TERRA NOVA “Instinct” Review

Terra Nova “Instinct”, Season 1 Episode 3 – After last week’s series premiere aired to pretty disappointing ratings, Terra Nova has a lot to prove this week with “Instinct”. The second episode of a TV show says a lot about the series. Lots of people who may not have enjoyed the premiere last week will be tuning back in to give the show another shot, and it has to capitalize on that opportunity.

Thankfully, this episode starts off by doing something I was really hoping it would: Punishing Josh for his stupidity. By far the biggest problem that most people had with the premiere was how frustrating and irritating his character came off, and thankfully we see that his superiors haven’t forgotten about his lapse in judgement. I was really hoping that Josh going off and getting himself into trouble didn’t become a habit on this show, and his early reprimand here seems to affirm that this won’t be the case.

Instead, the big mystery within “Instincts” was finding out what happened to a team supply runners that were attacked in the first scene by some mysterious animals. Finding out that the animals responsible for their death was something that nobody had ever seen before added another layer of intrigue to the proceedings.

Meanwhile, drama still rages on in the Shannon household. Elizabeth serendipitously bumps into an old college friend that she used to date, and guess what? Her handsome, muscular and charming husband gets jealous. Because, you know, the beau-hunk police officer with washboard abs must feel really threatened by the science geek English dude. The jealous husband is a very tired TV plot device, and seeing it on a show like this is a bit frustrating, but there are people out there that enjoy this kind of stuff. Obviously, I am not one of them.

Thankfully the writers remembered about halfway through that it’s a freaking dinosaur show, and we got a pretty awesome Pterasaur attack on Terra Nova. This led to Malcolm and Elizabeth cooking up some scientific mumbo-jumbo plan to use pheromones to lure the creatures away. Seeing all of the Pterosaurs swirling around the Terra Nova camp towards the end was a great special effects sequence, and really proved that they’re not holding back when it comes to this show’s budget.

I don’t know if this is just residual hate for Josh after his careless actions last week, but I really don’t think the guy who plays him is a very good actor. I’ve seen the actor, Landon Liboiron, on Degrassi before. I think his acting capabilities are perfect for a show like that, where all you have to do is stare longingly at other teenagers. For effects heavy shows like these, though, I never felt like he was reacting properly to the situations he was in. It was like he wasn’t that concerned about the killer birds swarming everybody. Maybe it’s just me, though.

Josh’s annoying character traits aside, this was another solid installment for this new series. I hope enough people stick with this show for FOX to keep making them, because I’m enjoying them!

Random Thoughts:

– In case you were wondering, no I didn’t make a type-o in the beginning and refer to this as “Season 1, Episode 3”. FOX referred to the premiere last week as two episodes, so this is technically the third episode.

– That Reynolds guy that Maddy is crushing on is the worst soldier of all time! He’s just staring at the air vent for the longest time, and then gets clocked in the head when a bird flies out of it. What did you think was gonna happen?

– Can we have Stephen Lang talking about dinosaurs mating habits every week? That would be great, thanks.