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?


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.


Terra nova was a pretty decent show and the season finale was great. The plot was a total surprise. I am really looking forward to a season 2 to see what happens with the whole thing with the piece of a ship and the badlands. I have no idea what the writer of this article was talking about because all the scenes made complete sense. This guy has no idea on how to rate tv shows.


I couldn't read past the first few paragraphs, it again seems like a bad review... I was hoping the, "for example" part would change my mind,but it definitely didn't because you were wrong, people love Lucas first of all (so anytime he's on the screen, people will be interested); and there was nothing wrong with the way the scene played, they were even tying up a small plot-line from the first episode; I woulda smashed Lucas in the face if he was doing that to a girl that I liked, and I would've come to Josh's rescue if I was his father... so what the hell is your problem with that scene??? Ugh, overall, you're approaching the finale in a way that the vast majority of people don't approach it; and I again believe it has to do with the fact that you came into it with a negative attitude. Whatever you want to say, you cannot deny that your review is totally out of sync with everyone who looked at it objectively; the vast majority of people came away enjoying the episode (recommending their own little improvements) and wanting a 2nd season. If your review was in line with everyone elses (and inline with the overall opinion of viewers), you wouldn't have started it out so negatively.


I haven't watched each episode, but I really enjoyed the season finale. I liked that it was fast-moving and I enjoyed the relationships between people.


And one more point Tyler. No, it's not good sci-fi. It's terrible science. The show is a huge, steaming pile of bronto crap.


Actually, the tripe about the evil, one-dimensional, mustache-twirling corporation is what is bringing this show down. They did it in a movie (Avatar), we have a bunch of lazy, unwashed scumbags making the streets their own personal bed- and bath-rooms, can we please just have a quality television show that's not preaching at us from the leftists? I guess not with Brannon Braga helming it.


the ship's piece make me desire a new season. just for that, and to find out how the colony will survive with few people and few tech devices and no replacements for that coming.
anyone suspect about the bermudas triangle???


One More point. The whole thing about corporate greed killing our planet and regular people needing to fight back against it? Bravo. I never thought a TV show would have the balls, or remain un-muzzled long enough to make that point as clearly as Terra Nova has.


I just want to say im sick of this show being picked on for the acting and interpersonal dynamics. Sure they are not great. It is a scifi, go watch bridget jones's diary if thats what you care about. From a scifi/action perspective its awesome. The science is actually reasonably accurate for TV. If you suspend your disbelief over the whole time portal bit (which is necessary for the show to exist), the rest falls in line with actual science and paleontology fairly well. Someone on the writing staff did their homework, which i find refreshing. Most scifi you can tell they didn't even bother to google what they are trying to talk about. Even if i find myself not caring about the Shannons, i care about the colony and really want to see what ultimately happens. Maybe these critics should stick to talking about the Good Wife,and leave scifi alone since they have no idea what makes a good science fiction tv show. PS all that stuff they complain about? ALMOST ALWAYS gets better in following seasons. I Want to see more shows like terra nova, and way way way less garbage cheap to make drama and "reality tv".


I think this show has done what V should have done. Move fast! It didn't drag on and on, and the finale was just a great conclusion. I loved V but it did take too long for anything to happen, with Terra Nova there is the element of the unexpected, and the story line is original. I even remember thinking to myself 'I hope they bring some dinosaur back in 2149' and they did it, it feels like they cared about the viewer and tried to do what a TV show should do every single second, entertain. The actors are credible, the characters are interesting and all likeable.


It took till the end of the year for the reviewer and I to agree on a show that is a total waste of an hour. Special effects can only take a show so far but same ones over and over get old. And it is not acting when people just quote lines with no expression. I hope they all find better work next year and will look for the guy that plays Josh at hamburger stand taking orders.

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Terra Nova Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Lieutenant Washington was a nice lady.


If you need another hug, just ask.

Zoe (to Taylor)