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Eureka: Try, Try Again

... in which Fargo becomes trapped in a personal force field that threatens to destroy the town on Allison’s first day as Director of Global Dynamics.

One of the big reasons that I fell in love with Eureka is that it isn’t just a series of stand-alone disaster-of-the-week stories; rather, actions have consequences and events continue to have lasting effects on characters. Each episode may be centered around a new disaster, but more often than not, that disaster serves as a means of exploring our characters and the continuing impacts of their emotional baggage. So even an episode centered around a moderately engaging disaster can be quite engrossing on the character front.

In ‘Try, Try Again,’ the central problem of Fargo being stuck inside the force field wasn’t, in and of itself, overly compelling (was there ever any doubt that Carter would find a way to save the day?), but his dilemma was a great jumping off point for several threads focused on character and the costs of “pushing the boundaries of human understanding.” Fargo’s situation certainly resulted in a hell of a first day for Allison, testing her mettle as the new boss at Global and forcing her to face the moral compromises the position often requires. Unsurprisingly, we learned she’s the kind of leader who puts her faith in her support team and is willing to go to extremes to save a life. I’m thrilled that Fargo survived, but I’m not actually sure Allison made the right call here. I know she was willing to use the nuke, if it came down to it, but she took a huge risk waiting as long as she did. I understand why, as a doctor, she would be so unwilling to let a man die, especially one she’s fond of, but she needs to start weighing the needs of the many against the needs of the one. Next time she might not get so lucky, and her reluctance to lose one life could cost a lot more.

Not that losing even one life is an easy burden to bear, as amply evidenced by Henry, Stark, and Dr. Todd. When considering the human and emotional costs of cutting edge science, these three are Exhibits A, B, and C. Dr. Todd was so traumatized by losing a fellow scientist that he chose to lock himself away from the world, where he could never accidentally take another life again. In contrast, Henry is running right back into the belly of the beast, so to speak, in the hopes that he can use science to change Kim’s fate, all too willing to risk the destruction of all in pursuit of his own ends. “Science hasn’t failed me. The approach to it has.” Stark falls somewhere in between, unable to continue in a position that would require him to make decisions that may cost lives, but also unwilling to run away and completely abandon his sense of responsibility to others. He wants to atone for the damage he’s done. “I know how you feel, believe me. We both made mistakes at Global. Lost people who trusted us. But today we’ve got a chance to make things right.” Stark’s seems to be the healthiest approach for dealing with tragedy, but I guess we’ll see where Henry’s method of coping takes us.

Other Thoughts

Fargo now has his very own nemesis. I suppose to reinforce for the audience that there is a clear distinction between “annoying, but in an endearing way” and “annoying in d-bag way.” Guess which one Larry is.

The sonnets book definitely seems to be tickling something in the back of Carter’s brain. I thought maybe he’d give it to Allison as a gift, but that probably would have been overly romantic for a “first day of work” gift.

Did it strike anyone else as strange that Allison and Stark would be asked to input their passwords in front of all those witnesses? Fargo and some of the DoD guys could probably see what numbers they were inputting.

Why in the hell would Global and the DoD think it is ever a good idea for Global’s computer systems to be down for 8 hours? That just seems like an invitation to disaster (which, of course, it was).

Carter: “You’ve never swung an axe in your life.”
Stark: “I’ve swung a lot of things that would surprise you, Sheriff.”
Carter: “What does that even mean?”
Seriously. What the heck does that mean?

Several of the wide angle shots at the lake were gorgeous. Although I feel like I’ve seen that lake before in The X-Files and Supernatural. Does this show film in Vancouver? I’m guessing yes, given the abundance of Stargate actors making guest appearances.

Seeing Henry watching the footage of Kim in her lab, I wasn’t sure whether to feel sad or disturbed. Was he just longingly looking at any image of her that he could, or was he looking for something to use when he tries to save her again? I wonder what he’ll do about Beverly and her seemingly nefarious activities.

Carter: “It’s Fargo! Of course he turned it on!”

I was glad to see Stark and Allison working their way back to each other, but I also feel quite bad for sad-sack Carter losing out. For some reason, knowing that he can’t remember his happy life with her in the alternate timeline makes me feel so much worse for him.

Final Analysis: A decent episode that did a nice job playing off ongoing events and reexamining a core theme of the series.

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


  1. Jess, I am really enjoying your Eureka reviews. I am trying very hard to catch up before the new season starts.

    Off topic, but - now that Haven has been renewed for a 2nd season, anyone thinking of reviewing it? I watched Season 1 - and just watched the last 3 episodes (somehow I managed to miss them the first time around)...and now that I have seen those last 3 I am really looking forward to Season 2. A lot of juicy stuff happened those last episodes. Any-hoo, just asking!

  2. I liked this one a lot, too. And that lake -- I'm pretty sure we've also seen it in Smallville and The Dead Zone. :)

    Sooze, we share your love of Haven and yes, we're planning to cover it this summer; Dr. Nana Mom will be doing the honor. I'm working right now on a piece about all of the summer shows coming up and what we'll be covering; I hope to put it up this weekend.

  3. I meant "honors" not "honor." Clearly, I need a weekend.

  4. Sharp eyes, Jess! The lake from this episode is Buntzen Lake in Anmore, BC - about 15 minutes east of Vancouver. I used to live a 5 minute walk from the lake, which has indeed been used in the X-Files and Supernatural. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buntzen_Lake

    I think this is the first time I've commented here so I will take this opportunity to thank you all for reviewing all of my favorite shows. I started coming here years ago for Billie's Nikita reviews (Section4Life) and these days I visit daily. Thanks much!

  5. Billie has sharp eyes too of course; Buntzen Lake was also in Smallville. I just figured it went without saying that someone who wrote an essay concluding Nikita > Alias would be unnaturally perceptive.

  6. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, HappyElk, and I'm glad you spoke up. I *knew* it was the same lake. When I moved to Los Angeles, so many things looked familiar because so much is filmed here. I've wondered if the same thing would happen to me if I ever got to Vancouver.

  7. Cool info, HappyElk. Thanks so much for posting! It's always nice to get a shout out from one of our "silent majority" readers.

    And thanks to both you and Sooze for your kind words regarding the reviews. I'm glad you are enjoying them!

  8. I really liked this one, more than I usually do standalones. I think it's for the reason you give, Jess, that there seemed to be a great deal of character development thrown in for good measure.

    Great review!

  9. I've recently been re-watching this show, and I just thought I'd toss in this fun little tidbit. In the scene where Stark & Allison have to enter their master passwords, pay close attention to what they type. Stark's password spells out "Allison" on a telephone keypad, and Allison's is "867-5309" :)


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