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Eureka: Have an Ice Day

...in which Tess begins filling in for Allison as head of Global. Meanwhile, the Iceman Cometh.

Circumstances forced me to let this one percolate for a few days before I was able to work on the review. Unfortunately, the extra time didn’t do the episode any favors. When I first sat down to write, the only two things I could remember about ‘Have an Ice Day!’ were that Zane and Taggart were back (yea!), and that I got extremely irritated by how long it took everyone to recognize that Zane’s strange behavior was a serious problem. Beyond that, it was a real struggle to recall much of anything except that there was a lot of ice everywhere (and the title was a big tip off there). Not a good sign.

So let’s see... Ah, yes. Allison is now on maternity leave and Tess is subbing as GD Director. An incredibly long ice core arrived at GD. Taggart and Zane returned from Russia, where they were leading the ice core drilling team. Jo fretted about Taggart being back in town and about Zane acting like an emotionless robot after being gone for a month. The refrigeration lab for the core started freezing over, and pretty soon all of GD and the town were compromised. There was a running subplot about Carter trying to get a Russian security officer to sign over custody of the core to GD so they could begin sampling and testing it. And we got another subplot focused on Zoe’s attempt to find her path in life.

As noted above, this episode initially left very little impression on me. But now that I’ve refreshed my memory, I’ve come to realize I actually found the whole thing rather irritating. Why the hell did it take Jo and Carter so long to realize that Zane’s demeanor was indicative of a serious problem? It’s Eureka, yo. If your previously loving and gregarious boyfriend returns after a month long absence and acts like a personality-free zombie, then alarm bells should start ringing. And not the “Oh no, Zane doesn’t love me anymore” kind. Come on! I know that it took Jo a long time to really let herself “get serious” with Zane, but she’s not that insecure. After getting the cold shoulder for the second or third time, she would have immediately gone to Carter with concerns about a potential new disaster. “He’s not fine!”

I get that maybe Jo thought Zane was acting weird because he found out about her past with Taggart, but when has “quiet and cold” ever been Zane’s style? Jo’s the passive-aggressive one, not Zane. And she knows that. And regardless of whether Jo thought he was acting strange because of relationship issues, everyone else should have questioned his exceedingly odd behavior immediately. They’ve all worked with Zane for awhile now. They know that he’s not a quiet man of few words. His behavior when they were first checking out the ice core was way out-of-character. Carter should have been all over that, not telling Jo she should give Zane time to adjust to being back. Sigh. This plot thread just irritated the hell out of me.

I also found the subplots with the Russian security officer and Zoe annoying. The officer was little more than a goofy caricature whose insistence on protocol was obviously just a stalling tactic to keep our protagonists from sampling the core and figuring out the problem sooner. At least this subplot introduced the emergency pneumatic vacuum tube communication system needed to resolve the disaster. (Plus, as delaying tactics go, it was far less irritating than Fargo being trapped in the trunk of his jealous and angry car.) As for Zoe, I don’t understand her sudden need to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. As Carter notes, she’s only a junior. Did Tess’s time capsule project really make her feel so inadequate that she suddenly has to find her calling? Seems like maybe the writers are setting up an exit strategy for the character.

The best thing I can really say for ‘Have an Ice Day!’ is that it brought Taggart back. He’s such a crazy character and always good for some wacky hijinks. I had to smile at the big “welcome back” bear hugs between Taggart and Carter, and their brief dogsled ride was freaking hilarious. “Just like old times, eh?” “I hate old times!” But my favorite aspect of Taggart’s return is that he and Jo finally got to hash out their past relationship. He’s usually so extreme, that it’s particularly nice when he gets to be a genuine, emotionally relatable human being. The scene where Taggart comes to Jo and says he’d hate to lose her as a friend was quite sweet and touching. “It’s important to me that you and I remain friends. I wouldn’t want to lose you from my life.” “Me neither.” Given that I was initially quite perturbed that their budding relationship got kicked to the curb without so much as a goodbye, I was particularly pleased to finally get some apologies and resolution on that front.

Other Thoughts

We got two rather pointed references to life being short and not having as much time as you think at the beginning of the episode. I’m surprised the ensuing disaster didn’t tie into that theme somehow.

This episode was directed by Joe Morton. Guess that’s why Henry was at NASA. Of course, it makes sense that he’d be there for something related to the data they just downloaded from Kim.

Taggart: “There are strange things under the midnight sun!”
Carter: “Yes, but before we go looking for yetis, we’re gonna check out the refrigeration unit and the ice itself.”

I like that Lucas has become more sweetly goofy this season, and less fawning stalker. Even though he was partly trying to push Zoe towards the same college as him, I liked that he encouraged her to explore the area in which the test showed she had strong aptitude. “I just don’t want you to miss out on something that you might really love.”

By the way, isn’t MIT located in Cambridge? And aren’t there tons of other universities with medical schools right in that area? Like, say, Harvard? She doesn’t need to go to MIT to stay close to him.

Captain Gregor: “Do you know what Northern District is? Nothing but ice, snow, and more ice for miles. Our one town is tiny research station. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be security officer in town of crazy scientists?”
Carter: “Actually, I do.”

Jo (angrily fluffing pillows): “Why is it that every guy I date ends up in this infirmary?”
Zane: “Cause you’re bad luck, obviously.”
Jo (snippy): “A joke at my expense? Glad to have you back.”

According to Jo, Taggart left without saying goodbye two years ago. So the events of ‘A Night at Global Dynamics’ were supposed to be two years ago? Really? That means Season 3 has covered two years. Even with the big gap between Carter’s firing and rehiring (at least 3 or 4 months per Allison’s belly), that doesn’t seem possible.

Stark died in ‘I Do Over’ (Episode 4) and Allison gave birth last week, so the span of time between those episodes had to have been nine months or less (depending on when she became pregnant). So we’re supposed to believe that a year and three months passed between the end of Season 2 and the events of ‘I Do Over’? Seriously? Given the flow of Eva Thorne’s story, that doesn’t seem possible. I can’t imagine the DoD would have let too much time go by after Henry’s fake biological threat before sending in the Fixer to assess the situation at Global. A month or two, maybe three. That would mean it took Eva a year, after arriving in Eureka and discovering the historical bomb footage, to scan for the buried underground complex. Riiiight. And it took Stark and Allison a year to get married after she accepted his proposal. Given how eager he was to get remarried, I don’t think so. And, oh yeah, Zoe was 17 back in the Season 3 premiere (as revealed by Martha’s POV screen) and as of a few episodes ago, she’s still only 17 (per one of Carter’s comments). Jo’s timing simply doesn’t work.

I did some checking and saw that the airing of Season 3 got split over two years (like Season 4), so in real time it actually was about two years between ‘A Night at Global Dynamics’ and ‘Have an Ice Day.’ But they should have fudged the dialogue to better reflect the timeline in the show. At best, it’s likely only been a year since those events for our favorite Eurekans.

As you can see, this episode managed to frustrate on many levels!

I was happy to see Tess and Carter taking the next step in their relationship. I really like their vibe together. It’s something about the way they smile at each other.

Final Analysis: Either a bland episode that leaves very little impression, or an incredibly irritating one. Depends on how many times you watch it and how much thought you give it.

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


  1. If I remember correctly, Jaime Ray Newman decided to join Eastwick and gave her two week notice about this time.

  2. How it all worked out we already know. ;) I liked Tess, it was good that Eastwick was cancelled.


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