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

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eureka: What About Bob?

"This is the best season yet!" -- Fargo, speaking about the ongoing adventures in Lab 27.

Now that the storylines for this season have been established by the season premiere, Eureka moved ahead with an episode that was straight out of a Sci Fi Channel original movie. Except, you know, more entertaining. Not that those Sci Fi movies aren't entertaining, mind you. You have to have a very broad imagination to make a movie about Noah's Ark holding evil spirits bent on destroying the world.

But, I digress. What makes Eureka a refreshing change of pace in the science fiction genre is, while everyone in the town is brilliant and talented and unique in their own way, they are human. In other words, they have their own personal feelings and foibles. Yet, in Eureka, they are able to all work together to keep the town what it is. And, when someone or something comes around to throw off the balance these geniuses react.

Such is the case with Eva Thorne, who came in last episode to straighten up the town. Now the 'Chairman' Eva is making a number of changes to both Global Dynamics and to the town itself that are upsetting the precious balance that is contained within the electromagnetic shield. For instance, because she liked the cut of Zane's jib, he was named director of Consumer Product Testing for GD. She also decided to place a hiring freeze over at Global, cut out free meals for Jo and Carter at Cafe Diem, add parking meters to the streets in the area, charge for library cards, and close the Eureka museum.

What this did was begin to divide the town up: you were either on board with Eva's changes, or you weren't. Or, the quiet third option ... you were reluctant to make the changes but did anyway to keep everything going. Hence, the reason that Allison was unsure to tell Carter that she was tasked to watch over him (whether it was her own decision or her and Stark's is something I can't recall) due to all of the events that took place since he became sheriff. It initially led to some animosity between the two, which was not something that was healthy while investigating the de-evolution of one of the team members of the controlled bio-system within Lab 27.

It also led to a confrontation between Sheriff Jo Lupo and Eva at Cafe Diem. It was this meeting with Jo that made "The Fixer" reconsider some of her actions. Actually, it was that and something she saw in Lab 27 that made her change her mind. During the crisis in the controlled bio-system, which involved an evolution downgrade and a missing scientist, Eva got to see how Jack, Nathan and Henry (via bio-holographic display) worked together despite the issues they had with one another. It was the particular pairing of Carter and Henry, and how they were able to resolve the danger taking place around them, that made Eva realize that she was toying with a bit too much in Eureka.

It also made her realize that Henry wasn't doing anybody any good sitting in a super max prison. So, after a short period of time (at least in television time) he was given a pardon. This did something to people's opinion of Eva: it made her a human being. Sure, she was still a cutthroat businesswoman intent on making Eureka a leaner, meaner machine. Yet, she still had the sense to realize that the balance needed to be restored for things to work properly. At least, for now.

Switching over to Lab 27. Even though it was still within Eureka it was nice to see Allison and Jack outside the environs of the town. And, for some viewers, it was probably nice to see both of them out of their clothes. Colin Ferguson got this treatment twice as he was shown as an anatomically inaccurate hologram. Even though it was typical science fiction fare, I enjoyed the way that the producers handled the plot. Rather than have someone people care about de-evolve into some animal-like being the person first infected turned out to be a bit lecherous. As Jack said when the crisis ended "Once a snake, always a snake."

Other other moments from this show:

"How do you make the rain?" "Recycled urine." -- Jack asking Allison how the rain was made in the bio-system.

For Fargo, Lab 27 is the mother of all reality shows. He said it was his Barney when he was growing up.

"The insertion of the talent has made the show fresh again." -- Fargo talking about the inclusion of Jack and Allison into the bio-dome. Perhaps an inside joke concerning the addition of characters to this season's Eureka. He was later heard saying, "This is the best season yet."

"I'm just glad you have pants." -- Jack talking to Henry's hologram.

Henry's homecoming. This was very heartwarming, especially when Jack saw Henry entering Cafe Diem. Any animosity they had against each other looks to have melted away from that moment on.

My two favorite scientific terms: macro de-evolution and mutagenic wavelength

Allison's engagement to Nathan: it was coming. While she and Carter have a deep connection, Nathan was her former husband and has a unique link with her son Kevin. This frees Jack up to pursue other love interests. And, of course, there's nothing written in stone that says that these two can't connect up. I mean, it's television!

I knew that Eva was in Eureka for more than just corporate clean-up, as was shown in the last scene of the season premiere. This time I got some more clues as to what Ms. Thorne was looking for. It seems she was watching an atomic bomb test. But, as the film canister label displayed, the filming of the test was from 1938 and not 1945. So, what's going on here?

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