Monday, August 20, 2007

The 4400: Invasion of the considerably more fun body snatchers

On the heels of last week's mega-reunion with Richard, Kevin, and Tess, The 4400 brought us another familiar face this week – Laura Allen as Lily. "But wait," you may say, "she's dead." Ah, but this is The 4400, and it's not like no one's been brought back from the dead before. Or at least back from wherever it was that Jordan went that one time, if it wasn't the dead.

(Hey, I didn't tell you anything you didn't know from the previews. If you don't want to know anything more, stop now.)

There seemed to be only two possible explanations for Lily's return: either Isabelle's reverse growth spurt brought her mother back from old age and death, or it was all a hallucination brought on by a 4400's ability. As it happened, we got first one explanation, then the other. Kyle, for Phase 1 of a plan that the irritating Cassie refused to tell him the rest of, had a guy make Richard hallucinate his dead wife, and the plan worked as it was meant to. Richard realized that what he did was wrong, and he went back to the 4400 he got the youth water from and fixed Isabelle. But not before there were some very sweet domestic scenes between Richard and Lily. Aww. I missed those two. Great to see them together one more time.

Well, it finally happened. Tom became one of the marked. Having had a few bizarre visions/memories of the future and the procedure in which Lily was impregnated, Tom realized what was happening and tried to fight it, but as I think we all learned from The X-Files, you can't fight the future. (Or maybe you can fight the future. I was never really clear on that point.) The body snatcher took over, with some help from the fabulous Penny Johnson Jerald as another one of the marked, director of national intelligence Rebecca Parrish. No one can do charming menace like her. She's just as cold-blooded as she was as Sherry Palmer on 24, and I love her for it.

Anyway, "Tom" wasted no time, once he was in control, in doing things the real Tom would hardly ever do. To psych out Meghan and Diana, "Tom" pretended to control Marco's mind, and that's really where the women should have noticed something was up, because Tom's sense of humor is fleeting, at best. Besides, "Tom" is a much more chipper guy than normal Tom, and – hey, wait a minute. Funny, good-natured… somebody tell me why this "Tom" is a bad thing. Oh, right. The evil plan from the future. That is kind of a deal-breaker. That's not to say I won't enjoy this "Tom" as long as he's around, though.

"Tom" started putting those evil future plans into motion when he and Diana went to round up the Tylers. He shot Richard with tranquilizers and had Richard brought into custody, but claimed that Isabelle went missing. Actually, she's hanging out in Kyle's old bedroom, and "Tom" has just told her that she needs to get her powers back to capture Jordan Collier. Meghan and Diana? Still none the wiser. Ladies, when a person tells you that he's going to turn into a pod person, and then wakes up the next day claiming he's totally fine, how much more do you need in the way of clues? Oh, whatever. I'll give them until next week.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kevin came up with a simple way to determine who will survive the promicin shot – a CAT scan – and Shawn encouraged Jordan to tell people to wait on getting the shot. But Jordan wasn't into that, as his vision for the future doesn't involve promicin-negative people at all, unless it involves them dying. So Shawn took the message to the people. And stupid Cassie reached new heights of annoying, as she maneuvered Richard into jail and Isabelle into "Tom"'s clutches, chewed Kyle out for complaining, and then told him he had to stop Shawn. You know, "stop" him. And I thought I wanted her to shut up before.

And I don't know how it happened, but between the Collier faction, which is actively rooting for the deaths of half the Earth's population, and NTAC, which is controlled by fantastically evil pod people from the future, somehow Shawn became the only sane person on The 4400. His cause seems hopeless, and he's more or less ineffectual at bringing about peace, but he's got the right idea.