Previously on The 4400: Season one was excellent. Season two was good, too. Season three was… well, season three was kind of like a test paper on which the writers kept changing their answers. The future second-guessed itself and started messing with the returnees. Alana went on the run and came back unobtrusively a few weeks later. Diana broke up with Marco because she wasn’t ready to commit, but put up only token resistance when her precog daughter pointed out her future husband. (Poor Marco. His only crime was being cute and dorky. Of course, ask Greg Sanders and George O’Malley what that’ll get you on a drama.) But it’s another summer and another season, and I’m ready to see what season four brings.
Interestingly, it seems that season four is coming back around to season one. Once again, we had the cousin in a coma, but this time it was Shawn, and Kyle brought him out with a shot of Promicin. And, with promicin now available to the public, the show is introducing us once more to people just discovering their abilities — people Marco dubbed "extra crispies," as in, "not original recipe." This week’s extra crispy was Graham, a high school kid who turned his school, and then the city, into his own personal cult. Since this was what got me into the show in the first place — people discovering abilities, adjusting to them, and changing the lives of people around them — I’m glad to see the show go back to basics, or, at least, a tweaking of its original recipe.
As for Jordan Collier, he just gets more intriguing. His guilt over all the deaths caused by promicin was perfectly in character, but also a departure from the confident, almost mystical Jordan that we usually see. And, at long last, he showed an ability: he can neutralize the promicin in extra crispies, as he did with Graham. It only makes sense; like Jordan said, "I gave you promicin, I can take it away." Kind of puts a damper on his promise that everyone can have it, if he can strip anyone of their new powers, but it keeps him powerful and relevant, and I’m all for keeping Jordan in the game.
There were also a couple of new characters to contend with, like NTAC’s new head, Meghan Doyle, a woman with a taste for Fellini and, like Tom, a certain disregard for protocol. I think she’ll be fun. Then there’s Cathy, who knows an awful lot about Kyle and the 4400 story, and who suggested that Kyle use promicin on Shawn. Naturally, she wasn’t the art student she pretended to be, and I’m sure she’ll turn up again soon.
All in all, it was a promising start to the new season. I’m intrigued, I have questions (like what Alana is doing in a painting from 1885), and the promise of more extra crispies has only whetted my appetite.
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