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The 4400

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

10
Aired Unknown Jul 11, 2004 on USA
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

9.2
out of 10
Average
554 votes
  • I loved this episode great way to start a series

    10
    This was the first episode in the series 4400 people abducted 4400 people come back all the same age as when they left and some of them even have powers sort of like The X Files in a way that is why i started to watch this show all because of the great X Files show both shows have simularatyies but this episode was great it was great it turned out to be two hours and also two hours for the season 2 premere a great sci-fi show that any sci-fi fan would enjoy especially if u love to watch The X Files so if u r interested in watching this show this episode will help u understand the series better so if u want to watch it try to catch a rerun on usa network or buy the season 1 dvds enjoy the show.
  • The 4400 Pilot Episode

    10
    The 4400 Pilot Episode was a perfect introduction to the series as it introduces most of the main characters 4400 and otherwise, it established and laid the groundwork for a few plot lines, and it moved at a great pace. I think the whole idea of this show is awesome and unique. There is a mystery to be solved as people from different times suddenly reappear from what was thought to be a comet with no knowledge of where they were or what was done to them. It was interesting to see some of the characters develop special abilities or powers and what they had to face upon their return as time has passed them by. The music of the series blends perfectly with the cinematography to create a unique tone which fits perfectly. I am hooked and look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
  • strong first episode.

    9.0
    While this pilot didn't show a fantastic amount of originality in its approach, it enchanted me for its full hour-and-a-half. There were lots of nice characters that shouted development and history so that was really easy to get into fast. The addition of the child, Maya, looks to me a real gem too. She could be the bringer of some of the best mystery and suspense elements to this show.

    I'll definitely continue watching The 4400. I'm always in for some long and plotty show with interesting people and actions and this seems a definite example of that category. A nice start, though the two "leads", Diana and Tom, weren't sparkling enough to my taste. A lot of the dialogue and acting between them needs fine-tuning but I'm pretty sure that it'll all work out. Considering this show ran for 4 seasons, they had a lot of time to work out the flaws and smoothen up the formula. Can't wait to watch the rest!
  • A very strong and solid first episode.

    9.0
    While this pilot didn't show a fantastic amount of originality in its approach, it enchanted me for its full hour-and-a-half. There were lots of nice characters that shouted development and history so that was really easy to get into fast. The addition of the child, Maya, looks to me a real gem too. She could be the bringer of some of the best mystery and suspense elements to this show.

    I'll definitely continue watching The 4400. I'm always in for some long and plotty show with interesting people and actions and this seems a definite example of that category. A nice start, though the two "leads", Diana and Tom, weren't sparkling enough to my taste. A lot of the dialogue and acting between them needs fine-tuning but I'm pretty sure that it'll all work out. Considering this show ran for 4 seasons, they had a lot of time to work out the flaws and smoothen up the formula. Can't wait to watch the rest!
  • The pilot episode for "The 4400"

    9.5
    Okay, I know I am a late bloomer for this show but what can I say. I'm a busy girl. I didn't think I would like it, but after asking a few people about the show, they made me want to watch it. The way I judge a TV series is on the Pilot episode. if I don't like the Pilot than more than likely I wont like the show. I loved the Pilot for the 4400. The show just got better and better every episode. I think I watched three series in three days. It was awesome. And it all started with the pilot. All the characters were great and they made it so that all the characters had some personal issues which made you want to know more about them. It was great.
  • The 4400 are returned to earth

    8.7
    Great pilot episode. The characters are introduced and a sneek peak of their abilities is given as well.

    The emotional impact on the 4400 and on their families is shown. Family members that have died, family members that no longer want to know the people who have returned, even family members who don't know about the returnees.

    On the other hand, for the returnees, no time has passed so the emotional impact is huge in contrast to the families, who have had time to get used to the absence, but not to the return.

    The abilities of the returnees promise to be interesting and scary...
  • Tom: "Is it the hand of God or little green men?" Dianna: "I'm not discounting anything."

    8.5
    The 4400 began as a five-hour miniseries for USA Network. After good reviews and fair ratings, it was then granted a second season with the miniseries dubbed as the first.

    What I’ve always liked about the series is that it takes a personal investment in the characters and how their lives have changed. The writers never become absorbed in the plot point of why the 4400 came back. (Although later it does become important, but appropriately so after we’ve already become attached to the characters.)

    Diana and Tom, the show’s two main characters, are juxtapositions of one another. Diana is cold and detached from the 4400 case, while Tom takes an emotional investment in it (partly because his nephew is involved, partly because it’s in his nature). Diana thought six weeks was too short of a time span to release the returnees to their families, preferring to keep them in isolation to perform tests, while Tom actively defended their rights and was anxious to let them go home to their families. The two of them are classic gender reversals, Tom being the one who shows compassion for the returnees while Diana treats them as lab rats.

    Although Tom and Diana’s relationship started off on a rocky note, they quickly became a team throughout the pilot. They balance each other out, and were successfully able to suppress Orson before he did any more damage. Although they still have to work out the trust issue; Tom blatantly lied to her about Sean.

    As much as the 4400s want to, they can’t jump back into their lives where they left off. Sean’s having a hard time being the same age as his little brother; Lilly is depressed at being forgotten by her daughter and rejected by her husband; Richard is shocked at discovering his home town isn’t what it used to be; Orson couldn’t get a job at the company he used to own. Their lives have changed, and whether they want to or not, sooner of later they’ll have to accept that.

    There were many emotional stories, but Lilly’s probably got to me the most (although Orson and his wife came in a close second). Her twelve year old daughter doesn’t even know she exists, and her husband has remarried and doesn’t want her in their lives. I can understand Brian moving on; it’s been over a decade since Lilly left. But prohibiting her from meeting her daughter was unfair and heartless.

    In fact, the whole situation 4400s are in is unfair. None of them asked to be taken; none of them wanted their lives to be turned upside down. The series does a good job at exploring the moral and social issues the returnees and the world face. What rights do the 4400s have? Why should they have to be in isolation and subjected to tests? Why should they check back every week? There will most likely be tons of lawsuits and court cases, and there is no legal precedence for what’s happening. Like the anchorwoman said, the 4400 are normal citizens who have done nothing wrong. They just got caught up in some sort of…well… it’s not very clear yet what it is.

    Maia is incredibly mature for her age. She dealt abnormally well both when she found out her parents were dead and when her adoptive parents gave her back. It also must be quite a burden for a 7 year-old to be able to see the future, and yet Maia handles it with sophistication. She’s more of an adult then half the cast.

    Lilly and Richard being drawn to one another makes sense. They’re both lost in world’s they don’t know, and they’re both looking to anyone for comfort. Plus, it must give Richard a familiar feeling looking into the face of someone who looks like the love of his life.

    Whatever the reason, it looks like some of the returnees have been brought back with powers. Maia can see the future, Sean can give or take lives, and Orson had telekinesis related to his emotional-state. So some force took them away for decades to bring them back with superpowers? Why? Do all of the 4400s have them?

    Featured 4400:
    Maia Rutledge
    Disappeared March 3, 1946 from Crescent City, California
    Was the first 4400 taken.

    Richard Tyler
    Disappeared May 11, 1951 from South Korea

    Shawn Farrell
    Disappeared April 22, 2001 from Highland Beach, Washington
    His disappearance knocked his cousin, Kyle, unconscious.

    4400 of the Week:

    Orson Bailey
    Disappeared June 11, 1979 from Tacoma, Washington
    Power: Telekinesis

    Final Notes

    - It looks like Kyle’s coma caused his parents’ divorce.

    - Lilly disappeared in 1993. Her grandmother dated Richard. What are the chances the two of them would meet?

    - The Seattle Branch is in charge of 79 returnees. 135 stayed in quarantine. Most of the 4400 appear to be drawn to Washington. Is that significant?

    - Lilly came back pregnant even though she hadn’t conceived when she left. How is that possible? Did “they” impregnate her for a reason?

    - Diana hinted that she had a bad father.

    - Are there feelings developing between Sean and Niki? It sure looks like it.

    - The song “Worry About You” was played twice in the episode.

    - What did Sean do to Kyle? Did he wake him up?

    - This pilot had a wonderful script; I loved Dianna and Tom’s banter.

    A lot of Quotes (most which were Tom and Diana’s)

    - Diana: “Well, should be interesting.”
    Tom: “Nice to meet you, too.”
    Ryland: “Beautiful.”

    - Dianna: “You want me to drive?”
    Tom: “What for?”
    Diana: “I don’t know. So you can brood.”

    - Diana: “You know, I had a boyfriend once. Every time…”
    Tom: “Boyfriend?”
    Diana: “Don’t look so surprised.”

    - (After a talk with Linda)
    Diana: “Well, that was awkward.”
    Tom: “Really?”
    Dianna: “Yeah.”
    Tom: “I didn’t notice.”

    - Diana: “Is this all that's left when you're done: a box of trinkets?”
    Tom: “They're not trinkets, their memories, the kind you leave behind, you know, for family and friends.”

    - Tom: “For future reference, if I want to play good cop, bad cop, I'll let you know.”
    Diana: “Which one do I get to be?”

    - Linda: “It’s not a competition, Tom. It’s not about who can sit by his side the longest.”

    - Ryland: “Tom, do you have any idea what I’m wading though here? I have over 4,000 people who stepped out of a ball of light and landed in my lap. Some of them have been gone for 60 years. None of them remember what happened. And you want me to drop everything because you want back in?” Yup, pretty much.

    - Coroner: (re: Kenningston) “Well, he might have been a boring old suit when he was alive. But in death, he’s a rock star.”

    Final Rating: A little slow but still a strong pilot. 3 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx
    Find this and many more reviews at: www.motionpicturereviews.com
  • an amazing show and a great way of starting it off.

    8.9
    4400 is a great show to make for television. I think it is really amazing how they get you at the edge of your seat and keep you there. I think it is an great way to start off a series, with a little mystery, suspense and clues to what's going on. The writers make this show a great work of art for how the stretch the barriers but not too much. A show like this makes you wonder what made them like this, what the 4400 can do, what they are limited to and how far their abilities stretch. In my opinion, if most shows were similar this, television would be a better place.
  • Brilliant beginning!

    10
    The 4000 was a risk to say the least... Weird Sci-Fi show on a struggling cable network when the likes of FX and Bravo were starting to make the broadcast network big wigs shift uncomfortably in their oversized office chairs swearing this cable insurgence was just a "whim." Well, shows like The Shield and Rescue Me have proved them wrong year after year... But rather than jump into the serialized television landscape with both feet, The 4400 started out as a mini-series. Don't get me wrong, the creators had every hope and intention in making it a series, but if it failed, the network had the "well, it was just a temporary thing" excuse to fall back on.

    Good thing it didn't fail!

    A precursor and obvious influence to Heroes, with a dash of X-Files and a smidge of Close Encounters, The 4400 continues to be entertaining and relevant.
  • A great and very informative way to start the series.

    9.0
    As it starts you have a sense of wonder to what is hapining. Then the writers are at there prime of there craft flooding you with tid-bits of info that makes you to the point where you have to say, \'\'ooohhh\'\'. This episode has such power to suck you in and want more.
  • An excellent way to begin a series!

    9.7
    When I was given the DVD for the first season of this show from a friend, I was unsure of this series. But the first episode really captivated me. The beginning, in which we see certain characters disappear after a flash of light, was really gripping. The entire family storyline with Tom, Kyle and Shawn was the clencher for me, but everything about this episode is great. They set up a lot of great stuff in this episode, from Richard and Lily's romance to Tom and Diana's partnership/friendship.

    I really, really enjoyed the storyline surrounding Tom and Shawn. The first scene with Shawn and Kyle gave me just enough to pique my interest: and then going straight to the hospital to find that Tom's spent the last three years sitting with Kyle and trying to find Shawn for answers... was really great. Even better was the first scene between Tom and Shawn, when Shawn realizes that Tom's spent the last three years blaming Shawn for Kyle's coma. Bring on the guilt, Tom Baldwin! I loved when he went to Shawn's return party and told him he really was glad he was back. And then he hid what he was starting to suspect about Shawn, not because it had anything to do with Kyle, but because Shawn is his nephew and he was protecting him. In case you can't tell, their relationship is my favorite.

    I hated Brian in this episode. He did not react well to Lily returning at all, but I loved the twist that Lily's grandmother was the woman Richard had been in love with. It was really interesting.

    Another great thing about the series is that each of the 4400 has come back with abilities, but none of them really knows it. Obviously Maia knows that she knows the future, but no one else has any idea about their abilities at all. Giving Shawn the ability to both heal and harm 'different: giving a healer the opposite ability isn't done very often. The actor did a great job with his material.

    My only complaint: Did they have to do the triangle with Shawn, Nikki and Danny?? Sibling love triangles are way overdone in my book and I'm tired of them.

    The cast is excellent and this was a great starter episode!
  • Great pilot episode to begin with

    9.0
    About 4400 people, hence the title, are abducted by ailens
    When they return to earth, the ailens change them either for the better or for the worst as two Homeland Security agents, kind of remind me of the X-Files Mulder and Scully, try to find out what has happened to them as well as understand why the ailens have changed them.
    Great pilot episode to begin with.
  • When 4400 people that were obducted by aliens before are returned to Earth, some of them start to explore unique abilities. Two agents from Homestead Security Seattle are now investigating the obduction of these people.

    8.6
    The pilot episode of The 4400" was quite a surprise to me, because I was expecting a completely different kind of sci-fi. Instead of showing aliens, and their spaceships, we see a huge comet entering Earth's atmosphere. A few moments later we see 4400 people that have been obducted months or decades ago. The stories that comes with the first few returners are really interesting, and realistic. They struggle with their new abilities, and of course they're quite frigthened. The hunt of our two special agents is also quite fascinating. Only the fact that many of the returners are accepted by society so soon is a bit unrealistic. All together the pilot gives us a first glimpse of what this show is about, and also poses a lot of questions that will hopefully evolve within the next couple of episodes.
  • Great way to start the show!

    9.0
    Wow, what a great way to start a show. I like how the show start off with people from different years and era being abducted by alens, and then brought back to Earth into the present with them being the same. This show reminds me alot of the X-Men. It\'s like the X-Files meeting the X-Men! I like how they show each character having different powers. The little girl, Maia, had psychic and precognition powers, the teenage boy, Shawn Farrell, with the ability to heal, and a business man, Bailey, with the ability to shatter objects with his TK powers. While the show started off great with abductees from different era\'s being kidnapped, they also did a good job of introducing each character and introducting the main plot of the show. The ending in which Shawn heals his cousin was pretty good as well.
  • Terrific!

    8.7
    4400 previously missing people appear in a ball of light in the remote mountains of Washington, with no memory of where they have been, and why they were sent back.

    Mindblowing, magical, a fun thrill ride, these are just a few words I can think of to descibe the pilot episode. It was on the best pilots I have ever seen, and kept me on the edge of my bed from beginning to end.

    We are introduced to the main characters, Diana and Tom and their boss Ryland, who oversee any incidents involving the returnees. On their first case they learn that the 4400 came back not only looking the same when they were taking but they came back with enhanced powers.

    Overall, brilliant pilot, which opened up a whole new world for this show.

  • The 4400, a bunch of human beings taken from the Earth at various points in time have now returned. They have not aged, yet the world has & it us up to Agents Tom & Diana to figure out who, what, why, and how this happened.

    10
    Wow, what an episode. This is the way all pilots need to be, breath-taking, ground-taking, and soul-taking. Yet, no answers were ever delivered in this first episode. All we know is that 4400 individuals were taken. But where did they go? Who took them? Did they harm them in anyway? Are they different than they were before? This episode delivers questions upon questions in a manner that would make Socrates proud. Not many episodes can get a perfect ten, and this is one of them. Pilot episode has elements that are of the sublime, how can a meager human mortal be able to express her thoughts on watching this episode. It can't be done. Only to say that the effects, the acting, directing, producing, casting is tremendous and we need fifty more television shows like the 4400 and fifty more episodes like the pilot. Excellent.
  • The story was well written ... receives 9.5 points... but minus points for night scenes. I have an answer to reviewer hr1341's time travel question.

    8.0
    I believe this story was well written and preformed very well. My only problem with this and other 4400 episodes is the night scenes. They look like they were filmed during the day with a filter on the camera to make it appear to be night...points off for that.

    Reviewer hr1341 wrote "But one thing I have to nitpick at is that none of the actual science behind the whole thing was explained. I mean, obviously they can't explain the whole thing correctly right down to the last detail, as time travel hasn't been discovered yet. But still, it would be nice to have something." I will give a small explanation with an example that might help.

    Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity states that time travel is possible, at least traveling forward is possible. They have proved this to be true using sub atomic particles which travel at speeds close to the speed of light. The only reason we can not move people forward in time is that we do not have a vehicle that can travel at speeds close to the speed of light.

    If we had a ship or the "ALIENS" from 4400 had a ship that could travel close to the speed of light than we could prove the following example:

    We have twin brothers, 20 years old. The aliens take one of the twins and travel to a star 24.99 light years away and than return to Earth and drop the twin off. They are traveling at .99979998 times the speed of light (almost light speed). On Earth 50 years has passed before the aliens return to unite the twins. When they meet, the Earth twin is 70 years old but the traveling twin is only 21 years old. Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity proves that time dilation occurs for the traveling twin.

    Time Dilation is t' = t times the square root of 1 minus v squared.
    Where t' is the time it took the traveling twin to go to the star and back.
    Where t is the time the Earth bound twin observed.
    Where v is the speed of the ship.

    v = .99979998.
    v squared = .9996
    1 - .9996 = .0004
    the square root of .0004 = .02
    t = 50 years
    50 times .02 = 1
    t' = 1 year

    The closer v is to the speed of light the shorter the traveling time will be for the traveling twin. This is why the 4400 returnees feel like they just left. They must have been traveling at near light speed.
  • And so it begins.

    7.0
    The first ten mintutes introduces us to some of the regular characters, and then sees Earth trying to deal with what they believe is going to be the Apocalypse. The fact that they jumped right into it instead of going through the whole 'Armageddon' routine was a welcome change. And the way they try and deal with the 'comet' also makes for a fresh scene, in which the nations launch a volley of missiles at it. I'm not sure why, but I really enjoyed that scene. It gave the sense that the Earth actually had some power instead of portraying us as feeble, powerless fools. Granted, they didn't actually work, but it wasn't what they thought they were aiming at, so we'll excuse that. Another welcome change was the lack of clichéd panic scenes. The return scene was pretty good, and the special effects were good too.

    I didn't like the scene in which Tom and Diana are paired up, because she acts like a bit of a stuck up bitca, and when put together with the rest of the series it seems out of character.

    There were 2 returnees who have it worst, Lily and Maia. Maia because she is only a little girl and has lost everything she knew, and is practically in another world. But as she is a little girl, she'll always have people to look after her. Lily, who has lost her family, house and everything else, not due to time, but due to a particularly unsavoury ex-husband who refuses to let her get to know her own daughter, is not as fortunate as she is an adult and therefore has to care for herself.

    Another returnee who has it bad is Richard, but as we see he has always had it bad due to racism. It's rather ironic that the very thing that saves him from one form of prejudice creates another. He's in the same boat as Lily, being an adult. But by the end of the episode at least they have each other.

    The whole concept is a pretty good one, and I believe they carried it out pretty well. But one think I have to nitpick at is that none of the actual science behind the whole thing was explained. I mean, obviously they can't explain the whole thing correctly right down to the last detail, as time travel hasn't been discovered yet. But still, it would be nice to have something.

    The episodes run with a Returnee of the Week format, with a running arc of them finding out more about who took them, where to, and why they took them. This episode is centered around Orson Bailey, who also has it pretty bad, he's lost his company, his wife and everything else by the end of the episode, although he doesn't deal with it as well as the others, and takes the skull shattering, Carrie-at-the-prom approach.

    We are also shown that at least two of the other returnees have 'abilities'. Maia, who is able to predict future events, and Shawn, who has the power to hurt or heal, based on how he feels about the object in question.

    One more out of the ordinary thing is that Lily is now pregnant. And as it is revealed that her ex-husband, Brian, was out of town when she disappeared, it eliminates any chance that he is the father. And as she did not sleep with anyone else, it is obvious that their captors played a part in it.

    As a side note: one viewpoint I'd be interested in seeing would be from one of the returnees who's country is refusing to let them back in. It hasn't been done so far, so I hope they get a chance to.

    Overall it's a pretty good introdcution to what is a reasonably good series.
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