Written by: Michael Hickerson (SoSF Staff Journalist)
USA’s summer-hit series “The 4400” returns in about two weeks for its fourth season and it’s promising fans resolution–not only to last year’s season ending cliffhanger, but to some of the show’s bigger mythology questions.
Executive producer Ira Steven Behr (a past guest on Slice of SciFi), recently said this season will give us the answer to one of the biggest questions in the series’ run: Why exactly were people abducted in a big ball of light, only to be returned with superhuman abilities?
“What most excites me about this season [is] that we finally answerâ€”or may answer, depending on your point of viewâ€”what it was all about, what ultimately it’s all about,” Behr said. “Most shows won’t do that and then still feel they have enough credence to continue on. But, you know, I think it’s a pretty cool outgrowth of what the original concept series was. And it always bugged me from the very beginning: … Why did everyone come back? … I wanted answers, you know?”
But first, the show will resolve the cliffhanger from last season, which saw Jordan Collier, played by Billy Campbell, handing out Promicin to the general population in an attempt to give everyone in the world 4400-like powers. The downside is the drug has a 50-50 chance of either working or killing the person using it.
The first … four episodes are … shows that really talk about what it’s like for people who did not get taken in a ball of light against their will and were given abilities against their will: “What happens to people who actually risk death and took the shot,” Behr said. The next few episodes will deal with the mythology of the series, and the character of Richard Tyler (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) for the ninth and 10th episodes (Ali has otherwise been occupied filming a role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). The final three episodes of the season will kick things into “space madness,” Behr said with a laugh.
As for the big answers coming? “There’s going to be some people who are going to deny that that’s what it’s all about,” Behr teased. “On the show, they’re not going to be sure if it’s what it’s all about. In the writers’ room, there’s some discussion what it’s all about. But I think it certainly [is] a reasonable facsimile [of] what it’s all about. And it certainly gives a focus, you know?”
“The 4400” returns to USA on Sunday, June 17 at 9 p.m. EST.