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Eureka: All the Rage

...in which GD becomes an increasingly hostile work environment. Meanwhile, Grant and Henry attempt to modify the bridge device.

I really like this episode. I realize that it gets a bit ridiculous at times, with the over-the-top lighting and shaky cam effects, and the cause of the latest disaster is painfully obvious from the get go --- “Yeah, I’m going with the Frisbee ray pointed at a tank of dead bees” --- but I really loved how the goofy disaster-of-the-week was used to explore character. Jo and Fargo both got significant promotions with the timeline changes, and apparently both feel the need to prove to their former bosses that they can handle their new positions. Fargo, in particular, is wrestling with his own insecurities as head of GD and a perceived lack of respect from his underlings, which gets exacerbated when Dr. Parrish suggests that he only got the job because he’s General Mansfield’s puppet. I suspect that Fargo of years past would have responded to these accusations by merely getting sulky, petulant, and vindictive. But here, Fargo lets his anger, and his belief that everyone is just waiting for him to fail, drive him to prove himself worthy of the job and their respect. I loved the revelation that he wasn’t the unwilling lure in a game of “let’s bait the zombies,” but actually came up with the plan himself and volunteered to be the bait. I was quite proud of him, and was happy to see Allison reassure him that he can do the job. “It doesn’t really matter if I think you can do the job --- although, I do --- it only matters that you do.”

Jo also got to battle her irritation with Carter for constantly treating her like a subordinate and her niggling concerns that he doesn’t truly believe she can take the lead. Their confrontation in Fargo’s office, in which she pulls a gun on Carter, was incredibly intense. Erica Cerra did a great job conveying Jo’s immense struggle to hold it together and not shoot Carter. And I found their “clearing the air” scene at the end quite affecting. Carter may not be the good guy in all arenas this week, but I’m glad he made a point to set things right with Jo. They have such a great relationship. “If I stepped on your toes, it’s just because I miss you. I miss my deputy.” “Well, we make a good team. Always will.” I miss their old dynamic, too, but am really looking forward to seeing their friendship develop in this new partnership.

Although they didn’t tie directly into the main action, both of the side plots this week also continued the focus on the emotional fallout of the time travel. Henry’s and Grant’s attempt to repurpose the bridge device and Grace’s little prank could have played out merely as an amusing side adventure, but instead the disappearing tools led Grant to some emotionally difficult truths and triggered Henry’s dawning realization that he’s developing a crush on his wife. Grant’s realization that he may have made a serious error in coming to the future was a wonderful moment, which really humanized the character. “Everyone I know is gone. Everything I might have done has been erased. So you see, Henry, this machine … it’s all I’ve got.” Kudos to James Callis for really selling the pathos and regret in Grant’s confession. The iffy accent and the stylized lingo make Grant seem like a bit of a cartoon character, at times, but Callis made him seem like an actual person in that moment, and I now find him a much more sympathetic character.

Similarly, I have to give kudos to Jaime Ray Newman in Tess and Carter’s breakup scene. I haven’t been terribly invested in Tess and Carter this season, but she really sold me on Tess’s heartbreak. I felt fairly crushed for her when Carter said she should move to Australia. Poor Tess! The split is definitely for the best, but I can’t help feeling tremendous sympathy for the woman who just had her entire world shattered.

Other Thoughts

New saga sell at the beginning, bringing everyone up to speed on the timeline changes. “That’s Eureka for you. Same town, big changes.”

The “motivational” posters featuring Other Fargo were hilarious! “I was gonna go with disturbing, but okay.”

Fargo: “Other Me is kind of a jerk.”
Jo: “You didn’t get that from the posters?”

I loved Wil Wheaton as Dr. Parrish! He was delightfully grumpy and put upon, and even better as bitingly bitter and enraged. I hope we get to see him again, someday.

Fargo: “Why does everyone hate me?”
Carter: “Everyone doesn’t hate you.”
Jo: “Most express indifference to mild dislike.”

Grant has been given a new name and a new job: Dr. Charles Grant, GD science historian.

Carter: “Why don’t you put down the giant lunchbox of death?”

Henry: “‘Scientific discovery starts with bold ideas.’ You said that.”
Grant: “The me that never was said that.”

Zane (taunting): “Look at you. What kind of career is this for a grown man? You must have really rocked that aptitude exam!”
Security Guard: “I wanted to be a librarian!”

Zane was really unbearable in this episode. I was hoping Jo would kick his ass some more.

Parrish: “Fargo! I’m gonna kill you! Do you hear me? I’m gonna rip that stupid face off that tiny little head of yours!”

As noted in my overview piece, my second favorite moment of the half-season was the rage zombies chasing Fargo to the rotunda. It was certainly campy and over-the-top, but something about the out-of-focus, Blair Witch-style footage of Fargo running and screaming and all the flashing lights made me laugh long and hard.

Jo: “I couldn’t have done it without you, Carter. And years of Special Forces training.”

Final Analysis: A third strong episode, which continued the focus on the time travel fallout, and effectively used the disaster of the week to explore character and relationships.

Screen cap credit: rawr-caps

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

2 comments:

  1. I remember having Fargo actually hang on to the job of running GD and developing in the job was a nice surprise. Good episode.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anyone else immediately thought Farscape when Carter started to monologue at the beginning? Especially when he got to the wormhole part. :)

    ReplyDelete

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