THE 4400 Season Two

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Two hour premiere on June 5th from 9 to 11 PM ET/PT.  Regular hour long episodes on Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT.

CAST: Joel Gretsch, Jacqueline McKenzie, Patrick Flueger, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Laura Allen, Kaj-Erik Eriksen, Chad Faust, Brooke Niven, Conchita Campbell, Samantha Ferris, and Billy Campbell 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:  Ira Behr, Maira Suro, Scott Peters, and Perry Simon

ANALYSIS:    Season 2 starts a year after the end of season one.  Tom Baldwin (Joel Gretsch) is on desk duty due to his night on the beach with his son Kyle (Chad Faust).  Tom makes a deal with the new head of NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) in Seattle to sign an open ended reisignation letter (if he ever screws up) and the freedom of his son Kyle.  He is reteamed with his partner Diana (Jacqueline McKenzie) to investigate a mental patient (she suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia and is one of the 4400 people returned from the future).   She has an influence on patients and employess at a mental hospital where they are building some type of device that Tom believes could send a message to the future where the 4400 were supposedly taken to.

Meanwhile Richard and Lily are hiding out in a small town with their six month daughter Isabelle (who posesses great powers) on the run from supposed benefactor of The 4400, Jordan Collier (Billy Campbell).  Jordan has opened a 4400 Center where people can learn about the 4400 and discover their inner 4400.  He is having Shawn (Kyle's cousin played by Patrick Flueger) use his healing powers to bring in rich supporters.  Jordan has also penned a book about the 4400.  

Also Diana has officially adopted Maia (Conchita Campbell) as her daughter.  Maia is able to see into the future.   Will Diana break Maia's trust by looking into a journal that Maia keeps which may contains her visions of the future?

A couple of H.P. Lovecraft references are in this episode (At The Mountains of Madness and another Lovecraft story) in addition to a guest role by Jeffrey Combs (a veteran of many movies adapted from H.P. Lovecraft movies).   The second season opener continues to develop plot threads while leaving a few questions.    Will Isabelle (Richard and Lily's baby) prove to be a threat?  How will Jordan's increasing seizures effect his ability to run the 4400 Institue?    The second season may prove to be impressive compared to the bumpy writing of season one.

On the downside, the weakest part of the episode is the shotgun-toting preacher.   His storyline starts out good only to fall into a poorlly written and executed plotline.   Then Billy Campbell overacts at times as Jordan Collier.  The 4400 works good when you make it as human as possible and leave the melodrama at the door.

PRESS KIT DESIGN:  USA Network is back to designing swag press kits.  Maia is on the folder cover.   A nice combination of yellows and browns highlight the press kit folder.  16 pages of info on the show is included in addition to the screener.   The two hour premiere (88 minutes without commercials) is on a DVD screener.   I wish the holder was better designed for the disc.  It easily comes off when opening the press kit folder.

this review is (c)5-31-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia