Directed by Scott Peters
Written by Darcy Meyers
Guest starring Alice Krige, Kathryn Gordon
First aired 2 July 2006
Previous episode: Gone (Part 1)
Next episode: Graduation Day
Though a different director and a different writer on the follow-up to "Gone (Part 1)," the intensity in plot build-up as well as camera work keeps the story consistent. Often second parters act as little more than the climax of a strong hour-long build-up episode (The X-Files was often guilty of this). The let-down in this follow-up is not the level of suspense and mystery, but the idiocies revealed in the plot and its play with time travel.
|This shot of Diana signing adoption papers is|
reminiscent of M.C. Escher's work, such as Still Life
with Spherical Mirror, Three Spheres and the famous
Hand with Reflecting Sphere.
I can go on, but won't.
Another moment in the two-part episode I found baffling was that mysterious glass of milk, the one linked to the false lobotomy. The fact that the kids can be taken to that sleep chamber for extraction makes me wonder why the complex scenario of creating a sister in order to kidnap then hole up and terrorize when simply placing them in that chamber is all our future counterparts needed to do? Future humans can extract people from any point in time, so why send one in commando-style? Why rely on the risks of a foot-soldier when an air strike is more dependable and accurate? It's these details that prove prime time television is not a thinking tool.
Yet the most blatant discrepancy is that if you remove five people from their timeline the series should really be called The 4395!
The enveloping idea is that the kids are being extracted from the present timeline because a great evil was let loose in that time, and the kids need to be sent further back to combat that evil. And another bit of idiocy sets in: in exchange for the children Tom must now destroy that evil, which turns out to be Isabelle. A great plot twist, certainly, but if it's that easy, and people from the future can return to physically interact with those of the present, why not simply bring in a more reliable Terminator to inject Isabelle? Why rely on the ordinary and unreliable Tom Baldwin?
There are some nice directorial touches. For instance the episode opens with the same photo of Diana beside a tree that Part 1 closes with, a photo that once included the now gone Maia. (Though I'm surprised no one comments on the fact that Diana keeps by her entrance a framed photo of herself beside a generic tree.) When Diana and Tom are in Nina Jarvis's (Samantha Ferris) office, the camera pans around the glass and we receive a glimpse of Marco (Richard Kahan) standing facing the door. Later he enters and we are left wondering if the character was waiting for an opportune time to interrupt, or if the actor had simply been placed there to wait for his cue.
4400 Christopher Dubov's (disappeared 29 June 1999) only purpose in the episode is to aggravate the intense feelings of loss Diana is experiencing following Maia's extraction. Though the idea of smelling pheromones is pretty intriguing. But to what purpose? I ask. How can that help future earthlings to survive the impending catastrophe?
Shawn and Richard partner up in wake of their tensions, thanks to egging by Matthew. I question only Matthew's interest in the partnership since Shawn is likely more easy for him to manipulate than Richard. Like many actions and events of late, character motivation is often fuzzy. Isabelle is nonetheless in the picture, though Shawn tries to dump her: "I don't want this relationship to end. So it won't." A nice creepy touch. (Reminds me a couple of women I've dated.)
In short, "Gone" proved to be entertaining and even intense at times, but a little thinking can unravel the ultra loose time threads and plot points.