After last week’s pivotal episode that gave us insight into Taylor’s personality and the Sixers’ motivations for coming to Terra Nova, this week’s episode, entitled ‘Now You See Me’, lived up to its name. This week, we’re given some information into the motivation of Taylor’s nemesis and are able to see her in a more complex light and we also see the reveal of the Sixer mole.
[Major Spoilers Ahead]
The episode begins with Taylor talking to Skye about the upcoming third anniversary of the fever epidemic which killed many of the Terra Nova colonists, Skye’s parents included. He tells her he knows it’s been hard since her parents died, but he knows they’d be proud of the young woman she’s become. They make plans to take a special walk to the memorial field when he returns from a mission the next day. Skye wonders if a cure for the fever will ever be found. As Taylor leaves Terra Nova, he reviews the newly implemented lock-down procedures with Jim. Jim is in command while Taylor is away and Taylor reminds him that Jim is the only one he trusts 100% and that he needs to continue to try to catch the Sixer spy while he is gone.
As Taylor travels out alone into the jungle to inspect Lucas’s formulas, he’s captured by Mira, who was also there to check the formulas to see if Lucas is close to a solution to reversing the portal. According to what they can both see, it looks like Lucas is perilously close.
Mira forces Taylor to head back toward the Sixers’ camp with his hands bound behind his back. Mira (like all good villains do) explains to Taylor why she’s done what she’s done since coming through the portal. The Sixers were able to come to Terra Nova because their “employers have deep pockets” and were able to rig the lottery for the Sixth Pilgrimage. The plan was to reverse the portal, strip Terra Nova of its resources, send the goods back to 2149 and be done in six months. Mira tells Taylor she would be rich and back with her daughter right now if he wouldn’t have caught on to what they were doing and interfered.
When Taylor reacts with scorn over her willingness to sell Terra Nova out for a rich life in 2149, Mira angrily retorts that he has no right to judge her. As an ex-con living on the street with a dangerously sick daughter, she had no other option. Suddenly startled by an animal dropping from above, Mira briefly takes her attention away from Taylor. That’s all the time he needs to finish cutting his bonds with something sharp he was previously able to pick up, attack Mira and disarm her. Their fortunes are now reversed…Mira is his prisoner. They both, however, fail to see a slasher lurking in the brush.
As they begin to make their way back to Terra Nova, Taylor tries to ask Mira about Lucas. When did she last see him? How is he doing? Is he well? Mira sneeringly tells Taylor she doesn’t pity him and he deserves whatever is about to come down upon his head. She tells him that Lucas told her that if she ever had the chance, she should ask Taylor about “what happened in Somalia?” This question stopped Taylor in his tracks. Taylor doesn’t explain Somalia, but only tells Mira that he wants Lucas back. Mira says Lucas controls her, she doesn’t control Lucas. As they travel on, they both agree they’re being followed by something in the jungle.
As they continue to travel toward Terra Nova, Taylor asks Mira about her daughter, who we find out is now seven and has someone back in 2149 looking after her as part of the deal Mira made. Mira begins to relent and tells Taylor that the last time she saw Lucas he looked good.
Before they can converse more, two slashers burst out of the jungle and attack. Taylor tells Mira run as he tries to shoot the slashers to no avail. They run to a cliff with a waterfall streaming down it and pool below. Taylor cuts Mira’s bonds, throws the bag of supplies over the cliff and they both jump. After they surface, they realize they’re in trouble because the guns have sunk to the bottom of the water and can’t be retrieved despite numerous tries by Taylor. The slashers are a male and female adolescent pair staking out new territory for themselves, thus they’re extremely aggressive and will follow Mira and Taylor to finish the attack come nightfall. Since they know they won’t be able to make it to Terra Nova or Mira’s transport by then, they decide to stay where they are and make a stand together – fighting the slashers and not each other.
With some disagreements over who has the most and best jungle-experience, they make a rudimentary camp and prepare some weapons. Working together, they manage to repel the slasher pair with a tar covered arrow shot by Mira ignited with a flaming spear thrown by Taylor. After the slashers are gone, they both shared a let’s-all-come-together-moment while they ate some grubs by the fire. They agree that maybe they were allies in some parallel universe and agree that they could have been a hell of a team under different circumstances. The next day, they part, not as friends, but not quite the enemies they were and go their separate ways both wondering how this all will end.
Meanwhile, back at Terra Nova, Jim goes about the business of trying to ascertain the identity of the Sixer spy who has been operating within the community. At the watch position with Jim, Reynolds (Maddy’s boyfriend) notices a patterned light signal coming from within the compound in response to a signal in the jungle. Jim and Reynolds race off to catch whoever is sending the signal. But, they get there too late, finding only a drop of blood in a glass of liquid left by the quickly escaping spy. Unbeknownst to them, Skye is hiding right around the corner, clutching a cut hand, listening to their conversation before she makes her escape. Skye makes her way to the med center to surreptitiously fix her hand, giving the excuse that she left something in her locker.
Jim attempts to collect the blood left behind as evidence, but seriously dilutes it in the process. He brings the sample to Elisabeth, hoping she can use the blood to determine the identity of the spy. Elisabeth informs him that the blood has been too diluted to be used. When Jim complains, Elisabeth exclaims, “Jim, I’m a doctor not a chemist!” (A statement which surely made all the Star Trek TOS fans laugh!). Jim then coerces Malcolm into assisting him by intentionally blundering around his lab until Malcolm agrees to distill the liquid into a useable sample. Jim brings the sample back to Elisabeth who puts the sample into the analyzer and informs Jim it will take 24 hours to get an answer.
As this was happening, Skye found a way out of Terra Nova’s lock-down and out to the Sixers’ camp by volunteering for an OTG manual labor duty squad with Josh and then slipping away. At the Sixers’ camp, she gives her contact the week’s intelligence. She sees a sick woman and is dismayed that she looks worse. The contact says they held off on giving the woman her medicine because Skye was late in bringing them the scheduled intelligence. When Skye reacts angrily, the contact says she can back out of the deal whenever she wants, but the woman will die because only the Sixers have the needed medication. Skye sits down on the bed with the woman and we find out that the woman is her mother.
Back at camp, when Skye reports for her evening internship shift at the med center, she learns that she inadvertently left behind a drop of blood at the signal site and that it’s being analyzed. She returns in the middle of the night and sabotages the machine, hoping to obliterate any chance of being outed as the Sixer spy. Upon learning of the sabotage, Jim and Reynolds realize the spy must be someone that has access to the med center. Based on this knowledge, they are able to create a list of 84 people who fit the criteria. Elisabeth further informs them that the machine was able to complete enough of the analysis to determine that the blood belonged to a woman. So, the list was narrowed to 47 potential spies.
This episode was called ‘Now You See Me’ and now, through access to her back story, we can see Mira as more of a multi-dimensional character. We also now see that Skye is the Sixer spy and we see her hidden motives for doing so. There were some potentially very positive points in the show and some interesting questions I hope will be answered in the coming weeks. We now know who the Sixer spy is, but the Terra Nova authorities don’t. Does Skye know of the Sixers’ true motives for being at Terra Nova? She didn’t come as a part of the same Pilgrimage as they did. Presumably, she’s only gathering intelligence for the Sixers in order to obtain the medicine for her mother. Will she continue if she learns the Sixers are planning to strip Terra Nova’s resources? Also, how did Skye smuggle her mother to the Sixers’ camp when she was supposed to be dead? Other questions include what happened in Somalia that the mere mention of it stopped Taylor in his tracks? Are the Sixers planning on selling the drugs they had Josh steal from Terra Nova in 2149? That would at least provide some nice storyline continuity from the previous episode.
I hope the portal is opened and reversed. This would change the complexion of the show and the pacing of the episodes to some degree. I would be interested in learning more about the world the colonists left behind and to be able to access to the dystopian world of 2149.
On a less positive note, the show’s continued attempt to create empathy for the characters on the part of the viewer is so overdone at times it completely backfires. For example, I fail to find Reynolds’ nervousness and his bumbling attempts to ingratiate himself and “declare his intentions” with Jim to be endearing. To me, this attempt at humanizing the character is unconvincing and just plain annoying. While I found it useful to learn more about Mira’s motive’s for joining the Sixth Pilgrimage and what was motivating her to do what it takes to get back home, I found the “kum bay ya” moment she and Taylor had over the grub du jour to be completely over the top to the point of being totally unbelievable.
Along the same lines, I’ve found the whole ongoing “Zoe raises a wounded baby ankylosaur” storyline to be just too much to take. Perhaps it’s been an attempt on the part of the writers to create some feeling of similarity between the show’s viewers and the Shannon family. After all, who hasn’t at one time or another in his or her childhood wanted to take a baby bird home or try to nurse a wounded wild animal back to health? But, I’m sure our hopes were dashed when we were all told that that mother bird wouldn’t let the baby back in the nest if we touched it or that wild animals were meant to be outside or some similar parental truism. I can’t believe anyone would try to make a pet out of a “bird” that could do a whole lot more damage than any sparrow could. When the family released the baby ankylosaur at the end of the show and *of course* the mother came out to greet it when it cried, all I could think was oh puh-leeze (and yes, I felt the need to turn “please” into a two syllable word). I don’t know, perhaps I’m too cynical?
Please share your opinions and comments below!
If you missed last week, catch up with our recap of last week’s episode: ‘Terra Nova: Vs. ‘