Oh, my God. This episode was really, really good.
Things got a little too prehistoric this week on Fox's "Terra Nova," with a meteor strike and resulting sonic wave knocking out all power for the settlement. But here's some CrazySexyMath for you: Take one natural disaster, add one huge attack-dinosaur, multiple by some honest-to-goodness plot development and divide by one new character and you have (I can't believe I'm typing this) one hour of phenomenal television.
First things first. The power outage leaves people stranded in some unfortunate places -- Maddy and her Solider Beau (Maybe one day I'll remember his name is Mark?) are trapped outside the gates and holed up in a tree, Jim and Zoe are trapped in the settlement's information hub, known as the Eye (also the repository of the human race's entire collective knowledge, including awesome rollercoaster simulations) and Skye's helping Elisabeth out at the overwhelmed infirmary.
Of course, Terra Nova has a back-up device that can replicate power chips -- unfortunately, the device runs on the same power knocked out by the sonic wave (what a great phrase, right?). Conniving black-market extraordinaire Boylan, however, is a genius in these matters, so after some literal arm twisting at the hands of Taylor, Terra Nova's back up and running by the end of the hour.
That little storyline is small potatoes compared to what really happened this episode -- i.e., plot and character development. The makers of "Terra Nova" promised viewers at the beginning of the season that unlike "Lost," questions would be answered in a matter of episodes and not seasons (Does anyone care what happened to Walt? Anyone?). They made good.
The power outage presents a perfect opportunity for the Sixers to raid Terra Nova and retrieve the box at the center of the episode a few weeks back, "The Runaway." While I was expecting -- nay, hoping -- for a raging battle the likes of which we have not seen since "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," that wasn't exactly the case. While, yes, the Sixers have trained a raging attack-dinosaur, they use it only to create a distraction, sneaking into the settlement while Jim and Taylor are fighting off the attack-dino with flaming arrows (very, very "Lord of the Rings").
No one knows what's in the box, but it's rigged with a DNA response system, so one person and one person only can open it. The folks back at Terra Nova figure it's the Sixer-leader, Mira, but they're a bit wrong.
Side note: Television writers, if you're ever curious as to what the exact best moment to introduce a new character is, the answer is invariably "with seconds to spare during your allotted time slot."
Enter Lucas, a young man who has clearly seen better days, judging by his haggard look and dino-slash scars on the back of his neck. He seems a little crazy, but I'm going to attribute that to him being crazy smart, and not the dino-injuries.
Stay with me, here. This plot point takes us all the way back to the premiere, with Josh and Skye jumping into a cave etched with what will now and forever more be known as CrazySexyMath. It was implied (or stated explicitly? I can't remember) that the math was done by Taylor's son, but we've seen neither hide nor hair of this plot point since. When Lucas opens the box, holograms pop up, illuminating his tired, I've-been-surviving-in-the-jungle-for-months-alone face with more images of the CrazySexyMath.
And, as a friend succinctly phrased it in our regular "Terra Nova" texting rapport: "Ooooooooaaahhh! Lucas is cute!" Yes.
Characters who are unexpectedly warming my heart:
Zoe, who forces her dad to improvise a "Go Away, Spiders" song as she crawls through a small shaft to help break out of the Eye. It's nice to know that in a world of dinosaurs, it's okay to still be scared of the little things.
Hunter, the heretofore unmentioned and unseen best friend of Skye, who got into some bad moonshine and wound up with the world's worst hangover: a 30-foot long parasite in his intestines. The parasite had teeth. (Hunter also wins the award for Grossest Prehistoric Affliction of the Week, as Skye has to pull the parasite out of her friend's body, and we have to watch.) Hunter tugged at the heartstrings a bit, because even though Skye sees him as a best friend and a brother, he calls her out on being in love with Josh and tells her (mid-parasite-pull) that he always wanted more from their friendship. Oh, Hunter, as a gal who's been trapped on both ends of the friend zone more than once, I feel you.
Soldier Beau Mark, upon being stranded powerless outside of the gates, realizing no one knows where he and Maddy are and, eventually, Jim's going to come looking for them -- "He'll probably kill me. And ground you until the Ice Age."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun