[guest-posted by the geekboy]
Honestly, this week's episode of The 4400 was kind of weak. The writers were a little heavy-handed with the parallel plotlines, all four of them involving repentance and/or forgiveness. The Rwandan 4400 sat by and watched thousands of people get murdered, and hopes to redeem himself a little by healing unborn babies with defects. Diana ends up forgiving her sister for using Maia's abilities, but doesn't let her stay. Kyle doesn't believe anybody will forgive him for unwittingly assassinating Jordan Collier, so he runs away. And Richard looks as if he might forgive the old racist war "buddy" who beat the crap out of him 50 years ago for dating a white woman, but when the guy proves to be entirely unrepentant, Richard just says some mean things to him and walks away. Okay, okay, we get it!
Most annoying, though, was Tom's angry indignance about Edwin Mayuya's crimes. While I agree that on a moral level, Mayuya's failure to stop what was happening was wrong, and even punishable, I simply don't buy the fact that Tom was SO upset about it, to the point of seemingly wanting to execute the guy himself. There's nothing in Tom's personal, familial, or cultural past that would justify this kind of visceral response to what was essentially a crime of cowardly inaction -- or if there is, the writers didn't bother to let us know about it.
I'm hoping for a better episode next week.
[guest posted by the geekboy]
I'm running late with my 4400 post this week, because my own life got interrupted by some flooding in our house, and I didn't get a chance to watch the latest episode until Wednesday. Anyway, since this one dealt primarily with only one character, I'll keep it short. Tom wakes up one day, and learns that "It's a Wonderful Life". No 4400's freaking up the world, no deadbeat son giving him headaches, no boss hating on him all the time. Just a weird door that's sometimes there and sometimes not. Oh, and a hot European(?) wife who also remembers how crappy things used to be.
Bottom line: The Future People looked back in time, and said, "That Mulder needs to get laid more." "His name isn't Mulder, it's Tom." "What?" "His name is Tom Baldwin." "Oh. Well, he's a cop. He should get laid more. Let's give him an exotic wife." "Seriously?" "Yeah, sure, why not? But the joke's on him, we'll f--k his life up royally in the next few weeks." Meanwhile Diana's all like, "What the frig? Where's MY instant husband? Hello! In case anybody hasn't noticed, it's not like my bed's been rocking the past two years! Sure, just give me the annoying sister and a daughter who can tell me where I left my car keys when I lose them. THANKS!!!"
I give this episode a thumbs up. A bit off the beaten path, but nicely self-contained.
[guest posted by the geekboy]
... we finally get an episode of The 4400 that doesn't center around an X-File case. Which is bad news for those who watch purely for the sci-fi cameos, but GREAT news for those who have been dying to have the plotlines of the main characters connected a bit more. I really thought this episode stepped things up a notch. Richard and Lilly are no longer fugitives. Lilly gets to see her daughter again ... at least until Heidi's spleen explodes or whatever. Let's see, what else happened ... something ... what was it ... oh yeah ... JORDAN COLLIER BITES IT.
Or DID he? Maia predicts the death rather convincingly. But Baby Isabelle gives Colliier a vision in which he doesn't die. So did Isabella really "lie" to him? Or did he fake his own death? Because a few days later, his body disappears. Kind of like that other guy with a beard ... wait ... Jordan Collier ... Jesus Christ ... J.C. More than coincidence? Anyway, the nebulous figures now seem to be Kyle and Isabelle. I get the impression that one of them is a force for good and one is a force for evil, but which is which? And was/is Jordan really on the bad side, or the good side? And how will things change now that Shawn is running the show?
After kind of a slow (but fun) start this season, the show is finally starting to make my head spin with guessing. Which is exactly what I like my sci-fi to do. Loves it!
guest-posted by the geekboy
No real sci-fi cameos in this week's episode of The 4400, at least that I could pick out. The casting department is clearly slipping. What, you're telling me there's NOBODY from Babylon 5 who's looking for work? I find that hard to believe. Also no real Scientology bashing that I could discern -- did Tom Cruise get to the writers?
The main plot line this week shows us how far the "No Child Left Behind" program has come. A teacher abducted in 1974 is accused of abusing children when she acts as a kind of muse and immediately unlocks their natural talents. What she seems to have forgotten, unfortunately, is that many kids don't have natural talent, and that sometimes what's needed to succeed is not the flip of a switch, but raw hope and determination. Who's to say that gun-boy couldn't have gone on to become a happy and successful -- if uninspired -- graphic artist of some kind?
Meanwhile, Jordan comes off looking pretty good this week. His advice to Shawn about not healing the homeless turns out to be sound, and Isabelle seems to give him her blessing, thereby bringing Richard and Lily back into the fold. So does this mean he's really good ... or that Isabelle is really evil? Oh, and Kyle has another unexplained blackout.
VIEWER ALERT: Starting 9am EST on Saturday, July 2nd, USA Networks is marathon-ing the entire run of The 4400 so far, including all the first season episodes.
guest-posted by the geekboy
This week's cameo on The 4400 is the holographic doctor from Star Trek Voyager, and his magic 4400 power is to put TrimSpa out of business. Apparently, there's now an "enzyme or somethin" in Trent's saliva that causes a person's metabolism to speed up dramatically, resulting in rapid weight loss. Which seems great at first, until you've eaten everything in your fridge, including those nasty pickled eggs your uncle gave you in 1997 ... and you're still hungry. NTAC gets control of the situation, but not before the loan shark and his wife literally starve to death, thereby "fleshing out" the cautionary tale. Exactly what the Future People had in mind this time around is kind of vague -- but I suspect the plan was to put an end to Anna Nicole once and for all.
Meanwhile, the Exorcist baby behaves itself this week, but Richard pisses off the wrong guy; they lose their chance to settle down, and they're on the road again. At the 4400 Center, the writers make it clear to us that they don't like Kabbalah any more than Scientology, and Jordan teaches J.Lo (or whoever) a new sex position called "Third Key".
Maia saves the life of a biker (another sci-fi regular) ... who goes on to become the first Pope with ink. Kyle attends a college party and blacks out (been there done that), and ends the show with perhaps the creepiest mirror scene since Leland Palmer morphed into "Bob" on Twin Peaks.
Note to USA Network: STOP RUNNING TWO MINUTES OVER!
guest-posted by the geekboy
Guest-starring on tonight's episode of The 4400: Gallant from "ER"; Andromeda from "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda"; Natalie Wood's daughter; and a guy doing a bad (and possibly dubbed?) Australian accent, who you've seen doing bit parts in countless sci-fi shows before, but whose name you can't place, even after you see it.
Richard and Lily are still "fugitiving" from one town to the next (cue Incredible Hulk piano theme), killing bounty hunters, stealing money, and getting innocent people arrested. But they mean well. At one point, the baby looks like it's thinking really hard, which makes you think it might be pooping, but it's actually doing something to Richard ... but what? Punishing him for disagreeing with Lily? Or maybe (as I suspect) "unlocking" Richard's 4400 power? Meanwhile, Maia predicts a power outage, Diana has a slutty sister, Tom can write a check in under 2 seconds, and Kyle is "hot for teacher". But the key story -- besides the whole mind-reading baseball player spying on Collier who's trying to take over a small island thing -- is that the 4400 Center does not allow its residents to use pharmaceuticals. Which means the writers are DEFINITELY poking a stick at Scientology. Do you think Brooke Shields might be a silent producer?
And does this mean that Katie Holmes might be a 4400?
The geekboy has graciously agreed to recap the second season premiere of The 4400.
Season 2 opens one year later. Since the end of last season, Lily and Richard have had their mulatto superbaby, with which Lily apparently has daily "conversations". I imagine the baby sounds like Stewie from Family Guy: "Damn you, woman! We need to run! Run! The Amish Texas Ranger with his bible passages is on to us!" So they decide to flee. But then they don't flee. Then the baby goes all Exorcist in a gift shop ... and they're fleeing again.
Over at the newly-built 4400 Center, Collier has taken Shawn under his wing, and is using him to finance the new 4400 Centers -- and his book about The 4400 -- by getting him to heal very sick people. For a steep price. Upon its release, the book causes a media stir, particularly because of Collier's claim that he can "bring out The 4400" in anybody. Hm. Do I smell a veiled criticism of Scientology here? If so, bring it on!
Not-Scully adopts the precog girl, who is acting like she's not precog any more. Not-Mulder gets his un-possessed son back ... who I'm convinced is only ACTING un-possessed, biding his time, working his way back into Shawn's life. Other than that, these two plotlines are kind of "blah blah blah" for me so far, but I'm sure they're going somewhere.
Meanwhile, back at the psych ward, the actress from Firefly who plays River -- a mentally disturbed girl with special powers -- is introduced to us as Tess, one of The 4400, who is ... well ... a mentally disturbed girl with special powers. Clearly, Summer Glau's agent is NOT concerned about typecasting. Her best friend at the institute is none other than Jeffery Combs, an awesome B-actor last seen regularly playing a blue-skinned alien on Enterprise. But the first times I ever saw Combs were in the movies Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Bride of Re-Animator -- all based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. No big wonder then that the first thing we see "Kevin" do is hand Tess a collection of Lovecraft stories. I love these writers!!!
Cameo-gawking aside, the jist of the Tess/Kevin plotline is that Tess's trip to the future has turned her into some kind of "queen ant", who is able to compel both the inmates and the staff to build a giant version of Devil's Tower out of mashed potatoes. Wait ... wrong sci-fi plotline. Using Tess's sketchy blueprints and some mad MacGyver-like cobbling skills, they build a huge transmitter, which shoots its load into space, then dies. Afterward, Tess sinks into a deeper state of crazy. The "plot hook" for the episode? Turns out the now un-crazy Kevin is the preeminent scientist in the field of science that will one day be used to rewire The 4400 in the future.
And so another domino falls into place ...
Just a reminder that The 4400 returns this weekend. I really enjoyed the first installment and am looking forward to this one. I'll probably post about the first episode and see if there's enough interest to continue through the run. Even though I'm not a big sci-fi fan, I've got to hand it to USA and Sci-Fi Network for scheduling many of its miniseries and regular shows during network tv "off-time." My TiVo certainly appreciates it.
The 4400 ended this weekend. The finale was good, but it left a lot of loose ends, and an assumption that the show may return again (as another mini-series or maybe a series?). Did anyone see it? Do you think Lily's baby is going to save the world? Why was Kyle "the key?" And what does Tom have to do to make sure the world isn't destroyed?
Is anyone watching The 4400 on USA Network? It's a mini-series that premiered over the weekend, with a sci-fi premise - "Over the last century, thousands of people have gone missing. Suddenly and inexplicably, 4400 missing people are returned all at once, as they were on the day they vanished. Unclear what this world altering-event means, the government investigates the 4400 to piece together where they've been and why they've been returned." I don't usually dig sci-fi, but I really enjoyed the first installment. It's creepy and sweet and sad. Give it a shot.