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Eureka: Purple Haze

... in which the town's residents mysteriously black out, then wake up with some major personality shifts.

Well, the mystery in this episode wasn’t much of a mystery. It was fairly obvious from the get go that Seth’s hybrid plants were causing the town’s behavioral changes, and that Carter and Zoe were unaffected because their home is a hermetically sealed bunker. That said, ‘Purple Haze’ still gave us some pretty interesting new perspective on our favorite Eurekans.

Is this town a tightly wound, emotionally repressed group or what? You take away their impulse control and they largely turn into a pissy, bitter bunch. It was shocking to see some of the feelings they’ve been keeping buried. Fargo was pretty much the only one that didn’t seem all that different; he’s just a whiny guy with a delusional belief that he’s the grease in the cogs that makes the town work and nobody appreciates him. “I’m the grease, dammit! The grease!” At first, Stark didn’t seem all that different either. He was more dismissive of Allison than he might have otherwise been, but that’s apparently because deep down he felt he’d already lost her and the Artifact was all he had left. So instead of revealing some hidden resentment, his lack of impulse control led him to throw safety protocols out the window so he could indulge his obsession with understanding the Artifact.

As for the others … whoa. Vincent and his chef are apparently sick and tired of providing service with a smile while catering to their customers whims. Taggart secretly resents what GD’s efforts have done to the environment and yearns to live harmoniously with nature. Allison is tired of playing referee and den mother and fervently wishes someone would pay attention to her needs. And Beverly, despite her advice to Allison, seems to be having trouble living with the consequences of her choices, and is tired of playing counselor and keeping secrets. (As we already knew, Beverly may act gentle and supportive, but she doesn’t give a crap about anything except her own agenda.)

And then there’s Henry. Henry feels very put upon (“I’m intellectual carrion”) and has been harboring some extreme resentment about Eureka failing to live up to its scientific ideals. Like Lise Meitner, Henry wants to use his talents to make the world a better place, and seeing scientific advancements continually “turned into something very, very unappetizing” by “the machine” has left him bitter. So bitter that he’s decided to leave town. Say it ain’t so! I love Henry! His spirit and passion for his work provides a nice counterbalance to the shenanigans we usually see at Global. He also serves a lot of very important town functions, and I’m not sure what they’ll do without him. Plus, I really enjoy his friendship with Carter. It was tough to see him being so nasty. “How did you get all those big words to come out of that tiny little brain?” Damn. Henry really is a mean drunk, but I’d hate to lose him.

On the bright side, at least we had Jo, whose tough chick exterior is apparently repressing an inner girly girl who just wants to have fun. She provided some much needed levity amid the sea of hostility. She was giggly!

Other Thoughts

Loved the Apocalypse Now allusions with Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and “I love the smell of pesticide in the morning.”

Allison: “Don’t the two of you ever get tired of bickering?”
Carter and Stark (simultaneously): “Not really.”

Stark must not have signed those divorce papers yet, since he referred to Allison as his wife and she described them as “separated.” But we certainly got an earful about why they split in the first place. Allison says Stark wasn’t there for her emotionally, then left her for a job in D.C. He says they had problems way before he left, but she wouldn’t acknowledge them because she needed everything to fit in her perfect little picture. Probably some truth to both views. Ironically, Stark seems to have the same flaw as Carter when it comes to being a good spouse: their “important” work always takes first priority.

Beverly (mocking Allison): “I’m Allison Blake. I’m torn between my gorgeous, brilliant, but emotionally unavailable husband, and the gorgeous, charming, but immature sheriff. What should I do?”

Allison in her sexy underwear --- wow! Carter is a really good guy.

Carter showed up at just the wrong moment at Beverly’s, preventing her from spilling the beans about the Perkins and possibly her role in Susan’s death. He really did save her from herself.

I’m very glad that Beverly and Allison’s fight didn’t devolve into hair pulling. The Alias-style throwdown was way more enjoyable than a Springer-style fight would have been.

Allison: “We need you. The town needs you. I need you.”
Stark (breaking): “I need you, too.”
Exactly what I’ve been saying! He needs her more than Carter.

What to make of Allison’s glance at Carter as she’s hugging Stark? Is she still torn, or was it just a last glance at what could have been? Was it meant to be an apology of sorts?

Loved the shots of Taggart and Beverly looking mortified by what they had done while under the influence. Beverly, certainly, is going to have a lot of amends to make.

Henry: “This was a difficult decision for me to make, and it’s been quite a journey. But, it’s time for me to leave Eureka. So, this is goodbye, and God bless.”

Final Analysis: An intriguing look at the ugly side of Eureka. I hope we aren’t really about to lose Henry.

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

3 comments:

  1. This was the first episode I really loved. A little "Naked Time" is
    always a great way to get to know our characters better. And I so agree about Henry. In fact, when I first started watching the series, Henry was the only character I really liked.

    ReplyDelete
  2. (I do like all of the other characters now. It just took time.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This show has hijacked my day. "One more episode" has become my refrain. Especially when it is as good as this one...

    Loved seeing the inner frustrations and challenges of these characters. Beautiful insight into all of them.

    But, please, Henry has to stay!

    ReplyDelete

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