The episode begins with the Shannon family whose father, Jim has just come home with an orange, and his wife, Elisabeth can’t even remember the last time she had seen one. The family is about to eat the orange when their daughter Maddy comes into the home to saw “they” are on their way. The family hides their little girl, Zoe, and cops come to the door. Jims says there must be a mistake he’s a cop too, but the other cop says he’s under investigation for violation. Zoe cries out as the cops tear the place apart. They find her in the vent as Jim fights to stop them from taking her.
We then flash to Golad Prison – 2 Years Later.
Elisabeth visits Jim, to tell him she has been recruited for Terra Nova as part of the tenth pilgrimage, and is set to leave next week. Jim encourages her to go but she says that she can’t take Zoe…she can take Maddy and Josh and that’s it. Elisabeth says there is only one way around it, and Jim seems to know what it is. She gives him an air filter and leaves. Inside Jim finds a laser.
We see the family getting off a train where they discuss that Jim is supposedly going to be meeting them, but the kids have no idea how he’ll manage. We see Jim on another train, where he cuts some sort of blinking device out of his skin (probably some sort of tracker I’d assume).
He gets off the train and finds a bag full of money (with Obama’s face on the bills) a key card, and a gun. The family is getting ready to enter Terra Nova, and Josh tells Kara (his girlfriend), he plans to find a way to get her there as well, she replies it’s a one way trip and there is no way back (though I’m guessing we’ll be seeing her again).
Jim sneaks in on the bottom of an army/police car and his key card works to get clearance to the Terra Nova platform. He meets a man who demands money in exchange for something we don’t see. The man tells Jim if he gets caught he’s on his own.
The portal is opened as the people leaving for Terra Nova approach to enter, and we see that Jim has been seen on camera in a restricted area.
Over the speaker we hear a woman say that once the people reach the other side of the portal, their eyes will not be able to adjust right away to the bright Sun, but there will be assistance on the other side. Jim gets to the family and hands Elisabeth the bag he received from the other man. Security tells him to step out of line and the kids enter the portal. Jim pushes the man aside and runs through the portal, where he collapses due to shock from the clean air. Officials on the other side demand that his bag is checked for weapons, and Elisabeth runs to open the bag to reveal Zoe is inside.
Zoe has never seen white clouds before, asking if they actually were clouds. Jim asks Zoe if she remembers him, even though he’s been gone a long time, but she doesn’t answer right away, and we hear dinosaurs and everyone ducks. They keep walking and enter into a gated area where they are welcomed to Terra Nova. A man named Nathaniel Taylor says they probably already know him, he says he’s been there seven years, and they are at the dawn of a new civilization, and says they blew it and destroyed their own home, but have been given a chance to get it right. Everyone claps in celebration.
A man with a gun tells Elisabeth and Jim that Taylor wants to see them without the children. Nathaniel reads off all of Elisabeth’s credentials as a doctor and says Jim should still be in prison for four more years. We find out that the law Jim broke was that people were only allowed two children, they broke the law by having three. He speaks with Jim privately, and asks why he would risk everything by having a third child…he was a cop and his wife very accomplished…Jim asks to be made a cop again, but Taylor assigns him to agriculture.
The family is taken to their quarters, and Jim has a bonding moment with Zoe, and she calls him daddy. Josh shows resentment towards Jim, and says he’s the reason they had to fend for themselves for years, but Jim says they are starting over. Zoe walks off, to see a brontosaurus outside the gate eating a tree, and feeds it a branch.
Jim tells Elisabeth they did the right thing coming to Terra Nova, after they kiss.
We find out that everyone has to drink some sort of liquid for three days, because their bodies can’t handle the enzymes in real food. The family goes off in their seperate directions for orientation.
Maddy sees the probe that was sent back when the time fracture, that allowed for Terra Nova to be created was discovered, and says they are in a new time stream, and that’s why they aren’t affecting the future. Josh doesn’t really care, and decides he’s going to skip orientation.
Jim gets assigned some weeding…which consists of vines all wrapped around the perimeter fence, and comes across a two or three foot long centipede (or something with a ton of legs not quite sure lol). We see Nathaniel watching him from a distance.
A girl, Skye starts laughing at Josh who is trying to figure out how to eat a coconut. Skye realizes he left someone behind (Kara) since he isn’t happy to be there, and she says she’ll show him around.
Elisabeth is treating patients, one of which getting sick from too much fresh air, but on his back is some sort of giant parasitic thing feeding on his blood, so she pulls it off.
Jim comes across Josh skipping orientation. Jim tries to take him to orientation but Josh walks off saying he can’t just tell him what to do after being gone all this time.
Skye says she doesn’t really remember much from the old world, she left so long ago. Skye takes Josh to her quarters, where she lives with three other people (Max, Tasha, and Hunter) who are about 16…she says in the new world you grow up fast and they can live on their own.
Josh and Skye run off to the perimeter where Skye tells him to go OTG (Outside the Gates). They hear a “howler” and Skye says they sounds worse then the actually are. They jump off a cliff into the river below, and then she takes him to see some drawing in the rocks that she and her roommates had found while they were exploring. She says she thinks they are equations of some sort, but doesn’t know who did it. Josh says they look like they’ve been there a long time and Sky says she hasn’t told Taylor because it seems like he doesn’t want anyone to know about them, and ask Josh to keep it secret.
In the medical facility a man (Carter) Elisabeth is treating, grabs her and takes a gun from security. Jim sees him sneaking off and becomes suspicious, so he follows Carter. He pulls out the gun, and Jim chases after him…Carter had been trying to take down Taylor. Taylor tells Jim to take a ride, and he will fill him in on everything he needs to know.
Taylor tells Jim that someone sent back a group of people called Sixers, who separated themselves from the colony and live outside of it and they want to try to stop Terra Nova, and he doesn’t know who in the future he can trust.
Sixers are approaching the gate, but being attacked by Carnatoruses (Carnos). Taylor and Jim mange to get back inside the perimeter before the Carnos get them, but the Sixers get inside too. There’s a stand off and a woman named Mira approaches. She says he has one of their people (Carter) and reveals that the Sixers still have some people inside Terra Nova who are on the Sixers’ side. She trades him meteoric iron, medical supplies and ammo for Carter. But Taylor says she can have everything but the ammo. Mira recoginizes that Jim is new to Terra Nova, and says “Welcome to Paradise.”
Taylor has asked Jim to join security.
Josh, Skye and the group walk further into the forest where they show him their version of moonshine.
Nathaniel reveals to Elisabeth that he has a son who came in on the second pilgrimage, and he disappeared mysteriously.
Mira tells Carter that things are about to change even though they aren’t going as planned.
One of the Sixers is attacked but we don’t see by what…Skye and the group hear the noise and they say it’s getting late, so they should go.
Taylor shows Jim the group of kids had snuck outside the perimeter, and they send out a search party to look for them.
The vehicle they the kids had taken to get out there had it’s power cells stripped, and they say it’s too far to walk. They see the Sixer vehicle, and approach it. Max finds the cells, but then a Slasher starts approaching. They get in the Sixer vehicle where only one person, Drake is inside. The vehicle doesn’t work, and the Slasher continues to try attacking it.
Taylor tells Jim and Elisabeth he was the first person over and it was 118 days later until anyone else joined.
We see the group in the vehicle, and more Slashers are beginning to show up. They get through on a radio to the search party, as they try shooting at the Slashers which only scares them away temporarily. Tasha freaks out saying they aren’t going to make it, leaves the vehicle and is attacked.
The kids decide they are going to try to make a run for their rover, and try to get the power cells put back in. Skye tells Josh that both her parents died. Just as they are about to go, the Slashers come back and rip Hunter out of the rover.
The search party finds the kids, and scare off the Slashers. Skye tells Taylor that there were Sixers there too. Taylor says to Jim Mira was there for her man…
They get back to Terra Nova, where Josh apologizes for running off. Skye goes to Taylor to apologize, and says he’s been good to her since her parents died and she doesn’t want to disappoint him. He asks her if she went anywhere near the falls (where we saw the carvings in the rocks earlier), and she lies and says no.
Mira and Carter look at the rocks and they reveal that Taylor’s son is the ones making the carvings. Mira says the real reason for Terra Nova is to control the past, which is the key to controlling the future. Mira also says that Taylor’s son is purposely leaving the carvings on the rocks to rub it in Taylor’s face.
The Shannon family sees the moon, Jim and Elisabeth hadn’t seen it since they were kids, but their kids had never seen it before.
I loved it, and can’t wait for more!!! The show as a whole feels like a mix between Jurassic Park and LOST, and I think it’ll be like LOST in the way that we are going to keep finding out little things about Terra Nova (the Island), the time fracture, etc., not to mention the Sixers which feel like “the Others” in certain ways. Though the CG dinosaurs and futuristic city looked CG, they were still pretty good for TV. The entire premiere kept me entertained, and I’m curious to find out more about the motives behind Terra Nova to control the future that Mira talked about. I’m guessing we are going to find that the Sixers are actually the good guys and what they are doing is actually trying to protect the future. I also have a feeling that Skye is working with the Sixers. I’m really hoping we’ll get to see more of the history leading up to Terra Nova as well!!