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Pilot
Season One, Episode 101
Pilot
Airdate July 11, 2004
Written by Scott Peters,
René Echevarria
Directed by Yves Simoneau
Episode guide
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Synopsis Edit

When a comet that was supposed to harmlessly fly by the Earth suddenly changes course, the extinction of mankind seems imminent. Countries around the world launch nuclear missiles to destroy it before it can destroy the planet, but surprisingly, the missiles have no effect. The reason: this is no comet.

The ball of light enters the atmosphere, and just when it looks like humanity is about to be destroyed, the ball slows, hovers, and eventually touches down. Soon after, the light shrinks to an intense point, then explodes outward in a concussive burst, leaving behind 4400 people, including men, women and children of all ages. All are missing persons who have been gone anywhere from a few months to 50 years - and none have aged a day since they were last seen.

The 4400 are rounded up, quarantined, and eventually, reluctantly released back to their families. As they begin to try and reconnect with their "life interrupted," not all is well: soon after their release, some of the returnees begin to experience unexplainable, and for some, uncontrollable new abilities. It's up to Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris, two Homeland Security agents, to unravel the mystery behind the 4400.

Extended Summary Edit

The Seattle Branch of the Department of Homeland Security monitors the path of the comet very closely. Soon after, China, USA, England, France and Russia all launch missiles at it with no affect whatsoever. Diana Skouris, one of the federal agents, is led to believe that it might not be a comet at all. The team tracks the "comet" which has decreased in speed, to Mount Rainer.

The "comet," which actually turns out to be a bright mass of light, disperses in a concussive burst. As the fog from the blast clears out, thousands of people can be seen, as if they just appeared out of nowhere. Among them, are men, women and children of all ages and nationalities. Tom Baldwin is watching at hospital and after seeing Shawn Farrell among the returnees he goes to see his boss, Dennis Ryland, to ask for his old job back. Ryland decides to team Tom with Diana, to the dismay of the two agents.

Meanwhile the returnees, currently being held in quarantine, begin to grow restless. Still in quarantine, Tom goes to ask Shawn about what happened to Kyle and implies that Shawn knows what happened and is lying. Shawn’s concern for Kyle turns in to anger towards Tom, and he storms out.

Richard Tyler and Lily Moore, other returnees, share a short conversation in which he mentions Lily looks like someone he used to know. They discover that the blonde woman in Richard’s picture was actually Lily Bonham, Lily’s grandmother.

While Orson Bailey speaks to a representative in quarantine about making a phone call, Maia Rutledge walks up and gives Orson a handkerchief just seconds before he has a nose bleed. Later, they are seen watching a screen in which Barbara Yates (a popular TV talk show host) is criticizing the returnees. Maia states that she doesn’t like them much, and he retorts that the feeling is mutual.

After a series of preliminary interviews and medical exams, the returnees are released due to the lack of a legal right to hold them.

After being released, Lily goes in search of her family (who didn’t show up to meet her at the center) while Richard heads to St. Louis. Excited, Lily returns to her house, but is told by her (now) ex-husband Brian that he is re-married and their daughter Heidi knows nothing about Lily. Lily insists on seeing Heidi, causing Brian to issue a temporary restraining order to keep her away from Heidi.

While at a celebration for his return, Shawn is outside talking with Tom when a bird flies in to the window. Shawn picks it up, stating it’s neck is broken; seconds later it flies away, uninjured. Tom is perplexed. Later, Shawn gets into a fight with a guy at school and manages to pin him to the ground. He seemingly drains the life out of him, but ceases just before killing him.

Maia gets put into temporary foster care, and during her first night at her new home she tells her foster parents she doesn’t want her shoes on the floor because they’ll get wet.

Meanwhile, Richard is having little luck as well. His old home is gone, and with his relatives dead he has nowhere to go. He decides to return to Seattle to find Lily.

Back at Maia’s new home, the washing machine’s water hose breaks, flooding the nearby rooms (including the spot where her shoes were). The next day she goes to visit her parents’ grave, accompanied by her new parents. They quietly discuss how run-down the area has become, and get scared when Maia tells them they’ll be buried in the nicer cemetery down the road. The following day they get a brochure from the cemetery she had mentioned. They later decide to bring her back to Homeland Security, assuring her it’s not her fault.

Orson Bailey manifests a power as well. After going to see his wife in a nursing home Orson visits his former firm, intent on getting his job back. However, his partner’s son is currently running the company and informs him that his interest in the firm was bought out, with no available openings right now.

Later that evening, upset that he no longer has a job, Orson visits Adam Kensington and unwillingly causes some sort of tremor. The glass from the windows and doors in Kensington’s house shatter, and Adam dies of massive skull fractures.

Orson is subsequently arrested, but without evidence the police are forced to release him. Tom and Diana question him, witnessing Orson’s power when they pressure him. Orson goes to visit his wife and is told that she passed away, which makes him cause another tremor. He disappears, prompting Tom and Diana to track him down.

Lily and Richard meet at the park she used to bring Heidi to before her disappearance. They discuss how both of them have nowhere left to go, and decide to start looking at an apartment together. They question whether or not they were meant to meet each other through the will of their captors.

While at a doctor’s office for a checkup, Lily is told her nausea isn’t because she’s sick; she is pregnant. The two become even more curious. While looking at an apartment later that day Lily suddenly becomes uneasy, as if the baby is telling her she doesn’t like the place. They later settle on a different apartment.

Tom and Diana manage to locate and confront Orson at an isolated lake cabin, where Diana is forced to shoot Orson (non-fatally). They return him to the quarantine facility.

While discussing the incidents involving Orson, Diana asks Tom if he noticed anything similar about Shawn, and he hides the bird incident from her.

Shortly thereafter, Shawn visits Kyle in the hospital. As he puts his hand on Kyle’s chest, Kyle awakes and sits up for a second, then falls back, still comatose. Shawn backs away stunned.

Cast and Characters Edit

Memorable Quotes Edit

"It's as if it's coming in for a landing."

"Landing? Like a plane?"

"No, more like the Mothership."

- Diana Skouris, Sid Stradner, Colin Chen


"You'll see me again."

"Yeah, next week."

"Sooner than that."

- Maia Rutledge, Diana Skouris

Trivia Edit

The sound of the exploding missiles can be heard as they strike the comet. Since light travels faster than sound, it would be quite some time before the sound would reach earth.

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