[Major Spoilers Ahead!]
The episode begins with Taylor and Jim at the Portal Terminal and with Taylor explaining that the portal fixes the location of the transfer from Hope Plaza to Terra Nova. Before the colonists had the portal on the Terra Nova side, it was impossible to tell where the time fracture was going send the people of each Pilgrimage; with the portal, the transfers were exact. Since the Eleventh Pilgrimage was only a few days away, they needed to keep the portal under constant guard.
As Taylor gave the orders to the soldiers guarding the portal, Jim began interviewing the final women on the list of people with access to the infirmary in an effort to find the Sixer spy. When Jim interviews Skye, he notices the cuts on Skye’s hands. Skye lies and explains them by saying she’s been on construction duty. She also says she was with Josh at her place on the night in question, teaching him to play chess. After the interview, Skye quickly finds Josh and asks him to cover for her, claiming she was simply out “borrowing” some copper tubing to make a new still. Josh is uncomfortable with the idea of lying to his father, but agrees in order to help his friend since his father is looking for the Sixer spy and not for someone making a little illicit alcohol.
Skye then goes OTG, retrieves her sonic gun from its hiding place and goes to the Sixers’ encampment to give them the week’s intel. She goes to her mother’s quarters where her mother worriedly greets her by her childhood name, Bucket, and asks why it’s been a week since she last visited. Skye notices she doesn’t seem to have been eating, but has a new blanket. She gives her the food she brought and is startled when Lucas steps out of the shadows and tells her he is her mother’s “friend” and he gave her the blanket and wants to be her friend too. Outside her mother’s room, he guesses (correctly) that her mother doesn’t know that Skye is a spy for the Sixers in return for the care her mother is receiving. Lucas has a new task for Skye. Lucas is done with the formula for reversing the portal, but there are still some final calculations to be made. Lucas could do them himself, but it would take days or weeks and the calculations could be done in The Eye in a fraction of the time. Skye resists saying her deal with Mira was for information only. Lucas says that Mira works for him and if Skye doesn’t comply, he’ll kill her mother.
Back at Terra Nova, Washington reports to Jim that they’ve found a possible security breach – a previously overlooked drainage ditch big enough for someone to traverse. Jim orders the area to be covered by cameras and patrols to be doubled. He also checks with Josh to see if he corroborates with Skye’s chess alibi and he does.
Meanwhile, Skye goes to The Eye and inserts the info chip and runs the formula’s calculations. When the calculations are done, she brings the chip back to Lucas, telling him she thinks it worked. Calling her Bucket, Lucas tells her he knows it worked and mentions that he and his father have a relationship that’s Shakespearean, approaching the level of Greek Tragedy in nature. It wasn’t always that way he says, just since August 2138 and if Skye wants to know why, she should ask Taylor herself. Skye asks what will happen when the portal is reversed and Lucas only ominously tells her she’ll see and tells her to leave and not to make him tell her twice. Throughout the conversation, Lucas begins to seem increasingly threatening and unhinged.
At Terra Nova, Washington shows Jim footage caught by the security cameras that shows Skye sneaking out of the colony through the drainage ditch. Before notifying the commander, Jim confronts Josh regarding his lie about being with Skye on the night of the infirmary break-in. After speaking with Josh, Jim reports to Taylor confirming that he’s retraced Skye’s movements over the past several weeks and, with the camera footage, everything adds up to her being the Sixer spy.
Taylor decides to see if his man inside the Sixer camp (Kern, the banished murderer) can confirm Skye’s guilt. In the meantime, he decides to set Skye and the Sixers up by feeding Skye some information of a convoy that’s going to be traveling through the jungle and should make a valuable target to Mira’s people. They ready an ambush for the Sixers, but they never show. When the Sixers fail to attack the convoy, Jim theorizes that Skye is only giving them information that wouldn’t harm the colony and perhaps she’s only spying for them because they have some leverage on her.
Later, Skye returns to the Sixers’ camp to bring her mother food. When she sees Lucas, he grabs her in an intense, face-to-face embrace, telling her that he’s solved it and it’s done, “thanks to you Bucket!” and “now everything changes!” He asks her why her mother calls her “Bucket,” saying he needs to know. Skye tells him when she was a small child her father was in the army and she used to emulate him by putting a bucket on her head and pretending it was a helmet and the name just stuck. Lucas tells her the name fits, but he always found it strange that so many people want to be like their fathers when he only wants to destroy his.
Before Lucas leaves to go to the portal, he warns “Bucket” not to go back to Terra Nova, saying it is no longer a safe place for her. His employers are coming to strip it bare. If his father fights back (which he will), they’ll burn the place to the ground. Then his father will finally be defeated and he’ll know Lucas beat him. He once again thanked “Bucket” for making it possible, kissing her as he leaves. Throughout the conversation, Lucas was intense, unbalanced and downright creepy in his interactions with Skye.
After Lucas leaves, Skye tearfully confesses everything to her mother, telling her she’s been a spy for the Sixers in order to obtain care for her mother. However, she doesn’t think she can do it any longer now that she knows what the cost to Terra Nova will be. Skye’s mother tells her she has to stop spying and to run back to Terra Nova immediately and tell Taylor everything. She shouldn’t worry about her…she’s been sick for a long time, she’s tired and she needs to let her go and never come back. Skye embraces her mother and leaves.
Next we see Jim and Taylor at the outpost Skye’s been using to sneak to the Sixer encampment. Just as they find the holster for her sonic gun, Skye runs up on her way back to Terra Nova. They tell Skye they know she’s the Sixer spy and she tries to tell them about her mother, Lucas and his success in finishing the formulas for reversing the portal. When Taylor asks why he should believe she ever talked to his son, she mentions August 2138, a phrase that once again stops him in his tracks. Taylor sends Skye back to Terra Nova and he and Jim head to the portal.
Lucas arrives at the portal, killing the soldiers guarding it. When Jim and Taylor arrive, an angry, melodramatic confrontation ensues. Lucas becomes more unhinged, telling his father that the only thing that kept him alive all those nights he suffered in the jungle was the thought that his father would be there at the portal in this moment to witness his triumph as he reverses the portal. Taylor implores him to think of the good, innocent people of Terra Nova and to relent, but Lucas scoffs at him for fighting for an ideal. Lucas tells him the next he sees him, he won’t be alone and steps through the portal and disappears.
Back at Terra Nova, we find that Kern, Taylor’s man in the Sixers’ camp, was able to rescue Skye’s mother and bring her back, along with some of the medication with which they were treating her. The med staff will now be able to synthesize more to keep her alive.
Outside the infirmary, Jim and Taylor discuss the tactical situation. The Sixers moved their camp as soon as they realized Kern escaped with Skye’s mother. Jim mentioned that he was surprised that Taylor was letting a murderer stay in camp. Taylor says he believes that everyone deserves a second chance and most people don’t get a chance to atone for their mistakes. His own son won’t let him. In August 2138 Lucas’ mother died because he couldn’t save her and Lucas has hated him ever since.
The episode ends with Taylor giving the colonists a speech about the forthcoming invasion, encouraging them to make a stand and to fight for the second chances they all came to Terra Nova to have.
This episode had some strong points, most notably the performance of Ashley Zukerman as Lucas. His portrayal of an unbalanced, intense, unhinged and ever so creepy Lucas was really effective. I liked the development of and insight into the character. Lucas’ central motivation has been hinted at, but now it’s been revealed. Although we don’t know the details, the death of his mother has informed and shaped everything he’s done and the person he’s become. His entire goal has been to become the opposite of his father and to destroy him and everything in which he believes and for which he’s worked. I found using the mirroring of Skye’s relationship with mother as a foil for Lucas’ relationship and his father to be interesting. His continual use of Skye’s mother’s pet name for her spoke of an almost Freudian conflict on Lucas’ part. A Shakespearean relationship indeed.
On a less positive note, I felt like the show is still missing things on other emotional notes. For example, Skye’s teary confession to her mother that she was a spy and her mother’s insistence that she’d been sick for a long time, so Skye should just leave her seemed flat. So, Skye just left? That all just seemed too rushed to make the emotional connection they were trying to make and just left me rolling my eyes. To me, this is just another in a series of emotional/humanizing misses the show has made that could have been a lot better.
On another small, but to me, really annoying point, I hate those OTG field uniforms worn by the soldiers. I think they look really stupid. Couldn’t they have come up with something more realistic looking? I mean, c’mon…what would something like that do against pre-historic beasts? To me, they look like some sort of strange racquet ball uniforms/pajamas or something.
This one’s for the Star Trek fans out there…was anyone else thinking “Red Shirts” as soon as you saw those soldiers by the portal at the beginning of the episode? I know I was!
What did you think? Next week we have the two hour season finale. Do you think there will be a pay off for the season? Please share your comments and opinions below? If you missed last week, you can catch up with our recap of Episode 9, Now You See Me.