When the 44orum attack the Bois Blanc sanctuary, Keisha sends out a call for help. Whilst Claudette and Jharrel try to reason with Manny Shanice and Logan try to keep Hayden safe.
4400’s season finale, Present is Prologue gave us a bookend title to the series premiere Past is Prologue. From the beginning of the series, we’ve seen how the past has helped to shape our present. Manny has been to the future and it isn’t pretty. What is happening in the present leads to poverty, fascism and the majority of America becoming uninhabitable in the future, we can assume this is happening around the rest of the world too. Manny and others from the future have tried and failed over 30 times to prevent what’s to come, leading Manny to take drastic measures.
Battle of the Bois Blanc
With the 44orum banging on the doors of the hotel, Mildred and her group arrive in time to bar the doors but not for long as we learn that her sister Millicent has an iron fist power that makes her a one-person battering ram. She brings the barrier down with ease. The 44orum run rampage over the hotel rounding up returnees to take them back to their camp with the intention of killing them. When Mildred learns that the 44orum intend to kill her sister too, she enlists the help of LaDonna to save her and the others that are captured.
LaDonna’s projection of the dancing iguana was a fun distraction that not only helped Mildred rescue the 4400 but also gave me a laugh too. Watching those idiots shoot at the thing they had built their cult around was funny. Well done Steve for being the inside man that aided the rescue attempt.
Love changes everything
Shanice hides Logan and Hayden in her room and discovers that Logan was severely wounded during the carnage. We get an emotional moment when Mariah calls Shanice and Logan puts a brave face on trying to reassure his daughter that they are all okay. This is far from the truth as soon after Logan is near death when the green light comes for him. Hayden clearly had a vision of the green light coming for Logan so he hitched a ride. Why was Logan taken? He must be important for the improvement of the future.
I think Shanice finally accepts that she is still in love with her husband which is why she broke up with Andre. She also blames herself for what has happened to her family despite the fact that she didn’t ask to be taken. With Logan gone and Bridget out of town, her only focus right now is to take care of her daughter.
Jessica has a moment of clarity
Bill Green was quite content to let the battle between the 44orum and the returnees play out whilst Jessica felt they should do something. It’s not until Keisha pleads with her that she finally sends in the National Guard. Of course, this goes against Green’s intention so Jessica is fired. Riddled with guilt over shooting Manny, Keisha returns to Jessica’s arms. Why did she do that? Where was Soraya in all of this?
4400 meant to make a brighter future
This episode gave us some of the answers we craved. The mystery BHN benefactor turns out to be Sienna Stone, a scientist from 40 years in the future. She and her team brought Manny forward to help them make the future better. By sending the 4400 to the past they have made small changes. Manny becomes frustrated and goes back to the present himself and ends up breaking the time machine.
Now Sienna wants Andre to help build a new one. By keeping Andre away from the hotel, she has essentially saved his life as she tells him that the Battle of the Bois Blanc never went well for him in any iteration.
Andre has always been keen on scientific enquiry to his detriment sometimes so now that Shanice has broken up with him there is nothing to stop him from immersing himself in this new project.
But there are still questions unanswered. We can assume that Andre and Sienna do manage to build a new time machine which is why the green light still appears.
Manny was taken after Keisha shot him and then returned with no memory of the future. Did Sienna decide that Manny was too volatile to be part of the vision to change the future? I don’t blame her if that’s the case because Manny’s plan to blow up the hotel along with many 4400 was very unhinged. It was similar to Claudette’s plan in the past to fight fire with fire but times a thousand.
Manny’s extremism reminded me of the Star Trek: Voyager episode, Relativity where an unhinged future version of Captain Braxton goes back in time to blow up Voyager as Captain Janeway has been a pain in his arse for so long with her continued meddling with time travel. Thanks to his radicalism Jharrel’s brother has been returned to his 2020 factory settings with no memory of the future.
Or could it be possible that the radical Manny still exists in time somewhere? As fun as time travel sounds, the laws of temporal mechanics and timey wimey stuff change from one TV series to another. I’m not even going to try to fathom how it works for 4400.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
Some may roll their eyes at the show’s view of the future based on what is happening in the present but as unhinged as Manny was, he is right about some things. Incremental changes in the past may have made a difference but it has always been one step forward two steps back in the bigger picture.
There were gains to be had for Black people because of the Civil Rights movement and yet racism and white supremacy is at an all-time high today. People are more open about their racism and don’t need to join the Klan to perpetuate their hatred of others.
The events of Stonewall elevated the rights of LGBT folk and yet today, transgender people are struggling for the right to be seen and conversion therapy is a thing. Despite the nineteenth-century women’s suffrage movement for the right to vote and the women’s liberation movement of the 60s, women’s rights are still in question to the point where a dystopian future like the one portrayed in the Handmaid’s Tale is not hard to believe.
Fascism is on the rise and doesn’t just exist in America. The UK Border’s bill seeks to take away our rights to protest and further dehumanise the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. Anti-Asian violence has increased worldwide in part thanks to a certain US president’s insistence on calling the coronavirus the “China virus”. It’s not difficult to imagine a fascist dystopian future based on the inaction that we take today.
4400 hasn’t been shy about shining a light on the othering of minorities and the systems in place to keep people down. At this point, the stories aren’t even allegorical, not really, as we are living those experiences right now. I hope the series is renewed for a second season so that the writers can tell more stories to complete their vision.