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Terra Nova Review: Don't Go Jumping Waterfalls

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It's amazing what story, conflict and inner turmoil can do for a television series.

While it wasn't without its usual clunky dialogue and regretfully mediocre acting, Terra Nova put forth some of its best work of the season in "Now You See Me."

Taylor and Mira in Action

A nice action-adventure piece with Taylor and Mira, as well as the longer-form mystery plot dealing with Skye as the mole, combined for an episode in which most of the hour was held my interest. That's something I haven't really said about anything since the pilot.

Sure, there were the normal issues Terra Nova faces. Commander Taylor and Mira jumping down the waterfall looked about as fake as could be, and a leap from that height would most certainly kill them no matter where they landed, right?  

But at least we got to watch some action-adventure sequences. Gorgeous aerial shots, Taylor belaying down a rock face, running from the slashers, jumping the waterfall and taking out the dinos with flaming spears and arrows made up for more legitimate adventure than the rest of the season combined.

And who wouldn't like to wash all of that tiresome activity down with some grubs? I know Timon and Pumba co-sign that decision by the Commander.

Back in the colony, it was revealed rather quickly that Skye was indeed the mole working for the Sixers. Nobody in Terra Nova figured it out, but we witnessed her betrayal, which at that point was necessary in order to keep our interest on the subject. There's only so long you can drag something like that out before we stop caring altogether.

On one side of the equation, I'm glad that Skye is the mole because she's a character we know well, and it's easy to sympathize with her. On the other, I'm upset that it wasn't someone that is indeed a spy for the sole purpose of being a spy. Can't anyone be bad just to be bad? There always has to be another agenda in order to betray the colony on this show, as we already saw with the little girl in "The Runaway."

Nevertheless, she still hasn't been caught, and it looked like she was going to continue to do her thing in camp in order to save her mother. Someone that both the Shannons and Commander Taylor love so much is a great person to have as the mole. When Jim, Taylor or Josh finds out that she has been helping the Sixers, there will certainly be Hell to pay.

That is, if Taylor is still around to do anything about it. As we were told yet again, Lucas is close to figuring out how to get the portal to go both ways. Who knows what other kinds of advances the kid is making?

"Now You See Me" was not without the Terra Nova problems that have plagued the series. Attempting to surprise the audience with a reveal that we already learned a minute earlier has now happened on multiple occasions. This time it occurred when Skye walked in and saw a woman that was clearly the mother that was foreshadowed earlier in the hour, and then with blatant dramatic music and a fast cutaway after she said "mom," the writers thought we'd be shocked.

But the interesting stories residing in both of the main plots this week was reason enough to say that "Now You See Me" provided Terra Nova with the most promise of a good end to the first - and maybe only season - since the premiere.

What did you all think of the episode? Is there more to like as we head down the back end of the season's run? And how unconvincing has Jason O'Mara been in this role so far? Terra Nova returns with its second-to-last episode in two weeks. Watch the official preview for it HERE.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I thought it was a great show when does it start up again ?

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Is it just me or is the third paragraph of this review a complete mess? Whether this episode was good or bad in your opinion escapes me because I stopped reading at that point.

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Lame, lame, and lamer. (a) I don't think I've ever seen a lamer dinosaur fight. We should have been seeing glimpses of them all along while Taylor and Mirra have their entirely unbelieveable conversation. And then a couple of arrows and a little fire and they're gone? Really? (b) We should have been seeing suspicious stuff about Skye all along too. Not enough to convince us that she's the one, but something more interesting than has been shown so far. (c) A humongous turtle lays an egg that produces offspring the size of a bite of kitten? I thought a better scene would have been to have momma turtle swallow little whatsitsname in one big gulp. Yeah. Gotten mean in my old age. You might well ask why I bother to watch this show. Well, partly it's my version of watching a train wreck. The real reason is that when all else has been watched and my daughter has taken over the living room and it's the only thing even slightly fun to watch, if only to mock, I switch on the On Demand in my room. There's all kinds of ways to enjoy a show. And a good reason to criticize them would be to encourage better writing.

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I would like to see Terra Nova come back for another season. It was a welcome break for Fox to try something besides animated comedies that are not really all that funny! I am sure you all know which ones I am talking about! Give the show a chance and bring it back for another season. PLEASE!

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"they... are coming". the 11th pilgrims come to terra nova and im thinking that maybe a pirate pilgrims come on another place later of the official due the success of lucas. terra nova must be prepare for a great siege.

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How do we "know Skye well?" She has barely been seen in an episode for weeks. All I remember about her is she was in a bikini once, fell in love at first sight with the whiny son, and can't pull worms out of her friends without breaking them. And really, is everyone in Terra Nova motivated to do bad things because their (wife, mother, son, daughter, dog), is being held by someone who wants something from them? Is that the only motivation the writers and producers could come up with? Again they go for the lowest common denominator and again it smells like dino droppings. I bought a smart TV last month. It informed me it will no longer tune into this tripe.

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I personally really like the show, the combination of the setting and the potential future plot line leaves me coming back for more. Sure, the characters and dialogue are missing a nice touch up, but even now, the series is still young and both the characters and writers still have the potential to evolve... either that or die in a fire Have hope and patience people!

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Really I do not like the people who write review for T.V. shows. They always knock down the good ones and praise the really bad ones. Terra Nova has been a great show from the very start. I believe all the networks want to stay in there confort zone. You get hooked on a new show and after two to three months they take it off the air.
If Terra Nova does not come back. Then the write better end it right and not leave us hanging.
And Mr.Forcella stop knocking down all the good shows. If you don't like it the quit watch it. Really the review for a sho should not go to one person. The people who watch the show should be the ones to review it and say that the show should have another season. So lets brung Terra Nova back for another season.

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Ok, I like this series and even some believe it is lackluster and so forth, I actually like Jason O'Mara as Jim Shannon. I did not like his last series, but I feel he fits right in. I look forward to watching this show and I have not done that in a long while, after the fiasco with FlashForward. That show I loved and hated it when it was canceled. Of course, if this gets canceled, then so be it. I might look forward to it and like it, but I will not do like I did with FF. I do not see whatever anyone else is seeing on this show. I like the plot ideas that this show is doing. Go back in time to save humanity, have some intrigue, some politics, back biting and so forth. So, I say again, I like this show.

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Does anyone think this show will be back for another season? Anyone else like me that hates admitting they watch it even if it makes no sense and is hard to follow?