In the second episode of CW’s 4400 entitled, All Things are Possible, Reverend Isaiah Johnston is the main focal point. As his backstory unfolds, we see how it helps him view his current situation in a different light. We get two new characters and the discovery of a new superpower.
Exploring the past: Isaiah’s story
When Isaiah came to the future, he left behind a pregnant girlfriend, Darlene, who was not in the church and therefore just wild oats, according to his father. He wanted Isaiah to find a wife to share the burdens that come with the job. It seems they have different ideas about the church. When Isaiah questions the fact that the ring on his father’s finger costs more than some parishioners earn in a year, his father tells him it’s all ordained. His father is a bullshitter.
Later, we see Darlene and Isaiah in the church and she tells him he’s never going to go against his parents and leave because he likes it too much. He says of course he likes it, he’s a man of God. God is everything to him. She says it’s not that. It’s about the money and the power. “It’s how you manipulate people. How you can make them believe you and do whatever you want.”
When Isaiah tells his father that Darlene is his choice, his father goes on a rant about sacrificing and doing the lord’s work, saying that people need to believe that the lord put the family there. “The people need hope. If you don’t know that is worth more than dollars and cents, then you really don’t understand son.”
Later, we see Isaiah in a bar playing with the ring he stole from his father, waiting for Darlene. He intends to sell the ring to start a new life with her and give her everything she needs and deserves. He goes to the bathroom where the green light comes and takes him into the future. Talk about bad timing!
Kiesha is hellbent on finding out how Shanice escaped and who helped her. I get the impression she wants it to be Jharrel. Despite their bonding over their shared loss, I don’t think she trusts him. She is also closed minded. When IT expert Soraya (Kausar Mohammed) possets the idea of alien encounters and time travel, she scoffs. But Soraya says, it’s obvious that the 4400 were taken against their will and don’t want to be here. Finally, somebody gets that!
When Soraya debunks the idea that Shanice had help, Keisha decides to try a different tactic. She visits Logan and asks him to speak with Shanice, hoping he will get to the truth. For good measure, she accuses him of leaking the news of the 4400 to the press. Inside the house, Mariah is recording the conversation on her phone.
Logan reluctantly goes to see Shanice. When he mentions the note she left, she explains she wrote that when she was suffering from postpartum depression. He tells her he would have helped if she’d told him, but she was never good at asking for help. When she asks to see Mariah, he shuts her down, telling her the government thinks she’s involved in the 4400 mess and doesn’t want to expose Mariah to that.
Later Mariah takes logan to task for going to see Shanice without telling her. She tells him about the kids at school talking about the Belle Isle people. Saying it’s a foreign invasion or something. She wants to see her mom, but Logan tells her no. Parenting 101, kids will do the opposite of what you tell them.
DHS extreme measures
Meanwhile, the DHS has made life even more restrictive and uncomfortable for the 4400, fitting them with ankle monitors and removing the Piano much to the glee of the idiot guard Ken King (Zachary Keller). I don’t like how he seems invested in giving these people a hard time. It’s a weird subplot.
Hayden doesn’t like the food here but seems obsessed with Best Time bars snacks, so Mildred treats him to some. She, Hayden and Noah (Theo Germaine) break into a storeroom and she uses her power to open the cage with the snacks in. Noah is amazed at her powers and wonders if he can do the same. He can’t, but he has an even more interesting power.
As they sit on the floor munching on the snacks, Noah sings the Best Time bars jingle and Steve Miller (Vinh Nguyen), the guard that has a crush on LaDonna, walks in. He seems excited about snacks until Noah stops singing. Then he tells them they shouldn’t be in there. Mildred tells Noah to sing again. When he does, Miller goes back to jonesing for snacks. Seems Noah has a mind control power.
What jarred me about this scene is that we never see how it’s resolved. We only learn that something happened when Kiesha mentions it as an incident when she brings Jayden some home cooked food later on.
Later, the group is lined up in the hall and the guards are laying down more rules. Claudette starts singing and looks at Noah, encouraging him to join in as though she knows what his power is. More of the group join in singing, but before Noah can start singing, Ken King pushes him down. Claudette goes to defend him and Ken tells her Noah is a troublemaker. Does he know about Noah’s power? This is the reason I’m disappointed that the scene in the storeroom was unresolved.
The Rev has been focussed on returning to Belle Isle, the place where the 4400 reappeared. He thinks it might help them get answers or maybe even send them back to where they come from. Kiesha doesn’t agree and thinks he’s fooling the people and giving them false hope.
Hope is a recurring theme in this episode. When the Rev checks in on Noah after the scene in the hall, he has a bruise across his face. He almost shared his secret with the Rev, then thinks better of it. He talks instead about going back to Belle Isle. When the Rev admits he’s not so sure about that Noah is disappointed.
He thought the Rev knew how to help the 4400 and that had given him hope. The Rev has a lightbulb moment connecting the past with the present and, seeing that hope is what everybody needs, just like his father told him. He encourages Noah to tell him everything that has been going on with the 4400.
Return to Belle Isle
In a turnabout, Keisha decides that maybe taking the 4400 back to Belle Isle will give them answers. With Agent Tanner and some of the guards away on other business, she plans to take a small group back and wear a body camera to see what they get up to. I get the impression that she knows they have powers. She just won’t vocalise it because it sounds crazy.
At Belle Isle, the Rev finds his father’s ring and Keisha asks if that’s why he wanted to come back. He said originally it was. He was going to give it to Darlene to show her he’d always intended to do right by her. Keisha tells him she tracked down Darlene and her son. The Rev has decided not to see them. He now believes he made the wrong choice in the past, and that’s why he was taken. Now he must accept his calling.
Quoting Mark 9:23 “all things are possible to him that believeth” he leads the small group of 4400 in prayer. When he talks, he nods to Noah who starts singing ‘Hush little baby don’t say a word…” Keisha and Jharrel start yawning and fall to the ground asleep. The returnees are unaffected. Whilst Noah continues to sing, the Rev tells the group that they must accept the truth of their tribulations.
“We were brought forward in time, but we weren’t brought here alone. The Lord gave us each other, and he gave us gifts.” He levitates and reveals Mildred and Noah’s power, telling the group: “I need this moment to reach you to let you all know that you’re special. To let you all know that we’ve been taken and brought here for a reason. We have been brought here on a mission! We don’t know exactly what it is yet. But I believe that I am here to lead you. Look within yourself, see yourself, and know your worth. Know your power and own your gifts. Because who are we to question god’s plan?”
Whilst the Rev’s revelations amazed Doctor Andre, Claudette is disappointed. She’d been testing her powers and making plans to escape. She believed it was finally her time and she would be the one people turned to. So did I, to be honest. Claudette didn’t trust the Rev from the beginning and I think over time he’s going to prove her right.
We get two cliffhangers in this episode: Keisha’s bodycam footage is mysteriously wiped. And Mariah pays Shanice a visit. Not quite the same dun-dun-dun ending as the last episode.
Noah’s power to influence was one that I thought the Rev would have, but I’m so glad he doesn’t. He’s proving to be just like his father and I actually hope he doesn’t have a superpower as his charm is dangerous enough. I think he will use the powers of the 4400 to his advantage. Now that the returnees are aware of their powers, I hope we see them tap into them more over the coming episodes.
Episode 2 wrap up
Soraya is a breath of fresh air as she is far more open-minded to the plight of the returnees. I’m looking forward to seeing her influence Keisha into viewing the 4400 in a different light. I really don’t like how heavy-handed the guards are. I would like to see the returnees treated with a bit more dignity.
I caught the awkward glances Andre was giving to Shanice. Looks like he has a crush on her and she is not interested. All his family are dead now but for Shanice, hers are very much alive and all she wants to do is get back to them.
What did you think of this episode?