"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eureka: Phoenix Rising

Eureka is a quirky show on the Sci-Fi Network that just started its second season. I had never heard of this show until I read an article about it in a recent issue of the TV Guide and thought "Hey, I have to check this out." And you know what? I like it. Probably because I love shows that are just a little off kilter and have unique characters.

The premise of the show is Eureka is a secret town in Oregon, I believe, that is home to the best minds in America. Jack Carter somehow stumbled upon this "secret" town while transporting a prisoner and soon became the sheriff of this unknown city. Most everyone works for Global Dynamics, which is ran by the Pentagon.

From what I gathered the season finale last year left open the question of whether or not (or at least how much) Jack and Henry remembered from the now non-existent future. This episode clears that up quick: they remember everything. It's fun to watch Jack so easily slip back into the patterns that were familiar to him in 2010. He gives his keys to Zoe so she can drive, but she's only 15. He refers to Allison as "Ally" and refers to the two of them as "we," since in his timeline they were married. Here, of course, they haven't even gone out on a single date. While Jack finds his knowledge of the future somewhat enjoyable, Henry of course has a much more tragic story. He and Jack's future only existed because Henry went back in time to save Kim, and now Henry has to deal with that loss. Jack still has the possibility of getting together with Allison, but Kim is gone. Things get a bit less for Jack as events diverge from the way he remembers them - particularly with the spontaneous combustion of certain citizens of Eureka.

Carter and Henry investigate Eureka's latest mystery. They keep referring to an Artifact that must plays a huge role in setting up a big mystery for this one. It seems nearly everyone is involved this time, Allison's autistic son Kevin, Beverly the therapist/escort/assassin and nearly everyone connected to Global Dynamics. The Artifact is an active force of its own.

The show has a terrific set for Global Dynamics, and everything from the writing to the acting - especially the banter between the leads - has a crisp feel to it. The relationship between Jack and Henry seems to be pretty deep and this dynamic adds to the show. The end is also a terrific setup for the season - as Henry becomes something of a tragic anti-hero who is likely going to repeat his mistake of trying to get Kim back. Perhaps he believes that he can figure out a way to save her without changing the time line - or maybe he just doesn't care anymore. Whatever the case, his decision to wipe out Jack's memory but preserve his own seems a lot less altruistic when he shows up to apply for a job at Global.

Eureka has an eccentric tone and attention is paid to the numerous quirky inhabitants of the town. The vibe is very much Northern Exposure meets X-Files. I have added this to my "must see" list of TV shows and look forward to finding out more about this quirky little town called Eureka.

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