Hey, great! A Terra Novagonian gets killed by a raptor in the cold open! That's promising!
Jim, investigating, determines it was a murder -- someone trapping the vicious nicoraptor in the outpost where the soldier victim was found -- and he's thrilled to have an investigation to conduct. With some crucial information determined to be on the victim's ID tag -- in the belly of the nicoraptor that killed him -- Jim, Taylor and Washington go a-hunting. With the ID tag gorily retrieved from the dinosaur's stomach, they find the victim -- Foster -- had a dalliance with a married woman, whose husband confesses unrepentantly to Jim and Washington. Taylor's torn up about Terra Nova's first murder, and needs to think about whether to enforce the colony's bylaw, which calls for banishment.
There's some tedious discussion over the need for a trial vs. frontier justice, and then everyone gathers to hear Taylor's verdict, which he delivers from his balcony, after some speechifying, and the murderer is given a gun and a backpack and sent off to make his own way.
But Jim is intrigued by his wife's crazy notions of "justice" and "due process" and learns that the murderer -- Milner -- actually confessed falsely, to cover up for his wife, because he thinks SHE did it. But she didn't either; and it turns out the victim was involved with illegal gambling run out of Boylan's bar -- and Jim is none too pleased to discover Josh working there. Anyway, Taylor and Jim involve Boylan in a sting to trap another soldier who turns out to have owed a lot of money to the victim. In the end, they banish him to the wilderness without so much as the gun granted Milner, so I guess so much for due process.
So great job by Jim, following his gut, which serves him so well that he decides it's OK for his teenage son to continue working in the bar that hosts illegal gambling so serious that it resulted in murder. And on the very night that he gives Josh his blessing to go back to work, Josh sneaks outside the gate to meet with Mira, who promises to arrange to bring Josh's 2149 girlfriend over only if Josh agrees to do her some unnamed favor in the unspecified future. Josh, being some kind of moron, agrees.
Oh, and Zoe and Elisabeth hatch a baby anklyosaurus or some fucking thing.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. He thinks it's a good think that the Shannon family has at least one member -- Shannon -- who's competent at her job. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at email@example.com.
With the Terra Nova crew on scene in the aftermath, Malcolm says it's pretty clear what happened: Foster must have left the shed door open and the nicoraptor snuck behind him. There's an ankylosaurus nest nearby which must have attracted it. Jim wonders why it attacked a human with the food nearby, even though the nest looks pretty empty to me.
Malcolm: "You got an endless supply of chicken, it doesn't mean you'll turn your nose up at a bloody rare steak." Sounds like he's hoping to bond with Jim over something manly like meat-eating. Jim's skeptical though, even more so when he finds the inside of the shed door scratched to hell with claw marks.
Over to Boylan's, where the enterprising Josh is putting away glasses. Boylan strolls up and smirkingly says there's a complication with his girl, and Josh is all, "Kara?" like how many damn girls is Josh planning to bring from 2149? "We had a deal!" he whines, without knowing what the complication is. Boylan says if Josh wants him to get her there, he's going to have to do something for him. Josh says, "I'm listening," a little too readily. Josh needs to get in the habit of asking follow-up questions before reacting. Boylan sets up a couple of shot glasses because Josh will need some courage first.
In the infirmary, Elisabeth is autopsying Foster (via hologram, is what it looks like) at Jim's request to see if anything unusual turns up. Malcolm's pleased to see her in his neck of the woods, and he shows off the ankylosaurus egg he brought back from the nest. It's cracked but intact, so it's an "incredible research opportunity." Of course, with him and Elisabeth looking at something together, Jim can come in to look all pissed at his wife interacting with her co-workers. He's got Zoe in tow because he got a call from the school saying she has an earache. A sympathetic but skeptical Elisabeth points out that yesterday it was her tummy. "I just miss you, Mommy," whines Zoe, and everyone acts like this is sweet instead of a problem.