Eureka: One Giant Leap

... in which Global prepares for the imminent Astraeus launch, as Jo ponders what comes next for her in the wake of Zane’s departure. Meanwhile, black holes begin randomly appearing all over town.

So the big doings this week were the historic Astraeus launch and Jo’s ongoing struggle with her identity crisis, both of which culminated in the show’s emotional and shocking final moments. Now, as you all know, I’m a “character first, plot second” kind of girl, so for me, the heart of ‘One Giant Leap’ was Jo’s story. I love pretty much all the core characters on Eureka, but in this fourth season, I’ve become particularly attached to Jo. Erica Cerra has been doing an absolutely fantastic job letting us see Jo’s pain, weaknesses, and strengths as she’s struggled first with losing her love, then her sense of self.

I’m so pleased that the writers not only brought Jo into the spotlight this season, but gave her an arc that felt very organic and true to her character. I was fairly concerned through most of this episode that she was about to get saddled with an unplanned pregnancy plot, just as her baby daddy was set to head off on a six-month mission into the unknown. I know I just wished we could see Jo and Zane preparing for parenthood, but this felt too soon, and they already did the “secret pregnancy” thing with Carter’s sister. So, as painful as it was to watch Jo tell Carter she was leaving, I was almost relieved her departure was the result of her recent realization that she has no idea who she is when she’s not trying to prove herself to someone else, be it her father, her brothers, her boyfriends, or Carter. This development felt like the natural culmination of her season-long arc, especially following her decision to withdraw from the Astraeus mission and Taggart’s pointed mention of finding peace on walkabout last week. “I feel like there’s something else for me. I just have to find it.”

Of course, it still broke my heart to see Jo leave. I so badly wanted Carter to tell her that she doesn’t have to prove herself to him or anyone in Eureka, and to have that fix everything. But I know it wouldn’t have. Not really. It’s not enough for her dad or Carter to tell her she’s got nothing to prove; she needs to get to that place on her own to truly believe it and to move forward. “Safe travels, Jo.” I hope you are able to find the peace and balance you’re seeking, and that you come home soon.

On the plot side of things, the day of the long-awaited Astraeus launch finally arrived, and, surprisingly, very little went wrong in the lead up to the launch (if you don’t count the minor distraction of black holes suddenly forming all over town). I should have guessed that meant the big disaster was waiting in the wings, but I allowed myself to get caught up in the emotion of the various departures and dropped my guard in the final act. So I was completely blindsided by the hijacking! I actually thought Carter had managed to abort disaster once more when he broke the pipes for the cooling containment system, and was quite stunned when the ship launched into the unknown anyway --- with Allison trapped onboard. Whoa!

I’m assuming this is the work of the Consortium. But where did they take the ship? To another destination? To another time? The Consortium knew about the bridge device and its time travel possibilities, and they probably knew the FTL technology was based on that device. So did they just use Astraeus to create another timeline? (I really need to finish watching the final few episodes from the first half of this season, because I can’t remember exactly what Beverly and her peeps know.)

I’m not totally sure how I feel about this twist. I guess that will depend on where they go with it next. For now, I’m intrigued, and I like that both Henry and Carter have their ladies’ lives on the line. I look forward to seeing the two of them lead the charge to find and save the missing Astraeus Team.

Other Thoughts

The disaster subplot with the black holes was mildly amusing, and Dave Foley was a hoot as a former, unconventional bomb maker turned hippy. “Now I’m totally about positive energy. And bombs, bombs are super negative.” But I mostly liked this plot for giving Jo and Carter some quality time together before she left town. Seeing them work a case “just like old times” made their final parting all the more poignant.

As noted, I got rather caught up in the emotion of the final goodbye montage before the launch. Jo walked out of the sheriff’s station and drove away to that very melancholy version of “Rocket Man” and I started getting a bit teary. Then, Henry and Grace said their goodbyes, and I completely lost it. Yes, I started bawling my eyes out. I kept thinking about how she was about to be encased in that stasis gel, much like Kim 2.0 before Henry had to say that ever-so-painful goodbye to her. Knowing that the memory of losing Kim had to be foremost in his mind at that moment, the sight of him watching Grace go into stasis just broke me. Poor Henry. I repeat: please, oh please, don’t let him lose Grace, too.

Fargo and Holly are so over-the-top cutesy and saccharine that they should totally trigger my gag reflex, but for some reason they just make me grin like an idiot. I must have developed so much affection for Fargo in these last few years (this season, in particular), that I just want to see him happy with the geeky girl of his dreams. When he confessed his love, and Holly didn’t know how to respond, I was incredibly nervous that she didn’t return his feelings. “Good wow, or ‘how do I tell this joker to back off’ wow?" I would have been so crushed for Fargo if she'd gotten cold feet!

Carter: “Okay. So first my PDA has a camera, and now black holes are everywhere? [Yelling.] People need to know these things!!!”

Poor Vincent! I hope the "Jeep replacement squad" can whip up a new Café Diem! Vincent needs a place to ply his trade! Maybe the design team wanted to change things up at the cafe.

So many goodbyes this week! Aside from the ones already addressed, my highlights include Jo giving Fargo a confidence boost, Zane and Jo’s final parting, and Fargo and Parrish reaching a mini détente.

Zane: “I’ll be thinking about you.”
Jo: “I’m sure you say that to all your alternate timeline hookups.”
Zane: “No. You were never a hookup. […] Take care, Jo Jo.”

Fargo: “Too late for you, Parrish. Must be tough, not being a pioneer.”
Parrish (sadly): “You have no idea.”
Fargo (relenting): “Hey, Isaac. You are part of the mission. Your stasis gel makes all the difference.”
Parrish: “Thanks, Doug. Try not to die up there.”
I really liked that they gave Parrish another humanizing moment, here.

Other than his observation that Jo was heading off on a walkabout, Taggart didn’t add much to the proceedings this week. Kind of a waste of Matt Frewer. But he got a good showing last week, so I’ll let it slide.

I never had any doubt that Allison would accept Carter’s invitation, but I like that she gave it due consideration and didn’t just jump into it. Especially since they played it so lightly and didn’t really milk it for excess drama.

Allison: “I don’t want us to leap before we look.”
Carter: “Well, I’ve always been a leap blindly sort of guy.”
Allison: “Really? Like in the four years it took you to finally ask me out?”

I especially liked Allison asking Kevin for his thoughts on the situation. His response was perfect.

Kevin: “Would SARAH clean my room?”
Allison: “I... I imagine so.”
Kevin: “Yes! Okay, cool, I’m in. I’m in!”

I can’t decide whether Senator Wen is working for the enemy or not. She was incredibly insistent that the launch go off on schedule. Of course, she could have just staked her political career on GD making this mission happen. I couldn’t get a good read on her when the launch started to go awry.

Final Analysis: A strong final episode that brought several running threads to a climax, then sent them spinning off in unexpected directions. Can’t wait for next season to see where it is all headed!

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

6 comments:

CrazyCris said...

Great review once again!

I too was particularly taken with Jo's storyline, and flabbergasted by the hijacking!!! Can't believe we have to wait 10 MONTHS to see this resolved! grrrrr.... and they'd better bring Jo back!!!

Also loved the Fargo/Holly and Fargo/Parrish moments. Pitch-perfect! :o)

Anonymous said...

Nice episode (even if I think that Carter was a little off character), but did they really have to end up with a cliffhanger that will bring us to goddamned Beverly AGAIN?. Will we have to suffer her through the final season?. Hope not, or I'm pulling the plug.

TVNerd said...

I really loved this one, it pretty much kept in line with most of Eureka's season enders. I like the two guest starts doing ten episodes each, and I would love if they kept Wil Wheaton next season as well.

Now did anyone else get Beverly vibes from the Senator? Just like Alison from earlier in the season?

Great review, I liked how you used the Quotes to describe your reactions.

TVNerd

Billie Doux said...

All season, I kept thinking, "They're not *really* going to Titan." But then I had accepted the idea that they were going to Titan. So I was also caught off guard by the ship-jacking.

Jo going on walkabout was nice. I'm fond of her, too. She'd better find herself before the next season begins, though. It wouldn't be Eureka without Jo.

TVNerd, I was also getting Beverly vibes from the Senator. Guess we'll have to wait awhile to see.

Thanks so much for your terrific reviews, Jess. You're the one who got me watching this show. Five seasons is a good run, but I really do wish we were getting more than just one more season.

Quachett said...

Great review and loved reading all your posts.

About the Astraeus Hijack, it was a nice blind sided piece of television. The way they used the black holes as a decoy to throw off the finall twist was just brilliant. I was however left with a number of questions about the Hijack and the Consortium, first of all there is the line Beverley keeps saying, "Im not the bad guy" coupled with the fact that the consortium goals are actually quite noble even Henry has said the samething about GD become more of a weapons company than A scientific developement company. What gets me though is how the consortium seems to continue say one thing and at the same time look like a bunch of terrorist. Beverly's line "This should level the playing field...(I think thats the line)" also seems to indicate that the Consortium has a Eureka like base elsewhere, but What I dont get is: if indeed they were responsible for the Hijack, then Why? it pretty much seems like a move that goes against thier own goals. How are they protecting humanity from itself by hijacking the mission and moree importantly how on Earth did they manage to lock Eureka out of its own computers given that they have Henry and Zane who seem to be just of the chats intelligent and godly with computers? how did those two not see any glitch or signs of doment code?

Finally I wonder if Andy was involved in the Hijack, I remember Beverly saying she was giving Andy an upgrade and talk about some code they left. Maybe they put a routine in him to control him when the right time comes

Jess Lynde said...

Thanks for the comment, Quachett. Your musings about Beverly inspired me to finally post the rest of the reviews for the first half of Season 4. I finished them awhile ago, and just hadn't gotten around to posting them yet, but since I knew I included some speculation about Beverly, the Consortium, and such, I thought I'd get them out there and feel like I finally accomplished my year long mission to review this show (as it has aired thus far). Much thanks!

I like your notion that Andy is a Trojan horse. I definitely remember her talking about upgrading him when she was controlling Allison. I'd love to see that come back into play in the new season. Continuity! Assuming, of course, that the team rescues him and restores the honor of SARAH's great love!

I really can't decide if Beverly's group still aspires to the noble ideals of Grant and Henry, or if they've gone off the rails, just as they think Eureka has. Her methods have always been incredibly nefarious, so I have trouble believing she really is one of the good guys. But I guess we'll see. She's a regular Ben Linus, that one.