Season 4 of The 4400 premiered last night (Sunday, June 17), and it looks like the writers have decided to mix things up this season. Let’s have a look at the characters who now find themselves in unfamiliar territory:
- Tom and Diana – A staple of the show from the beginning was this NTAC pair of agents. I like that the show has never tried to explore a romantic angle between them, but has instead let their professional relationship be strengthened by their friendship. Now, it appears that they will be embarking on separate journeys (although there’s always the chance that Diana will come back to NTAC in a couple of episodes). For now, Tom is partnerless at NTAC but got off to a good start with the much more laid back new NTAC director, Meghan Doyle, and Diana is jobless and has been since leaving for Spain with Maia and Ben.
- Maia – Diana spent a lot of time last season dealing with the combined frustrations of typical pre-teen drama and 4400-related problems from Maia, her adopted daughter, who still must be having trouble getting over the fact that she was born in and abducted from the early 1900s. It seemed odd, then, that Diana would just leave Maia in Spain with Ben while she embarks on an indefinite quest to find her sister April to see if she survived (or what she’s become) since injecting herself with Promicin. I suppose Ben has become a father figure to Maia, and I imagine we’ll find out how their father/daughter relationship is over the next several episodes as they continue their European vacation sans Diana.
- Alana – That Alana is a shifty one. One minute she’s in the future, then she’s creating an artificial world where she and Tom fall in love over several years (which is only moments in the real world), and now she has been taken again and was apparently sent back to the late 19th century to pose for some artist named Claude Pierrot. As soon as Tom received Isabel’s message that he would find what he was looking for at the museum, I knew he was going to see a portrait of Alana from an earlier time period. That didn’t make the moment any less creepy, though. Nice camerawork, showing the audience Alana’s portrait in the background just before Tom noticed it. So, what will happen now? How will Tom get Alana back, or will he? Poor Tom. He has lost both of his female sidekicks this season!
- Kyle – Kyle returned from his cross-country work for Collier. I’m still unclear what exactly he was doing, but whatever it was, I’m glad that he arrived back on his dad’s doorstep to provide Tom with some much-needed company. My prediction is that we will see Kyle and Shawn as roommates this season (once Shawn leaves the hospital, which should probably be soon, thanks to Kyle’s bold move to inject him with Promicin. By the way, that was a nice mirroring of the first season, when Shawn woke Kyle up from a coma through unconventional means). It could be fun to see these two cousins getting along again and looking out for each other. The other new storyline related to Kyle is the mysterious “Cassie.” I’m thinking that she hasn’t just read about Kyle in the newspapers, but that she knew a lot about him (and Promicin) because she has a newly developed 4400 ability to read minds. Hmmm… We’ll learn more about her soon as Kyle continues his search for her.
- Shawn – I’m liking the new dark hair he’s sporting, even though it’s only because he’s been in a coma and has’t had time to keep his highlights updated. Maybe Shawn will get a new purpose to match his new look. It would be nice to see him relax a bit, if he’s no longer the leader of the 4400. I’m interested to see what direction the writers will take his character (other than my prediction that he and Kyle will be roomies).
- Isabel – Isabel is in prison, and I hope she stays there for awhile, since she causes so much trouble when she’s allowed to roam free. I’m liking her better now that she has lost her 4400 abilities. Now she’s just a powerless, ruthless, maybe psycho person, instead of an all-powerful, all out crazy woman. Megalyn Echikunwoke did a good job in this episode of portraying Isabel’s bitterness and frustration, which is a good sign since I wasn’t too impressed with her performance of last season’s naive Isabel. Perhaps Isabel will find redemption by helping Tom in his search for Alana.
- Richard – The only series regular we didn’t see in this episode was Isabel’s father, Richard. I’d imagine he’s pretty messed up right now, after watching his baby girl become a young woman literally overnight, while at the same time watching his wife rapidly age and die in a matter of days (Poor Lily!), and finally and most recently, injecting his daughter with what could have been a fatal shot. My guess is that he is living the life of a hermit right now, acting as the Boo Radley of some suburban neighborhood in Anytown, U.S.A.
The Cult of Graham
Tonight’s main story was very creepy, with Graham, a nobody teenager, becoming a revered god after injecting himself with Promicin. The multitude of black-hooded sweatshirts was a nice touch, both visually, and as a plot device. I was very engrossed in this story until the part where Graham started using television to reach more followers. Then all I could think of was the story arc on Angel during which Jasmine (played by Gina Torres) developed a rapid, worldwide following simply by being around people or speaking to them. Eventually, she took her campaign to the airwaves. The main difference in the storylines is that Graham developed his god-like aura through an injection, whereas Jasmine actually was a goddess. Thankfully, just as Fred was able to save the day on Angel, Jordan Collier showed up just in time to reveal to everyone (including the audience) that his 4400 ability is to neutralize Promicin. He proceeds to demonstrate his ability on Graham, making this black-hooded sweatshirt wearing teenager no longer “King of Seattle” – and leaving behind hordes of very confused black-hooded sweatshirt wearing citizens.
Note: In case you can’t place where you’ve seen the actor who played Graham before, Cameron Bright was the little boy in Birth with Nicole Kidman, was also a creepy little boy in Godsend, and played Jimmy (the mutant that the government used to develop a cure for mutancy) in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Season 4 Storylines – Below is a list of what will apparently be some of the main ongoing storylines this season
- Tess and Kevin continue to hide out in the woods, where Tess is returning to her schizophrenic ways.
- Kyle searches for Cassie Dunleavy, and he and Shawn try to find their places in this new “anyone can be a 4400” world.
- Jordan employs his ability to neutralize Promicin in an effort to control the problems his Promicin campaign started. (We don’t know if his will be a solo mission, or if he will strike a deal with NTAC to help them in exchange for not having to go to prison).
- Meghan Doyle changes the atmosphere at NTAC from uptight to intriguing (all the world’s a foreign movie? what was that all about?) as the new director. I’m not sure how I feel about this new character yet. I hope the writers don’t try to make her a new love interest for Tom.
- Tom continues his quest to find Alana, following his first good lead from an unexpected place, the 1885 painting by Claude Pierrot titled “Alana in Repose.” We can assume this will also be the storyline in which Isabel plays a role.
- Diana searches for her sister, April, hoping to find her at least alive, and possibly Promicin free.
- New 4400’s are being “born” everyday, and my guess is that we will meet at least one of them in each episode. I like it. It’s another throwback to season 1, when we were introduced to one of the original 4400’s in each episode.
So, to wrap things up, there are new 4400s everyday, and all our favorite characters are involved with them in various ways. The question Collier asks us is, “Are you ready?” Yes, I am ready for a summer full of fascinating new episodes of this entertaining sci-fi series. What about you?