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 Season Finale Review – Present is Prologue (1×13)
Everything was blown up on 4400 Season 1 Episode 13.
Thankfully, not literally, though if Manny has his way, the Bois Blanc would’ve gone up in smoke.
The season 1 finale picked up right where it left off — with the 4400 like sitting ducks while Manny explained to Jharrel that he traveled from 2064 with a plan to basically let all of them die in order to create a change in society.
He definitely sounded like a lunatic, but he also wasn’t wrong about his desire to evoke real change; a change that would stick.
The measures seemed extreme to someone like Jharrell because he was only thinking about his closest friends, while Manny was thinking big picture.
The bombs he was planting were to serve in addition to the wrath inflicted by the 4400 haters.
However, Manny never anticipated meeting so many obstacles, including Keisha, who managed to land a shot even when he triggered his invisibility.
Manny was seemingly one of the victims of the raid at the Bois Blanc, along with Logan, Hayden, and Rev, but in a time-warping twist at the end of the episode, it’s revealed that the green light may have restored them all to their rightful timeline without any memory of what transpired.
Manny walks into his place and comments about being gone for a “few hours.” He doesn’t seem to remember the raid, his desire to kill everyone for the greater good, or even Claudette.
And if that’s the case for Manny, then it’s safe to say that it’ll be the same situation for Logan also.
Obviously, Manny was already a 4400 (or a stowaway), so he was returned to the timeline of when he was taken.
But what about Logan? Will he go back to the day Shanice disappeared?
In order to shake up the plot, it would only make sense for Shanice to get home to take care of Mariah only to find Logan there and thinking that she’s still his wife.
If that’s the case, I can’t wait to see this plot twist pan out.
Shanice had every right to declare that she was done with all 4400 business and wash her hands of it. While everyone’s lives were uprooted by the green light, she’s suffered the worst of it.
She never got to see her daughter grow up, she lost her husband yet still had to be around him, she carried the burden of everyone’s hardships, and then she had to watch Logan die again.
Her desire to cut herself off from all 4400 business allows Andre to pursue his real mission of working for Sienna Stone on the time machine.
Stone, the founder of BHN, has a vested interest in the 4400 because she’s from the future.
Her goal was to keep Andre safe from the raid knowing that in every version of their timeline, it doesn’t end well for him. And she had an ulterior motive — she needs him to help her build the time machine.
It’s unclear if Stone is a good person at the present moment, but she knows much more than she’s letting on, so it’s a good “in” for Andre to find out more information. Particularly, what is ZMT, how the 4400 were chosen, and what their actual mission is.
There’s a grand scheme that we haven’t been privy to just yet, so we have to remain skeptical.
Though, I’ll say that Stone has shown the 4400 more kindness than Bill Greene so that’s saying a lot.
Mildred was pretty badass during the episode as she rallied the troops to stand their ground and fight for themselves. Even though she couldn’t make good with her sister, Milicent, at least we know that it’s possible in the future because Millie saw the light.
She saw, with her own eyes, that the anti-4400 terrorist groups were only using her to lure the remaining “iguanas” so that they could kill them.
Mildred got an assist for LaDonna, but I couldn’t really get behind the oversized dancing iguana bit, even with that Dua Lipa bop playing in the background.
Why did she have to resort to such silliness? It ruined the whole tone of the episode. The iguana was on-brand, but it just felt like a mockery of the seriousness of the situation.
Though the anti-4400 were put in their place, the fight for the truth and justice is far from over.
- The future looks really cool.
- Millie’s power is that she has an iron fist. She should’ve used that to knock some sense into these men!
- Jharrel and Claudette shared a sweet kiss!
- Jessica finally came around — better late than never. This whole time she thought she was on the right side only to find out Bill was the actual iguana.
Do you think Manny had a point in acting so irrational in order to help humanity? Or was he too impulsive and ruined everything?
Season 2 can’t come soon! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below now!
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4400 Review – You Only Meant Well (1×11)
Sometimes, the person you think you can trust might not be so trustworthy after all.
4400 Season 1 Episode 11 dug further into Manny’s return and revealed that he might not be the man Jharrel thinks he is.
Even worse — he might be more sinister and dangerous than the government itself.
Manny and Jharrel’s reunion was short-lived as the latter seemed to be keeping secrets from his brother. And while Jharrel wanted to believe him, Soraya and Claudette both suggested that maybe he should keep his guard up.
While Manny told Jharrel that he arrived at Belle Isle with the other 4400 and quickly realized his power was invisibility, that wasn’t exactly the case.
Manny, as he revealed to Claudette when he introduced himself as Jorge and recruited her to join the resistance, explained that he wasn’t a 4400 but somehow closely connected.
He took Claudette under his wing so that she could harness her powers and fight back when the time came.
So, when Jharrel introduced Claudette to his brother, the two of them already had a pretty deep history. Only this was the first time that Claudette found out Jorge was actually Manny.
When she confronted him, he informed her that Jharrel wasn’t ready to hear the truth thus putting her in a truly awkward situation.
The thing is — if Manny doesn’t want Jharrel to know the truth, why did he want to make his presence known? It surely has to do more with just making sure that his brother can be trusted, right?
Soraya’s warning was a bit more detailed than Claudette’s blanket statement to Jharrel. As a triple agent, Soraya did her due diligence to find out exactly why the government is so interested in finding Manny and she learned that Manny is connected to ZMT, something in the blood that makes the 4400 unique.
Apparently, Manny is holding all the answers and can fill in all the blanks that the government has about the 4400 — namely why they all just showed up.
And, if we didn’t already think Manny was shady as hell, upon learning that the Rev took away his powers, he grabbed the cake knife and stabbed him in order to regain them.
Of course, this triggered everyone else’s powers to return simultaneously.
When Logan found the Rev, he was bleeding out while Manny, now invisible again, slipped away after explaining that his actions were for “the greater good.”
This could be a situation where Manny is actually trying to help everyone and is choosing the lesser of two evils.
He needs his powers to remain off of the government’s radar, and if the only way to get them back was by stabbing the Rev, then maybe it was justified.
He seems determined to help Claudette build up the strength to fight back against the haters and the 44orum’s, so maybe he has seen the future and knows exactly what needs to be done?
If Manny is the one who invented this green light, maybe we shouldn’t dismiss him as a bad person immediately without getting the full story?
Speaking of full stories, we also saw what happened to LaDonna after she left the hotel to reconnect with her father.
While things were going well for them, her father believed the conspiracy theories being thrown around by those who wanted the world to fear the 4400.
After seeing Mildred in action, her father decided that the people on the radio brainwashing him to hate the 4400 were surely right, so he turned against his daughter.
Even when LaDonna shared a deeply personal memory, her father figured that whatever stole his daughter’s body also stole her memory.
This narrative is not only dangerous but, like most conspiracy theories, spreads like wildfire.
LaDonna booked it at the first chance she got, but the sting of her father turning against her isn’t something she’ll shake soon.
She informed Andre that the reality is that the world is an ugly place right now, and all that anger and hatred is directed right at them — the people they consider to be mutants.
With only two episodes left this season, a war is brewing, and they need to be prepared.
I don’t necessarily know if they can trust BHN and this Sienna Stone lady that keeps sending them money, but I guess they have to take anything they can get at this point.
While the wedding didn’t end on a positive note, at least Shanice and Logan got to dance to their wedding song one more time. I don’t think it was a good idea considering that it’s a deeply vulnerable position to be in that could reignite memories and feelings, but it was a sweet moment to see pan out.
I know that Logan is married to Bridget and that he’s happy, and alternatively, that Shanice has moved on with Andre, but a part of me really wants Logan and Shanice to take back what was taken from them.
Are you rooting for Logan and Shanice? Did LaDonna’s backstory make you sad? Are you happy she’s back?
Do you think the 4400 can trust Manny? Is he the key to finding out all the answers?
Sound off in the comments below!
4400 Review – Give Up The Ghost (1×11)
In the words of Kevin Pearson — who is not related to this show whatsoever — “Manny say what?!”
While the war between the 4400 and their enemies is bubbling up to the surface in the background, 4400 Season 1 Episode 11 focused solely on the mystery of what happened to Manny.
Jessica was determined to break Jharrel so that he would tell her what Manny was working on before he vanished.
She tried to convince him that the government had Manny is in custody and that Jharrel would be helping her keep him safe, but he quickly caught on that if that was the truth, she would just ask Manny himself.
Her interrogation methods were pretty weak. Sure, blasting obnoxiously loud music was meant to drive him to the truth, but Jessica cracked out of desperation way before Manny did.
And eventually, she brought in Soraya for an assist.
While Soraya’s allegiances were questioned after she turned over a thumb drive to Manny, I let out a sigh of relief when it was made clear that she’s simply playing Jessica and the government while still assisting the 4400.
I hope she forgives me for losing faith in her.
Using the “Wrinkle in Time” book to not only get facetime with Jharrel but also to show him that she cracked the wall-clock code was brilliant.
They have a secret language that keeps the government in the dark.
Jharrel was able to use what she learned along with his memories to piece Manny’s messages together — and he found him in room 437.
So, where has Manny been all along? He’s been in the space within the space, which seems to be some kind of like the liminal space like on Nancy Drew.
It was clear that Manny’s power was invisibility, but I thought that Jharrel and co. were going to have to try to pull him out of this space and into their timeline, but I was wrong.
It turns out, Manny can reappear and disappear whenever he pleases. And I can count all the ways that is going to come in handy when fending off enemies and the government.
This means that Manny has been here this whole time simply trying to get Jharrel to a safe space where he can reveal himself.
It also means that answers are coming!
Through flashbacks, it was revealed that Manny and Jharrel’s relationship wasn’t always as solid as it is now, but the COVID pandemic definitely brought them together.
When Manny finally opened up to Jharrel, we found out that the former works for the government. Not only that, but Manny was unclear about what his job actually was.
Right before Manny disappeared, he confided in Jharrel about the golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence, and the space between reality. Basically, I think Manny is the creator of the green light.
And I think when Jharrel moved the pineapple and picked up the seashell, he unintentionally set it into motion, which is when he saw the green light flash and Manny disappeared.
Manny is the key as he has all the answers, which explains why the government is desperate to get its hands on him.
It’s also concerning that this was a position within the government in the first place. Were they testing time travel?
Wouldn’t it be something if it turned out that the government is responsible for creating the 4400 and yet, they’re purposefully making the public fear them?
I can’t wait to see how Manny plays into the plot moving forward as this only juices up an already exciting series that’s hitting all the right notes — it’s entertaining while being an excellent commentary on issues of race, LGBTQ, and more.
The government was determined to make the 4400 suffer, so they killed the power at the Bois Blac hoping that they’d run back to them out of desperation.
They never expected that some organization would singlehandedly fund a fundraiser, but, as Andre pointed out, it’s also slightly concerning that some group by the name of BHN is willing to shell out that much money on them.
What do they want in exchange? It’s almost like they are trying to buy them from the government.
Shanice should be very weary, even though it’s understandable that she just wants to celebrate something good happening for once.
BHN could be tomorrow’s problem.
Her relationship with Andre seems to be heating up, and it looks like she has both Logan and Mariah’s blessing.
There was quite a bit of tension between Andre and Logan when the latter showed up to help the returned after learning about the power outage.
Andre thinks Logan is trying to get closer to Shanice, so he’s in overprotective mode. A part of him is likely also jealous considering the deep history between Logan and Shanice.
However, from the looks of it, there’s nothing left to revive there. They seem to have both given up on the idea that they could go back to how things were, and Shanice is much more focused on the here and now, which includes forming some kind of relationship with her daughter.
And Mariah opening up to her about having a crush on Mildred is not a bad start. It takes a lot to come out to a parent, so it was a very special moment for the two of them.
Speaking of Mildred, there are definitely some anger issues for her to work through if she wants to get her powers back and make amends with the 4400. Her anger is understandable given everything that happened at the hospital, but it’s also not good to hang onto it and let it fester.
She needs a proper outlet for it — she needs to turn that rage into action, and there’s no better person than Claudette to inspire her.
Claudette understands a thing or two about fighting back against the opposition, plus, she gave Mildred a killer makeover. But though unrecognizable, I don’t think she necessarily blends in. And that may be a good thing. If the 4400 need motivation, Mildred is the poster child for fighting back.
Elsewhere, the Rev and Keisha were trapped in an elevator together when the power went down, and I could not think of a worse experience.
The Rev was very thrown off to find out that Keisha was gay. He’s old school, so he still views homosexuality as a “sin,” which didn’t sit well with Keisha in the slightest as she made it clear that those who hate are sinners and not those who love.
And then she knocked him down even further when she told him that he would’ve vanished from his son’s life even if he hadn’t vanished from the green light.
That one hit home, but it was true.
The Rev has been one of the most unlikeable characters, and while he has redeemed himself ever so slightly over the last few episodes, if he doesn’t get with the times and practice acceptance, he’s going to be turned away by his own people.
After everything he’s been through, he should know better than to hate someone for being different.
There’s an energy leading into the final three episodes that indicates the 4400 will not go down without a fight.
What did you think of the episode? Are you glad Manny is back? And is he their secret weapon? Sound off in the comments!
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