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Eureka: Many Happy Returns

... in which the recently deceased Susan Perkins seemingly returns from the dead.

This episode was just plain creepy. While the reveal that the town’s Susan Perkins was an uber-clone of the real Susan Perkins was unexpected and kind of cool, it was also seriously messed up. Who the hell recreates his ex cell by cell so that he can live the dream life he always wanted with her? I’m guessing, if they had the means, more people than you would think --- ever hear about people wanting to clone their beloved dead pets? --- which is probably what makes it so darn disturbing. Shudder.

That said, I found myself very engaged in the dilemma faced by the real Susan regarding her “son.” He’s sort of her flesh and blood, but that doesn’t really make her his mother. She doesn’t know him or feel motherly affection for him. Would she really be doing him any favors by attempting to take the place of the mother he lost? His mother is dead; how is he supposed to grieve when she appears to still be around? On the other hand, how could she not be moved by a grief-stricken and orphaned child --- especially one that could have been hers? She may not have wanted to be a mother, but she’s not inhuman.

Still, I was glad to see that she wasn’t initially swayed by Allison’s poorly concealed attempt to manipulate her emotions. (An attempt, by the way that could have really backfired if Ryan had seen his mother, seemingly back to pick him up at school, but then she wanted nothing to do with him. Think of the psychological trauma for the poor kid! Not a smart move, Allison.) Sure, in the end, Susan leapt to her “son’s” defense, but I was pleased that it took a little more than seeing him on the playground to get her to that point. Otherwise, it would have felt completely cheesy.

I also don’t agree with Allison that Susan should stay in Eureka for Ryan’s sake and try to make amends with Walter. I can understand Susan wanting to be there for Ryan, but she was totally violated by Walter. You don’t just get back together with the guy that built a life with a clone version of you after you rejected him. How the hell could you ever trust him? Sick, twisted bastard. Not in the best interests of the child at all. What the heck is Allison thinking?

Other Thoughts

I’m amused by the opening credits. All these people doing seemingly normal things until a slight shift in perspective reveals some crazy high-tech gadget. Fitting.

Allison: “Taking a job and taking your life are hardly the same thing.”
Carter: “In this town? I’m not so sure.”

Loved Henry changing the title on his mechanic’s coveralls, depending on what job he was performing.

I like Stark. His deadpan humor and wry smile make his extreme self-confidence seem charming instead of arrogant, much like his inspiration, Tony Stark of Iron Man fame. He’s got a nice rapport with Allison, and they both clearly have some unresolved feelings regarding their marriage. I also enjoy his friendly antagonist dynamic with Carter.

Fargo’s character got fleshed out a bit this week. He has an amusing obsession with Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is the namesake of S.A.R.A.H. (self-actuated residential automated habitat), the “home of the future” he designed in a rusty old fallout bunker. He’s also clever enough to take advantage of Carter’s current homeless situation to bag himself a human guinea pig for his project.

S.A.R.A.H. is a pretty nifty house. (I love that her voice is a higher pitched version of Fargo’s voice.) She’s certainly got an awesome big screen, and she’s very responsive to your every whim. Unfortunately, as Carter soon discovers, a smart house can be like a very needy wife. How funny was it when Carter realized he should just roll with it and apologize to her for missing dinner and not calling? The way he stroked the door as he promised he wouldn’t be late again had me in stitches!

Susan: “Yes, I am Susan Perkins! Back from the grave, everybody take a good look!”

Final Analysis: An interesting follow-up to the pilot, but another fairly disturbing story.

Jess Lynde is a highly engaged television viewer. Probably a bit too engaged.

4 comments:

  1. Terrific review, Jess. I absolutely agree with everything you said -- I honestly didn't know how to take this one. It was weirdly creepy.

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  2. Disturbing yes, but we can't have comedy every episode or the series will feel flat. Where's science there's moral dilemma. :)

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  3. I agree, Patryk. The dark undertone has quite grown on me at this point. I imagine I'll be somewhat irritated when the series swings back toward the less serious. But, as of this episode, I was still rather thrown by the difference between S1 Eureka and S4 Eureka.

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  4. What a great juxtaposition between the super creepy story and the comedy of S.A.R.A.H. I loved the being late for dinner riff. I was laughing out loud.

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