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Eureka: Liftoff

... in which Zane and Fargo accidentally launch themselves into space.

It is so nice to have Eureka back! (Of course, I’ve been retro-reviewing the series for the last several months, so I sort of feel like it never left.) Just look at that log line. Doesn’t it perfectly capture the outlandish zaniness that infuses this show? Of course, if the show was all wacky misadventures and no heart, I wouldn’t love it nearly as much as I do. Fortunately, ‘Liftoff’ brought the perfect blend of crazy and touching, and it even managed to inject some genuine dread into the mostly humorous proceedings.

Zane and Fargo getting launched into space and scraping the International Space Station was pretty ludicrous, but I’ve got to admit that the launch sequence, Allison’s attempt to shoot them down, and the final rescue really got my pulse pounding. I knew they were never in any real danger, but I still felt myself succumbing to the tension of the moment, and I kept saying things like “Oh, crap” and “That’s not good.” Maybe I was just excited to finally be getting new adventures!

What I really liked about this silly disaster (and what I love about all good Eureka disasters) is that it provided multiple opportunities to explore our beloved characters. I was incredibly impressed with Fargo in disaster-response mode. Like Jo, I’ve actually started to find Fargo believable as the head of Global. “Damn straight!” His calm, collected focus after getting launched into space was really something to behold, particularly in contrast to Zane’s full-on freak out (which really helped sell the direness of their circumstances). Fortunately, while Fargo has grown leaps and bounds in the confident leader department, he still hasn’t lost his innate Fargo goofiness. I had to chuckle at him playing Star Wars in the module, and was truly delighted by his awe and wonder at being in space and his glee at getting to realize a boyhood dream.

The accidental space jaunt also allowed for some good advancement on the Zane-Jo front.* Zane’s revelation that he feels like he’s missing memories and his plea “If you loved someone, wouldn’t you want to know?” was quite poignant. The moment clearly touched Fargo as well, which, coupled with their potentially impending death situation, served as a believable way for him to reveal some part of the truth to Zane. I’m a little miffed we didn’t get to see exactly what Fargo told Zane “about Jo … and the other you” and Zane’s immediate reaction to it, but I was still tickled to get another “Jo Jo” moment at the end. Things seem more promising than ever for those two crazy kids to find a way back to each other. Yea!

*Minor disclaimer: I only made it through ‘Crossing Over’ in my Eureka review re-watch. So, it’s been awhile since I watched the final four episodes of Season 4.0, and I’m not really current on where we left everyone emotionally. I definitely didn’t remember where we left off with Jo and Zane, and am going off the “previously on” clips. I reserve the right to update or otherwise modify this review after I catch up in the next couple weeks.

Of course, it’s time to kick off a new half-season arc, so we couldn’t end on an entirely happy note. When the military escort showed up at the end, I was a bit worried that Zane had betrayed them and Fargo was about to get “sanctioned.” Instead it seems we are about to embark on another “is Eureka really worth all the money we throw at it?” story featuring a sinister senator. I’m not sure I really want to retread old ground, but this isn’t the same reality, so maybe they’ll put a different spin on things this time. At least we might get some quality time with Ming-Na! I’ve missed her since Stargate: Universe went off the air. I wonder if Senator Michaela Wen is in league with the Consortium like Senator Faraday was (remember him from Season 1?). We know that Beverly’s still around, still part of the Consortium, and still up to secret shenanigans.** Could be interesting.

**Same disclaimer as above. I remember Beverly showing up in the last four episodes, but don’t remember what we learned about how she and the Consortium operate in this reality.

Other Thoughts

I didn’t really care for the Carter-Allison stuff this week. I wasn’t fooled by the “who’s wedding is it?” business because I’d read a preview blurb, and the extra saccharine public displays of affection made me want to gag. Even worse was the forced tension between the two when she took over as Acting Director and took exception to Carter destroying the intercept missiles. Please. Just let them be happy and limit the canoodling to private moments.

Nice to see Henry and Grace working happily together.

Loved Fargo throwing his weight around and threatening Zane with the Mucus Lab to try to ease Jo’s discomfort. I like the friendship those two have developed.

Vincent: “And what am I gonna do with 400 pigs in 400 blankets?”
Carter: “You bring ‘em out, is what you do!”
Vincent: “Bless you, Sheriff.”

I like that the bridge device is “the gift that keeps on giving.” Way to keep the arc elements working for you, writers!

The “ass hat” vs. “bite me” Battle of the Final Words was pretty amusing.

Fargo: “I scraped the I.S.S. Now they’re never gonna let me be an astronaut.”
Zane: “You gotta be kidding me.”

I was really amused when the boson cloud exciter came into play, because I’d been thinking that Allison hadn’t seemed this strong and decisive as director since ‘If You Build It …’ which is when we first learned about the thing.

The music made me laugh a lot this week. It felt overly cheesy at times, but I still appreciated how the scoring paid homage to the shows and movies evoked by the action. Definitely got a little Battlestar Galactica flavor, at times. And I got a bit of a Hunt for Red October vibe during the near collision with the space station (“This is gonna be close”). I especially appreciated the aural reference to Jo’s “Senor Fargo” dream from ‘Noche de Suenos.’ Jo riding up on the horses was awesome enough (in that silly Eureka way), but that music cue made me grin from ear to ear. Good on ya, Mr. McCreary.

Zane: “Great. I’d trade a quick death for slow asphyxiation.”
Fargo (oblivious and snarky): “Uh, you’re welcome.”

Cute backstory tidbit: Allison desperately wanted to go to Space Camp when she was a kid, but she got rejected every time.

I loved how Zane kept screaming until Fargo tapped him to let him know they made it. “That was awesome!”

Andy’s “I’m on a horse!” made me laugh pretty hard. And his sweet, sad conversation with S.A.R.A.H. at the end was adorable. Awwww! I really love Kavan Smith as Andy. He’s got such a great, unflagging spirit. Even when depressed. Just seeing his wide, chipper smile immediately makes me respond in kind!

S.A.R.A.H.: “I guess I’m just not ready to be a housewife.”

Senator Wynn: “Do you know why we’re here?”
Fargo: “To assess the continued value of our work in Eureka?”
Senator Wynn: “You’re a bright man, Dr. Fargo. Get comfortable. Your future in Eureka is about to get very complicated.”

Final Analysis: A tense, silly, and occasionally heartwarming outing to kick-start the back half of the season. At long last!

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


  1. Great episode to start the season, and I love that they're grooming confident Fargo.

    Kavan Smith, though, it's a big no for me. I liked him in Atlantis, but Ty Olsson was SO.. MUCH.. BETTER as Andy. Kavan's smile looks completely forced to me, while Ty's looked so natural, like he was programmed to display it proudly (which he probably was).

  2. I agree that Ty Olsson brought a much different vibe to Andy. Kavan Smith's version is definitely more "plastic" and "robotic." Ty's Andy had a much more relaxed and natural feel. I chalk the difference up to the reprogramming that came with the re-skinning. I like both versions of Andy, but think I'm so entertained by Kavan Smith's portrayal because it's so different from Major Lorne (whom I loved on Atlantis).

    (I actually cover this difference in my review for Kavan's first episode, but I haven't gotten that far in the retro review posts yet.)

  3. After four years of mostly goofy smiles and meaningful looks, I don't mind the occasional public display of a little (sacchrine) affection by Jack and Allison. I found his actual laying of hand to a** (Primal) much less jarring than his promise to do so (Liftoff). . .his (sex)appeal lies in his physicality not his verbiage and her physical appeal is unmistakable (and I'm a woman). Overall, a very nice start to the new season.

  4. You know, I didn't mind them being affectionate in the bathroom scene at the beginning. It was the restaurant scene that bugged me (and Henry). It must be something about being overly cuddly in public settings. I must have a mental line about what's appropriate where, and they crossed it. I certainly didn't mean to say "keep it behind closed doors where I don't have to see it." I meant, "Stop acting like lovestruck teenagers in places where people are eating and working." Just wanted to clarify.

  5. Welcome back, Eureka! Fun, fun, fun...thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

  6. This episode was a blast, pun intended. I laughed out loud several times and really enjoyed it all. I particularly liked the contrast between the extremely futuristic FTL drive and the catcher's mitt with the horses and lack of electricity. And I like Jack and Allison finally together. I'm wondering if the timeline is going to be reset again, though. Are we eventually going back to the starting line?


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