As I mentioned last week, I thought the first episode of The 4400 was a little lackluster. I think it was simply a factor of trying to fit too many things into one episode. I am happy to report that the second episode was a lot better. I love this show because there is a bit of mystery to it, but nowhere does it say that mystery has to leave the viewer confused, and there was way too much confusion going on last time. Now that things have settled down and we have a better idea what direction the show will be taking, I am really starting to look forward to this season.As we all know, Diana told Dr. Kevin Berkhoff that she would help him with his promycin experiments as long as he agreed that he wouldn’t jeopardize his health. It’s quite obvious to me that whatever Dr. Berkhoff is doing with the promycin no longer relates to scientific study. He’s just a drug addict, and you have to wonder when he’s going to realize that he needs help. Other than some gross looking scars and teeth that seem to be falling out of his mouth, he doesn’t have a lot to show for his experiments. There have been a few side effects like sensitivity to light and personality quirks are one thing, but what if something more serious happens, is it worth the price?
For Berkhoff, the price is clear. He says that as soon as the first 4400 displayed ability, a global arms race began. There are going to be other people, companies, and governments who try to make a promycin serum. Whoever is the first to create a serum and control it could have a huge advantage. Just imagine if somebody could clone Gary Navarro? No company or government secret would be safe. And how about TJ Kim? If some government had her, we’d never see another man on the battlefield.
Speaking of TJ Kim, Tom decides to put another visit into HVT number 1. Since TJ is wanted in connection with a terrorist attack on NTAC as well as her involvement with the attempted murder of Dennis Ryland, security is very tight, and even Tom has to hand in his gun. NTAC needs to know more information on the NOVA group, but TJ swears that she doesn’t know anymore. And then Tom shoots her.
First of all, it looks like NTAC is starting to hire the same people that do security at CTU. If TJ Kim is their best asset in finding the NOVA group, wouldn’t you use a metal detector and give people a pat down? And shouldn’t somebody be in the room watching her to make sure she doesn’t kill her visitor? How can Tom get out so fast? And why does Tom want to kill TJ Kim?
Does anybody else think TJ Kim looks like Chow Yun-Fat?
Evidently, Diana and Nina Jarvis were just as confused as the rest of us. Diana and Tom have been through a lot together. They both have been affected by the returnees in so many ways, and really do trust each other with their lives. When Diana finds out that NTAC is out to bring Tom back in, she pleads with Jarvis to give her a chance to talk to him first. Jarvis agrees and Dian head over to Tom’s house.
One of the story lines that I was very excited to hear about this year was the return of Isabelle. Since the beginning, she has been a central character, but she was a young child and figuring out how she would factor into the story was always a matter of anticipation. Now that she is a teenager, there is still a lot of anticipation, but things are much more clear.
During the first week, Isabelle surprised us when she tried to kill herself. Understandably she is feeling confused, but Matthew Ross literally slapped some sense into her, or so we thought. When we first see Isabelle this week, she is walking into a lake. At first I thought she was trying to kill herself again, but as it turns out, she was just trying to swim. Now, keep in mind that when she was discovered in the water, she was lying face down and dying. I know she is a little naive, but you would think that she would at least thrash around a little bit, no? Then again, maybe she assumed she would just walk on the water instead.
You would think that all of this is kind of pointless, but it actually adds a little bit to the budding romance that’s popping up between Isabelle and Shawn. When Shawn learns that Isabelle was trying to learn how to swim, he mentions that there is a pool at the 4400 center, and he wouldn’t mind teaching her how to swim. If I were Shawn, I would probably start her off with paddleboard and then move on to the “breast stroke”. Don’t you love my subtlety folks?
By this time, Diana has made it over to Tom’s house and walks in on him taking a shower. If only more assassins were as hygienic as Tom, the profession wouldn’t get such a bad name. Diana confronts Tom, who doesn’t remember a thing about shooting TJ Kim. If you were like me, you probably thought that somebody or something had been controlling Tom when he shot TJ Kim, but Diana mentioned that perhaps he started blacking out. If you remember from last year, Tom’s son Kyle started blacking out for no reason and, well, I know a lot of you haven’t seen all of season two, so I’ll just say that Tom’s son is now in jail for what he did.
While Tom may have thought there were some similarities in what happened, he surely wasn’t going to wait around and find out. I’m sure he trusts his partner, but having worked at NTAC for so long, he is not exactly confident in a government agency doing the right thing. Asking for a little privacy, he sends Diana to wait outside of the bathroom, and while she is muttering away to herself, he slips out the window and escapes.
Predictably, Jarvis is quite upset with Diana, and decides that they will have to get Tom the old-fashioned way. That being said, Tom calls Diana and after apologizing for running out on her like that, says that he needs Diana to dig around and help him figure out what happened. Obviously, he can’t get back into NTAC without causing a stir, so he wants her to dig around.
Whenever Diana is in a jam and Tom is not around, she leans on her geeky boy toy Marco for some help. Even when Marco had no chance of getting into Diana’s pants, he was more than happy to help her. He might not be getting much more action than a smooch here and there and a night playing the game of life when he’s been a good boy, but his chances are greater than zero, so he’s getting closer.
Marco tells Diana that her best bet would be to think of this case just like any other. In this case, there are cameras all over the building, so why not start with the video footage? Sounds like a great idea, but when they go to retrieve some of this footage, Marco is told that he has already checked out the evidence, which comes as a big surprise to Marco. Whoever killed TJ Kim wanted to make sure that Tom was being framed, and went to a whole lot of trouble to tie up loose ends.
But who is trying to get at Tom? Boyd Gelder is his name, and he can apparently take the shape of other people. Although we can’t be sure if he is part of the Nova group, it would make sense. Killing TJ Kim and blaming it on Tom would take care of the only person who knew about the Nova group, and the one person who has been giving them the most trouble. But now that Tom is on the case, Boyd needs to find another way to get to Tom before he is exposed, or even worse, caught. Having just killed TJ Kim (we assume), he knows that if he is caught somebody will be out to get him as well.
Since Boyd has no idea where Tom is, he decides to do the next best thing, which is find the person that means the most to him, and threaten her life. That person is Tom’s wife, Alana, who runs what I consider the hottest art gallery in the state of Washington. Of course, I am teeny bit biased, since I would a house on the shores of the Los Angeles River if she was selling it to me. Tom figured that whoever it was that was trying to frame him would go after Alana, so he made his way to her gallery as well.
Unfortunately, the fake Tom gets to Alana first, but Alana, who has brains to go along with her beauty, notices how strange the fake Tom is acting, and is skeptical when he tells her to go with him. At that moment, the one and only true Tom calls Alana, and things start to get confusing. The real Tom realizes that the fake Tom is after his wife and makes it to the gallery just as the fake Tom is leaving. Tom chases fake Tom in the alley, but the only person in the alley is, some teenager. That teenager is Boyd Gelder, and although he gets away, Tom has seen his face. Boyd knows that he is burned, and he will have to find another way to get to Tom or Alana.
Now that Tom has an idea of what he is dealing with, he decides to ask for some help from Shawn, who gladly hands over access to the Center’s database of 4400s and their abilities. I figured that Shawn would help, but it seemed like he gave up the information a little too easy, it makes you think that there is something else on his mind. Oh right! Isabelle!
Although I kind of find this Isabelle story distracting and annoying at times, can you really blame Shawn? I personally think he is showing great restraint. He is obviously attracted to her, but knows that it is wrong. Isabelle is attracted to Shawn, but she really has no idea what sort of affect she has on men. As promised, Shawn promised to help Isabelle learn how to swim, as well as a bunch of other things that she has on a list of things she missed learning how to do when she was growing up.
I know that Isabelle is a special child, but she still has a parent. You would think that Richard would want to be around to teach her some of these things, but Richard had to go and bury Lily with her family. For some reason, Richard thinks that Isabelle is not ready to fly, or be away from the center. Isabelle senses that Richard wants a final chance for some time with his wife’s remains, but if I were him, and Isabelle is the only living memory of the person I loved, I would never let her out of my sight. Richard trusts that Shawn will be taking good care of Isabelle, and I am guessing she will be in good hands, but just what will those hands be doing?
For example, after Isabelle has her first driving lesson with Shawn, she is feeling very exhilarated. With that task under her belt, she decides to ask Shawn for one more little favor. He has a big bed, so why doesn’t Shawn teach her about sex? While Shawn may have been very excited about the prospect, he knows that Richard will be back eventually, and would probably kill him for touching his daughter. All kidding aside, he tells Isabelle that he would feel like he was taking advantage of her, but Isabelle doesn’t buy that. She knows Shawn better than anybody else in the world, so why shouldn’t they be together? Hmm, that’s kind of a good point.
Anyway, Tom searched the 4400 database and found out about Boyd Gelder. With this information in hand, he calls Diana, and tells her to meet him at an undisclosed location. When Diana gets there, she hears gunshots. She looks across the field, and she sees herself firing shots at Tom. But wait, how could that be? She knows it must be Boyd Gelder, but how did he know where to meet them? Well, dumbass, you told Marco all about it. I’m not saying that she has to be wary of her boyfriend, but she already knows Boyd impersonated Marco at least once before, so she needs to be a little more careful.
Now that Diana has seen it with her own eyes, she tries to get Tom to come in, but Tom is still a little wary about giving himself up. Diana is a witness, but she’s also his partner, and has covered for him before, so people might not believe her. Instead, they try to get to Boyd, and try to reach out to him by contacting his mother. They tell her that it is very important that they get to Boyd before somebody else does. She agrees to call her son, but really, do we even know if that is Boyd’s mom, or just Boyd pretending to be his mom?
Whoever it was that told Tom and Diana they would help was obviously lying. Tom and Diana agreed to meet Boyd at an undisclosed location, but instead of seeing Boyd, they only saw a bunch of NTAC agents. Diana and Tom were able to get away, but now they had no clue how to find Boyd. Luckily, Boyd found them.
When Tom left Alana at her gallery, he told her to go home and not answer the door for anybody. They gave each other a secret password to use, but Boyd, who had come around the block and was impersonating Alana’s assistant, heard the password, not that he needed it. Alana was skeptical when Boyd came to her house as Tom, but couldn’t get in the door because he didn’t have a key. Boyd kicked the door down, and took Alana hostage. He called Tom and told him that he needs a confession. If Tom confesses, and then dies, Boyd will be in the clear. Diana begs Tom to call Jarvis and go in with a bunch of folks for NTAC, but again, when you’ve seen the quality work NTAC has done in the past, and the life that’s on the line is somebody you love, you would want to go in alone.
While Boyd is waiting for Tom to come into the house, Alana decides to try and reason with him. It’s obvious that Boyd thinks that he really is fighting for a good cause, and you know what, he could be right. Maybe the NOVA group is misunderstood, but how do you reconcile killing one of your own members? TJ Kim was a soldier, but if you don’t value the life of the people who are part of your movement, what good is the movement?
This chitchat is kind of boring, and very repetitive, but it did distract Boyd enough to give Alana a chance to make a break for it. Luckily for her, Tom had snuck into the house, and was able to knock the gun away from Boyd. To tell you the truth, there wasn’t too much excitement after this. Alana picked up the gun, but who is the real Tom? They look exactly alike, and the fake Tom seems to have read up on Alana and knows a lot about her personal life, so who does she pick? When she tried to run away, Alana had hit Boyd with a vase, and she sees some blood on the side of his face, meaning he is the fake Tom. There you have it, killer captured, Tom is no longer going to be wanted for murder.
I liked this episode, but I think it was resolved a little too easily. That being said, the NOVA group has become an interesting problem and it’s going to be interesting to see how far they’ll go to get what they want. Meanwhile, the other two main plots just got a little more interesting as well.
Berkhoff is making progress in his promycin trials. He seems to have gained a super-healing ability, and demonstrates this to Diana by stabbing himself with a scalpel. Yeah, it was kind of gross, but the worst part about it wasn’t watching him stab himself, but learning that he doesn’t always heal quickly. That’s one game of chance I really wouldn’t want to play, but despite the obvious problems with Berkhoff’s health, Diana decides to continue helping him administer his doses.
And finally, there was some action with the Shawn and Isabelle story line. These two have OK chemistry, but it seems like they were destined for much more. Matthew Ross, who has always been a shadowy character, notices how much Shawn has taken a liking to Isabelle and vise versa. While he tells Shawn that they should spend time together, he tells Isabelle much more. Matt went to Isabelle’s room to give her slinky green dress, and said that she should get as close to Shawn as possible because they will soon be on opposite of an epic struggle. He warns her about getting too close, because it could make things she has to do in the future very difficult.
With her new dress and her new eye color (another one of her abilities), she walks into Shawn’s room and doesn’t take no for an answer. This is difficult for Shawn. He wants her, but really doesn’t want to take advantage, and when her father got back from his trip, Richard basically told Shawn that he would beat him to death if he slept with his daughter. Still, Isabelle is hot, lithe, supple, taut….Uh, where was I? Umm, basically, she is hard to resist, and Shawn finally lets himself go and, well, he does have a big bed, so you can probably imagine where it goes from there.
So, Matt obviously knows a lot. I am starting to think that he is a future-human that was sent back to make sure Isabelle did all the work she needed to do, but if Shawn is the leader of the 4400s, why would that put the two of them at odds? Which side does Berkhoff choose? How about the NOVA group? How about NTAC and the government? I am really starting to like this story line and I hope they start chipping away at it in the coming months. (BTW don’t forget that you still have time to enter my latest 4400 giveaway!)
What did you think of this episode?