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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Terra Nova: I Banish You ... to Bogeyland!

Terra Nova
Episode 106

Hi Show! We missed your regular programming the last month with all the baseball.  Tonight's excursion through the time portal takes us to our first murder in paradise.  Good thing Taylor appointed Jim as a cop way back in the Pilot (even though he has a standing militia army to do all of his law enforcement). 

At Communication Relay Station 19A, a red shirt comes to investigate why the station has stopped working.  Oh hi Mr. Dinosaur. You look nice. Oh Noes! Red Shirt gets eaten by Mr. Dinosaur.  Bad dinosaur. Bad! Meanwhile, over at Boylan's Felonious Pub and People Smuggling Enterprises, Boylan informs Josh that there has been a complication with bringing Kira (you remember, his girlfriend we saw for 10 seconds through a chain link fence back in the Pilot) on through to the Dino-side. 

Elisabeth has been asked to autopsy Red Shirt, who's name was Foster. While she gets ready, Malcolm shows her his giant egg that he's discovered and Zoe decides to play sick from school because she misses her mom. In a solid parenting move, Elisabeth sends her to go play in the corner where I am sure there all sorts of dangerous medical supplies. I can tell you now, I don't know that I will mention these three again this episode because the plotline is laboriously boring and unless they decide to pull the trigger on Elisabeth cheating on Jim with Malcolm, I don't care.  Anyway, Foster was eaten by a Nicoraptor, vividly described as a two-legged shark with three rows of incisors. Ye-ouch!.  The autopsy shows two types of blood; some from Foster and  some from Gallusaur, basically, a prehistoric turkey (and a Nico's favorite food). Policeman Jim thinks its … murder DUN DUN DUNNNNN! All it required was bait (the prehistoric turkey) and some knowledge if Foster's schedule. Taylor tells him to investigate and it its murder, find out who, fast and quiet. Also, Lt. Washington will help … because she's Taylor's favorite. 

Wash and Jim find Foster's friends doing the Irish wake thing for their fallen comrade. Jim peppers them with some questions including if he was seeing anyone.  They say he was but that he never mentioned her name. They do know that he used to stare at her picture on his futuristic dog tags.   

Turns out, Malcolm's egg has some life in it. Elisabeth decides to save it after Zoe makes her feel bad about it. Now, seriously, that is the last time I mention them.

Taylor, Jim and Wash are chasing the Hungry, Hungry Nico since it turns out he ate Foster’s tags. Nico is a fast bastard. And smarter than the average bear.  Even though he’s forced into a choke point in the woods, he is able to improvise by bounding hardcore up a tree.  Taylor, being a vicious predator of his own, is able to take him down when he reveals himself further down field a little later on.  Wash opens him up and recovers Foster’s dog tags. Taylor doesn't recognize the woman but Wash does, she works at the mess hall. Rebecca Milner, a/k/a the mess hall floozy, led Foster on (Foster seemed to think they were more than friends) but you know how it is, her job is to be nice. Also, turns out the mess hall floozy is married to Howard Milner.  Howard is a dumpy, older guy who is also completely cuckold.  The marriage was one of convenience so that Rebecca could get through the portal in the “portal lottery” (not sure we’ve heard of this lottery before?), but he’s grown to really love her and he stupidly though she loved him too; clearly she was only using him.  He also confesses to killing Foster. He says he knew about the affair and he’d do it again. OK , then. That was easy. How are we going to fill the rest of the episode?

A problem with the airtight case starts to surface when Cuckold Howard can't answer even the most basic of questions. When asked how he did it, he comes up with this ingenious plan: I tailed him for a week and I trapped him inside the room with the Nico. Sure, it was an elaborate scheme but he loves Rebecca. Then he sings this classic from Bryan Adams. He doesn’t really sing that song, but he should.

Taylor tells Jim about Terra Nova’s “Memorial Field.”  Its like the Terra Nova Arlington Cemetery, but maybe its open to everyone, not just fallen soldiers? Not clear. Anyway, Taylor is a little shaken because even though they’ve had losses and missteps, they’ve never had murder. And, unless he commutes Milner’s sentence, the Terra Nova bylaws (“Bylaw? What’s a bylaw? – White Goodman, Dodgeball) require he be banished. Suffice to say, Taylor is not looking forward to making this decision.

Skye and Josh are talking about how Boylan is making Josh meet with Mira outside the gate. Skye thinks its suicide and that bringing his stupid girlfriend here is not worth the risk of getting himself killed.  Josh says that she doesn’t appreciate how bad it is in 2149 (she can’t be so old as to not remember what a shit hole their old world is, can she?). Skye says fine but that she’s coming with him.

At Foster’s funeral procession, we learn that this is not something that happened in 2149-era Chicago. What did they do with their dead?  Elisabeth says that what Taylor (and Jim) are doing to Milner is “frontier justice” … like that’s a bad thing. Jim’s in total favor of a swift trial. Elisabeth (sounding like Malcolm is in her ear) thinks we shouldn't have a barbaric one-man justice system. Jim doesn't understand her hesitation; Milner confessed and they didn't beat it out of him. Done deal.  Elisabeth puts a bug in his ear that sometimes people have reasons for giving false confessions.  Like true lurrrrve maybe?

At the “trial”, Reynolds and Maddy are talking about he wants the banishment and she isn't so sure (just like her mother). Taylor pronounces Howard Milner banished … to Bogeyland!  Just Kidding.  The cripple from the marketplace tries heckling Taylor's decision, says that this is a death sentence … uh yeah, that’s the point wheelchair guy, now hush.  Taylor tells the crowd that moving forward to their dream of a better future than what they left behind demands this decision for Milner. He also notes that Milner will have a better show than Foster was given so boohoo for you.  And then he's banished. Wow, no appeals process here at Terra Nova. Nice!

Milner is washing up when Jim sneaks up on him. Jim is doing his fishing for information cop thing’ says he was surprised at the sentence and he think Howard was surprised too. Seems to Jim that Howard and Rebecca exchanged some looks that makes Jim think Rebecca killed Foster.  Howard … appreciating the harshness of his sentence for maybe the first time, seems a little less happy about falling on the sword for Rebecca.  Back at the mess hall floozy’s place, Rebecca gives a plausible denial with respect to killing foster. Hmmm, now we have a pickle.  Taylor is not pleased. He put a large chunk of his reputation on the line by going through with the whole banishment thing .. on Jim’s shitty police work, for Jim to turn around now and say they got the wrong guy.  Taylor, being a much nicer guy than I would be, tells Jim to follow his leads and hunches BUT if this doesn’t work out and fast, he is bouncing Milner right back outside the gate.  

At Boylan's Felonious Pub and People Smuggling Enterprises, Jim is unpleasantly surprised to learn that Josh works there (where does he think he goes all day? Way to be a dad that’s present in the life of their kids Jim!)). Also, they're taking Boylan in for questioning. You see, Foster’s financial records show that a lot of gambling goes on at Boylan's Felonious Pub and People Smuggling Enterprises and Foster is owed lots of money.

Boylan confesses to taking a cut of the top of the gambling schemes but he didn't kill anyone. Jim tells him that they’re going to find Boylan’s paper ledger since he strikes Jim as being old school like that. By the way Josh, you’re totally not working at the bar anymore. Josh does his snot faced teenage rebellion thing. He says that Jim bitched about him not taking responsibility for anything and then he complain when he  gets a job. Yeah dumbass, but you got a job … at a bar … run by a criminal.  Did Marketplace Wheelchair guy not have any openings?

While they are looking through the bar for the paper ledger, we find out that Boylan escaped, obviously with the help of an insider. On the way to look for Boylan, Taylor calls in to Wash for her to check the security logs to find the insider that helped with the escape. Hey! Wait! Boylan is sitting with Wash eating and not being a chased escaped prisoner. Shut the front door, what’s going on here.  And Wash>? She’s not scanning for anything?  Taylor, Jim and a Red Shirt named Curran track Boylan to where he should be but he's not there.  No shit, he’s back in the mess hall .. with Wash. Eating!

Ahh, I see the plan now. Turns out at that the soldier that owed (and killed) Foster was Red Shirt Curran. The whole Boylan arrest was staged to set up and get Curran alone for a confession. When he tries to shoot Taylor, he finds out that Taylor did not give him  a live gun (gun seems so inadequate for the awesome killing firepower they haul around) He also gets to experience a Taylor ass kicking all over the forest. When Taylor pulls the stolen paper ledger from Curran’s jacket, he takes the opportunity to smack Curran with the rolled up ledger like he was very bad dog.  Taylor banishes him then and there and without the benefit of a gun (even Milner got a gun). Taylor's not going to lose sleep over whatever happens to Curran. Red Shirt Curran is kind of a pathetic pansy with his whining about wanting (and not receiving) a trial. Suck it up DinoMeat.

Wrap Ups. Rebecca and Milner are in love. Boylan tells Taylor that this will be the only favor he does for Taylor free. Jim finds Josh playing his guitar with the a longing plucky tune on the strings.  Jim relents on Josh working at the bar but reminds him; in this family, there are no secrets.

At the gate, Boylan protests then relents on Skye coming along with Josh to the Mira meeting. Also, he gives Josh a gun "just in case". And a map to the rendezvous. Walking through the jungle, walking through the jungle, walking through the jungle when all of a sudden, there are Sixers everywhere! Mira wastes not time and sets her price for allowing Boylan to talk to 2149 to get Josh’s girlfriend through.  Mira then puts on a fat suit, a thin fake mustache and a tuxedo and puts a cat in her lap which she pets absently, and tells Josh that one day she will ask him for a favor and this favor, whatever it may be, he will comply with, without hesitation. Skye thinks this is BS but Josh agrees readily. Of course he does.

Then, the stupid Ankylosaur hatches and Zoe wants it for a pet. I hate myself for following on that storyline. 

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