Eureka: Double Take

… in which the Replicants attempt to reconstitute the Matrix on a larger scale.

I was feeling very grumpy when I first watched this episode, and thus, it did not go over well. My initial notes were extremely bitter, so I purposely waited several days before re-watching, to see if time and a change in mood would improve my overall impression. Final verdict: not as bitterly disappointing, but still fairly unsatisfying.

As feared, we spent almost the entire episode with evil versions of Carter, Andy, Henry, Jo, and Holly. Even Evil Vincent! (That one was particularly disappointing, because I thought our Vincent might actually get a hero moment. But, no.) I’m sure it was fun for the cast to tap into a campy dark side, but we are down to the wire here, and it was not fun for me to suffer through Smarmy Douchebag Carter or Angry and Extremely Violent Carter when there is only one hour left. This plot maybe could have worked for me at a different point in the series, but not now. Not so close to the end.

Sadly, my frustrations didn’t end with the Replicants.

--- Far too much of the episode was devoted to running and chasing. I fast-forwarded through a huge chunk of the episode on re-watch because it was just a bunch of running, chasing, yelling, taunting, and fighting.

--- The bit with Replicant Jenna was incredibly irritating. Allison had her wits about her and kept her head in the game for the most of the episode, but then the very obviously fake Jenna shows up and it trips her up. Are you kidding me? She knew ‘Jenna’ wasn’t real. And it isn’t like the kid put on an emotionally convincing plea for her “mother’s” love. “Please don’t hurt me, Mommy. Please?” She sounded so flat and emotionless. Like one of those talking baby dolls. Allison shouldn’t have given her more than a passing glance, and she certainly shouldn’t have been so distracted that Replicant Carter could get the drop on her. Sooo frustrating.

--- The notion that they couldn’t destroy the clones because of the “ethical considerations” associated with the bio-printed bodies having human brain wave patterns was laughable. So the NPC programming is the equivalent of real human consciousness now? And where were the ethical considerations when they cooked up this form of Frankenstein immortality in the first place?

--- And Holly losing her memories of all her time in Eureka is borderline infuriating. So she’s broken again, and this time permanently. Does that mean Fargo has to win her heart all over again? Seriously? What the frak?! Are the writers Chuck fans? Did they not read the mixed reactions to that finale? This is heartbreaking, not a new romantic adventure.

At least the threat of the government shutting down Eureka actually makes sense. This “latest breach of national security” makes, what? One billion one times that’s happened since the founding of the town? I’m surprised the government didn’t do a cost-benefit analysis long ago and realize that terminating funding was the only thing that made sense.

Or … setting up something like Virtual Eureka. Interestingly, it turns out that the apparent goals of the Consortium weren’t really all that evil at the core (although their methods leave something to be desired). “It’s for the greater good, Ally. Just think about it. When you’re back inside, you’ll be able to create all sorts of amazing things, without potentially destroying the world.” It seems the Consortium wanted to create a safe space for scientific advancement. A space that would protect the scientists (and the wider world) from the very clear and present dangers associated with pushing the boundaries of science. Within the context of this show’s universe, it’s not a bad idea, really. I wonder if you could get people to willingly sign up for that kind of life?

Other Thoughts

I believe that this episode was originally supposed to serve as the season finale. It’s a good thing they got an extra hour to wrap things, because as unsatisfying as this was a penultimate episode, it would have been downright enraging as a series finale. Especially with that cliffhanger ending. Damn.

When Replicant Henry said “Grace, trust me, this is the only way. You’re my wife, …” I momentarily wondered if the clones were being inhabited by the original versions of the people replaced by the Eureka Six. That would have been a really cool twist! But, alas, ‘twas not to be.

I briefly thought “stand-up guy” Shaw might actually be the key to saving the day. Oh well.

Parrish: “You expect me to believe that people are being body-snatched?”
Zane: “I know how it sounds.”
Parrish: “It sounds like you’re stupid. Or stoned. Or both. My vote’s for both.”

Parrish: “You dematerialized me.”
Zane: “Yeah, what happened to non-lethal weapons?”
Parrish: “That one’s a work in progress.”
Zane: “You don’t say.”

Parrish and Zane working together was amusing. And the utter failure of the wookie prisoner ploy very much amused me.

Kevin: “You mean he’s a clone? Sweet! Can we keep him, please?”
Allison: “This is Jack’s evil twin, not a puppy!”

I also enjoyed SARAH, Allison, and Fargo each getting one over on the bad guys. I was particularly impressed with Allison’s bold move gunning it through the barricade. Sure, it was desperate and risky, but I was still proud of her for taking the chance.

On the other hand, Allison and Fargo’s attempt to tail the Replicants and “sneak” into the Matrix HQ was ridiculous. They are so not stealthy ninjas, and they should have gotten caught immediately.

So, it turns out that the attempted NPC takeover was just the result of a lingering programming imperative, and not another deliberate act by the Consortium. Huh. For some reason, I find that vaguely disappointing.

The dramatically blaring horns when Allison first saw the new contingent of Matrix victims were way over-the-top. It made the whole situation seem even more campy and ridiculous than it already was with her very obvious “sneaking” around. Sigh.

Allison: “Jack, do you really want to leave Eureka?”
Carter: “Well, I think at a certain point, we need to ask ourselves if the Universe is trying to tell us something.”
Shaw: “The DoD is asking themselves that same question.”

Final Analysis: Very unsatisfying. In the end, I just didn’t care for the way this arc closed out, and I’m bummed that some of my last hours in Eureka were spent with “evil clone” or “reprogrammed” versions of my favorite characters.

6 comments:

Phyllis Strickland said...

Love your review. You expressed exactly what I felt. They squandered this episode. What a colossal letdown. I don't know if I even want to watch the finale

Matthew L said...

I have been kinda of disappointed with this whole season. I've been re-watching the previous seasons and the fun and heart present in those seasons seems to be entirely missing from this season.

For a final season this is very disappointing. And I wonder if we're going to get a Chuck-like ending to the entire series, i.e. bittersweet or a House-like ending, i.e. weirdly irrational. Either of those scenarios will be a disappointing end to the series.

At this point, I really don't have much hope and/or expectations for the series finale. Course a lot of what happened to this season could be due to SyFy's last minute cancellation of the series when there were expecations of a 6th season.

Oh well, there's still the final season of Fringe to look forward too.

inspirejenny said...

I am so glad you pointed out the utter lameness of alison being taken in by older fake jenna... really? I am am mom and there is no way I would have paused to look at fakie when my two REAL kids had something to lose. cmon ally...

I did think it was nice that the cabin came into play as a "safe" haven for them to buy time to knock out the evils...

loved the parrish and zane moments those were great.

at this point poor holly has just been rebooted so much her brain must be toast... lets let the girl go with dignity and then Fargo can date Claudia from warehouse 13 :)

Please let it be a happy ending. I love these characters, I am so worried we are not going to have time to say a nice goodbye.

Top K9 said...

What do say that the whole series was really run in this fake Eureka like the Bob Newhart show? And that the ending is the results of the "test".

Thetop9

Jess Lynde said...

I can't say I would find that satisfying, Top K9, but the suggestion did make me laugh.

Thanks for the comments, all! Of course, I'm bummed that so many of us are feeling a bit wary about the approaching finale. And not in the "I'm sad it's almost over" way. :(

celticmarc said...

Tee minus one hour and it's over.

They really packed it densely. Shorter season, no 6th one, so they went at it at full throttle. I did occasionally roll my eyes, but it was a roller coaster ride.

Have faith people for the last shot (I have my reasons)

Hey ! I taste like chicken !