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Eureka: Of Mites and Men

... in which several Astraeus candidates undergo psychological stress testing, while Allison tries to prove to everyone that she’s ready to be reinstated as Acting Director of GD.

Very enjoyable outing this week. Trapping characters with conflicts in a small space under less than ideal conditions usually leads to great fun and solid character development on Eureka, and this episode proved no exception. I really enjoyed the mix they threw together in the isolation chamber, particularly Zane as the “Asterisk” wildcard. His button pushing was absolutely hilarious --- I especially liked him needling Parrish with the ‘Car Wash’ song --- and I loved the twist that he didn’t sneak into the chamber to prove his worth, but was actually put in there on purpose to stir things up.

Of course, part of the reason I loved the twist is because it meant that Zane was only messing with Jo’s head because that’s the task he was assigned. I was incredibly crestfallen when it appeared he had tampered with her scores to ensure she made it to the next round. I was so proud of her for passing the test with such a high score and was absolutely tickled by her happy dance. Zane’s unwavering confidence in her abilities just made her success all the sweeter. To suddenly think that moment hadn’t been real was crushing. Moreover, I hated the idea that Zane could so completely misread Jo that he would think she would want to get into the program based on anything but merit. So, I was immensely relieved when it turned out he was a mole and only pretending to have adjusted her scores.

I’m also glad that Jo was able to help secure Zane’s pardon, so that he can apply to go on the mission --- if he so chooses. Great little bit of unexpected fallout, that. Now that Zane’s a free man, he can go anywhere. Jo’s obviously distressed that she’s made it possible for him to leave her, but I don’t think he will. And even though she can’t see it at the moment, the gift she’s given him is a gift to herself, as well. Now, if Zane chooses to stay, she’ll know that it’s because Eureka is where he truly wants to be and that’s the life he wants to share with her.

In other developments, Allison got to prove to everyone and herself that she has recovered from her brain-jacking and Grace asked Henry to marry her. The Allison story didn’t have much subtext, since she, Carter, and Senator Wen pretty much laid everything out for us, but I’m glad the situation with Beverly had some psychological fallout and that Allison didn’t just get reinstalled as Acting Director like nothing had ever happened. I’m not quite sure I buy that her leading Carter through Level Q is a valid test of her mental health, but I’m just gonna roll with this one.

The Henry and Grace story felt a bit perfunctory to me. He acts like a bachelor, she gets upset, but a little while later they talk it out and decide it’s time to officially end his bachelor days. Okay, then. On the one hand, it's nice to have a relatively drama-free relationship on the show, but I wish we’d seen them struggling with this issue a bit more. That said, I’m certainly glad that Henry won’t be going under the knife, given Dr. Timms’s less than encouraging “I’ve healed truckloads of pigs” track record. And I’m delighted that Henry and Grace are getting married! The puzzled silence that met Henry’s joyous announcement was hilarious, and Carter breaking the silence with his exaggerated excitement about their vows renewal had me grinning from ear to ear.

Other Thoughts

Last week, Beverly (as Allison) said she gave Deputy Andy some upgrades. I wonder if that’s going to lead to problems somewhere down the line. When Senator Wen forced Carter to take over GD security, I was bracing for Andy to run amok.

Loved Senator Wen telling Carter to stand there and look pretty, then suit up. She may not be evil after all. Just really demanding.

It felt like “old home” week for Eureka fans who also enjoyed Stargate. In addition to Kavan Smith and Ming-Na, we had Ellie Harvie (Dr. Novak, SGA) as Dr. San Augusta and Peter Kelamis as Dr. Timms (Brody, SGU). I loved that it was Senator Wen who brought in Dr. Timms. It made me feel like Camille was looking out for Brody.

I’m glad the writers really underplayed the Parrish-Holly-Fargo triangle this week, using the situation as a chance for these three to show their true colors instead of turning it into a constant battle for Holly’s affections. Fargo, of course, stepped up to the plate, taking charge and trying to ensure the safety of the entire team (test or not), while Parrish showed that his only true interest is serving his own needs. Even better, the situation allowed Holly to learn more about herself and her strengths, and to realize that she’s not only capable of being a team player, she wants to be one.

Larry was actually amusing this week. Usually I just find him annoying.

Jo and Zane looked incredibly strange under the emergency power lights. The high contrast between their skin, their shirts, and their eyes was really weird and made them look super tan.

Parrish’s girly screams were hilarious! And I absolutely loved the way he protectively hugged his crane chain when Fargo wanted him to cowboy up for the big rescue effort. Too funny!

Final Analysis: Another fun disaster-of-the-week that led to lots of nice character interactions and development.

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

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

I enjoyed this one, too. It was fun and well-written and a total geekfest and as you said, such a Stargate-fest. And I loved Wil Wheaton doing the Next Gen reference. (Calling Fargo "Number One.")