Terra Nova “Occupation; Resistance” Review

Well, this is it you guys.! This is possibly the last time we’ll be seeing Terra Nova, so the two part season finale, “Occupation; Resistance”, is forced into a difficult position. On one hand, you have to conclude the story as best you can in case the show is cancelled and give us as much closure as possible. On the other hand, you need to leave the story open enough in case you are renewed for a second season.

With all that said, there’s one thing you definitely can say about Terra Nova: They’re not afraid to make big moves. I mean, nine minutes into the episode the entire colony has been overrun and occupied by Lucas Taylor’s army. After the explosion at the portal, I thought that we might get to see what happened between the Phoenix army and the colonists, but it was actually very effective the way they did it. Seeing Shannon stumbling out of the medical center and seeing all of the destruction and smoldering ruins around him was one of the best scenes we’ve had on this show so far. After getting us viewers invested in this location and the characters, seeing these buildings burned and devastated was a very powerful visual.

The whole idea of the colonists being the underdogs was also a really cool idea. This entire season they’ve been the big men on campus, with the Sixers always being the scrappy freedom fighters trying to get back at them with their limited resources. Now we see Taylor and Mark ambushing Phoenix soldiers in the forest like Robin Hood and his merry men, and it’s freaking awesome! I also loved seeing the Shannon family stealthily escaping the colony amid explosions and gunfire.

As if this finale wasn’t already awesome enough, we also got to see Josh get beat to a bloody pulp! Upon reading the episode description and seeing that one of the characters would be making the “Ultimate sacrifice”, I was desperately hoping that Josh would sacrifice his life to save his family. At least that would help offset all of the stupid crap he’s put everybody through, and would be a semi-understandable decision since his girlfriend just got blown up. While Wash’s death was one of the more moving scenes we’ve seen on the show so far, she was such a peripheral character that I had a hard time feeling too broken up about it.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Terra Nova without a few goofy characters and badly written lines. The hypochondriac Phoenix villain came off as a bit of a caricature for me. I’m sure if he had a mustache he would be vigorously twirling it in between shooting innocent brontosaurus’ and talking about selling ore to his employers. Although I will say that his high-pitched scream right before getting devoured by a dinosaur was pretty hilarious. Oh, and just about every line of romantic dialogue between Shannon and Elizabeth was incredibly corny. “I’ll always find a way to get back to you!” Sounds like something you’d read inside a greeting card.

But minor quibbles aside, this was an overall exciting and satisfying season (series?) finale. You’ve got lots of explosions, gunfire, dinosaur attacks in 2149, and a couple rather exceptional fight scenes involving Jim Shannon kicking all kinds of Phoenix butt. Also, if we have to remember Terra Nova for one scene, It should be this: Jim Shannon being chased by a dinosaur down an exploding walkway as he runs for a portal through time and space. Possibly one of the single greatest shots in TV history.

As we say goodbye to Terra Nova for now, and possibly forever, I really don’t know how much better they could have done for this finale. We concluded a lot of story lines, but still have quite a few outstanding. Lucas Taylor is still out there, Mira and Phoenix are at large, and the mysterious Badlands are holding all kinds of secrets! I really hope that FOX sees fit to renew this show, as I hope to see the continuation of these stories. However, if they don’t, I’ve been thoroughly entertained and satisfied with what we’ve seen.

What did you think about Terra Nova as a whole? Leave a comment in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– The scene at the portal reminded me of the opening scene from Star Wars: A New Hope. We have all of the good guys pointing a door, knowing that at any moment some bad guys might be coming through.

– I know that originality has never been one of Terra Nova‘s strong points, but did anybody else get a HUGE Avatar vibe from this episode? The whole idea of an evil corporation going to some distant universe to mine a rare mineral? Where have I heard that one before?

– What’s with the recent influx of incest on TV recently? First you’ve got Game of Thrones, then Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, and now this. This was the tamest of all, with Lucas just calling Skye his sister and being a creep towards her, but still! Enough, TV writers!