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My Four-Step Plan to be as Cool as Jim Taggart

During my rewatch of Eureka (got to watch something during the strike, and this is always in my rotation of comfort shows) I realized Taggart is the best part. He's not a designated hero character, but he saves the day and gets what he wants without unnecessary drama.

I think Jim Taggart is the heart of the Eureka, using science and passion to improve the quality of people's lives, and here's four lessons I've learned from the man who tracked a polar bear across the Arctic, who twice defeated an evil AI (once with paint guns), and dated the hottest girl in town.

I'm not going to ask if I should. I'm just going to do the thing.

Taggart never bothers to ask if he should do anything. Think about it. This guy has lived outside of civilization so often that he's forgotten people expect certain things from certain people. And Taggart isn't the sort of person people expect much from.

And Taggart is the only person who doesn't care.

He saves the day when no one asks him to, even though he's the town dog catcher. He takes it upon himself to cheer people up who wouldn't give him the time of day. He takes on impossible tasks when no one wanted his help.

For crying out loud, he dated Jo. JO!

Anyone else would have doubted themself, saying they were too old, or they weren't cool enough. Fargo never worked up the courage to ask her out, because he'd put her on a pedestal and told himself he could never reach far enough, but Taggart didn't spend any time second-guessing. He knew what he wanted, and didn't care if it made sense.

I'm going to welcome the challenge.

When a giant block of ice nearly destroyed the whole town, Taggart was the only person brave enough to try something impossible and ridiculous to save the day. It couldn't be done, right? Instead of backing down, he said, "I welcome the challenge."

Try it yourself. Next time something is hard, just put on your best Australian accent and make it your new catchphrase. Like when the waiter recently told me the "Shut the Cluck Up" level of spice was too much for most of their clients. "I welcome the challenge," is what I said, and my co-workers watched me eat the hottest chicken in town. In fact, they were the real chickens that day.

I'm going to suspect everything...

I know what you're thinking. Being really suspicious doesn't sound like a good quality to cultivate. In fact, it sounds like a good way to become that neighbor everyone warns their kids about. But bear with me.

Remember when the AI went crazy and Taggart, ever the hero, took it upon himself to lead everyone to safety? The computer tried to trick him by emulating Fargo's voice... and it sold that act like an umbrella in the Sahara. Taggart was the only person (in a room full of geniuses) who assumed the violent super-computer might try something like that.

Why do I think this is helpful? I do a little work in cybersecurity, and Taggart's tangling with the AI is exactly the sort of battle that's happening all the time. Today's scammers don't hack into your files with quick computer commands and a Monster energy drink. That's TV drama. In real life, they send you an email that looks like it came from your boss. You want brownie points, so you agree to buy gift cards to do them a favor, only to find out your boss didn't ask for them, and the website you ordered them from was a fake that just used your credit card information to buy a boat. Oops.

You want to be safe? Remember, someone is out there trying to impersonate your boss, your friends, or your family. Assume it's a lie, like Taggart, and you won't be screwed.

...but I'm not going to hold a grudge.

After a sad absence, Taggart returns to Eureka after spending some off-screen time in the Arctic with Zane. Zane. The guy who ended up with Jo. And Taggart's spot in the cast. During their time together, we're told Zane wasn't very nice, even by Zane standards.

All in all, Jim Taggart had every reason to hold a grudge against Zane, but, as always, Taggart knows his priorities. He started by making sure Jo was happy. Once that was settled, he took pity on poor Zane, who was obviously going through something, and even risked his life to help him. Why? Because a grudge only weighs down the person holding it, and Taggart didn't track that polar bear across the Arctic by weighing himself down with grudges.

Adam D. Jones is a author, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He's also something of a big game hunter himself, having recently survived having a deluxe edition of RISK fall on his head from a closet shelf.


  1. Adam, a totally enjoyable read. Thank you. :) I haven't watched Eureka in too long a time.

  2. Nice opinion piece. I recently started rewatching Eureka myself and relegated Taggart to "also ran" status (waiting for his "Max Headroom" chance at stardom to come along) but now I will watch Mr. Taggart with a renewed interest.


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