Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Terra Nova:' It's the end of the world...or is it the beginning?

Last night's spectacular two hour "Terra Nova" season finale (series finale?) had the producers throwing in every plot cliche but the kitchen sink. There was a civil war, an occupation, a rebellion, a bomb stopped at one second, a daring escape, a heartbreaking death of a main character, and the hero outrunning explosions.

We jumped right in with Taylor and the crew getting ready for an invasion from the evil empire. They've got almost every gun aimed at the Stargate waiting for the 11th pigrimage. Things run smoothly at first with normal colonists showing up, even Shannon son Josh's girlfriend Kara is among them.

Unfortunately for Kara the next person through is a suicide bomber, and just like that shit got real.

Actual hilarious texts between Tim and I during the show:

  • Tim: So all season, every episode, they've gone on and on about bringing the son's girlfriend to Terra Nova. 5 minutes into the finale she arrives and is promptly killed.

  • Steph: She showed up for like 10 seconds.

  • Tim: All that time and effort wasted on plot.

So now without us getting to see the big war they've been teasing all season, the Phoenix Group has taken over Terra Nova. Their big masterplan is to strip mine the planet for its natural resources and send them back to 2149. Because starting over and doing things right is too much of a hassle?

More hilarious texts:

  • Steph: Why don't they just go ahead and call the meteor unobtanium?

  • Tim: They're going to burn everything down. Like they don't need plants in the future.

  • Steph: Who needs oxygen?

  • Tim: Yeah that totally wasn't the problem in the pilot.

Taylor's insane son Lucas is now running the colony, while Taylor and his men have disappeared into the jungle. Though he started off as the crazy scientist in the corner, it's worth noting that Lucas was a really great creepy villain.

For those of you wondering about Mira, she was sent on an errand to the Badlands and never showed up again for the rest of the finale. This made no sense since she had been running things this whole time and could have used her knowledge of the jungle to thwart Taylor's attacks.

But this is "Terra Nova," making sense is for TV shows without dinosaurs.

After some help from Jim on the inside, Taylor uses guerilla warfare and a montage to up his attacks against the Phoenix Group. Ultimately it's time for the Shannon family to get out of dodge. Unfortunately, Washington has to sacrifice herself to help them escape, in the process delivering a message to Taylor about how to defeat the evil empire.

Washington's death, while not surprising, was one of the few cliched scenes that still worked. She went out defiant, defending her people from tyrants as Taylor watched from the distance, finally seeing the man his son had become.

Her message was for Taylor to blow up the Stargate in 2149, thereby cutting themselves and the enemy off from the terrible future and finally getting a truly fresh start.

Even more hilarious texts:

  • Steph: So they're gonna blow up the portal in the future and cut themselves off.

  • Tim: The futuristic stuff was the best part, now it will be "Land of the Lost."

While Jim is in 2149 trying to blow up the portal (with a little help from a dinosaur), Taylor finally has a showdown with his crazy son. He beats the crap out of him saying he's glad his mother couldn't see what he became. Turns out all Lucas' issues are just manifestations of survivor's guilt over his mother's death.

Another round of hilarious texts:

  • Tim: God, with these kind of daddy issues, you'd think this was "Lost."

  • Steph: It's "Lost" with dinosaurs and lasers.

Once Jim blows up the portal and heroic outruns the explosion and the dinosaur back to Terra Nova, the Phoenix Group hightails it to the Badlands and the colonists return home.

They also figure out that there may be another portal in the Badlands, which is why the evil empire headed out there.

Though this show was stunningly ridiculous and contrived at times, there were flashes of greatness throughtout the first season. Amd the finale was actually entertaining and fun. I think FOX should pull a "Dollhouse" and order a surprise second season and give producers a chance to see where they can take it.

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