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Terra Nova Recap: Instinct

After a stunning, jam-packed two episode pilot of ‘Terra Nova’ it seemed impossible for the series to continue drilling out chaotic, intriguing episodes. However, despite being filled with too many cliques to list, Instinct was still extremely enjoyable and it’s clear the Shannon family will be forced into nonstop gruelling adventure every week.

The beginning was very dark with us witnessing three Terra Nova campers in the jungle being murdered by God only knows what: a dinosaur, presumably. Taylor and his security team go out to investigate, believing Sixer’s to be up to mischief, and Jim also receives his daily dose of gossip from his boss with the news that Taylor believes someone in Terra Nova is sending information to Mira and he wants Jim to find out who it is. This track of thought is lost entirely when they stumble on the three murdered males with their faces ripped apart.

Jim and Elizabeth have been waiting two years to have some alone time and it seems they are going to have to wait a little bit longer with numerous disturbances wreaking their intimacy. They are finally able to get Zoe to sleep in her own bed, however, a dinosaur’s squawk spoils the moment and when Jim returns from getting rid of the winged creature, Zoe is found comfortably in his bed. Furthermore, one of Elizabeth’s old university friends, Malcolm, has shown up, he came through on the fifth pilgrimage, and it’s clear he has the hots for the Doc.

The siblings have their first survival lesson, figuring out which way is North and that fire scares away dino’s (exciting stuff!) At a market Josh discovers a guitar which he wants to buy, tough luck that it costs 60 terras!

Elizabeth is about to start her post-mortem on the males, so they can find out who or what killed them. She believes they were attacked from above as it was only their necks and faces which received devastating wounds. Jim finds a claw, or something to that extent, on one of the corpses shoe, which could be a clue to who done this to the Terra Nova men. Jim is forced to rule the roost when Elisabeth is working late and has to try and make tea, Maddy awkwardly asks him how you can tell if a boy likes you, referring to her crush: Reynolds, and Josh celebrates that his dad is now a part of the family.

The wounds of the three males and the talon have not shown up any results on the Terra Nova computer base meaning that this is some creature that the camp have never witnessed before. Déjà vu strikes with Jim and Liz getting alone time once more, but loud screeching breaks the moment. Josh goes out to investigate with Jim and they find three of the bird like dinosaur’s sitting on the fence. They run back to the house and Jim is injured. Liz investigates his wounds and it is the same markings that were left on the deceased males.


Jim finds out from Taylor that it was Malcolm who requested for Liz to be recruited to Terra Nova. Snooping around, he also finds out from Liz that the two used to go out, and even though he says he’s not jealous, his constant questions only convey he’s a total lier! It even seems that Malcolm came to Terra Nova in the hope he could bring Liz and they could have a life together! Josh tries trading a hat for the beloved guitar, but the seller is more interested in a plectrum Josh is wearing as a necklace, but he refuses to trade it in as it was given to him from his girlfriend, Cara, 85 million years in the future. Therefore: he still does not receive the instrument. Josh and Skye see hundreds of pterosaurs on the fence and they all come bombing into the Terra Nova market. They finally disappear, but many people are left injured, including Josh.

Malcolm thinks that the pterosaurs are migrating, however, it turns out that a few years ago Taylor and another police officer discovered thousands of egg shells underground at Terra Nova. They decided to make camp here because of the good soil but it turns out that all these creatures were born here, thus they are coming back to Terra Nova to breed, and that is why they are attacking.

Malcolm and Liz tell Taylor and Jim that they need to have two live specimens (preferably one male and one female) in order to know how they can fight the creatures. Jim confronts Malcolm about recruiting Liz to have another shot with her as he thought Jim was still in jail. Malcolm’s going to have to watch his back as Jim is not a happy bunny in the slightest! Malcolm and Liz research the two specimens that Jim brings back to camp and they find a way to use pheromones to attract them. This doesn’t sound like a good idea, to lure them to Terra Nova, but what they can do is create a more powerful pheromone which will attract them to another location to breed.

Terra Nova is locked tight, with a security guard at every home, and the adults go forth to conquer the pterosaurs. Reynolds takes over from another security guard to look after the Shannon’s house and when Jim leaves he cutely says to Maddy: “That’s how you know a boy likes you.”


Skye stays with Josh at his house and makes him a bet of 60 terras that they won’t make it alive, if they do make it through it means he can buy his guitar. Thousands of the creatures are flocking into Terra Nova and Malcolm and Liz are still working on creating the pheromone. The dino’s find a way into the Shannon’s house, via an air vent, and Reynolds is left unconscious, some security guard he is! Skye, Josh and Maddy pull Reynolds into the bedroom, however, Zoe is still left hiding in the living room. One of the dino’s is getting prepared to slash her face in, but Josh kicks it to oblivion.

Shannon and Jim drive out of Terra Nova and spray the chemical out of the truck to lure the dino’s to another terrain. Everyone starts leaving there homes to see all the flying dino’s have left. Terra Nova: 1, Dino’s: 0! Skye says she will give Josh the money and gives him a goodbye kiss on the cheek. How long will it be before they become girlfriend and boyfriend?

Jim and Liz arrive home to see their son and daughters sound asleep. Instead of cleaning up the house, it is in a right state, they go to the bedroom and it is third time lucky.

Do you think ‘Instinct’ has lived up to the ‘Terra Nova’ premiere? Will Malcolm back off? Will Maddy and Reynolds hook up?  

Click here for the original article.

About Danielle Shields

Danielle Shields is an English and Journalism undergrad at Stirling University, Scotland. Her obsession with everything to do with pop culture means that it is her ambition to become an arts and culture journalist. In an ideal world her days would be spent on trips to Cannes, trips to Hays and trips to Glastonbury. Until then she remains content by nesting at her home in Cineworld, losing herself in the library and being utterly squished at the SECC.


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