The 4400

Season 3 Episode 12

Terrible Swift Sword

Aired Unknown Aug 20, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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  • Terrible Swift Sword

    Terrible Swift Sword was a perfect and defining episode of The 4400. I really enjoyed watching this episode because this is where lines have been drawn. Isabelle has chosen her path to work with Dennis Ryland now that she was kicked out of the 4400 center by Jordan who initiates a master plan to change the world and circumvent the catastrophe of the future. Diana has to deal with April and eventually April finds out about Diana and her secret relationship from Maia. Kyle talks with Collier and starts a new path helping The 4400. Jordan made some major moves in this episode and changes the game. Jordan also tests Shawns loyalty and he also finds Kevin and Tess. This is another of my favorite episodes of the season. I look forward to watching the season three finale of The 4400!!!!!!!
  • Collier is planning his war of good versus evil

    Exciting episode with some interesting storylines.

    In this episode I felt that the writers seemed to emphasise the Christ/Collier analogy but I'm unsure whether they've cast Shawn in the Judas role. He betrayed Collier to NTAC but later on still seemed to be in Collier's good graces.

    Isabelle and Ryland however are clearly representing evil.

    I felt sad for Tom when Kyle decided to leave so soon after being freed from prison, but at least he's Alana back.

    I also felt sad for April, finding out that your boyfriend is destined to be with your sister must have been awful.
    It will be interesting how the Kyle and Ben storylines develop in future episodes.
  • Loose Ends, Relationships, Tie Ups

    Okay, I like this eppy, however I do think it's more of a filler. We're getting some loose ends tied up in order to allow for a combustible finale to the season. I enjoyed the fact that we find out that Diana and Ben are actually going to be together. Gotta love Maia's predictions. We see the relationships between many people become closer or farther apart. It's interesting see that when Tom and Kyle finally have the opportunity to get closer, Kyle is dragged back again to the 4400 center and a job that they've got for him. It'll be interesting to see where that relationship moves onto, while Tom and Alana's relationship grows stronger again. All in all it was an interesting episode, but I'm more looking forward to the finale than this particular episode. The writers and cast are doing a fantastic job either way at keeping us rivoted
  • Finally back to good old 4400 excitement.. but is it too little too late.

    I must say this was a great episode.. along with the previous one. And for me, the reason is in the sub-plots, something that I feel has been missing all season.

    Sure Jordan is back and doing his Christ thing and/or starting a war with everyone, but the reason it was great was the scenes with Tom/Kyle.. and Diana/Ben/April. This drama and personal issues storylines are making this show great because that's the angle an average viewer identifies with. The leaving of a child from the house, falling in love with someone who was loved by a sister, etc... that's drama on a different level than "a war is starting."

    These things, for me, made this series what it was supposed to be.. a SciFi setting of "real person" stories. And I think good SciFi should be that way... Battlestar is another great example of this.. so is Lost. The special effects and the SciFi-ness make it "cool", but the human element makes it "good."

    And I hear those that complaining about this minor points, yelling at the scene towards Diana about "don't worrying Ben, you're going to be killed in this war if you don't do something!!" Not sure what to say toward this people only demand the action side of TV.. and not emotional.

    Sadly, I feel it's all too little too late. For such a short season (14 eps), it seems wasted whole episodes and moving the WW3 plot forward. It's interesting to me that it started to get good once Jordan came back.. and I know he wasn't able to film until late. But, that's not an excuse for not writing good episodes prior to him.. you could still get the shock value at his appearance later.

    I guess I can only hope that the finale continues its current path and setups up a better season next year.
  • The creators weren't kidding when they said every episode has a story to tell... there are no fillers. Great!!!!

    I am totally enjoying this season as all the episodes have just had major things happening and all the threads are coming together then unravelling then coming back together. At first Collier was kind of like Magneto "Us and them", he gets to walk the path of future and comes back as a reinvented Dr Xavier where Homo Superior and Homosapien can get on together. The fact that they've decided to make the promiacin(?) available to the public creating metahumans (17,000 + vials) will be interesting to see what happens. It was also good to see the little love triangle resolving itself without the huge tantrum and sense of betrayal I was expecting to see. Great episode like all the preceding ones and looking forward to the rest!!!!
  • boooojah

    I absolutely loved this one. the intrigue, the intensity, dr berkhof, Collier, ... they're bringing out the big guns to gear up for an amazing final. And Ryland is in amazing form too.
    It was really amazing to see Baldwin run to Ryland and Collier to warn them for the other, not knowing that was exactly what Jordan wanted. The result ? On one side we have Ryland, Isabelle, and some trained supersoldiers, on the other side we have Collier, Richard, Berkhof, the Nova group and 17.000 bottle of promicen. In between we have NTAC, shawn and Kyle.
    Time to place your bets. One deciding season finale, coming up next sunday.
  • The penultimate episode of a great third season!

    Once again, the writers demonstrate how a clear vision and a strong season arc can be a powerful storytelling tool. Nearly everything that happened in this episode was set-up from the very beginning of the season, and when the inevitable DVD set comes out, I’m sure a lot of people will be stunned at how well it all hangs together. I, for one, will not be, because I’ve noticed the difference from the moment the season began.

    Another fan put it perfectly when discussing this episode: the best thing about the series is that you never know who the good guys really are. In other words, each side of the coming conflict has a damned good point, and in terms of general philosophy, one might agree with all sides. It’s the extreme nature of the steps taken in implementation of that philosophy that becomes troubling.

    Jordan laid it all out in this episode. The catastrophe is not one single event, but the culmination of a societal flaw. The accumulation of resources and power by a select and elite few will result in the majority of humans dying in a future wasteland, trapped outside of a vast walled city of plenty. As science fiction concepts go, this is an old one, but it touches on the class and social struggles of the current era.

    The implication is that the masses secretly sent back the 4400 to challenge the elite, changing society by changing humanity. The Future Elite, one might assume, then seeded the 4400 with Isabelle, their attempt to preserve the circumstances of their own rise to power. Jordan’s gambit in this episode fits into this conception perfectly. He is taking away the chance for the Elite to co-opt the 4400 abilities and giving it to the masses. It is a sensible enough plan.

    To use the “X-Men” analogy, Jordan is playing the Xavier role. He’s using former terrorists (like formerly criminal mutants) and convincing them to use their talents to level the playing field in a non-violent manner. Yet there’s also a touch of Magneto in Collier, and it remains to be seen how far he will go to preserve and protect his own kind.

    Of course, there is a potential twist to all of this. What if Jordan is actually fighting for the wrong side? It’s an assumption that Ryland and Isabelle are working to preserve the Future Elite. What if Jordan’s plan to distribute the promycin to the masses is the first step in creating the Future Elite? What if Jordan’s best intentions are actually being manipulated?

    The interesting thing to consider is that Jordan is acting to change something, but he has no idea what effect his actions might have. He may not even know the circumstances that led to the rise of the Future Elite, beyond vague and general changes over time. For the short term, Shawn’s visions of the conflict to come seem close at hand, and that does not bode well for some of the characters! My guess is that the bloody events foreseen by Shawn will be the result of Ryland’s forces attacking the 4400 Center, under the banner of “anti-terrorism”.

    This is all culminating in one hell of a finale, and I can only hope that USA Network once again sees the light and supports this series with another season. This has been the highlight of the summer season in many respects, and I certainly look forward to seeing where the writers can take it from here.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a podcast associated with my various reviews called “Dispatches from Tuzenor”. Recent episodes cover the “The 4400”, so it might be something of interest. Go to if you want to listen!)
  • Really good episode, setting everything up for the season finally next week!

    This was a great episode. It started out really good with all the NOVA group exscaping, and all the guards asleep. It shows that the sides that have been forming for the last season are starting to get ready to fight. It is going to be a terrible fight, what with everyone having their own special power!

    This episode really set up alot for the next episode. We now see that Isabelle has left the center for good, and seems to really want to fight. At the same time Collier has already greatly strengthened his forces with the NOVA group, which in my opinion was really smart, even if Shawn dosn't think so. They already knew the government wasn't going to fight on there side, so why not get more good fighters for you while you can.

    I think sending Kyle on the trip to other 4400 centers is just a way to keep him off screen. I doubt we will see much of him, if at all, next episode.

    One of the biggest things that was set up by this episode was the Promiacine being stolen. Great move by Collier. Although I want to know who is really going to be getting it, because even though he said everyone, I doubt that he would just hand it out on the street. He wants more fighters for his side, and so is only going to give it to those he trusts, like possibly all the staff of the 4400 center.

    Next week is going to be really exciting, can't wait.