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Eureka: Just Another Day

... in which the government moving trucks arrive to shut down Eureka, just as random wormholes start popping up around town.

When I woke up Monday morning, I wasn’t feeling too good about the impending Eureka finale. The last run of episodes hasn’t been terribly satisfying, and I was bummed that one of my favorite shows was possibly about to go out on a low note. So, I decided to try goosing my spirits a little by reminding myself what I loved about the show in the first place. Plan of attack: read some preview teasers about the finale to see if there was positive buzz; peruse some of my early reviews; then, maybe re-watch the pilot.

The preview news said that Eureka would be going out in a fashion that captured the spirit of the show and should please the fans. I started to feel a bit better about things. But most of the snippets teased a twist at the end, which was a bit worrying. I hoped we weren’t about to end with Original Timeline Kevin staring into a snow globe with GD at the center. I know Eureka loves its pop culture references, but that wouldn’t be satisfying in the slightest.

So, feeling a bit more positive, I settled in to read through my pilot review, and I stumbled across this little tidbit:

“They never closed the loop on Carter and Zoe passing themselves in the car. Presumably it occurred as they were on their way out of town, but they left during the day, and we never saw the shot from their future perspective. It ended up feeling like a hanging thread.”

As soon as I read this, I instantly knew what the final twist was going to be, and I was suddenly a hell of a lot more excited to see the finale. What a great way to bring things full circle! It gave me hope that our last hour with my beloved little town of mad scientists was going to be every bit as enjoyable as the quirky and endearing series I fell in love with. Yea! It was so much nicer going into the end with eager anticipation instead of terrible dread. And “knowing” that final moment was coming didn’t make it any less gratifying when it arrived. Sure, it didn’t quite match the moment in the pilot, but it was still the perfect capper to the series.

The parts leading up to that final moment weren’t too shabby either. It wasn’t perfect, of course. Some of it felt rushed (Holly’s renewed affection for Fargo); some felt overly convenient (Grace’s release, Grant’s return); and some was just plain cheesy (Carter flying through his memories like Dorothy in the tornado looked rather ridiculous, and the town cheerily waving goodbye to their new benefactor as he left in his classic car felt silly). On the whole, however, the assorted call backs to things past, the meta-jokes about how the network treated the show, and various character beats were enough to keep me laughing and smiling throughout.

But, despite the good dose of quirkiness and humor, I was starting to get a little worried that the episode wouldn’t deliver on that other key element of the series: heart. Then Andy led Zane into the sheriff’s office and the show delivered in spades. Just seeing Jo in that cell, I completely lost it. Tears galore! What a wonderful, wonderful call back to their first meeting and Zane’s original proposal. So, so resonant. I loved the role reversal, including Zane’s reaction to the lingerie box! “Did you now … [laughs] and I suppose you want me to try this on for you?” This was, of course, what I’ve wanted for these two for so very long, and it was every bit the stirring experience I had hoped for but been denied with the Carter and Allison union. Just the perfect culmination of the new, stronger relationship Jo and Zane have built. I had hoped, heading into the finale, that he might re-offer her his grandmother’s ring, but this was so much better. Tremendously satisfying and moving.

Then they gave the town a last-minute rescue by bringing back Grant! Er, Trent Rockwell. Yes, it was extremely convenient, and, yes, James Callis’s accent was so rusty he didn’t sound like the same character at all, but it was a great way to use the show’s established history to resolve the problem. I always hoped Grant would come back someday, and this was a wonderful way to bring him back into the picture. “Well, I am one of the town’s founders, after all.” I love that Global Dynamics is now being financed by one of Eureka’s original founders. Even better was Grant appointing Henry as director. I wish the episode had more time to let that be a real, resonant moment between those two characters. They became good friends working in Henry’s garage, and discovered they were kindred spirits when it came to their views on what the town should be. It would have been nice to more explicitly recognize their relationship and their shared vision for the town with something more than “What do you say? You ready to change the world?” But time limitations being what they were, I’m content enough to know that Eureka will continue forward under their combined leadership, and hopefully come closer to living up to its promise.

And finally, we got the wonderfully moving scene in which Allison shares her news with Carter, calling back to the happy alternate future those two shared at the beginning of ‘Once in a Lifetime.’ Carter only sort of remembered the experience because of Henry wiping his mind, but very pregnant Allison still popped up in his wormhole journey down memory lane. “Just a little déjà vu.” I’m really glad they chose to echo this particular emotional highlight for those two, because throughout the series run, I’ve often thought back to how powerful and resonant their relationship was in that episode. Even though I was firmly on Team Stark at that point, the potency of Carter and Allison as a happy, functional couple was undeniable. I wrote at the time: “I’m not prepared to switch to Team Carter yet, but if the story ultimately goes that direction, I can certainly live with it.” Since then, I’ve often referenced what he says to her during their incredibly poignant parting, as proof of their star-crossed destiny: “Listen to me. There’s no time, no space, no way that we don’t end up together. You just have to have a little faith.” So it was said, and so it shall be. Happily ever after.

Other Thoughts

They actually hinted throughout the episode that Allison was pregnant. She was ravenously hungry at Vincent’s, and then she was really concerned about Carter being careful on his wormhole hunt. With an intensity that seemed much more urgent than usual. I totally didn’t pick up on the hints, though.

Fun little cameo for Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara! And EMO!

I really did enjoy most of the meta-jokes about the show’s cancellation and the accelerated timeline for wrapping things up. It was nice that they could get in a few digs about the poor way the network handled things.

Allison: “I can’t believe they’re shutting Eureka down.”
Carter: “Well, it had to happen eventually, right?”

Fargo: “But it was going so great! Our work has never been better, our performance exceeded expectations ...”
Larry: “President said it was a budget issue.”
Fargo: “Does Los Alamos have a budget issue? Or Area 51? I mean, we paved the way for those guys!”
Larry: “It’s a cruel system. But, at least they gave us six more weeks to wrap things up, right?”
Not exactly, Larry.

Jo: “Fargo, get up! Eureka is about to be destroyed by a network of wormholes.”
Fargo: “Yeah, tell me about it! But, I convinced them to give us an extra day, so we can salvage this situation.”

Andy’s caution tape said “Caution Wormhole --- Keep Back!” How funny that they have pre-made caution tape for this specific situation. Tee hee!

“Fully gruntled” Parrish was a hoot. “Now that I’m a free agent, the world is my oyster.” And Vincent’s reaction to him not being in the steam room was even funnier. “Mantastic!”

Holly: “Wow. Wormholes, cyborgs, endless possibility. No wonder you guys love this place.”

Zoe: “How goes the war?”
Fargo: “Well, I think I can look forward to the mother of all tax audits.”

I really loved Carter trying to help Jo and Zane talk to each other. It was funny --- “Not what I meant by talking to her. Not what I meant!” --- and it gave us a lovely last friendship moment between Jo and Carter.

Jo: “After everything we’ve been through --- in not just one, but two timelines --- Carter, just … it would be too depressing if it didn’t work out.
Carter: “More depressing than not trying at all? […] Talk to him.”

So glad to see Taggart one last time! And chasing that damn Lojack, in a fun reference to the pilot. “Aren’t you the dog-catcher?” “Biological containment specialist.”

Poor Andy! I think he got it way worse than Carter’s Jeep this week. Of course, he did get to go home to SARAH in the end, so …

Zoe and Carter being so proud of each other knowing stuff was sweet. “Nice, Dad!” “Look at you, with your book learning.”

So Holly’s “unrecoverable” memories are starting to come back, huh? I’m just gonna let it slide. Fargo gets to end up happy with the girl of his dreams, doing super secret projects for DARPA, and that’s good enough for me.

The Carter “flying/falling” effect in the wormhole tunnel was really cheesy, but the stroll down memory lane was kind of nice. Stark! Tess! Stan Lee! Wait, what? Seriously?

Henry: “Eureka’s never been about the town. It’s always been about the people. You saved them. So, wherever they go, they are our legacy.”

Final Analysis: Elements of this finale were overly convenient, and it was a bit cheesy at times, but I just don’t care. It made me laugh, recalled fond memories, induced tears of joy and happiness, and it brought things full circle in satisfying ways on a number of fronts. On the whole, I haven’t enjoyed this last season as much as I’ve wanted to, but it went out on a relative high and I close the book on Eureka content.

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

15 comments:

  1. I agree with you Jess. The finale was part satisfying, part cheesy, and part convienient.

    I didn't like the whole life flashing before his eyes trip through the wormhole.

    The Jo and Zane storyline was the best. Glad they tied into that scene from the pilot. Liked the return of Zoe.

    Convienent how they shoehorned in the return of all the past characters. :)

    The overall season wasn't the best but at least it ended on a satsifying note.

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  2. I totally forgot about them seeing themselves in the Pilot episode!!! GREAT call-back to the beginning!

    And yeah, although the "tornado" life flashing before the eyes felt really badly done, it was nice to revisit old times!

    But Callis's accent... *shudder*

    I pegged Allison being pregnant about halfway through!!! And LOVED Zane and Jo!

    Sad it's gone, by happy about how they wrapped things up! :o)

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  3. Jess, a perfect review! I feel exactly as you do about every single thing you mentioned. For one last time, thank you for getting me into this show!

    I have a question for the class: I've only watched the past two seasons of Eureka. I've gleaned some backstory from Jess's reviews, but that's it. Would you all recommend I check out the earliest seasons?

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  4. I have to eat supper, mega hungry, so Jess, I just read....your last paragraph.

    I'm relieved LOL

    I had a HUGE smile in the last minutes when they went full circle with the pilot and the cars scenes. Beautiful and thank you writers and show runners.

    And of course, we ARE indeed in a different timeline, because in the pilot, it was 2 identical cars, no Jeep.

    It's over. Let me sob now.

    Josie !!!???!!!??

    DUHHHH!!!! YESSSS YES YES YES YES go watch all of them !!! Different from Lost, oh my, but nonetheless very pleasant ! And UPS will bring me the DVD set later on this week.

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  5. Jess

    Now, I've finished reading your review. Wow, awesome to read you. And so glad that you loved the full circle moment. And the rest. Even the cheesiness.

    Josie

    Forgive me for my previous outburst. I had a Kafkaesque day at the office. Please forgive me and start watching the first seasons. Put Lost on hold.

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  6. No worries, Marc. Kafkaesque Outburst is my middle name. (Yes, my full name is Josie Kafkaesque Outburst Kafka. My parents wanted a boy.)

    I can't promise I'll put Lost on hold, though. :-)

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  7. Thanks, all! And thanks for following my reviews. I've really enjoyed exploring the show more deeply, and getting to share the show with you all. I know several of you also had reservations heading into this finale, so I'm very glad to hear that it gave you what you needed, too. I truly would have hated for the show to leave us bitter, instead of "fully gruntled."

    Josie, I recommend you watch the first three seasons. The quality of the stories varies quite a bit, and I can think of several points when the writers' poor attention to character consistency gave me fits. Be prepared for stretches that feel a bit directionless. Be prepared for stretches where you hate what's become of the characters you loved (it gets better). And be prepared for a fairly significant difference in tone for the first season.

    That said, I found much to enjoy in the early seasons (especially Nathan Stark), and when I rewatched Season 4, having experienced the full back story really deepened my appreciation for the impact of the new timeline. Plus, it is great fun to meet the characters at the beginning to see how they and their relationships evolved over time. Season 4 is probably my favorite season, but as noted, it became even better in the context of the full series.

    If you do go back to watch the early seasons, let us know what you think!

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  8. Finally saw it, and I can echo what everyone else said. It was a nearly perfect finale, faithful to the beginning and wrapping up the timeline stuff beautifully. I'm glad the big romantic moment was Jo and Zane, and the last scene echoed the first.

    Thanks so much for all of your reviews, Jess. You and you alone are the reason I started watching this show. And Josie, I enjoyed the entire series. The quality occasionally varied and the geek quotient is pretty high, but it's a fun show.

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  9. Josie

    a) Ah Dear God I'm relieved ! (again) b) Do not just watch but listen as well. Season 1 had a different composer. So yes, it gives (gave) us a different atmosphere if I may say. c) I can't make that promise either, but I've decided nonetheless to indeed slow down. Fudge, I almost went thru 50 % of an entire season in 3 days (heatwave permitting). It was, how can I put it, intense. And I'm sure I've forgotten a few cameos in my dreams as well LOL

    Jess, confession to make here (if I haven't been rated). I saw the finale before it aired. And I "cheated" by starting at the very end. I let a big sigh of relief go out. And that resulting big smile of that face allowed me to accept the cheesiness (and those beautiful closures).

    Now they can (finally) have a softball game with real balls, bats and gloves. (referring to the end of ep 1.07, Blink, which I love) (both the show and the end)

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  10. I've finished reading your review, and all-in-all completely agree.

    A few things were standouts for me - Last scene tie-in with the pilot very, very well done.

    Jo/Zane - perfect, but could have been longer (especially as it seems they snuck a wedding in - if you look at the scene of them with the song playing - both zane and jo are wearing wedding bands).

    Liked "seeing" the clips section - although the whole life flashing in front of your eyes - probably sounded better in the writers head than how it actually came off on screen.

    Definitely they left things open for a special or two - hope they get it. Eureka will be missed.

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  11. I have been stalling watching the finale because i didnt want Eureka to end but Alas all things must come to pass.

    The episode was good, Wasnt brillient but it filled me with a greate sense of Nostalgia, Zane and Jo's Proposal, Carter and Zoe's first encounter of themselves (especially making it the first and last scene of the show), Allison pregnant, the list goes on but by GOD i loved the call backs

    I really wish someone some network something can find it in thier hearts to save Eureka. Its a great show and deserves 3 more seasons

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  12. An extra 30 mins would have been needed to fully wrap up the series.

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  13. The final was a bit bittersweet. I loved every minute of it. This episode was meant to be "a love letter to the fans" and i believed they delivered beautifully. I think it epitomized what the show was all about, that it never took itself too seriously. It was always fun, lighthearted, dramatic at times, but all around quirky.. I miss it.

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  14. As I mentioned in previous comment, I'm arriving at this party years after everyone (must have been a rip in the space-time continuum). But after seeing the finale, I read lots of reviews, and was compelled to re-watch the "Once in a Lifetime" episode - final episode of season 1. I liked the Eureka of 2010 in the "cheating" timeline more, especially the relationship between Carter and Allison. She seemed less overly intense back then, and maybe a bit more accepting of Carter's innocence.
    It's a shame the show lasted only five seasons. It had a good run, but the last bit was messed up, probably since they had to abbreviate the expected season 6 plot lines. The final episode was nicely done, and the Wizard of Oz montage probably the fastest way to pay homage to the series without a bunch of flashback clips.
    I'm still pretty creeped out by the whole Holly thing. Not coincidentally, I watched the Ex Machina movie last night, and it did little to settle my misgivings of presenting a human conscience in a constructed homosapien shell. If you've seen San Junipero from "The Black Mirror" it gives another twist on preserving the consciousness.
    Lupo proposing to Zane echoing the same scenario as staged by Zane in the alternate timeline was brilliant, touching, and maybe have even brought a tear to my eye.
    Thanks, Jess, for all the reviews. I felt less alone watching these five seasons while convalescing after shoulder surgery.
    Tom

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  15. Thanks for following along, Tom! I'm really glad to know you discovered and enjoyed the series so much, and it's nice to hear that the reviews were an enjoyable part of the experience for you. It's been fun thinking back on the series a bit. In this era of peak TV, I'm constantly overwhelmed trying to keep up with the current stuff, and it's been an unexpected treat to revisit a past love. Best wishes on your continued recovery!

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