Ira Steven Behr and Frederick Rappaport
Leanne Adachi, Sharif Atkins, Tippi Hedren, Ian Tracey, Garrett Dillahunt, Megalyn Echikunwoke
Ryland is taken to court over the promicin scandal. Returnee TJ Kim infiltrates the courtroom and provokes Ryland’s lawyer into stabbing him before escaping. Ryland is hospitalised. NTAC receives an ultimatum from radical 4400s the Nova group, which says a new era will dawn on 19 October. Telepath Gary Navarro is enlisted to help track the Nova group down, but it turns out he’s leading them on a wild goose chase. He’s caught trying to kill Ryland. It also turns out that Shawn had provided funding to the Nova group, but he’s not happy about the killing part. When the group’s leader, Daniel Armand, demands more from him, he notices NTAC. TJ comes to collect the money and is taken into custody. 19 October rolls around and the Nova group causes crops to grow in the Nubian desert. Despite appearances, Tom is convinced it’s an act of aggression.
In an effort to help Maia deal with the changes in her ability, Diana talks to Burkhoff. She discovers he’s been injecting himself with a modified version of the promicin serum and he asks her to help him record the changes he goes through.
Shawn introduces a disbelieving Richard to the now-adult Isabelle. He later finds Lily has aged rapidly. Dr Burkhoff finds a link between Lily’s and Isabelle’s sudden aging. In an effort to save Lily, Isabelle leaps off the roof of the 4400 Centre, but walks away unharmed. Matthew Ross, upon hearing that Isabelle has attempted suicide, tells her that she has a destiny to fulfill. After a talk with Shawn, Isabelle tells Matthew she can and will choose her own destiny. Matthew gives her a drug-filled syringe and says if she wants to save Lily, the drug will certainly kill her. Isabelle ultimately can’t bring herself to do it and Lily passes away peacefully.
You warm to it on a second viewing and Lily’s death is deeply moving (not least because you can’t quite believe they’d kill her off so early), but the third season of The 4400 gets off to a rather disappointing start with this episode. There’s some clunky dialogue and it feels like it’s setting too much up, too quickly. It would also have been nice if – as the second season led us to believe would be the case – Isabelle had more self-awareness about her purpose, but hopefully the events of this episode have set her up to go somewhere a lot more interesting.
Dr Burkhoff: “Mr Tyler, when your wife fainted this morning she was a young woman. When she woke up less than a minute later, she was 50 years older. I can guarantee you this is a first.”