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Eureka: Force Quit

... in which Beverly tries to help rescue the Astraeus crew.

Our long Eureka nightmare is finally over! Yea! And it actually didn’t eat up too much of the final season. Huzzah!

I could not be happier that we are finally done with fake realities and the painful separation of our Eureka family. Carter rushing to Allison and kissing her in the medical lab made me ridiculously happy. And her finally accepting that her last several weeks were just a hellish nightmare left me giddy and glowing. Beverly may have gotten away again, but our couples and families are reunited, and everything is back in its right place. Woot!

Except it’s not. Not completely. As happy as I am to see Carter with Allison, Henry with Grace, and Jo maybe, possibly with Zane, I’m absolutely devastated for Fargo. I was a little worried they were about to gloss over Holly’s death with a “Dear Fargo” memo, but then I saw the looks on everyone’s faces when Fargo refused to leave without Holly. I was almost relieved when they postponed the inevitable by telling him that she was already safe. It certainly would have been a challenge to have a taut and entertaining rescue while Fargo was trying to cope with unbearable grief. Plus, it allowed Jo --- the real Jo --- to break the news to him. Those two have developed a close friendship over the last season, so it felt right that she should be the one to tell him the horrible truth. That moment when she told him “It’s okay, I’ll hold you up,” and they exchanged looks that revealed everything, was incredibly powerful and poignant. I cried as she gently helped him out of the lab, and again when Carter try to offer what little support he could at the end. “But I couldn’t protect her.” “I know. Neither could I.” *Sob.* I’m not quite sure how we get back to goofy, fun-loving Fargo after this, and it breaks my heart.

I will say, as much as I really wanted a complete reset button at the end of this story, I think I’m okay with not getting one. I’m incredibly sad that Holly died and that Fargo is in so much pain, but the final sequence in the town, exploring the lingering consequences of all that had happened felt like a better choice than just washing away all the anguish and fear everyone experienced with a quick tech fix. That would have felt like a cheat. This resolution, on the other hand, feels like a fitting acknowledgment of what happened and recognizes that it will take some time to get back to normal. Grace is still a little creeped out by Henry. Allison still feels some anger and resentment towards Jo. Carter is a bit freaked out by seeing a very different side of Jo. And sweet and friendly Andy is feeling the sting of Agent Smith Andy’s reign of terror. Of course, these residual memories will fade as people readjust to being back, as Carter acknowledges. But for Fargo, things will never be quite normal again. And, as a viewer who wants to invest in the weekly trials and tribulations of my favorite characters, I think lasting consequences are a good thing.

And at least Holly’s death mattered. My two measures of whether a character death is “successful” or “worthwhile” are does the story build to it or demand it, and are the consequences such that it was worth it? In this case, Senator Wen murdering Holly is what pushed Beverly to do the decent thing and save everyone else. And the loss of the girl he thought was “the One” will clearly continue to have an effect on Fargo. Even though I’d rather have Holly alive, storywise her death mattered. And, from my perspective, that makes it worth the pain.

Other Thoughts

Holly’s death also paid dividends in creating genuine tension in several sequences this week. I was briefly concerned for Zane’s well-being in the woods, and I was very afraid for Grace in the garage. My brain kept chanting “They wouldn’t do that. They wouldn’t do that. Not after killing Holly. They wouldn’t kill Grace, too. They wouldn’t do that.” But I’m not sure I really believed it until she was safe and sound in the real world.

“First, I’ll need some Peter Gabriel …” The Say Anything boom box approach is so what Fargo would do as a romantic gesture! I wish he’d gotten the chance to do it.

The tension between Henry and Beverly was really fascinating. In our original timeline, Beverly was responsible for killing Kim, Henry’s great love. I very much doubt those events occurred in this reality, given the Henry-Grace relationship and the fact that Kevin’s not autistic. But --- like Henry, no doubt --- I couldn’t stop thinking about all the pain the old Beverly had caused Henry. “Do not ever compare yourself to me again.” It had to be so incredibly hard for him to trust her with Jack’s life. But I’m certainly glad he did.

Interestingly, Beverly does seem to genuinely consider herself one of the good guys. A humanitarian, even. She honestly believes that her way of advancing science is preferable to Eureka’s habit of turning noble ideas into weapons. We haven’t actually seen her murder anyone since she reappeared in the reset timeline, have we? She’s just stolen things, lied a lot, and temporarily “borrowed” the intellect of various people we care about. I wonder if, in this timeline, she murdered the Susan Perkins clone, like she did back in the series pilot. Maybe this incarnation of her really isn’t as horrible as the old version. She did just save our heroes, after all.

Plus, she did dish out some fitting punishment for Senator Wen. “You put me in here.” “It seemed appropriate.” Indeed, Beverly. Indeed.

Carter trying to explain the plan to destroy the Astraeus to Zane was pretty hilarious. “Ironic […] Bionic [… ] Ionic!” And his uncomfortable interactions with Fake Jo made me chuckle quite a bit. Colin Ferguson’s facial expressions were a riot!

Carter: “I need you to trust me. Do you trust me?”
Allison: “No.”
Carter (flummoxed): “Really? I thought that would go differently.”

I absolutely loved the way Salli Richardson-Whitfield played Allison’s reaction to the news that her horrible reality was fake. Her hesitance to accept the truth and her tremulous questioning of Zane and Grace were a nice coda to her emotional upheaval over these last few weeks.

Zane (re: Allison destroying Fake Jo): “Bet that felt good.”
Allison: “It didn’t suck.”

Having the crew struggle to move after being immobile for so long was a nice little touch of reality. I also liked that Café Diem is still under construction. Small doses of reality and nods to continuity make me strangely happy.

Zane (trying to walk): “I’m feeling limp here.”
Jo: “I’m gonna let that one go.”
Zane: “I missed you, Jo Jo.”

Final Analysis: A much desired, but bittersweet end to the Matrix arc.

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

5 comments:

  1. Jess !

    I haven't seen the ep, and you review is already here ?!

    Stop it ! You knock my socks off !

    I shall return (after my viewing)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jess, like you I was NOT happy with the way the season started. But I really enjoyed the last two episodes and this one really wrapped up this small arc nicely. You brought up all the places they did a great job.
    Colin Ferguson was hilarious in the better part of the episode, his facial expressions alone had me rolling. And then having the more serious (Henry/Beverly scenes), creepy (Matrix Henry/Grace scene), and really sad (Fargo's face when Jo said "I'll hold you up" scenes balanced the show really well.
    So, although I am glad this arc didn't last too long, in retrospect I thought these first 3 episodes were really well done.
    And Beverly is sure to be back. Hearing her motivation and seeing what she did to Senator Wen made her a much more interesting character than just the "big bad".
    Great review, as always!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved this one, and I agreed with every single point you made in your review, Jess. I particularly loved Carter -- the real Carter -- in the Matrix. And the way Allison took the truth. Maybe the last season really will be a love letter to the fans, after all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sorry took me long to watch Eureka this week, just too busy. First: once more brillient review, second: You got your wish they quickly solved the Austraous mission Arc and all things are back to "Normal".

    I really hoped there was a loop hole with Holly but C'est la vie, people do die. I also agree with you on the importance of a character's death; if it is required by the story or atleast makes logic within the frame of the story and helps shape future plot, i'll begradgingly accept it. Holly's death seems to be following that script.

    I gotta say I feel fo Fargo, of the Three Gals he has genuinly connected with, One is now Dead (I'll pour a 40 on the ground for Holly) one was ripped from him by an alternet reaility and is married to some Astronaught and she never even met him and the last one is at Warehouse 13 and destined to be the next Mrs Frederic. Fargo just cant catch a break, Its high time he gets his forever after he realy has been through the trenches of heart break.

    I really hope they will continue with the theme displayed at the end of the episode (I too love Continuity) and have things be wierd and strange for an episode or two, I wanna see Grace Freak out a bit about Henry and maybe tie it back to how Henry was in shock when he came into a reality were he was married. Jo, Carter, Allison and Zane should have a nice uncomfortable few episodes. Poor Fargo, Poor, poor Fargo should have his emotional episodes too, prefarably culminating in the main 7 doing something special to lift him again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow

    Finally watched the show.

    Wow

    After Jess's (awesome) review and your comments above, the only thing that I can add up is this : very, very strong start for the last season. A spectacular 3 ep's arc.

    I strongly hope that this show gets a cult status like BSG's reboot. (already is in my heart)

    Kudos to Eureka's writers.

    Wow.

    ReplyDelete

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