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Eureka: I Do Over

... in which Allison and Stark’s wedding day turns into Groundhog Day for Carter.

Damn. I was enjoying this episode. Watching Carter do the Groundhog Day thing, and pondering the possible ways this latest rift could be tied back to previous time-space continuum disturbances. I was amused by the Doctor Who references paired with the revelation that the maintenance guy was GD’s time maintenance guy, and I was intrigued the possible directions the story might be taking us. Then about two-thirds of the way through, I realized this was that episode. The episode in which we’d lose Stark. And as all the intrigue and enjoyment went out the window, I started bracing for the inevitable, horrible end.

I so wasn’t ready for this. I knew that at some point in Season 3, Stark would go out in a heroic blaze of glory, saving the town from a time-space continuum disaster. I did not expect it to happen so soon. I thought he’d be around at least until the halfway point of the season. So the realization that this was it hit me like a ton of bricks. I also wasn’t prepared for how suddenly it happened, with so little dramatic build up. The episode was basically trucking along like they normally do, with Carter and the Global folks coming together to solve the problem in the nick of time like always. Then, all of a sudden, Stark was asking Carter to make sure Allison got the diamond and to be there for her, and before Carter or the audience could really process what was happening, he was gone. If I hadn’t known that this was really the end for Stark, I probably would have been left staring at the screen stunned, unable to understand what had just happened.

Even knowing what was coming, given the suddenness with which those final events unfolded, I expected the emotional impact to be muted. But Ed Quinn totally broke me. Just the pained look in his eyes and his parting words to Carter, “I’ll see you around, Jack.” *Sob.* It hit me hard. And the way he slowly disintegrated with that bittersweet half-smile still frozen on his face just made it all the worse. The soul-crushing capper, of course, was Carter breaking the news to Allison. Even if Stark’s final moments hadn’t done me in, this scene certainly would have. To see Allison go from the heights of happiness to stunned devastation absolutely killed me. Damn.

Other Thoughts

Jack’s sister, Lexi, is interesting. At first she seemed like a dippy hippy chick, but as we got to know more about her with each repeat of the day, I realized there’s more to her than meets the eye. I’m guessing she’ll be around for a little while and we’ll get to know her even better.

Nice to see Kevin getting some brief face time at the wedding. He looked happy.

Why wasn’t Zane with Jo at the wedding?

Interesting that the ketchup stain people kept assuming was a blood stain did become a blood stain in subsequent iterations of the loop.

The diamond necklace got mentioned so many times, I kept wondering if something about its singular nature would help solve the DOTW.

I’m glad we finally got some definitive clarity on Allison’s feelings for Carter and Stark. “I love Nathan. We have a history.” “You’ll always be my friend. My true friend.”

Carter: “We don’t have much time.”
Fargo: “Apparently we don’t have much sanity either.”
Carter: “I’m not crazy.”
Fargo: “Says the guy with crazy eyes and a gun.”

Carter: “Does your ego even fit in this building?”

Leo’s misdirection with Eva at least gave us a little update on what she’s up to. She seems to have found some manmade underground chamber system at the location with all the radiation. OK, then.

Carter: “You don’t know how to reverse it?! Isn’t that a little like jumping out of a plane and trying to invent a parachute before you hit the ground?”

Fargo offering to do the manual fix and Stark telling him “I always knew you had it in you” was a really nice moment. I’m sure getting that validation from Stark means the world to Fargo.

The echoes between the first scene in the wedding tent and the last were very nicely done. Comments that started as innocent and fun --- “Momentous, huh?” and “You look pale” and “I’ll always be here for you --- no matter what” --- suddenly became far more ominous and painful.

I’m really going to miss Stark. Especially his friendly antagonism with Carter. Given that he “died” trying to repair a time-space anomaly, I’m holding out hope that maybe he could return someday.

Some quietly mournful end credit music this week.

Final Analysis: A very strong, but devastating hour. One I fervently wish hadn’t come so soon.

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


  1. I never liked Stark as much as you did, Jess, but this episode made me love him. I could feel all through it that the wedding was never going to happen, but I was shocked when he died, and by the way that he died. (And I didn't know it was going to happen!) Terrific episode.

  2. This episode feels like GRRM had written it. We all know how he loves killing Starks. :)

  3. I'm sorry it took you until Stark's last episode to fall in love with him, Billie! Bad timing, indeed.

    True that, Patryk. Could have been Joss Whedon, too, eh? No couple shall ever be happy in this 'verse. Not for long anyway. And especially not if you've got one of those "epic" loves. Sigh.

  4. I've disliked the Allison-Nathan pairing almost from the beginning. In DVD commentaries, the writers/producers congradulate themselves for 'making Stark human'
    (S2)...but they do it at the expense of Allison's character development. She goes from righteous anger at the mere possibility Stark exposed Kevin to an experimental drug (S1) with unknown side effects to meek acceptance of the fact that Starks' obsession with the artifact put Kevin's life in actual danger. Stark lied to her repeatedly about the nature of her son's therapy, to say nothing of the fact that Kevin was apparently in physical proximity to this unknown entity frequently without her knowledge or consent. This character mangling remains the one thing I dislike most about Eureka...more than the gaping plot holes, dropped storylines and nonsensical science.

  5. Fair points, Anonymous. Although I feel like they started making Stark "human" before he began helping to cure Kevin. 'Right as Raynes' in S1, went a long way towards humanizing him in my eyes. And that had nothing to do with Allison.

    But there's no denying that Stark lied to Allison about the studies they were doing with Kevin and the Artifact, and she seemed awfully quick to forgive him. Even though he came clean on his own, that's some massive lies to just get over. Perhaps she recognized that, in spite of the secrecy and the lies, he honestly never believed he was putting Kevin in danger. And when he realized things had gone too far, he tried to make it right. Still, if it were me, I would find it pretty damn hard to trust him again after all that.

    But people on this show seem willing to forgive and forget some pretty unspeakable acts. I guess if we are willing to accept that Jack can get past Henry mind-wiping him, then it isn't really that much of a stretch for us to accept that Allison would forgive and remarry Stark if she believed that he never thought he was putting Kevin in danger.

    But I hear you on the character mangling. It certainly gets my ire up from time to time!

  6. I never liked Stark/Allison either, Anonymous, and I was often frustrated with Allison not letting him go, and not holding him responsible for the stuff that happened with Kevin. But I think it's consistent with the way some powerful women struggle with the more traditional female roles, and I never thought it was unrealistic. He's her ex. She must have loved him a lot, once upon a time. She knew he loved Kevin, too.

  7. I have always been firmly "team Carter" but noooooo not like this.. i was really enjoying the sort of budding bromance/tolerance/competetiveness going on between stark and carter and it was so hard seeing stark go out so nobel-y...i actually teared up..
    i thought the end shot of him totally still while they moved forward was awesome and the dawning realization in Carter's eyes as Stark said "goodbye" was really well done..
    also i think its cool that fargo's character evolved a little

    FARGO: i will do it
    STARK: i always knew you had it in
    FARGO: i did'nt

    great episode, heartbreaking and sweet

  8. I know this is late but I thoght id comment none the less. I always liked Stark, he is one of the reasons why I think Eureka is one of the best written shown these days, I know he was the kind of antagonist but he wasnt the cliche overly egocentric jerk that writters keep feeding us, I like the gradging respect he and Carter had for one another and the fact that he was actually a good guy, He had his issues, especially wanting power, but as a character he was likeable.

    As for the love triangle I honestly would have been fine with either. Mind you I honestly also like Carter and Tess, I really thought either one of the two was good for Allison and Kevin, they both seemed to connect with the them on two differebt levels, with Carter Kevin showed glimpses of being able to connect with someone and allison seemed more relaxed, with Stark Kevin continued to grow interlectually and conect more with Allison while she seemed to genuinely enjoy her relationship with Stark.

    I liked how stark demeterialised with that smile on his face it just echoed for me the respect he and Carter had for each other, Its a comfort to know that the ones you love will be loved after you are gone and it was so poetic for me I loved every bit of it.

  9. I had no idea Stark would die and kept telling myself that it wouldn't happen. That, somehow, Carter would save the day. Until Stark actually began to fade away, I kept hoping for the miracle.

    The final scenes were heartbreaking, especially Carter telling Allison. I've always been Team Carter, but not like this. This is tough.

  10. Why did stark die in that chamber? He wasn’t doing anything. Did he need to be in there? Couldn’t he have just stepped out?


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