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Eureka: Glimpse

... in which Fargo and Dr. Marten begin interviewing candidates for the Titan space mission. Meanwhile, Jo and Carter test Zane’s latest development: contact lenses that allow you to assess the environment and predict security threats.

Well, this one wasn’t as high on the hilarity, but it still had a lot of nice little character things going on. It has apparently been five or six weeks since the last episode, and Holly has remained in town to work on the Astraeus project and help screen candidates for the 6-month, 20-person mission to Titan. Meanwhile, Jo and Zane have been getting very busy, Allison has continued to battle headaches, and Carter and Allison are happily settling into domesticity.

This week’s central disaster was an interesting twist on the usual pattern, in that Carter and Jo were attempting to avert a crisis before anything actually happened. And, ironically, the thing that clued them in to the threat was the thing about to cause the catastrophe. Didn’t see that one coming (no pun intended). I completely fell for the red herring with Dr. Dillon’s explosive canister, and was really surprised when he quickly debunked the theory. However, as soon as they cut to Dr. Parrish still in his lab during the evacuation, I knew the limacoid dormancy gel was going to be the solution to the impending meltdown.

While the overall disaster was reasonably engaging, what I really liked about it (as usual) was how the situation and the root technology helped to push the characters and the arc forward in small ways. By making her fear for Zane’s life, the PALS forced Jo to admit that all her “this is the last time” nonsense was just that ---- nonsense. Fargo, too, came to realize that he doesn’t need technological enhancements to impress a girl. All he has to do is be himself. He has grown into a truly competent and capable leader, and now he may be ready to extend that self-confidence to all areas of his life. Even Holly learned how to get past some of her social anxiety by leading part of the candidate interview process alone. And, of course, Carter and Henry are now aware that Allison poses some kind of security threat.

This final reveal didn’t bother me too much, because it was set up pretty well last week and by her strange flashes while reading. I guess the real question is whether Allison is unconsciously revealing confidential information to Beverly and the Consortium, or if she’s somehow going to be controlled by them into doing something dangerous. It will be interesting to see how that story is handled.

Of course, it still stinks that there is once again this external threat to Allison and Carter’s happiness. I much preferred the dilemma they faced this week. Allison’s opportunity felt like a realistic issue a couple might have to confront at some point, and it was nicely set up by her sharing her childhood dream of going into space in the half-season premiere. I very much enjoyed watching the two of them working through their conflicting emotions and ultimately finding ways to communicate honestly. Allison would, of course, feel seriously torn about the whole situation, given that she desperately tried to get into space camp as a child. And after finding out that Other Allison actually wrote and published the book she had never been able to tackle in her own life, it had to be even more tempting to try to realize this dream. Meanwhile, the prospect of doing the long-distance thing with Allison had to be particularly daunting for Carter, given what he just went through with Tess. It made his later willingness to support Allison’s dreams an incredibly powerful testament to how much he loves her. I suspect it was this willingness to let her go that ultimately convinced Allison to stay. When you find someone who stands ready to make that kind of personal sacrifice to give you the chance to pursue your dreams, you don’t leave him behind so easily. I’m also sure she wasn’t too eager to abandon, even temporarily, her newfound connection with her son, or to miss a significant chunk of her young daughter’s life (trust me, they change a lot in a short time at that age). I loved that her final decision wasn’t just about staying with Jack, but about keeping their newly developing family unit together and enjoy the life she has. Good stuff.

On the other hand, I was a bit perplexed by Jo’s behavior with Zane. Why on Earth would she insist that they “don’t work”? She was with him for roughly three years, loved him very much, and agreed to marry him. She then spent the first half of this season pining because she lost him. How is that proof that they don’t work? Is she just worried about losing him and getting hurt all over again? Is that why she’s trying to keep her distance emotionally (if not physically). At least this Zane is as insistent as Other Zane. “Sometimes a spark is all you need.” Keep pushing, buddy. Maybe in another three years she’ll agree to marry you.

Other Thoughts

The PALS were pretty creepy. I know the tech helped them avert several potentially catastrophic events, but I sort of hope the system was permanently destroyed. (Especially since they kept making me watch parts of the episode in slow motion so that I could read the threat assessment text.)

Yea, Dr. Parrish is back! Wil Wheaton plays his arrogance and bitter resentment so well. And this time it was nicely balanced with a project and an opportunity he seemed to genuinely care about. He wasn’t just being an ass for the hell of it, he had a legitimate beef with Fargo.

Carter noted that other female people “like my daughter” were involved in Jo’s situation with Zane. I guess Zoe and Zane aren’t officially done. Seriously?

Fargo: “Space isn’t for everyone Dr. Parrish.”
This one just cracked me up, given Wil Wheaton’s history with “space.”

Of course, Henry would be a candidate. “You know what I like about you? Everything!”

Holly: “There’s something comforting about knowing that all our human drama doesn’t amount for a blip in the universe. Out there, it’s infinite possibility.”

Fargo and Holly were cute together. I found myself smiling at her bashful acceptance of his original “off-the-clock” dinner offer, then again when she re-proposed the date. So, I was fairly bummed when Holly then backed out because the PALS revealed that her kissing Fargo would present a security risk. Ah, well. A relationship with a guest star is bound to end in heartbreak, so maybe better to nip it in the bud now.

Other Allison’s background might explain why Beverly and the Consortium have targeted her. Perhaps they knew about the impending mission (from contacts inside the government) and thought she’d be a prime candidate to go, so they bugged her.

Parrish: “First Fargo humiliates me, and now you won’t even let me masticate in peace?”
Carter (awkwardly): “Well, … not in public.”
Parrish: “It means to chew!”

Paused holographic Zane was freaky. Mostly because it looked like poor Niall Matter had to actually stand still for awhile and pretend to be a paused projection.

Stan Lee appearing as Dr. Lee and threatening to Hulk out was kind of funny, and kind of painful all at the same time.

Fargo’s confrontation with Parrish in his lab was a strong scene. I loved the reveal that Fargo’s granddad, Pierre, was actually quite successful in this reality, which allowed Other Fargo to live a life of entitlement. It certainly explains Dr. Parrish’s deep resentment and anger. Perhaps by giving Dr. Parrish another shot at the Astraeus Team, and then proving his worth by staying to fight for GD even when the outcome looked bleak, Fargo helped to ease some of the tension in that relationship. (But not all the tension. Parrish is a much more entertaining nemesis for Fargo than Larry ever was.)

Parrish: “Because throwing away my life’s work is so inconsequential! Especially to a spoiled Eureka legacy, who’s had everything handed to him.”
Fargo: “What are you talking about? I killed myself at MIT while everyone was out killing orcs and pillaging villages, and getting all sorts of … booty.”

I was having trouble remembering where I’d seen the actor playing Dr. Dillon (Donovan Stinson), but when I later saw the Warehouse 13 crew dealing with a manager in a big box store, it suddenly dawned on me that Stinson played Ted, the Work Bench manager, on Reaper.

Carter: “But this is your dream.”
Allison: “It was. But now this is. I have a great life here, and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.”
Awww! I loved this little exchange. It reminded me of a moment in Tangled that got me fairly choked up.

Final Analysis: Not as much overall fun as more recent episodes, but still very engaging, particularly on a character level.

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

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Allison called NASA twice a day for a 'whole' year (not four) trying to get into Space Camp.

Jess Lynde said...

Right you are, Anon. For some reason when I watched 'Liftoff' I heard twice a day for "four" years straight, but I misheard. The review has been modified accordingly. Thanks for the catch!

Billie Doux said...

Another good episode. It's nice to see Carter and Allison making it work. I keep wondering if the timeline change will eventually get changed back. At this point, I'd hate to see it happen.

Anonymous said...

Didn't like this one much.

To begin with, as a programmer, I feel completely offended that a programmer of Zane's caliber could be so inept. Running your program with additional resources, failing for hours and not noticing?. No way in hell. I hate when they make us the escape goat (even if it's Zane).

Secondly, as a viewer, the PAL thing was completely unbelievable to me. Even with Eureka's technology, the predicting and the percentages where so ridiculous that they could have sold us as well that it was magic.

And finally, I don't believe for a moment that Allison would drop the go to space thing. It's 6 months, not half her life!. And if I were Jack, I would never NOT let her go.

On the plus side, Stan Lee!!!. And no Beverly!!!. So let's call this a two.

Jess Lynde said...

Re: Allison. I also think you are underestimating the pull of her children. Parents quite frequently put their own dreams on hold, or let them go, to prioritize their children and their needs. Missing 6 months of Kevin's life might not seem like that big a deal from our perspective, but to Allison, after suddenly getting the Normal Kevin she's longed for, it might be a real dealbreaker (especially given the risks of space travel, as zob notes). And I can't stress enough that missing 6 months of your 18-month-old's life would be huge. Not to the child, who wouldn't remember it, but to Allison it would be quite significant.

Of course, I suspect Beverly's bug will cause some sort of reversal of opinion, so that the Consortium can have Allison on the mission.