|Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal|
Eureka has always been a different sort of show. Like it's sister series, Warehouse 13, it's always been at the more lighthearted end of the drama spectrum. It could be compared to Fringe, in that both shows involve the wayward effects of technological advancement, though unlike Fringe, Eureka has clung to the tenuous claim that it is based on 'real science'. Having an adviser on set doesn't make that science works that way.
However, after a shaky first season, and a growth period, the last two (or four actually, since Syfy insists on sticking with this .5 nonsense) seasons have seen the show grow into something special. It built up it's characters, refined it's arc structure, clarified it's goals, and continues to surprise and entertain.
And now that all comes to an end. Hit the jump to read the spoiler-replesent review.
When we last left Eureka, the core cast had finally come to grips with the time line changes their trip to the forties had caused. Everyone was happy (for the most part), and the town was about to launch the first manned mission to another planet, the moon Titan. Then, in perfect Eureka fashion, something went wrong, Carter couldn't save the day, and the ship disappeared.
This episode was surprisingly mirthless. Even at it's darkest, Eureka has always managed to find some humour, usually from Carter, but in this outing, he cracks only a single joke. It fit the theme of paranoia, and the Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers tone of the episode, but as a viewer, I was put off by the change. Is this a sign of things to come this season? I hope not.
Wait, before we go further, can I ask, why was the Astraeus even built? Last year, they went to great lengths to showcase that the FTL in this show was more like a Star Trek transporter, removing a thing (like Deputy Andy) from a location on Earth, and placing them on Titan. No flight involved. So why then, other than to get the Star Trek/Stargate hybrid scene at the front end of this episode, did they build a ship instead of a base? Were they planning to visit Saturn while on Titan? Because, anyone who likes space science can tell you, the majority of fuel and energy is spent getting a ship out of the atmosphere, so why would the first exploratory mission waste resources like that?
And then there is the reveal. I was a big fan of last season's twist. In a TV cultural that worships the status quo, I applaud any show that changes dynamics as completely as Eureka did after their time travel adventure. Here, I was disappointed with them, when after thirty some odd minutes of establishing all new relationships and paradigms in the four year future (a number the show loves, having travelled four years into the future before. Must be because it's far enough ahead for things to change, but not far enough for people to age), they pulled the rug out, and said, "oh, no, it was a dream." Next week jumps back to Eureka, and carter's search for the ship. Why couldn't the writers have waited, made us think the show was time skipping for a while, LOST style, and put the reveal in a few episodes from now. As it stands, anytime we jump back to the dream world, we just won't care about the consequences.
And what a craptastic world the Astraeus crew has built for themselves. Are these creations really how they see the people they love? Henry, a paranoid outsider; Carter a humourless, duty bound shell; Joe a disloyal heart breaker? What is wrong with these people? And can I say, the Carter-Joe relationship completely removed me from the narrative, and this was an episode where the DoD put a talking house and multiple copies of her android lover in charge. That stuff, I bought. I never bought the relationship for a second. They've spent years establishing those characters as siblings, not as romantic partners. Does Allison really view Joe as a rival? Is this Matrix-style dream state shared between the crew, or different for everyone?
For what it was, the episode was well written, if poorly constructed. The tension was high during the whole ordeal, and you felt the same disorientation as the crew members. Kavan Smith absolutely owned the show as all the Andys, the cheerful oppression truly disturbing, and a lot of fun to watch. It was nice to see Carter not being the 'only sane man', for once, moving the position over to Allison, though in doing so, loosing the humour which is Carter's coping mechanism. Allison just closes herself off to reduce emotional harm, and that is far less entertaining to watch.
Syfy dropped the ball when it came to the final episodes of Battlestar Galatica. To the extent that the show is better if you avoid watching the final ten episodes, and that is never a good sign. I hope that Eureka fairs better, because I would hate for such a wonderful show to self destruct just before the end. I guess, even if it does, we've still got Warehouse 13. Until Syfy decides to cancel it as well.
Sheriff's Truck: Blown up by a stray laser beam of the Terminator inspired super-Martha.