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Eureka: A Night at Global Dynamics

... in which Stark, Carter, and Taggart brave a biological threat and the GD defense protocols to save Allison and Kevin.

‘A Night at Global Dynamics’ was an entertaining hour, and I’m much relieved that the threat to Kevin’s life is finally over; however, after all was said and done, I was rather unsatisfied with the way the writers chose to bring the season arcs to a close (or not). When I look back over this season, we got some really great episodes that quite often delivered humor, drama, and solid character work. But here, at the end, I feel like the writers sacrificed character consistency solely to create dramatic tension. Moreover, they left us hanging on one of the major season-long stories: the rift in Henry and Jack’s friendship. Jack seemed willing to let bygones be bygones as Henry was carted off to face the government review board, but where does Henry stand on all this? Has he transferred all blame for Kim’s death to Beverly, or does part of him still blame Jack? Does he regret the horrible way he’s treated the man who still considers him his best friend? Plus, will Jack ever fully recover his memories? It looked like he might back in ‘God is in the Details,’ but then that thread was completely dropped. Very disappointing.

Even more disappointing for me is that, at the end of the day, far too much of the season’s drama depended on multiple characters behaving in completely illogical and unbelievable ways. As I’ve been saying for several episodes now, it makes absolutely no sense that Stark and Allison would refuse to confide in Henry or seek his help with Kevin. I have no problem believing that they would want to limit the number of people who knew about Kevin’s situation, but based on the previously established character relationships, it is simply inconceivable to me that they wouldn’t trust their good friend, Henry, with their secret. Not without a damn good reason. Especially given that he’s one of the town’s most brilliant scientists! I’d been holding out hope that this episode would finally shed some light on exactly why they shut Henry out, but we got nothing except Stark hypocritically condemning Henry for not coming to him with the idea for helping Kevin. Are you kidding me?! Not that I really wanted to learn Stark had some agenda other than saving Kevin’s life, but at least it might have explained his behavior towards Henry.

Even if I was willing to accept that it is in-character for Allison and Stark to shut Henry out (and I’m not), Henry’s response was so far out-of-character it’s almost laughable. Sure, Henry was angry with Stark for keeping him in the dark and for sneaking Beverly back into town, but once he learned and understood the reason for all the secrecy, the Henry we know would have locked Beverly back in her cage, gone to Stark and said, “I know what’s going on with Kevin, and I know how to separate him from the field.” At that point, the two of them would have quickly sussed out the solution and saved Kevin, and Beverly would have gotten hauled off to jail for killing Kim. End of story.

But that would have been too straightforward and simple. So, instead, the writers had Henry cook up a fake biological threat, then torment Allison with the idea he was trying to take her son. Utterly ridiculous. Unless they want us to believe Henry really is that petty and vindictive, there’s absolutely no reason for him to spend the better part of the hour making Allison think that he was going to take Kevin. You could argue that he had to maintain the illusion for Beverly, but why? In fact, why bring her along in the first place? It makes no sense. He didn’t need Beverly’s help for anything, and she didn’t really provide any information she hadn’t already coughed up back at Stark’s lab. Her only function was to taunt Allison and stir up drama. Henry easily could have left Beverly at the lab, then gone to Allison and told her what he had in mind. And that’s just one of the many, far more rational options he had at his disposal. Heavy sigh. I guess I should be glad they didn’t completely assassinate his character by having him actually take or otherwise harm Kevin.

Wow. That’s a lot of negative for an episode I actually rather enjoyed watching. At least, until it became evident that we weren’t going to get a logical explanation for all the lies, subterfuge, or Beverly’s presence in the panic room. For most of the hour, I was highly entertained by the misadventures of Stark, Carter, and Taggart (“Shut it! Both of you! You’re like a couple of old women!”), as well as Zane and Fargo’s furious attempts to hack the GD mainframe and regain control of the system. I was pleased to see Stark and Carter beginning to understand one another, and Carter finally accepting that Stark isn’t the egomaniacal sack of crap he’s always thought him to be.

I also really enjoyed Alison laying the smack down on Beverly. Aside from the fact that it was fun to see Beverly take a punch or two, the moment felt like it restored some of Allison’s agency. Even though she got promoted to Head of Global, Allison has largely been consigned to exposition, background lurking, and hand-wringing this season. A huge part of the season arc centered around her son, but it always felt like Stark and Henry were driving the narrative, while Allison played the fretful mother on the sidelines. Here, she finally took some action of her own. I thought “Stay away from him, you bitch” was one geek reference too many for the episode, but at least she was actively fighting for her son instead of letting her menfolk do it for her. Sure, Stark and Henry rushed in to save Kevin in the end, but I’m hoping that this foray into being more proactive leads us back to a stronger, more interesting Allison.

Other Thoughts

It just occurred to me that they never backfilled Allison’s position as DoD liaison after she was promoted. She’s officially a Department employee, right? So does she just perform both functions now?

It was nice to see Zane getting to do something other than play Jo’s love interest. I’m all about the budding relationship between those two, but thought Zane was pretty interesting in his own right when he first arrived. I was looking forward to seeing more with him adapting to his new community. Plus, I expected his background and the Big Bang experiment to tie into the Artifact arc. Oh well.

Where was Callie this episode? Did she leave the party when Carter had to go into work?

They confirmed that Beverly didn’t intend to kill Kevin; rather, she wanted to turn him into a Consortium lab rat (it’s a cushier gig than DoD lab rat, apparently). As I speculated, “we” aren’t responsible enough to handle the power of the Akashic Field, but she and her ilk are. And they only have the world’s best interests at heart. Yeah, right.

I loved the idea that Da Vinci, Tesla, and Einstein were minds that could tap into the Akashic Field.

Jo: “Boys, there’s plenty of back door access for everyone! … That didn’t come out right.”

Taggart: “Just remember: serpentine.”
Was this a callback to Jo and Tag fighting B.R.A.D. in ‘H.O.U.S.E. Rules’? It sounded familiar.

Carter: “I swear to God, if this thing turns into a zombie attack, I am quitting.”

Henry (to Allison): “I lost the one person I truly loved. Trust me, that’s not something you want to feel.”
And yet he tormented her for an hour with the thought that she would lose her son. Entirely logical.

I loved Taggart using his dislike of Jo’s new paramour to ferret out fake Fargo. “They’re repulsive!” We never got any fallout after Jo decided she wasn’t into Tag anymore, so I really appreciated this brief moment of resentment.

Taggart: “Relax, mate. He’s fallen victim to one of the classic blunders --- never go in against an Australian when death is on the line.”
Yes!!!! I love a good Princess Bride reference!

The moment in which Allison has to face the truth that by saving Kevin, she’ll almost certainly lose the “normal” connection she’s developed with him was quite moving, and a nice capper to her earlier struggles trying to balance doing what’s best for her son with her desire for him to be a normal kid.

The snakeskin effect was really freaky.

I was delighted to see Stark drop the pretense that he’s okay with the state of his and Allison’s relationship and propose to her again. “You and Kevin are my family.” I wonder what she’s going to say? It’s always been clear to me that he loves her, but I’m not sure where she’s at. She cares for him and relies on him, but does she want to restart their married life together? I hope so.

Again we got different music over the closing credits. This week it was a rather melancholy and bittersweet piece. Very fitting, given the sad note we closed on. Will we ever see Henry again? And if we do, can he ever go back to being the man and friend we fell in love with in Season 1?

Final Analysis: In many respects, this was a very enjoyable finale, but it left me with a heaping pile of resentment over lingering threads and the character assassination required to stretch out the story. In the end, not really a satisfactory conclusion to the season.

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

3 comments:

  1. Absolutely agree. It was fun to watch (I particularly enjoyed all the geek references -- it's something Eureka does very well) but I remember sitting there at the end saying, "That's it? What about [blank] [blank] and [blank]?"

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  2. Not the ending I was expecting. You summed up the frustration element of it all perfectly.

    Wonderful season of reviews, Jess. I enjoyed reading your questions and your thoughts as much as I enjoyed the episodes. Thanks for doing it.

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  3. Thanks, Chris! I'm glad you are enjoying them. I've been enjoying reading your comments as you progress through the series. It's always fun to revisit the show through the eyes of someone coming to it for the first time.

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