Another mystery has hit primetime television.
4400 on The CW is a reboot of The 4400 that aired back in 2004, and while it’s unclear how much the two shows will have in common, the one common denominator seems to be that a whole lot of missing people have traveled to the present-day and are being held against their will by the government.
Time travel isn’t exactly a new trope, but it’s one that continues to be explored as provides plenty of riveting storylines, especially when looked at through a lens of present-day realities.
Much like on Manifest, the “returned” appeared in the present day, they haven’t aged a day, they don’t know what happened to them, and many either don’t understand their newfound powers/ don’t even know they possess powers.
In the original, the returned were thrust into the future by a comet, so it’s possible that the green light they all reported seeing (just like the one we’ve seen on La Brea) is a side-effect of a comet as well. Only time will tell if that’s the case or if there’s something more sinister or otherworldly at play. At one point, one of the government agents reveals the pentagon is looping in NASA, so there’s definitely an inkling that this could be extraterrestrial.
Much of the pilot’s focus is on Shanice, a new mom who is pulled into the future from 2003 on her way to work at a law firm. It’s her first day back from maternity leave, but she never makes it. Instead, she finds herself in 2021 and desperately wanting to get back to her loving husband and 4-month-old baby.
Once she is able to escape captivity thanks to a young girl from the 70s named Mildred who seems to have some kind of special mind control powers, she gets help from a social worker named Jharrel.
Unfortunately, tracking down her family isn’t the heartfelt reunion she assumed it would be. While virtually no time has passed for her, in her family’s eyes, it has been 16 long years. Her husband, Logan, has remarried, and her baby is now a teenager who never knew her mother.
The scene stings, as it’s meant to. You can’t blame them for moving on, but you kind of want to.
And that sadness is just one glimpse into what a collection of people may have lost.
It’s even more heartbreaking because Logan assumes Shanice walked out on the family after finding a note she wrote in the early days of motherhood when the postpartum depression was hanging over her.
Since Logan and Mariah didn’t think of Shanice as a missing person and instead thought she abandoned them, there’s going to be a lot of work that needs to be done to remedy the lost time and make any kind of amends.
Of course, it’s frustrating to see Logan so certain that Shanice left rather than question why Homeland Security was so quick to whisk her away when she was so emotionally invested in finding them.
When Logan realizes that there’s truth to the eerie surroundings of Shanice’s return to Belle Isle, he’s going to be a bit more concerned about those 16 years.
While seeing 4400 people show up unexpectedly from varying time periods shouldn’t be taken lightly, it’s a little concerning to see them treated so poorly.
I know the point was to make emphasize that despite all the time that has passed, relations between Black and white, and more specifically, between Black and cops, haven’t improved as much as they should have, but is it necessary for the guard to be so heavy-handed?
These people haven’t done anything, nor were they being a threat to anyone. While it is an interesting way to explore such heavy and necessary topics, it didn’t feel like any law officials would’ve resorted to that kind of behavior given the circumstances.
Though, maybe like in the original series, someone will accidentally kill the guard by testing their powers and thus set off alarms that they are a dangerous bunch after all?
I would think that there would be more agencies involved and they’d be less focused on keeping the order on more concerned with getting to the bottom of what’s going on.
What’s the common denominator, if there is one?
In a sci-fi series, the government is never to be trusted, but in this case, it seems as though two of the leads, Jharrel and Keisha, are going to help the returned rather than penalize them for something that’s beyond their control.
Keisha was more by the book at first. As Jharrel put it, she justified doing whatever it took for her job, but by the end of the episode, she was seeing things in a new light.
She realized that there was something bigger than all of them at play here, but also, that these people weren’t dangerous at all.
As she got to know Jharrel on a deeper level, she found out that his desire to treat Shanice humanly and reunite her with her family stemmed from his hope of finding his missing brother one day. He claimed to have seen the green light shortly after his brother Manny’s disappearance, but since he didn’t see him in the facility, he figured that all hope was lost.
All of that changed when Hayden, the mute kid, assured Keisha that Manny’s alright and sorry for everything.
What does this kid know? Is Manny being held at a different facility?
Claudette, Dr. Andre, and Rev Johnson were all in for a rude awakening when Shanice figured out that they were in 2021.
While times are different now than they were when Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” topped the charts, there at least was a Rihanna, cell phones, and social media.
Johnson came from the early 1990s when Michael Jordan was still playing for the Bulls, while Claudette, a civil rights activist from Mississippi, and Dr. Andre, a WWII doctor, came from a time where segregation existed and women didn’t serve on the Supreme Court (RIP, RBG!).
They aren’t just going through a shock that they’ve ended up in a different place, they’re going through a culture shock of things they never knew were possible.
Aside from the core mystery that involves the two W’s — what and why — it’s going to be interesting exploring the differences between all these diverse people.
They all have different ideas and beliefs.
However, they also have to band together to make it out of this alive, especially now that some of them have superpowers.
Claudette realizes early on that she has super healing, while Mildred can seemingly control things with her mind.
What powers have been endowed on the others if any?
Overall, it was a solid pilot with a well-crafted mystery and not only likable but believable characters.
CraveYouTV gives this pilot an “A.”
Could this be the sci-fi TV revolution that needed to happen? Emergence and Debris couldn’t find their footing, Manifest was saved through the sheer force of the people, but so far, the sci-fi offerings of the fall season, including La Brea, have outdone themselves in terms of storytelling.
If they keep the promise alive without getting buried in the mystery and fear of giving answers, The CW might just have a hit on their hands.
Let us know what you thought of the 4400 pilot in the comment section below!
4400 Review – Gin and Sin (1×07)
Love blossomed on the 4400 Season 1 Episode 7.
Three ships made it official official much to the delight of fans all around.
Andre and Shanice explored their feelings for each other, after he apologized for using Mariah as a getaway car during the Ypsi Med heist, Soraya and Keisha got together after a few drinks following Keisha’s breakup from Jess (bye, girl. She was only useful for information and she barely gave us any of that), and Jharrel and Claudette locked lips after he helped her get her first real job.
That’s a lot of progress for one hour, and puts the 4400 — who are more than just a number — on the same side officially as their case workers.
This also sets the stage for the battle between team 4400 and the government. You know it’s bad when government workers no longer trust the people that employ them and side with time travelers who may or may not be human.
Soraya, Keisha, and Jharrel have all done something the “higher powers” haven’t — they’ve gotten to know the 4400.
While they might have powers, powers that are potentially dangerous, they are so much more than that.
They are people with feelings, emotions, and a world of backstory.
Claudette’s backstory was explored, which helped paint a better picture of the woman who spent most of her life saying “yes” and “sorry” to a misogynistic, narcissistic husband.
While others called her a lucky woman for being married to the man of a leader of the revolution, he was the lucky one to have been married to a woman with such a spark.
And yet, he tried to silence her spark. When she finally spoke up and suggested taking the fight to the white devils, he scolded her for being out of line and called her a divergent woman.
He tried to get her committed, which is when the green light came to the rescue.
We’re seven episodes in, and aside from wondering what the 4400 are, the big question has been “why them.”
It’s at this moment that I thought of my latest theory — they are all connected because they all needed to be saved.
They all needed an out from the lives that they didn’t want to lead.
Claudette was about to be committed and stripped from her freedoms, La Donna was falling to her death after being trapped in reality TV show hell, Andre almost lost the love of his life after getting her into what he hoped was a groundbreaking trial, the Rev was torn between choosing his family/the church and the mother of his future child, and Hayden was in a place just like Ypsi Med after his mother’s death.
They all needed a second chance, and it’s hard to deny that 2021 has been just that.
Of course, Shanice’s story doesn’t actually fit the narrative because she had just welcomed a baby with Logan and was returning to work from maternity, however, she did have a moment of weakness where she wrote a letter about leaving, so maybe there’s still something to this theory.
Either way, it has been a second chance, for better or worse.
Claudette made the most of her second chance thanks to Jharrel. She got an apartment, which previously belonged to his missing brother Manny, and decided she didn’t want to rely on anyone else for money, so she got a job at a bar.
And she was damn good at that job.
The difference between Claudette and Barney was that she cherished the job as if it was the most glamorous gig in the world.
She knows what it’s like not to be able to have the freedom to work, so she took joy in the things that other employees scoff at including cleaning and taking out the trash.
Claudette got a slice of freedom. And when she found out her friend, Barb, because the leader of the Black Panther movement following her disappearance, well, that empowered her to take a stand against Barney.
She exclaimed that the years may have changed but times didn’t, but she was wrong. It may still be difficult being a person of color — especially a 4400 of color as that’s double the fear for the white man — but at least women have a voice.
And Claudette found hers with the backing of her returned friends.
Barney’s bigotry was put on full display, and he was quickly stripped of that job. Good riddance.
The series focused on Barb’s obituary and noted that she died in 2005, so there’s a chance that Claudette’s husband, Jimmy, is still alive.
I hope, for her sake, that she tracks him down and finally gives him a piece of his mind.
She deserves it for all that he put her through and wanted to do to her.
As for the powers, her healing abilities also seem to be connected to the injury she sustained right before disappearing.
However, Andre’s powers were explored on a deeper level as he became violently ill following the episode at Ypsi Med.
As a refresher, he accidentally healed a guard that Mildred was taking her frustration out.
Up until now, Andre has always been a healer, but that healing was making him sick. The next person he touched — which just so happened to be that arrogant guard — was injured in the same way the Ypsi guard was.
Andre and Shanice later tested the theory and proved that Andre heals the injured and then becomes violently ill himself until he passes on the injury to someone else.
I don’t know what the purpose of that power is, but it proves that he, and likely the remainder of the 4400, are able to cause a lot of pain when in distress.
Keisha, Jharrel, and Shanice also dug deeper into the contract allowing the 4400 to stay at the hotel if they so chose.
There was something seriously “sus” about the contract as the 4400 weren’t encouraged to read it on a deeper level, and by the end of the episode, we found out why — it was the groundwork for a conservatorship (yes, like Britney Spears)!
Anyone who signed it could legally be stripped of their rights and freedoms.
The worst part is that the Rev was in on it. We know he talked to Bill Greene, so my guess is he made some kind of deal with the devil. Shanice always suspected that the Rev couldn’t be trusted, but I wonder what Greene promised him in return for helping him secure souls.
The Rev has to know that the government cannot be trusted.
If everyone else figured out how they are mistreating patients at Ypsi, I don’t believe for a second that he’s blind to the truth.
He’s leading his flock to damnation, which might be worse than what his father was doing by lying and abusing the trust of his congregation.
Elsewhere, LaDonna also got a call from her father and decided to leave. I truly hope she’s not gone for good because she was such a force of nature. She shook up the 4400 in the most positive of ways.
And I was really looking forward to her friendship with Claudette blossom and the whole “wonder triplets” situation.
What did you think of the episode? Will Shanice feel guilty about getting with Andre since her marriage to Logan is still so fresh?
Is Jessica going to retaliate against Keisha? What does she know about their bloodwork that she claimed they weren’t human?
Are you enjoying The CW version of the 4400? Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments below!
4400 Review – If You Love Something (1×06)
That was one intense prison break on 4400 Season 1 Episode 6.
But it was necessary. Scary things are happening at Ypsi Med. Jharrel and Keisha, who are aware that the 4400 have superpowers, were trying to find a way to connect with them and protect them from being found out by the government, but it’s much too late for that.
Ypsi Med — likened to Hawkins National Laboratory — sealed off a wing of the hospital in order to run experiments on their “subjects.”
After breaking in, LaDonna, Hayden, and Dr. Andre found that had specialized cells to keep the prisoners and cuffs to dampen their powers.
Among the prisoners were Mildred and Noah, who sparked the whole rescue mission, a “bird lady” with impressive wings, and a man who was literally on fire.
As Andre later pointed out, it’s clear that the government has a plan for them beyond just setting them free, and with Jharrel and Keisha on the inside, it’s important that they find out everything they can.
Keisha was pretty shocked to hear about what was going on inside Ypsi Med considering Jessica works there. Could her girlfriend be such a soulless monster?
Or is she clueless about what’s happening as well?
Mildred was definitely channeling her inner-Eleven, and while her anger was justified, it was also very clear that she was no longer the same girl at the Bois Blanc Hotel.
She was forever changed by her experience and the tests that they conducted on her.
And that’s why despite putting himself in the line of danger to save her, Hayden had to let her go.
I love that through this rescue mission, he found his power and he found a way to advocate for himself.
Hayden was a leader and a hero, but he also knew that asking Mildred to stay would be selfish and only best for him and not necessarily for her.
The present-day tied into Hayden’s backstory beautifully as we learned a little bit more about the sensitive boy from the 1930s.
In flashbacks, we saw that Hayden’s mother, Ruth, was a gentle soul who loved her sweet boy and did her best to help him cope with his anxiety.
When he had a panic attack, she calmed him down and found a way to channel his energy into something more positive.
She was always working on coping mechanisms in order to ensure that Hayden was set up for success in the event that she wasn’t around.
And he was. In the present day, Hayden used all the tools his mother gave him to believe in himself and stand on his own.
His backstory was heartbreaking, however, as we saw that his insistence on getting Mildred and Noah out of that place stemmed from his own experience.
After his mother passed, Hayden’s uncle — who previously called him an “odd duck” and used violence against him — had him committed to a ghastly and dark place just like Ypsi Med that conducted experiments on him.
The poor kid was traumatized and saw the “green zap” as a saving grace rather than an unwelcome intrusion.
The episode also honed in on seeing things from someone else’s perspective.
While Shanice and some of the other 4400 were thrilled to be getting released, the same couldn’t be said for the Reverand or Andre as they didn’t have anywhere to go.
Even with a stipend and some housing, they were in a world all too unfamiliar to them without any friends or family.
The Reverand explained to Shanice that at the hotel, they created a family of people who are “the same” and going through the same experiences.
It only made sense that they would want to stick together with their community.
Of course, Shanice offered up a brilliant solution to turn the hotel into a place of worship therefore legally allowing them to stay as long as they like.
I don’t think Mr. Greene expected the 4400 to be as quick-on-their-toes, but I think he appreciates whenever an opportunity presents itself.
The Reverand is not only power-hungry, but he loves a theatrical spectacle. These are the same qualities I see in Mr. Greene, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if they struck up a deal.
Shanice also had some drama with Andre when she saw into his memories, particularly when he covered her with a blanket and she called him Logan.
Things got even more awkward when Logan got roped into the rescue mission because of Mariah and defended the 4400 for their bravery instead of scolding them as Shanice did.
I get that Logan wants to stick it to Shanice and keeps mentioning that he raised Mariah instead of her, but he has to eventually come to the understanding that Shanice was robbed of being a parent.
She didn’t willfully walk away and give up raising her daughter; she never had the chance in the first place. It’s disgusting to throw that back in her face even if he doesn’t agree with how she’s handling a situation.
With each passing episode, things for the 4400 are growing more and more dangerous, but at the very least, they have each other and a solid team of allies.
Will they find a way to rescue Noah? Will Andre explore his healing powers, which are so fitting for a doctor who has always wanted to heal the sick?
Will they get out into the real world? Or will the mystery continue to haunt them? And also, how great was it that LaDonna basically shape-shifted into anyone she wanted to be? I could see that coming in handy on many occasions!
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!
4400 Review – The Way We Were (1×05)
The past always comes back to haunt you.
Everyone learned that the hard way on 4400 Season 1 Episode 5, particularly Keisha, who was given a rather intense backstory.
While she initially seemed rather one-dimensional, it turns out her stoic disposition comes at the price of great loss.
Keisha lost her sister, Kenya, who was her world, and since then, she’s dedicated her life to keeping the streets safe.
Of course, Kenya’s husband, Tarik, doesn’t see it that way. He butted heads with Keisha on several occasions throughout the episode, especially after informing her that the man who killed Kenya wants to talk as he feels reformed in prison.
It’s understandable that Keisha wouldn’t be interested in hearing him out after the pain he caused her and her family, but Tarik also had a point about letting go so that he doesn’t steal any more of her happiness.
The moment was important for two reasons: Keisha is finally seeing that the 4400 don’t have to be the enemy. She can let them in, open up, and treat them like humans instead of pushing everyone away.
Secondly, it allows her to care deeply for Hayden. His character has been tough to crack, but since he’s a minor, he needs someone to look out for him.
The fact that Logan has agreed to be his guardian is fitting because it means that there is still a connecting point to Shanice even if she decided not to move in with her ex-husband and his new wife.
And who can blame Shanice? That’s one hell of an awkward situation.
It wouldn’t be healthy for her, and it wouldn’t be healthy for Mariah.
Logan has spent 16 years thinking that Shanice walked out on him and Mariah, so he clearly has a lot of resentment towards her.
While it’s heartbreaking for Shanice since their relationship is so fresh to her, you can’t exactly blame Logan for being skeptical or struggling to accept a reality in which she’s back again.
Having Shanice move in would be much too much too soon.
Plus, I think a part of her stuck around for Andre. They have a good thing going whether they want to remain friends or pursue something romantically when she’s ready.
I don’t exactly understand why Logan was so rude to Andre when they met. Was it a jealous thing? He saw the pride flag, so questioning Andre about “all the clubs” he frequents was pushing it.
And why are the guards so hostile towards the 4400? I know that the idea is that they are being held against their will and treated like prisoners, but the hostility from the white cops doesn’t exactly add up with what’s being presented by Jharrel, Keisha, and the government.
It just feels rather forced rather than a natural situation indictive of the current realities between cops and minorities, a point that Soraya honed in on when talking to LaDonna.
I know she emphasized that she was being cautious because she’s a Muslim queer woman working for the government, but I do wonder what they did to her during the questioning.
Gone was the bubbly “texpert” that made such a powerful impression; she was sullen, invisible, and almost looking over her shoulder.
Did they threaten her? Does she know too much?
Based on the new head honcho in charge, Mr. Greene, they’re eliminating anyone who might potentially jeopardize their mission or get in the way.
Soraya was scared into silence, and Jess was reassigned to Ypsi Med, where Mildred and Noah are currently locked up. And based on the preview, it seems like this might be taking a Stranger Things turn rather quickly.
We haven’t even seen what’s going on within the halls of Ypsi Med, but we all know that it’s not good.
The question is — will Jess see the light or will she help Greene keep tabs on the 4400. He may have spearheaded the effort to release them into the world, but it’s just a positive PR illusion.
As he mentioned, they’ve just been given bigger cages. But since everyone was outfitted with trackers, the government will be able to get deeply engrained in their personal lives.
It’s only a matter of time before they find out about their powers if they don’t already know.
My guess is that Soraya’s findings about the singing on Belle Isle paired with what they discovered about Mildred and Noah (which is why they aren’t releasing them) is why Greene was even brought into the mix in the first place.
Of course, Keisha confirmed what she thought she saw during her first outing with Claudette when she got into a bar fight and her wound healed instantly.
Keisha then confided in Jharell, who formed a pretty close relationship with Claudette himself and even allowed her to rent Manny’s apartment. It’s a convenient way to connect the storyline to Manny, plus, it allows them to form deeper connections with the 4400.
Jharrel has always been on their side, so I’m glad that he’s still supportive and trustworthy even with this knowledge.
And is it crazy that I’m rooting for Claudette and Jharrel? He was really smitten when he saw Claudette in her element talking about baking cornbread and listening to sinful men on the record player. She’s a warm soul that doesn’t deserve what’s happening to her.
Speaking of what’s happening… the mystery is still “why” these people. Why the 4400? Were they chosen at random? Or do they have business in 2021?
Keisha and Jharrell were able to piece together that Claudette isn’t the only one with powers after Soraya suggested it wasn’t as much about the singing as the singer.
And we saw that even without these powers, the returned are already being viewed by the public as a threat. You always fear what you don’t understand, and simple-minded men at bars simply can’t comprehend that something as complex as time travel could possibly exist. It’s easier to call them alien lizard people, I guess, which goes back to that “the nation is more divided than ever” situation.
I couldn’t be the only one cheering on Claudette when she punched the guy. He deserved it.
However, since the government is supposedly always watching a la Big Brother, why wasn’t this situation flagged? Why weren’t Andre and Shanice caught when they snuck out?
For a menacing force hoping to keep them all prisoners, they really aren’t doing such a good job.
It’ll be interesting to see who can be trusted, who sides with the wrong team, and where “freedom” takes our time travelers in the future.
Up first — a prison break to Ypsi Med where Hayden is determined to break Mildred out. You know Mariah is going to get involved, which means Logan, Shanice, and Keisha will also find themselves smack-dab in the middle of the drama.
But maybe they’ll finally be able to bring the truth to light?
What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts about the 4400 in the comments below!
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