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Eureka: Unpredictable

... in which Jack’s ex-wife arrives to take Zoe back to L.A. as the weather becomes increasingly violent and erratic.

This is another episode where the central disaster didn’t do overmuch for me, but the environmental conditions it created served as the perfect backdrop for several really tense character threads. The “previously on” clips basically set the tone for me by bringing back Kevin’s connection with the Artifact. From that point forward, I was incredibly on edge. Jack’s ex pushing all his buttons and trying to take Zoe away was bad enough, but the writers ratcheted up the tension even further with the Beverly and Henry subplot and Allison discovering Stark’s KB-201 project to study Kevin. Ack!!! Too. Much. Stress.

Despite the killer tension, I was thoroughly delighted to meet Jack’s ex, Abby. (Olivia d’Abo was a fantastic casting choice --- Zoe actually looks like she could be their offspring!) It was nice that they didn’t completely go the “evil ex-wife” route. Sure, Abby irritates Jack and threatens to upset the happy life he’s forging with Zoe, but it’s not because she’s a bitch. She’s just a mom that loves and misses her daughter, and wants Jack to stick to the terms of their arrangement. Of course, the two of them probably should have taken Zoe’s feelings and needs into consideration when hatching their deal, but parents are imperfect creatures. At least they are fighting over her because they love her and want to be with her, not out of some spite for each other. (Maybe there’s some of that, but I don’t think that’s the key motivating factor.)

In other family matters, the initial reveal that Stark had signed off on a long-term project to study Kevin had me fairly distressed. I believe that he truly cares for Allison and Kevin, and this revelation threatened to undermine my faith in him. I’m so glad that it turned out he’s the one who clued Allison into the whole thing and that his primary motivation for approving it was to protect Kevin. Although ... given how long the study has been going on (since 2001), Stark was apparently lying to Allison in ‘Phoenix Rising’ when he said he didn’t know why Kevin’s therapist would be meeting with the Section 5 scientists. So we’ve got reason to question Stark’s honesty and the purity of his motives. Does his obsession with understanding the Artifact stem from his concerns about Kevin’s connection to it and his desire to protect his family, or is his “need to know” all about his desire to improve our understanding of the universe’s creation? For the moment, I’m choosing to believe Kevin’s safety is foremost in his mind and any previous lying he’s done was because Allison didn’t have security clearance to know about the Artifact. But I may be in for an unpleasant surprise somewhere down the line.

On the Beverly and Henry front, I don’t know what to make of this latest turn of events. Beverly’s extreme anxiety over Henry returning to Global certainly doesn’t fit with my theory that a Future Henry is using her to make sure he gets another chance to save Kim. So what is the Consortium trying to do? Why is Henry such a threat to them? And why did Beverly leave behind the electronic chip she placed in Kim’s office?

Other Thoughts

I was surprised to learn Abby is a psychiatrist. Maybe we were supposed to infer that from Jack’s ‘therapy’ conversation with Beverly in the pilot, but if so, it went over my head.

I like Zoe without the bangs. It’s a softer, prettier look for her. The look also made her seem much more vulnerable in her dealings with her parents.

I enjoyed seeing Stargate alums David Nykl (Dr. Zelenka, SGA) and Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Volker, SGU). I was also fairly amused by Pete Pullman, meteorologist, causing the crazy weather to prove his value and give himself job security.

Does Jo want to be reassigned, or does she want to be co-sheriff? Either way, her enthusiasm for her “first big case” was quite amusing.

Carter (to Jo on phone): “I’ll be there as soon as I get Abby settled.”
Abby: “Abby is not settling this time, Jack.”

Over the holidays I saw a Mythbusters episode in which they proved that the liquid nitrogen flash freeze would not cause a body to shatter into a million pieces if knocked over. It’s all I could think of when Carter and Jo were picking through the remains.

The names in Baxter’s monkey project were funny. Danny and Sandy, together since they were teenagers (Grease), and Tom (Cruise) being jumpy since he hooked up with Katie (Holmes).

Why does Allison suddenly want Henry back at GD so urgently? Because of what she now knows about the KB-201 project? Does she want him to continue with Kim’s research so that she can understand what’s up with her son and the Artifact?

On that subject, did we get confirmation that Kevin was definitely in Dr. Matthew’s office during the accident? When Allison confronted him, Stark just said he would never put Kevin in harm’s way. I don’t know whether to interpret that as “of course he wasn’t there” or “yes he was there, but he wasn’t in any danger.” We still don’t know if Kevin’s now hosting the Artifact energy, but he seems to have some scary mental powers (a la Carl Carlson). Does Nathan suspect what’s going on, or does he truly think the Artifact is dead?

Looks like Stark may be leaning towards staying. He’s had at least 17 job offers and hasn’t decided to go anywhere yet.

And another episode ends with Carter sad and lonely at a party. Poor guy. Don’t worry, Carter. Even if Zoe goes back to L.A. with Abby, I’m sure it will be short lived.

Final Analysis: A tense episode, but one that I really liked.

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

1 comment:

  1. Tense is a good word for this episode! I am intrigued with where the stories are going. Quite a lot of ambiguity which, at least right now, is working.


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