This is the first episode of Tremors to fail miserably in the fun and entertainment stakes. It has a good basic plot, a bunch of animal welfare supporters arrive in Perfection to demand that El Blanco, the towns’ resident Graboid, is given proper respect and allowed to live without human interference.
The animal welfare side of this story is something that strikes home with me and I was interested to see how they would handle it. Would the animal activists be treated kindly or would they be portrayed as modern hippy anarchists, as seems to be the standard for most corporate produced TV.
On that point, the writers did well, the activists look real and act, as I would have expected. They were not shown to be stupid, anti society kids on a kick, which is what my expectations were. They were written well enough for you to think that maybe they did have a point and El Blanco was being mistreated.
The other, underlying, theme of this story that I did like was the relationships between the residents of Perfection, especially Burt, and El Blanco. As annoying and dangerous as he is to their lives they also seem to have a genuine affection for him/it.
Nevertheless, this is not enough to hold a whole episode together. Overall, the episode is bland and does not possess enough depth or story to fill out 44 minutes. The good parts of the episode could possibly fill 10-15 minutes, leaving another half hour of nothingness.
Even though the residents have a lot of screen time in this story only Nancy gets any sort of character advancement. The return of her daughter, as one of the activists, and her own personal dilemma over which side she should be on, for her current life as a resident of Perfection or for he rold beliefs of rights for all human and animal life, is well acted and you can see her struggle to decide what she should do.
Overall, this is a bad episode, possibilities were there but there was not enough of a story to fill out a whole episode. It really needed a subplot on there somewhere to fill it out a bit.