Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: The 4400 1.04: “Becoming”

“You listen to the news, you read the paper, you hear the talk. Seems like the entire world is turning against us. So what are we gonna do about it? Run away and hide? Maybe. Or maybe, just maybe we build a world of our own.”
- Jordan Collier

I had forgotten some of the storylines in season 1 having not seen them in a while so I was pleasantly surprised to see Billy Campbell’s Jordan Collier pop up at the beginning of this episode. He becomes a central figure later on in the series run. The episode really begins with a sheriff receiving a letter from a serial killer who has been dormant for 21 years. He’s taken another young woman and our team thinks it’s a particular 4400 named Oliver Knox. So Tom and Diana head to see the guy. They meet up with the sheriff and he recounts a story about when Oliver was young and got shot in the chest with an arrow and walked four miles into to town afterwards to the ER. Seems kind of farfetched. Tom and Diana meet Oliver and he says that he’s not who they are looking for, despite the coincidence of his disappearance and return coinciding with the killer stopping and starting again.

Back at the hospital, Nikki tries to get Shawn to talk about their kiss and him healing her hand but he’s not having any of it. And it turns out that Danny rats his brother out to Tom. That family really has some serious issues, I swear. We also get a montage of some of the returnees, namely Shawn, Lily and Richard, talking to a shrink and it’s really not helping. Richard goes off on a justified tangent about how any of the questions the shrink is asking will help him get a job or move forward with his life.

Now the main opponent of the 4400 seems to be vocal TV host Barbara Yates and she’s got Jordan Collier on her show. He’s a big shot businessman and he’s rather suave. He ends up going back to the beach where everyone was brought back to find a group gathered there. Apparently, they all sort of show up and have big group therapy sessions. Jordan offers to have people come to his place to continue their gatherings inside. He’s clearly working an angle. So the storylines I’m remembering from later in the show may actually have been introduced during this season. Most of the core 4400 that we’ve seen so far attend Jordan’s party and Jordan suggests that Shawn has a gift and he’ll soon know how best to use it. And he urges Lily and Richard not to share that Lily likely conceived while they were away. But he offers Richard a job on his security team for the new 4400 foundation he’s setting up and Richard takes it.

Meanwhile, Tom and Diana find a latent print at the crime scene and it links to a man who is not Oliver Knox. They go to arrest him but he’s dead and he’s left a suicide note taking responsibility for the current murder and the ones in the late 70s and early 80s. So the case seems closed. Until we see Oliver taking photos of a young woman and showing them to a random guy in a bar. I had forgotten how much I disliked parts of this episode. The whistling sets my teeth on edge (I don’t like whistling to begin with and it’s just so damn creepy). We see the guy from the bar following the young woman and then the next morning he’s covered in blood and tries to commit suicide by running into traffic. The problem is he too claims that he killed the original batch of victims which is impossible since he was a small child at the time. So it seems Oliver has come back with a power of his own. To make matters worse, the sheriff gets another note. But with some quick thinking from Tom and Diana, they catch the next guy before he can kill the bartender from the bar. When they go to arrest Oliver he’s not there and he’s painted a rather cryptic message on the wall, sending them racing the bartender’s home and Tom knocks Oliver out just before he can start stabbing the poor girl. Back in the Theory Room, Marco posits that the events with the various 4400 members are just catalysts for greater change and perhaps they haven’t seen the positive ripples from Oliver yet like they did with Orson and Carl. I don’t remember if we ever see a positive ripple from this whole mess but whoever locked Oliver up was smart enough to put him in a sound proof cage.

Ryland is having his own external issues with Barbara Yates as she tries to share inflammatory gossip about the 4400 on her show, including details about the case Tom and Diana were working. He wants her to stop covering them completely and I have a feeling it won’t be as easy as that. Especially when someone leaks a list of the names and addresses of all the returnees. That is going to cause so much trouble and pain I can’t imagine how much Ryland is going to want to literally cut off Barbara’s head. But things are moving forward on the Farrell/Baldwin front. Shawn finally knows what he needs to use his gift for and he brings Kyle fully out of his coma.

Overall I sort of felt like parts of this episode were just filler and to sort of follow the formula of focusing on one main 4400 each episode. It’s not a bad formula but I seem to remember later seasons moved away from that a little and focused more on the mythology (kind of like Fringe….which I binged watched not too long ago). And the creepy serial killer factor was a little upsetting, especially since he was making other people do his dirty work and then claim credit for the killings he actually committed. Just really freaky.

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