Terra Nova and Monogamy

The trailers for this series got me really interested in checking out the first few episodes, and maybe I’m being too picky but I’m feeling as though it’s trying to be Lost and Jurassic Park. (The most recent episode of South Park “Ass-burgers” also made a comment to that point, so I know I’m not alone in thinking that.)

The way it’s shot, and the way it’s edited, along with the way the characters are acting/being directed, screams Lost. But if you can forgive that, which I can, it’s a very well-made show and has a very interesting concept. I’m excited to see what they do with it.

One thing that struck me as kind of weird was how the central character,  Jim Shannon (played by Jason O’Mara) reacts when he learns how his wife was selected to be part of Terra Nova.

Okay, some back story, Jim Shannon and his family live in the distant future where we’ve fucked up our environment so much that we’ve made the Earth practically uninhabitable. There is a program called Terra Nova where people are sent back in time to before we fucked things up. 85 million years before we fucked things up. So they’re with the dinosaurs; pretty cool concept.

So they have this new colony that’s meant to start the human race anew in a separate timeline (cause apparently it’s not “their” past, it’s an alternate reality’s past) which is also very cool!

The inhabitants of Terra Nova are all from different waves of pilgrims; the sixth wave of people broke off from the group and they’re causing problems for Terra Nova but that’s about all that we know about them.

Anyway, if you’re confused you should just go watch the episodes, we’re only 3 in so far. So long story short, main character Jim becomes the head of security of Terra Nova and learns the reason why his wife was chosen to be in the Terra Nova project … another scientist requested that she be chosen … and he’s her ex! …. 😮 wha??!?!?

*rolls eyes  (a love triangle story-arc coming up? I don’t see that coming) 😉

But anyway, Jim ends up being a dick the whole episode to Dr. Malcolm Wallace, the man who requested that Jim’s wife be in the next wave of Terra Nova pilgrims…

Um, you owe your continued existence to the fact that this man has the hots for your wife … and if he was secure in his relationship with his wife he shouldn’t have to worry that she’ll hook up with Dr. Wallace.

I just thought he didn’t have to be such a dick about it.

Maybe it’s because he hasn’t seen his wife in years because he was in a prison and now he’s suspicious of anyone because now that he’s finally back with his wife, he’s feeling insecure … that could explain it. But still, a little trust goes a long way. And is infidelity really a reason to end a relationship? We’re homo-sapiens, our sole purpose here on this planet is to procreate and raise the next generation of homo-sapiens. Sex, as it turns out, is a lot of fun and telling someone, you’re only allowed to experience certain aspects of life with one person while you’re in a “relationship” is, I think, naive and disingenuous to the fact that we are homo-sapiens and therefore mammals and that we enjoy sex.

What is it about sex that makes people act so intensely about “ownership” of who gets to sleep with who? What is it about that act that causes jealousy? Could it be an evolutionary trait ingrained in our species to ensure that our genes are the ones that are passed down to “our” children and ensure that they are in fact “our” children and not the children of man down the street who your wife has secretly been sleeping with?

What is the meaning behind jealousy?



One thought on “Terra Nova and Monogamy

  1. This whole jealousy/infidelity/ownership topic is a big can of worms.

    I think there’s a difference between sleeping with other people when you’re married and sleeping with other people when you’re dating and/or have agreed that it’s an open relationship. As far as I can tell, the whole purpose of getting married is to ensure that your partner *doesn’t* sleep with someone else (for the rest of their life) so that you can indeed ensure that the kids are yours. So, if you’ve gone down that route and made that promise of fidelity, then I can understand that people get awfully jealous and upset when their partner sleeps with someone else – they’ve broken their promise.

    On the other hand, if they’re not married, and haven’t decided to be in a relationship that for all intents and purposes mimics marriage, then why not date/sleep with however many people you feel some connection to at one time? What’s the point of dating if not to experience life and happiness with many different people? Why should someone be jealous of that? It seems ridiculous to think “no, we’ve been on four dates, you are no longer allowed to go out and enjoy yourself or your body with someone else” – what sense does that make? You’ve changed my mind on that point, Joel – I used to be in the ‘don’t date more than one person’ camp, but it just doesn’t really make sense if you take jealousy out of the picture. Why not just be happy that that person has decided to spend any time with you at all?

    Regarding jealousy itself; I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. What other purpose would it serve if not to ensure monogamy and thus that your own genes are the ones that are carried on (since that is indeed the purpose behind our existence)? It makes sense to me. It’s not a very productive evolutionary trait though.

    If we consider it from the perspective of our species as a whole and not as individuals, then it would be far more productive and beneficial for only the most healthy, fit, well adapted, and intelligent among us to breed. So why the jealousy over it having to be ‘my’ offspring? It doesn’t make sense – ‘my’ offspring are not necessarily good for the advancement of the species. Rather, at some primal level, we should collectively understand who among us is fit to breed and who is not – that makes way more evolutionary sense than jealousy.

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