Skye's cover is blown as creepy mad scientist Lucas launches his devious plan
Credit: Vince Valitutti/Fox
S1 E11
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Short recap this week. But we’re going to introduce the first ever Terra Nova photo contest at the end. Intrigued? Read on.

Pterodactyls soar over the prehistoric landscape. Say goodbye to them, because that’s the most dinosaur action you’re going to get this hour. The penultimate episode (titled “Within”) builds up to next week’s two-hour Terra Nova finale by ditching the man vs. wild action and instead sets up a dramatic confrontation between the colonists and a greedy organization looking to plunder the planet’s resources.

We settle down into the jungle and get a look at the Stargate portal. Now, I don’t think we saw this thing in the pilot, right? It looks like one of those airport-security screening devices that help TSA agents more effectively imagine what you look like naked. We’re told that before the portal was built, people time-traveling through the riff would materialize at random locations on the planet. So this receptor helps target the incoming matter to this specific location.

Back at the colony: Jim searches for the spy, interviewing everybody who had access to the medical facility where the incriminating blood sample was contaminated. Skye tells Jim she was playing chess with Josh at the time of the break-in. Jim accepts this, even though none of us can really imagine Josh playing chess. Skye then goes and asks Josh to back her story. Josh, who’s always up for a chance to annoy his father, agrees.

Meanwhile Maddy very upset because her transparent iPad thingy — dubbed a “Plex” — broke.

“You blew your core,” Josh says.

“I have everything on my Plex!” she cries.

Oh Terra Nova, we’re gonna miss you.

Later: Skye shows the deft maneuvering required to sneak out of the colony — squirming under the fence — then goes to the Sixers camp to visit her sick hostage-mom, who tenderly calls her “Bucket.” There she meets Taylor’s son Lucas, who looks like a Jake Gyllenhaal’s creepy buff cousin. Lucas comes off less like a scientist and more like your brother’s friend who watches too much MMA, chugs Rockstar energy drinks, and hits on your underage sister. He puts his crazy moves on Skye, tying to win her loyalty by revealing he gave her mom a blanket. That’s how hardcore the Sixer lifestyle is — you can score by giving out a blanket.

“I want us to be friends,” Lucas says. More than that, Lucas wants her to use the computer in the Terra Nova library to help with his equations. Or, Lucas threatens, “I’ll toss your mother over the side.”

Just when you start to think Terra Nova doesn’t have real villains, along comes Lucas, threatening to throw Skye’s sick mother out of a tree. That’s firmly a bad-guy quality, right? We later learn he’s mad at his dad for, naturally, not saving his mom’s life.

NEXT: Bucket spills her secret; Terra Nova finale photo contest

Skye sneaks into the moody make-out library (“The Eye”) and then returns with the intel Lucas needs. But Lucas really wants to know one thing: Why the hell does her mom call her Bucket? And that’s a great question because we’re curious too. It’s a tragic name downgrade for Skye. Turns out she used to play solider with a bucket on her head.

Lucas tells her not to go back to Terra Nova, it’s not safe. The people who control the Sixers are going to come through the portal and take over the colony. “You control the past, you control the future!” he says.

Whoa, this threw me for a second, but I think I got it. Because it sounded like Lucas was blowing the whole “separate time stream” reasoning about why nothing the colonists do in the past changes the future. He means if the company controls the past (Terra Nova), that means they control the future (2149) by bringing its valuable natural resources into the future via the portal — not because they’re actually changing the past to change the future via the Butterfly Effect. Right?

“The commander will finally know that I beat him,” Lucas seethes, and then creepily kisses Bucket’s cheek (sorry girl, the nickname’s gonna stick).

Bucket goes to see her mom and spills her turmoil. Her mom orders her to return to Terra Nova, tell Taylor everything and leave her to die alone in a tree. This is pretty sad stuff for this show.

Terra Nova: Josh is strumming his guitar again. I keep waiting for him to Glee-out and just start singing. (What about a cross-over episode where Fox’s Glee? Kids come through the portal, start belting out tunes and then get gobbled up by a Carnosaurus).

Having spotted Bucket sneaking out of the colony, Jim confronts his son and Josh confesses he lied to protect Bucket. “You’re my son and I love you very much, but don’t lie to me again,” Jim says, the epitome of “gently but firmly.” Show of hands: Who else wishes their dad was Jim Shannon?

Taylor plants valuable information with Bucket to try and trap her, but she doesn’t tell the Sixers. This leads Jim to think she’s only kind of a traitor instead of a full-blown traitor. Bucket rushes back and tearfully confesses to Jim and Taylor, warning them that Lucas is about to activate the portal to go both ways. They’re still really angry with her, however, and look like they want to kick the Bucket (sorry).

Portal: Jim and Taylor confront angry rebel Lucas as he activates the portal. Before they have a chance to stop him, he simply steps back through the portal to 2149 — he’s escaped and, yes, it now goes both ways. Uh-oh.

Terra Nova: Bucket, wearing what appears to be a shark-proof sweater, is reunited with her mom. That murderer who Taylor sent to spy on the Sixers rescued her (the colonists can apparently make a synthetic copy of the drug that keeps her alive). So the murderer gets to stay, the spy gets to stay — it’s a forgiving place, Terra Nova. But now they’re gearing up for war. The bad guys from the future are coming. Who will win?

Methinks if all the bad guys are gonna come out of that portal, Taylor should just move the damn thing to the edge of a cliff, sit back, crack a beer and laugh. “Welcome to Terra Nova, watch that first step, hahaha…”

Contest: And speaking of Taylor, here’s that Photoshop contest (okay, it’s not really a contest, because that suggests sifting through a bunch of entries when I’ll probably take whatever I can get). A few episodes back I wrote, “As if he wasn’t tough and grizzled enough, Taylor has added a toothpick. He chews it with steely intensity. If there’s a season 2, I hope Taylor gets an eyepatch.” Since then, somebody in the recap comments always seems to reference Taylor needing an eye patch. And since we don’t know if there’s going to be a season 2, here’s the idea: Let’s give Taylor an eye patch! Take any Terra Nova photo (Google Images has plenty of official ones, or do a screen grab) and give Taylor an eye patch — he can be standing there, riding a Carnosaur, whatever, in the foreground, the background, the more witty the better. I’ll post any fun results in the Terra Nova season finale recap and credit your Twitter feed or website. Send me the image and credit at [UPDATE: Results are in, will post next week]

See you next week!

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Terra Nova
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