Eureka: This One Time at Space Camp ...

... in which the Astraeus candidates have their final interviews, and Allison and Carter appeal the DoD’s ruling regarding their relationship.

This one surprised me. When they introduced the bio-cortex recorder at the top of the episode, I thought for sure we were about to be subjected to another clip show. Really? Again? Erg. Of course, my exasperation quickly turned to dread as I realized that digging into our characters memories could inadvertently expose the secrets of the Eureka Six. Even if the device only captures the memories the subject is willing to share, it seemed very possible that one of these memories could differ from known history, thus revealing that something is off base with several of the town’s leading citizens. But then the Astraeus story zeroed in on childhood memories and the rest of the episode shifted into disaster mode, and I started to relax and enjoy the ride a bit more.

When Warren got zapped, it was obvious that something was going to go horribly wrong, but it took me awhile to connect the series of near disasters to Carter’s memories and thus to Warren. I immediately remembered the maize kernels being used to lure the cat into the shower back in ‘The Story of O2,’ but I didn’t remember the crossbow/lightening event or Carter attacking a guard for his uniform in 1947, so I didn’t see how it all fit together. I kept expecting everything to relate to the Astraeus candidate interviews, so I actually forgot about Warren until he was revealed as the very delusional culprit.

Warren’s predicament was actually a rather inspired twist on the clip show, and Wallace Shawn was an absolute hoot crying over Allison and overreacting to each new catastrophic memory. I’m not entirely convinced his distress over losing his great love was supposed to be funny, but it made me laugh. Especially him hugging Carter after nearly driving off the cliff. (Carter’s and Henry’s reactions to the hug were pretty darn funny, too.) And Warren’s residual love for Allison and Carter as a couple, after his memory was wiped, was thoroughly delightful. “No one in their right mind would keep the two of you apart. You guys, you’re perfect together! […] I get you!”

Of course, I’m left wondering why Warren only tapped in to memories from the changed timeline. Because I would think that memories of Jack and Allison “working well together” would cover a lot more history than just the recent stuff. Are we supposed to believe Warren only accessed the stuff from the last six to eight months because of the way memory works, and the more recent stuff came first? Or was Carter able to hold those other memories back in the split second it took to download him? It seems like they are asking us to stretch our willing suspension of disbelief just a bit, but I enjoyed the adventure so much, I’m just going to go with it. Especially since the end result is no more external threat to Jack and Allison’s couplehood!

In the other thread (which, surprisingly, turned out to be an entirely separate subplot), we got some rather fascinating insight into Zane’s, Fargo’s, and Jo’s childhoods and motivations. Since I was worried we’d just get old clips during the interviews, I was particular pleased to instead get a glimpse at something heretofore unseen. Of course, Zane’s memory of his first felony had me slightly on edge the whole time, and ultimately it just made me sad. Poor kid. Thankfully, Fargo’s memories were completely hilarious and were a fantastic example of how his spotty track record could be a very good thing for the mission. “So, would I make the same questionable choices during the Astraeus mission? I’m gonna try, Senator.” The kicker with Parrish glorying in his own Galaxy Camp experience was perfect. (I wonder if Fargo’s memories of space camp are the same as Parrish’s, given that Fargo’s past was in an entirely different timeline. Are they close enough for any differences to be chalked up to the imperfections of memory?)

As for Jo, it was a very nice twist for the interview process to make her realize she didn’t want to go to Titan. Not really. For her, it was just another chance to tackle a challenge and prove her worth, just as she’s been doing her whole life. What a brilliant, character-based reason for her to stay behind, free from disappointment! I love it when decisions flow from past characterization, and they don’t always get that right on this show, which makes this particular turn of events even more satisfying.

I also like how the turnabout puts Jo and Zane in an interesting position relative to their budding relationship. Zane’s reaction to Jo withdrawing herself from consideration says a lot about how his feelings for her have deepened, and about how much he was looking forward to sharing his dream with her. “We did this together. We should be going together.” I hope he doesn’t feel like she quit on him and interpret her “if you’re gonna travel a billion miles for something, it’s gotta mean more than that” comment as he doesn’t mean enough to her. Because I think she just had an honest moment of self reflection, and decided that she wouldn’t want to deprive someone else of their dream just to prove she’s the best of the best. The decision had nothing to do with him. Maybe from Zane’s perspective, that’s the problem. Sigh. I hope after the initial disappointment wears off, he’s able to see that her genuine happiness for him is a sign of how much she truly cares for and supports him, and that they can keep building their relationship while he’s away. I really want these two to make things work.

Other Thoughts

I kind of hope the refresher on recent history is leading to something that brings the entire season together. We’re six weeks out from launch, so there’s still time to bring Beverly and the Consortium back into the mix. I know, I know. “Be gone, demon!”

Carter: “That’s it?”
Warren: “Well, what were you expecting the Spanish Inquisition?”
Carter: “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.”
Tee hee!

Holly and Fargo playing D&D in bed was cute. “I’ll leave the game here … for later.” I definitely thought they were going to relieve their tension the more traditional way and got a chuckle out of the surprise.

Carter: “It’s weird though. That there’d be a trail of maize kernels.”
Allison: “Weirder than what? Dried cranberries?”

I loved seeing Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica) as the Galaxy Camp leader! Chief! Plus, his character’s name was Darlton! A subtle geek reference? Likely.

Darlton (as the Possums banner goes up in flames): “Oh! Oh! The humanity! Aaaah!”

Darlton: “You were all fantastic! There is no second place. You just don’t get a … trophy.”

The kid playing young Parrish was great. He really effectively channeled Wil Wheaton’s egomaniacal jerk. “Despite the insufficient intellect of my teammates, I found a way to win!”

Holly’s revelation that Galaxy Camp (not the real Space Camp) was shut down due to safety violations was too funny.

Interesting that Zane grew up without a dad and Jo mostly grew up without a mom. It makes me curious to see the two of them become parents together. Or maybe just anticipating impending parenthood. Perhaps as the series draws to a close?

Carter: “There’s a fake brick. I keep a hide-a-key in there in case I lock myself in.”
Henry: “Yeah, well. That was smart.”
Carter: “For the record, I only used the hide-a-key once, though.”
Henry: “Whatever you say, Jack.”

Allison: “The man holds the key to our future, we just fried a bunch of neurons in his brain, and you want to go out for pizza?”
Carter: “No! I want to go for Chinese.”

Jo was right: Carter wanting to be the one to let her know she didn’t make the Astraeus Team was incredibly sweet. Another nice little moment for those two.

I’m so happy for Holly and Fargo! Their happy dance at CafĂ© Diem made me grin from ear to ear.

Did Grace make the team? And are we done with Parrish now, or will he be angling to make it in as an alternate?

Final Analysis: A very fun episode that, much to my delight, wasn’t a clip show!

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

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Another fun episode and I thought it was all good character stuff, as you said. I was glad, too, that they resolved the artificial "let's keep Carter and Allison apart" thingy. But with all the mind reading, I kept expecting *someone* to give something away about the timeline reset, and was a bit disappointed that it didn't happen. It just felt like it had to go in that direction.

Sooze said...

Eureka has been so much fun this season I am really sad that this is the last. It is one show that I can just watch and go with the fun and craziness and not get all wrapped up in "what did that mean?". I will miss these characters.

Wallace Shawn had me in stitches - the hug and Carter's response were hilarious.

I suppose the Beverly plot has to come back and be wrapped up somehow, but I am not missing it.

Isn't "Darlton" what LOST fans were calling Carlton/Damon? Is that the geek reference? Or just coincidence?

daniel c w said...

@ Sooze :

This is not the last season.
We still have season 5 to look forward to, and it will probably be broadcast over 2 years.

Sooze said...

Daniel: YAY! Obviously I heard wrong. You made my day.

Susan O'Fearna said...

The most dis-jointing bit was having Fargo's nemesis at Galaxy Camp be Wil Wheaton's character... the guy who plays Fargo was born in 81 and Wil and I were born in 72... so in 1990 Parrish would have been at college (since we graduated from HS that year I assume he'd have already been in college), not about 10 years old. Why'd they feel the need to basically steal about 9 years off Parrish's lifespan?

Jess Lynde said...

Well, they made him younger, right? Most actors love that kind of thing! Plus, given that 20-somethings are constantly being cast as high schoolers, it seems perfectly in keeping with standard television practices for them to steal those years away from Wil! :)

I don't remember the specific details, but it's also possible that Fargo was advanced for his age, and therefore a bit younger Parrish. So maybe they only stole 4 to 6 years away!