Monday, December 10, 2007


"The crisis is over. After all the deaths, including members of my own family, we as a movement find ourselves on new and uncharted land. We promised the world salvation. What we have is a revision of the world that once was. Seattle was consumed in a terrible catastrophe, and for those lost, I remain in mourning. But that nightmare has ended, and we find ourselves awakened to a new dawn. Promise City."
- from Kyle Baldwin's journal

It took a few months, but I've finally worked my way through the backlog of this season's episodes of 'The 4400'. And I found out that because of the Promycin shot taken by Danny Farrell, a Promycin epidemic spread through Seattle. 9000 people died, another 9000 developed "4400"-like abilities.

'The 4400' has always been a tricky show to handle when it comes to the greater "good" of Toobworld. So much has happened during the course of the show on a nearly seismic level that it probably should be tossed off into some alternate dimension where it can't Zonk the rest of Earth Prime-Time.

For instance, with all of these people developing abilities in Seattle, and with the return of the 4400 in the first place, how come nobody seems to mention it in other shows?

Well, here's a variation on that question - with the war in Iraq a part of Toobworld now, thanks to shows like 'Boston Legal', 'Brothers & Sisters', even 'Las Vegas' and especially 'Over There', why doesn't it get mentioned at all in other shows like many of the sitcoms? No matter if it's Toobworld or the real world, people have other concerns in Life which keeps them constantly focusing on even something as major as the Iraq crisis.

And the same would hold true with the Seattle quarantine. It's big news to be sure, and characters in other shows probably have seen it on the news and discussed it in details with their friends and family - just not while we're watching them on the air.

So even still I'm willing to keep 'The 4400' in the main TV Universe, but the consequences of this season finale must be addressed. If 9,000 citizens of Seattle have died, have we lost any TV characters of note?

Right off the bat, we have to assume the main characters in the following shows survived:

'Kyle XY'
'Grey's Anatomy'

The events of the Promycin plague began September 16th of this year (officially ending eight days later), which doesn't overlap with any of those Seattle shows that are still on the air. 'Grey's Anatomy' came back on September 27th; 'Kyle XY' had finished the first part of its second season on September 3rd; and 'Reaper' premiered on September 25th.

I included 'Frasier' in there because even though the show is off the air, there's always the possibility that it may return for a reunion special years down the line. And unless the actors involved have passed away, the Crane family and their friends will probably turn up alive. (But it's doubtful that we will ever see the survivors display their 4400 powers.)

With 'Grey's Anatomy', it's likely that the crisis affected Seattle Grace Hospital in that they all had to work through the crisis, tending to the fallen. But by the time the show came back from its summer hiatus, the threat had been neutralized. (Whether any of the doctors on the series - as well as in any of the Seattle-based shows - have since developed abilities, we'll never know. Just because we don't see them using them, that doesn't mean they don't have them.)

But there are plenty of shows situated in Seattle that are no longer on the air and we can pretty much count on them never coming back:

'Almost Home'
'Ball Four'
'The Boys'
'Domestic Life'
'Glory Days' [Glory Lake near Seattle]
'Good And Evil'
'Harry & the Hendersons'
'Hope Island' [Hope Island (pop. 1,997) just outside Seattle]
'John Doe'
'Medicine Ball'
'One Big Family'
'Under One Roof'
'University Hospital'
'Wolf Lake' [Wolf Lake near Seattle]
'A Year in a Life'

I don't see any way these shows will ever be coming back, no matter how strong their fan base can be. So in effect we could consider all of the characters from these shows, plus all of the characters they encountered in each episode, to have died in the plague and still not make much of a dent in the total of 9,000. (All but one character, that is - I don't think Harry the Sasquatch would have been affected by the viral Promycin as he is of a different species.)

Until we reach the years circa 2020 AD and learn otherwise, the futures depicted in 'Dark Angel' and 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' (with its Sanctuary Sections) are the way to go for Toobworld. And that world of Seattle as seen in 'Dark Angel' may have grown out of the results of this plague. (Once we reach that point in time - well, hopefully "we" - a splainin may have to be made as to why the real world and the world seen in current shows do not reflect that of 'Dark Angel'.)

Only one thing is certain in the long run: the characters we knew from 'Here Come the Brides' are definitely dead by now!
Toby OB

[Thanks to TV Acres for the info about Seattle shows.]

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