Terra Nova Season Finale Review: No Hope Plaza

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The largest issue I have with the Terra Nova season finale is that there were many nice moments that could have been great if they weren't part of a show that - in general - is just not good. 

For example, the early scene at the bar was nice. Lucas making a big deal about his pseudo brother/sister relationship with Skye was funny, and then after he tried to go a bit too far with his fake sister, Josh coming to the rescue was admirable.

Lucas again proved to be a viable villain as he took a number of free shots on the teenager, before Big Jim Shannon came storming into the bar to save the day.

Terra Nova Season Finale Scene

For as smart as Elizabeth is supposed to be, this was the first time she really did anything to prove her intelligence.  Her ruse on Weaver, which got him to give up Jim, was bright, hilarious, and moved the plot exactly where it needed to go.  It took 12 episodes, but Elizabeth finally did something worthwhile.

Unlike a number of the times that Terra Nova has attempt to pull at the heart strings of its viewers, the sweet moment between Zoe and Commander Taylor worked like gangbusters. It worked because it was an honest moment between two characters that we have had a chance to get to know over the season's run, and two characters that we've seen have a history (Zoe playing Taylor at the festival).

It didn't hurt that the girl's "If you need another hug, just ask" was the cutest darn thing I've ever seen.

As much as I've disliked Commander Taylor to this point in the series, the moments I have enjoyed him have all had to do with his relationship with Lucas, so when things looked like they were going to heat up between these two, I got excited. It was pretty obvious that Lucas was pulling a fast one on his dad with the "I'm sorry" bit, but that doesn't mean it wasn't interesting to watch.

Also, there was the added bonus of Lucas's new-found fake sister coming to Pops's rescue when Skye shot up Lucas. I'm just glad Luke managed to get away. Ashley Zukerman killed it again this week.

Finally, there was a bit of intrigue as the first season's story came to a close. Now that the portal and Hope Plaza have been destroyed, it seems like there will be no contact with anything other time period. Where did that figurehead come from?  Interesting.

As is true with most of my compliments of Terra Nova, you have to take this praise with a grain of salt. All of these positive moments didn't resonate nearly as well as they could have because of the problems Terra Nova has had in the past and in this episode itself.

If you've been reading my reviews throughout the season, you know my main problems with the show are the sub-par acting, the awful dialogue, and the series not being able to figure out what kind of show it is.

All of these issues were evident in "Occupation/Resistance" as were some of these weird, wacky things of note ...

The bad guys came to Terra Nova and put up the most evil looking flags and logos they possibly could.  

Throughout the year I have heard "klicks" more than anyone should ever have to in a lifetime. What was surely meant to give this world its own little details, just began to annoy me time after time after time. Are there no other units of measurement in 2149?

What a difficult job that woman we had never seen before had in disabling that bomb! She never saw that kind before but she thought she might be able to figure it out. Did you notice what she ended up doing? She cut every single wire. Wow! Brilliant!

The plan by the bad guys was just so elaborate. How many trips were they planning on taking? Was the reward worth the effort it was taking them to do all of that? And this Weaver guy was the right man to bring back? The guy shooting brachiosauruses for the heck of it? Jeez.

So there was some good and there was some bad in the Terra Nova season finale. This series definitely didn't turn out to be what I hoped it could be before the season started, but it also isn't completely dead. If there is a second season, I will continue to watch to see where this story goes.

What about all you TV Fanatics? What did you think of the Terra Nova season finale? Are you interested in seeing a second season of the FOX series? And did Jim Shannon prove that not only Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (347 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I think this series is aimed at Kids between the ages of 8 and 16.
The Characters are wooden, esp. the Cop, the dialogue is basic and unemotional - much like the character `Lucas'. This series has the potential to be massive, unfortunately I think it's has too many fathers and not enough focus - shame really.

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I thought the season finale was EFFING AWESOME. 'nuff said.

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The bullets were just an example of how the writer's imaginations are totally disconnected from plot, character and story development - no one seems to have defined the world they are in so basically anything can happen. It would have made sense in this world if, instead of bullets, Taylor had engraved a message on giant bee stingers then had the bees attack the bad guys and the doc find the message after removing a giant stinger. This show changes directions more than a North Korean traffic girl - and as bizarre as that is, at least those movements make some sense. In the show they don't. The forest for example, is so incredibly dangerous in some shows that soldiers banished into it will die in days, yet on other episodes it is safe enough to have romantic picnics. Which is it? Are they living on the African Savannah, or Central Park? The sixers - supposedly trained soldiers can't get into the compound, yet teenagers can sneak out, through the front gates, in a vehicle and no one knows they are gone.
und. In one episode a dino can eviscerate a soldier in 2 seconds, in another a teenager can be attacked by a bigger dino and show only scratches. examples are myriad. The show runners have established a comic book world where anything can happen and so it does. It's not the bullets that irritates, it's the writer's lack of knowing or caring why and how that ruins this show.

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I think the show in general was good. Seems like everyone's main issue is the unrealistic bits(engraved bullets and such). But come on, it's a TV show. A Sci-Fi show. People are forming colonies in alternate timelines, why not let things be a little far-fetched? Maybe it's just because I watch TV too casually. Maybe those who critique shows often just can't "unsee" bad acting or overly-unrealistic bits, but I really haven't noticed anything that bad. Them again, I don't really look for bad things in a show anyways.

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The armchair psychoanalyst me is diagnosing Lucas Taylor's emotional development as stopping the instant he saw his mom die. The guy is basically blaming his dad for her death because he can't be mad at his sainted mom. I wonder if it ever occurred to him that parents are always willing to give their lives for their children. Taylor didn't really choose for his wife to die. If they lived in a war zone, they probably discussed all the possibilities and came to an agreement that either one would do anything to save their son. Too bad Lucas was so unworthy of his mom's sacrifice.

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The show runner for TN flat out stinks. There's no concept beyond what might solve whatever problems the writers came up with for this week. Taylor's son is the evil guy why? In star wars there was a reason why DV was Luke's father. There's no reason the villain has to be Taylor's son. This show really feels like it is cobbled together each week by writers who sit on sofas in a big room eating Doritos, drinking Red Bull and tossing out "ideas" through a haze of cannabis smoke. "Dude, who is the bad guy?" "I thought the dinosaurs were the bad guys..." "Dude, shut up and take another hit. "Wait I have an idea..." "What man?" "...Uhhh... I forget." "Dude." "Wait, I remembered... what if Taylor's son is the bad guy...?" "WHOA!" "That rocks bro! He could be like all mean and evil and stuff." "Dude! That's what he is... evil!" "Sweet!" "Nice." "Now we got a show bro." "Dude quit boging the Doritos... and pass the dubage."

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Didnt anyone notice the final shot in the whole show? You know, the one where the camera pulled out into space and showed that the "moon" sure looks a HELL of a lot like the 2149 planet? Also that the "moon" is the same size as the terra nova planet? I would have thought that would have ruffled a few feathers. Guess not. Michael

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While I enjoyed the finale for all its popcorn appeal (man heading toward time portal running from dinosaur running from explosions!), I understand the frustration that there is so much untapped potential in this series. I did like watching this 2-hour season ender because I'm a glass-half-full person. Thumbs up on all the Shannons. In stressful times, they've learned to stick together and believe in their family. Also good were the Terra Novans. Obviously their home is more important than any stupid strip-mining operation, and they put aside all their differences to work as a well-oiled machine in taking back their home. But... ...these developments would have been great to play out over half a season. Instead their cohesive underground clicked into play over 3 DAYS?!?! Like another review somewhere said, the most interesting stuff is happening off-screen. Wash being forced to surrender, 20+ people murdered, Mira standing by while Lucas & Corp. assume command of TN - sounds like it had all the hallmarks of being another BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (in a good way). I understand it was never meant to be as dark or angst-ridden as that series. Hope TN returns so that some of these relationships and situations will be allowed to play out. If it continues to be constrained by the "family-friendly" requirements, however, I seriously doubt some of the more interesting emotional entanglements will be explored in a satisfactory way, which is too bad.

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I don't have an issue with the engraved bullets. Who knows how guns in 2149 work. My main problem with the show is that it lacks any kind of integrity which means that everything is very random and either non-existent or made up as things go along. How does the economy of the colony work? How do they make what they need? It seems like things would have to be super organized and highly planned, but this is never mentioned. This would actually be kind of interesting if they go into this. How often to they get resupplied? What can they make themselves? I wonder if they will get into this next season. Also, how is the colony run in terms of governance? Does Taylor just run everything? That would be very 20th century. Again, terribly random and not thought through, just make it up as we go along. It's not a great show by any means. It reminds me of Star Trek TNG in that way, occasionally quite interesting, but mostly lame. Season finale had very little dramatic tension. They are organizing an insurrection under a military occupation, but can't even manage to make things a tense, that Jim Shannon has to really try to keep his cover? The actress who plays Skye is interesting to watch. She seems to be able to convey a greater range of emotion than most on the show. Also, I think Josh is a borderline sociopath. At least in the episodes where he is conspiring with Sixers. Jeopardize your family and the entire colony for your highschool crush? Who does that except a sociopath? I betrayed the colony so we could be together, baby. On top of which, how come his dad just basically grounds him? How come Taylor doesn't subject him to a military trial of some sort, since it seems it is a military government.

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The season finale itself was actually better than all of the other episodes, but it was still VERY VERY silly. The engraved bullets were ridiculous (would have taken too long to do, if it even could be done at all) and so many more problems. ESPECIALLY the final scene with Taylor and his son, Lucas. That was the absolute worst written scene I have ever seen. Why on earth would the writers think that having Taylor BELIEVE his son's apology, after all the people he's killed, things he's done/planned, and lengths he's gone to, was good for the show? It was extremely out of character for Taylor to trust him after about three sentences after the entire series has been Lucas trying to kill him. And what was with Lucas "mysteriously" being able to somehow run away after not only getting beat up, but also shot. TWICE. It was absolutely ridiculous, and while they were obviously trying to make a moment where the audience goes OMG, where'd he go!?? but it ended up being a moment where they rolled their eyes and wondered why they ever thought the writers would keep it realistic. But I'd still say that I mostly enjoyed the series. It was not the best, and certainly not as good as other sci-fi shows I've watched, but I would definitly consider watching an episode or two of a second season should they have it.