Trying to ignore expectations for Terra Nova is a near impossible task. The characters are millions of years in the past, surrounded by dinosaurs, and there hasn't been one interesting plot yet. I think part of the problem is that their living conditions and way of life is actually really good and their lives unchallenging. We can't help but want more from the show, given its premise.
Even with dumbed down expectations that the writers have no good ideas, "Nightfall" isn't a particularly good episode. At this point, I'd say that the random, cutesy subplots are actually better than the A plot, as unbelievable as that may sound. The episode starts with the plot device, a meteor hitting the atmosphere and creating an EM pulse, which knocks everything out. Why it knocks everything out is a mystery. The archives actually has shielding against the pulse and Alicia even describes how the Russo-Chinese used it in Somalia, so it's not like they don't know about the threat. In any case, it leads to a series of misadventures until the box is stolen. The plot is better than the generic ones that began the season and had a cool sequence where Mira uses a dinosaur to attack Terra Nova, so I guess that's something.
The revelation of what's in the box isn't much. It has pretty colors, but is otherwise unimpressive. The writers don't even give us a clue what it's for, unless you want to speculate what the various diagrams and shapes are. On the plus side of the plot, it seems like Mira follows Lucas, Taylor's son. That's a new development at least.
Worse than the main plot, though, is the tale of the worm. Just a bunch of horse shit with Skye and a random roomie who confesses his love to her. Could someone please teach the writers how to write serialized television?