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Eureka: Momstrosity

...in which Carter, Kevin, Grant, and Fargo go camping, while the town’s Level 6 A.I.’s suddenly begin developing emotional attachments.

Well, that was a highly enjoyable episode! It ran the gamut from goofy to scary to poignant. I always love when they manage to milk a ton of humor out the basic disaster premise, but pair it with resonant character development. ‘Momstrosity’ had tons of really hilarious moments and dialogue, but where it really shined was the emotionally honest character moments.

Henry and Grace certainly had the most raw and affecting storyline this week. As I knew he would, Henry finally told Grace the truth about what had happened to him. How could he not? And how could Grace be anything but confused and then crushed by this devastating news? Tembi Locke beautifully played Grace’s disbelief, horror, growing anger, and grief upon learning the truth. Not only has Grace lost the person she loved and built a life with, but she feels completely violated by the lie our Henry has been forcing her to live for the last several weeks. Something like that has got to make you want to scream and throw things, then curl up into a fetal ball in an attempt to shut out the world. I’m actually amazed at how well she held it together!

The worst part of this whole situation is that Henry really is trying to do right by her, in the hopes that their relationship could have a chance. For obvious reasons, Grace wasn’t initially very receptive to the idea --- “There is no us! You’re a stranger. So please, just open up another wormhole, jump right back through, and give me my Henry back.” --- but I think some part of her recognizes that he was trying to do the right thing, and maybe that at his core, he’s still essentially the same man she loved, just without the shared history. Based on the care package scene --- which, of course, made me tear up --- it’s clear that she still cares about him and is perhaps somewhat open to getting to know this Henry and building something new. It felt like they left things on a painful, yet hopeful note. “Grace, you were right. I’m not your Henry. Not yet.” Perhaps after she has time to grieve and accept her loss, she’ll be able to let our Henry back into her life.

This episode also forced Carter to come clean about his feelings for Allison, both with Kevin and himself, and kick him into proactive mode. It looks like Carter is finally done letting other charming guys swoop in and steal Allison right out from under him. After being badgered by both Henry and Jo, and getting Kevin’s seal of approval, Carter’s thrown down the gauntlet with Grant and is actively going to pursue Allison. Woo hoo! I can’t imagine that Grant has much of a shot here. Carter lost Allison to Stark because they had history, but now he’s the one she’s got history with, and I don’t think Grant is nearly charming enough to break that pull between them. The only thing I can see making Allison hesitate is concern about ruining their friendship. As she told him back in ‘I Do Over,’ Carter is her true friend, and even though she’s certainly attracted to him, I can see her not wanting to risk the friendship and the possibility of losing him.

Other Thoughts

I’m so over the in media res opening. And they really didn’t need it here. The episode would have played out just fine without that opening tension builder.

I had to shake my head and smile at the Subaru product placement this week. Initially, I thought they were going for something relatively subtle when we got the quick flash of the car emblem at the beginning. But then when we got back to the car chase, they threw in a bunch of car maneuvering shots and some “features of the car” dialogue, and I had to laugh. At least they pretty much went with the “show, don’t tell” approach this time out. I’m not sure I could have suffered through another round of Jo and Fargo “pimping” their rides like last season.

EMO looked like the robot offspring of WALL-E and EVA. Too funny!

Erica Cerra has a very shapely silhouette. Can you really blame the perverted little toaster?

Henry: “This may be the strangest thing I’ve ever said, but I think I’m falling in love with my wife.”
Carter (laughing): “That’s not even in the Top 10 strangest things you’ve ever said.”

So, Henry was helping Grace test a device designed to help people with Alzheimer’s recover lost memories. I’m wondering if this device could be used to “upload” or otherwise share Grace’s memories of her Henry with our Henry.

Allison: “You can’t keep neglecting your EMO and expect to get a good grade.”
Kevin: “So I’ll lower my expectations.”

Kevin: “Man, I could get used to camping Dr. Fargo style.”
Grant: “Kevin, this isn’t camping.”
Fargo (proudly): “I call it glamping.”

I was surprised to learn Grant is a rugged, outdoors type. He’s never really struck me as a nature guy.

Kevin: “What are we supposed to do out here so we don’t die of boredom?”
Grant: “Well, only a million things, Kevin. We could hunt. We could fish. We could hike. We could climb trees. Or just sit here and appreciate the beauty of nature.”
Kevin (disgusted): “Dude.”

Vincent: “Virtual Vincent is refusing to take any unhealthy orders. He’s supposed to be the cutting edge in A.I. technology. Unfortunately, he’s a little too much A and not enough I, if you ask me.”

Andy’s attempts to woo Jo were wonderfully riotous. I particularly loved the poem.

“I think that I shall never know,
A creature lovely as my Jo.
This morning’s breath I smell so sweet,
With hints of cheese and last night’s meat.”

I also had a lot of fun with Andy being flattered and touched by SARAH’s actions. Zane deciding to let him keep the emotions at the end was really delightful, too. I loved that he and Andy played it like he was only doing it to thwart authority and to have a friend in law enforcement. I actually think Zane would have gone along, even without that coaxing.

SARAH: “Andy, I know we got off to a rocky start with me terminating you and all.”
Andy (smiling brightly): “Twice actually.”
SARAH: “I was confused. But now I see that you’re charming. And sophisticated. And I know it’s shallow, but I love your new adorable little face. And, well, I really like you.”

We got another small nod to Jo’s continued emotional struggles when SARAH pleaded for her understanding. “You understand why I did it, don’t you, Jo? It’s hard not having someone of your own.” Indeed, SARAH. Indeed.

Grant and Carter having a pissing contest over Allison’s favor in front of Kevin was just cringe-worthy. But I did enjoy their slightly more subtle “who’s the manlier man/cool dude” posturing.

So much bagging on kale in this episode! Kale can actually be quite delicious. Just cook it down in a little bacon grease. Yum!

Carter: “By the way, his running off is totally your fault.”
Grant: “Why? Because he didn’t want to see me embarrass you?”
Carter: “No, because you were talking about his mom. If you were bragging about going on a date with my mom, I’d run off into the woods, too.”
Grant: “Then I’ll be sure never to tell you about it.”

I liked the small bit of insight into how Grant’s continuing to adjust to life in Eureka (or not). He’s really struggling without his familiar support network, and likely so insistent on pursuing Allison because he’s got nothing else to cling to. He tried for an honest moment of connection with Carter --- “Listen, Jack, being a man out of time? Not as much fun as it sounds” --- but his timing was rather poor, so all he got for his effort was an angry retort. At least Carter made the effort to acknowledge his contribution to the disaster resolution. It’s got to be good to know he was able to help.

I was surprised Carter wasn’t able to immediately respond to Kevin’s question about whether he loved Allison. He even looked a bit flummoxed. Are we supposed to believe that he’s never really considered that question before, and thus wasn’t prepared to answer it? Or was he just thrown by Kevin suddenly putting him on the spot?

I wish they hadn’t already used the “get away from him, you bitch!” line back in ‘A Night at Global Dynamics.’ I remember thinking it was a wonderful pop culture reference when I first saw this episode, but that’s before I’d seen the whole series. This time it just felt like a tired repeat. Although I did love how TINY throwing it back in Allison’s face is what clued Carter in to her intentions.

Speaking of wonderful pop culture references, I loved Fargo naming his tent BUFFY and using the “Come with me, if you want to live” line from Terminator. He’s probably been waiting his whole life to use that one.

Jo and Carter witnessing Andy’s “morning after” moment was so awkward and hilarious!

Final Analysis: And we’re back on track with another very strong episode. I’m loving this season!

Screen cap credit: rawr-caps

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

3 comments:

  1. Breaking Bad does in media res brilliantly, but most shows just use it as a don't-change-the-channel-we-promise-you-action type deal. Eureka did the same here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Deputy Andy's attempt to 'interface' with SARAH

    Deputy Andy's love poem to Jo

    BUFFY urging Fargo to 'stay inside her'

    Carter calling the Titan Rover on its 'unnecessarily creepy design'

    The morning after Deputy Andy's night with SARAH

    . . .just a few of the scenes that made me smile

    ReplyDelete
  3. The best scene for me, when Carter and Grant catches up with a clearly upset kevin. Carter immediately assumes it was Grant's fault ..

    Carter to kevin " You know i don't normally approve of violence, but if you want me to hold him down..."

    ReplyDelete

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