Eureka: Games People Play

... in which Carter must cope with Zoe’s impending return to L.A.

Although it became obvious fairly quickly that Zoe’s therapy device was the reason for Carter’s predicament, ‘Games People Play’ was still a strong follow-up to the previous episode. I’m glad it took a rather extreme “losing your whole world” experience to force Carter to deal with his unspoken anxieties about Zoe leaving. Sometimes it feels like a cheat when writers force their characters to keep their feelings to themselves solely to create drama, but given what we know of Carter and his backstory with Zoe and Abby, it was completely in character for him to put on an “I’m OK with this” face for all involved (no matter how frustrating it was to watch). He loves his daughter and desperately wants her to remain part of his day-to-day life, but he made an agreement with Abby and he knows that she feels the same way he does about Zoe. Of course he would honor his agreement and attempt to minimize the emotional trauma for Abby and Zoe. And, of course only a near-death experience that threatened him with losing Zoe permanently would force him to fight for her.

That said, I also liked that the return to status quo didn’t result from Jack putting his foot down and Abby giving in. Rather, the decision came completely from Abby after she saw how much the town needed and cared for Carter and Zoe. Moreover, we clearly saw that this was a difficult decision for her, but she wanted what was best for her daughter. Abby loves Zoe and she loves Jack, and her realization felt like an organic and believable way to reach an amicable solution to their conflict.

Other Thoughts

This episode also gave us some forward movement on Henry’s overall plot arc this season. He’s now back at Global, and he found the electronic device Beverly planted in Kim’s office. I was surprised this happened so quickly, but I’m glad they aren’t dragging things out too much. Weekly incremental progress is good.

I really enjoyed S.A.R.A.H. providing some swelling, emotional music to accompany Carter and Zoe’s couch confessional. I was getting teary, and the reveal jarred me into choked up laughter.

S.A.R.A.H.’s false cheeriness with Abby was also highly amusing.

On the other hand, the closing scene between Carter and Henry was fairly soul-crushing. I absolutely hate that Henry is only pretending to be Jack’s friend. Or, at least, is covering some very serious resentment. I think part of Henry does genuinely still consider Jack a friend. Which just makes his duplicity suck even harder.

Nice fake out with Jack’s line about having “all these memories and feelings about things that never happened.” I was certainly wondering if maybe this experience uncovered some or all of Jack’s memories of the alternate timeline. Are they truly gone, or just repressed?

So, parallel universes exist in the Eurekaverse, but they are different than alternate timelines. Apparently they exist in their own time stream, and aren’t formed by branching decision points or attempts to change history.

Fargo auditioned for American Idol. Tee hee!

Allison: “Stark?”
Carter: “Your ex-husband, Nathan Stark. The egomaniacal bane of my existence.”

Carter: “Apparently I have, um, abandonment, entitlement, and intimacy issues.”
Henry: “Aha! Congratulations!”

Final Analysis: A strong conclusion to the mini-arc with Jack’s ex.

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

2 comments:

Victoria Grossack said...

It is impossible not to compare this to Star Trek TNG's "Remember Me" but the set up is so much better.

ChrisB said...

Great resolution to Zoe's dilemma.

Henry is breaking my heart. I wish he could find a way to move on, but obviously he can't. The look he gave Jack really worried me.

I dread the day that Jack recovers the memory of what Henry did. Their friendship is one of the cornerstones of this series and that level of betrayal will be hard to come back from.