Episode 7, entitled “Proof”, showed us three of our main characters searching for proof in various ways and for different reasons.
The episode opened with Commander Taylor and Jim arrow fishing off a cliff. As Taylor fondly reminisces, in his first solitary days through the portal, fish were the only things he could hunt that didn’t hunt him back. As he was nostalgic, he mentions that he once managed to get his son to go fishing with him, but quickly changes the subject saying he doesn’t like to talk about those things.
On the way back to Terra Nova, Jim and Taylor find an abandoned camp and figure it must belong to Curran, the solider exiled earlier in the season for murder. Taylor decides to track him, and Jim heads back to camp.
Taylor finds Curran wounded, with a putrefying leg wound asleep in a makeshift camp. Taylor explains that the predator that bit Curran is at heart a coward. It’s not gone, but is merely waiting until he is sufficiently weakened by the bacteria in the bite it gave him and then it will come back and finish him off. Taylor concocts a medicine from some nearby plants to treat the wound and later fights the creature when it returns. Curran wonders why Taylor is helping him. Taylor wants Curran to infiltrate the Sixers’ camp and find out who their mole is. He needs that information in order to keep Terra Nova safe. Besides that, Taylor likes “a good redemption story.”
Back at the camp, Elisabeth tells Maddy that famous scientist and her personal idol, Ken Horton is coming in from the field and she needs to do his re-entry physical. Maddy accompanies her mother to the med center where Elisabeth agrees to postpone his cranial scan a few days (needed since Horton had a history of stroke) if he’ll agree to say hello to her daughter. Horton not only agrees to say hello, but skillfully manipulates her into doing the tedious manual labor for him in the guise of giving her an internship.
At first, Maddy is thrilled to be working with someone she hero-worshiped from afar for so long. However, things quickly change. Maddy becomes disillusioned when Horton doesn’t seem to be quite the person she thought he’d be. First, he fails to recognize a clever quote from one of his own books and he says he’s not interested in a topic he discussed in a letter he had written to Maddy in response to some fan mail she wrote years ago. Her disillusionment turns to suspicion as evidence mounts that Horton might not be who he says he is: the signature on the letter doesn’t match his current signature; he continues to have memory lapses regarding past events; he asked to see Maddy’s letter and burned it; perhaps most damningly, Maddy sees that he seems to be faking his limp.
In the face of this evidence, Maddy develops a theory that someone in 2149 stole Horton’s identity and had his own appearance altered by a “facer” (an illicit surgeon who specializes in underground identity swaps). Maddy discusses this theory with Zoe who continually insists that Horton must be a vampire. Maddy decides to test Horton’s DNA on the envelope from her old letter against the DNA from a stolen coffee cup. Dr. Wallace walks in on Maddy as she’s testing the DNA and scolds her for testing someone’s DNA without permission. But when Maddy explains what she’s doing, he decides to assist her saying it will go faster if he helps. To Maddy’s dismay, the DNA is an exact match. Unbeknownst to both, Horton overhears their discussion and thus learns of Maddy’s suspicions.
Despite the DNA findings, Maddy is undeterred and further reasons that Horton must have had a lab assistant who took care of his correspondence and if he was the one who stole Horton’s identity, that’s why the DNA was a match. She goes to The Eye to find information on Horton’s assistant. She finds that Horton did have an assistant and that immediately prior to Horton’s pilgrimage an unknown unidentifiable murder victim was found. Maddy realizes that not only was the real Horton’s identity stolen, but that he was murdered too. As she is viewing this information, the fake Horton comes into The Eye and threatens her, but she is saved when another member of the camp comes in for a scheduled appointment and Maddy makes her escape.
Later, Maddy goes to the school to pick up Zoe, only to she find that “Horton” has abducted her. Maddy finds the pair in the apple orchard and exchanges herself for Zoe, telling Zoe it’s ok and to tell their father she’ll “be home in time to cook the asparagus for dinner.” Maddy tries to fight “Horton,” but falls and is captured. “Horton” ties her up and is going to ensure her silence by murdering her with a venomous spider, but Maddy’s father arrives at the last moment, just in time to save her.
Meanwhile, Josh is informed by Boylan that time has come to pay his debt to Mira and the Sixers. Josh is told an illness has swept through the Sixer camp and they need medications from the Terra Nova med center. They need him to steal his mother’s access card and then use it to rob the med center. Wondering if it’s the right thing to do, a conflicted Josh discusses the matter with Skye. Skye thinks it’s too dangerous and points out that he isn’t really sure the Sixers can guarantee his girlfriend will really be on the 11th Pilgrimage. Besides, Skye argues, how can Josh steal from his ownmother? Josh rationalizes the theft saying the Sixers are sick and need the medicine. An exasperated Skye cautions him not to make this about mercy and storms off.
Josh decides that Skye was right about one thing, and decides that he needs concrete proof that his girlfriend Kara really will be on the next pilgrimage before he goes through with the robbery. He makes his demands to Boylan and is taken to the Sixers’ camp. Mira reminds Josh that when they made their bargain, he agreed that when Mira called in her favor, he would do what ever she required, no questioned asked. Josh says that stealing from his own mother was asking too much without confirmation that his girlfriend would be on the next pilgrimage to Terra Nova. Mira relents and allows Josh to see and interact with a live hologram of Kara generated by some secret device. This proves to be enough proof for Josh…he’s in, the Sixers will get their meds.
Back at Terra Nova, Josh steals the med center access card from the pocket of Elisabeth’s lab coat and goes off to the bar. Boylan takes the card and assures Josh he has stripped the identifying information from Elisabeth’s card so no one will be able to tell which card was used in the burglary. Boylan also gives Josh a weapon to use to stun someone just in case he’s interrupted in the middle of his task. Josh goes to the med center, breaks the door window and goes inside. He tries to use the access card to open the locked up meds, but the card doesn’t work. After several tries, Josh desperately fires his weapon point blank at the door and is blown back by the recoil. He gathers himself up, collects the meds and staggers out the door.
The next day, in his capacity as Terra Nova’s only detective, Jim investigates the break-in at the med center. As he and Elisabeth later discuss while working in the garden with Josh, the thief knew exactly where to strike and what to take. The only drug taken was one sought after by drug addicts and has a high street value in 2149. Elisabeth expresses dismay wondering why someone could justify taking the medications from a hospitals and why would they bother taking an illicit drug considering they hardly have any “streets” worth mentioning in Terra Nova. She also worried aloud about a patient with a rare neurological condition who is treated with small doses of the medication and without them, will die. Josh asks if his mother can’t just get some more of the medication and when he is told she can’t even requisition more until the next pilgrimage, he storms away angrily saying what Terra Nova really needs is a way to communicate with the future.
Josh’s conscience continues to bother him, so he goes to the bar and retrieves one of the vials of the medication. While there, Boylan informs him that once Mira gets the medication, Kara will be officially on the list for the 11th Pilgrimage. Josh tells Boylan he doesn’t think his father will stop investigating the med center burglary. Boylan says that would be bad for business and bad for Josh. He tells Josh to go home and spend time with the family and soon all questioning will be ended.
As Josh leaves, Boylan asks Willie (a drunk with a heavy bar debt) if he’d like a chance to pay off his tab. Willie later shows up at the med center high on the stolen meds with wounds consistent with the weapon used to open the door to the access panel. As Jim interrogates Willie however, he realizes Willie is too eager to be arrested and gets him to confess that he was set-up by Boylan to take the fall for the theft.
That evening, Josh can no longer handle the guilt of depriving the dying patient of the needed medicine, so he returns the vial to his parents and confesses what he did and why he did it. Josh didn’t think anyone would get hurt and he was only trying to get Kara to Terra Nova. Jim confronts Boylan and is told the disconcerting news that the Sixers have a means of communicating with 2149. Jim then reports the news to Taylor who realizes the device allowing communication with the future must have been invented by his genius, but missing son Lucas. Jim says that now that they know Lucas has been captured by the Sixers, maybe they can get him back. Taylor looks at Jim with a look implying he knows his son wasn’t captured and says “No chance,” and tells Jim he should be happy the worst thing he has to worry about with his son is him getting in over his head about some girl.
Like most of the episodes this season, Proof, had some good points and some bad. As usual, several plot points were glaringly obvious – as soon as Maddy told Zoe to go home and tell Dad she’d be home in time to cook the asparagus, it was obvious it was a code and of course Dad would get there just in time to make the save. I would have much rather have seen Maddy find a way to save herself. It was also pretty clear from the beginning that Boylan was going to set the drunk Willie up to take the fall and that it wouldn’t work. There were also a few gaps in logic. For example, why would Josh break a window to get in the med center if he had an access card? Maybe I’m nitpicking.
I continue to be annoyed by Zoe. I don’t blame the actor, I blame the writers. Last week it was the Go Away Spider Song and this week it was her continual assertions that Horton was a vampire. Ugh! By the way, there’s another gap in logic for you, why would a little girl voluntarily leave school with someone she was convinced was a vampire?
On the more positive side, I’ll be interested to see the story move forward with Taylor’s son Lucas and to learn what exactly it is he’s doing out in the jungle. I thought Taylor’s personal story line this week was interesting and shed some light on his character. He’s still the judge, jury and possible executioner of Terra Nova…but now we got to see a little more of what makes him tick. Also, what are the Sixers doing with the drugs? Do they have a way of transporting them back to 2149 to sell? What do you think? Please share your comments below!
If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read our ‘Terra Nova: Nightfall’ recap to catch up.