Episode Reviews

RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Signs and Portents” (Season 1, Episode 13)

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The second flat-out great episode in a row, and a total barn-burner of a story at that. From this point on the story begins to move faster and with more impetus.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Terra Nova: “The Runaway” (Episode 4)

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Tonight we found out a bit about the Sixers, but did we find a show actually worth watching? And if the show *IS* worth watching, does that mean anyone actually *will* watch it? “Terra Nova” has lost 19% of its audience in just 14 days, though obviously some of that probably was it being pre-empted by Baseball last week. Ratings for this episode - when they come out - will give a VERY strong indication of whether or not people were interested enough in this show for it to rebound, or if it was just a piece of gum that’s already lost its flavor and been forgotten about.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Terra Nova: “What Remains” (Episode 3) UPDATED!

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The ratings are in: Seven Million people watched the show last night. Initial ratings for the premier were 9.22 million viewers, which is pretty incredible since it held 'em for 2 hours. Second episode was said by the PR flacks to have held the entire premier audience, but in fact it dropped to 8.73 million. That's actually better than anyone would have expected, and so good I don't know why they even bothered to exaggerate it. Some sophomore dropoff is to be expected.

Dropping 2.2 million viewers in just 14 days, however, *IS* a significant cause for alarm.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Terra Nova: “Instinct” (Episode 3)

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Jim attempts to have sex with his wife, but keeps getting interrupted by noisy pterodactyls. It was funny when it happened to Fred Flintstone (The first cartoon character to have sex. Well, second. Well, really, I guess it was a team effort) and it’s funny now. Oh, no, wait, what’s the opposite of funny? Belabored? Yeah, go with that. The birds- sorry, Pterosaurs - turn out to be evil, and kill people.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Alphas: "Original Sin" (Episode 11, Season Finale)

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In his novel The Boat of a Million Years, Poul Anderson explored the idea of select humans in history being born with natural immortality. Unlike the Highlanders of movies and television, Poul Anderson's immortals were people who simply did not get old and die; they were as prone to death by lethal accident or violence as the rest of us. Therefore, death for an immortal is a strict Poisson process, and if 2% of an immortal population dies each year due to accident or violence, then less than 2% of that population will live longer than 200 years.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “By any Means Necessary” (Season 1, Episode 12)

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This one is a watershed, kids; B5’s first actual *important,* game-changing episode, though most of us aren’t going to like it

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EPISODE REVIEW: Terra Nova: “Genesis, Parts 1 and 2” (Episodes 1 and 2)

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The last current show I reviewed was “Outcasts,” an ultimately fairly dismal and pointless British series that seemed to eschew logic, plausibility, and occasionally coherence in an effort to be a sort of unofficial fifth season of Battlestar Galactica. (“Ok, so we kill Apollo, and focus on new characters, but they’re still on earth, living like hillbillies for no good reason…”) I’m confessing this up front because the previews for “Terra Nova” remind me *A LOT* of “Outcasts,” only with a budget.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Alphas: "The Unusual Suspects" (Episode 10)

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On the day that I write this review, it has been 10 years and 9 days since September 11, 2001. In that period of time, we have seen airline passengers viewed by their government as common criminals and terrorists. Because a Muslim terrorist can, theoretically, look like anyone, all passengers are screened with X-rays or patted down like inmates. This type of paranoia was explored in this episode by featuring a shape-shifter Alpha who impersonated Dr. Rosen for most of the episode and even impersonated Gary for a short time.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Eureka: "One Giant Leap" (Season 4, Episode 20) Season Finale

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I tried to guess how the season is going to end, knowing the Eureka writers’ penchant for cliffhangers, and boy, my guesses are nowhere near the mark and what a hanger this cliff turned out to be.

Or maybe not so much, since within minutes of the episode’s ending, we get a sneak preview of next season that kind of kills off some of the suspense of who will be back or not. (I hate you, SyFy!)

To summarize the season-ender:

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