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July 25, 2014

The 4400: Gone, part II

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Jul 3rd 2006 3:15PM

the 4400 -- tom and 'sarah'(S03E05) As if the writers were pumping promicin themselves and reading the viewers' minds, Maia is neither gone nor forgotten in the second part of "Gone." And she comes back with explosive force, erupting into Tom and Alanna's fantasy worlds, radiating through Diana's frantic subconscious. I'm rapt as I watch Diana making a frightening collage of little girls' faces, as I see her sink into desperation when she learns that Maia has been sent back to the 1800s -- and died, at 25, only having left diaries behind as she expired on the Oregon Trail.

While I'm rapt by Tom and Diana emerging from the distinct wooden quality of the past several episodes, I'm thrown by the seemingly random details skittering about the edges of the plot. The 4400 we meet this week, an investment banker, can smell pheremones. It's a cool party trick and, you'd think, useful in the plot of a drama starring Alicia Silverstone. But it's a sideshow, just like the valiant efforts made (and subsequently erased) in the far past by the other children: synthetic fuel, colonies on the moon. Lovely, but ... why do these very interesting details feel as if they were picked out of a science fiction grab bag?

When we come to the climax of the show, and Tom attempts suicide rightly believing that he's too important to the future for them to let him die, I hold my breath. But it's almost too easy. Tom gets sent back and we're told, as we all supposed, that there are two factions in the future; one fighting to reverse the course of events that ends in the coming destruction of mankind, another who believes that the chaos will make them more powerful. They've unleashed a powerful evil force on the present. Only Tom can stop it. (only Tom? he's not even a 4400! why him?) Naturally, it'll be super hard. Yada yada *yawn* ...

That powerful evil force, we all think in concert, must be Isabelle.

It would have been interesting if the evil force was not Isabelle. But it is. Tom opens his mysterious package and it's a syringe filled, no doubt, with some sort of deadly potion. The handwritten note says, "Kill Isabelle."

But she can't even kill herself. How will this kill her? And how is that so hard for Tom? He has no love for Isabelle and Shawn is rendered completely useless as a defensive force by the mind-bending tactics of the Nova Group. At once we've wrapped up all kinds of loose ends -- we've learned that Isabelle is, indeed evil; there are two factions in the future; Tom has his mission; and we've got Maia back. I like all these neat pieces of yarn woven into the fabric of the plot. But I'm not sure how the writers will keep us at the edges of our seats if it's just going to be all easy like that.

Next week, we're promised, one of the 4400 will die: "and it's not who you think." That will be quite some challenge as I've already thought of everyone.

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Malik

This show is great!
I watched a marathon on USA network and I have been hooked every since...I can't wait for Jordan to come back! He is gonna have a lot to say...

July 05 2006 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
karen

we don't know for sure that isabelle is evil. perhaps the author of the "kill isabelle" note wants her out of the way to advance his own evil/ulterior motives! Whatever the case, can't wait to see how this plot develops! interesting show, for sure!

July 04 2006 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

I thought this show was a marked improvement over the first few of the season; however, I agree with Karl that it seems like the writers have no real plan, which is a shame since Ira Steven Behr has always been good at that type of writing. That being said, I think this was a well-written, if convoluted, episode. It's obvious that Matthew is now working for the bad side. The poison he gave to Isabelle, the smile on his face when she's on the verge of killing her father, the way he wants to keep Jordan out of the picture for as long as possible. This seemed to tie together some of Jordan's plot lines. Obviously he has a role to play in the future, that the bad guys needed him gone (using Kyle), and that the good guys brought him forward to re-seed him in the timeline.

Tom's new mission to kill Isabelle will, I think, set up an interesting plot for the character. This is where I think the writers may have a plan. Obviously Isabelle needs to become the great villain of this story and Tom will be forced to make some very difficult decisions as the season continues. I also think Richard will begin to play a bigger role. He's going to be in the middle of all this and will have to choose between his daughter and doing the right thing. I am willing to give this show a chance for a little longer.

July 04 2006 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karl Erikson

Wow, is this show quickly going down the tubes. The last several episodes have been really 6 steps forward and 5 steps back. Hardly any progression in plot. We're getting tons of filler each week and very little essential storyline.

All the wasted time spent in the "dream world" so Tom and Diana can see Maia, who they've forgotten...and it all comes down to FutureGirl telling Tom that he must kill Isabelle.

And where the hell is Tom's son? He was so pivotal to everything last year and in every episode and suddenly he just disappears? He's barely even mentioned this season.

Matthew is blatantly manipulative and a 3-year-old child could see it. But the intelligent Richard, Shawn, and supposedly brilliant Isabelle all easily succumb to his evil ways. I thought that was over last week when Isabelle put the levitating choke hold on him, but no. Apparently, he still pulls the strings and Isabelle gladly dances along.

And the leader of the Nova group has this power to inflict schizophrenia on people from miles away, but this is the first time we've seen him use it? Please, there would be a trail of people slitting their wrists long before Shawn.

Last year, I was convinced that the writers of The 4400 had a long-term plan for the show. Now I'm convinced they don't. What was a highly original show has become stale and predictable. I hate to throw this show off my Tivo forever, but if they don't get their crap together in the next couple of episodes, I'm done.

July 04 2006 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

Perhaps "Sarah Rutledge" and her partners are the real evil faction from the future, and this whole plot to abduct the children and re-seed them farther back into the past was really just a ruse to convince Tom to kill Isabell.

If they could manipulate memory so that the children were no longer remembered, perhaps they installed the other memories of an alternative timeline with the utopia of synthetic fuel and lunar colonies. We never did see anything to prove either one actually existed; Tom and Diana were just told they existed in that possible dream world.

So would Marco then be involved? Alana?

We've seen some bad behavior on the part of Isabell, but nothing to suggest that she is irredeemably evil. (Although to see her in action makes me wonder if Billy Mumy as Anthony Fremont in that TZ episode "It's A Good Life" could have been a 4400 baby re-seeded into the past as well.)

Anybody else ever notice that Tom and Diana share the same first names as the two main characters in the Britcom "Waiting For God"? I wonder if I should read anything into that.....?

July 04 2006 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LC

Just because Tom has not love for Isabelle, does not mean he would not have a difficult time killing her. He is a federal agent and what we know of his character, is not a cold blooded killer.

I also don't think Isabelle is evil. I think she is walking a thin line right now. I believe Matthew is the evil force that was unleashed, but those in the future do not know it.

The thing that bugs me, though it may be explained in later episodes, is why don't those in the future go back themselves to change the past. That woman already went into the past to abduct Maia, so why couldn't they just give themeselves 4400 powers and do the work. At least they know what they are doing as opposed to clueless abductees.

July 04 2006 at 8:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin

Anyone else wonder why they were still called the 4400 when 3 (or was it 4?) kids were thought to never exist? Shouldnt they have been calling them 4397 instead of 4400?

July 03 2006 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aaron Peck

TV Squad continues to dissappoint. This really is a tremendous show! How all the plot lines are weaving together, is really fun to watch. People say these same things about Lost, because they just don't get it. They want to know all the answers right now.

This review was a "yada yada yawn". Obviously you haven't been watching close enough, as has been pointed out in other comments on here Isabelle was given a syringe by Matthew that COULD kill her but she emptied it. It will probably be a SACRIFICE for Tom because SHAUN is his nephew and when Tom kills or tries to kill Isabelle Shaun won't be too happy, and will probably hate him! Sorry, I made a critical comment again, last time I did this they took away stars or something.

Aaron.

July 03 2006 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MrC

I think the reason the mentioned the moon colonys and synthetic fuel was to emphasise what was being given up when they restored the timeline to restore the children.

I imagine they don't exist anymore since the kids are back, and therefore never went into the past.

July 03 2006 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
az1324

Yeah Matthew gave it to her and obviously he was sent back from the future to work for the other side.

I'm sure Tom will have to sacrifice something in order to kill Isabelle. Isn't he technically 4401 now since he has been to the future and back?

It doesn't seem like they are studying Isabelle very closely for someone who appears to have the most extradordinary 4400 abilities.

July 03 2006 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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