Eureka: Maneater

... in which the town’s public works system goes on the fritz as Carter suddenly becomes an irresistible chick magnet.

I’m not a big fan of the “contamination/spell induces extreme sexual aggression” plot, so when an episode titled ‘Maneater’ opened with a sexual harassment seminar, I started mentally groaning. Then, we learned Taggart was cooking up a potent hormone cocktail to encourage his wolves to mate, and the internal groan meter starting ticking up toward 11. Once Mrs. Stone and Jo started aggressively coming on to Carter, I was all but ready to write this episode off. But then Allison and Dr. Young started cat-fighting over Carter in front of a confused and horrified Stark, and all of a sudden ‘Maneater’ became damn funny. Between Stark’s disgust and utter disdain, Fargo’s “low profile” bodyguard efforts (“Hot lunch, coming through!”), and Taggart’s mojo test (“You, in the grey skirt. How do you feel?” “Intensely uncomfortable. Wasn’t this covered in the seminar?”) I was laughing my ass off!

Amidst all the hilarity, we also got some progression on various fronts, including Jo and Zane, Carter and Callie, and the investigation into Kim’s death/the Artifact. Jo and Zane nearly fell victim to the “simple misunderstanding turns into relationship napalm because people won’t just freaking talk to each other” plot twist, another “favorite” of mine. Sigh. I’m gonna cut Zane some slack because he’s new in town and doesn’t have a lot of experience with all the wacky stuff that goes on (although he did just witness Mrs. Stone aggressively propositioning Carter --- hello?), and because he ultimately used the experience to push Jo to be straight with him. I was glad to see her finally drop the self-doubt and act on her feelings for him. Nice kiss!

On the flip side, I didn’t care all that much about Callie and Carter’s communication difficulties. Her constantly pestering him about relationship issues while he was trying to work was actually kind of irritating. I guess I’m just not terribly invested in them as a couple. They have a cute dynamic, but it’s not the kind of spark Carter has with Allison, or even with his ex, Abby. Ultimately, this pairing doesn’t feel like it will go anywhere, so I guess I’m tired of wasting time on it.

As for the Kim/Artifact/Kevin business, I’m still intensely confused by Stark and Allison’s behavior. I get why Stark wouldn’t want to trust “Dudley Do Right” Carter, but I do not understand why he can’t confide in Henry if his only concern is for Kevin’s safety. It makes no sense. After what he did to protect Callister, I have no doubt that Stark truly wants to protect Kevin from the Department of Defense, but I can’t help wondering if protecting Kevin is his only goal. Does he want access to Kim’s research to help Kevin or to indulge his Artifact obsession? Is he playing on Allison’s fear to push his own agenda? His insistence on keeping even Henry out of the loop makes me think there’s something more behind Stark’s actions than he’s letting on.

Other Thoughts

I was delighted to see Lexa Doig (Andromeda, Stargate SG-1) as Dr. Young, and it is always a pleasure to indulge in some Taggart wackiness!

Dr. Young: “There are huge pressures under the surface of this community, and one day they’ll erupt. And woe be unto you when that happens.”
Wow. Was this line a little on-the-nose, or what?

Carter (to Jo, after the bathroom blows up): “What did you eat?!”

How wonderful to spend practically an entire episode with Coveralls-Golf Cap Henry, joking and working with Carter like old times!

Stark: “Carter, the man we’re talking about is a Nobel laureate in biochemistry.”
Carter: “Yeah, and maybe a psychopath. So, like you, but violent.”
Stark (defensive): “Give me time.”

I have a little trouble believing that, with a public works network this complicated, Eureka would only have one person that knows how to operate and maintain it. Given that horrific fates befall their residents every other week, I’d expect a good bit more redundancy in personnel.

Allison (re: Carter): “When he was in here, I couldn’t think. I just wanted him.”
Dr. Young: “It was horrible.”
Stark: “I can only imagine.”

Stark: “Deputy Lupo kissed you and you didn’t think there was anything wrong with that?”
Carter: “Well, I’ve been working out. I’m looking pretty good.”

I was devastated for Taggart when he discovered Wilma ate Fred. He gets so attached to his critters. I also felt really bad for the Mole when he discovered that his wife’s renewed interest in him wasn’t “real.” Poor guy just wanted to think his wife loved him that much. Maybe now that they’ve rekindled some romance, they’ll be able to keep the newlywed renaissance going.

Allison: “Well, you know what? This town needs an enema.”
Brilliant geek reference!

Final Analysis: Men suddenly turning into catnip for the ladies isn’t my favorite plot device, but this version was pretty hilarious.

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

3 comments:

zob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Billie Doux said...

I agree with Zob. This was a good one. :)

ChrisB said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees Callie as more of a pain in the neck than anything else. She got on my nerves this episode -- quite a bit.