'Terra Nova' recap: I fought the bylaw and the bylaw won

terra-nova.jpgHey, great! A Terra Novagonian gets killed by a raptor in the cold open! That's promising!

Jim, investigating, determines it was a murder -- someone trapping the vicious nicoraptor in the outpost where the soldier victim was found -- and he's thrilled to have an investigation to conduct. With some crucial information determined to be on the victim's ID tag -- in the belly of the nicoraptor that killed him -- Jim, Taylor and Washington go a-hunting. With the ID tag gorily retrieved from the dinosaur's stomach, they find the victim -- Foster -- had a dalliance with a married woman, whose husband confesses unrepentantly to Jim and Washington. Taylor's torn up about Terra Nova's first murder, and needs to think about whether to enforce the colony's bylaw, which calls for banishment.

There's some tedious discussion over the need for a trial vs. frontier justice, and then everyone gathers to hear Taylor's verdict, which he delivers from his balcony, after some speechifying, and the murderer is given a gun and a backpack and sent off to make his own way.

But Jim is intrigued by his wife's crazy notions of "justice" and "due process" and learns that the murderer -- Milner -- actually confessed falsely, to cover up for his wife, because he thinks SHE did it. But she didn't either; and it turns out the victim was involved with illegal gambling run out of Boylan's bar -- and Jim is none too pleased to discover Josh working there. Anyway, Taylor and Jim involve Boylan in a sting to trap another soldier who turns out to have owed a lot of money to the victim. In the end, they banish him to the wilderness without so much as the gun granted Milner, so I guess so much for due process.

Read the full recap here.