be. It adds to the season plot without anything actually happening to foward the plot.

    What do I mean by this?

    1. We meet a new 4400. Any new 4400 is a good 4400 in my mind. Epecially morally ambivalant or downright evil 4400s.

    2. It adds to the whole Us vs Them thing thats going on. Yes its still real early in the season but that is where I see the major plot for the season going.

    3. Intrigue. Who or what is Issabelle? What is she up to, and does she even know? The scenes between Issabelle and Shawn were both creepy and romantic. I was going ewww and awww at the same time.

    4. It also adds to the whole who can WE trust thing going on with Tom and Diana. They government types who don\'t always trust the government. They aren\'t 4400s but they are both tangled web connected to the 4400. So which side (if any) are they on? Who can they trust? And who can trust them?

    So you see this ep may be a filler, but that isn\'t always a bad thing.
  • An interesting, if predictable, melding of episodic and serial elements

    In a sense, this episode is a melding of the “4400 of the Week” format of the first and second seasons and the renewed focus on the series mythology that stands to define the third season. By connecting the new 4400 in this episode to the Nova Group, the writers manage to keep the overall narrative flowing while exploring the specific difficulties in dealing with a meta-human able to change appearance at will.

    I’ll be honest: I think that the execution of this particular idea didn’t go far enough. It was a solid enough concept, and the episode didn’t necessarily have much wrong with it, but it seemed less involved than I would have anticipated. For one thing, the manhunt for Tom seemed rather thin, and it was a little too easy for Diana to run around without oversight. Just the fact that she could help Tom, deal with the boss, and still have time to work with Burkhoff is a bit of a cheat.

    The central plot is fairly simple: the Nova Group decides to eliminate a member in custody and implicate one of the more prominent members of the NTAC team in the process. Oddly, they choose to frame Tom, despite the fact that he is one of the NTAC agents with clear sympathies for the 4400. Why eliminate a potential resource like that? But that’s part of what Alana points out in the episode: the Nova Group continues to use methods that undermine their own philosophy. If they seek to place the needs and purpose of the 4400 over all else, using their own people as expendable soldiers makes little sense.

    At the heart of Boyd’s ability is the hint of something more than shape-shifting. In essence, Boyd projects a mental image that convinces the “victim” that he is who he says he is. This seems to include a mental connection deep enough to establish something of a telepathic link. Boyd is able to pull details and information from the “victim”, which speaks to an enormous untapped potential.

    Speaking of untapped potential, Isabelle and Dr. Burkhoff are on two different sides of the 4400 coin. Dr. Burkhoff has been taking serious liberties with the ideals of research science, and frankly, Diana is nuts to be letting this happen on her watch. She has to know she’s compromised morally, even if Burkhoff is rather insistent. Burkhoff’s ideas about changing the world aren’t so far removed from Nova Group rhetoric, and that could be a problem if he succeeds. (Again, hints that this will lead to the catastrophic events that require the 4400 in the first place.) But the ongoing implication is that the promycin is unlocking the latent abilities within every human being.

    If so, Isabelle seems to have the potential to demonstrate all possible 4400 abilities, which is disturbing on many levels. To continue the “X-Men” analogy, Isabelle is not unlike the Phoenix (right down to the signature sexy green outfit). She has enormous potential, but emotionally and psychologically, she’s on thin ice. She’s using her abilities for questionable but trivial things right now, but I can’t help but wonder how quickly that will change. Matthew seems to think that Isabelle could become the standard-bearer for the Nova Group philosophy, basically putting her at odds with Sean. By pushing her into Sean’s arms, Matthew may be trying to facilitate that.

    I have no doubt that the writers are still working out the process of incorporating the episodic elements into this more serialized format, so it’s easy to forgive some of the stumbling in the plotting of this episode. While Tom’s decisions are questionable, Diana seems to have far more latitude than the circumstances should allow.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a podcast associated with my various reviews called “Dispatches from Tuzenor”. The most recent episodes are related to “The 4400”, so it might be something of interest . Go to if you want to listen!)
  • When nothing the episode seems to move the grand plot along, it\'s a filler. Plain and simple.

    Although a good episode, it was clearly a story line that has been done so many times before. Maybe not by 4400 yet, but it was even a \"new spin\" on an old idea. All the classic scenes for clone-stories were included. The clone is talking to someone and the real person calls them on the phone. The fight at the end which causes some third person not to know which is which.

    The Shawn / Isabelle plot is going as expect. It\'s clear the writers are telling the viewers that there is an attaction between them. All they need to figured out is Isabelle\'s interesting situation (1 yr old in a 20 year old body, the next savior, etc.).

    Lily\'s send off was good and classy. Happy they at least addressed it somewhat and not let topic die as the closing scene of the premiere.
  • While I knew what was going on (concering Tom and TJ Kim) in the first ten seconds of the episode, it was still an okay episode that got me wondering what was going to happen next.

    I classified this as an average episode because it was good, but not one of the best of the series. The season premiere was a lot more exciting. But, I liked how they explored the friendship/possible relationship between Isabelle and Shawn. The ending, while expected, makes me want to find out what will happen next week... like if Richard finds out what his baby-who-looks-like-she\'s-twenty has been doing.

    The crazy scientist guy (his name escapes me) who\'s injecting himself with promicin... kinda scary. I knew he\'d start showing some abilities, and I know he\'s the \"father of the 4400\" or whatever... but I\'m still worried about what he\'s doing.

    As I said in my summary, concerning the main plot, I knew what the deal was in the first few seconds. I think I may have even figured it out before the episode actually started, when they were showing the \"previously\" clips. But even though I figured out that it was a shapeshifter kind of 4400, I still wondered how Tom was going to get the guy and who would believe him.
  • The idea of a 4400 playing Baldwin isn't the most original idea, but still it plays out like a nice episode to watch.

    Maybe the most intresting part about this episode is not the developments around Tom, but the developments around Isabelle. She is, in fact, a girl of 20 who never grew up properly, who never got teached anything. So she makes a list of things she wants to learn, and yes, sex is on that list.
    At first Shawn refuses to teach her that, but you can feel it's gonna happen sooner or later. And let me tell you, you don't have to wait for the next episode to see it happen ;-)

    in short others news : a 4400 murders TJ Kim while pretending to be Baldwin but gets caught in the end. Couldn't turn out another way now, could it ?

    The good news : i absolutely love this series :)
    The bad news : i have to wait a week to see next episode :(
  • I found this episode to be too predictable for a show that I consider to be cutting edge.

    As soon as Tom smiled at TJ Kim, I figured that it was not Tom. He looked too smug. After he shot him, I was convinced. It was also too obvious that Alana's friend would reveal the password to the shape-shifter. I was surprised that Tom would allow someone else to hear the password in the first place. This aside, I still found the episode to be good, just not as exciting as usual.
    As for Isabelle, I was glad to see that they have taken the time to demonstrate that Isabelle has an older body but is still a child experience wise, as opposed to just having her be an automatic adult.

  • Ok I stayed glued for the Isabelle and Shawn romance development . . . still a pretty good episode

    In my mind I kept thinking this is the beginning of a lot of stuff getting ready to hit the fan. I am split halfway between seeing Isabelle as a kid who just grew up overnight but who is a still kid nonetheless.

    So how do I take this . . . Should Shawn get what is surely going to come to him when her Dad learns of their new development? Or has he genuinely fallen for her . . .he does seem to want to do the right thing. A part of me wants them to be together but them getting together this fast just feels really wierd, it is taking advantage and just way too soon . . . she needs time to grow up. . the whole thing just does not feel somehow not really right.

    What does Matthew have up his sleeve? He seems dead set on getting these two to hook up one green dress or another. I would like to know what he knows and what is he up to?
  • Still waiting for something different to happen. It seemed like deja vu watching this episode, and I'm ready for something new!

    It almost seems like we are still being 'introduced' to characters after the third hour of the new season and it feels like this show is dragging right now. Why couldn't Richard have taken Lily's ashes to the cemetary as an epilogue to the last episode? It's like reading a boring book, just waiting for something good to happen. Are the writers struggling, or are we in for a big surprise?

    It's apparent that Shawn needs to help Isabelle with her powers instead of taking her swimming, giving her driving lessons, or giving in to her seduction. And even though Richard is grieving for Lily, he needs to step in and be a dad. He should be the one teaching Lily all the things that a parent teaches a child.

    I hope the magic is not gone.
  • Not exactly a pivotal episode, but still pretty good nonetheless. Main plot largely irrelevant to past events, but a lot of sub-plots here. Interesting.

    Overall, a pretty good episode. The whole shapeshifting thing has been done many times, in many other shows, which made this one predictable. The episode was more for character development than anything else. The sub-plots were expanded to a great deal, as Burkhoff now (finally) develops an ability. A rather significant one, at that, also. The ability to heal is no small thing, and the fact that he was able to develop it in an isolated environment means that the "arms race" he speaks of shall likely soon begin. Not much on the Nova group here, but a considerable amount of buildable for Isabelle. Her friendship with Shawn expands, and Richard warns Shawn that's what it should stay; a friendship.
  • Like a slow moving train, but a moving train nonetheless.

    So we learned Shawn and Issabelle are gonna be enemies one day. The "father" of the 4400 is developing powers, TJ is finally dead, and the Nova group is serious and is getting larger by the day. I have a feeling Alana will be switching sides real soon. All in all it was a decent episode, nothing monumental happened, well... beside that kiss. Which can only lead to nothing good in my opinion. Yet, it was fun to see. I think Matthew knew what was gonna happen between Shawn and Issabelle the whole time. That's why he gave her the dress. I'm still a bit dissapointed in the Lilly, Kyle, and Jordan story lines, but who isn't. Guess we can't have it all, but at least the show is back. Can't wait for next week!
  • The \"chameleon\" idea has been done before, and the characters were skewed away from my liking.

    I liked how they used Lily\'s old grave. But that\'s about all I liked about this episode.

    *groans* Last week when Isabelle was holding the ring and the shot of white liquid...that used to be a powerful shot, and it\'s supposed to create suspense, but the look on her face just didn\'t sit well with me. And then this week the ENTIRE 4400 storyline was cliche. The whole chameleon idea...we\'ve all seen that story a billion times, and we all know not to suspect the ominous guy in the background, and then the end with two of them side by side...please tell me I did not just see that. The 4400 can do better than this. The only thing I gained from that storyline was the reinforcement of the growing schism between the 4400. And then unnecessary showing of skin, which I\'m not too surprised of, but at the end, with the 30 second long kissing scene...they actually had something powerful going with the development of these characters, Isabelle hating her naivety and us appreciating Shawn\'s values. It seemed what they had going was pretty tight and not going to the end, the way they dressed up Isabelle with make-up and all, you just had that feeling of someone not acting their age...I was waiting and waiting for him to pull away from the idea of a relationship. Like he said, he doesn\'t know anything about her. This is just pure lust on his part, and, well, a learning experience on her part. It\'s a ripple that didn\'t need to be made.

    But I think the thing that hurts me the most is the "chameleon" storyline. Please take it back.
  • A nice twist to a manhunt and some developments for Isabelle.

    First, there's nothing in the ep about counselor sessions that the synop mentioned. But beyond that, this is a very interesting episode.

    The idea of a 4400 able to change his appearance is something I'm amazed it took this long to do. That it's more illusion that physical changes is good. I liked the little gag of Diana seeing herself and asking "I don't really run like that, do I?" The final confrontation was well done as well.

    So Isabelle grows in her abilities and her sudden adulthood. Kudos to Sean for trying to resist although I worry about Isabelle's newfound sexuality is a sign all is not right with her. Time will tell if this is good or not for Sean.

    Not much else except Richard saying good-bye to Lilly. Having him speak to the Lilly he'd known in 1950 was inspired and was one of the emotional highlights of the series. So while quieter in big events this week, it does push Isabelle's story along and lets you know the Nova Group is playing for keeps.