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Terra Nova Season Finale Review: No Hope Plaza

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The largest issue I have with the Terra Nova season finale is that there were many nice moments that could have been great if they weren't part of a show that - in general - is just not good. 

For example, the early scene at the bar was nice. Lucas making a big deal about his pseudo brother/sister relationship with Skye was funny, and then after he tried to go a bit too far with his fake sister, Josh coming to the rescue was admirable.

Lucas again proved to be a viable villain as he took a number of free shots on the teenager, before Big Jim Shannon came storming into the bar to save the day.

Terra Nova Season Finale Scene

For as smart as Elizabeth is supposed to be, this was the first time she really did anything to prove her intelligence.  Her ruse on Weaver, which got him to give up Jim, was bright, hilarious, and moved the plot exactly where it needed to go.  It took 12 episodes, but Elizabeth finally did something worthwhile.

Unlike a number of the times that Terra Nova has attempt to pull at the heart strings of its viewers, the sweet moment between Zoe and Commander Taylor worked like gangbusters. It worked because it was an honest moment between two characters that we have had a chance to get to know over the season's run, and two characters that we've seen have a history (Zoe playing Taylor at the festival).

It didn't hurt that the girl's "If you need another hug, just ask" was the cutest darn thing I've ever seen.

As much as I've disliked Commander Taylor to this point in the series, the moments I have enjoyed him have all had to do with his relationship with Lucas, so when things looked like they were going to heat up between these two, I got excited. It was pretty obvious that Lucas was pulling a fast one on his dad with the "I'm sorry" bit, but that doesn't mean it wasn't interesting to watch.

Also, there was the added bonus of Lucas's new-found fake sister coming to Pops's rescue when Skye shot up Lucas. I'm just glad Luke managed to get away. Ashley Zukerman killed it again this week.

Finally, there was a bit of intrigue as the first season's story came to a close. Now that the portal and Hope Plaza have been destroyed, it seems like there will be no contact with anything other time period. Where did that figurehead come from?  Interesting.

As is true with most of my compliments of Terra Nova, you have to take this praise with a grain of salt. All of these positive moments didn't resonate nearly as well as they could have because of the problems Terra Nova has had in the past and in this episode itself.

If you've been reading my reviews throughout the season, you know my main problems with the show are the sub-par acting, the awful dialogue, and the series not being able to figure out what kind of show it is.

All of these issues were evident in "Occupation/Resistance" as were some of these weird, wacky things of note ...

The bad guys came to Terra Nova and put up the most evil looking flags and logos they possibly could.  

Throughout the year I have heard "klicks" more than anyone should ever have to in a lifetime. What was surely meant to give this world its own little details, just began to annoy me time after time after time. Are there no other units of measurement in 2149?

What a difficult job that woman we had never seen before had in disabling that bomb! She never saw that kind before but she thought she might be able to figure it out. Did you notice what she ended up doing? She cut every single wire. Wow! Brilliant!

The plan by the bad guys was just so elaborate. How many trips were they planning on taking? Was the reward worth the effort it was taking them to do all of that? And this Weaver guy was the right man to bring back? The guy shooting brachiosauruses for the heck of it? Jeez.

So there was some good and there was some bad in the Terra Nova season finale. This series definitely didn't turn out to be what I hoped it could be before the season started, but it also isn't completely dead. If there is a second season, I will continue to watch to see where this story goes.

What about all you TV Fanatics? What did you think of the Terra Nova season finale? Are you interested in seeing a second season of the FOX series? And did Jim Shannon prove that not only Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (347 Votes)

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

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Neejan

I'd love to see a renewal for TN, but the producers need to work on some things first. They should indicate what kind of show they want to make for example. Also I like to see more development in the characters. How could they achieve this? Improving their storyline is a first, crucial step. If they do not set these things straight (or if they cannot), TN might go from its position as worse to worsest. But I up until now, it deserves a chance to elaborate more and more.

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ive watched this series because the whole new earth back in time bit/survival idea tickles me. but watching the season final, when there all mounting up at the portal choke point, and they say. "why dont we just blow the machine up?" "well we cant do that cause then they could just pop up anywhere..." this should have been the part where tailer and the cop look at each other, pause for a moment. "lets get teh fk out of here!!! there not gonna walk two by two into a barrage of bullets, shit! lucas just figured out how to make a two way worm hole! theres no way he is that stupid!" frankly, as interesting as the idea of terra nova is, i find it to be semi insulting, and poorly written. the acting sucks, matter of fact the only people who seem to be able to act there part are tailor and wash. to bad they killed her. everyone else seems to be a blank emotional turnip, there always exactly the same. atleast tailor communicates accurately when he is pissed off, deep in thought, bumbed out, or suicidal, (great acting in that scene) "whats her face is dead? why would i want to live?" "tailor dont!" bwap! great scene, great acting by the only two people who seem to be able to. well i take that back actually malcom seems to play is part well too. if i had to guess at whats going on with the writing of this story, id say that there are to many people churping and contributing. your trying to cram to much crap in from all directions and there is almost no cohesion. unify your staff or fire the trouble makers, id like to see a better plot. also, if i had to guess at whats coming next, i would say that there is obviously more than one fracture between the two worlds. the fact that there is a boat piece at the end of the final, could suggest something like the Bermuda triangle or some such thing. in any event, one last bit of cliche bullshit i have a problem with. people dont get up and walk out into the bush after taking two to the chest. i know that not everyone is privy to all the nastys that lurk in the jungle like infection etc, but do you honestly believe that the guy managed to get up, and run away? and even if he did manage to crawl away, why the hell would anyone not follow the pints and pints of blood to find this treacherous deuch bag ass and put one in his brain pan? meh, ill give season 2 three episodes. thats it.

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I watch shows to be entertained - not to hide from life. I am willing to suspend disbelief, but I still have a brain and curiosity and question things that don't make sense - even on a sci fi show. If a producer is going to make a sci fi show and expect people to watch, then they have a responsibility to work out the rules of the world they are creating and stick to them. Even in a sci fi universe, the laws of physics and common sense apply. These producers are either to lazy or too stupid to realize that - maybe both. Their solution to most problems is to come up with contrivances that no one could or would do in any universe - sci fi or not. Scratching numbers into a bullet on the off chance that a doctor will remove it from some dead guy, see the scratches, understand it is a message and then be able to immediately decipher that message is ludicrous. Scratching tiny numbers into bullets (that are no more than a couple of centimeters across) would require: 1. Taking the bullets apart one by one
2. Use of extremely small instruments to make the engravings
3. A large magnifying glass to see well enough to engrave the bullet
4. someplace flat and clear of debris to do the work
5. Someone skilled enough with their hands to legibly carve the numbers
reassembling each bullet by hand - with requires several large tools To create enough bullets that this would have any chance of success would take weeks. The whole "plan" assumes someone one the other side will somehow be in a position to remove a bullet, that the bullet will be in one piece, that it will be readable, they will notice it, assume it is a message and then decipher the numbers as a message from someone showing their location. The odds are a billion to one this would work. It could just have easily been the enemy who figures it out and they toss a huge bomb at the location. And why did they do it? To get Shannon out in the woods with them? It was pointless. I watch the show (sometimes) and offer criticism in the wildly unrealistic hope that maybe someone is reading and they will try a little harder to make a better sci fi show in the future. As long as people leave their curiosity at the door and watch just to escape mundane lives, this is the best we can hope for.

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it's time travel not parallel universe. The writer change the fundamental reason this tv series, in last two episode. How about maddy explanation in episode 01, about another realm and no butterfly effect. Meterorite core? what is it? some kind brick or alloy?, superconductor? please help me. Why it needed in 2149. Who/when send any example to 2149 so they decided it's pricelesss, explore it at any cost. Becaouse Lucas finished two ways equipment in episode 10. Steal idea after watching 'The Acatar'
If that material is the main reason the conflict, why not they use 'diplomacy' .. it's a big world, there are several continent. Otherwise, If there somekind president in 2149, he can easilly summmon taylor, give an order: follow or resign. Despite taylor thinking him self as a dictator, he still a milliter guy with strong moral attitude.

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Noooooo!!! They killed Wash!! :(

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"There. A show just as stupid and unrealistic as all the others. Next week... a plant sap that can turn people invisible for a short time." Dear Sara as I mentioned earlier this could never happen so watch knowing it is "UNREALISTIC" and just for entertainment. If you watch because you think it is a glimpse into what could be in our future. Really we cannot travel through a wormhole to a past time and live with DINO's. To everyone who thought the show was bad and pointless why did you watch every episode then? It is a show to take the audience away from their mundane real lives and fantasize about what it would be like, hence SCIENCE FICTION. Come on people if you want something to happen that is real look out the window or watch CNN it is fantasy not reality. There are a tone of shows on TV I feel are not worth the time so guess what I turn the channel and go on with my life. Lighten up haters no wonder we still have wars.

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LOL The bullets with hand carved letters and numbers was the absolute pinnacle of absurdity. How exactly do you carve into a bullet? Who in their right mind would ever consider that as a strategy for passing a message? What are the odds the bullet would remain intact (military bullets fragment on impact)... someone would find such a message... and then be able to decipher it? Suspension of disbelief is one thing - the time portal at least was explained - but once through, things still have to operate with some logic. The writers just seem to pull plots and solutions out of the air. Hell, why not just have a show where a new dino kidnaps people and brings them up into the tree tops. Then Shannon's smart daughter goes for another picnic in the forest and discovers a root that allows them to fly. She tries to tell everyone, but no one will listen so she demonstrates by flying over the wall. Shannon and Taylor now listen, get some roots and fly up and save everyone. Back home they throw a parade with floats and dancers and bands and jugglers and elephants and camels to honor the smart kid for finding the root. End on a shot of the bad people taking a bite of the root, cocking their guns and then looking ominously at the fort. There. A show just as stupid and unrealistic as all the others. Next week... a plant sap that can turn people invisible for a short time.

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Since when did they switch to bullets? Up till now, everything has been sonics...isn't that why they didn't shoot Lucas at the portal? Till now, the only bullet I saw is when Boylan shot the sixer with the antique revolver. Now not only is live ammo abundant, Taylor's men are carving secret messages into every bullet? Ugh. And why no aircraft at the colony? Wouldn't they at least want a helicopter for surveying the area? Don't get me started on the whole Hope Plaza thing... A friggin worm hole to the past, easily taken over by some private army (the government doesn't investigate???) and so few guards that Jimbo makes it all the way inside to drop a bomb down a stove pipe? And what's up with the piecemeal explosions? A fireball here, a steam pipe there...didn't they say this one device was capable of stripping the entire valley of plants and animals? It would have taken out half the city, let alone Hope Plaza in one big bang. Stupid writers...

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Yes, this show has it's cheesy moments, and the graphics are a little cheap, but it is nonetheless refreshing to see a show go beyond the contempory drama crap that I have to watch every time I turn on the tv. It's different flow, I like it.
It does not drag on. The events happen with the right timing and that keeps me hooked. The acting is not 'sub par', and neither is the dialogue. Whoever said that needs to crawl out of the basement and experience real life, unscripted, for a change.
I look forward to season 2, but won't be reading any more of this guy's reviews. Critic is too critical.

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This series is an absolute mess. The acting is terrible and the dialogue silly. The writers couldn't figure out if they were writing a cheesy family show or an adult themed sci fi. Vacillating between the two created the worst of both worlds. I'll be happy to have seen the last of Terra Nova.

Terra Nova Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Lieutenant Washington was a nice lady.

Zoe

If you need another hug, just ask.

Zoe (to Taylor)