'Terra Nova' recap: Episode 4, 'The Runaway'

Dating in the future-past


cool furniture!

October 17, 2011|By Sara Toth

I'm putting a call into IKEA first thing tomorrow morning to pitch a new line of furniture — the DinoSaϋr — modeled after the classy desk gracing Commander Taylor's office: a T. Rex skull holding up a sheet of glass. Functional, utilitarian and super-chic.

This week's episode of "Terra Nova," "The Runaway," centered on a young Sixer-escapee, a small child whose hair reminds me of the style I find myself with after too many days without a shower, who has fled her "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" counterparts because, she claims, Sixer-leader Mira is cruel to her.

Protagonist Jim and dino-desk-using Taylor (God, I hope he killed/made that desk himself) are wary of her intentions, or as wary as one can be of a seven-year-old, but she seems innocuous, trapped in a string of one-liners along the lines of "I like maps. I don't like combs."

Sixer-Baby learns to like combs, or at least tolerate them: a new outfit, several meals, and one shower/hair-combing makeover later, she ditches school (so rebellious!) to break into Mira's old home to steal a sealed, gem-like box and tries to escape back out into the jungle, but is promptly caught, leaving Jim and Taylor in a bit of a pickle.

Sympathy getting the best of them, they had let Sixer-Baby decide for herself which camp to stay with after the Sixers came knocking on the gates, demanding her back. (Covert, box-stealing mission aside, I'd have opted for the Sixers, little runaway. Just my advice. They have tree houses.) Despite her being a treasonous urchin, she's at least a likeable one.

As seems to be the chronic case with "Terra Nova," all major over-arching plot points seem to take place in the last 10-15 minutes of the show's hour.

Jim's snuck out of Terra Nova to find the Sixers, who are holding Sixer-Baby's younger brother "hostage," forcing the runaway to do their will. He returns with the younger brother, but not before a severe beat-down and some knowledge: While we still don't know what the Sixers are doing in Terra Nova, nor what the "point" of Terra Nova is, Mira does allude to the idea that Taylor has pissed off some "very important people" in 2149, and they want him gone.

"You don't want to be on the wrong side of history," Mira warns him, but Jim declines to relay that warning to Taylor. Maybe he's giving that "right/wrong side of history" thing some thought.

In the meantime in Terra Nova, the over-achiever middle child, Maddy, is proven to be, in the words of her brother, an "only kinda-sorta achiever" when her internship with her doctor-mother proves her to be a bit squeamish. Still, things are looking up for Maddy, as her Soldier-Crush informs both her and her father that he has begun the "initial stages of courting."

What the what? Jim's reaction is to remind Soldier-Crush that he has a short fuse and always carries a gun, but Maddy's is more appropriate. When Soldier-Crush tells her, "I want to declare my intentions for you," she responds, "You want to do what to me?"

Why not just say "date"? — Maddy and I asked at about the same time. That's not how it's done, he tells her — there are rules given to soldiers outlining how to "court" a young lady.

What kind of literature are they giving these guys? I was reminded of a reproduction of an instructional pamphlet I got for my history-buff brother as a gift a bit ago, which outlined all the ways American soldiers were supposed to interact with German civilians during and after World War II. It was laughable, and I'm sure whatever army-issued dating guidelines the Terra Nova soldiers are receiving are no better.

Which brings us to!

Best TimeLine: On Dating — "People used to do it this way," Soldier-Crush tells Maddy. "No, they will do it this way. In the future. They'll also wear corsets," she responds, slight disdain in her voice. If we can get a jump on gender equality 85 million years in the past, what with this "second chance for humanity" and all, humanity should be in good shape.

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