The 4400

Season 3 Episode 10

The Starzl Mutation

Aired Unknown Aug 06, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

out of 10
274 votes
  • The Starzl Mutation

    The Starzl Mutation was a superb episode of The 4400. I enjoyed watching this episode because it had an interesting twist in the plot lines as a rogue soldier from a secret government program begins to kill people with a special mutation, Shawn has disturbing visions of the future creating a huge dilemma for him, and Dennis Ryland plays politics well. I thought the main premis of this episode was great and an interesting development making the whole idea of the 4400 more complex and engaging. The end of this episode had a shocking moment and I look forward to watching the next episode of The 4400!!!!!!!
  • Was it a directors choice??

    When I saw Tom running in the forest and before hitting the water I noticed that the back of his jacket said NTAC in big white block letters, BUT when he was fighting the mutated soldier he managed to lose the word NTAC on his back because when her partner tried to shoot the soldier she couldn't.

    That is because the director decided that both of them should have plain black jackets just to add to the drama, soldier dead facing down on the surface of the water.

    I wonder who checks for this type of errors, unless it was done in purpose.

    You decide!!!

  • After a present from a 4400 Shawn has vision of a possible future after his marriage to Isabelle.

    Excellent episode with lots of room for speculation. Shawn's visions, induced by smoking LOL, show possible futures. These visions will undoubtedly influence future decisions in general and with regards to Isabelle in particular.

    Tom and Diana are in pursuit of a serial killer, not a 4400, but a military man with a 4400 ability gained by promicin injection as part of a test programme by the US army.

    The big twist, saved till the very last bit of the episode of course, was the appearance of long-dead Jordan Collier. It appears the disappearance of his body was not a fluke and it also appears he's not dead or possibly no longer dead??
  • 4400's getting better

    Shawn: So what you're saying is if I smoke this cigar, I'm going to see the future?
    Claudio: Your future. A possible one anyway. As I said, use with caution. You might not like what you see. But it seems an appropriate gift for a man on his wedding day.
    Shawn: Well, it is better than a toaster oven. Thank you, Claudio.
    Claudio: My congratulations to you. The Starzl Mutation is a return to fine form for The 4400. After the pretty lacklustre Home Front, Blink and Ballad of Kevin and Tess (although that one wasn't bad) comes a revealing, and interesting installment that delves a bit more into the ongoing 4400 story. Shawn seeing the future thanks to a cigar(!), gross corpses and a good cliffhanger too. So much better.
  • I love this episode it has to be one of my favourites.

    This is a brilliant episode. It is so full of trauma. After a series of grusome murders leads Tom and Dianne to brlieve that a 4400 is involved. But instead of finding a 4400 they find a man who has been druged up to the heavens with promisson.(excuse the spelling)

    It is a compact episode that shows a bit of what is to come between Shane and Isabelle. It is very exciting but is let down by the lack of action in it. But a great twist in the storyline of the return of Jordan Colllier more then makes up for this.

    Over all a great episode that holds up to the high standards that are known on this show. Definetly worth a 9.5
  • Yea... fine example of how i knew he would be back

    I few episodes back when the character Matthew died i asked (in my review)if that ment the character Jordan would be back.... and i was correct. DID you NOT see that coming??

    Of course now there are more questions we are acking ourselves... but if we paid more attention to all the little details they give during each episode can't we "predict the future" ourselves?

    Yes, the writters do come up with extrealy clever ideas and twists that no one expects, but can't we use the "context clues" like we had to use back in Middle school to Guess what we thing is next??

    I am always surprised and excited when things in the show happen! I was extreamly excited in the episode after this one! I wont mention it here in case you are reading this but haven't seen it yet!

    I just hope that the writters continue the series and keep expanding with new ideas that will keep us guessing and arguing over what is next!
  • And the quality keeps going and going and going...

    The season continues to march towards one hell of a confrontation in the finale, and if this episode is any indication, the battle lines are already drawn. Through two very different types of storytelling, the shape of the near-future is placed in relative focus, leaving more than enough room for debate. And of course, there’s the end of the episode, which sends the story into further chaos.

    The main plot of the episode set up one side of the equation. Ryland’s stockpile of promycin, extracted from Isabelle, has been used to create the prototype for a new kind of army. This effectively fulfills Isabelle’s role as the agent designed for the destruction of the 4400. Not only is she the source of promycin used to create an enhanced army capable of taking on the 4400 and their mission, but she is nearly invulnerable, making it all too easy to keep creating reinforcements.

    Two items come to mind as immediate implications. The short-term question would be the desire to stop the extraction of more promycin, to prevent the further creation of anti-4400 forces. Tom’s ability to take down Isabelle could play into that, especially if it’s seen as a way of limiting the scope of conflict that is sure to come. The other implication could play into the whole “catastrophe”. Once the anti-4400 forces eliminate the 4400, they themselves become a threat to humanity. Does Ryland have a way to deal with that possibility, or will the instability among the anti-4400 soldiers lead to the catastrophe itself?

    Shawn’s plot thread may play into all of that. While I found the means of his visions to be somewhat annoying, since it easily could have been something that came from Maia instead, it served the purpose of leaving the audience very worried about the near future. It really does look like a choice between the lesser of two evils, and it all comes down to Shawn’s relationship to Isabelle.

    If Shawn marries Isabelle, does that keep her within reach, so Tom can do what must be done? And does that, in turn, push Shawn to become more of a leader? There are a lot of open questions, but it also seems that Richard needs to take more control of the 4400 Center, and that leads to a “pre-emptive strike” against Ryland’s forces. That could be a necessary action to prevent the catastrophe. On the other hand, if Shawn doesn’t marry Isabelle, it could be that her wrath and instability leads to a widespread escalation of conflict, perhaps because she could not be eliminated early enough and the war between the 4400 and the anti-4400 leads to the gradual destruction of humanity.

    I thought that the episode provided more than enough foreshadowing and maneuvering to last the rest of the season, but the return of Jordan Collier adds a wild card into the mix. Where will he stand on the whole issue of Isabelle and Shawn? If that relationship is so important to the fate of humanity, and Jordan is convinced that he is meant to shepherd the 4400 towards their proper destiny, Isabelle stands in direct conflict with his assumed goal.

    Whatever the case, this series continues to deliver. Throughout the season, every episode has been packed with enough detail and potential for pages and pages of analysis and speculation. It’s exactly what fans of shows like “Lost” and “BSG” need in a summer series.

    (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!)
  • on another series

    Funny how an episode of NightStalker had identical corpses.
    This show is getting banal. It's gotten to the point that the previews are offering things that the episode doesn't deliver. The previews offer up a mixture of scenes out of sequence and out of context entirely. Not a good way to get people to keep watching your show.
    This entire season has been a drop off from seasons 1 and 2. Hopefully with the reintroduction of Collier we will get to see some real intrigue.
  • it doesn\'t get any better than this !

    Tom: The soliders you\'re creating are you going to use them to defend the country or are you going to send them after the 4400?
    Ryland: Is there a difference?

    I couldn\'t find a better quote to explain what it\'s all about. You can feel it\'s building up to an immense season finale, even more highlighted by the appearance of Jordan Collier and the visions of Shaun ( he sees a war and the dead of Richard or Baldwin).

    I\'m not willing to reveal anything more of this episode, you NEED to see it yourself. I promise you the best 45 minutes thrill since X-files was around.
  • Major revelations, new threats, and old friends make this one of the most compelling and exciting episodes of The 4400's third season.(Spoiler Alert)

    The third season of The 4400 has been quite good to this point, yet I have felt that something was missing (besides Chad Faust). The sense of hurtling into the unknown has been a hallmark of the best episodes of The 4400. This season hasn't had much opportunity of that as the storytelling has been focused on laying down new foundations for more adventure. Well, the foundations have been laid, and the adventure has arrived.

    Shawn's wedding present of a cigar that can give him a glimpse of what might be his future offers two terrifying views, one in which "The Catastrophe" occurs, and one in which The 4400 wage open war on the rest of humanity. The question is, "Which path will he take?" Can Shawn even trust the visions to be accurate?

    This is an episode that allows the parallel story lines from the first several episodes of this season to suddenly crash into each other. The results of Isabelle's "visits" with Ryland lead directly to a series of murders and some big surprises for Agents Skouris and Baldwin. Plus Shawn gets a very big surprise at his wedding.

    I've you've been feeling that The 4400 has gotten too relaxed in its third season, be prepared for a jolt. This episode has all of the energy and mystery of the best episodes to date. Enjoy the ride!
  • An episode that answerers some questions but plants some seeds

    This episode answerers some questions but I think it plants bigger seeds. One of the big questions it answerers is why thee 4400 were brought back to Seattle. The thing is that it makes no sense to me that the answer has anything to do with the mutation. Ok 4400 won't give birth to children who will have abilities unless they have a child with a person who has this mutation. Funny thing is, is that there are only 200 of theses people. Now being that the promician can give any normal human 4400 abilities that seems a more effective way to create more 4400. Being that Isabelle is the person who supplied this promician I think it's to late to kill her now because she has already don't the "bad thing" she was supposed to do. Second is remember when they took back about 6-8 4400 children? This was supposed to affect the future in a good way and all those kids are to young to have any of there own. It's just not adding up. Also Shawn vision of the future is shown to us in an incomplete sort of way. The main point is that in both visions there is a war so no matter what Shawn does it's going to happen. In the end it was a good episode and I may be over thinking things but any good show always leads us a stray just to surprise us in the end and I just don't think that everything that happened in this episode is so cut and dry as they made it seem
  • So that's why...(spoilers)

    A lot happened in this episode though it wasn\\\'t exactly my favorite episode. First, we find out the reason why the future sent the 4400 to Seattle in 2004! Seattle is the only place where 4400 will be able to make \\\"extra special\\\" children because of the mutation. Unfortunately, a secret solider of the Army goes AWOL and starts killing the people with the mutation so any future kids will not be born (I felt so sorry for the hustler, attorney and the other officer (he\\\'s from Jack and Bobby yay!!). Looks like the future overlooked something again (btw wasn\\\'t Alana suppose to help Tom through the tough times that were coming? Why did she leave then? Did the future mess up again?)...Also, we found out what happened with the promisin (forgive my spelling). Also, Marco and Diana shared a special moment when he asked how Maia was and Diana and Tom did as well when he asked her to go with the wedding with him.

    On to Shawn. Wow the future looks pretty crappy whether he marries Isabelle or not. I\\\'m sad to see that Shawn and Richard will be on opposite sides (he\\\'ll loose yet another father figure not to mention the fact that I love Richard (especially now that we get to see more of him because Lily is gone-btw did we never saw Heidi and her father\\\'s response to Lily\\\'s death-we should have) and it was so sad to see Tom die in Shawn\\\'s arms. I am glad that Shawn has matured so much that he realizes the best thing to do accept marrying Isabelle. Though I wish he was close enough to his family for them to realize that something just isn\\\'t right about the whole thing. It was cute to see Tom help him get ready and the look on Shawn\\\'s face when he saw Jordan was great acting.
  • It's about time we got to something great.

    We finally get to see everything in this story arc coming together. First up, Shawn and Isabelle are finally gettting married. But the more important storyline has to deal with the impending war. The military has started a program to give soldiers 4400-like abilities thanks to the Haspel Corporation, which Dennis Ryland is now a big part of. Big surprise, eh? The show also explained why the 4400 were dumped off in Seattle, and why they were put in the year 2004. Shawn also smokes some cigars made by a 4400 who gives people possible visions of their futures just by touching them, and Shawn starts seeing visions of the upcoming war, and what could happen depending on whether or not he marries Isabelle. I don't want to give everything away, so I've been a little vague here, but for any 4400 fan, I highly recommend this episode. Definitely an important episode for this series.
  • In one word "wow"!

    We got some important answers tonight and a big surprise. Shaun is given an opportunity to use another 4400's ability to see the future. Should he marry Isabelle or shouldn't he? The ultimate completed vision ends up showing the surprising thought Isabelle could possibly end up making the right "choices" and Richard end up making the bad ones. What a flip-flop. However, there's still the fact Isabelle has been going to Ryland to freely give promicin. Promicin that ends up starting a military elite group as an answer, they say, is needed to meet the same ability other countries are more than likely experimenting with, too. That fact definitely has some realistic truths in it. A member of the military elite group, driven crazy by the doses of promicin to jump start an ability, starts killing people that have what's called a Starzi Mutation. A mutation when paired with another 4400 allows more 4400 abilities to be passed down to their children. This mutation only being present in Seattle answers the question as to why the 4400 were brought back specfically to that area. Then, if that wasn't enough Richard comes back at the end of the episode asking Shaun if he knows who he is. Saying this was a very interesting and engaging episode is probably a huge understatement. I can't wait to see what the rest of the season has in store.
  • The path to the War finally begins.

    Once again, the series is beauitful in creating suspense with the murders and the cause. At last we find out why the 4400 were sent back to Seattle and it's a brilliant twist that promises their numbers can grow. Of course, that's exactly why the military is worried.

    Once again, Peter Coyote is brilliant, so sure that what he's doing is right and showing that in his talk with Tom and Diane. I did like the bit at the end where he hints that despite his attitude, he's really a small cog in the much bigger wheel. Having the miltary reveal the program first was another great twist.

    The future visions of Shawn weren't as big as I thought but they did do a nice job thinking it was Isabelle's fault only to reveal it was Richard who made the first attack in the war, which pushes Shawn to do the wedding after all.

    And that leads to the great ending of Jordan popping up alive and we all know that means things are going to get even better, for the show if not for the characters in it.
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