Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Review: Terra Nova: Vs. (Season 1, Episode 9)


picIt is the time of Terra Nova’s own Thanksgiving: Harvest Fest, commemorating the day Commander Taylor (Stephen Lang) first stepped through a one-way hole in space-time to found Terra Nova.

Monday’s Episode 9, “Vs.,” is a little short on Shannon family tomfoolery – although there are some cute moments with Zoe (Alana Mansour) imitating Taylor in the Founder’s Day Pageant – and long on good detective work and a clever red herring or two to boot.

While interrogating a drugged Boylan (Damien Garvey), Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) discovers an old murder case when the barkeep spills the beans about a buried body under the Pilgrim Tree, the tree Taylorlived in when he first came to Terra Nova. (See, it ties in with the Harvest Fest! Nice.)

Using his cunning and deduction skills, Jim discovers that Taylormay have been the murder – not a good thing to have George Washington cited as a murderer while celebrating the Fourth of July, eh? Still, all clues lead to Taylor, who eventually admits he is indeed the murderer!

It seems General Philbrick, Taylor’s old commanding officer and the man who first sent Taylorthrough the wormhole to Jurassic Park II, was working for those mysterious “others” affiliated with the Sixers and also Taylor’s son, Lucas. Philbrick came through between the Second and Third Pilgrimages to take back control of Terra Nova, so that it could be exploited by those on the other side like the Earth has been. Thus Taylor’s drastic actions.

Meanwhile, Commander Taylor continues to hunt for the mole who is leaking information out of the camp and to the Sixers. In an ingenious bit with Malcolm (Rod Hallet), we find out that a giant dragonfly ancestor has been coming back and forth between the Sixer tree and the compound like a courier pigeon, carrying microchips of information. Genius!

Even better, in the end Taylorarranges it so the dragonfly soars off to the Shannonresidence. Jim is arrested as a spy and then comes to a man-to-man deal with Taylorabout the sad but necessary murder of the one-armed Philbrick.

With Jim firmly entrenched on his side, Taylormakes his annual speech and a rock solid episode of this continuing sci-fi gem on FOXends.

Now I will be honest, the fact that neither Taylor nor Josh Shannon were rightfully punished for their deeds in this and the past episode may irk some, but it is in keeping with the pioneer spirit of the show, IMHO. (Those same people are annually angry Mr. Potter does not get punished for stealing Uncle Billy’s bank deposit in It’s a Wonderful Life, lol.)

This show continues to up its own ante and raise its bar higher and higher. A wonderful hour of entertainment for any sci-fi fan can be found at 8 p.m.Mondays ON FOX’s Terra Nova!